January 23, 2012 - Volume-IV - Issue-2
CBA, Neptune, Manasquan Pick Up Boardwalk Showcase Wins
Colts Neck Edges Lakewood at Boardwalk Showcase
Midd. North Beats Jackson Memorial in Boardwalk Showdown
Ocean Wins Wrestling Showdown With Howell
B AC K WHERE HE BE L ON GS
Lacrosse Preseason Training
Baseball U Camp Attracts Top Talent, College Coaches
Another Exciting Season of Girls Boardwalk Showcase Action
Holmdel Basketball Creating a Buzz Stumpyâ€™s Corner
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December 23, 2012
Vo l u m e - I V
provides exciting and innovative coverage to high school athletics in the Shore Conference in order to highlight the achievements of local athletes in one of the premier conferences in New Jersey. Whether it’s the star of the team or the last player off the bench, everyone has a story and it is our mission to recognize as many athletes as possible and add to the memories for all of the families, coaches, friends and fans who support Shore Conference sports. Whether in print or on the Web, All Shore Media is your main source for all things exciting in the Shore Conference.
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Log on to www.allshoremedia.com regularly to get V I D E O H I G H L I G H T S of all the important games that Shore Conference fans will be talking about. Catch up on the action you might have missed and watch video clips of everything from the action early in the event to the big finish as well as video interviews with various athletes. If you can’t make it to the game, we’ll bring the game to you, and if you were at the game and want to relive the excitement, www.allshoremedia.com is all you need to get inside the action.
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All Shore Media is proud to announce that it has partnered with a North Jersey group to expand its type of coverage into Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference, this fall.
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The All Sports Media Northern Review, a newspaper in the mold of the All Shore Media bi-weekly paper, will make its debut in September. The free, advertiser-supported paper
will cover scholastic sports at all of the schools in the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference, which consists of schools from Morris County and a handful of teams in Sussex and Warren counties.
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“There’s a lot of interest in high school sports in the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference, and I think that people will be interested in having a new resource.’’
The partnership also broadens the scope of All Shore Media’s coverage to include a presence in North Jersey.
“We're excited about expanding our niche in the market and the way we cover sports,’’ said All Shore Media Director/CEO Steve Meyer. “We're excited to start here with the objective that we want to expand to other parts of the state as well. This is the first step in our expansion.’’
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A SM / 3
CBA, Neptune, Manasquan Pick Up Boardwalk Showcase Wins
By Scott Stump â€“ Managing Editor
While wins by Colts Neck and Middletown North in showdowns between Top 10 teams highlighted this yearâ€™s Hoop Group Boardwalk Showcase at Long Branch High School, Christian Brothers Academy, Neptune and Manasquan also picked up solid victories to cap the event.
Perhaps the team that needed a victory the most for its confidence was CBA, which was coming off a 19-point loss to No. 1 Middletown North that dropped the Colts to an uncharacteristic 5-4 heading into their nondivisional game against Point Beach. CBA also had some revenge to exact on the Garnet Gulls, who stunned them in last year's Shore Conference Tournament quarterfinals.
In his first varsity start, sophomore forward Evan Gordinier led the way with a career-high 13 points to help the Colts grind out a 41-36 win over the Garnet Gulls to improve to 6-4. After an ugly first half in which CBA led 17-15 at the break, Gordinier helped jumpstart a sluggish offense with nine second-half points on his way to earning the MVP award for the Colts. Senior forward Kieran Hughes also had eight of his 10 points in the second half to bring home the win, and he pulled down nine rebounds in the victory as well. Junior guard P.J. Kineavy was Point Beach's MVP with a game-high 19 points in the loss.
CBA head coach Geoff Billet dramatically shook up the lineup, inserting three new starters in Gordinier, junior guard Kevin Neller and senior guard Jim Dengler to replace seniors Joe Saker, Eric Shaw and Jon Bloodgood.
"His minutes/points was the best on the team,'' Billet said. "As a coach, you say, 'Dummy, why aren't you playing him more?' He has good upside, and we're hoping he can help the scoring.''
"I guess I was a little nervous, but once you get out there, it's good,'' Gordinier said about his first start. "I've always been comfortable shooting threes, and we just wanted to keep playing hard 'D' and also feed it low to Kieran in the post.''
The Colts held Point Beach to one field goal in the third quarter to take a 26-19 lead into the final period, which they extended to 32-23 after Hughes scored and was fouled with 6:17 left in the game. A 3-pointer by sophomore guard Matt Farrell and a pair of free throws by Kineavy trimmed the lead to four points with 5:14 to go, but that was as close as Point Beach would get. Gordinier dropped in a layup after CBA broke the Garnet Gulls' press, Shaw drove to the hoop for a layup and then later made one of two free throws in a 5-0 run that put the lead at 37-28 and ended the suspense.
While CBA was looking to bolster its confidence, Neptune was out to show that all the preseason attention the Scarlet Fliers received as the No. 1 team is justified. They picked up their ninth win in 10 games after blasting Raritan, 68-39, in a nondivisional game on. They put on a show, forcing 30 Raritan turnovers that were converted into layups and dunks in an instant. Junior forward Keith Kirkwood was named the team's MVP with 14 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 blocks, and senior point guard Ikie Calderon was also sensational with 17 points, 10 assists and 8 steals. Senior forward Fuquan McDonald added 13 points. Raritan senior forward Mike Aaman, who was honored before the game for scoring his 1,000th point on Thursday in a win over Red Bank, was the Rockets' MVP with a game-high 20 points along with 14 rebounds and 3 blocks.
"It was not necessarily that guys were playing poorly or guys were beating other guys out, it was more, 'We're 5-4, and why not?''' Billet said. "It was just to change things up a little bit. I think the big thing, too, is that I'm still learning about this team. Some guys play better off the bench, and some guys are better as starters, so I'm still trying to figure these guys out.
