November 25, 2013 Volume-V Issue-20
Back in CJ I Final 9 Shore
10 Dei Turning the Corner 4 Mater Socc er Wins Title 6 TRS
Colts Neck Makes History
SHORE 12-13 THE SEVEN
16 18 20 23
RFH Girls Soccer Wins Group 2 Manalapan on a Mission St . Ro se So ccer Takes Home Title The Recruiting Trail
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Mater Dei Prep Football: Turning the Corner
F ifteen Shore Conference football teams reached the
By Scott Stump – Managing Editor
NJSIAA sectional semifinals this season, but one of them clearly stood out as the most improbable squad still standing.
the credit in the world goes to our kids. They
One season after going 1-9, Mater Dei Prep won its first state playoff game since 1999 by upsetting the No. 2 seed in Non-Public Group I, Morristown-Beard. It guaranteed the first winning season for the Seraphs since that 1999 season in which they reached their only state final in school history, and it showed that things have changed at the small non-public school in Middletown.
The Seraphs’ season came to an end a week later with a 35-0 loss to St. Mary’s-Rutherford in the semifinals, but the message had been sent that Mater Dei is on the rise with a 6-5 season after more than a decade of futility.
“What you’re seeing this year is really the result of a lot of hard work, a lot of dedication by the families and obviously by the student-athletes that we have,’’ fourthyear head coach Steve Sciarappa, who doubles as the school’s principal, told Shore Sports Network’s Kevin Williams. “When (athletic director Gary (Carmody) and I got together, we told our guys, we’re going to run this like a college program, and it’s a five-year plan.
“We’re going to start from Ground Zero, and we’re going to work our way up, and we’re going to see improvements every day, every week and every year. All
bought in when it was a bleak time. It was very easy to say I’m
going to go someplace else or I’m just not going to play. Every year we’ve been able to accomplish one more step along the way, which is how we got to today.”
A group of talented transfers and freshmen meshed with a solid core of veterans to create a much more explosive offensive team and a defense that improved as the season progressed. Heading into the St. Mary’s game, junior quarterback Christian Palmer, a two-year starter, led the Seraphs with 770 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns and also threw for 508 yards and three touchdowns. Junior Tysaun White, a newcomer from North Jersey, added a big-play threat with 11 touchdowns of his own, 457 yards rushing on an average of 12 yards per carry, along with 9 catches for 113 yards. He also was a threat on special teams and in the secondary.
QB Christian Palmer with Head Coach Steve Sciarappa
After putting up 126 total points last season, the Seraphs amassed 262 this season to average 23.8 per game.
Senior safety Jalanie Mitchell, another transfer,
They became one of the top stories in the Shore Conference in the 2013 season in the process, taking a huge step forward in the fourth year of the rebuilding effort under Sciarappa. Miles has seen the program go from barely competitive to one step from a state final in his career.
“I couldn’t be happier to be a part of it,’’ Miles said. “It starts form the top with Mr. Sciarappa and (assistant) coach (Shannon) Hoadley.”
Now that the Seraphs have seemingly turned the corner, they don’t plan on going back to the days of 1-9. They graduate nine seniors, but the cupboard is far from bare. This is the second season of the program at their sister school, St. Mary Elementary, which has a team of players in grades six through eight that competes against schools from Ocean County as well as North Jersey programs like Newark Academy and Delbarton.
Fourteen current freshman players came from that feeder program, and another 10 are on the way next year. One in five male students at Mater Dei play football, and Sciarappa is trying to get that to one in four.
“We will tell them when they come in that the bar is going to be raised, and it’s going to be raised on a regular basis,’’ Sciarappa said. “To steal a Michigan thing, ‘Those who stay will be champions,’ and that’s what we told our guys from Day One. There’s going to be some lean times here because we’re in a building process, but those who stay will be champions.”
Junior RB/WR Tysaun White had 12 tackles in the 12-7 win over Morristown-Beard, which was averaging 34 points per game. Derrick Lopez, who transferred in last year, was second on the team with 456 yards rushing. Freshman Eddie Lewis led the team with 11 catches for 287 yards. Seniors Senior tackles Ron Perez and Matt Eckert have been varsity mainstays for four years. Senior Sam Miles, a three-year varsity player whose older brother attended Mater Dei and whose mother is a teacher there, has been outstanding at middle linebacker and also had five touchdowns as a running back.
“After last season, my second year in the program, we were 1-9 again, with our single win coming in our homecoming against Metuchen,’’ Miles told Williams. “We constantly had kids wanting to join the football team, the numbers were increasing every year, and we also had a lot of kids wanting to transfer and play. It was going to turn around.”
“I have to recruit every single kid that walks in my door, whether they’re a football player, whether they’re in the performing arts or whether they’re an all-around student,’’ Sciarappa said. “Every one of our students passes another school to get to us so there’s something special about us that fits for these guys. We are a very eclectic, very unique group of individuals here. These guys come in, they want to embrace the challenges that we put in front of them, and they do a great job.
“We have a very strong belief in our parish that no student will be turned away for finances. Our net is cast wide and far. That’s one of the special things about being a Catholic school is you can really embrace a much bigger area than just your local district. It’s not your traditional school. If you’re willing to do what we’re putting in front of you and take those challenges, we’re not going to turn you away if your family can’t afford it.”
Out of the five losses for the tiny Catholic school of 295 students, four of them were to teams that reached the semifinals of the state playoffs, including both Central Jersey Group I finalists, Point Beach and Shore Regional. The Seraphs went 5-1 against competition outside the Shore Conference.
Junior QB Christian Palmer Photos by
Bill Normile www.billnormile.zenfolio.com
Cliff Lavelle www.clearedge.zenfolio.com
(Games to be broadcast on 105.7FM & 1160/1310AM) Manasquan
NJSIAA Championship Playoffs - TBD
for more details and NJSIAA Championship Schedule
Girls Soccer: Troutman Rallies Indians to SJ 3 Title By Liz Matakevich - Shore Sports Network Contributor
oms River South junior forward Taylor Troutman has come up huge for her team all year with a team-high 27 goals prior to Thursday, but none of those had as much significance as her goal to tie Thursday’s NJSIAA South Jersey Group III final against Central Regional.
felt really great to score here.”
“Taylor is in on everything, and she is a big-time player,” coach Crowley said. “We expect this of her and everyone looks to her to take charge so once she got that goal for us I think everyone was able to calm down a little bit.” The Indians continued to put pressure on their opponent’s net, looking for a weak link in the Golden Eagles’ defense.
Troutman’s 28th goal of the season pulled the Indians even in the 55th minute and the junior set up the winning goal by freshman Katie Hammack in the 72nd minute to lead Toms River South to a 2-1, comeback victory over Central. The victory gives Toms River South its first sectional championship since its back-to-back titles in 2001 and 2002. Toms River South will move on to play in the Group III semifinals against Central Jersey champion Somerville, which defeated Wall in penalty kicks.
Freshman Katie Hammack got her opportunity in the 72nd minute when she made her way in front of the net to receive a pass from Troutman. Hammack launched a ground shot into the left corner to give the Indians a 2-1 lead.
“It felt amazing to get the go-ahead goal for my team,” Hammack said. “We haven’t had a title in over 10 years so it felt great to score for my team. It’s just unbelievable.”
“We were talking before the game about being undefeated and wanting to stay that way on our home field,” Toms River South head coach John Crowley said. “To win and get a sectional title is not easy to do, so this feels awesome. It’s a great feeling.”
With her team down a goal in the second half, Troutman charged through a Central defender on the left side of the net in the 55th minute and blasted a shot that flew past Central goalkeeper Lindsey Mahnkin into the top right corner of the net to tie the game, 1-1.
