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March 30, 2023 — Harvey Yavener, 1929-2023

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It’s by some means becoming that Harvey Yavener handed from this earth throughout March. School sports activities, particularly basketball, had been his ardour and his vocation, having written for The Trenton Occasions and The Trentonian for many years.

His penchant for making an affect was evident when he was a scholar reporter at Rider College in Lawrence, N.J. He was typing out dispatches for the varsity basketball tean, and acquired so bored with typing within the nickname “Roughriders,” he got here up with the a lot shorter “Broncs.” The identify caught.

So did Yavener, for elements of 5 a long time.

Harvey Yavener was school sports activities, by means of and thru. There was a wealthy and numerous beat for him within the county by which he labored. There have been 4 establishments of upper studying in our county with intercollegiate sports activities: a group school, a Division III state faculty, a small Division I college, and a significant Ivy League establishment. Every of those locations had their very own tales, their very own legends, as instructed by this titanic scribe.

Yav handled sports activities and their prime actors just about equally. He may let you know tales of Madison Sq. Backyard and Invoice Bradley and junior school highway journeys and nationwide championship efforts. He hobnobbed with legendary coaches like Charlie Inverso and Dr. June Walker, Sharon Pfluger and Pete Carril. Certainly, Carril and Yavener had been small, stocky males who you may not have the ability to inform aside save for Yav’s omnipresent mustache. Each had gruff exteriors however would usually get the very best end result.

For Yavener, this meant bellowing out expletives when one thing didn’t go proper with both the pc system or the cellphone or the TRS-80 laptop computer (with the particular headphones) used to ship tales into our system. His dialog and banter with colleagues would have been a implausible actuality collection.

Throughout his tenure, the Yav East weekly school basketball rankings grew to become a must-read through the season, despite the fact that numerous the faculties within the rankings had been exterior of the Occasions protection space. He was unashamed about that; he made himself a regional basketball skilled.

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He additionally had a selected knack for choosing precisely which groups would make the school basketball postseason after the bracket was expanded to 64 in 1985. His experience (and seeming clairvoyance) allowed him to choose which groups can be collaborating in a selected first- and second-round web site. On a couple of event, the Occasions would publish a small blurb with the headline “Yav will get 63 proper; committee will get one mistaken.”

It’s one thing I’ve completed the previous couple of years with choosing the Division I subject hockey and girls’s lacrosse brackets. I’ve gotten fairly good at doing these, particularly the sphere hockey match, the place you could have 18 or 19 variables as an alternative of 64 or 68.

I’ll all the time keep in mind Yav’s stone-faced exterior. It has been mentioned that, for those who regarded up the phrase “curmudgeon” within the dictionary, an image of Harvey Yavener can be there. And he was a curmudgeon: he was the primary to talk up throughout a employees assembly within the mid-90s when official phrase that information materials from the Dorf Options Service (now generally known as Advance Media) can be funneled to our newspaper, which was two hours away from the newsroom. We had been in peril of not having native content material.

Somebody in our newsroom penned new lyrics to the 1985 Bob Seger ballad “Like A Rock.” The title, “Like A Yav,” match him completely. He was the rock of the information room. He was a rock star. He stood arrow-straight in opposition to the tides that modified our newspaper — the information enterprise — irrevocably.

And he’ll be missed.

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