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River Dell senior Bridget Cahill commits to Ramapo College

Tears streaming down her face after the River Dell Golden Hawks girls basketball team lost to Sparta in the first round of the NJSIAA Tournament on Tuesday February 26th, senior Bridget Cahill realized the fact this would be her final home game and wearing a River Dell uniform. Cahill did not disappoint leading the Golden Hawks in scoring with 12 points.


“I put a ton of work into this program the last four years and loved every second of it, said Cahill. My teammates and coaches mean the world to me. I’m not the same player I was freshman year and Coach (Lindsay) Steffner has helped me grow and develop. The way she leads this team no other coach I have seen do. Even though we couldn’t bring it home tonight she really helped us pick it up in the second half because we obviously started slow tonight we would not have made it a game”


“She is a fantastic coach and wouldn’t want any other coach. No matter what the girls’ we have, she brings us together and finds a way to improve and help us win. She will take whatever she’s got and make the best out of it. She is smart, knows what she is doing and one of the best coaches in Bergen County”


“The fans were amazing tonight and hearing them cheering us on. Stands packed with fans, friends and family that had a little sign for me. They helped us out with the momentum and could not have done it without them. I love playing at home, there is something about the gym with all the students’ and parents’ there. It’s a great atmosphere, we don’t have the biggest gym but it’s our home and love it”


Even with students both from Oradell and River Edge attending the high school Cahill feels the people and students are living in one town, a small community and everyone knows each other. “People come to support each other as the soccer team does and I have become friends with this year and come to watch me on the basketball team”


Now Cahill turns her focus to college, recently committing to Ramapo College. This season Cahill enjoyed a breakout year scoring nine times in double figures including a season-high 30 points on January 9thagainst Dwight-Morrow. In the first-round of the Bergen County Girls Tournament versus Pascack Valley Cahill poured in 20 points.


“So fun to play against Pascack Valley in the first round of the Bergen County Girls Tournament and environment and atmosphere were great. The team came out so strong that Pascack Valley may have underestimated us for a little bit. Going into the fourth quarter up by 10 but they fought back and scored with four seconds to go so that was really tough”


“It definitely hit me when we lost to Pascack Valley the second time because my biggest goal senior year was to win the league and dawned upon me this is my last chance and upset because I will never have that chance again, Cahill said”


“I was looking for a school that was within an hour and half max especially with basketball and have a close family that loves coming to my games so I wanted to go where they could come and watch me play at the next level. I wanted a medium size school and Ramapo fit all my criteria. Academically, the class sizes are perfect around 20 to 30 and you really get to know your professors. The dorms are wonderful and I got to see them firsthand when I did an overnight stay”


“I’m super excited and gone to a couple of games, met Coach (Mike) Eineker and he has come to a couple of my games. I think I can bring a lot of personality to the team. Little nervous to meet my new teammates but excited on the other hand to form close bonds with them. I know the NJAC(new Jersey Athletic Conference) is a such a great conference, competition is going to be amazing and definitely help me improve as a player because all the girls’ and teams’ are outstanding. Hopefully I can help Ramapo become one of the top contenders. Playing wise, I have been really working hard on my three-point shot, driving to the basket and kicking the ball out to create more and be an unselfish teammate”


Cahill said going into her senior year it was important she step up her game with such a young nucleus that lost three starters from last year’s team. “I did not get that many minutes my freshman year, sophomore year I started but timid and not that aggressive. I think I averaged seven points or less last year so I know I would have to score a lot more this year for us to do well. I was on the club team in the summer that helped me improve my game mentally and physically. I played soccer for the first time in the fall that helped me get in shape and a fun little adventure”


“With only two starters returning this year, we did not know what to expect. We have a freshman point guard that has been outstanding for us and this year compared to others we definitely have more depth playing seven or eight players compared to five or six and talented girls. Everyone brings something different to the table”


For Cahill family is important as well, her parents along with three siblings, an older brother and sister plus younger sister that supports her. “They are my biggest fans, my two siblings are in college and when they come home I hear them in the stands cheering. When I come home from a game they are supporting and telling me how good they did even when I didn’t”


There has been no off-season for Cahill since she was very young, playing baseball before fifth grade, once she entered fifth grade started playing softball. To this day she continues to play softball and ran cross-country her sophomore year she said because her Mom did so in college but basketball was always her favorite sport.


“I hope I’m setting a good example for younger kids by working hard and having a passion for this sport(Basketball) and love it so much. With the younger players on the team I’m giving them pointers on and off the court”

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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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