Holmdel-SJV Game Postponed to Saturday/Latest NJSIAA Power Points

September 30, 2009

You can click here to view the latest power point standings from the NJSIAA as we get deeper into the season with a lot of pivotal games coming up this weekend.

Also, Friday’s St. John Vianney at Holmdel game has been postponed to Saturday at 7 p.m. to accommodate the funeral arrangements for St. John Vianney sophomore linebacker/running back Dan Falco, who died tragically of unknown causes on Monday at Jersey Shore Medical Center after being hospitalized over the weekend.

The “Honoring Our Pros” ceremony put on by the Holmdel Football Alumni Association that will honor former stars and NFL players John Burke and John Cannon will still be held at halftime of the game, which features the return of former long-time Holmdel head coach Skip Edwards, who is now the head coach at St. John Vianney.

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Frank Gualteri Steps Down as Freehold Twp.’s Baseball Coach

September 25, 2009

After 15 seasons and a 177-169-1 career record, Frank Gualteri has stepped down as the head baseball coach at Freehold Township, which won the Monmouth County Tournament title this past spring.

The Patriots won the Class A North public title in 2004 and 2006 and reached the Central Jersey Group IV final in 2004 under Gualteri, who plans to stay involved in the program as the freshman coach. He also coached the Brach brothers, Brad and Brett, who went on to star at Monmouth University and are now both minor-leaguers, and he also coached Val Majewski, who reached the majors with the Baltimore Orioles and is currently in the Angels system.

A possible candidate to replace Gualteri would be veteran assistant Todd Smith, who is also the top assistant for the boys basketball program.


Injury Update/Surf Taco Fans’ Top 10/Topic of the Day…

September 24, 2009

Before I get to the injury update, make sure you click here to check out the latest Surf Taco Fans’ Top 10 poll to see how everybody voted heading into Week Three.

The injuries keep on coming, unfortunately, as Point Boro will have three starters out in its game against St. John Vianney on Friday night.

Senior fullback/linebacker Zach Hayden, senior lineman Andrew Wary and junior defensive end John Spinapont will all be out of the lineup against the Lancers with injuries, according to Point Boro head coach Calvin Thompson. Hayden is the biggest loss considering he is one of the Shore’s top linebackers and also Point Boro’s most physical running back.

Thompson could not comment any further on the nature of the injuries or the timetable for the players’ return because school policy prevents him from saying anything further other than the fact that all three will be back at some point this season. Hayden, who played in the opener against Manasquan, is believed to have a minor injury that should allow him to return shortly in a week or two, according to a source close to the situation.

Hayden has attracted some Division I-AA interest from Monmouth University and others while junior Ryan Malleck has gotten interest from Rutgers, Western Michigan, and others, according to Thompson. Malleck, who plays wide receiver but will also move to tight end in certain sets in Point Boro’s option offense, projects as a Garrett Graham-type tight end because he is 6-5 with good size and can run. Graham also often lined up at wideout for Brick Memorial before going on to star at tight end for the University of Wisconsin, where he should be a high selection in the 2010 NFL draft. Malleck recently was invited by Rutgers to attend the Scarlet Knights’ game against Cincinnati early in the season. It looks like Malleck could be the first Division I-A scholarship player in Thompson’s tenure and in a while at Point Boro. Former star running back Brian Friedman was at Rutgers, but as a preferred walk-on, before he transferred to Sacred Heart.

Now, on to a quick question. Looking at the Howell-Jackson Memorial match-up and being a Jets fan, I wondered why more high school teams don’t run the exotic blitz schemes run by teams like the Ravens and now the Jets under Rex Ryan. One obvious reason is that a majority of the teams in the Shore Conference are run-oriented, so there wouldn’t be too many downs to even employ different blitz schemes, so maybe it’s not worth the time to install if it’s not going to be used a whole lot during the season.

Still, I would think with Jimmy Ryan a threat to make a play on every down, Jackson and any other team will want to put him under pressure, so those crazy overload blitzes, delayed blitzes and disguised blitzes would come in handy in disrupting a talented quarterback. I guess another reason teams might not employ them is that they don’t have shutdown cornerbacks that they can just leave one-on-one while they send some extra rushers at the quarterback because if that guy can’t cover, they are susceptible to the big play. (Luckily the Jets have Darrelle Revis).