"Usually by now, in the last few years we've been kind of hitting a rhythm around now, but we're still searching a little bit. I think we'll get there. I don't know, but I see some things, and we're getting there.''
CBA sophomore Evan Gordinier
CBA's primary issue has been generating offense, and Billet took a look at the stat sheet and figured one way to remedy that would be to give Gordinier more minutes. The 6-5 sophomore with range out behind the arc entered the game averaging 7 points in 14 minutes per game and he was a sizzling 13-for-21 from 3point range for the season heading into the Point Beach game.
The victory came only days after head coach Ken O'Donnell addressed the team in a meeting after practice on Wednesday to try to light a fire under the Scarlet Fliers.
"OD was talking to us about how he's disappointed in us, and how everybody had high expectations,'' Calderon said. "He was not putting us down, but it was a type of motivation. We came out against Freehold (on Thursday) and today with some fire to us. Now we've got to keep rolling.''
Raritan actually led 6-2 in the early going, all on baskets by Aaman, but then it was all Neptune from there. Senior guard
Jaheem Woods had a pair of dunks as Neptune's full-court pressure began to take its toll on the Rockets' backcourt and Neptune ended the first quarter on a 15-4 run for a 17-10 lead. The Scarlet Fliers blitzed Raritan with a 9-0 run to start the second quarter as Calderon was knocking down jumpers and getting into the lane at will. The press also helped neutralize the effectiveness of the 6-9 Aaman, who either couldn't get the ball in good spots to score or had to handle the ball himself, as he finished the game with seven turnovers.
Neptune junior Keith Kirkwood
"We just wanted to put pressure on the guards so he wouldn't get the ball and if he did handle the ball, throw some traps and pressure and hopefully he'll cough it up,'' Calderon said.
After leading 32-18 at the half, Neptune blew the game open in the third quarter with a 12-2 run that ballooned the lead to 44-20 and all but ended the game. Calderon was leading the break and throwing one dazzling pass after another, with Kirkwood usually the beneficiary of the easy layups. "When Ikie runs the floor, he sees everybody, passes to the open man, and we win,'' Kirkwood said.
"We're decent as a set offensive team, but when we're getting the ball up and down the court at a fast tempo, I think that's when we're at our best,'' Calderon said.
The final game of the day ended with Manasquan claiming a 45-42 nondivisional win over host Long Branch that helped the Warriors tie their win total from all of last season with their ninth victory. Junior forward Jimmy Walsh was named his team's MVP with 16 points and 16 rebounds, and junior guard J.R. Hobbie helped bring the win home with 15 of his game-high 23 points in the second half. Junior Dwight Clark was the MVP for the Green Wave with a team-high 17 points.
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Pulling One Out: Colts Neck Edges Lakewood at Boardwalk Showcase
By Matt Manley â€“ Senior Staff Writer
Closing games out against the best teams on its schedule has been an issue for the Colts Neck boys basketball team over the past two years, and with 1:20 left in the Cougars' Hoop Group Boardwalk Showcase showdown on Jan. 14 with Lakewood it appeared Colts Neck was headed for the same fate that has befallen the Cougars against ranked teams in recent years.
line. Dajuan Morris missed the front end and after Jared Craddox grabbed the rebound, he then missed the front end of his one-and-one with 27 seconds left.
"We didn't have any energy," Lakewood coach Randy Holmes said. "I don't like to make excuses, but we played a tough game last night and our guys didn't handle themselves like they were supposed to. They were sluggish."
This time, the Cougars were the team that found a way to win.
Federici drove the lane on the ensuing Colts Neck possession and after missing a leaning shot in the lane, he grabbed the rebound and banked in the shot all in one motion to give Colts Neck a 47-46 lead.
Junior guard Brandon Federici scored 20 points and scored five points in the last 51.7 seconds as Colts Neck overcame a six-point deficit in the final 1:15 to knock off the Piners at Long Branch High School.
"I wanted to try to get to the basket if I could "We've blown a lot of leads in the last and I got a pretty good look on the first shot," couple years and we needed a win like this," Federici said. "The ball came off right to me, Federici said. "Lakewood's a great team and and I just put it up without thinking." Junior guard Brandon Federici they almost put us away, but we kept fighting Lakewood still had a chance to win it, first and when we got a few breaks, we took on a 3-point attempt by Jameer Jones from the advantage. It definitely feels better to be on this end of it." right wing. Jones' shot was long, but Lakewood grabbed the rebound and Federici hit the game-winning shot with 10 seconds left on a putback called a timeout with 3.7 second left. After each team used two timeouts, following his own miss after hitting three free throws with 51.7 left on the Lakewood got the ball to Ben Watson near the basket on the inbounds clock. Federici drew a foul on Lakewood junior Tyrice Beverette as he play, but Watson could not convert from close range. was attempting a 3-point shot from the left wing and calmly sank all three Colts Neck took control of the game in the third quarter, when the free throws, even with a timeout breaking up the second and third Cougars held Lakewood to two points and zero field goals in the third attempts, to pull the Cougars within 46-45. quarter, turning a 27-20 halftime deficit into a 32-29 lead heading into the "I feel confident shooting the ball," Federici said. "The coaches trust me to make shots and I feel like I'm going to make them, other than one free throw, I pretty much made them."
Lakewood had a number of opportunities to put the game away, first rushing a possession with a four-point lead and more than a minute left on the clock, then missing two front ends of a one-and-one at the free-throw
Federici led the offensive charge for the Cougars, with senior Sean O'Reilly adding 10. Lakewood held Cougars' 1,000-point scorer Hunter Wysocki to seven points on 3-for-10 shooting. Craddox headed the effort on Wysocki while scoring 12 points and grabbing 14 rebounds, including seven offensive.
"They are so tough on the boards," Federici said of Lakewood. "They are very athletic and they get their hands on everything. Jared Craddox killed us today. He must have had 10 offensive rebounds, or at least it felt like it." Beverette led Lakewood with 13 points and Jones added 11 to go with Craddox's 12.
Colts Neck senior center Steven Faust missed Saturday's game after sustaining injuries in a car accident on Saturday Senior guard morning. According to Colts Sean O'Reilly Neck coach Lou Piccola, Faust was driving to Colts Neck High School to meet with the team when the accident happened and sustained a broken collarbone and broken wrist in the crash. "We were relieved to hear it wasn't too serious and that he was doing okay," Federici said. "We missed him today, and we definitely played this game for him."
Cliff Lavelle www.cl earedge.zenfolio.com
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“Big D” Midd. North Edges Jackson
Memorial in Boardwalk Showdown
By Matt Manley – Senior Staff Writer Middletown North senior Jason Huelbig did not have one of his more noteworthy scoring games against Jackson Memorial, at top-five team in the All Shore Media Top 10, at this year’s Hoop Group Boardwalk Showcas,e but he still found a way to dominate the game and help his top-ranked team pick up another key win in the Shore Conference.
Huelbig made only one field goal and scored eight points, but locked down Jackson Memorial leading scorer Brandon McDonnell (five points) to head a Lions defensive performance that keyed a 36-32 win over the previously unbeaten Jaguars at Long Branch High School. The win was the 11th straight for Middletown North since losing to Manalapan in the finals seconds in its second game of the season.
"We don't ask him to guard the best player on most nights, but the match-up dictated that we do things a little differently," Middletown North coach Mike Iasparro said. "Like most of their guys, McDonnell has size and can step out and shoot it and Jason made the most sense to match up with him."
In addition to the defensive gem the Lions turned in, the offense got by with a balanced attack led by Huelbig and junior Cody Thompson, both of whom had eight points each. Even Huelbig's lone field goal was a product of his defense, a dunk following a steal at the top of the key.
"It was different kind of challenge for me and I think I was ready for it," Huelbig said. "It takes a lot of effort and it probably hurt my offense a little bit, but we needed the defense today."
Thompson also made a crucial defensive play in the final seconds. Middletown North led 34-32 with senior Tim Frawley on the free-throw line for a one-and-one. Frawley made the front end but missed the second to open the door for Jackson with 8.6 seconds left. Jaguars senior Brandon Holup - who shut down Huelbig on the defensive end -
grabbed the rebound but before he could outlet the ball upcourt, Thompson poked the ball away from behind and ran it down. Frawley again hit one of two free throws to seal the win.
well in the days and hours leading up to this year’s rematch.
"They ended our season last year and that's not something you forget," Huelbig said. "We were out for revenge today."
"Cody's been huge for us," Huelbig said. "He gives us a lot of energy on both ends, and he's good at getting to the basket and finishing."
"The defense was key for us today," Thompson said. "We're a team that likes to run, but when it's time to make stops, we feel like we're just as good on the defensive end."
Boman, meanwhile, has become Middletown North's defensive stopper. Huelbig was the standout Saturday on the defensive end, but Boman routinely guards the opponent's best guard, and he made Kenny work early on before the Jaguars point guard hit two threes and got his offense on track.
Frawley and junior guard Will Boman each added seven points, while point guard Eric Youncofski chipped in six. Frawley also had four assists. "We've had pretty good balance all year," Iasparro said. "Jason's a talented scorer and he's been scoring more recently, but we've had about five different guys lead us in scoring this year, so that balance has been a theme for us."
Senior guard Brian Kenny led Jackson Memorial with a game-high 10 points while Holup, McDonnell, Elliot Bell and Mike Specht all had five points.
"Will Boman is one of the best one-on-one defenders in the Shore, in my opinion," Iasparro said. "I'm a firm believer that in order to stop an offense, you have to cut off the head of the snake and that's the point guard. He's the guy that can harass the ball-handler and make it hard for teams to get in their offense."
Cliff Lavelle Senior Jason Huelbig
The Lions' final loss last season came at the hands of Jackson Memorial in the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV semifinals. The Middletown North players who were part of that game remembered it
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Ocean Wins Wrestling Showdown With Howell
By Bob Badders â€“ Senior Staff Writer
The plan was still intact for Ocean Township heading into the second-to-last bout with Howell on Jan. 21, where a pair of underrated sophomores tangled in their most important bout of the season.
The Spartans were trailing by two points with two bouts remaining, but were in essence right where they wanted to be with freshman sensation Zach Hertling waiting in the wings at 126 pounds. But for Hertling's presence to be felt the Spartans needed a win by Andrew MacNeille over Jack Rada at 120, otherwise the pressure would have been on Hertling to secure a pin or technical fall.
stuck behind Hertling and Esposito, respectively, makes it hard to break free from anonymity. But both came in with 10 wins to their credit and got a chance on the big stage.
The Spartans won eight of the 14 bouts, and picked up crucial wins in toss-up bouts along the way. Perhaps the most impressive win of the entire match came from Ocean senior Withler Marcelin, who gutted out a 9-7 decision over good friend and rival Ashanti Maurice at 145 pounds. Marcelin, a Region VI runnerup last season at 135, has seen limited action this year as he battles with a variety of injuries. He fractured his fibula during football season and tore his ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow during the first week of the wrestling season.
MacNeille delivered a nail-biting 53 overtime victory over Rada, finishing off a single-leg takedown early in the sudden victory period to give the Spartans their first lead of the "I'm like 40 percent," match. Hertling then defeated Ben Marcelin admitted. "It's tough Esposito, 5-0, to clinch a 28-24 Shore but I just have to suck it up. The Conference nondivisional victory over Ocean senior Colton Bigelow coaches do a great job keeping the Rebels. Ocean, ranked third in the me out of matches where we All Shore Media Top 10, improved to really don't need me. It helps for matches like this." 15-0. Howell (13-2), ranked fourth, suffered just its second defeat of the season. "He's not even close to 100 percent," Apicelli said. "He's one of the "When we won the flip we bumped (Jason) DaCruz up and we wanted MacNeille on Rada and Hertling on Esposito in case it came down to that," said Ocean head coach Cippy Apicelli. "MacNeille came through huge. If he loses that match Hertling has to pin or tech, and who knows what would have happened."
MacNeille was leading 3-0 heading to the third period before an escape by Rada cut the deficit to two. With 10 seconds left in regulation, Rada spun his way around MacNeille near the edge for the bout-tying takedown. MacNeille and Rada are both unheralded as 10th-graders, and being
toughest kids I've been around. He's hurt and he continues to go out there and gut it out."
Marcelin was up 9-2 in the third period and looking to pick up bonus points when Maurice surprised him and threw him to his back. If there were a few more seconds on the clock it would have changed the entire complexion of the match, but Marcelin was able to avoid being pinned to give Ocean its first points of the match. "I was up 9-2 and thinking maybe I would get a major," Marcelin said. "I got in there but he's a strong kid. He hipped in and put in a quarter nelson to get me to my back. I was just thinking, 'Don't get
pinned, don't let the team down.'"
A technical fall from Matt Lindemann at 132, a major decision from Cole Cameron at 138 and a pin by Zach Bohm at 160 staked the Rebels to a 15-6 lead after five bouts. Cody Kirk pushed Howell's lead to 18-6 with a 3-2 decision over Chris Pappayliou at 170 pounds, but Spartans junior Jacob Bell countered with a 5-3 upset of Rebels sophomore Nate Litowsky at 182 to cut the deficit to 18-9. Matt Sulkowski's 2-1 decision over Sam Sottile at 195 made it 21-9, but there was no need for Ocean to panic with Colton Bigelow and Kyle Gora on deck. Bigelow won by 8-0 major decision at 220 over George McCoy before Gora's pin of Vinny Martino in the third period at heavyweight. Despite giving up 85 pounds, Martino was up 2-0 late in the second period against the state-ranked Gora, but a late takedown tied the bout at two heading to the third. Gora chose offense in the third and was finally able to get the fall at 5:13 to make it 21-19.
Jimmy Slendorn kept Howell in front with a 6-2 decision over Max Rallo at 106, but Jordan Eugenis got those points right back with a 21 win over Anthony Piazza at 113. Eugenis' decision again cut Howell's lead to just two and set the stage for MacNeille at 120. Once MacNeille gave Ocean a 25-24 lead it was up to Hertling to close it out, and the undefeated freshman did just that by controlling Esposito (17-1) and handing him his first loss, 5-0. "We came to wrestle," Apicelli said. "The bonus points bother me, but we came though and won eight matches against them." With the victory Ocean likely secured itself the No. 2 seed for the Shore Conference Tournament.
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A S A M P L I N G O F C U R R E N T A N D F O R M E R M A C A L L - S TA R S
n Sehmonyeh Allen—Neptune HS n Sean Armand—Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis HS (NY) n Delvon Arrington—St. Anthony’s HS n Brian Baker—Colts Neck HS n Mustafa Barksdale—RBR HS n Robert Barksdale—Asbury Charter School n Billy Beggans—Ocean Township HS n Steve Bridgemohan—E Brunswick HS n Josh Brody—RBR HS n Brandon Brown—Freehold Boro HS n Yesenia Burgos—St. John Vianney HS n Rashon Bruno—St. Anthony’s HS n Courtney Calderon—St. John Vianney HS n Richard Calia—Holmdel HS n Shilique Calhoun – Middletown North HS n Quarran Calhoun—Raritan HS n Cooper Calzonetti—Neptune HS n Chase Campbell—Oak Hill Academy (NC) n Cleveland Cannon—Long Branch HS n Raheem Carter—Long Branch HS n Corey Chandler—East Side HS n Robert Cheeks—St. Anthony’s HS n Rahmir Cottman—RBR HS n Vincent Council—Lincoln HS (NY) n Don Coven—Long Branch HS n Paul De Salvo—CBA n Syessence Davis—Neptune HS n Allen Dean—Neptune HS n Taquan Dean—Neptune HS n Dana Jean DeGennaro—RBC HS n Chris Delaney—CBA n Pat Delaney—CBA n Jose Diaz—Pt. Pleasant Beach HS n Mark Donnelly—RBR HS
n Sean Dunne—CBA n Kristian Duravcevic—Fordham Preparatory School (NY) n Mike Faherty—Brooklyn Polytech HS n Crissie Fisher—Rumson-Fair Haven HS n Sarah Fisher—RBR HS n Adam Fleischner—Holmdel HS n Colin Ford—Manasquan HS n Glen Ford—RBC HS n Greg Ford—Trenton Central HS n Avery Gardner—Long Branch HS n Billy Gilligan—RBR HS n Tyler Glass—Mater Dei Prep HS n Erica Gomez—St. John Vianney HS n Dana Graziano—Holmdel HS n Kevin Grier—CBA n Paul Halas—St. Rose HS n Felicia Harris—RBR HS n Michael Harris—Randolph HS n Mykel Harris—Great Mills HS (MD) n Ashley Hart—The Peddie School n Eugene “Nu Nu” Harvey— St. Benedict’s Prep n Corey Haskins—RBR HS n Kasey Hobbie—RBC HS n Darien Hutton—Ewing HS n Nolan Ivers—Holmdel HS n Jasmine Jackson—Old Bridge HS n Rosie Jackson—St. John Vianney HS n Tyson Johnson—St. Mary’s HS (NY) n Billy Kiss—Long Branch HS n Michael Kelly—St. Anthony’s HS (NY) n Nick La Morte—Mater Dei HS n Herve Lamizana—St. Patrick’s HS n Erin Leahy—Rumson-Fair Haven HS
n Carl Little—Asbury Park HS n Maggie Loundy—Pt. Pleasant Beach HS n Charles Markens—St. Patrick HS n Mike Mavrinac—Middletown South HS n Jasmine McCall—Manalapan HS n Billy McCue—CBA n Christian Morris—S. Kent School (CT) n Darius Morris—Long Branch HS n Valerie Morris—Freehold Boro HS n Michael Murphy—Howell HS n Sachin Nagpal—Ranney School n Brian O’Reilly—Middletown South HS n Karen Otrupchak—RBR HS n Kevin Owens— Neptune HS n Toni Panza—St. John Vianney HS