“I wanted everyone to step up behind me and start playing our game because we let down for a little while after Central scored,” Troutman said. “I’ve been wanting this since my freshman year so it
herself in front of the net with only Toms River South freshman goalie Taylor Dean
Junior forward Tylor Troutman
Defender Delaney Savacool made a huge stop to preserve the Indians’ 2-1 lead in the 74th minute as Central’s Erin Trapp found
standing between her and a late equalizer. As Trapp cranked her leg back to get a shot off, Savacool ran up and blocked the shot from behind to stop the Golden Eagles’ last big chance to tie it.
Central struck first in the 46th minute, taking advantage of back-to-back corner kicks. The first corner by Elizabeth Kroon was knocked out of bounds by Dean, giving the Golden Eagles a second chance.
Kroon’s second corner made landfall right in front of the net where powerhouse forward Amanda Carolan was waiting as she punched it into the back of the net to give Central a 1-0 lead.
Carolan’s sectional final score caps a junior season in which the she scored 36 goals and 15 assists. During the South Jersey Group III playoffs, she scored nine goals in four games, including consecutive hat tricks in the quarterfinals and semifinals.
Toms River South had 12 shots on net to Central’s seven. Dean had four saves for the Indians, while Mahnkin made nine saves.
“We knew this was going to be one of our toughest games this season,” Troutman said. “We’ve been looking to play them all season so it feels awesome to get the win to take the title.” “We are looking to take this all the way in states,” Hammack added.
Devils’ Night: Shore Returns
“It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t pretty, but we hung in there and found a way like good teams always do,’’ Shore Regional head coach Mark Costantino told his team after the game.
Shore took possession after a three-and-out by Asbury Park with just under two minutes left until halftime. With only 12 seconds left in the second quarter, Asbury Park senior defensive back Robert Barksdale picked up a Blue Devils fumble and returned it 53 yards to give the Blue Bishops a 6-3 halftime lead with a potentially huge momentum play.
After beating the fifth-seeded Blue Bishops 10-0 during the regular season, the topseeded Blue Devils (9-1), who have won nine straight, had to come from behind in the fourth quarter to get this one. The win sets up two straight weeks of championship Senior quarterback Matt Muh football against Point Beach. Shore will play the Garnet Gulls on Wednesday at home for the out and knew the Class B Central title and then play them again at a offense would get neutral site in the state final on the weekend of going.” Dec. 6-8 as Shore seeks its second state title in the The game remained last four seasons and first since 2010. 6-3 until the 10Shore used a punishing defense and an minute mark of the opportunistic offense to reach its 10th state final in fourth quarter. Shore’s program history as it seeks its sixth overall state gameplan coming in title and the third under Costantino. Asbury Park was to do what Shore (7-3) had been averaging 33 points per game during always has done in its its five-game winning streak, but the Blue Devils Wing-T attack, and did not allow an offensive touchdown. that is run the ball, but it was having a The Blue Devils took an early 3-0 lead on a 25tough time solving yard field goal by junior Jake Monteiro. On their Asbury Park’s defense. first possession of the game the Blue Devils took
advantage of a partially blocked punt that gave them possession on the Asbury Park 37-yard line. The drive stalled at the 9-yard line , and Monteiro came on to give them an early lead with his eighth field goal of the season.
Both defenses took over on the next couple possessions. Shore had a 14-play, seven-minute drive in the second quarter, but a 37-yard field goal attempt was wide right.
“We didn’t panic,’’ Costantino said. “We had a good halftime. We knew the defense was playing lights
“We thought we could run the ball against them and we did until they (Asbury coaching staff) made some adjustments,’’ Costantino said. “They did a great job with that. We thought we could throw play-action at them and use our quick game versus their man coverage.” On third-and-14, senior quarterback Matt Muh, a Bucknell recruit, turned in his biggest throw of the season when he found senior running back Brian Miller behind the Asbury secondary. Miller made a
“He threw the ball real well all game,’’ Miller said. “It was a ‘tunnel-and-go,’ where we faked a screen to our wide out and I run a wheel route. Matt sold the fake and put the ball out there.”
“We hadn’t run that play this year, but our offensive coordinator kept calling for it so I said, ‘Let’s go,’’ Costantino said. “Those two, Muh and Miller, ran it great and it worked.”
The game was now in the hands of the defense and they did not disappoint. Junior defensive lineman/outside linebacker Mitchell Candido had three sacks of Barksdale during the last two drives.
“We ran an X-stunt twice and the other time I just beat him inside,’’ Candido said. “We are pretty good up front.”
A short punt by Asbury Park late in the game took a Shore bounce and only sent 7 yards to the Blue Bishops’ 14-yard line. Shore only needed five plays
Senior running back Brian Miller for Miller to take it in from two yards out to extend the lead to 15-6 with 3:02 left in the game.
After two consecutive sacks by Candido, Shore Regional punched its ticket for a return to the state final as it will try to finish the job after coming up just short in overtime in a loss to Florence last year.
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great over-the-shoulder fingertip grab for a 39-yard touchdown reception, giving the Blue Devils a 12-6 lead with 6 ½ minutes to play in the game. Muh went 7-for-9 for 95 yards in the second half to help bring home the win.
hore Regional is going back to the Central Jersey Group I final after it found a way in a 15-6 comeback win over Asbury Park at Robert E. Feeney Field on Friday night for its second victory over the Blue Bishops this season.
“We expected this kind of game,’’ Costantino said. “We know each other very well and knew it would be a tough game.”
By Art Gordon – Shore Sports Network Contributor
to CJ Group I Final
Cougars Make History:
Colts Neck Advances to 1st State Final
By Art Gordon – Shore Sports Network contributor
he challenge was issued two weeks ago at their first practice as Colts Neck prepared to face a very athletic Neptune team in the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV quarterfinals, and it was repeated this week as the Cougars prepared to face defending Central Jersey Group III champion Nottingham in the semifinals. “We were told that we must ground and pound,” said senior center Adam Saeger.
Seniors Saeger, Ryan McGowan, Ryan Lamantia, Martin Hooper, Ryan Wetzel and tight end Nick Volpe, or as they are commonly referred to, “The Hogs,” accepted the challenge. “We answered the call,’’ McGowan said.
The third-seeded Cougars used their punishing ground
game to grind out a 28-19 victory over the second-seeded Northstars at Jim Wilno Jr. Field on Saturday to advance to their first state championship game in school history. It will be an all-Shore Conference final, as the Cougars will take on top-seeded Brick at a neutral site and time to be announced on the weekend of Dec. 6-8 in search of their first state championship.
The Cougars (9-1), who tied the single-season school record for wins that they set last year, rushed for 301 yards on 52 carries with record-setting senior tailback Anthony Gargiulo leading the way with 160 yards on 29 carries and four touchdowns, bringing his single-season school record to 25 touchdowns and tying the school career record with 33 touchdowns.
“I don’t reach these records without my hogs and fullback Mike Ververka,’’ Gargiulo said.
“We knew we had to control the ball on the ground and keep their playmakers on the sideline,” Colts Neck coach Greg LaCava said. “We decided to motivate our hogs, and the word ‘challenge’ is the academic way of
Junior QB Christian Sanchez
Colts Neck started fast, taking the opening kickoff and marching to the Northstars’ 40yard line, only to be stopped on a fourth-andinches. The Colts Neck defense immediately responded by forcing an interception when senior defensive back Dylan Campbell tipped a Stephen Adams pass and junior Dan Calabro came down with it on the Northstars’ 30-yard line.