Another reason is that a team’s linebackers are more of the physical, run-stuffing types rather than the fast, attacking types who can get upfield in a hurry. Just a thought because seeing what those exotic blitzes have done to disrupt some good offenses like the Patriots and Texans, that maybe a little more vanilla, but still effective, version could be used at this level.


Live Chat at 7:30 p.m.

September 24, 2009

Click below to see the wrap-up of Thursday’s live chat.

Click Here To Enter the Live Chat


Week 3 Notes/Live Chat Thursday Night

September 23, 2009

First off, just a note that there will be live chat on Thursday at 7:30 p.m., so make sure to come back here to the blog, hop in and get your questions in as we get ready for Week Three’s action. Also, make sure to check out the High School Football Show from 6-8 p.m. Thursday night on WOBM 1160 a.m. and Fox Sports 1310 a.m. or streamed over your computer at http://www.shoresportsnetwork.com.

As for some notes heading into the weekend, here are some extras –

–Manasquan running back Lorenzo Venable, who missed a season-opening 13-10 win over Point Boro after suffering a shoulder injury in the preseason, will not be playing on Saturday against Holmdel, according to Warriors coach Pete Cahill.

–When I was talking about some defensive standouts from Neptune’s 26-20 win over Freehold, there was another player who I forgot to mention, senior linebacker Matt Gannon. He had 9 tackles, a forced fumble and had a fumble recovery in the win for the Scarlet Fliers, so he’s another guy you should keep an eye on going forward.

–Also, my apologies to Jackson Liberty running back Matt Filosa, who I absent-mindedly called Mike during the Pigskin Podcast. That’s showing my age because there was a Mike Filosa who was a District 24 wrestling champion at heavyweight for Jackson Memorial in the late 1990s who I’m assuming is related to Matt, so I got it mixed up. Matt, by the way, is coming off a 198-yard, four-touchdown game against Lakewood in the opener and will now face perhaps the fiercest defense the Lions will see all season when Middletown South comes to town on Friday night.

Now for some quick-hit stuff

–Shore Regional heads to Metuchen after losing 12-10 to Metuchen in an upset loss in the first round of last year’s Central Jersey Group I playoffs.

–Jackson Memorial has held Howell to an average of 10 points in their last five meetings, winning four of them.

—Senior QB Jimmy Ryan is averaging 256 yards passing and three touchdowns per game for the Rebels.

–After watching the film of Raritan’s 42-14 win over St. John Vianney last week, Notre Dame-bound senior wideout Bennett Jackson is ridiculous and running back Jesse Raymond has kept his pad level much lower this year, which allows him to shed tacklers and always fall forward for an extra 2-3 yards. Great work in the offseason by him, and he is off to as good a start as any back in the Shore. Jackson, meanwhile, could have made a highlight film out of that one game. He had a 90-yard kickoff return to set up an easy touchdown, a screen play in which he leaped entirely over a defender on his way out of bounds, a leaping 3-yard touchdown in which he sailed over several defenders, a one-handed catch in which he tipped the ball to himself, and another catch deep down the field on a ball that was tipped and he made a great play on it in mid-air. I also like Joe Pensebene’s arm strength on some throws downfield to Jackson. Matawan’s defense has its hands full this week, although the Huskies are packing some offensive firepower of their own.

–Out of the teams that have played two games this season, Matawan is first in the Shore with an average of 46 points per game and Raritan is second with an average of 41.5 points per game. (Jackson Liberty scored 55 in its opener after having a bye in Week One).

–Senior Nico Steriti is averaging 166.5 yards rushing per game for Toms River East. Toms River South is giving up an average of 239 yards rushing in its first two games as it battles a rash of injuries to its starting linebacking corps.

–Middletown North is looking for its second consecutive 3-0 start with a win over Brick in the Constitution Division. Senior running back Sean McKee is quietly averaging 131.5 yards rushing per game in the Lions’ 2-0 start.

