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Chalk Talk Event
Chalk Talk Event
Posted on 10/15/2021
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NBC TV PERSONALITY & RIDGEWOOD HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL CAPTAIN, WILLIE GEIST,
TO HOST ‘1991 CHAMPIONSHIP CHALK TALK’ 

Ridgewood, NJ - Local tech startup, Kohort Technologies, and their communications platform, GroupSpot, are presenting a 30 year anniversary Chalk Talk event at Ridgewood High School (RHS) Stadium on Saturday, October 9th from 4:00 - 5:30 PM, hosted by Willie Geist, anchor of Sunday Today with Willie Geist and co-anchor of MSNBC's Morning Joe. This championship retrospective is a fundraiser supporting the RHS Football Scholarship Committee, which provides needs-based scholarships to senior football players, and the RHS Alumni Association, which connects graduates and supports RHS initiatives and projects. The Chalk Talk is one of the signature events offered as part of the Alumni Association’s annual Homecoming Weekend.

Geist, a RHS Football Captain in 1992, and a junior on this 1991 state championship team, scored the only touchdown in the State Sectional, Semi-Final Playoff Game vs Paterson Eastside. He looks back fondly at that time, "We all remember that '91 State Championship Game like it was yesterday. Somehow it's been 30 years.”

At the event, Geist will sit down with Coaches Chuck Johnson and Drew Gibbs (then the number one assistant at Ridgewood), as they look back on their first State Championship. Geist looks forward to the evening and expects some good banter, “I can't wait to get together with Coach Johnson and Coach Gibbs and my fellow middle-aged teammates to watch the game film as we relive that unforgettable day... and rip each other for missed assignments.” These coaches have overcome all types of hurdles over the years and have gone on to win many championships since -- Chuck at Ridgewood and Drew at Ramapo High School -- becoming arguably the two best public high school football coaches in the state of NJ, and they’ve done so while becoming great friends. This season has extra meaning with Coach Johnson returning to the sidelines after health issues nearly ended his decorated coaching career in 2019. 

Geist will touch on the long and celebrated careers of both coaches with a special focus on this 1991 team, a loose collection of players who simply made up what they lacked in talent with unrivaled team chemistry. In an era when the NNJIL was in its heyday and the parochials became untouchable through recruiting, this team defied expectations, capturing Ridgewood’s first state sectional football championship in school history. 

Interestingly, in 2021, Johnson’s Ridgewood and Gibb’s Ramapo football teams appear to be headed on a collision course. For the first time ever, these two football powerhouses moved into the same division, the Super Football Conference Patriot White. Both teams are currently undefeated, and they face each other Friday, October 22nd at RHS Stadium. This will be one of the most anticipated games of the football season. 

GroupSpot is proud to bring this special, anniversary event together. GroupSpot Cofounder, Mark Kossick, was a junior on this 1991 team and later a team captain with best friend, Geist, the following year. Ridgewood and Ramapo football teams were the first sports teams to adopt GroupSpot in 2019, the year they captured the North Regional Group 3 and 5 Championships, respectively, and they continue to use the platform today. GroupSpot’s platform has grown beyond Ridgewood and continues to get increased traction. Reflecting on the journey, Kossick will tell you “Every entrepreneur wants to do well, but to do well by doing good, is our North Star. We’ve built a platform that my hometown and tens of thousands more have embraced and count on every day. The Chalk Talk is a fun way to give back to those who believed in us from the beginning... Expect a great show. When you have chemistry like this ‘91 team had, it comes from the heart and it will be on full display October 9th.”

While the Chalk Talk event is a fundraiser and private donations will be made, it is a free event to the public, open to all supporters.

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About Ridgewood High School Football Scholarship Committee (RHSFSC)
The RHSFSC is an 82 year old institution that supports the RHS football program by providing needs-based scholarships to senior football players. 

About Ridgewood High School Alumni Association (RHSAA)
The RHSAA’s mission is to celebrate and promote the Ridgewood High School community and strengthen a Tradition of Excellence. The RHSAA recently secured the single largest private donation in Ridgewood Public Schools history and they are actively expanding their support of RHS.