n Anthony Perry—St. Anthony’s HS n Shinece Perry—RBR HS n Earl Pettis—Saints John Neumann & Maria Goretti Catholic HS (PA) n Simon Press—Asbury Park HS n Joey Raines—Asbury Park HS n David Reeves—RBC HS n Anne Richards—The Lawrenceville School n Charlie Rogers—Matawan HS n Amanda Rosato—St. John Vianney HS n Alifiya Rangwala— The Ranney School n Will Sanborn—RBR HS n Keyron Sheard—RBR HS n Brian Snodgrass—Holmdel HS n Lauren Sokol—The Peddie School n Stephen Spinella—Colts Neck HS n Matt Stahl—Middletown South HS n Missy Stavola—Rumson-Fair Haven HS n Jenna Strich—RBC HS n Scott Stump—RBC HS n Kim Talbot—RBC HS n Aaron Tarver—RBR HS n Terrance Todd—Neptune HS n Maurice Turpin—Long Branch HS n John Weldon—Freehold Boro HS n Dawn Werner—St. John Vianney HS n John Werner—St John Vianney HS n Kade Weston—RBR HS n Kayshanna Wesley— Asbury Park HS n Eric Yarborough—Asbury Park HS n Tomora Young—RBR HS n Terry Zinn—RBC HS n Lynne Zoltowski—RBC HS
V i s i t o u r w e b s i t e , w w w. m a c t e s t i n g . c o m
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alled down to the athletic director’s office in mid-January of last year, Jackson Memorial point guard Elliot Bell did not think anything was awry.
A few minutes later, he left the room devastated.
“I almost started crying because it was a very important year to me, so when they told me I couldn't play, it was horrible,’’ Bell said.
After living with his father for the first two years of high school, Bell said that he was then staying at his mother’s house on the other side of Jackson. A truancy officer had reportedly conducted surveillance and determined that Bell was not living within the school district and instead was residing in the part of town districted to go to Jackson Liberty, according to Bell.
While the situation was officially being determined, the Jaguars’ three-year varsity starter at point guard was allowed to practice with the team but could not play in any games because the Jaguars did not want to risk using a potentially ineligible player. On Jan. 21, he had played against Brick Memorial in a Class A South game. Little did he know that night would be the final time he would take the floor for the Jaguars for the rest of what turned out to be one of the best seasons in Jackson Memorial’s program history.
Shortly before the Jaguars’ next game against Toms River East, Bell was determined by the Board to be ineligible. However, in a bizarre twist, he remained at the high school rather than transferring to Jackson Liberty, but just was not allowed to participate on the basketball team.
“We asked the Board of Education if I could stay at the school,’’ Bell said. “They let me stay at the school, but didn't let me play basketball. I just wanted to stay at Memorial no matter what.’’
By Scott Stump – Managing Editor That left Bell in the strange limbo of being around his teammates all day but not being an
official member of the team any longer. There were no issues with academics or anything else, simply the residency issue. He was the rare case of a student found to not reside in the district yet allowed to stay at the school, and a student who was allowed to attend a school but not participate on an athletic team for issues besides grades or the NJSIAA transfer rule. Bell was going to move back in with his father immediately, but said he was told that the decision had been made and that there would not be a change in his status if he moved back in the middle of the season.
The Jackson School District administration declined to comment on the situation, citing that it does not discuss eligibility issues publicly and simply stating that Bell is currently a student at Jackson Memorial and is eligible, according to district spokeswoman Allison Erwin. Bell felt like he may have been unfairly singled out to be made an example after
there were complaints about other athletes in Jackson living on one side of town yet going to school in the other district. Jackson head coach Joe Fagan lobbied on Bell’s behalf for him to be allowed to return, but the decision remained firm.
“We picked out a handful of kids in our school that were doing the same thing I was,’’ he said. “There were a couple kids right in my own neighborhood who were going to the other school, but they didn’t do anything. We just got the same answer.’’
Basketball also kept Bell focused and tied to a routine, and without it, his life outside of school suffered.
“I got into a little bit of trouble after I couldn't play, but I came out fine,’’ Bell said. “My grades were always good. I just missed it so much.’’
Bell had to sit and watch as Jackson Memorial made its deepest run in the state playoffs since the 1970-71 season. The Jaguars advanced to the Central Jersey Group IV final, their first final appearance in 40 years, and won a school-record 21 games before losing to Rancocas Valley in the sectional championship. While Bell was excited for his teammates, it was excruciating to watch and wonder what might have been.
“The hardest part is that I couldn’t be part of the success that they had,’’ Bell said. “Maybe we could���ve had even more success.’’ Perhaps the roughest part came when he went to attend the championship game against Rancocas Valley, which was on the Jaguars’ home floor. He didn’t get there early enough to beat the overflow crowd hoping to witness Jackson’s first sectional title in school history. The building was at capacity, and the police and fire officials didn’t let anyone else in the building.
“They didn’t let me in,’’ Bell said. “I tried calling everybody inside, but the police were there and they wouldn’t let me in. That was tough. I just thought about how much I could’ve been helping them if everything didn’t happen.’’