Two plays later, Gargiulo took a handoff 29 yards for an early 7-0 lead. Nottingham tried to get right back into the game after the Northstars’ gained possession on the Colts Neck 46-yard line following a very short squib kick. Rutgers recruit Saquan Hampton took a jet sweep handoff and streaked 30 yards down to the 16-yard line. Wroway Williams then brought the ball to the 10-yard line, but a mistake on the center-quarterback exchange on the following play turned the ball over to the Cougars when Lamantia fell on the ball.
Colts Neck then marched 90 yards in 13 plays on a drive that bridged the first and second quarters, taking seven minutes off the clock. Gargiulo scored his second touchdown on a 1-yard run, and after Abby Letson’s second of four successful extra points,
Colts Neck would have no part in any thoughts of a Nottingham comeback, going on a 12-play, 67-yard drive that ate up six minutes and pushed the lead to 28-7 after Gargiulo rumbled in from three yards out.
Nottingham fought back to cut the lead to 28-13 after Adams again found Bailey, this time from 16 yards out. Colts Neck responded by moving the ball to the Northstars’ 31-yard line, but turned the ball over when a snap from center never came up, and Nottingham linebacker Ryan Malagrino returned it 29 yards to the Cougars’ 40-yard line. That set up a drive that culminated with a 4-yard touchdown run by Williams with just under seven minutes to play to make it 28-19, but that would be as close as Nottingham got as the Cougars closed out the biggest win in program history.
the Cougars led 14-0.
On the first play after the score, Colts Neck senior defensive back John Miller intercepted a tipped pass at the 37-yard line to set up another scoring drive.
File Photos by
Bill Normile www.billnormile.zenfolio.com
“The hogs are getting credit but what also has to be mentioned is the job the scout team did for us,’’ Hooper said.
The Northstars attempted to close the gap in the second half, taking their first possession of the third quarter and moving to the Colts Neck 33-yard line behind seven straight carries by Williams, only to be turned away on fourth-and-inches. Two plays later, Colt Neck fumbled the ball back to Nottingham, and Adams found Jameel Bailey in the end zone from 39 yards out to narrow the gap to 21-7.
“The coaches have tested us for two weeks, saying we were soft,’’ McGowen said. “We are all best friends and have each other’s backs, so we took it kind of personally.”
Defensively, the Cougars were opportunistic, coming up with five turnovers to complement the bulldozing effort by the offensive line.
Gargiulo took it in from a yard out four plays later, giving them a 21-0 lead that stayed that way through halftime. The big play on the short drive was 33-yard run by junior quarterback Christian Sanchez.
saying how we motivated them.”
By Scott Stump – Managing Editor
fter failing to crown any state champions for the first time since 1985 last season, the Shore Conference is back to flexing its muscles with at least two teams guaranteed to be the last ones standing in their respective brackets this year. Seven Shore Conference teams will play for NJSIAA sectional championships on the weekend of Dec. 6-8 at various neutral sites. Two of the games will feature a pair of local teams going headto-head for the ultimate prize, as Shore Regional will take on Point Beach in Central Jersey Group I, and Brick will face Colts Neck in the Central Jersey Group IV championship game.
The most state champions the Shore has ever had in one season is five, so there is a chance to duplicate that feat this season with finalists in four of the five Central Jersey brackets and Barnegat in the South Jersey Group III championship game.
While many of the teams still have Thanksgiving games to worry about, here’s a preview of what to expect when the Shore Conference squads play for it all in December. Team records and any statistics listed are through the state semifinal games.
CENTRAL JERSEY GROUP V (1) Manalapan (10-0) vs. (7) Hunterdon Central (7-4) 7 p.m. at Rutgers on Dec. 8
Background: This is Manalapan’s third straight trip to a state final as the Braves seek their first state title in school history following losses to South Brunswick and Sayreville the last two seasons. This is all there is left to accomplish at the Shore Conference’s elite public school program, which has won four straight Class A North titles. Manalapan is 0-3 all time in state finals, so it’s looking to finally lock down the school’s first 12-0 season. The Braves beat Hunterdon Central 17-7 in last year’s Central Jersey Group V semifinals, so there is some familiarity between the teams.
Hunterdon Central has won five state championships in its history and is playing in its 10th state final, so this is no strange spot for the Red Devils. The last time they played a Shore Conference team in a state final, they beat Howell 42-24 to win Central Jersey Group IV in 2006.
What to watch for: While Manalapan once again leans heavily on its running game, the Braves have a lethal weapon in the passing game in Rutgersbound senior wideout Saeed Blacknall, who will be playing his final high school game on his future college field. Blacknall has 46 catches for 563 yards and 13 touchdowns, which is four shy of tying the Shore Conference single-season record for touchdown catches. His presence makes Manalapan difficult to defend because teams that load up the box to stop the running game have to worry about Blacknall overpowering a cornerback in single coverage for a game-changing play. Junior quarterback Dan Anerella, who has been efficient and clutch under pressure in two playoff games, has thrown for 810 yards, and 563 of them and all 13 of his touchdown passes have gone to Blacknall.
The leader of Manalapan’s running game is senior tailback Tyler Leonetti, who has 798 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns despite missing two games because of an ankle injury. Back and healthy again, he is part of a deep and productive group of backs that also includes Imamu Mayfield, Jake McCourt and fullback Nelson Rivera. As always, the Braves have a tough and physical offensive line that includes tight end R.J. Krause, a receiving threat and devastating blocker.
Defensively, senior linebacker Chris Noesges is one of the Shore Conference’s top players with 104 tackles and 13 tackles for a loss. He had 14 tackles and two tackles for a loss in a 34-7 wipeout of three-time defending sectional champion Sayreville in the semifinals. He is part of a strong linebacking group that also includes Matt McCann, Will Meany and Mike D’Angelo. Krause is a force at noseguard with 7 sacks, and Joe Mendez, Nick Douglas and Kyle Mullen give the Braves an attacking front line. Seniors Chris Cruz and Anthony Barone and junior Dan Debner anchor the secondary. Manalapan’s special teams have been outstanding all season, as
junior punter/kicker Mike Caggiano is one of the best in the Shore and has field goal range out to 50 yards. Debner and junior John Cheung have returned a combined seven touchdowns between kickoff and punt returns this year. They could be the difference in a tightly-matched game, as Hunterdon Central’s defense has rounded into form with everyone healthy and won’t be easy to score on. Hunterdon Central may be the seventh seed, but its record is deceiving at 7-4. The Red Devils suffered several injuries to key players early in the season that cost them some games, but have put it all together in the postseason, beating secondseeded Old Bridge 24-0 and then blasting defending champion South Brunswick 42-7 in the semifinals. This is the most balanced offensive team that Manalapan has faced all season. Senior quarterback Michael Knight has thrown for 844 yards and nine touchdowns despite missing games with injuries. Senior Jason Cabinda, a 6-foot-2, 230-pound battering ram of a running back, has 1,086 yards and 15 touchdowns despite missing multiple games because of an emergency appendectomy. He put 212 yards and three touchdowns on South Brunswick in the semifinals. For Manalapan it still comes down to its core principles – run the ball and stop the run. The Braves will make it a focus to stop Cabinda and then take it from there, while looking to keep Hunterdon Central’s offense on the sidelines by grinding the clock with Leonetti and the running game and throwing it over the defense’s head to Blacknall if they cheat toward the line of scrimmage.
