In 2014, St. Joseph of Metuchen became the first boys’ basketball team from Middlesex County to win the Tournament of Champions, beating East Side out of Newark in the finals down in Trenton.
Only two other county teams had done it in basketball, on the girls’ side: Hoffman (now South Amboy) in 1989 – the very first such event – and St. Peter’s in New Brunswick in 1992.
But after this season, there may never be that opportunity.
The NJSIAA’s Executive Committee has passed on first reading a proposal to eliminate the T of C in the six sports which currently use it: basketball, lacrosse, tennis, bowling, softball and field hockey.
A final vote is set to take place in December. Should the measure pass, the current school year would be the last to feature a Tournament of Champions.
Proponents of eliminating the event say it would typically benefits the same teams every year, and generally is won by parochial schools – Camden was the last public school to win the boys’ basketball TOC, 21 years ago. They also say getting rid of the Tournament would allow for extra weeks in the regular season that would benefit hundreds of teams, not just the six that make the TOC.
But some think the unique event – no other state does anything similar – should be kept, and is a unique opportunity.
Click below to hear Colleen Maguire talk with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko about the future of the Tournament of Champions: