Roselle Rams football play at their Arminio Field for first time in 3 years; Host Bound Brook in first competition on new turf

Home-opener is Sept. 14 vs. defending N2G3 state champ Summit

PHOTOS BY JR PARACHINI – Roselle football has a turf playing surface for the first time at its Arminio Field.

ROSELLE – Roselle last played a game at Arminio Field some 33 months ago.
That playoff contest had a state championship game appearance on the line, with the host Rams falling just short to eventual champion Manasquan 31-27 in the Central Jersey, Group 2 semifinal played Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016.
Today – Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019 – Roselle finally got back on Arminio Field. Bound Brook was the opponent in Roselle’s first scrimmage.
It was also Roselle’s first-ever scrimmage on its new turf.
It took two full seasons (2017 and 2018) of the Rams sharing Rahway River Park with Rahway as their home field before the project at Ralph Arminio Field was finally complete.
“It feels good to be back on our field,” Roselle head coach James Williams said. “It was two years in the making without a home field.
“Even with the home games we had to go to Rahway. Even with practice we had to split the field with (Roselle) Pop Warner and I didn’t want to take their space.
“It’s been a rough two years, but finally it’s done. We’re back home and it feels good to be back on our home field.”
Williams said a new field house will begin to be built following Roselle’s Thanksgiving Day home game against Roselle Park.
“Hopefully it will be done a year from now,” Williams said.
For now the Rams will use their own Abraham Clark High.
“The (high) school is one block away, so we have a lot of room in the school,” Williams said. “We break down film in my office. They put a trailer over there (near the field) for us so we can have film sessions.”
Roselle went 2-6 a year ago and did not play any consolation games. The season ended on Saturday, Oct. 20 with a 22-21 win at Spotswood.
“I made the decision before the season started (not to play any consolation games) because I know I didn’t have much coming back and sometimes you don’t want to keep beating the kids down,” Williams said.
Roselle will host Roselle Park on Thanksgiving for the first time since 2015. The game is scheduled for Nov. 28 at 10 a.m. at Arminio Field.
Roselle and Roselle Park played each other on Thanksgiving for the 100th time two years ago, so Roselle ending its season on Oct. 20 last year was something quite different.
Roselle Park did not field a varsity team last year for the first time – that was not the norm at all as well for the Panthers – but has one back this year. Another Roselle opponent this season – Highland Park – cancelled its season last year after just one game because of a lack of numbers. The Rams are scheduled to play at Highland Park on Nov. 2 (the game is now at Highland Park).
At the moment Williams is not thinking about any November opponents, especially the renewed rivalry with Roselle Park on Thanksgiving.
“South River is the only thing on our minds right now,” Williams said of his season-opening opponent.
Roselle opens at South River on Saturday, Sept. 7 at 1 p.m. When the teams met at Rahway River Park in Roselle’s second game last year, the visiting Rams were quite decisive in producing a 33-20 triumph.
Roselle’s home-opener is vs. defending North 2, Group 3 state champion Summit on Saturday, Sept. 14 at 2 p.m. That will be Roselle’s first game on its new turf field.
“I’m looking forward to our first game and to playing anybody at home, we haven’t played at home in so long,” Williams said.
Roselle remains in the section Central Jersey, Group 2 for playoff qualification and in the Valley Division of the Mid-State 37 Conference, which has the same five-school alignment for 2019, including defending champion Hillside, Bernards, Delaware Valley, Johnson and Roselle.