men of Essex 2017 Scholar Athletes

RASHEED BOYD (GPA: 3.42)               Orange High School

A three-sport star, Rasheed was the captain of the varsity Football and Basketball teams. respectively, and ran track, as well. Boyd was selected for 1st Team All-Conference for football and basketball by Ledger. He was a member of the Boyz II Men organization at Orange High School. As of this writing, Rasheed was deciding between Bloomfield College and William Paterson University to attend in the fall.

DANIEL CARTER (GPA: 3.4)                           Bloomfield High School

This William Paterson University-bound, two-sport captain has received multiple honors during his high school career: for football, Daniel has been selected as the 2-time Honorable Mention ALL-STATE; 1st Team All-Conference, 1st Team All-Essex, and 3rd Team All-Group from Ledger. For baseball, Carter received 2nd Team All-Conference and 2nd Team All-Group honors. 

GAYLE A. EDELSTEIN (GPA: 3.7)                           Livingston High School

The all-time career leader in Girls Volleyball assists at Livingston High School, Gayle garnered ALL-STATE; All-Conference; All-Group 4; and Athlete-of-the-Month honors in this, her senior year. Edelstein joins a national, all-star Junior Girls Volleyball team selected to represent the USA at the the Maccabi Games in Israel from July 4-18, 2017. Gayle, the 2-tme varsity captain and member of the Italian Culture Club, will attend McDaniel College in Maryland this fall. 

JILLIAN JENNINGS (GPA: 4.1)                           Montclair High School

A three-sport star (Soccer, Basketball and Lacrosse) and a three-sport varsity captain, Jillian has garnered 12 varsity letters and a multitude of honors, including (Soccer) 1st Team All-SEC Conference, 1st Team All-Essex, and a 2-time High School All-American Watch List; (Basketball) 2nd Team All-SEC; and, (Lacrosse) two-time 2nd Team All-Conference (NUGLL and SEC). She is a National Honor Society member, and volunteers at Grace Presbyterian Church and Real Hope Inc. Women’s Shelter. Jillian will join several 2017 MOE Awardees at Boston College in the fall. 

OLIVER ORTMAN (GPA: 3.3)                West Essex Regional HS

In his senior year, Oliver was a two-sport star and varsity captain (Basketball and Baseball), who last played football as a sophomore. He was selected 1st Team All-Super Essex Conference-Colonial Division and travelled with the AAU Basketball team. Oliver received Honorable Mention Super Essex Conference honors for his exploits on the baseball field. A member of the Antioch Honor Society at Notre Dame R.C. Church, Oliver also volunteered at the Caldwell Community Center. He has not yet decided between Drew University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, and Muhlenberg College. 2-time National Finalist, and the Top Drawer Soccer Top 150 Players. Steck was a member of the Student Council, Key Club, and a Peanut Soccer Camp Counselor. Zoe will attend the University of Connecticut in the fall.  

CAMILLE PHAM (GPA: 3.95; 2260 SAT)       Columbia High School

An accomplished Fencer with national credentials, Camille was selected 3rd Team ALL-STATE (Foil) and 2nd Team All-Conference by Ledger, placed 5th in the State Individual Foil tournament, and was the varsity captain of the 3-time District Champions (Foil). Camille was the Silver Medalist (Foil) at Nationals, and is ranked 55th by the USFA National Rankings. Camille, a National Honor Society member and Achieve Foundation tutor, was selected to the USA Fencing First All-American Team. She will attend Yale University in the fall. 

JALIA SANTOS (GPA: 3.52) Bloomfield High School

 Jalia played soccer, softball and basketball all four years in high school, earning 12 varsity letters. She earned 1st Team All-Essex and 1st Team All-League honors in both soccer and softball. Jalia was a member of Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD), the National Honor Society, and the Language National Honor Society. She will attend either the American International College or Rutgers University-Newark this fall. 

