By Christian Mordi / @thedribbledrop
Team: Newark East Side
Record Last season: 25-4, 10-2 in conference play
Key players: Jahid Jenkins, senior;Hasaan Ceesay, senior;Anas Amos,junior
Potential emerging stars:Mikah Johnson Jr. sophomore
Team analysis: At the start of 2017, “Beast Side” was ranked one of New Jersey’s top 10 teams in the state. While the team didn’t quite live up to the billing in the early parts of the year, East side got stronger as the season progressed, showing their ranking wasn’t too far off.
While the Red Raiders lost All-State Forward Elijah Olyani to the NCAA, there is still a lot of talent left on this roster. One player to watch on this team is senior Hasaan Ceesay. HC had a huge impact on both sides of the ball. For his hard work, he selected on the All-Group 4 team. Junior Anas Amos and Senior Jahid Jenkins will also play major roles this year.
East Side is notorious for playing one of the most rigorous schedules in the state every year. They may take their lumps early on, but they will be there when it matters most.
Newark East Side may be the best public school in NJ outside of Linden. Sadly, they both are in Group 4. Odds are those two teams will play again to decide the Group 4 TOC rep. If last year’s game was any indicator, the 2018 showdown will be one of the best games this year.
Stat to know: Newark East Side won the Essex County Tournament in 2017.