David O’Brien of Raritan is a recipient of the Freehold Area Running Club’s Matthew Stuper Memorial Scholarship for 2002. This scholarship is a $500 award for a FARC member who is continuing his or her education. The club sponsors several races each year to raise funds for the scholarships. O’Brien is graduating from Raritan next month where he has been a member of the marching band, National Honor Society, National Music Honor Society and National Drama Honor Society. This summer, the Freehold Area Running Club’s 2002 Summer Race Series at Battlefield State Park, Manalapan, will be celebrating its 20th year. The series begins June 26, and will run each Wednesday evening through Aug. 7. The highlight of each week is the 5K run through the park, starting at 6:45 p.m. Other events include the 1-mile Fun Run at 6:30 p.m. and the Kids’ Races at 6:10 p.m. Entry fees are $4 for the 5K ($2 for FARC members who can play for six weeks and get the seventh free) and $2 for the Fun Run and Kids’ Races. For more information on the 2002 Summer Race Series or other FARC events, call (732) 431-2627 or visit the club’s Web site at www.farcnj.com.
BY WARREN RAPPLEYEA Staff Writer The Keyport American Legion Post 23 baseball team is off to a 1-2-1 start this summer. Composed of players from the Matawan High School baseball program, the Legion entry is coached by Huskies mentor John Kaye. The team will play 18 games and compete in the Monmouth County American Legion Baseball League. “This gives our players the opportunity to get more at-bats and to work on their game,” Kaye said. “It also gives our younger players an opportunity to play against good competition. The experience is very valuable.” Kaye’s team is led by five players from the Matawan varsity: second baseman Rich Vitaliano, catcher Steve Leibowitz, center fielder Brian Giusti and pitchers Albert Rivera and Mike Horakh. Vitaliano, who hit .289 during the high school campaign, and Giusti, who hit .300, have been among the Legion team’s top hitters in the early going. The team’s lone victory came against Shore Regional as Paul Spadaccini, a third baseman/first baseman who will be a junior in September, blasted a grand slam to lead the way. Spadaccini already has seven RBIs in the Legion campaign. Other members of the team include first baseman Dan Fierro, third baseman/ DH Sean Brewer, and pitchers Jeff Brinser and Yuya Nishijima, all of whom are entering their senior years. Outfielder Anthony Provenzano, infielders Jeremy Avilla and Spadaccini, as well as pitcher Ryan Seery will be juniors come September. Provenzano can pitch as well. Kaye also has three sophomores on the roster: outfielder Zeke Vega, catcher/infielder Christian Knox, who has been hitting well, and pitcher/shortstop Al Geyer. “We’re young, but we have 18 players, so everyone will get a chance to play,” Kaye said. “It’s really a great experience. The other day one of our younger guys struck out and he told me the pitch was nasty.’ I told him to get used to it because that’s what he’ll see on the varsity.” Kaye added that the summer Legion campaign gives Matawan’s players a chance to impress the coaching staff. He said that without Post 23’s sponsorship, his players would have to find another place to play.
A lthough the season ended on a sour note for the Brookdale Community College men’s soccer team, Jersey Blues players are reaping the rewards of their outstanding campaign.Standouts Dave Cornwell and Chris Katona were named to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III All-American Teams.Cornwell, a forward, made the First Team, and midfielder Katona was named to the Second Team. Both are sophomores. Cornwell, who hails from London, England, scored a team-high 26 goals and dished out 16 assists to rank fifth nationally with 68 points.Katona, a Howell High School grad, led the Blues in scoring with 73 points on 25 goals and a team-high 23 assists. He ranked fourth nationally in scoring. Brookdale completed its first undefeated regular season in 2011 (19-0), winning the Garden State Athletic Conference title. The Blues, coached by Mike Costa, were the top seed for the Region XIX Tournament, where they fell to Bergen, 3-2, in the semifinals to finish 20-1 for the season. They had been ranked as high as No. 3 in the country.Despite the tournament upset, the Jersey Blues still dominated the post-season Region awards.Cornwell and Katona were All-Region First Team picks while forward Justin Gregory (Wall) was a Second Team choice and goalie Ryan Bumbera (Wall) and defender Pat Holliday (Howell) were Third Team picks. In 16 games played, Gregory had three goals and seven assists for the Blues.Sophomore keeper Bumbera recorded 13 clean sheets in 2011 and had the best goals-against average in the Region, 0.56. That ranked fifth national.Holliday anchored a defense that allowed just 13 goals the entire season.Katona and Cornwell were second and third in the Region in scoring behind Union College’s ValdoNormill (31-16-78).Postseason honors were garnered by Brookdale’s women as well. Defender Aly Kent and midifielder Daniella Santora were All-Region First Team selections.Forward Catherine Lovallo was a Second Team pick, andThird Team recognition went to defender Devin Hope and keeper Elyse Umansky.Sophomore Santoro (Monmouth Regional) ranked fifth in the Region in scoring with 13 goals and six assists for 32 points. Kent (Lacey) anchored a defense that was scored upon just 16 times.Lovallo (Old Bridge) was second on the team in scoring, 29 points on 10 goals and nine assists. She ranked sixth in the Region.Sophomores Hope (Howell) and Umansky (Freehold Borough) showed their experience with very strong seasons. Umansky had a goals-against average of 1.0, fourth best in the Region. Hope chipped in with two goals and four assists.The Blues were 10-3-2.
