Sininsky looks to continue progress made at Raritan Rockets face difficult schedule in 2001 campaign

first_img Sininsky looks to continue progress made at Raritan Rockets face difficult schedule in 2001 campaign VERONICA YANKOWSKI Raritan High School’s Matt Herman runs for some good yardage during Friday’s scrimmage with North Hunterdon in Hazlet. The Raritan High School football team will have a new look this season as a new coach looks to implement a new offense while playing one of the Shore Conference’s most challenging schedules. Derek Sininsky, a longtime assistant coach to departed head coach Bob Generelli (now an assistant coach at Monmouth University, West Long Branch), has taken over the helm at Raritan and is looking to build on the improvement the team has shown over the last several years. Sininsky was with Generelli during his years at Middletown South, when the Eagles won a few state championships and established themselves as one of the state’s premier football programs. As a defensive coordinator, Sininsky helped Generelli launch the beginnings of a similar program at Raritan over the last six years. But now, with Generelli gone, Sininsky finds himself in charge of a budding program, looking to become a state championship-caliber squad. His first action as head coach was to overhaul the offense as a means of matching style with personnel. VERONICA YANKOWSKI Derek Sininsky is the new head coach at Raritan High School, replacing Bob Generelli, who took a position on the coaching staff at Monmouth University, West Long Branch. “We’re changing the offense and basically changing our entire philosophy,” Sininsky said. “We’re going to the wing-T, so we won’t be throwing the ball down anyone’s throat anymore.” The coach said that the decision was made based on the type of players he has. “It was a personnel thing,” he said. “This seems to be more of a fit for us. With the types of kids we have, this makes for a more solid offense.” Sininsky is hoping that a more potent running attack will create a number of positive statistics. “Obviously we’re looking to cut down on turnovers, and when you’re not putting the ball in the air, you can’t throw interceptions,” he said. “We also hope to rack up the time of possession and control the ball; that way we can help out our defense a little bit.” Thus far, Sininsky is happy with the way the team has responded to the changes. “We played Manalapan on [Aug. 24], and we did very well,” he said. “What we’re doing is keeping our best players on the field on both offense and defense, and that requires excellent conditioning.” Sininsky has worked his players hard over the summer, hoping that the superior conditioning will help the team later in its games. “We worked them hard three or four days a week starting in June, really concentrating on the cardiovascular elements,” he said. “We need a lot of these guys to play both ways, and that’s something that has hurt us in the past. A lot of times we’d get tired late in the second half, and other teams would take advantage of it. “This is high school football, not college, and there’s no reason for our best players to come off the field,” he added. “We have basically the same guys on offense and defense, and that’s what we’re hoping for. There’s no college attitude here. We want our soldiers on the field.” The offense will be led by Jim Papcon, a wide receiver last year who is playing quarterback for the first time. Sininsky said that his ability to learn the position will have a tremendous effect on the offense’s productivity. “We’re not looking for him to throw the ball 15 times a game,” the coach said. “He is one of our best athletes, and he’s a smart, intelligent kid who’s been doing very well so far. I’m confident he’ll do a good job for us.” In front of him is an offensive line that Sininsky thinks should be the strength of the offense. “We have three linemen (seniors Mike Diamond, Christian Harden and Jesse Orbach) who are going to decide how successful we are,” he said. “We need them to be able to run because without them, the offense won’t click.” In the back field, the Rockets will feature junior halfback Mike Fabozzi, who ran for over 800 yards last year; junior Matt Herman, who also started last year; and senior John Corcione as the second halfback. All three should get a significant number of carries this season. At the wideout positions, Sininsky will call on senior Paul May and junior Justin Bowe. The defense will feature many of the same players. The tackles are Diamond and senior Randy Slawsky, with Orbach also featured as a defensive end. The outside linebackers will be Papcon and Corcione, while Harden and Herman will line up at the inside linebacker slots. The secondary will be led by senior John Grossi, who had five interceptions last year, and senior safety Dan Scearman. Sininsky said he’s pleased with the number of returning starters and is hopeful that some of his younger players will step up when given the chance. However, the Rockets will not be able to afford many growing pains this year as their schedule features several of the Shore’s top teams. After opening up against what is always a tough team in Manchester, the Rockets will travel to Pinelands to face another up-and-coming team. From there they will face Long Branch, Middletown South and Red Bank Regional before winding down the season with games against Ocean, Wall, St. John Vianney (Holmdel) and Matawan. “Because of the conference we’re in, we’re basically going to war every week,” Sininsky said. “We don’t have an easy game on our schedule. “Our goal is to make the state tournament and possibly contend for a state title,” he added. “But in order to do that, we’re going to have avoid injuries. Like everyone else, we need to stay healthy to compete.” Sininsky’s assistant coaches are former St. John Vianney head coach Pete Meehan (offensive coordinator), Jack Mascimento (quarterbacks), Brian Schwartz (halfbacks), John Ferer (offensive line), Keith Rescorl (special teams/defensive ends), Anthony Petruzzi (linebackers) and Ryan Waltz (freshmen). Staff Writer By Doug mckenzie last_img read more

