With a victory in its first game, the Bayshore Colts American Legion team, comprised of players from the CBA baseball program, is picking up where the high school team left off. CBA had a tremendous season, winning 26 of 30 games and reaching the NJSIAA Parochial A title game. The legion entry, led by CBA mentor Marty Kenny, includes several members of the high school team. In its season-opener the Bayshore entry downed Monmouth Regional, 2-1, behind the pitching of Bob Kyle and two-run single by Rob Parks in the top of the sixth inning. This week the Colts are looking at five games, weather permitting. Parks, a third baseman who batted .453 with five homers and 28 RBIs for CBA, leads a powerful offense. Ryan Murphy, the center fielder hit .370 during the high school campaign, and right fielder Chris Urbano, hit .310 with 24 RBIs and drew a team-leading 26 walks. Other members of the CBA varsity on the Bayshore roster include catcher Vin Buffone, infielders Ryan Jones, A.J. Vecchio, Chris Boehme and Anthony Morelli, as well as outfielder Dan Iorizzo. The remainder of the Colts roster includes catcher Phil Cahill, infielders Matt Bock and Pete Delleani; and outfielders Todd Burnaford and Frank Lombardi. Bock, Iorizzo, Kyle, Urbano, Kyle Siebert and Jeff Schneider are the pitchers. The Colts are hoping that another solid summer season will help develop some of their players as they look to next year’s scholastic season. The Colts will have a pair of championships to defend next year (Class A North division and Shore Conference Tournament), and will be looking to capture the Parochial A title that has barely eluded them the last two years. “Playing legion ball is a good opportunity for our veteran players to get more at-bats, and our younger players can get more game experience,” Kenny said. “It helps everyone who plays become better players.”
One thing the girls on the St. Benedict School’s varsity softball team are not lacking is spirit. During the past two seasons, during which time the Holmdel squad posted a 26-1 mark, the girls showed unparalleled team spirit both on and off the field. Led by head coach Sal Messina and assistant coach Joanne Tempora, the Rebels not only learned the fundamentals of the game, but also the value of team play and having a positive attitude. With a roster of 18 girls, these coaches worked hard at making every effort to get every girl her deserved playing time, and in doing so, taught every girl that although winning is great, having each player contribute to the success of the team is even more important. Last year’s 13-1 season came to an end with the Rebels’ only loss of the year, a tough defeat at the hands of St. Mary’s. Even after that loss, the girls were reminded to keep their heads high and to be proud of their accomplishments. This year, the Rebels were off to another winning start, and reached 11-0 through a series of hard-fought games. On six occasions, the team found itself trailing going into the seventh inning, only to battle back each time and get the win. Having reached the playoffs with an undefeated mark, the Rebels first knocked off St. Agnes and advanced to face Holy Family in the second round. This game proved to be another testament to the Rebels’ tenacity and determination, as they continued to fight back from numerous deficits and eventually won a 12-11 battle. In the championship game, the Rebels took on St. James of Red Bank and jumped ahead early, 3-0. St. James retaliated with five runs in the third inning, and the score remained that way until the seventh inning. In the seventh, the Rebels rallied to tie the game at 5-5, and got the win with a two-out infield hit. It was another magical comeback effort for a Rebel team that displayed endless spirit and a championship-caliber determination. The end result was a testament to both the players’ and coaches’ positive attitude translating into a banner season. The Rebel players are Tiffany Dossantos, Casey Solona, Kati DelPrioria, Kasey Bulman, Danielle Ford, Meghan Hess, Maryanne Ricca, Shannon Savoia, Kristin Murray, Maddie Fahey, Lauren McCue, Joanna Kierce, Laura Andrews, Brittany Young, Beth Osipowitz, Kaitlin Zielaznicki, Kristyn Tempora and Kimme Eder.