ZOE STECK (GPA: 3.9; 2010 SAT)   Nutley High School

Zoe completed her scholastic soccer career with 107 goals and 47 assists, and was New Jersey State’s Leading Goal Scorer with 41 goals her senior year. An ALL-STATE selection, Zoe is a 4-time All-SEC Conference selection, the 2016 SEC Girls Soccer Player-of-the-Year, and a member of the 100 Goal Team. She was selected as to the Olympic Development National Team, the Under-18 Players Development Academy (PDA) O’Reilly 2-time National Finalist, and the Top Drawer Soccer Top 150 Players. Steck was a member of the Student Council, Key Club, and a Peanut Soccer Camp Counselor. Zoe will attend the University of Connecticut in the fall.  

ISABELLA WAUNG (GPA: 4.067; 2260 SAT)  Millburn High School

As the Captain of the Varsity Girls Tennis team, Isabella was a leader of the two times NJSIAA Champions. Waung and her doubles partner (Sara Jacobs) finished the season 19-1 and won the NJSIAA state doubles tournament. It was the second consecutive doubles title for Waung after winning last year with Syndey Zirlin. Isabella volunteers as an EMT at the Springfield First Aid Squad. She will attend Washington University (St. Louis) this coming fall.  

TRAVIS J. WRIGHT (GPA: 3.71)   St. Benedict’s Prep. HS

As the captain of the varsity Crew and Fencing teams, Travis was also a member of the National Honor Society and the National English Honor Society. Athletically, he was selected as the N.J. State Boys Fencing Prep Champion. Travis volunteers with the Boy Scouts, as a section leader, and counselor. At the time of this writing, Travis was deciding between Cornell, Notre Dame and Rutgers University as his collegiate destination of choice next fall. 


JACK ZYSKA (Baseball)       Seton Hall Prep. School

As a superlative outfielder last spring, Jack batted .500 with 33 hits and 19 RBI’s as a sophomore. Jack now in his junior year, has the arm strength plus speed to play centerfield at the next level. Zyska was selected 1st Team ALL-STATE and 1st Team All Non- Public A in 2016 by Ledger. He helped to lead Seton Hall Prep to the Non-Public A state title last spring.  

MYA BEMBRY (Basketball-Girls)               West Orange High School

Mya, the Ledger Super Essex Player of the Year averaged 18.8 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. Her season best was 31 points against North Bergen. The 6-foot, 2-inch sophomore was named 1st Team All-Group 4 and 1st Team All-Conference-Liberty Division. Bembry led her team to the top of the Liberty Division for the first time in high school history, ending the season with a 23-4 record. 

ELIJAH OLANIYI (Basketball-Boys)               Newark East Side HS

The Stony Brook-bound Olaniyi paced the Red Raiders with 14 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. With Elijah leading the way, Newark East Side claimed the Essex County Tournament title and advanced to the North Jersey Section 2, Group 4 final. The 6-foot, 4-inch senior was selected 2nd Team ALL-STATE and 1st Team All-Group 4 by Ledger. Positioned as a small forward Elijah, the Super Essex Player of the Year will transition to the guard position at the college level. 

LAUREN POTECHIN (Bowling-Girls)                   Millburn High School

Lauren, a senior, finished third in the state with a 209 average and dominated the Essex County Tournament with a 671 series in the qualifying round and a 216-158 win in the final round. In the postseason, Potechin placed seventh in the North Jersey sectional to qualify for the state individual tournament, where she finished in ninth. Lauren was selected 1st Team ALL-STATE by Ledger. 

KATIE DELIDOW (Cross Country-Girls)       Millburn High School

As a junior last year, Katie won the North Jersey, Section 2 Group 4 title in 18:54, and ran 19:18 at the Shore Coaches meet at Holmdel Park. Delidow, now a senior, ran a 19:17.5 to retain her individual crown in the Super Essex Conference-American Division championship race at Branch Brook Park in Newark. Katie later placed second in the North Jersey Section 2 with a time of 18.53.3. Delidow earned 2nd Team All-Group 3 honors from the Ledger. 