Monmouth men’s team gets off to solid start

first_imgBY DOMINICK RINELLI JR. Correspondent The Monmouth University Hawks men’s basketball team is off to a 5-2 start as they look to win the Northeast Conference after an early exit in last year’s NEC tournament. The schedule this season for the Hawks includes competing against three Big East teams — Boston College, Seton Hall and Rutgers — while they will also face Princeton. Opening the season, the Hawks traveled to the University of the Virgin Islands, where the team competed in the Paradise Jam Tournament. In the opening round game against Appalachian State on Nov. 21, the Hawks pulled off a victory with a score of 69-65. Senior Brian Boxler, Blake Hamilton and CBA graduate Chris Kenny each had 12 points in the contest. Despite racking up 20 offensive rebounds to Monmouth’s seven, Appalachian State was unable to score on many second-chance opportunities. In the second round of the Paradise Jam Tournament, the Hawks faced the Eagles of Boston College on Nov. 23. The Blue and White fell short, losing 60-50, but showed promise as they were able to get within two points, 42-40 with 5:13 to go in the game, before BC went on a 20-8 run to seal the victory. Starters Brian Boxler and Dwayne Byfield both suffered injuries and were taken out of the contest. Another setback for the Hawks came when Hamilton fouled out, causing a lack of defensive presence in the lane. Head coach Dave Calloway said the injuries took their toll on the Hawks’ effort “It’s tough to finish a game without those guys,” he said. “We had two freshmen in the contest (Marques Alston and Deki Delic) at the end, and they did make some freshmen mistakes. It was a good experience for them, and it will definitely help us in the future.” After losing to Boston College, Monmouth faced Hampton University in a third-place match, and were able to defeat the Pirates, 64-52. The Hawks came back from a 39-21 deficit, with 18:49 to go in the game, to get the win. Kenny led the Hawks in scoring with 14 points, while Hamilton contributed 13 points and nine rebounds, and Alston, an All-State performer at Neptune High School, had 10 points, four rebounds and three steals. The Hawks set two Paradise Jam Tournament records with the largest deficit overcome of 18 points and the longest unanswered run of 21 points. Hamilton was named to the all-tournament team. Commenting on the remarkable second-half comeback, coach Calloway said, “I’ve been here 16 years, and this second half was the best second half I’ve ever seen this team play.” Returning from their trip to the Virgin Islands, the Hawks faced St. Peter’s College in Jersey City on Nov. 29, where they were unable to stop a virtual shooting clinic, as the Peacocks connected on 10 three-pointers, nine of which came in the first half. The Hawks went on to lose by a final of 76-63, despite Hamilton’s team-high 22 points. Kenny added 12 points and Alston contributed 11 for the Hawks in the loss, but could not match the Peacocks, who had five players who scored in double figures. On Dec. 2, the Hawks headed to Albany to face Siena College in the Pepsi Arena with 5,000 fans in attendance. Monmouth put on their own clinic as they connected on 14 three-pointers to defeat Siena by a final of 89-76. Byfield led both teams with 21 points, including three of six from three-point land, as Kenny added another dozen for the Hawks. Eight different players for Monmouth hit a three-point field goal, and set a new school record in the process. “We came out and made shots early and did a good job defensively,” Calloway said. “Then, in the second half, things really opened up. We made a bunch of shots in a row and made a nice run.” Monmouth was supposed to travel to face Rutgers University on Dec. 6 but, due to the inclement weather, the game has been rescheduled for Jan. 13. In addition, the home game vs. Sacred Heart originally scheduled for Jan. 14 has been moved to Jan. 3 at 7 p.m. Following the win over Siena, the Hawks won their home opener over Hofstra University on Dec. 10 at Boylan Gym in West Long Branch. Chris Kenny led the Hawks to an 87-79 victory with a career-high 22 points. Monmouth continued to successfully drain three-pointers as they shot 11 of 26 from long distance. Forward Brian Boxler added 15 points and nine rebounds, and Blake Hamilton scored 18 points. Byfield added 11 points of his own, while Kaplan added nine points, six assists and five rebounds. Next up was the University of Missouri-Kansas City on Dec. 13. The Hawks defeated UMKC by a score of 82-67, giving them a three-game winning streak, as well as keeping them undefeated at home. After Dwayne Byfield scored a three-pointer, the Hawks were up 5-4 with 16:45 to go in the first half, and they would not trail during the rest of the game. Monmouth went on a 16-5 run, increasing their lead to 27-15 with 6:36 to go in the first half. At the half, Monmouth was up 36-22. Attempting to comeback, the Kangaroos cut the deficit to eight points but could not get any closer. Blake Hamilton led the Blue and White with 27 points, as he was a perfect nine-for-nine from the field and eight-for-eight from the free throw line. Hamilton added seven rebounds as Monmouth out-rebounded UMKC 39-33. The Hawks shot 50 percent in the contest by shooting 30-of-60 for the game. Russ Anderson contributed 11 points and Brian Boxler had a total of 10 points and seven assists. Through the first month of the season, the Hawks’ 5-2 mark illustrates how well they have played in the early going. With a difficult schedule ahead of them, the Hawks will have ample opportunity to prove that their solid early-season play is a promise of things to come. The Hawks were back in competition on Sunday as they hosted Rider University at Boylan Gym at 4 p.m. They next traveled to Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford to face the Seton Hall Pirates yesterday.last_img read more

