Around Town: Shabazz High School celebrates its first state title with a parade

By Barry Carter | The Star-Ledger
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on December 12, 2014

The Shabazz High School family stuck out its chest today with bulldog pride when they honored the football team with a boisterous neighborhood parade for winning its first state title.

Students, staff and alumni marched through South Ward streets with the team to celebrate its 14-6 victory over Dunnellen in the NJSIAA/SportsCare Institute North Jersey, Section 2 Group 1 final

Head coach Darnell Grant said the team’s accomplishment is the best example of what can be done with hard work.

Newark's Shabazz High School marching band leads neighborhood parade to celebrate the football team's first ever state title.

 

“That’s what we try to instill in these kids,’’ Grant said. “We can achieve anything.’’'

Shallah Kehleay, 18, knows better than most. Two months before the season started, Kehleay was shot twice when gunfire erupted at a cookout he was attending. Kehleay, who was not involved in the incident, said he healed quickly after getting shot in the chest and the back to make his way back to the team. In the championship game, he wound up catching the go ahead touchdown.

“It feels good to be able to help my team,’’ he said. “We haven’t done this in a long time.’’

Not since the 1960’s when Shabazz was called South Side High School. They made up for it today with the school marching band leading the way.

Newark police blocked off intersections along Bergen Street and Clinton avenues as residents stood on their front steps to watch and record the celebration with cell phones.

All week long Principal Gemar Mills said students have been calling each other champ.

The team, wearing their jerseys during the parade, sang several chants but this one captured the moment - “From the east to west, the bull dogs are the best.’’

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