by Andrew Garda
While the school year is winding down, some football players from Montclair schools are getting one last chance for a victory lap during the Paul Robeson East-West All Star game, which will be celebrating its 25th edition tonight, Thursday, June 14, at Robeson Stadium in East Orange. Kickoff is slated for 7 pm.
Montclair High School’s North 1, Group V state championship team will contribute five members of the East squad, while Immaculate Conception will send a player of its own.
From MHS, cousins D.J. and Tysean Williams will be suiting up on offense as wide receivers. D.J. had 29 receptions for 603 yards and six touchdowns for the Mounties last year, and added 25 tackles, a forced fumble and an interception at cornerback. Tysean caught 14 balls for 271 yards and a trio of touchdowns, with 31 tackles, four interceptions, one returned for a score, and one fumble recovery which he returned for a touchdown as well.
Both will head to Milford Academy, a prep school in New York, this fall. Defensive end Finn Jensen (Union College in New York) and defensive back Jaire Gray (Kean University) will play on the defensive side of the field, while kicker Harry Wiley will be on special teams.
Jensen had 7.5 sacks for the Mounties last season, with 59 total tackles and one forced fumble, while Gray notched 1.5 sacks and 63 tackles, with one forced fumble.
Wiley was consistent and surefooted for the Mounties last season, with 38 points scored. He also managed two tackles on kick returns, including a big one during Montclair’s 35-14 win over Union City in the state championship game.
Representing Immaculate on defense will be Nashier Lowe-Bushrod, who is slated to attend Shaw University in the fall. The linebacker totaled 76 tackles, a pair of sacks, one interception, and six forced fumbles, one of which he returned for a touchdown.
The Robeson Classic features an East squad of players from Essex and Hudson Counties taking on a West team made up of seniors from Passaic, Morris, Sussex and Warren counties.
The game’s namesake is former Rutgers star and NFL player Paul Robeson, an All-American football player who became a successful actor and a noted civil rights activist.
In other All-Star news, MHS senior wide receiver Collin Callahan will be the Mountie’s representative in the Phil Simms North/South High School Classic, which will take place at Kean University next Monday, June 25.
Callahan had 52 receptions for 749 yards and five touchdowns for the Mounties last season, including seven grabs for 128 yards and a touchdown in the North 1, Group V final.