Remembering The Past: The Night Jefferson High Won the County Championship

Remembering the Past by Diane Norek HarrisonBy Diane Harrison

ELIZABETH-Memories from Ed Levy: “Although it was about 58 years ago, I remember that night like it was yesterday.

“Jefferson High in Elizabeth was going to the County Championship Playoff at the Elizabeth Amory in a few days. It was a good year in 1955 and 1956 for basketball in Elizabeth. Jefferson High had some really talented and enthusiastic players on the Senior Varsity team.

“I did not realize it at the time, but in retrospect it seems to me that basketball was a natural for Elizabeth as there was not that much open space for sports like baseball or football so basketball was the perfect neighborhood sport in any part of that town.

“As was known at the time, there was a long standing sense of competition between the teams of Jefferson High and of St. Mary’s ‘on the hill’ on South Broad Street. There was a true rivalry. That year, Jefferson won every game in their category and had some great players like Richie Jones and Clarence Barnes (known as Fox Barnes). Coincidentally, St. Mary’s also won the top seated position in their category and that meant that Jefferson’s Senior Varsity would play against St. Mary’s Senior Varsity at the Elizabeth Armory for the County Championship. It was to be a great night and was scheduled for a Thursday in February in 1956.”

More next week!

If you have your own memories or past material for any town in Middlesex or Union counties, please email me at or send copies of your material to me c/o CMD Media, 1139 East Jersey St., Suite 503, Elizabeth, NJ 07201

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