• Buzz From The Hive

Gray Bees Rejoin the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association

This winter season marked St. Benedict’s first season back as a member school of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA). Having voluntarily left the association in 1991 to explore different avenues of competition, The Hive’s move to rejoin has come about after much consideration and an evolving high school sports landscape in the state. “At the end of the day, any of our decisions are about giving students the most opportunities,” said Frank DiPiano ’01, St. Benedict’s Athletic Director. “A lot has changed in the state, and rejoining the organization now makes a lot of sense for our athletes.”

The move provides Gray Bee teams a set roster of conference games in New Jersey and also means less travel for out-of-state games. Additionally, St. Benedict’s will be eligible to join the Super Essex Conference (SEC) in 2024-25, an added incentive because it affords the possibility of playing top teams and competing in state tournaments outside the non-public league. Playing in this type of conference will also give Gray Bee girls’ sports, a relatively young program, the opportunity to grow.

Now that the winter season is over, Mr. DiPiano commented that, so far, rejoining the association has been all St. Benedict’s could have hoped for: “The NJSIAA, and all the schools, have been great with us coming back. It’s been a really warm welcome, with athletic directors from other schools being not only very supportive, but also looking to work with us.”

For student-athletes, competing in the NJSIAA means more visibility and opens doors to compete against schools St. Benedict’s hasn’t played before — not to mention increased media coverage, potential recruiting and the chance to establish some local rivalries.

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