JEFFGRANIT staff Raritan’s Dave Seidenberg tries to escape the grasp of West Orange’s Tommy Lorenzo during the first round of wrestlebacks in Atlantic City on Saturday. The best wrestlers in the state converged on Atlantic City this past weekend for the NJSIAA Individual State Championships. Four local boys made the trip down the parkway, and all competed well in their respective weight classes. Middletown North’s George Stanley made the most of his opportunity, going 2-2 over the first two days of competition. Stanley opened his tournament with a 10-4 win over Bridgewater-Raritan’s Jon Rothman in the 171-pound preliminary round. From there, he knocked off Rancocas Valley’s Brandon Tims, 7-6, on an overtime rideout in the prequarterfinals. That win advanced him to the quarterfinals on Saturday, where he was pinned by the eventual state champ, Mark Peiffer, of Overbrook, at the 5:14 mark. Stanley then ended his run with a loss to Winslow’s Jeremy Miles via another pin (4:48) in the second-round wrestlebacks. Winslow went on to finish fourth in the weight class. Stanley, who finished third in Region VI, surprised some people with his strong performance in the first two rounds in Atlantic City, proving that nothing is a given at the state championships. Raritan sent a pair of grapplers to A.C. on Friday — Dave Seidenberg and Jeff King. Seidenberg, a sophomore who was second in Region VI behind eventual 125-pound state champ Frank Molinaro, of Southern Regional, knocked off Edison’s J.C. Bandiero, 6-3, in the preliminary round on Friday before dropping his prequarterfinal bout with Hold Cross’s Chris Notte, 12-4. Seidenberg finished the year with a 30-5 mark, and gained valuable experience as he looks ahead to the next two years. You can expect to see him back in A.C. next year. As for King — the second-place finisher in Region VI at heavyweight — he dropped his preliminary round bout to Sterling’s Wayne Berry via a pin at the 5:35 mark to finish his senior season with a 27-8 mark. That leaves Keyport’s Derek Maldonado, who qualified for the state championships by placing third at 215 in Region VI. The junior drew Nutley’s Anthony Maurillo in the preliminary round, and made quick work of him, winning with a pin at the 1:53 mark. However, in the prequarterfinals, Maldonado lost a 14-6 major decision to Lodi’s Keith Dobish, who went on to take third in the state. Maldonado finished with a 26-6 mark, and like Seidenberg, hopes to make a return trip to A.C. next season. — Doug McKenzie
The Central Jersey Hawks boys 16U team finished eighth at the Division 1 Nationals in Little Rock, Ark., this past week. The Hawks defeated the Charlotte Court, 67-61, and qualified to play the Arkansas Wings for sixth place, but a transportation conflict forced the Hawks to forfeit and therefore they finished eighth. The Hawks were led by Neptune High School’s Gary Foster, who consistently outplayed his taller opponents. Foster averaged 21 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals for the tournament. Colts Neck point guard Mitchell Kates averaged 18 points, five assists and three steals per contest. His point guard skills wooed the Arkansas crowds. Will Brown, of Ewing High School, averaged 14 points and shot a sizzling 58.3 from three-point range, along with some stellar defense. Isiah Dixon rounded out the scoring, averaging 10 points a contest. A one-pitch co-ed softball tournament will be held in the Middletown area on Sunday, Sept. 24. Entrance fee is $300. Food, beverages and entertainment to follow. Proceeds to benefit Cerebral Palsy research. For more information e-mail Jim at [email protected] The Jersey Shore Hurricanes won the Peninsula 10U championship, 7-0, behind a one-hit, complete-game shutout thrown by Corey Martin. The Hurricanes beat the Atlantic Division champions River Plaza Rats. The Hurricanes were led by Bruce Strickland, who went 3-for-3. Matt Kurdewan, Adam Sheridan, Mason Gaetano, Vince Gallo, Brendan Corrigan, Mike Barber, Kevin Reilly, John Johnson, Austin Tieri and Sam Lorenzo all had hits to help in the victory. The Hurricanes were 11-1 in their league this year and 4-4 in tournament play. The coaches, Joe Gaetano, Tom Gallo, John Johnson and Ken Martin, are very proud of these young boys for how they competed and the way they played with sportsmanship. The Holmdel Stallions U10 soccer team, the Wizards, is looking for travel soccer players. The Wizards compete in the National 1 flight of MOSA. Any boy with travel soccer experience and born after July 1996 can contact Tom at (732) 739-9780. The Holmdel Stallions U10 soccer team, the Wizards, is looking for travel soccer players. The Wizards compete in the National 1 flight of MOSA. Any boy with travel soccer experience and born after July 1996 can contact Tom at (732) 739-9780. The Lincroft Hilltoppers 11U Baseball Club has positions available for the fall and spring seasons in the Central Jersey Baseball League. For more information, contact Coach Cotterell at [email protected]
