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This podcast episode is made possible to you by the Orthopedic Institute of NJ. Watch their inspiring video of how they are helping Morris-Sussex athletes come back from even the worst of injuries to compete at the highest level.

You don’t have to be a football fan to be able to fall in love with this story.  In 2008, Livingston quarterback Mike Genovese led his Lancer team through a roller coaster season that took everyone who witnessed it through every emotion possible.

It started in the spring of Genovese’s junior season when his close knit group of friends suffered the loss of their classmate and beloved friend Brielle who passed away due to a fast moving cancer.  After dedicating their senior football season to Brielle, it seemed like the wind was at their back as they were steam rolled past their competition.  However, things were about to take a turn for the worse.

At 5-0, Livingston lost an overtime barn burner of a game against West Morris.  Not only did they lose the game, but they also lost their star player Genovese with a broken hand.  The following week they lost again to Roxbury and it seemed their playoff hopes where about to disappear without without the story book ending they had hoped for.

But instead of feeling sorry for themselves, the Lancers rallied.  The student section kept bringing the sign in Brielle’s honor that read, “Where ever we go, we take a piece of you with us!” with her number 21 in the middle of it surrounded by a heart.  They they played an inspired brand of football that you only see in the movies.

Livinston was able to win their eighth game against Randolph which allowed them to get a bid to the State Playoffs.  From their, this cast of characters carried these their team through a tough playoff schedule with the hopes of giving their injured leader Genovese a chance to finish what they all started.  And that they did as Genovese was able to heal just in time for the Championship game at Giants Stadium.

Listen to how it all unfolds in our riveting interview with Mike Genovese as he takes us through this amazing season through the lens of ten years later.

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2008 Record: (9-3-1)
Head Coach: Bill Tracy

09-12 @ Mount Olive W 28 – 0
09-19 East Orange W 24 – 13
09-27 @ Morristown W 13 – 0
10-03 Morris Knolls W 42 – 21
10-10 Columbia W 49 – 14
10-17 @ West Morris L 29 – 28 (OT)
10-24 Roxbury L 21 – 6
10-31 Randolph W 34 – 28
11-08 @ Seton Hall Prep L 43 – 0
11-14 Clifton W 30 – 12
11-22 @ Ridgewood W 10 – 7
12-06 Hackensack W 28 – 8

Genovese rallies his team as quarterback at the Championship Game at Giants Stadium after being sidelined in Week 5 against West Morris.

Genovese and coach Bill Tracy begin to celebrate after they story book season is about to be immortalized forever.

Seniors Genovese (3), Zach MeGehee (36), Greg Romagnoli (65) and Joe Grande (23) pose after winning their schools first state championship in school history.

This group knew their friend Brielle was with them through all of the ups and downs and emotional challenges of this amazing year.

George Muha has been covering high school sports since 2006. He feels high school scholar-athletes are the most important part of the community and highlighting their achievements on the field, in the classroom and within the community is his personal mission.

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