Husky harriers bring solid efforts to Battle of Monmouth

first_img BY TIM MORRISStaff Writer Harriers had to battle the conditions as well as the competition Saturday at the Shore Coaches Battle of Monmouth Class Invitational. Saturday morning’s driving rainstorm created a wet and muddy track at the Battlefield State Park, Manalapan, site of the cross country meet. Matawan’s boys finished second in the junior race and third in the senior class. In the junior class race, the Huskies were runner-up to East Brunswick, 8-19. Joe Smith’s fifth place (18:09) for the 5K course led the way. He was followed by James Maida, seventh overall (18:27), and Daniel DeCosta, 13th (18:47). In team scoring, they were fourth, sixth and ninth. East Brunswick’s Daniel Gilbert led the Bears’ winning effort with his first-place run (17:15). Henry Hudson Regional’s Tom Erickson ran eighth (18:29) in the junior race, In the senior class, Tom Walsh led the Husky effort with his seventh place (17:23). Teammate Shawn DeFrance (18:01) was ninth overall. Matawan’s three-runner score of 34 trailed East Brunswick (20) and Wall (28). East Brunswick’s Greg Bull turned in the day’s fastest time, 16:25, in capturing the senior race. Also in the senior race, Mater Dei’s James McDevitt had the top local finish in sixth (17:15). Matawan’s sophomores were seventh (66), led by the 21st-place run of David Brady (19:17). Keansburg won the team title (22) and South Brunswick’s Stephen Sample got the individual win (17:17). Monmouth Regional’s Meredith Schanck was the top area runner in the senior girls class, finishing eighth (22:19). South Brunswick’s Amy Rhein was first in 20:40. Monmouth Regional’s Lisa Scoppettuolo (22:19) and Sara Dyson (22:25) were 11th and 12th in the junior girls class. They helped the Falcons place fourth. Ewing won with 14 points and it was Pt. Pleasant Beach’s Lindsay Ritchings (20:04) who won the race in the fastest time of the day. The best area finisher was Raritan’s Jennifer Curran, fourth (21:08). Middletown North’s girls were second to Red Bank Catholic, 26-38, in the sophomore race. Ali Russoniello led the Lions with a 12th place (23:09). Michele Onori was 15th (23:49). Monmouth’s Chad Butler was the top runner among the boys in the sophomore division, placing 18th overall (19:07). In the frosh class, Middletown North’s girls were fifth (36), led by the fifth place of Casey Crist (13:18). The freshmen raced over 3,200 meters. South Brunswick won the team title with 18 points, while Freehold Township had the individual champion in Janel Parker (12:33). The local area finish in freshman boys race was Monmouth Regional’s Cory Sellers, who ran 12:14. Matawan’s James Smith finished 16th (12:18). Keansburg’s Brian Blozen was the frosh winner with an 11:01, and South Brunswick won the team competition (22). This is a very busy week for invitationals, starting with tomorrow’s Cougar Invitational hosted by Colts Neck High School at the Bucks Mill Road Park. On Friday there is the Bog Iron Bonanza at Allaire State Park, Wall, and if that weren’t enough, on Saturday, its the Stewart Memorial at Warinanco Park, Elizabeth. BY TIM MORRIS Staff Writer last_img read more

