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Hopatcong Honors Athletic Greats

Chiefs welcome back national champions, salute great fans, and feature the future of the program.

The Hopatcong athletic community honored a pair of national champions, as well as two well-known fans at its home football opener against North Warren on Sept. 21.

Mike Juskus, a 1976 Hopatcong High School graduate, and Zach Rey, a 2005 graduate, were in attendance and recognized for their outstanding collegiate performances. 

Also honored were Hopatcong's No. 1 fans, John and Lola Scala. The future of the Chiefs, the Hopatcong Warriors youth football teams, were also announced.

"It is always special to honor outstanding athletic achievements by former athletes, long time dedicated fans, and the future of Hopatcong football," high school athletic director Tom Vara said.

Juskus and Rey were honored for some impressive careers.

Juskus's highlights include his 1979 Division I national championship in javelin for then Glassboro State, known now as Rowan University. He was also a three-time collegiate All-American and three-time Division III javelin champion. He was a member of the 1980 Olympic team, and also competed in the 1980 World University Games.

Rey won the 2011 Division I heavyweight national championship for Lehigh University. He is a three-time collegiate All-American and competed for the World University team in 2010.

The Scalas are known to spend their afternoons and evenings attending Chiefs athletic contests. The Scalas, Rey and Juskus were honored before the 7 p.m. kickoff. The Warriors were on the field at halftime.

HCongSpiderman September 28, 2012 at 09:30 PM
"He was a member of the 1980 Olympic team" That's odd... The official 1980 results show the javelin team to be: 1. Ewaliko - 291'0" 2. Kennedy - 274'5" 3. Atwood - 271'3" Non-Qualifiers: Mike Juskus (Glassboro St) 232'7"
Kellie Schmidt Battaglia September 29, 2012 at 01:25 PM
I believe they may be off by 4 years. I remember helping to fundraise for Mr. Juskus when he was the shop teacher at the middle school and was training for the Olympics. But, he never went as the US boycotted the year he was to go. I believe it was 1984 and I should have googled before replying to make sure I am right with my dates!
Kimberly September 29, 2012 at 01:32 PM
Wow....an article about something positive about Hopatcong (for a change) and it takes one "rotten apple" to take it all away!!! Why don;t you spin your web of hate in another town, why can't anyone ever be happy for our town?? You must have gone through a lot of trouble "googling" your information...but 2 can play that game!!! http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1873&dat=19810607&id=efswAAAAIBAJ&sjid=vOAFAAAAIBAJ&pg=2756,2644588 and http://www.zoominfo.com/#!search/profile/person?personId=323326348&targetid=profile And I believe it to be 1984 (not 1980) as I remember it well....MANY students looked up to him for his accomplishments including my brother who went onto the Olympic Trials in 1992 in his own sport!! The evening's award was based on his NCAA accomplishment!! Congrats Mike (& Zack) So happy to read about the positives coming from Hopatcong!!!
htown123 September 29, 2012 at 03:46 PM
always haters
Observer September 29, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Congratulations Lola and John! This recognition is well deserved.
HCongSpiderman September 30, 2012 at 05:08 PM
I am not denying that Juskus was a great javelin thrower, but olympian he is not. "And I believe it to be 1984 (not 1980) as I remember it well" Apparently not well enough, since the '84 olympics were held in the US....
HCongSpiderman September 30, 2012 at 05:16 PM
The US definitely boycotted in 1980, when they were held in Moscow. The 1984 olympics were held in California....I watched Carl Lewis win 4 gold medals that year.. In 1984 the US Olympic javelin team was: 1) Atwood - 306'7" 2) Petranoff - 278'8" 3) Roller - 272'4" I am not denying that Juskus was an amazing javelin thrower, but an olympian he is not.
SCapslive October 02, 2012 at 12:58 AM
Growing up in this town for more than 49 years and attending Hopatcong High school I have had the privlige of knowing the Scala family cheering for us at every sport there was, first hand. Now that my kids are there and involved in sports I was amazed to see the Scalas smliling faces still there cheering just as loud and John telling the same bad jokes and Lola telling him to stop. Well deserved honor and keep up the Chief's spirit!!!
Kimberly October 02, 2012 at 10:44 AM
Wow, I do remember it and what does location have anything to do with it?? Now someone else (without a mean streak) correct me if I'm wrong: In 1980 HE MADE THE OLYMPIC TEAM but could not compete because of the boycott and in 1984 he made it through the Olympic trials but he didn't qualify for the team that year....just because you are robbed of the opportunity to compete in 1980 doesn't mean he wasn't a member of the Olympic Team...why do you have to take such a positive story and turn it into such an argument??
HCongSpiderman October 02, 2012 at 04:28 PM
http://www.usatf.org/statistics/champions/OlympicTrials/HistoryOfTheOlympicTrials.pdf There you go... Every result from every athlete at every US trial up until 2004. Facts don't change just because you don't believe them...
Rick Burchfield (Editor) October 04, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Good afternoon. I have received some clarification on this, and wanted to post it here for those of you who have been interested. Mike Juskus did make the 1980 Olympic team. Though he finished fifth in Olympic qualification, two of the top three were disqualified due to the use of banned substances. Juskus was given a uniform, but the team at that point already knew it was not competing due to the boycott.
HCongSpiderman October 07, 2012 at 12:43 AM
That still doesn't make sense as the 2 spots would have been filled by the 4th and 5th place qualifiers, who were: 4. Tom Petronoff 271'3" 5. Curt Ransford 269'3" Mike Juskus' throw of 232'7" didn't qualify for the top 12. http://www.usatf.org/statistics/champions/OlympicTrials/HistoryOfTheOlympicTrials.pdf
Mom Average October 11, 2012 at 10:32 AM
FYI - Zach Rey graduated in 2007...NOT 2005. Kindly get the facts right BEFORE publishing any articles...otherwise your credibility goes right down the tubes.

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