MATT GROSSMAN (Cross Country-Boys)       Millburn High School

The Princeton-bound Grossman ran 15:59 to break the Branch Brook Park course record; won his second straight Essex County title in 14:59.8; repeated as the sectional champ; was second in Group 3 in 15:27; tied for 10th in Holmdel Park history; won his race at the Manhattan Invitational in 12:33; AND placed 4th at the Meet of Champions.  Matt was selected 1st Team ALL-STATE, 1st Team All-Group 3 by Ledger and is a two-time Men of Essex Boys Cross Country Athlete-of-the-Year award winner. 

JULIA THOMPSON (Fencing-Girls)               Montclair Kimberley

As a sophomore, Julia had an outstanding 21-1 record in dual meets for MKA. Thompson finished seventh in foil during the state individual championships buoyed by an 11-1 start over the first two rounds of pool play. This occurred after she had won first place for foil in District 5.  Julia earned 1st Team ALL-STATE honors by Ledger. 

AMINA TROUPE (Fencing-Girls)                   Montclair High School

Amina, a junior, finished fourth at the state individual epee championships with a 4-3 record in the final round of pool play after winning the District 4 epee title. Troupe also played a major role in the Montclair High School Mounties epee squad championship and finished 17-1 in conference dual meets. Amina was selected 1st Team ALL-STATE by Ledger.  

ZOHAIB MANNAN (Fencing-Boys)                   Millburn High School

Zohaib is the Ledger Fencer-of-the-Year. Bound for New York University, Mannan ended his scholastic career by winning gold in the state individual foil championship and going a perfect 31-0 in regular-season play. Zohaib was undefeated, 6-0, in the final round of pool play to claim the state championship. Regarded as one of the best foil fencers in the nation, Mannan finished in the top eight in the Junior Olympics in February. Zohaib was the first runner-up to the 2017 Essex Award. 

JULIA RUSSO (Field Hockey)                   West Essex Regional HS

After a freshman year in which she showed her enormous potential, Julia emerged as a key member of the team during her sophomore campaign, scoring 28 goals and 18 assists. Russo, now a junior, had another stellar season in 2016, posting 35 goals and 22 assists. She is ranked as one of the top Class of 2018 recruits in the country, and has played a huge role for West Essex this past season. Julia was selected 1st Team ALL-STATE by Ledger. 

LIA SINISI (Field Hockey)               West Essex Regional HS

Lia scored the historic game-winning goal in overtime on a penalty stroke for West Essex in the program's first-ever Tournament of Champions title win over Eastern. She finished 2016 with 31 goals and 27 assists, and ended her career with 101 career goals. Lia has committed to Michigan State University to continue her field hockey career. Sinisi was selected 2nd Team ALL-STATE in 2015 and 1st Team ALL-STATE in 2016 by Ledger. 

JASIAH PROVILLON (Football-Offense)           Irvington High School

 The 6-foot-2 inch, 185 lb. junior wide receiver is a three-sport athlete. Provillon has football offers from Boston College, Connecticut, Kentucky, Louisville, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi State, Penn State, Pitt, Syracuse, Wisconsin and several others. After two varsity seasons, Jasiah has 100 career receptions, 1720 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns. Provillon was selected 3rd Team ALL-STATE by Ledger. 

Paul Theobald (Football-Defense) Seton Hall Prep. HS


Megan Leffler (Soccer-Girls)                   Livingston High School


Mason Toye (Soccer-Boys)                   Seton Hall Prep. HS


Kelsey Oh (Softball)                   Mt. St. Dominic Academy


Natalie Della Riva (Swimming-Girls)               Caldwell High School


Eric Wang (Swimming-Boys)           Millburn High School


MEN OF ESSEX 2017 Essex Award Keynote SPeaker