Colts team anxious to defend its SCT title

first_imgBY GEORGE ALBANO Staff Writer BY GEORGE ALBANOStaff Writer CBA lacrosse coach Dave Santos like to tell people how his team always wins the Shore Conference championship. Of course, the Shore just started to play championship games in lacrosse last year and Christian Brothers Academy won the inaugural contest. “We’ve won it every time they had it,” Santos said with a chuckle. But this year’s CBA team is serious about defending that title and keeping its “streak” intact. In fact, the Colts should be the favorite going into next week’s Shore Conference tournament. Coming into this week, CBA, which hadn’t played since last Monday, was unbeaten in conference play and could have wrapped up the top seed in the tournament with a win at St. Rose on Monday. The Colts conclude the regular season with a game at Red Bank Catholic on Thursday and a home contest against Hunterdon Central on Saturday. Then it’s onto the postseason. “The Shore Conference tournament begins next Monday and we should be No. 1,” Santos, in his eighth season, said over the weekend. “We’ll know for sure on Monday after we play St. Rose.” CBA hopes to be playing in the championship game next Friday before heading into the state tournament the following week. The Colts were 8-4 overall coming into this week, and all four losses were close and against formidable opponents. One was an 8-7 setback against Lawrenceville, one of the top teams in the state. “That was a great game,” Santos said. “Our defense kept us in it, and we had a chance to tie it with five seconds left.” In its season opener, CBA lost 6-5 to Princeton, “another top-10 team,” Santos said. The other two losses, 9-6 to Morristown and 7-5 to Chatham, also came against quality opponents. “We’ve been in every game,” Santos said. “We play a tough schedule, which is good for us because when we get to the postseason we’ll have experience with that kind of competition.” The Colts were 18-4 a year ago, losing to Seton Hall Prep in the second round of the Non-Public Group state tournament. That was also a rematch of the 2004 Group IV state championship game which Seton Hall Prep also won. But CBA lost quite a bit of offense from last year’s team, starting with Tommy Duerr, the Colts’ second all-time leading scorer who’s now playing at Johns Hopkins, one of the top college programs in the country. “He averaged 109 points a season for us,” Santos pointed out. With Duerr graduating, Santos was expecting senior captain Alex DeAlmeida, the team’s second-leading scorer last year with 80 points, to become the key man on offense. But in a game the first week of the season DeAlmeida took a hit and damaged his spleen, knocking him out of the lineup. “He only played one game,” said Santos, who hopes to have him back on the field in time for the postseason. “He’s going to the doctor this week and he may be cleared to play.” So how does a team replace nearly 200 points on offense? “With our two leading scorers from last year missing, that left a big hole in our offense,” Santos agreed. “But one of our other senior captains, Josh Orchant, has picked up the scoring slack.” Indeed, Orchant, a midfielder and 50-point scorer a year ago, had 27 goals and 15 assists so far this season to lead the team. “He was our third leading scorer last year,” Santos noted, “but he’s been our go-to guy this year. It’s an odd situation when a middie leads the team in scoring, but we’re pretty young on attack.” In fact, junior Liam Thomas is the only returning starter on attack and had 25 goals and 13 assists in the first 12 games. “He was our third attack as a sophomore last year,” Santos said. “He was in the background while Tony (Duerr) and Alex (DeAlmeida) put in all the goals. “But when Alex went down, we needed someone on attack to step up his game and Liam has improved a heck of a lot.” The rest of the attack, however, is new this year with junior Jonathan Lubas at one spot, and sophomore Robbie Napp and junior Joey Jordan alternating at the other. “All of them are improving every game, but it takes a while,” Santos explained. “Outside of Liam, the others are all new and had no varsity experience coming into the season.” The Colts also have four new starters on defense with junior Brendan Duffy in goal, and senior Dennis O’Connor, junior Joey Zales and sophomore Tim McMenamin as defenders. “Being new, they were a little shaky at the beginning of the season, but they’re really coming on now,” Santos said. “They’ve kept us in just about every game.” Defense has been one of the reasons for the CBA’s success. The other has been faceoffs, in particular Max Cabasso, the third senior captain. “He’s been winning I’d say at least three-quarters of our faceoffs,” Santos said. “He’s been a big help and he’s solid defensively. Just like Josh [Orchant] is our go-to guy on offense, Max has been our strongest defensive middie.” And after six days off, the Colts came into this week ready for what they hope will be a good stretch run. “We’re confident about the Shore Conference tournament,” Santos said. “There are some quality teams that could surprise us, but if we play well we should be OK. “The state tournament could be a little tougher,” he added. “Delbarton is in our group and they’re perennially one or two in the state. And Seton Hall Prep, who have been our nemesis, they’re in our group, too. So, we’ll have a tough go in the states.”last_img read more

Streets of Red Bank hosting Sheehan Classic on Saturday

first_imgThe annual George Sheehan Classic road race will kick off on June 16 at 8:30 a.m. in Red Bank, featuring its new 5K (3.1-mile) distance.Race Director Phil Hinck said feedback in recent years indicated that running five miles had become too long for everyday runners and that the heat in June can also be a factor. In response, the race committee decided to shorten the race.Hinck noted that the Classic is designed as a family event that also includes a kids’ race, a health walk and a wheelchair race. The shorter distance should make it easier for more families to participate. The race director is expecting about 2,500 participants.As in the past, the main event will start on Broad Street. It proceeds to Bergen Street and onto Silverton, before turning left on Prospect Street, which runs into Harding Road and brings runners back to the finish on Broad Street.The Sheehan Classic is the second event of the Shore Golden Grand Prix, which also includes the Belmar 5 (July 14), theAsbury Park 5K (Aug. 11) and the Pier House 5K in Long Branch (Sept. 3). The series began with the Spring Lake 5 on May 26. Jeffrey Perrella of Westfield won the men’s division in 25:04, while Nicole Strand of Robbinsville won the women’s division in 31:05. The race has a long and storied history. It began back in 1981 as the Asbury Park 10K classic. It attracted many top-flight runners, including legendary Bill Rodgers, Keith Brantley and Grete Waitz. In 1994 the race moved to Red Bank, the distance was shortened to five miles and became the Sheehan Classic, renamed in honor of Dr. George Sheehan, a well-known physician, author and runner. The race was originally held during the second week of August, but was moved to Father’s Day weekend in 2004 and has gradually become a very family-friendly event.A free Runner’s Expo will be open from 2-8:30 p.m. Friday and on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in Marine Park. The Kids’Classic will be held Friday, June 15, at 6:30 p.m. Afterward, there will be children’s entertainment. All entrants receive T-shirts and all finishers will receive medals. A free post-race picnic, also in Marine Park, is open to all participants.Entries for the 5K, fitness walk and wheel chair race will be available on race day. For more information, call (732) 988- 7725 or visit the Sheehan Classic website at read more