BY TIM MORRIS Staff Writer BY TIM MORRISStaff Writer Mike DeCorso no longer looks at the Jersey Shore Basketball League as a summer tune-up for college. The former Colts Neck High School star is now a college graduate (New York University) looking to play professionally, possibly in Europe or, Australia. “I’m going to try and stay in shape and try and play ball in Europe, next year hopefully,” said DeCorso. “I’ve talked to some agents and some of the guys here.” DeCorso, plays for the USA Financial team, the defending JSBL champions and one of his teammates, Tim Begley, is due back from Europe this week and can give DeCorso some valuable pointers about the ins and outs of playing there. Begley, who starred at Christian Brothers Academy and then at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the Ivy League Most Valuable Player, plays professionally in Germany and his club was playing for the league championship last week. The 6-5 DeCorso is not the same player he was three years ago when he began playing in the JSBL, looking for serious competition and with a agenda of what he had to work on for the upcoming college season. “Then, I was basically a jump shooter,” he recalled. “I’ve established a more all-around game and improved my strength. I’m a stronger player.” The experience and lessons he learned at the JSBL rewarded DeCorso with his best season at NYU. He made the All-ECAC Second Team and earned Player of the Week honors. NYU won the ECAC championship. “It was a great way to go out,” he pointed out. USA Financial is DeCorso’s team away from NYU, and he was happy to see his summer teammates again. “It’s great to see the guys and catch up on things,” he said. For Dan Werner, the JSBL was an opportunity for him to play some serious basketball in a very competitive league. Werner, another ex-CBA standout, comes to the JSBL with an NCAA championship ring. He played on the University of Florida team that won the NCAA tournament this winter. A sophomore-to-be, Werner figures to see extended playing time in 2007-08 with the Gators having graduated their starting five. The JSBL has the quality players that will help him improve his game as he looks ahead to next winter in Gainesville. “It’s good competition, there are guys who have played in college and Europe,” he said of the JSBL. “Every chance I get to play in the summer, I’ll take.” Jason Westrol, like Werner, is back at the Shore after his first year in college. The Manasquan High School All-Shore guard plays at Bentley College in Boston. Werner, plays for UBS Financial and among his teammates is an ex-Red Bank Regional star Billy Gilligan, who is now one of the elder statesmen in the league. For him, the JSBL is a chance to continue playing the game he is so passionate about. That’s also what the JSBL is to Duane Ailey, a 1,000-point scorer at Howell High School. Ailey played his college ball at Husson in Maine and is now an accountant working in Manhattan. But he’s never far away from the hardwood. “I still have the itch to play,” said Ailey, an 2005 grad of Husson. “I’ve been playing basketball since I was 7 years old. “It feels good to play against players like these who have played overseas,” he added. Ailey, whose team is Alley Oop, still harbors his dream of playing professionally, maybe in Europe, and he knows that the JSBL let’s him display his talents against quality competition. He hopes to catch the eye of an agent or scout. But even if his professional aspirations don’t come to fruition, you can still find him on the basketball floor. The league is filled with former area high school stars who are now playing in college, like Werner and Westrol. Manny Ubilla, the player who started Freehold Township’s ascension as a Shore power, had a tremendous season at Fairleigh Dickinson and is playing for T&T Coast. Jerome Hubbard, who starred at Neptune and Brookdale Community College and is now playing for Stockton, is one of his teammates. Raritan’s Qa’rran Calhoun, who was a freshman at St. John’s University last winter, is suiting up with Rod’s Tavern, as is guard Matt Presby, the Manalapan grad who is at Gettysburg. Then there is Stern’s Trailer, a team consisting of former Monmouth University players, including Corey Albano, Marques Alston, John Giraldo and Raheem Carter. They can reminisce about their college days while continuing their days as teammates. The JSBL plays its games at the McCann Center at St. Rose High School in Belmar. There are doubleheaders at 7:15 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The regular season goes until July 25 with the first round of the playoffs July 30.