One year later, Bell is back in his customary spot as a starting guard for a Jackson team off to its best start ever at 13-1. He has moved back in with his father to satisfy any eligibility issues, and now is trying to make up for lost time.
“It feels really good to be back because I felt like I had the longest offseason ever,’’ he said. “I was working on my game from the jump, so
I was real excited to come back. I feel like there’s a lot of stuff I could have learned and experienced that could’ve helped me more this year.”
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Bell is a strong on-the-ball defender and has formed a talented tandem of senior guards with
Brian Kenny, a transfer from Colts Neck in his one and only season with the Jaguars.
“It’s definitely great to have Elliot back,’’ Fagan said. “He allows us to do so much more and can pressure the smaller, quicker opposing guards. He also gives us two good ballhandlers back there with Brian.’’
He is among the team leaders in steals and assists for a squad ranked in the top five in the All Shore Media Top 10. The hope is that Jackson can make a run to its first Shore Conference Tournament title and its first sectional championship. One thing for sure is that Bell is going to savor the opportunity any time he takes the floor.
“If we play our best, we can beat anybody,’’ Bell said.
Unprecedented success like that would most likely make last season’s frustration seem like a distant memory to Bell, but the missed opportunity of last season still lingers.
“I kind of just let it go, but it’s still there sometimes,’’ he said. “I guess I learned how to deal with a tough situation and come out the other side.’’
Bill Normile www.billn ormile.zenfolio.com
Cliff Lavelle www.clearedge.zenfolio.com
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Steve Heller was named the first head coach in Brookdale men’s lacrosse history in 2008. In the program’s inaugural year, Heller guided the team to an 8-14 record. Prior to coming to Brookdale, Steve was the assistant coach at West Point Prep School from 1996-2007. He was also a three-time men’s lacrosse all-American at Army, and is a graduate of West Point. In a 6-part series Steve will highlight key elements that will help with a successful pre-season training program for any level of lacrosse.
P art 4 of 6
Stick & Equipment Maintenance
By S teve Heller – Br ookdale Co mmu n ity Colleg e lacr os s e h ea d coach , Region 19 ch amp ion s 2010 an d 2 011 Co- dir ector of Lax Team S ix with Reid Jacks on , in d ividu al an d s mall g r ou p lacr o s s e tr ain in g. ( www.laxtea ms ix. com) .
With the start of the spring season just over a month away, it is time to begin to make sure you gear is ready to go. Too many times I see players not take proper care of their equipment. Players should realize that how you take care of your gear can and will have a big impact on your success on the field.
HELMET – Make sure you have a proper fit, check the
shell for any cracks (if cracks are found, replace immediately), check all the snaps (for chin strap), and fasteners for facemask. Replace any as needed; most schools should have an equipment box that has replacement parts for Helmets.
GLOVES – These need to be properly maintained, next to your stick, this is your most important piece of equipment. The most important part are the palms and fingers, today’s gloves wear out much quicker than the older gloves, so if you have very worn insides, you may need to invest in a new pair. If the palms and fingers are stiff, rub some oil or moisturizer on the leather, this will help soften it and you can do this throughout the course of the season. During games, you can also put water on your gloves, just take the water bottle during a time out or change of quarter and squirt some (not too much) water on your palms and fingers, it will soften the palms and fingers and make gripping the stick easier.
If you play in bad weather and your gloves get soaked with water, take them
home and stuff the fingers and palms with paper towels, this will help remove the moisture. After a few hours remove the paper towels and let the gloves air dry over night. Do not leave wet on your stick!
ELBOW PADS – these are usually very durable, just check to make sure there are no cuts in the material and you have all the padded protection they are designed to give. If they begin to stretch out too much and are falling down as you play, you may need to buy a new pair. STICK – I still am amazed
at how many players
completely neglect their stick. Over the years I have seen some of the most awful looking sticks and can’t imagine how someone could think they could play well with it! First, try to put in a new pocket each season, the mesh pockets of today lose their “hold” as they get worn down during the course of a season. If your pocket in less than a year old, check the mesh for spots that may be fraying or tearing, if more than normal wear and tear, you may need to consider replacing the pocket. Check all sidewalls, top and bottom tie offs, and shooting strings. You want to replace anything that is old, frayed, or beginning to fray. These pieces are easy to replace and will make a big difference in how long your pocket will hold up and how well your stick throws and catches. I still see kids having a hard time throwing
and catching and in many cases it is due to their sticks not being properly “broken in” and maintained.
If you feel the ball “slipping” in your stick during a practice or game, especially as your pass or shoot, a trick you can do (like the gloves) is keep the mesh wet. Use the water bottle trick and spray your mesh with water, this will give the stick a little more “hold.” If it’s real bad, you may need to look at replacing the mesh.
When I played (and still to this day) I was/am very superstitious about my stick. No one could touch it or use it, if they did I had a shooting routine I would go through to “cleanse” my stick of their touch! I never left my stick in my car or in the locker room; it was always taken to my room and kept there until the next day. I never used it to carry my gear, which is very popular with players. Take care of your stick and it will take care of you!!
CLEANING – WASH YOUR GEAR,
SPRAY WITH LYSOL or DO BOTH!! Not only is this good to prevent infections from occurring, it will stop you guys from stinking up the huddle!! This will not damage your gear and you don’t have to do it every day, but it is something all players should do routinely. Good luck and keep working hard! Spring season is fast approaching!!
Next Issue: 8 Keys to Success – you won’t want to miss it!
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Baseball U Camp Attracts Top Talent, College Coaches
By Scott Stump – Managing Editor
After already running a successful six-week winter training program, Baseball U decided to add a two-day event for the first time this season that ended up attracting some of the top talent on the East Coast in addition to a host of Division I college coaches.