CENTRAL JERSEY GROUP IV (3) Colts Neck (9-1) vs. (1) Brick (8-3) 4 p.m. at The College of New Jersey on Dec. 7 Background: This is the first trip to the state finals in the history of Colts Neck’s program, which started in 2000. The Cougars dispatched of Nottingham, which won last season’s Central Jersey Group III title, 28-19 in the semifinals. This is Brick’s first sectional final since winning South Jersey Group III in 1994. One of the Shore Conference’s most storied programs, Brick is tied with Keyport, Matawan and
Defensively, Fattaruso and linebacker James Juliano lead an attacking unit that gets after the quarterback and specializes in creating turnovers and negative plays. The Green Dragons have been a bend-but-don’t-break unit that comes up with big plays at key times, like defensive back Ja’Quez Johnson sealing the win over Burlington Township with an interception return for a touchdown on his second of two picks in the game. On special teams, Brick’s kicker is 19-year-old senior Anthony Starego, who has made national headlines with his performance as a student with autism. He booted a field goal in the semifinals and has become a reliable contributor under pressure. On the Colts Neck side, the franchise is senior tailback Anthony Gargiulo, who has a school single-season record 25 touchdowns and is the Cougars’ all-time leading rusher. In two playoff games, he has run for 435 yards and seven touchdowns behind an outstanding offensive
CENTRAL JERSEY GROUP II (1) Rumson-Fair Haven (10-0) vs. (2) Weequahic (10-0) 7:30 p.m. at Kean University on Dec. 7 Background: Rumson is playing in its fourth sectional final since 2007 and its third in the last four seasons, so the Bulldogs are no strangers to this spot. They won the school’s only state title in 2010. Last season, they were knocked out in the first round by Weequahic, so this is a chance for some payback.
The Bulldogs’ defense will be keyed in on Alkadair Potts, an explosive running back who had three touchdowns against Lakewood and is
Weequahic is playing in its fourth state final in program history and is looking to win its second state championship. Its first state title came at the expense of a Shore Conference team, as the Indians beat Raritan 6-0 to win the Central Jersey Group II title in 2006.
What to watch for: Rumson is back in the final, and the Bulldogs are out to finish the job behind star tailback Charlie Volker and a defense that has been tough all season.
Volker leads the Shore Conference with a school-record 1,967 yards rushing and 23 touchdowns and is coming off the greatest game of his career, a 314-yard, 4-touchdown effort in which he set the singlegame school record for rushing yards and ran for the game-winning 80-yard touchdown with six seconds left in the game against Rahway in a 2821 win in the semifinals. Everything in the offense is based off him, as senior quarterback Chase Caruso has thrown for
averaging better than 15 yards per carry in running for over 1,000 yards this season. This game will come down to which team can contain the other team’s standout running back, and which elite defense will rise to the occasion.
SEVEN page 14
Weequahic is a swarming defensive team led by Rutgers recruit Sidney Gopre at linebacker, who has over 130 tackles and is one of the best defensive players in the state. The Indians shut out Lakewood, 34-0, in the semifinals. This will be a good test to see if Rumson can still run the ball effectively against a tough front seven with speed.
It all comes down to which defense can stop the opponents’ potent running game, and which team makes the least mistakes.
Defensively, Gargiulo is also a standout as a linebacker/defensive end with more than 100 tackles. Senior Nick Volpe is another force with 11 sacks, so he will be keyed on stopping Sclafani. Ververka is also a solid linebacker, and Martin Hooper leads the big boys up front. On special teams, kicker Abby Letson, the daughter of defensive coordinator Tom Letson, has been a reliable presence who is 39-for-40 on extra points and also has kicked a 35-yard field goal.
Rumson’s defense let up 14 points in the semifinals, as one touchdown came off a blocked punt, and has been stingy all season in not allowing more than two touchdowns in any game all season. Senior Thomas Martello has been the leader, as he has 103 tackles on the season and moved from linebacker to strong safety when starting safety Chris Hubler suffered a season-ending shoulder injury at the end of the regular season. Rutgersbound senior defensive end Donald Bedell has 47 tackles and 9 sacks, and fellow defensive end Kevin Clayton has 9.5 sacks and 68 tackles, so Rumson’s front seven is up there with any team in the Shore. Shaud, Jackson Reid, and Sam Eisenstadt all have three interceptions in the secondary.
What to watch for: Brick has junior quarterback Carmen Sclafani healthy again so its offense is running at full tilt after Sclafani missed two regularseason games with a shoulder injury. The Toms River North transfer is one of two 1,000-yard rushers on the Green Dragons along with junior running back Ray Fattaruso, making Brick the first Shore Conference team with a pair of 1,000-yard rushers since Shore Regional did it in 2010 when it won a state title. That tandem has been hard to stop in the zone read attack, as they combined for 400 yards rushing and five touchdowns in a 45-24 win over Burlington Township in the semifinals. Senior Mike Muratore is another versatile weapon who is a threat in the running game and at receiver.
584 yards, 8 touchdowns and zero interceptions this season in efficient shots downfield off play action. Senior wideout Sam Shaud is the primary target, and he also is a playmaker on defense.
Asbury Park for third all-time in Shore history with six sectional championships since the inception of the playoff system in 1974.
line led by FCS prospect Ryan Wetzel. Gargiulo has run for 1,542 yards and also is a threat on screen passes as a receiver. Junior quarterback Christian Sanchez is a dual threat whose main target is wideout Dan Calabro. Abdul Quddus gives the Cougars a good change-of-pace back with his speed, and Mike Ververka is a hardnosed fullback.
Continued from page 13
CENTRAL JERSEY GROUP I (1) Shore (9-1) vs. (3) Point Beach (9-1) 10 a.m. at The College of New Jersey on Dec. 7 Background: These teams play each other twice in two weeks, once for the Class B Central title on the day before Thanksgiving, and then again for the championship. This is Shoreâ€™s second straight trip to the sectional final, as the Blue Devils seek their second title in four seasons, their sixth overall, and their third under head coach Mark Costantino.
This is Point
Beachâ€™s first trip to a state final since 1982 and its second appearance in the finals in school history. The Garnet Gulls will try to make history, as they have never won a state title since the playoff system began in 1974. Head coach John Wagner won two state titles in a Hall of Fame stint at Roselle Park before coming to Point Beach in 2011 and looks to take the Garnet Gulls to similar heights. What to watch for: This is a match-up of two punishing Wing-T running attacks, so the team that wins the battle up front will be the one who takes home the crown.
Shore is led by senior running back Brian Miller, who has 927 yards and 10 touchdowns for an offense that averages 233 yards
rushing per game. Sophomore fullback Doug Goldsmith has 623 yards and five touchdowns to complement Miller. Senior quarterback Matt Muh, a Bucknell recruit, has thrown for 637 yards and 6 touchdowns and threw a big touchdown pass to Miller in the fourth quarter of a 15-6 comeback win over Asbury Park in the semifinals.
Goldsmith also is a standout linebacker and leads the defense along with leading tackler James Bedell, a junior middle linebacker. Another linebacker, junior Mitchell Canditto, had three sacks in the win over Asbury Park. Junior Mike Moore leads the secondary with three interceptions. Point Beach has its own workhorse back in junior Joe Wegrzyniak, a physical, between-thetackles runner with breakaway speed who has 1,423 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns in his first season as a starter in the backfield. Junior Michael Frauenheim provides the speed complement on the outside to Wegrzyniak, rushing for 644 yards on an average of 7.4 yards per carry. Marshall Gombos has also chipped in with 303 yards rushing to give Point Beach multiple options in its Wing-T attack.
The Garnet Gulls have a weapon in the passing game who is capable of swinging the outcome in senior Noah Yates, a 6-foot4 wide receiver who is able to overpower smaller defensive backs on deep shots downfield by junior quarterback Jake Fioretti.