Middletown schools kick off football season this weekend

first_img Former Middletown High School North and Monmouth University star defender Anthony Vazquez (#16) played for the Puerto Rico National Team in their friendly game with World Cup champion Spain. The Middletown native defended some of the best players in the world during the match that went to Spain, 2-1. Vazquez plays professionally with the Puerto Rico Islanders in the North American Soccer League. BILL DENVER EQUI-PHOTO When the NJSIAA added a fifth group classification—Group V— to its football playoff brackets, Middletown High School South coach Steve Antonucci and many others surrounding the program thought that would mean a move up from Group III to Group IV in Central Jersey for his team.“I thought originally we’d be in Group IV,” Antonucci said. “We’re the largest Group III (in Central Jersey). We still have a good amount of teams that have been in Group III, including (defending Central Jersey champion) Neptune and a lot of good Mercer County teams like Nottingham, Hamilton and Ewing.” Middletown South Long Branch High School, Manasquan High School and Holmdel High School have moved into Group III, according to Antonucci, who said that his team comes off a great, dedicated offseason program.“They got right into the weight room where we started seeing signs of improvement,” said Antonucci, whose team wrapped up a 7-3 season in 2011 with an opening-round state playoff loss to Northern Burlington County Regional High School.Crosstown rival Middletown High School North remains in Group IV and it lost prolific running back Joe Racioppi, who is off to a college career at Springfield College, but a solid supporting cast returns off last year’s 4-6 team.Both Middletown North and Middletown South play in the Shore Conference A North division, which added Colts Neck High School this season. Middletown South looks to regain the division title it won two years ago. Middletown North The Eagles and the Lions have a bye week during the opening week off the season and they will start their seasons the following weekend. Middletown North plays host to Brick Memorial High School on Sept. 14 at 7 p.m., while Middletown South travels to Brick Township High School on Sept. 15.Mater Dei High School (Middletown) has a good nucleus under third-year coach Steve Sciarappa after coming off a seasonending 35-29 victory over Keansburg High School on Thanksgiving for the team’s lone triumph in an injury-riddled 2011 season. That game has been moved this season to the Sept. 8 opener at Mater Dei, which plays in the Shore Conference B Central division.A closer look at the teams reveals: MIDDLETOWN SOUTH Mater Dei Junior Kyle Brey takes over at quarterback where his older brother, Howie, played before graduating in the spring and embarking on a baseball career atRutgers University.“[Kyle is] picking up the offense well,” said Antonucci. “He shows arm strength and is not fleet of foot, but he can help our running game.”Antonucci has introduced a “pistol” offense, a sort of spread set that shows one running back, three wide receivers and a tight end.Jake Ripnick, a senior who rushed for just under 1,000 yards last season, returns at running back and is joined by junior Jeremy Concepcion. Senior wide receiver Anthony Citarella looks like a leading target for Brey, as are juniors Andrew Wisialko and senior Eli Smith, who is a transfer from St. John Vianney High School who also can run the ball and start at cornerback. Taylor Hendrickson, a junior tight end, has drawn interest from NCAA Division I-AA teams. He also starts on defense at tackle.Antonucci said a young lineup held the Eagles back last season, but they showed signs of maturing later in the year. Staying healthy, especially on the lines, will be important for the team in 2012.Three starters return on the offensive line. Senior Mike Roibal, who is a 6-foot- 2-inch and 215-pound guard, will be joined by senior tackle Keith Wiley (6-3, 220) and senior center Dylan McCabe (5-10, 240), who is transitioning