“Like a kid in a candy store,” HS coaches and players welcome start of practice

Franklin celebrates its North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4 championship in 2020, their final game before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down high school sports last March.

by Mike Pavlichko

Only a handful of high school basketball teams around the state – including the Franklin and Bound Brook girls – were still alive in the state playoffs when COVID-19 brought their seasons to a screeching, unprecedented halt.

But last week, teams across New Jersey got back on the practice court for the first time since mid-March. It was nearly 10 months since they last could step on a court together, coaches and their student-athletes.

Central Jersey Sports Radio spoke to several area coaches – Franklin’s Audrey Taylor, Rutgers Prep’s Mary Coyle-Klinger, Bound Brook’s Jenn Derevjanik and Anthony Melesurgo, and North Brunswick’s Ed Breheney and Mark Zielinski – to get their take on how their seasons ended, how they stayed connected with their teams for nearly a year, and how they felt getting back to basketball, albeit in the era of COVID.

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