Baseball Team Lauded By Town Council

The baseball team poses with township officials. (Photo courtesy Danni Strauch)

  HOWELL – After what can only be termed an exceptional year for the township’s high school baseball team, the 2022 Howell Rebels were recognized by the Town Council at their most recent meeting.

  The Rebels had the most wins in the history of the school with a 25-6 overall record and captured first place in the Shore A-North League with a 15-2 mark. Howell had an eight-game winning streak to finish the season, were perfect on the road and at neutral site games.

  Nearly all members of the team were present to receive proclamations from the state, county, and Howell Township. Deputy Mayor Pamela Richmond, whose son played on the junior varsity team this past season, made the presentation in front of an enthusiastic audience composed of friends and family members of the baseball team.

  “You guys are very close to my heart, so this means a lot to me to be able to do this with you,” said Richmond. “I know the Mayor wanted to bring Danny Furlong [in] and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact that we were going to bring Danny in a while back. And the first thing Danny said was ‘I couldn’t do this without my team, so I’m not doing this without my team.’ So, with that said, they continued to win and we had to wait and wait and wait to bring them in, because they just kept winning.”

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  Richmond’s reference to Furlong was in recognition of the senior right-handed pitcher who has committed to Montclair State University. Furlong posted a 2.0 ERA this past season and pitched the first-ever perfect game in Howell history during a victory over Long Branch. Furlong, who sustained a fractured jaw when struck by a line drive during the season, also plays first and third base and batted .393 with six RBI and one extra base hit.

The baseball team and head coach pose for photos with Councilwoman Evelyn O’Donnell, Deputy Mayor Pamela Richmond and Mayor Theresa Berger. (Screenshot by Mark Bator)

  “Every time something was thrown at these boys they overcame it and they did it as a team,” Richmond said after reading the proclamation from the township. “And I get emotional because I’ve known these boys since they’re little Aldrich [School] kindergarteners. Most of them, anyway. So, forgive me for my getting emotional, because these boys mean the world to me and so do their families.”

  The Deputy Mayor then called upon head coach Eric Johnson to accept the proclamations on behalf of the team and address the audience.

  “I’d just like to thank Deputy Mayor Richmond, Mayor Berger, and the entire Township Council for giving us this honor,” said Johnson. “This is really incredible. We’re very honored to be here. Very, very honored to get this. This is what growing up in a town is supposed to be about. You grow up with people that you played baseball with, which is getting lost a little bit these days. But these guys brought it back in a big, big way here in Howell, and we’re very proud of them.”

  The Rebels captured the state championship when they defeated Hunterdon Central, 9-8, to take the N.J.S.I.A.A. Group Four baseball title on June 18.