Michaela Mabrey Transfers from SJV to Manasquan

June 30, 2009

St. John Vianney star guard Michaela Mabrey has transferred to Manasquan, according to Lancers coach Dawn Karpell. Mabrey was the sixth man on the Lancers team that won the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions title in the fall and was considered one of the top freshmen in the state. She was an All Shore Media third-team All-Conference selection in the winter.

It looks like Mabrey will have to sit 30 days instead of a year under the new transfer rules, as Karpell said it is her understanding that Mabrey is in the process of filing the proper paperwork. Here is the NJSIAA rule, right from the handbook:

“In order for a freshman to qualify for the reduced period of ineligibility for thirty (30) days rather than one year in a sport he or she participated in, registration at the new school must take place by September 1 of the sophomore
year.”

Mabrey, a combo guard who was one of the best 3-point shooters in the Shore Conference during the winter, goes from a nationally-ranked team to one that struggled last season. She instantly boosts a Manasquan program that went 8-14 last season and is currently hunting for a new head coach after taking a shot at getting former Colts Neck coach John Truhan before Truhan decided to go to Central. Adding some intrigue to the proceedings is that Manasquan competes in Class A Central, so it will face St. John Vianney at least twice in divisional games in the 2009-10 season. In 2010-11, Manasquan will become part of the new Class C Central division, which will include Jackson Liberty, Monsignor Donovan, Lakewood, Wall and Point Boro. Mabrey also has a younger sister entering seventh grade who is also a basketball talent, so there is the prospect that the two could play together at Manasquan when Mabrey is a senior.
Mabrey is also the younger sister of rising senior Christian Brothers Academy guard Roy Mabrey, who will be one of the Shore Conference’s top returning players this coming season.

Also, star eighth-grader Kelly Hughes is currently weighing a decision as to where to play in high school. If she goes to her local public school, she would be attending Point Boro, which could certainly make those Point Boro-Manasquan games in Class C Central interesting in another year.

On the surface, this looks like Manasquan could become the latest team that is essentially an AAU team in which the girls all decide to play for their local high school, as there are several other up-and-coming talented players in Manasquan’s sending district. Manasquan is the school Mabrey would have been attending had she not initially gone to SJV.

Mabrey’s departure certainly dents the defending TOC champion Lancers, but they still have the core of juniors Jackie Kates, Arron Zimmerman, Missy Repoli, and Katie O’Reilly and senior Teresa Manigrasso returning. There also are some incoming freshmen who should see time in supporting roles. Manigrasso, a guard, has received interest from NJIT and St. Peter’s, according to Karpell.

I’m also hearing that Mabrey looks to be the second high-profile transfer in the Shore Conference during this offseason, as Red Bank Catholic sophomore center Chyna Golden has reportedly transferred to Neptune, filling the hole for a post player left by the graduation of center Marley Mauvais on a team loaded with talent, including Division I prospects Shakena Richardson and Syessence Davis.

This is the reverse twist on the usual complaint that the parochial schools get all the best players. They now are all leaving parochial school to go back to public school.

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Truhan to Central; North-South Game Highlights Coming/Champeau Gets RFH Job

June 30, 2009

After a rumor-filled offseason, it’s official, as Colts Neck girls basketball coach John Truhan is now the head man at Central, where he replaces Meredith Parliman. Truhan lives right down the street from Central, so this allows him to spend more time with his family. He leaves a team that he led to its first NJSIAA Tournament of Champions final appearance and its first Group IV title in school history in 2008-09. With a career record of 222-71 over 11 seasons, including 131-37 in six seasons at Colts Neck after coming over from Toms River South, Truhan will now try to turn around a program that went 10-14 this past winter. From what I hear, Truhan is also an excellent math teacher, so Central got a great pick-up on both ends.

Colts Neck is loaded up for another deep run in the playoffs as its entire lineup, which was all juniors in the winter and led by standout guards Brooke Hampton and Lauren Clarke, returns for next season, so this is a high-profile job opening, no question. I know Truhan has said that the move is family-related, and it’s hard to question any father doing something for his family. Still, walking away from a team that loaded, you know there was a little more to it. It’s just not anything that would come out on the record.

It also means Manasquan continues its search for a new coach, as the Warriors sent some entreaties to Truhan as well. From what I’ve heard from a few good sources, they could not offer a comparable paycheck to what Central was offering, in addition to Central’s convenience to Truhan’s home. It also means that Truhan’s talented staff could be snapped up elsewhere as well, as assistant Bob Ward, who led St. John Vianney to a TOC final before becoming Truhan’s assistant at Colts Neck, could possibly get the open Holmdel job. Ward is a Holmdel graduate.