from the guard position. New starters are junior tackle Jon Low (6-0, 195) and sophomore guard James Wilson (6-4, 230).On defense, 5-foot-10-inch, 215-pound senior Derek Noah is breaking in at the other tackle spot in the 4-4 formation. Seniors Eric Maynes (6-3, 215) and Brandon Joseph (6-0, 200) are new starters at end. Senior Ryan Patterson is a returning starter at inside linebacker, but the other three players— senior Justin Chenoweth on the inside with senior Rob Martini and Concepcion on the outside—are new to the lineup.Citarella is in his third season starting at safety, while junior Drew O’Connell is the other cornerback.Senior Luke Lawson (6-1, 215), who plays on the offensive line, and junior Connor Spreen (6-0, 200), who plays at defensive tackle, are backups who will be ready when needed.Senior Connor Ryan, a senior, was one of the leading kickers in the Shore last season and he will also punt. MIDDLETOWN NORTH Cody Thompson, who started at guard for the school’s high powered basketball team during the 2011-12 season, is starting again at quarterback this year for the football team, where he throws and runs well. Senior JaredMosier is the leading running back, while seniors Rob Spinelli and Nick Welsh are back at wide receiver. Juniors Brandon Piccini and Jake Betkowski are expected to see a lot of action at wideout, as well.“They are picking things up a lot faster and it seems a lot smoother than in the past,” said Lions coach Joe Trezza, whose team started 0-3 in 2011 and then went on to win four straight games before losing at the cutoff to Shore Conference A South champion Southern Regional High School. Ironically, the Lions lost in the state consolation playoffs to A North Division newcomer, Colts Neck.“Offensively, we spread the ball around enough that it will be hard to key on us,” Trezza said. “Our defense looks good, especially up the middle.”Two starters return on the right side of the offensive line—seniors Anthony Migliaccio, a 6-foot-3-inch and 285-pounds guard, and 5-foot-11-inch, 140-pound tackle Tom Klemm. Seniors James Corr (5-7, 240) at guard and Pat Anderson (6-1, 220) at tackle are on the left side of the line, while the center will either be senior Nick Corrado (5-8, 215) or junior John Quinn (5-7, 235).Senior Mike Gallucci (6-0, 245) anchors the defensive line in the 3-4 formation at nose tackle, and senior Kyle Gebhardt (6-0, 235) is back at end. Senior John Bacci (6-1 215) starts at the other end. Returning starters Spinelli and senior Dom Pedone will play at outside linebacker and inside linebacker, respectively. Junior inside linebacker Dan Napolitano, who sat out last season, and either senior Nick Wallace or sophomore Troy Thompson will start at the outside linebacker spot. Piccini and Betkowski are the cornerbacks, while Welsh is starting again at safety alongside junior Ryan McMahonSophomore Nick Banta, who saw a little action kicking in 2011, will see regular duty there and as the punter this season. MATER DEI The graduation of last season’s starting quarterback, Jesse Meyer, opens the position to players looking to run the triple option. The Seraphs’ options are senior Mike Farrell, sophomore Christian Palmer and juniorDerrick Lopez, who is a transfer from Rahway High School who will start at defensive back.Junior Sam Miles is back at fullback, while the halfbacks will include the candidates at quarterback who do not start there and sophomores Vincenzo Mezzacappa and Pat Donohue. Sophomore Jay Mandile is one of the two wide receivers, while the offensive line returns all five starters with senior Shane Sullivan at center, juniors Matt Eckert and Ron Perez at guard, and senior Brendan Donnelly and junior Sean Fraser at tackle.Senior Andrew Alexis, at 5-feet-11- inches tall and 315 pounds, is a big presence at nose guard with Donnelly and Sullivan starting at end. Miles leads the linebackers. Farrell and Donohue are cornerbacks, while Lopez, Palmer and Mezzacappa will rotate as the two safeties. BY WAYNE WITKOWSKI Correspondent last_img read more

