***Veteran Coach John Sheppard finds his Morristown-Beard team in No. 1 pole position of the 2014 Morris County Tournament field!
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***Belleville at Newark Academy was one more close SEC-Liberty softball showdown. Find out what happened in "Feature Articles"
***West Essex and Montclair are seeded 1-2 as 2014 ECT girls lax field has been assembled. Check out all the details in "The Buzz"
MKA associate head coach Ernie Mosca (left) and longtime head man Paul Edwards form experienced coaching sideline for young Cougars who will take on Edwards' old high school and college teammate Billy McCutcheon's Millburn team this Saturday. (Sideline Chatter photo)
Former Montclair & Hopkins Teammates
Reunited As Opposing Coaches Saturday
By Steve Tober
MONTCLAIR- It’s been 40 years since they were last teammates together on an NCAA national championship men's lacrosse team at Johns Hopkins and 36 years since they both mourned the death of their beloved Montclair High coach Gil Gibbs, who passed away from cancer at the age of 39 in 1978.
However, as The Montclair Kimberley Academy’s Paul Edwards and Millburn’s Bill McCutcheon take their respective teams out onto Van Brunt Field at MKA this Saturday afternoon for a 1 o’clock contest, they’ll also be exemplifying the best of the Gibbs MHS lax tradition which is carrying on a life-long association with the sport they all relish.
The Cougars (4-3) have a young squad that is maturing into a more solid unit under the watchful eye of Edwards and associate head coach Ernie Mosca, while Millburn has struggled out of the gates at 1-5, including a 12-6 loss to Montclair High in an SEC contest this past Saturday.
McCutcheon, who had been involved with youth lacrosse in Chatham for many years where both his daughter and son had stellar playing careers, took over the Millers’ head reins this season after his son Billy, who also played at Hopkins, decided to leave high school coaching and become an assistant with the men’s lax squad at Monmouth University.
The Edwards-McCutcheon reunion of sorts this weekend is not only a wonderful moment for both men, who are now in their early 60’s, but is also grist for the mill for local lacrosse aficionados such as Mitch Lawrence, the longtime NBA columnist for the New York Daily News, who has a close association with the MHS lacrosse legacy dating back to this days as a student manager for the team before graduating in 1975.
He recently reminisced about not only the great memories engendered by the reuniting of Edwards and McCutcheon as opposing coaches this weekend, but also about a few other interesting bits of trivia involving two other all-time Mountie greats from the historic Gibbs era of the 1970s.
“Besides being teammates at MHS, Paul and Billy both went on to play at Johns Hopkins and won a national championship together in 1974, Paul’s senior season, and when Bill was a junior,” Lawrence recalled. “Paul was a face-off specialist at Hopkins, while Bill was a 4-year starter for coach Bob Scott at midfield.
“They both played on three straight NCAA title games, losing to Virginia in 1972, losing to Maryland in 1973 and then finally breaking through by beating Maryland for the title down at Rutgers in 1974.”