BY DOUG MCKENZIE Staff Writer Oftentimes, when you have two teams with different styles of play, it will come down to which team can make the right adjustments. In the Shore Conference Tournament championship game on Feb. 28, Christian Brothers Academy basketball head coach Geoff Billet recognized very quickly that he needed to make an adjustment if his team was to slow down a smaller, quicker Neptune team. Led by their talented point guard, D.J. Gutridge, the Scarlet Fliers were giving the Colts fits in the early going, as Gutridge continuously found ways to penetrate to the basket, setting up easy buckets for his teammates. The result was an 18-11 lead after one quarter of play. That’s when Billet made the key adjustment that altered the direction of the game. Once the Colts switched to the 2-3 zone to start the second quarter, the easy baskets stopped coming for Neptune. In fact, the Scarlet Fliers managed just three points in the quarter, allowing CBA to build a 24-21 win, thanks in large part to an 11-0 run to start the quarter. The second half was more of the same, as Neptune struggled to find its shooting touch from the outside (shooting just 17- for-51 for the game, including just 5-for- 17 from three-point range), while CBA took advantage of its size down low to post a hard-fought 58-49 win and claim its 15th SCT title, and first since 2006. “They scored three points in the second quarter, and obviously [the zone] was working so we stuck with it,” said senior center Pat Light, who led his team with 18 points on 8-for-9 shooting and added eight rebounds. Light’s dominance down low was the difference in this one, as Neptune struggled to match up with him in the post. And when Light wasn’t scoring, his presence opened up the outside shots for his teammates, who took full advantage. CBA shot a stellar 13-for-15 (86 percent) from the floor in the second half, led by senior guards Brian Neller, who had 15, and Roy and Mabrey, who finished with 11 points and six assists. Sophomore forward Matt McMullen also played well for the Colts, scoring nine points and grabbing seven rebounds, and helping punish the Scarlet Fliers with his size. While the 13-3 second-quarter run gave the Colts a lead it never relinquished, it also set the tone for the re- mainder of the game. Once CBA realized that Neptune had no answer for the 6-7 Light down low, the Colts continued to feed him the ball, setting up wide-open shots throughout the rest of the game. I wanted the ball every time,” Light said. “They would get it to me, and I just had a size advantage, so I just made a move and went right to the basket.” The Scarlet Fliers, whose tallest player is 6-2, played hard until the very end and would not go away. In fact, Neptune had cut the CBA lead to 30-29 in the third quarter before the Colts used a pair of baskets from Light and layups by senior Matt Byrnes to push the lead back to 41- 34. Then a 7-0 run early in the fourth gave CBA a 12-point lead with just over four minutes to play in the game. To their credit, Neptune stormed back again, putting together an 8-0 run that cut the lead to 51-47. However, the Colts kept their poise and made their foul shots down the stretch to preserve their lead and earn the win. Neptune was led by forward Dan Singleton, who scored a game-high 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Senior guard Jabari Joyner added 13 points, while Gutridge, who started the game looking like the player who might be the difference in the contest, finished with seven points, seven assists and six turnovers. Needless to say, it was CBA’s ability to keep Gutridge out of the lane with its zone defense that enabled the Colts to turn the tides after an explosive first-quarter performance from the Scarlet Fliers. With the win, CBA (24-2) entered the state tournament having won 23 of their last 24 games, with the lone loss coming in a heartbreaking overtime defeat to St. Patrick’s of Elizabeth (24-3), the state’s top-ranked team. The Colts have beaten Archbishop Malloy and St. Anthony’s, as well as every Shore Conference opponent they have faced this year. That streak continued in the second round of the NJSIAA Non-Public South A tournament, where CBA is the third seed behind Holy Spirit and St. Joseph of Metuchen. The Colts won their secondround game, 83-50, over St. John Vianney, as Mabrey and Neller led the way with 20 and 13 points, respectively. This one was over early as the Colts came out and dominated from the start. Then, this past Saturday, the Colts earned their place in the sectional final with a 58-48 win over St. Joseph’s. Once again it was Mabrey leading the way with 20 points, while Light added 12 and Mc- Mullen 11. CBA was set to play top-seed Holy Spirit on Tuesday for the sectional title, with the winner to advance to the Public A finals, with a shot at the Tournament of Champions on the line. This is a vastly improved CBA team from the squad that started the season seeking its own identity. Billet, in just his second year, has proved to be one of the Shore’s most complete coaches, using his experience and basketball expertise to groom a group of talented players into one of the most cohesive, fundamentally strong teams in the state. As Neptune found out in the SCT final, once they figure out how to beat you, the Colts are very good at executing in that regard. As a result, they have become the team that nobody wants to play right now.
Christian Brothers Academy (CBA) earned another cross-country flight to Oregon for the Nike Cross Nationals on Dec. 6 by finishing second at the meet’s Northeast Regional Qualifier on Nov. 29.CBA grabbed second place with 102 points to return to the nationals, where they finished second last year. The Colts won the Nike Cross Nationals in 2011.