Middletown lacrosse teams open first varsity campaigns

first_imgBy WAYNE WITKOWSKI Correspondent Varsity lacrosse in Middletown has enjoyed large turnouts and solid preseasons for the girls and boys teams at Middletown High School North and Middletown High School South after launching the sport on a junior varsity level last spring. In fact, all four teams will continue to have junior varsity and freshman teams as well for this season.The program to bring lacrosse to Middletown was proposed and initially funded by the Lacrosse in Middletown parents’ booster group.“Last year, we funded $80,000. And this year, it was the same, but the Board of Education gave us $25,000, and we had to come up with another $40,000 to sponsor the freshman teams,” Lacrosse in Middletown President Chris Fisher said. “I think it’s wonderful. And for the district to get behind us as much as it has is a wonderful thing.”The season begins this week around the state, and the preseason morale for the local teams was boosted by the competitiveness shown last year by all four teams, including a Middletown South girls squad that beat all of its opponents on the junior varsity schedule.“The talent level is definitely there, but this year they’re playing on a different level on varsity. So we’ll see how it goes,” Fisher said, adding that 187 players went out for the teams this season.There were 116 players on the four junior varsity teams last season.“It’s an amazing feeling to be a part of this organization,” Fisher said. “To see kids playing it in the park and picking up a ball is really rewarding.”Fisher said the organization still has to come up with the final $15,000, but it is confident it will meet that goal.“For people interested in helping, they can contact us. We want them to come out and see what we’re all about,” Fisher said.Anybody interested in finding information on how to contribute can visit coach particularly gratified to see lacrosse go into full swing this year is Middletown North girls coach Jackie Garofalo, who went to high school in Middletown but never got a chance to play lacrosse until she went to Ramapo College. Garofalo excelled at field hockey in high school and at Ramapo, where her field hockey coach also coached lacrosse and talked her into playing it there as well. She credited the determination of the Lacrosse in Middletown organization for turning a dream into a reality.All four coaches who led the junior varsity teams last spring moved up to varsity for this season.“I love the personality of this team,” Garofalo said. “They’re positive and encouraging. For those who haven’t played lacrosse before, this team unifies them. They get along really well.” Garofalo said her team has a strong attack, led by senior captain Krista DiSalvo and sophomores Jenna Frazee and Jessica Huff. Newcomer Danielle Colucci, a junior, is a versatile player who can fit into many areas. Junior captain Brianna Pruden heads the middies, which include Samantha Binn and Tori Lidlow, as well as junior newcomer Annie Rozzo.Sophomore Ally Kirk is back as goalkeeper, and she is supported by junior defenders Katie Ryan, Madison Gazette and Michele Sullivan, as well as sophomore newcomer Eden Edelson.Ashleigh Pecherski coaches the junior varsity team.Middletown North opened its season on March 26 at Long Branch High School and travels to Monroe Township High School on March 28, before playing its first home game on April 2 against Marlboro High School.“We’ve gone so much further, and the girls have improved tremendously,” said Middletown South girls coach Greer Mc- Carthy, whose team opens its regular season at home against Freehold Township High School on March 28. “Everyone is excited to compete against more advanced teams to see where we stand. We want to show people we’re ready to compete in the Shore Conference and around the state.”Three seniors starting for the Eagles are goalkeeper Monica Bubello and defensemen Xena Valenzuela and Paige Connors. Junior midfielder Vanessa Romano also played field hockey last fall, and sophomore center midfielder Brittney Slook will control the draws.Sophomore Stephanie Karcz showed her athleticism in leading the girls basketball team to its first NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV championship since 1979, and she will play as a defensive wing for the lacrosse team, along with sophomore Cailin Bini. Junior Macailaigh Smith and sophomore Brianna Naughton also are expected to contribute on the defensive side.Lauren Conaty and Carolyn Hancock are assistant coaches.For the boys teams, Middletown South’s Frank Finochio and Middletown North’s Ryan Hilla each said more than 60 students reported to tryouts.“It’s a wonderful sport to play; a lot of action, which is perfect for this generation,” said Finochio, who said the team looks solid and ready to start its regular season, which opened on March 26 at home against Northern Burlington County Regional High School.It plays at Red Bank Regional High School on March 29.Finochio said the nucleus of his team is seniors Tom Slook, a midfielder who was moved to attack; midfielder Kevin Loesch and defenseman Chris DeMaria. Junior Alex Skurzinski, a transfer from Red Bank Catholic High School, is the goalkeeper. Finochio said five players were seniors last year on the junior varsity team that was 8-7, and four others did not come back. He lost only one player to injury, attackman John Griffin, who injured his knee.Hilla said he had twice as many players out for Middletown North, which opens on March 26 at home against Long Branch.“We had a lot of questions last year from players new to the sport, and a lot of kids fell in love with it,” said Hilla, whose team won three games last year and had only one senior. “Across the board, we look pretty solid, and they really hustle.”Back from last season are Chris Fisher, a junior who led the team in scoring, in the midfield with senior Kyle Jimenez, while junior Justin Russo and sophomore Brian Flanagan are on the attack. Senior Nick Dellifemine and sophomore Hayden Fairhurst are on the defense.New to the team and playing well in practices are junior Tom Terranova, a leading player on the ice hockey team, and senior defenseman Andrew Moran.last_img read more