Held over two days on the weekend of Jan. 14-15 at two separate locations in Wall, the camp attracted 114 players from seven different states ranging from Virginia to Massachusetts. They received hands-on instruction from coaches from 22 universities, including 21 Division I programs ranging from southern schools like Wake Forest and George Mason to East Coast programs like Seton Hall, Rutgers and Boston College.
“The feedback from the college coaches is that they want to have three of these next year,’’ said Baseball U general manager John Wells. “It was really good. It helps get the players ready for their high school season and get some drills to get them prepared while also giving the college
coaches a chance to see them up close and personal. I know of at least 70 players right now who received an email from a college after the event, so it went really well.’’
There were about 20 players in attendance from Shore Conference schools like Central, Marlboro, Shore Regional, St. Rose and Christian Brothers Academy. The sold-out event was held at two places, with the offensive portion located at The Sports Center and the defensive instruction being performed at GoodSports USA, both located in Wall.
There were also players from some of New Jersey’s perennial powers like Don Bosco Prep, St. Joseph-Montvale and Seton Hall Prep as well as other talent from the tri-state area. “Some of the best players on the East Coast were in attendance, so the coaches got to see some top talent,’’ Wells said.
Baseball U is currently in the first week of its annual sixweek training program that is held for four hours per week, and on Feb. 11 it will be conducting a four-hour workout up at Boston College.
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Another Exciting Season of Girls Boardwalk Showcase Action By Scott Stump – Managing Editor
Some of the Shore Conference’s top teams as well as a pair of nonconference heavyweights helped make this year’s girls Hoop Group Boardwalk Showcase another memorable event.
The best game of the day was the final game, as Red Bank Catholic topped Jackson Memorial 71-60 in overtime in a showdown of a pair of top-five teams in the Shore Conference. Sophomore guard Grace Fallon scored a game-high 22 points, including five in overtime, and senior guard Morgan Arnott added seven of her 19 points in overtime to help the Caseys outlast the Jaguars. Senior Stephanie Mason led Jackson with 21 points. In the first game of the day, Rumson-Fair Haven ended Neptune’s 64-game winning streak against Shore Conference competition with a 40-29 victory. Junior guard Jess Harvey had a team-high 12 points to lead the Bulldogs.
One of New Jersey’s top two teams, Manasquan, routed perennial New York City power Christ the King with a 63-39 victory to show the strength of the Shore Conference. Sophomore guard Katelynn Flaherty poured in a game-high 22 points and senior guard Michaela Mabrey added 20 points to help the Warriors roll to a win over the Royals.
St. Rose remained unbeaten with a 52-44 win over another top 10 team in Point Boro. Senior guard Diana Malanga scored a gamehigh 17 points and senior forward Samantha Clark added 11 points to help the Purple Roses beat the Panthers. St. John Vianney suffered a 50-42 loss at the hands of nonconference power Blair Academy, as freshman guard Bre Cavanaugh scored a team-high 15 points and former Freehold Township standout Annette Snow had 11 to help Blair upend the
Players of the Game 1-Rumson guard Jess Harvey;
2-SJV guard Kat Egan;
5-Manasquan guard Michaela Mabrey;
3-Pt. Boro forward Kerry Malleck;
6-Jackson Mem. guard Hannah Missry;
4-St. Rose guard Kasey Chambers;
7-RBC guard Grace Fallon
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Holmdel Basketball: Hornets Creating a Buzz By Scott Stump â€“ Managing Editor
While taking lumps a six-win campaign against Kat a brutal Lancers, who its were ledinby 15 points from junior Egan. schedule last season, Holmdel's boys basketball team realized it was going to have to get stronger if it wanted to come back and be a factor this season with a senior-laden team.
One player who particularly took that to heart is 6-foot-6 senior center Dan Baumlin. "Last year I was weak and got pushed around a lot,'' Baumlin said. "I definitely went right to the weight room to work on my strength, and now I'm able to push back.''
Holmdel remained tied for first in the division with defending champion Raritan, which is the only Shore Conference team to beat the Hornets this season through 13 games. Holmdel followed up the win over Red Bank with one over Howell and has cracked the top five of the All Shore Media Top 10.
"Today was the first game we had two really strong performances,'' Devaney said about the Red Bank win. "Usually we were only getting it from one player, so it was nice to see Baumlin and Vikse both have big nights.''
"We played a lot of good competition last year,'' Holmdel coach Sean Devaney said. "Even though we lost, we got a ton of experience, and we brought back almost the whole team. To the kids' credit, they did work real hard in the weight room because they saw this whole different world of physicality.''
Now the Hornets are pushing back as a whole, considering their 11-2 start is their best in more than a decade, and they have vastly improved after a 6-16 season. Baumlin's improvement has been crucial because Holmdel has an array of 3-point shooters. If the Hornets are able to play inside-out because Baumlin has to be respected in the post, it makes them that much more difficult to guard because teams have to choose whether to double-team Baumlin and risk a kickout to an open shooter or leave Baumlin one-on-one and have him overpower his man.
After being down 6-5 early on, the Hornets never trailed again, as they used a 3-point barrage to set the tone in the first quarter by taking a 21-14 lead. Vikse and Nodes combined for four treys in the first period, almost all of them on kickouts off penetration or passes into the post, including one by Vikse as time expired in the period.
Senior Christian Vikse
A recent 65-43 rout of visiting Red Bank Regional in a Class A Central game was the perfect illustration of the Hornets' newfound offensive balance. Baumlin poured in a career-high 23 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, senior guard Christian Vikse nailed four 3-pointers on his way to 18 points, and senior forward Matt Nasra also gave the Hornets a lift with eight points off the bench.
"When the threes are going in, it definitely helps me because defenses know that if they collapse on me, it's one pass and then a three,'' Baumlin said. "At the beginning of the year it was tough because we weren't shooting as well, but we've been doing much better in the last few weeks.''
Last season, Devaney acknowledged that the Hornets became almost exclusively a perimeter-shooting team, but Baumlin's improvement has changed the way they play now. "A big part of our offense is throwing into him now,'' Devaney said.