Yates is also a menace on defense with a Shore Conference-leading nine interceptions, three of which he has returned for touchdowns, including one in a 41-22 win over Burlington City in the semifinals. Wegrzyniak is also a standout linebacker who has a team-high 79 tackles, and he anchors the front seven along with Bill Barry, Sean Struncius, Tanner Smith and Frauenheim. Fioretti
also has 41 tackles as a defensive back.
The team that’s more physical up front and makes the least mistakes looks to be the one taking home the title.
SOUTH JERSEY GROUP III (4) Delsea (9-2) vs. (3) Barnegat (9-1) 4 p.m. at Rowan University on Dec. 7
Background: This is old vs. new, as this is Barnegat’s first trip to a state final since the program’s inception in 2006, while this is the 14th state final appearance for Delsea, which won the championship in this bracket last year. The Crusaders are seeking their 11th state title in their illustrious program history.
What to watch for: This is two teams with big, physical front lines on offense that will try to lean on one another and break the other team’s will. Delsea runs the Wing-T and averages more than 320 yards rushing per game. It has a pair of 1,000-yard rushers in senior fullback Rob Hooks and junior halfback Isaiah Spencer, who both ran for over 100 yards in a 27-10 win over top-seeded Manasquan in the semifinals. The Crusaders rarely throw the ball, as senior quarterback Rob Rolle is also a running threat. He ran for two touchdowns in the win over Manasquan. This team just looks to bulldoze opponents with Hooks to soften things up to spring Spencer for big runs on the outside.
Delsea also has a fast and swarming defense led by senior linebacker Scott Parker and junior defensive end Phil Sampson. The secondary is also very good and athletic, as it registered three interceptions in the win over Manasquan.
Barnegat will counter with junior dual threat quarterback Cinjun Erskine, who has 1,216 yards and 19 touchdowns combined between rushing and passing. Junior Manny Bowen is a threat as a wide receiver, at linebacker and on special teams. Junior Tyler McGuinness has emerged as a workhorse back in the absence of senior A.J. Opre, who was in the midst of a big season before suffering a torn ACL in the middle of the regular season. McGuinness ran for 223 yards in the first round of the playoffs and then put up 157 in a 28-25 win over Northern Burlington in the semifinals. He is part of a deep group that also includes sophomore Paul Wickwire and junior Kevin Hoffman. They will run behind a mammoth offensive line led by 6-foot-7, 335-pound junior Sam Madden, a major FBS prospect, and senior Zach Andrews, a 6-foot-2, 308-pound FCS prospect. Defensively, it will be up to a group led by Bowen, defensive end Greg Moran, linebacker Mark Magoon and defensive back Ricky Gerena to find a way to contain Delsea’s punishing running game in order for the Bengals to make history. Photos by
Bill Normile w w w . b i l l no r m i l e . ze n f o l i o . c o m
Cliff Lavelle www.clear edge.zenfo lio.com
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Rumson Girls Soccer Wins Group II Title
By Matt Manley – Senior Staff Writer
umson-Fair Haven senior Schuyler DeBree vividly recalls the first speech she gave her teammates this season back in August and the first line was hardly one associated with either a lauded senior leader or a future student at Duke University, both of which DeBree is. Some three months later, the Bulldogs officially went from question marks to unquestioned after beating Bernards, 2-1, in the NJSIAA Group II championship on Saturday night at the College of New Jersey.
DeBree is the lone senior on the Rumson-Fair Haven roster and while Mary Beth Coleman knew she had a Division I player leading her team, the rest of the lineup remained somewhat of a mystery. The Bulldogs were the No. 7 seed in the Central Jersey Group II bracket and just as was the case during the only other state title run in program history back in 2008, there were not a lot of seniors along for the ride. “It’s funny – the only other time we won was in 2008 when I had two seniors on the team,” Coleman said. “You really don’t know. There are so many factors that go into something like this and when they happen, it’s just incredible. It helps that we have a senior like Schuyler. She’s an incredible player and an incredible person and having her around as someone the younger players can look up to has been so important.”
Saturday at TCNJ, freshman Grace Forsyth continued her breakout rookie season with a first-half goal to open the scoring, her eighth goal of the season and second in as many games. Forsyth also scored the golden goal in a 1-0 overtime win over West Deptford in
Tuesday’s Group II semifinal.
Forsyth scored in the 24th minute, punching a shot past Bernards starting keeper Sarah Ryan on the left side of the six-yard box off a cross from junior Jacqueline Littleson.
“I didn’t come in really expecting too much of myself,” Forsyth said. “All I wanted was to help the team succeed any way I could, and that’s been my focus the last two games too.”
Sutton had a quiet game prior to the final 10 minutes thanks to a strong defensive performance by junior Meagan McGurl.
Bernards pulled even in the 71st minute on a 35-yard free kick by junior midfielder Montana Sutton that slammed into the upper right corner of the goal. Sutton had two more direct kicks, the first of which nearly turned into a goal off a rebound and would have if not for a save by Bulldogs freshman goalkeeper Samantha Beaudreault.
The Bulldogs return 10 starters next year in hopes of a repeat, but lose their most important piece. DeBree was the team’s top player as a starting center midfielder – despite being recruited primarily as a defender – and its lone senior voice.
Rumson added a critical second goal in the 55th. DeBree chipped the ball through the defense and Nicole Sullivan – the second Bernards goalkeeper of the game – mishandled the ball, allowing sophomore Lindsey Corydon to tap in the rebound for the 2-0 edge.
“I play on the same club team with Montana and I know how good of a player she is,” DeBree said. “The shot she made was phenomenal so when she got two more, yeah, I was crossing my fingers more than anything. The big thing was to communicate with the rest of the team, make sure everyone was in the right position and just be ready to clear the ball out if we had the chance. The first thing to do, though, is hope she misses.”
“(Sutton) was definitely the girl we needed to focus on and Meagan McGurl did a great job marking her and limited her opportunities,” Coleman said. “That was her job today and she did what we needed her to do. Everyone had a job today and everyone carried their weight and that’s what it takes.”
“It was kind of a blessing to be the only senior, because it brought me closer together with the younger players,” DeBree said. “I needed them as much as they needed me and that connection is something that carried over off the field as well. After a while, it didn’t feel like we were in different grades and we really didn’t even think about it. We were all seniors.”
Shore Girls Soccer Ties Glen Ridge, Shares G1 Title
By Matt Manley – Senior Staff Writer
he motto of the Shore Regional girls soccer team from the first practice of the 2013 season was “Surprise,” an allusion to lowered expectations following the graduation of seven seniors from an NJSIAA Group I finalist.
Stephens knifing through the back line on several occasions off through-balls from McDonough.
Glen Ridge sophomore standout Tomison Kennedy scored the game-tying goal on a counter-attack in the 72nd minute and Shore settled for a 1-1 draw with the defending group champions, resulting in the first NJSIAA co-championship since 2010.
Shore continued to pressure the Glen Ridge defense after the goal, and the numbers up left the Blue Devils vulnerable to a counter-attack. That counter did not come until the 72nd, when Kennedy ran down a long ball over the top from Olivia Schwern. Shore goalkeeper Katie Colaguori came off her line to meet the ball, but Kennedy beat her to it with a touch and ran it into the goal with a defender on each hip.
The Blue Devils lived up to their rallying cry for 70-plus minutes at Saturday’s rematch with defending champion Glen Ridge in the Group I final, but it was a surprise from the Ridgers with minutes ticking away that left the Blue Devils unfulfilled, if only slightly.