Some possible candidates to replace Truhan at Colts Neck could be Doug Daubert, a long-time coach in various sports in the Freehold Regional District who is a teacher at Colts Neck and coached the Cougars’ girls basketball team in the earlier part of the millennium. Also, Colts Neck volleyball coach Glenn Jansen has also been mentioned. Plus, there’s always a chance that another high-profile coach from around the state could throw his or her name in the ring considering the amount of talent Colts Neck has returning the next year. I guess the big thing is finding a coach who will want to stick around beyond next season, after the whole starting lineup walks the aisle at graduation.

In other basketball news, Chris Champeau has been approved as the new boys basketball coach at Rumson-Fair Haven, replacing James Young, who left after two seasons to take the head girls basketball job at Red Bank Regional. Champeau was an assistant for Young last season and was previously the head coach at Rumson Country Day School. He also is president of the Randy Foye Foundation, working closely with the former Villanova star who is a Rumson resident in the offseason and was recently traded to the Washington Wizards. Champeau was also previously an assistant for Rollie Massimino at Northwood University in West Palm Beach, Fla.

In football news, we will have video highlights up soon that will be free for all to watch from Monday night’s North-South All-Star Game at Kean University, which the South won in a real shootout, 7-0,  thanks to a 63-yard touchdown pass in the first half by Freehold quarterback Nick Tyson, who is headed to The College of New Jersey. Point Boro lineman Jeff Keffer (Sacred Heart) also had a strong game on both sides of the ball and Barnegat wideout Dan Cintron (Lehigh) had a catch of over 50 yards. So make sure to check back for those highlights and more.


Talbott Benefiting from Carp. Cup Exposure/New AD at Raritan

June 27, 2009

The exposure from being selected to the Carpenter Cup team not only has benefited the players returning for next year, but also senior outfielder Stephen Talbott from Freehold Township. Talbott expected to go to James Madison University and walk on the team, but now that might be different because of Talbott’s performance for the Carpenter Cup team, which lost in the quarterfinals. With numerous college coaches and scouts in attendance at the practices and games, Talbott has drawn a lot of late interest for his strong performance. According to Freehold Twp. assistant Todd Smith, Seton Hall invited him for a visit after seeing him at a Carpenter Cup practice, Wagner is now also offering a great scholarship package to him and Purdue is now interested after seeing Talbott in the Carpenter Cup quarterfinals, when he hit a homer and two doubles in a 10-5 loss to eventual champion Burlington County. St. Joseph’s also showed some late interest after having already secured commitments from Christian Brothers Academy’s Anthony Cirillo and Zach Tanenbaum.

It goes to show that it’s never over until it’s over, and it shows how being selected to the Carpenter Cup team is way more than a symbolic gesture of being one of the top players in the Shore Conference. It looks like it will significantly alter Talbott’s career on the heels of a season in which he was named first-team All-Conference by All Shore Media and helped the Patriots win their first Monmouth County Tournament title in school history. Hopefully it all works out well for him.

In other news, Raritan has a new athletic director, as former AD John Verderosa is now a vice principal at Raritan under new principal Wayne Ramsey, who was the athletic director before Verderosa. The Rockets’ new athletic director is John DeGenito, who was the principal of Hazlet Middle School. That makes two new ADs heading into the fall, as Joe Arminio is now the athletic director for all three Toms River schools, replacing Walt Peto. Arminio has been a fixture at the Ritacco Center and is about as quality an individual as you’re going to meet. Obviously, keeping three large schools happy is not easy, but I’m sure he will do a great job.

Finally, in addition to the Monsignor Donovan Gridiron Classic story that I posted on the site, I have two more stories on the way that should be up Sunday, so look out for those.


Ranaudo and LSU Win CWS Title/Calhoun Drawing D-I Interest…

June 24, 2009

Former St. Rose star right-hander Anthony Ranaudo and the LSU Tigers knocked off Texas, 11-4, in the final of the College World Series on Wednesday night to give the Tigers their sixth national championship. Ranaudo earned the win on the mound, allowing four runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings to finish the season 12-3. Ranaudo struggled with his control and had trouble getting the ball down in the zone, but LSU broke a 4-4 tie with five runs in the top of the sixth to make a winner out of Ranaudo. By the time Ranaudo appeared to be getting some command on his curveball, he had already thrown nearly 90 pitches, so he gutted it out into the sixth inning before being removed. Congrats to Anthony, which makes me wonder if any former Shore Conference player has ever been part of a team that won the College World Series. I can’t think of one in recent memory, so Ranaudo might be the first in this area to achieve that feat.It couldn’t happen to a better kid, and the good vibes just continue for St. Rose’s baseball program on the heels of its second straight NJSIAA Non-Public B title.