Nasra scored all eight of his points in the second quarter to help the Hornets build a 38-26 lead at the break. Red Bank begam to creep back into it early in the third quarter after a bucket by Jules off a dish from Williams cut it to 38-29, but Baumlin ended up
Senior Kyle Nodes
Junior Robbie Cantelli
scoring eight of his points in the third quarter to push the lead to 53-37 heading into the fourth quarter. He was either scoring on putbacks or nice dishes by junior point guard Robbie Cantelli, who had six assists.
Holmdel never let Red Bank back into the game in the fourth quarter, as Baumlin single-handedly outscored the Bucs 8-6 in the final period to help the Hornets win going away. Baumlin's big night continued to illustrate Holmdel's balance, as Vikse, senior Kyle Nodes and Cantelli have all had big scoring nights this season.
"It's definitely a big key to have more than one person who can do the bulk of the scoring on a certain night,'' Baumlin said.
The victory keeps the momentum going as Holmdel looks to generate enthusiasm for a revived program after a few middling seasons. A senior-laden core that includes Nodes, Baumlin, Vikse, Nasra and guards Tim McDonnell and Sean Oâ€™Neill has been intent on returning the Hornets to the spotlight.
"We had a couple down years, so it's great to be in big games now,'' Baumlin said. "We've all been playing together our whole lives, so this is something we've really worked hard for.''
Cliff Lavelle www.clearedge.zenfol io.c om
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A SM / 15 He granted access to writer from a Michigan recruiting site, who copied and pasted the offensive tweets and made them public, which ultimately resulted in Wright being expelled. It showed recruits that even if they think what they are posting is private, it can still be made public, so anything you put online has a chance of being exposed to the wider world. Whether it’s a journalist from a respected publication or a person writing under a pseudonym for a fanboy recruiting site, the ultimate effects can still be the same.
any high schools have experts lecture their students and athletes about the power and danger of social media, but much of it may not have been taken seriously until now.
On Jan. 19, New Jersey football juggernaut Don Bosco Prep announced that senior defensive back Yuri Wright, one of the top uncommitted recruits in New Jersey, was being expelled from school because of comments he made on his Twitter account. This sent a shockwave through the state and most likely the country, as I’m sure more than a few recruits started deleting every questionable tweet in sight.
Wright had maintained the account since July, and he was expelled because it contained sexual and racist tweets. Having seen the tweets that were reported, they were pretty rough, but to be honest, nothing a whole lot different from what I’ve seen while following numerous recruits on Twitter to keep track of any college news they may post.
I thought Don Bosco Prep’s punishment was excessive, but I can certainly see the rationale because that is a public embarrassment for the school in addition to Wright. Stories about Wright’s dismissal indicated that he had been warned repeatedly and advised about the dangers of social media by the school and chose to ignore it, so he made his own bed in that regard. Wright’s tweets were protected, meaning that a fellow user had to send him a request that he had to approve in order for the other person to be able to view his tweets.
Several programs noted that they may back off recruiting Wright because of the incident and what it shows about his character, but he is so well-regarded as a player there’s almost certainly multiple schools who will still take a shot on him. It would be way worse if he was a fringe college prospect and this was the difference between getting a college degree and flipping burgers.
I wonder if this had been brought to light during the football season before a game against, say, nationallyranked Manatee down in Florida, whether the school would have been so quick to expel Wright if they needed him for the big game. Wright was posting on the account throughout the football season, so if the school knew about it and did nothing before deciding to act after Wright was no longer of use to the program, that’s a stinging indictment of what the priorities are at the nation’s No. 1 football program. This also sets an interesting precedent. Are athletes held to a higher standard at Don Bosco Prep than other students because they are more visible thanks to the success of the program? If administrators found vile postings on Twitter by a non-football player, is that student now getting expelled? Also, why single out one student? Does this mean the Twitter accounts of everyone at the school now have to be monitored, or it’s only a big deal when a media outlet or online entity makes it public and gives the school a black eye? Don Bosco Prep is a private school, so it’s well within its rights to tell students that if they don’t want to abide by its specific rules, they can feel free to go to school
somewhere else. My feeling is that Wright should have disciplined and suspended to learn his lesson, but expulsion sets a pretty severe precedent. Does this mean that expulsions will be routine, and will it be an administrator’s subjective judgment about whether an athlete crossed the line on social media that will determine their fate?
I think a punishment like this would be hard to enforce at a lot of places. You would see parents marching right in with lawyers determined to shoot a million holes in the argument that saying some stupid things online merits that level of reaction. I’m sure issues of freedom of speech would be raised, particularly if it was at a public school, and that the main course of action might be forcing the athlete to delete the account rather than expelling him.
While I believe Wright’s punishment might have been harsh, I do like the fact that it sent a stern message to other recruits that what they put online can have serious consequences in the real world. When social media was on the rise, it was more dumb pictures on Facebook of an athlete chugging a beer or sitting next to a bong that might land him in hot water, but Wright’s situation showed that simple dumb trash talk with friends or quoting explicit rap lyrics can lead to major consequences.
Unfortunately, it also may eventually mean one of two things – athletes will not be allowed or will be highly discouraged from maintaining Twitter or Facebook accounts (and try doing that with teenagers who live on both of those), or it will mean yet another duty for administrators to oversee. The message Wright’s expulsion also sends is that parents need to keep an eye on what their kids are doing online. I guarantee you if Wright knew that his parents could see every one of those tweets, he might have thought twice before posting them.
Players have to learn that the bad comes with the good when you are a star athlete. All those reporters and fans singing your praises online will be the same ones to blow you up if you put something stupid out there, especially after being warned not to do it.
It’s been said a million times, but Wright has now made it concrete – think before you start tapping those letters on the computer keyboard or on your cell phone.
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