By Andreas VouMARCOS Baghdatis was forced to pull out of his second round match at Queen’s Club on Wednesday due to a shoulder injury after only five games, giving top seed and world number three Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland an easy ride into the next round.The Cypriot star was holding his own against this year’s Australian Open champion, with the opening five games going with serve.However, with the score at 3-2 to Wawrinka, Baghdatis said he was suffering from pains in his shoulder and informed the umpire that he could not continue.Baghdatis was fresh from winning the Aegon Trophy in Nottingham on Sunday, where he defeated Marinko Matosevic in the final to earn his first singles title since 2010 and was hoping to add to his exploits after being handed a wildcard.The Limassol native had started the Queen’s tournament in the manner in which he had finished in Nottingham, defeating America’s Bradley Klahn 6-7, 6-2, 6-1 in the opening round which set up a mouth-watering tie against Wawrinka.While Baghdatis, 28, was certainly the underdog going into Wednesday afternoon’s match, his recent good form, coupled with the fact that Wawrinka had only made one doubles appearances on grass this year, had many looking forward to a gripping affair, but it was not to be.Baghdatis can take solace from the excellent news received earlier in the day. The Cypriot has been handed a wildcard entry for Wimbledon which starts on June 23.While the injury did not appear to look anything of extreme concern, the world number 118 must now be fully focused on recovering in time for the tournament where he reached the semi-finals back in 2006.
By Alexander McCowanTHE European Division 2B opener for Cyprus against Andorra in Paphos on Saturday was nothing like the walkover so many pundits were predicting.The Andorrans came out determined to squash the opposition: the Moufflons being the only small country in Europe without a major sponsor and whose players are all amateurs. The Andies are semi-pros and well financed.Until half-time it looked like their prediction was correct. The Moufflons were weak and disorganised, when the iconic George Agathocleous was sent off, it looked liked curtains for the world record holders. However, the second half was, as they say, another story.In the first half the Andies dominated, and in the view of some observers, bullied the Cypriots, but the Moufflon backs, who were always superior, came into their own after half-time. The boot of the ever reliable Zavalis, the speed of Jack Antoniou, the Henley express, and new man Steve Awoa—da rock—turned everything around.With gorgeous George back on the field the Cypriots triumphed 30-10.
By Graham WoodMatches in Greece’s professional football leagues have been suspended indefinitely in a crackdown on violence, the Super League said on Wednesday.The move follows a pitch invasion at the end of the Athens derby last weekend and a Super League board meeting which ended in a brawl on Tuesday, with Greece’s recently-elected Syriza ruling party aiming to stamp out the problem of crowd violence.“What we have been informed is that the Super League and the Football League have been suspended indefinitely,” Super League president Giorgos Borovilos told reporters.“We have a new government who are looking to bring this subject up for discussion and implement state laws related to it.”Greece’s Sports Minister Stavros Kontonis met Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Wednesday to discuss the matter and held further meetings with Super League president Giorgos Borovilos.Borovilos said it had not yet been decided how long matches would be suspended and on what conditions they would resume, adding that “some things are not done in one or two weeks.“The government wants games to start again as soon as possible, but for that they want to see immediate reactions from all of us,” he said.“There will be further discussions between ourselves, the board of the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) and the Football League where we will see how we can build legislative frameworks and implement security measures to ensure football is safe”.It is the third time this season that professional football in Greece has been shut down.Matches were halted for one week last September following the death of a fan after violent clashes at a third division match between Ethnikos Piraeus and Irodotos.The authorities then suspended games last November after Christoforos Zografos, assistant director of the Central Refereeing Committee (KED), was taken to hospital following a violent assault.Panathinaikos’ 2-1 derby win over Olympiakos Piraeus over the weekend ended with a pitch invasion after flares were thrown onto the field at various times during the match, one of which hit the Olympiakos midfielder Pajtim Kasamion the arm.Kontonis told national TV news channel Skai: “What went on during the (Athens) derby and what has been happening in other stadiums in the past has surpassed all limits… fans invading the pitch, throwing flares that are aimed to hurt people; all this is unthinkable and this situation cannot continue.“The government will not simply monitor these phenomena in silence. What happened yesterday shows the reality.“When we see this violence from the stadium go to a boardroom of a football institution, then you understand that the situation is completely out of control.”A Super League board meeting ended abruptly on Tuesday when a verbal spat between Olympiakos Piraeus president Evangelos Marinakis and his Panathinaikos counterpart Giannis Alafouzos sparked a violent scuffle with tensions high following the trouble at the Athens derby.The incident meant the meeting between the presidents of all Greece’s top flight clubs came to a premature end with Alafouzos telling reporters his deputy Vasilis Konstantinou suffered a cut lip from a blow by one of Marinakis’ bodyguards.“We were assaulted,” he said. “Mr Marinakis threw a glass of water at me and then his bodyguard threw a punch at Mr Konstantinou. I cannot believe that a Super League board meeting had such violence.”