I will be posting some US Army All Shore Gridiron Classic stories in the next few days as we continue to get closer to the game on July 17 at Brick at 7 p.m. Also, I spoke with Middletown North coach Joe Trezza on Wednesday and he said the recruiting is heating up for rising junior Shilique Calhoun. A 6-foot-5, 215-pound receiver, Calhoun has already drawn interest from Rutgers and Boston College for his impressive size and athleticism. Calhoun, who is also a basketball player and is the cousin of former Raritan hoops star Qa’rraan Calhoun, looks to have a much larger role in the Lions’ offense this coming season because of the graduation of a large senior class that included 1,000-yard rusher Uly Gibson. If Calhoun continues to work hard and harness his raw ability, he could be an unstoppable weapon, considering that there aren’t too many Shore Conference teams (or any high school teams for that matter) that have defensive backs who can stop a 6-5 receiver who can leap. He was supposed to attend the camp at Rutgers this weekend, but recently rolled his ankle while playing basketball and will sit it out.


Jersey Shore Carpenter Cup team falls 10-5 to Burlington County

June 22, 2009

The Carpenter Cup run for the Jersey Shore team came to an end at the hands of Burlington County with a 10-5 loss on Monday morning at Meiklejohn Stadium at the University of Pennsylvania in the Carpenter Cup quarterfinals. This is Jersey Shore’s second loss in the quarterfinals in two years as they continue to search for their first Carpenter Cup title since 2002 and their third overall.

Senior outfielder Stephen Talbott from Freehold Township had a big day in the loss with a solo homer over the left field fence and two doubles, and Jackson Memorial junior third baseman Bryan Soloman added two hits, including an RBI double.


SBCA Senior All-Star Game Tonight

June 22, 2009

Just another reminder that the Shore Baseball Coaches Association Senior All-Star Game is tonight at 7 at FirstEnergy Park. As of 1 p.m., the game is still on and if I hear anything differently, I will get it on the site ASAP. The game pits all-stars from Monmouth County vs. their counterparts on Ocean County. That will officially wrap up the 2009 Shore Conference season as everyone goes off to continue with American Legion ball and showcase teams/events.


Jersey Shore Carpenter Cup quarterfinal postponed by rain/Ranaudo Throws a Gem for LSU

June 20, 2009

The Carpenter Cup quarterfinal between Jersey Shore and Burlington County was postponed for the second time in the tournament on Saturday because of the relentless rain. It’s the only quarterfinal that has yet to be played after having been rained out on Thursday and now today, and it is now tentatively scheduled for Monday at 10 a.m. at Meiklejohn Stadium at the University of Pennsylvania.

The Carpenter Cup organizers have allowed teams to expand their rosters to 30 players to allow each team to bring in five more alternates, which have yet to be decided for the Jersey Shore squad. Jersey Shore may lobby to play a possible double-header on Tuesday where they will just play the semifinal game after the quarterfinal if they win. They are now running into conflicts with graduation practice for the seniors.

Former St. Rose star Anthony Ranaudo had to wait out a two-hour-plus rain delay of his own on Friday for LSU, but he helped beat Arkansas 14-5 with seven scoreless innnings on just 77 pitches in the College World Series. LSU is now in the CWS finals for the first time since 2000 and Ranaudo will pitch again on either Tuesday or Wednesday against Texas. The finals start on Monday.

I watched some of the game before going outside to enjoy the few hours of sunshine that Mother Nature decided to give us in the midst of this London gloom, and the quote from LSU head coach Paul Mainieri was right on – Ranaudo had great downward action on his fastball. In high school, he had a tendency to get up in the zone because he is so tall (6-7), but his mechanics looked great on Friday and he kept the ball down. When he does that, he is very tough. Plus, he is a bulldog competitor. He pitched St. Rose to the Non-Public B title as a sophomore, taking the ball in every big game and delivering, so he is not afraid of any challenge. If he continues on the course he’s on, his bank account is going to be very swollen a year from now. Maybe my Mets will take him, develop him into a stud front-of-the-rotation starter and trade him to the Tampa Bay Rays for some deadbeat around the trading deadline in a panic move.

In a random aside, how much baseball talent has Jackson been producing lately? Kevin Needham is going to St. John’s, junior third baseman Bryan Soloman is a surefire Division I player, pitcher/shortstop Pete Kelich is going to Division I Bryant University, and Ranaudo is a Jackson resident who went to St. Rose. They are just pumping out talent over there.