TWO PATRIOTS WALK:
The officials, Ernie Lunardelli, 54, and his son, Anthony Lunardelli, 27, stood for the anthem and then abruptly left the field after seeing the players kneeling. Their spots on the five-person crew were filled by junior cadet officials at the game, Ernie Lunardelli said.
“DISRESPECTING OUR COUNTRY”
“I’m not in favor of anyone disrespecting our country, our flag, the armed forces,” Ernie Lunardelli told NJ Advance Media Saturday afternoon. “What they’re protesting has nothing to do with the national anthem and I’m against it, so I decided to protest for them kneeling and that’s what I did.” Ernie Lunardelli said weeks ago he informed the officials assigner for the Greater Middlesex Conference, Thomas Paulikas, that he would walk off the field if any players knelt for the anthem before his games.
BEST COMMENT OF THE WEEK:
“Whoever is disrespecting that flag and the national anthem, that’s who I have a problem with,” Lunardelli said. “That’s my protest. I don’t care if it’s a baby, if it’s an 80-year-old man, anybody. I don’t care. Any race, color, I don’t care who it is. It’s not the way I was brought up and it pisses me off that people are doing that.”
PUNISHED FOR RESPECTING OUR COUNTRY:
Lunardelli, meanwhile, said he and his son were unassigned from working Saturday’s game between Spotswood and Raritan.
After Lunardelli and his son left, they were replaced by two cadets who were already assigned to work on the chain crew for the game. Lunardelli alleged Saturday the game is not official because the cadets did not have proper certification or training.
“That game should not count now because they did not have the right personnel on the field,” Lunardelli said. “These kids weren’t officially carded and trained, so they’re putting the kids in jeopardy, I’m not.”
Monroe athletic director Greg Beyer declined comment when reached by phone Saturday. State officials assigner Carmine Picardo also declined to discuss the situation, saying he “did not know what could happen” based on the protest by the Lunardellis.
Colts Neck went on to defeat Monroe, 18-13.
Read more: NJ.com
ALL IS NOT LOST:
THIS NEW JERSEY HIGH SCHOOL HAS THE RIGHT IDEA:
While some players choose to disrespect our national anthem, several New Jersey high school football programs are honoring those who protect and serve.
St. Joseph High School held its second annual Military, Police and Fireman Appreciation Day in September:
The event, which former St. Joseph head coach Casey Ransone initiated with tremendous success last season, includes a pregame ceremony and complementary tailgate for the honorees.
What a great idea!
Read more: MyCentralNJ.com