The co-title is the first state championship in school history for Shore, while Glen Ridge is champion for the second straight year after its first ever group title last year. Immaculate Heart and Red Bank Catholic were the last two teams to share a state title – NonPublic A in 2010.
“I know the girls are going to be disappointed, but as a coach, I don’t look at it like that,” Shore coach George Moutis said. “They played their hearts out and played a great game, and that’s all you can ever ask for. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
The Blue Devils were ultimately pleased about bringing back the first title in school history in any form, but the result was disappointing based on the way Shore controlled the game. Shore dominated possession and outshot Glen Ridge, 12-5.
“It’s definitely a strange feeling because we know we accomplished something special that’s never been done at our school, but at the same time we’re disappointed we didn’t win,” junior forward Sam McDonough said. “It’s frustrating because we had the lead and we were dominating the game, but that’s how the game goes sometimes.”
The forward tandem of McDonough and freshman Katie Stephens carved up the Ridgers defense throughout the match, with
Stephens actually set up Shore’s goal in the fifth minute of the second half, sending a cross from the right side to sophomore Devon McDonough, who one-timed a shot past Ridgers sophomore goalkeeper Ryanne Ege for a 1-0 lead.
“I told them at halftime that if we were in our own end or around midfield, we could play the ball through and attack them using our speed, like we did in the first half,” Moutis said. “Once we were in the last third of the field, though, we had to attack them from side to side because they had so many defenders.”
Stephens had her best chance at a goal with 2:40 left on a potential game-winner run. Sam McDonough again played her through to the goal and this time, the freshman took a touch to shake a defender and ripped a shot square off the crossbar. The Glen Ridge defense cleared the ball away to end the threat.
Shore outshot Glen Ridge 3-0 over the 20 minutes of overtime and again, Stephens had the two best Shore chances. In both cases, Stephens turned the corner on the left flank, the first of which Ege came out to smother and the second of which she turned back on the near post in the 95th minute.
“This is a pretty nerve-wracking game to play in, so I’m sure Katie was nervous being a freshman,” Sam McDonough said. “She did a great job putting pressure on the defense, and she worked hard to get those chances. Sometimes they go in and sometimes they don’t.” Saturday’s game was nearly a mirror image of last year’s championship game, which Glen Ridge won 2-0 by dominating possession. The only difference turned out to be the score.
Freshman forward Katie Stephens Win, lose or draw, Shore is set up to go deep into the state tournament beyond 2013. The Blue Devils dressed only one senior – forward Ciara Boice – on Saturday and will return 10 starters next season. “We’re a little disappointed, but we have a lot of players back next year,” Sam McDonough said. “We lost last year, we tied this year, and next year, it’s going to be our turn to win it.”
“I don’t want them to think about winning next year,” Moutis said. “It’s a nice thought, but I want them to enjoy this. You never know what can happen next year.”
Sport Shots WLB
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 AC A L L - S TA R S
n Thomas Acerra—Monmouth Regional
n Kwame Geathers—Carver’s Bay (SC)
n John McLaughlin—Middletown South
n Tom Gorski—Holmdel
n Knowshon Moreno—Middletown South
n Joey Beggans—Red Bank Regional
n Malcolm Harris—Neptune
n TJ Moriarity—Red Bank Catholic
n Mike Bland—Long Branch
n Carl Howard—Matawan
n Jared Allison—Matawan
n Nick Gialanella—Red Bank Catholic
n Robert Barksdale—Asbury Park
n Tajh Hammary—Asbury Park
n Kaysonne Anderson—Manasquan n David Bergeron—Middletown North n Jared Bradham—Long Branch n Jawann Brown—Matawan
n Chris Bunge—Middletown South n Brian Calder—Colts Neck
n Chris Herring—Matawan
n Jihaad Howard—Brick Memorial
n Anthony Hubbert—Freehold Boro
n Darryl Jackson—Red Bank Reg.
n Bobby Jameson—Matawan
n Shilque Calhoun—Middletown North
n Greg Kafaf—Don Bosco Prep
n Dwayne Chapman—Matawan
n Larry Kelly—Manasquan
n Cleveland Cannon—Long Branch
n Swede Chevalier—The Lawrenceville School
n Allen Choback—Red Bank Catholic
n Joe Cilurzo—Shore Regiona n Dwight Clark—Long Branch
n Jason Corley—Long Branch
n Tom Corley—Matawan
n Rahmir Cottman—Red Bank Regional n Richie Curran—Red Bank Catholic n Charles Davis—Neptune
n Tom Kalieta—Matawan
n Caleb King— Christian Academy (GA) n Terrence King— Long Branch
n Tyler King—Buford H (GA)
n Donald Klein—Shore Reg. n Donnie Klein— Manasquan
n Kyle Leach—Point Pleasant Beach
n Amir Dew—Toms River North
n Frank Lefkowitz—Colts Neck
n Sean Dolan— Red Bank Catholic
n Glennis Lester—Matawan
n Drew Diakos— St. John Vianney
n Joe Lepore—Colts Neck
n Brian Dominianni—Point Beach
n Ron Lewis—Asbury Park
n Glen Ford—Red Bank Catholic
n Christian Martino—Point Pleasant Beach
n Jeremy Fountain—Matawan
n John Masini—Morristown Beard School
n Alex Faherty—Brooklyn Polytech (NY)
n Chris Fortunato—Wall Township
n Tyrone Garland—Matawan
n Wesley Garland—Matawan
n Clifton Geathers—Carver’s Bay (SC)
n Matt Maddox—Manasquan
n Joseph Martucci—Matawan
n Tyron McCalister—Asbury Park
n Eric McCoo—Red Bank Regional
n Terrance McKeller—Long Branch
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
n Joe Mickens—Manchester
n Kevin Moriarity—Shore Regional n Darius Morris—Long Branch n Matt Moulton—Colts Neck
n John Pellegrino—St. John Vianney n Jim Pittenger—Wall
n John Pittenger—Wall
n Stephon Pluviose—Matawan n Mike Postell—Matawan
n Simon Press—Asbury Park n Ryan Quinlan—Wall
n Dave Reeves—RBC
n Charlie Rogers—Matawan
n Jerret Sanderson—Long Branch n Tyler Schmelz—RBC
n Bill Shea—Keyport HS
n Branden Smith— Booker T. Washington (GA) n Chris Stavola—RBC
n Stephen Swift— Red Bank Regional
n Jamuir Taylor—Neptune
n Maurice Turpin—Long Branch
n McArthur Underwood - Matawan
n Tony Vergari— Point Pleasant Beach n Joey Villapiano—Ocean Township
n Scott Wellerson—Point Pleasant Beach
n Kade Weston—Red Bank Regional n Cassius Williams—Matawan
Knowshon Moreno RB Middletown South, University of Georgia, Denver Broncos 1 st Rd Draft Pick
On a Mission: Manalapan Reaches Third Straight State Final
By Scott Stump – Managing Editor
hen Manalapan barely escaped a monumental upset by Brick Memorial in the first round of the state playoffs last week, Braves head coach Ed Gurrieri had a particular concern. “I went out of my way to talk to all the leaders on the team to see if we hit a wall and were just worn out and tired,” Gurrieri said. “Now I know that we’ve got a lot left in the tank. We proved that tonight.”
“We set the wall outside and sent (Hartsfield) back inside and had the safeties fill,” Douglas said. “I think we really set the wall well outside with the outside linebackers and the corners.”
“We shut it down completely,” Gurrieri said. “This defense is not the defenses of the past. This is the fastest defense we’ve ever had, and to contain two 1,000-yard rushers like we did tonight, I think it was tremendous.”
