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Coach Chris Benacquista's West Essex Knights will be competing in the very Morris County-oriented new Patriot Blue Division when the Super Football Conference's new alignment takes affect in 2020. (Sideline Chatter file photo)

SFC Has 19 Divisions For 2020
As Football Loop Keeps Evolving

By Steve Tober
for sidelinehatter.com

A harken back to the look at least of the old Iron Hills Conference for West Essex and a nice mix of suburban and Brick City rivalries in another division where Caldwell and Verona will reside.

Add in the revolutionary ‘Ivy Division’ for 12 struggling programs looking to right the ship against each other and there are some new wrinkles to the still-evolving Super Football Conference which has 112 schools set to reside in 19 divisions as the alignments for the 2020 and 2021 seasons passed by a 90-6 vote during a recent meeting.

The SFC also has a new president in longtime St. Peter’s Prep Athletic Director and head football coach Rich Hansen who takes over for Nutley AD Joe Piro whose term as president had ended. River Dell AD Denis Nelson, who has done some excellent work behind the scenes, will serve as first vice president.

West Essex has developed a nice rivalry with Parsippany Hills, both in the regular season and in the playoffs and now along with those two former IHC teams joining them in the Patriot Blue Division in 2020 with geography certainly in mind will be Chatham, Mendham, Morris Hills and Montville. Of the six teams in the division only Montville was not an IHC member as the Mustangs competed in the old Northern Hills Conference before the Northwest Jersey Conference was formed prior to the SFC being created for teams from Morris, Essex, Passaic, Bergen and Hudson counties.

The National Red Division has an interesting mix of three schools in Caldwell, Verona and Cedar Grove who have been longtime suburban rivals, two Brick City teams in Central and Shabazz and one Hudson school, Snyder.
The National White Division will see Weequahic, West Side and Newark Collegiate joined by Immaculate Conception, Lincoln and Hoboken. West Side and Newark Collegiate are both programs on the rise under Marion Bell and Darrin Davis, respectively, which should juice up that division starting in 2020.

Davis was once a standout player at Immaculate which is looking to keep its program heading in the right direction behind the guidance of an alum and former Lions coach John Finnegan.

The aforementioned ‘Ivy Division’ will include 12 schools from Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Morris counties in Bergen Tech, Cliffside Park, Dickinson, Dover, Englewood, Fair Lawn, Ferris, Fort Lee, Glen Ridge, Marist, Memorial and Tenafly.

The dozen teams are guaranteed eight games with five divisional contests and one crossover with the other 6-team division. The intention has been to help schools struggling with football numbers to have more equitable competition while vying against similar type programs.

Glen Ridge, which has had lower numbers in the past few seasons, will be in the Ivy White Division along with Dover, Englewood, Fort Lee, Marist and Tenafly. The Ridgers of coach Steve Trivino were 1-9 last fall but have been in the playoffs as recently as 2017 under former longtime coach Duke Mendez.

The Ivy Division teams will not compete in the NJSIAA playoffs but rather in their own 4-team playoff. That scenario has been used by the successful North Jersey Interscholastic Conference for the past few seasons with rave reviews from its member schools where teams such as Hasbrouck Heights and Rutherford have been powerhouses.

As far as the SFC itself, the 2020-2021 alignment, the Liberty Division teams are predominantly Group 5 programs, while the Freedom Division teams are Group 4, Patriot Division: Group 3, American Division tams are Group 2 and National Division teams are Group 2 and Group 1.

All told it should be quite an interesting newly-aligned conference to follow starting next September.

Super Football Conference Alignment For 2020 and 2021 Seasons:

Freedom White United Red
Bergen Catholic Don Bosco Paramus Catholic St. Joseph Regional St. Peter's Prep

United White
Delbarton DePaul Pope John Seton Hall Prep

Liberty Red
Clifton Eastside (Paterson) Hackensack Kennedy Passaic Tech Ridgewood

Liberty White
Bayonne East Side (Newark) Kearny Hudson Catholic North Bergen Union City

Liberty Blue
Barringer Bloomfield East Orange Campus Livingston Montclair West Orange

Freedom Red
Northern Highlands NV/Old Tappan Passaic Teaneck Wayne Hills Wayne Valley Belleville Columbia Irvington Millburn Nutley Orange

Freedom Blue
Morris Knolls Morristown Mount Olive Randolph Roxbury West Morris

Patriot Red
Bergenfield NV/Demarest Paramus Pascack Valley Ramapo River Dell

Patriot White
Jefferson Lakeland Passaic Valley Sparta Vernon West Milford

Patriot Blue
Chatham Mendham Montville Morris Hills Parsippany Hills West Essex

American Red
Dumont Indian Hills Mahwah Pascack Hills Ramsey Ridgefield Park Westwood Hackettstown High Point Kittatinny Lenape Valley Newton Sussex Tech

American Blue
Hanover Park Kinnelon Madison Mountain Lakes Parsippany Pequannock

National Red
Caldwell Cedar Grove Central Shabazz Snyder Verona

National White
Hoboken Lincoln Montclair Immaculate Newark Collegiate Weequahic West Side

National Blue
Boonton Hopatcong Morris Catholic North Warren Wallkill Valley Whippany Park

Ivy Red
Bergen Tech Cliffside Park Dickinson Fair Lawn Ferris Memorial

Ivy White
Dover Dwight Morrow Fort Lee Glen Ridge Marist Tenafly

American White
Hackettstown High Point Kittatinny Lenape Valley Newton Sussex Tech

American Blue
Hanover Park Kinnelon Madison Mountain Lakes Parsippany Pequannock

National Red
Caldwell, Cedar Grove Central Shabazz Snyder Verona

National White
Hoboken Lincoln Immaculate Newark Collegiate Weequahic West Side

National Blue
Boonton Hopatcong Morris Cath N. Warren Wallkill Valley Whippany Park

Ivy Red
Bergen Tech Cliffside Park Dickinson Fair Lawn Ferris Memorial

Ivy White
Dover Englewood Fort Lee Glen Ridge Marist Tenafly

Follow Steve Tober on Twitter @Chattermeister

Second-year coach Steve Trivino's Glen Ridge Ridgers will be members of the newly-formed Ivy League'sWhite Division while joined by other struggling teams in 2020. (Photo by Gene Nann-genenann.smugmug.com)

Coach Kevin Batty's Verona Hillbillies will be members of the National Red Division along with Caldwell, Cedar Grove, Central, Shabazz and Snyder for 2020 and 2021 seasons in the SFC. (Photo by Bob Thomas)

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