I haven’t had a chance to get to this with all the football stuff going on, but congrats to Freehold Township senior guard Stephanie Cardamone, who has verbally committed to Bryant University, according to Patriots coach John Sciarappa. Bryant is in the Northeast Conference, so local fans will have a chance to see Cardamone when Bryant comes through to play Monmouth University, and she chose Bryant over some other NEC schools. Cardamone is one of the leaders on a Freehold Township squad that held its own this past winter in the rugged Class A North and won 17 games while reaching the state playoffs. She has been a little under the radar because of the depth of upper-echelon talent in the loaded Shore Conference, but obviously the college coaches were well aware of her, so it’s great to hear everything worked out.
In other girls hoops news, there is a new head coach at Keansburg. Michael Scarano, who led the Titans to one of their best seasons ever in the winter and a berth in the Central Jersey Group I final, has stepped down because he is now the vice principal at Joseph R. Bolger Middle School in Keansburg. The new Titans’ head coach is Tim O’Halloran, who was an assistant under Scarano. He inherits a team that lost just about its entire lineup to graduation, including 1,000-point scorer Faith Flannery, who is now at Ramapo.
There also is a new coach on the boys side at Keansburg, as head coach Tom O’Keefe has stepped down. He has been replaced by former assistant Jim McCarthy.
Finally, a few quick updates on some Shore Conference alumni in baseball and football:
–At least one local Cincy writer thinks the Reds should keep top prospect Todd Frazier (Toms River South/Rutgers) at second base and move veteran 2B Brandon Phillips to shortstop when considering the Reds’ future. I would guess there’s a chance that Frazier possibly gets a September call-up in a few weeks with the Reds out of any wildcard chase. You know, like the Mets (*punches computer screen.*). Frazier’s older brother, Jeff, smacked a grand slam for the Toledo Mud Hens (Detroit Tigers affiliate) earlier this week.
–The big season by pitcher Brad Brach (Freehold Twp./Monmouth Univ.) for the Fort Wayne (Ind.) TinCaps, the Padres low Class A affiliate, has not gone unnoticed by the pundits at Baseball America and the managers of the Midwest League, who named him the best reliever in the league. He currently has 30 saves and a 1.45 ERA, which is awfully impressive for anyone, let alone a 42nd-round draft pick out of Monmouth. Meanwhile, his younger brother, Brett Brach (Freehold Twp./Monmouth Univ.) is currently 3-2 with a 2.55 ERA for the Cleveland Indians’ short-season rookie-level affiliate, Mahoning Valley, after being drafted in June.
–After overcoming a potentially brutal setback regarding his eligibility, Marshall defensive end Vinny Curry (Neptune) is poised for a big season.
–After giving up a school record number of points last year, Georgia’s defense and tackle Kade Weston (Red Bank Regional) are looking to erase that memory.
–Wisconsin tight end Garrett Graham (Brick Memorial) has been named to the watch list for the Rotary Lombardi Award, which is given to college football’s top lineman on offense or defense. Graham is also on the watch list for the Mackey Award, which goes to the nation’s top tight end.