Gurrieri and the rest of those wondering whether last week’s heart-stopping win over the Mustangs was a last gasp or a blip on the radar got a clear answer on Friday night when top-seeded Manalapan took it to three-time defending sectional champion Sayreville in a 34-7 victory in the Central Jersey Group V semifinals. The Braves (10-0) advanced to their third straight state final and will play seventh-seeded Hunterdon Central on the weekend of Dec. 7-8, most likely at Rutgers Stadium, in search of the program’s first state championship. “Everybody knows Sayreville is a big team with three straight state championships,” said senior defensive end Nick Douglas. “We had to show everybody that Manalapan is not the team that showed up last week.”
Manalapan’s defense was suffocating, holding the explosive Bombers’ offense to 121 total yards, 52 of which came on a garbage-time run in the final minutes. The Bombers (8-3) had knocked Manalapan out of the playoffs twice in the last four seasons, including the 2011 Central Jersey Group IV final, and the Braves became the first Shore Conference team in 17 games dating back to 2009 to beat Sayreville. “Sayreville has crushed our dreams a couple of these years, so we had to do it for everyone – the fans and all those former players who got let down against them,” said senior tailback Tyler Leonetti. “We had to come prove a point. We don’t lose on this field. We had to show that we’re ready to finish it this year.”
Unlike last week’s 14-13 comeback win, on Friday night it was all Manalapan from beginning to end. The offense set the tone early, and the defense swallowed up a running game that was averaging 358 yards per game featuring FBS prospect Myles Hartsfield and senior Deion Miller, a pair of 1,000-yard rushers. The Braves held the Bombers to 75 yards rushing on 27 attempts, 52 of which came on a run by Hartsfield with Sayreville trailing 34-0 in the final minutes. “This is probably the fastest defense in Manalapan history, and we knew we could run with these guys,” Douglas said.
The Braves were particularly outstanding in containing the perimeter. Douglas and junior defensive end Kyle Mullen, along with the outside linebacker rotation of Chris Noesges, Mike D’Angelo and Will Meany, would not let Hartsfield and Miller get outside. Noesges, one of the Shore’s top linebackers, was particularly dominant with 13 tackles. Gurrieri likened the match-up to Stanford-Oregon, with the Braves wanting to run downhill, and the Bombers wanting to get to the perimeter.
“We kept the momentum and never lost it,” Douglas said.
Senior tailback Tyler Leonetti
Also, in past playoff losses against Sayreville, Manalapan fell in an early hole and was pushed out of its comfort zone of running the ball. On Friday night, the Braves jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead and never looked back, which also forced Sayreville to have to throw the ball more than it wanted. After the defense forced a three-and-out to open the game, Manalpaan went 49 yards in four plays, scoring when junior quarterback Dan Anerella hit senior wideout Saeed Blacknall, a Rutgers recruit, for a 35-yard touchdown and Blacknall’s 13th touchdown catch of the season. “That was a great momentum play by Saeed,” Leonetti said. “Right away they bit on my fake and when they came up, Saeed was wide open.” “It was all about just attacking them fast and jumping on them really quickly,” Blacknall said. “Last week definitely a wake-up call. We just had to come out and show them that that wasn’t us last week.”
The Braves took the 7-0 lead into the second quarter, then drove 39 yards in six plays, helping by a roughingthe-passer penalty that kept the drive alive. Leonetti burst up the middle for a 14-yard score and a 14-0 lead with 9:57 left in the period on his way to 138 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 23 carries.
A sack by Douglas on third down forced another Sayreville three-and-out, which led to a five-play, 50yard drive as the defense continued to put the offense in great field position. Leonetti ran for an eight-yard touchdown and a 21-0 lead with 5:40 left in the half as Manalapan showed it meant business after the question marks following last week’s game.
The Braves took a 21-0 lead into the locker room after holding Sayreville to 45 total yards and three first downs in the first half. They all but put the game away with an eight-play, 87-yard drive to start the third quarter. The march was keyed by a 53-yard run by Leonetti and finished off with a 7-yard touchdown run by junior tailback Imamu Mayfield for a 28-0 advantage with 7:36 left in the quarter. “When we hit like this on all cylinders, I think we’re really good,” Gurrieri said.
Manalapan’s defense forced four straight three-andouts by Sayreville from the start of the second half, holding the Bombers to 12 total yards in that span before putting the cherry on top of one of their most satisfying wins in program history. Leonetti returned a punt 55 yards to Sayreville’s 5-yard line, and senior fullback Nelson Rivera plowed in from the 1-yard line three plays later for a 34-0 lead with 7:23 left in the game after the extra point was blocked.
Sayreville avoided the shutout thanks to a 12-yard touchdown catch by sophomore Linwood Crump, but the Braves had already made their statement against one of the most respected public school programs in New Jersey. “That’s a great program,” Gurrieri said. “They’re threetime defending champions and they were on a roll, but I just think our guys are determined to finish this season.” The Braves can lock up their fourth straight outright Class A North title with a win over Marlboro (2-7) in their rivalry game on Wednesday, and then can turn their focus to Hunterdon Central, whom they beat in last year’s semifinals. After starting 11-0 last season only to come up short against South Brunswick in the final, the Braves are looking to fill in that final gap in their resume. “This is the time,” Douglas said. “We have to get it done this time. It’s now or never.”
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St. Rose Girls Soccer Repeats as South, NPB Champs
By Matt Manley – Senior Staff Writer
uring the early stages of his team’s NJSIAA South Jersey Non-Public B championship game against Mater Dei Prep Thursday night at Holmdel High School, St. Rose girls soccer coach Mike Parshelunis told senior striker Lauren Gates to be aware of Mater Dei goalkeeper Katie Viscardi coming off of her line.
“The effect of it is two-fold,” Parshelunis said of his advice to his senior captain. “Yes, if the keeper comes out 30 yards, I want to get a shot on the goal, but I also wanted Lauren to get her head up quickly with the ball at her feet and look to be aggressive.” Bates did not get a chance to catch Viscardi out of position, so instead, she just beat her with a perfect strike.
Bates buried a left-footed shot from 35 yards out in the 46th minute and the St. Rose defense in front of junior goalkeeper Jordan Nash held off the Seraphs to secure a 1-0 win and a second straight South Jersey Non-Public B championship. “The most important thing tonight was we played with confidence,” Bates said. “This is a team we know really well and they played us tougher than anyone. As the senior captain, I know it starts with me setting that tone for everybody else.”
After two near misses in the final 2:30 of the first half, Bates did not miss St. Rose’s first chance in the second half. She controlled the ball 40 yards away from the goal, dribbled to her right before cutting back to the left and lofting a left-footed shot that carried just out of the reach of Viscardi while tucking under the crossbar.
“I think I’m just as strong with my left as I am with my right and that’s something I take a lot of pride in,” Bates said. “When I have a chance to take a shot with my left foot, there’s no hesitation. On the goal, as soon as a hit it, I knew it was in.” Mater Dei won the regular-season series with a win and a tie against the Purple Roses and St. Rose stayed on the wrong end of fortune by missing three quality chances in the first half. The last two of those chances came in the final 2:30 of the half, the first of which was a clean look at the goal by junior Seneca Kinn-Gurzo, who redirected a cross from Gates just wide of the right crossbar.
Seconds after the miss by Kinn-Gurzo, Viscardi made a lunging save to her right on a shot by junior Kathleen Dailey.
St. Rose outshot Mater Dei 9-5, but the Seraphs tested Nash and the Purple Roses defense with five corner kicks.