–The Shore leads the GMC 13-9 through two weeks of action. The two crossover games this weekend are Wall at South Plainfield on Friday and Shore at Metuchen on Saturday.

–Manchester is shooting for its first 2-0 start since it began the 2003 season at 3-0, and it will take an upset of No. 8 Ocean on the road to reach that mark.

–St. John Vianney will try again to get a win for new head coach Skip Edwards as it hosts Point Boro after losing 42-14 to Raritan in the opener.

–Last year’s 7-6 win in overtime marked Pinelands’ first victory over Barnegat, which leads the young series, 2-1, in its three years as a varsity program.

–In his preseason information e-mail, Keansburg head coach Brian Kmak listed Rumson head man Shane Fallon on his coaching staff as an assistant in charge of “kicking tees” to mess with his good friend. The last time Keansburg visited Borden Stadium, in 2007, the Titans left with a thrilling 21-14 overtime victory behind twins Justin and Joe Laguna and quarterback Anthony Valle.

–When Marlboro travels to Colts Neck for a Constitution Division game, the Mustangs will be looking for their first win over a divisional opponent since beating Toms River North in their opener on Sept. 10, 2005.

–The last time Holmdel visited Vic Kubu Warrior Field, it beat the Warriors 10-7 in its season opener in 2007 to kick off a school-record 10-win season.

–Red Bank Catholic has averaged 49.8 points per game in beating rival Red Bank four straight times. The Bucs are seeking their first win over the Caseys since a 22-21 victory in 2004, when they blocked a potentially game-winning field goal in the final seconds during the senior year of former RBC star and current Indianapolis Colts running back Donald Brown.


Girls Hoops: SJV’s Teresa Manigrasso Commits to St. Peter’s/Chyna Golden Update

September 21, 2009

St. John Vianney senior guard Teresa Manigrasso has made a verbal commitment to continue her career at St. Peter’s, according to Lancers girls basketball coach Dawn Karpell.

Manigrasso was one of the regulars in the rotation this past winter when the Lancers won the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions title. She also is an honors student with a 4.0 grade-point average. A tenacious defender, Manigrasso is one of the leaders of the Lancers’ trademark, stifling full-court press.

“Teresa began playing basketball when she was in 7th grade so she came to SJV as a raw talent,” Karpell wrote in an e-mail. ” She literally was the last person to leave every practice because she was determined to improve in all aspects of her game.  She has grown tremendously in each year of her high school career because of the work ethic that she has developed.  I am really proud and excited that Teresa has earned the opportunity to play Division I basketball.  She is a senior leader that sets the tone for our program with her work ethic.”

In other girls hoops news, the transfer of junior forward/center Chyna Golden from Red Bank Catholic to Neptune is still pending. The transfer papers were recently sent to RBC, which has to sign off on Golden’s transfer. Golden is currently at Neptune and attending classes and reportedly now lives with her parents at a Neptune address after they had previously lived in the Asbury Park sending district. That means that if RBC still wants to challenge the transfer it would most likely have to do so on the grounds of athletic advantage and that Golden was recruited to come to Neptune because Golden is going to a team that is loaded with talent, including Division I prospects Shakena Richardson, Syessence Davis and Sehmonyeh Allen. Adding Golden would give Neptune a strong argument to be the preseason No. 1 team in the state during this upcoming season. The Scarlet Fliers lost post presence Marley Mauvais to graduation, so Golden would slide right into her spot at center.


Kalish Named Boston Red Sox Minor League Player of the Year

September 20, 2009

Congrats to Red Bank Catholic graduate Ryan Kalish, an outfielder in the Boston Red Sox system who was named as the Red Sox Minor League Player of the Year by the organization after a big season for the Class AA Portland Sea Dogs in which he started slow and finished the year on fire. He hit .329 with 18 homers, 84 runs scored and 21 stolen bases. Hopefully by next season we can see Kalish, the Frazier brothers and pitcher Jeff Sues (RBC, Pirates system) in the big leagues with Nationals pitcher Jason Bergmann and Royals outfielder David DeJesus, who are both from Manalapan.