Rockets snap losing streak with upset playoff victory

first_img By MATTHEW ROCCO Correspondent The Raritan High School football team picked the right time to get back on track.In the wake of five straight losses to close the regular season, the Rockets clearly lacked momentum entering the state playoffs. However, they put the losing streak behind them and picked up their first win since Oct. 2 with a big first-round victory in the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group II playoffs Nov. 13.A strong defensive effort lifted Raritan (4-5), seeded sixth in the section, past No. 3-seed Point Pleasant Borough High School in the sectional quarterfinals played in Point Pleasant Borough. The Rockets also exacted revenge for a Week 6 loss to the Panthers.It was just the Panthers’ (8-2) second loss of the season and proved, once again, that records mean nothing in the postseason.The Rockets exploded for some big plays late in the game, and the defense did the rest to give Raritan a 17-7 upset. The defense kept the Panthers at bay early, highlighted by a third-down stop at the 5-yard line.Going into their final possession of the first half, the Rockets had a mere 37 yards of total offense. But a five-play, 87-yard drive right before halftime culminated in the first score of the game.Senior running back Derek Ernst, who is closing in on 1,000 yards for the season and picked up 122 yards on 27 carries against the Panthers, got the scoring drive started by breaking through for a 31-yard run. Quarterback Marc Carnivale, a junior, then connected with senior wide receiver Jordan Smith for a touchdown from 38 yards out, and the Rockets were up, 7-0, at the half. The Panthers quickly answered Raritan’s touchdown in the opening drive of the second half. The Panthers found the end zone after 12 plays and 64 yards, tying the game with six minutes left in the third quarter.The Rockets again rose to the occasion on defense, stopping the Panthers after Raritan fumbled on the next possession.Raritan followed up with a 74-yard touchdown drive. The decisive play was a 1-yard touchdown run by Carnivale that put the Rockets back in front, 14-7. The drive also featured another long run for Ernst and a 37-yard pass from Carnivale to senior receiver Nick Pasquin.As the clock ticked away in the fourth quarter, the Rockets’ defense continued to stifle Point Pleasant Borough before Raritan padded its lead with three minutes left on the clock. The Rockets made it to the Panthers’ 7-yard line, and freshman kicker Gavin Toth put the ball through the uprights for a 17-7 advantage.Point Pleasant Borough’s final hopes were dashed when Raritan defensive back Jahciere Jones picked off a pass to end a Panthers threat and seal Raritan’s first statetournament victory in six years.Raritan is now one victory away from playing for the sectional championship. The Rockets last appeared in a final in 2006.Raritan is scheduled to visit secondseeded Delaware Valley Regional High School (8-1) in the Central Jersey, Group II semifinals. Top-seeded Lincoln High School will face No. 5-seed Arthur L. Johnson High School in the other semifinal. Both games are scheduled for Nov. 20.The sectional championships will be held at neutral sites yet to be determined Dec. 4-6.The Rockets also look forward to their Thanksgiving Day game against Holmdel High School Nov. 26. RARITAN last_img read more

Bayern’s problems mount as team doctor quits after nearly 40 years

first_imgBy Karolos GrohmannBayern Munich on Friday “regretfully” accepted the surprise departure of long-time team doctor Hans-Wilhelm Mueller-Wohlfahrt, who said the medical department was blamed for the 3-1 Champions League loss to Porto this week.Mueller-Wohlfahrt, a respected doctor, had been in charge since 1977 and has also treated many other top global athletes, including sprinter Usain Bolt while also being the German national football team doctor.“After the Champions League game at Porto for unexplained reasons it was the medical department that was chiefly blamed for the defeat,” Mueller-Wohlfahrt said in a statement.He said “the relationship of trust has been permanently damaged.”Bayern made a brief statement on his departure prior to their weekly news conference with coach Pep Guardiola, saying they “regretfully took note” of his decision.“Especially Dr. Mueller-Wohlfahrt, but also his team, have in the past years offered the club and its players first rate work. For that we are expressly thankful,” the club said in a statement.Bayern have been struggling with injuries in recent weeks with Bastian Schweinsteiger, Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, Medhi Benatia and David Alaba all missing in their loss to the Portuguese team on Wednesday.The ties with Guardiola who took over in 2014 were tense from the first season with midfielder Thiago Alcantara being sent for treatment to Barcelona by the Spanish coach without consulting the team doctor.The most recent incident was involving Ribery. The player was initially ruled out for a few days with an injury but the winger has already missed the last five weeks.“It was his decision to leave,” Guardiola told reporters. “I respect his decision. That is all.”Mueller-Wohlfahrt’s resignation comes at a crucial time for Bayern, who are chasing a treble of titles, entering the crucial phase of the season.Bayern, who are 10 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga, face Borussia Dortmund in the German Cup last four and have to overturn the 3-1 deficit against Porto in the return leg in Munich next week.last_img read more

Russia dumps Capello as coach

first_imgBy Dmitry Rogovitskiy and Maria KiselyovaThe Russian Football Union (RFU) said on Tuesday it had ended its contract with national team coach Fabio Capello, three years before the country hosts the 2018 World Cup finals.It did not immediately name a successor for the 69-year-old Italian though local media have quoted sources as saying CSKA Moscow coach Leonid Slutski is likely to take over.“The Russian Football Union and the head coach of Russia’s national team, Fabio Capello, have reached an agreement to terminate the employment contract by mutual agreement,” the RFU said on its website.Capello, who managed England at the 2010 World Cup, took over as Russia coach in July 2012 and had extended his contract until the end of the 2018 tournament.He took the team to the World Cup finals in Brazil last summer but Capello’s side were knocked out in the group stages.The team’s form has not improved since then and they suffered a disappointing 1-0 loss at home to Austria in their Euro 2016 qualifier on June 14, leaving them third in Group G with eight points from six games.The RFU had been holding talks with Capello over his contract since late June. Russian sport news agency R-Sport on Tuesday put the level of the compensation at 930 million roubles ($16.34 million).Nikita Simonyan, the RFU’s acting president, said last week that all debts owed to Capello until the end of the 2014/15 season had been paid off.last_img read more