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Hard work pays off on the football field for Hasbrouck Heights senior Jasiah Purdie

When Jasiah Purdie was younger he enjoyed playing a multitude of sports including football, basketball and running track. The way Purdie discovered football was his passion is a very interesting story. Purdie went to a local corner store with one of his two brothers to purchase some chips and pop tarts. While skateboarding home they were stopped by an individual, asking if they wanted to play football.

“I first had to ask my Mom’s permission,” said Jasiah Purdie. “It was August 1, I got my pads and did not know what was going on at running back and plays that were called. I right, Power 44 was called for the tailback and getting the ball through four hole. It took me awhile to understand what I was doing.”

Even with his Mom being his biggest fan and support from his two brothers’ and sister, Purdie lived in North Carolina with his grandmother. In 2006 Purdie moved to New Jersey where he lived in Hackensack and Garfield before settling in Hasbrouck Heights.

In his freshman year on the Aviators varsity football squad, Purdie caught seven passes for 85 yards. Those numbers quickly jumped in his sophomore season reeling in 27 receptions for 534 yards and six touchdowns and recording 42 tackles on defense. Continuing to progress up the charts, Purdie caught fire in his junior year hauling in 39 passes for 692 yards,10 touchdowns, rushing for 638 yards and nine touchdowns and tallying 65 tackles

“As a freshman I looked up to the seniors and became more mature because of them and wake-up call being on the varsity squad,” Purdie said. “Coach (Nick) Delcalzo puts a smile on everyone’s faces, cares for everyone equally and a father to all of us. He is not going to take it light on anyone, we are expected to win no matter what and when we have the opportunity and don’t win that’s what he doesn’t like to see. He likes to see our full potential no matter what and reason why we won a lot of games.”

“Training at multiple camps and with kids in town has helped me. Learning from other people in breaking down defenses, establishing a work ethic and getting better. I can’t do it without my coaches and lineman. Catching deep passes and 50-yard touchdowns and anyone can run through the holes if they have the right blockers. I can’t take 100 percent credit for what I do on the field. Being a running back requires a lot of skills, once I get the hole, I don’t want to be touched. On defense as an outside linebacker everyone has to be on the same page and know what is going on.”

Making sure all the coaches and recruiters were watching attentively, Purdie dazzled on the gridiron in his senior year chalking up 833 yards on the ground while notching 21 touchdowns and at wide receiver grabbing 40 passes for 786 yards and 10 touchdowns earning him All Bergen County First-Team honors. On defense Purdie made 64 tackles.

The Aviators won their second NJIC Conference Title defeating Rutherford 48-24 at Depken Field with Purdie totaling three touchdowns and two interceptions. In the North 2, Group 2 sectional title game against Shabazz Purdie ran for 123 yards and caught seven passes for 47 yards including the game-winning score from quarterback Spencer Lee as Hasbrouck Heights won their third consecutive sectional title in a row.

Following up the that impressive performance, Purdie capped off a stellar career in a 41-7 North 1, Group 1 Bowl Championship win over Butler at Met Life Stadium accounting for five touchdowns, four of them coming on the ground as the Aviators completed an undefeated season at 12-0 and second time in program history finishing with that record.

“Against Rutherford it came down to confidence and every play we were supposed to make we did,” said Purdie. The year before I was upset because I didn’t make the plays I was supposed to make and took away my pride. Playing against Rutherford is a different game and environment because you get great crowds from both towns and I know a lot of people from Rutherford. There are bragging rights involved but plenty of mutual respect.”

“With Met Life Stadium you don’t get those type of opportunities that often, I remember sophomore year getting a concussion playing against New Milford and not being able to play the whole game hurt me. A blessing to win back-to-back state titles and continue that winning culture. Spencer Lee is a great kid, played football and baseball with him. He played 13 games in a row, rarely missed games and kept up the positivity on the field when things went south. Off the field we enjoy playing Xbox and Playstation.”

“The love and support from the fan base at Hasbrouck Heights including the high school and middle school with 200 people standing in the practice field. The parents’ do an unbelievable job helping out the team, making food for us, working the concession stands and hosting pool parties in the summer. The team dinners are far by the best.”

On the verge of graduating from Hasbrouck Heights High School, Purdie has made the decision to attend Lackawanna College for two years before transferring to another school. Purdie’s message to younger athletes turned out to be very direct and straightforward.

“Keep your grades up, stay in school and don’t do drugs. You are representing your town and make sure what you say on social media doesn’t come back to jeopardize anyone’s job or relationship with people. Be smart and think before you do something or what you say. Be the great kids you are and stay healthy.”

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Sunil Sunder Raj

Since July of 2014 Sunil Sunder Raj has been with In The Zone. Sunil has experience covering minor league baseball, high school and college sports. A beat writer for the Rockland Boulders for six years, Ramapo College men’s basketball for four years, NJIT men’s basketball and Seton Hall women’s basketball. Now focusing on feature articles about athletes, coaches and sports media professionals. A graduate of Ramapo College of New Jersey with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism.
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