“They are forever dangerous because they challenge every play,” Parshelunis said of Mater Dei. “This game was tricky in a lot of ways, not only because of how Mater Dei plays, but where we were mentally. Our losses this year have come against very good teams, and Mater Dei was one of them. We had to get over the mental hurdle of playing and beating a good team, and I do think our experience in this game helped us do that.”
Mater Dei Prep applied pressure on the St. Rose goal following the game’s lone score. The Seraphs’ best chance came on a direct kick by Julia McCarthy from 25 yards, a low line drive that Nash deflected wide of the left post.
Nash also made a key save in the 12th minute by punching a 30yard shot by Lindsey Florio over the crossbar, a leaping save that deterred a shot on target.
“Anytime you’re putting pressure on the other goal, you have to be ready for a long shot or a counter, and I knew they had some girls who could shoot from far out,” Nash said. “I made sure I was in position and ready to react.” “It’s such a luxury to have a keeper like Jordan back there,” Parshelunis said. “You don’t have to worry about pushing numbers up and even when you give up corners and free kicks, you know she’s going to handle her end and keep everyone organized.”
St. Rose also beat Mater Dei Prep in last year’s sectional final, 3-
0, which came one year after the Seraphs won the sectional final in 2011. Between the two Shore Conference Class B South rivals, they have combined to win the last four South Jersey Non-Public B championships. The Purple Roses will play Morris Catholic – 4-1 winners over Montclair Kimberley Academy – in the Non-Public B final Wednesday at The College of New Jersey. Morris Catholic defeated St. Rose, 1-0, in last year’s championship game. Bates was a freshman on the 2010 Non-Public B championship team and scored in the Purple Roses’ win over Morris Catholic.
“Even though she scored in the game, as a freshman, it’s more like you’re along for the ride while the seniors carry you there,” Parshelunis said. “As a senior, there’s that sense that this belongs to you because this is your team and you’ve put in the time for four years. I’m happy for her because she knows when her last practice is going to be, and she knows when her last game is going to be and that’s something I think Lauren and all of our seniors have earned.” “I definitely expect that we’ll be more confident going into the game this year,” Bates said. “Last year felt like everything happened so fast, but we’re going there with a different mindset this year.”
The Recruiting Trail
By Chris Melvin – Shore Sports Network contributor
ackson Memorial’s Ademilola: Top Grades And The Talent To Match
When it comes to the gridiron, statistics aren’t high on the priority list of Marcus Ademilola, but in the classroom, it’s a different story.
recruiting me,’’ he said. “In addition, I have Colgate, Marist College, and Georgetown among others. All the schools have offered me, with my most recent coming from Colgate.
“Grades are No. 1 to me and my family. I’ve always been told by my parents that everything starts with good grades and that I couldn’t make it to where I wanted to go in life without good grades.
Ademilola wants to major in business and engineering in college. In addition to FCS programs, Ademilola has received interest from a handful of FBS programs.
”Stanford, UMass, Old Dominion, and Ohio are contacting me the most,’’ he said. “But other schools are back in the mix due to my highlight tape that I released a few weeks ago. Coach Krystopik said more schools are starting to contact him for me now.”
Gargiulo Garnering College Looks With Outstanding All-Around Season
Colts Neck senior tailback/linebacker/defensive end Anthony Gargiulo has been a mainstay in the offensive backfield and terror for opposing defenses ever since he was five years old and playing Pop Warner in Howell.
Gargiulo’s prowess in Pop Warner has continued right through his four-year varsity career.
As a sophomore, the 6-foot-2, 230-pound Gargiulo rushed for more than 1,000 yards. As a junior, he ran for 1,300 yards and added another 400 receiving while also making a team-high 137 tackles on defense.
Ademilola, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound senior tight end/defensive end for coach Walt Krystopik, has quietly shined on both sides of the ball for the Jaguars with six touchdowns on offense despite occasional double and triple teams, and 5.5 sacks on defense.
“I’m doing great on defense, but I still like offense the most,’’ Ademilola said.
Over the years, Ademilola has blossomed into a premier pass-catcher for the Jaguars, but it’s the abundance of talent that Ademilola possesses topped off with a 3.9 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale that makes him such a hot commodity amongst college recruiters.
“I have all the Ivy League schools except Brown
This season, Gargiulo has led his team to an 8-1 record with 1,382 yards rushing, a single-season school record 21 touchdowns, as well as 107 tackles and 6 sacks. In a state playoff win over Neptune, he ran for a career-high 275 yards and three touchdowns, going over the 3,000-yard mark to become Colts Neck’s all-time leading rusher. He also had three touchdowns in a loss to Class A North champion Manalapan, including a 49-yard interception return.
His talent and academic performance have already helped in reel in multiple offers.
“Navy, Yale, and Dartmouth have offered me,’’ he said. “Penn State and Pittsburgh have offered me as a preferred walk at this time, but they can turn into scholarship offers as we get closer to the signing day in February.
Gargiulo has also received strong interest from Boston College, UConn, Rutgers, Maryland, Bucknell, Monmouth, Towson, Delaware, and Temple. He has unofficially visited Penn State, and Navy, and will attend the annual Army-Navy game
as a guest of Navy on Dec. 14.
“I want to go somewhere where I’m wanted and have the ability to get on the field as quick as possible,’’ he said. “Offense or defense, it doesn’t matter to me.”
Navy has offered Gargiulo as a running back and Penn State looks at him as a fullback, while the remaining schools see him as a linebacker. Garigulo’s size, intensity, speed, athleticism, power, vision, and high motor resembles current Temple linebacker and former Wall Township twoway star Blaze Caponegro
“Offensively I consider myself more of a powerback,’’ he said. “I like running inside and outside of defenses. On defense, I use my running back instincts to get to the ball carrier. I utilize my knowledge as a running back to stop opposing running backs.”
Lacey’s Roaring Playmaker:
Tutela Is The Main Target No Matter Who Is Under Center Lacey used two quarterbacks this season, but their primary target was the same.
Whether it was senior Tom Kelly or junior Conor Davies throwing the ball, their No. 1 option was to get the ball to 5-foot-11, 190-pound senior receiver Christian Tutela. He turned in the biggest season of any wide
“Personally I feel did great, but unfortunately as a team there were a lot of our key players that were injured, which hurt the team,” Tutela said.
“I’ve already unofficially visited Temple, Rutgers, Towson, Monmouth, Old Dominion, Villanova, University of Delaware, Delaware State, and Stony Brook.”
As a junior he caught 26 passes for 598 yards and eight touchdowns, ran for 281 yards and five scores on 44 carries, threw two touchdown passes, served as the starting punter, and had 57 tackles.
Playing a variety of positions has allowed colleges to see Tutela as a multi-dimensional threat.
Cliff Lavelle www.clearedge.ze nfolio.com
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“I haven’t received any offers yet,” said Tutela. “I like the larger schools that are rated well in academics and have respected football programs. I haven't started official visits yet, but I’m currently planning the dates of my five visits.
Towson University, University of Delaware, Villanova, Coastal Carolina, Sacred Heart, Stetson University, and Marist are among the list of colleges showing interest.
“Most colleges prefer me at wide receiver, but some are showing an interest on both sides of the ball (at defensive back as well),” said Tutela, whose best games this season was against Jackson Memorial, where he caught 8 passes for 182 yards and two scores in a wild 62-44 loss.
receiver in the Shore Conference with a conference-high 54 catches for a school-record 1,083 yards receiving and 14 touchdowns, and he also ran for 302 yards and two touchdowns on 41 carries. The jack-of-all trades also threw for two touchdowns on trick plays, averaged 36.6 yards a punt with a long of 62 and had 65 tackles in the secondary for a Lions team that finished 5-5 after losing its last five games.