The last time Matawan’s wrestling team faced Brick Township was last season in a dual meet when the Huskies came out on the short end of a 52- 18 outcome.The two teams collide again, this time in the Shore Conference Tournament Jan. 26 atHowellHighSchoolina5p.m.opening round match that looms a lot closer than last season when Matawan ended up 14-12.Matawan is seeded No. 11 and Brick Township is No. 6. Howell, the No. 3 seed, is in the other bracket against the winner of Toms River East vs. Barnegat on Jan. 24. The winners of those two matches come back at 7 p.m. in the finals of the satellite bracket. The eventual survivor on Jan. 26 advances to a berth in the tournament semifinals which are at Long Branch High School Saturday Jan. 28.This year’s Matawan team is off to a 12- 1 start coming into this week, reminiscent of two seasons ago when Matawan won its first 14 matches before losing in the opening round of the Shore Conference Tournament to Manchester. Matawan was 20-3 two seasons ago, losing in the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group II finals to Long Branch.The biggest question this time in the Shore Conference Tournament is whether the Huskies can lick their wounds from a 50-9 hammering by Raritan in a Shore Conference A Central battle of division unbeatens on Jan. 21. The Huskies also had a match on Jan. 24 against Manasquan. “They outwrestled us,” said coach Jess Monzo about Raritan, which won all but three bouts, those going down to decision. “There was a little bit of pressure and the kids were nervous coming in at 12-0. But emotionally, they’ll be all right [against Brick].”“We’ll bounce back,” said Tim Birch, a senior who is 9-4 at 113 pounds. “Our wrestlers have bounced back before from tough losses they’ve had [individually].”Brick comes into the week 12-3 with losses to Christian Brothers Academy, Toms River South and Jackson Memorial.“They’re a tough squad that’s battle tested with a lot of kids back,” Monzo said. “We’ll have our hands full. Down in the low weights they’re tough and in the middle weights, they’re solid. We need to score in the heavier weights.”That’s where Brick Township is not as strong while Matawan has some good ones, led by senior Francis Palumbo, the team captain who is 13-4 in the 220-pound class. He was a District 21 runner-up, finishing 29-12. Junior Glenn Cross, who competes at 182 pounds, is 16-3 and was district champion at 171 last year when he went 24- 10. Seniors David Liebowitz at 195 and Matt Morenz at heavyweight each have 11 victories.“I think we’ll bounce back because we’re mentally tough. It’s all because of hard work and the experience of guys having success in past years,” Palumbo said. “I had a decent season last year and worked off that and put a lot of time in the off-season. Overall, I became a better wrestler, more in synch. It feels pretty good that I can help our team succeed.”Brick looms tough in the middle weights with juniors Dan Wojtaszek, who is 22-4 at 160 pounds and Dan Watson, who is 20-3 at 170. A fourth consistent winner for Brick is Connor Mulligan with a 19-3 record at 106.Matawan sophomore Chris Hartigan, a district runner-up last year with 18 victories, is 11-4 wrestling at 152.“I’m a little surprised that we started off 12-0 [before the Raritan loss]. I did not expect us to be there right away,” Monzo said. “It’s their work ethic, believing in themselves and jelling together.”That showed in two telltale victories this season. Trailing by two points entering the final bout against St. John Vianney, senior Hakan Yuksel, a third-year starter, pinned his opponent at :29 to clinch a 36-32 victory. Yuksel has 14 victories at 120 pounds. He’ll face Brick Township 20-bout winner Dean Sherry, a freshman, in what looms as the top bout of the Shore Conference Tournament match. The other telltale Matawan victory, an impressive 36-34 victory over Jackson Liberty, on Jan. 19, was decided when senior DeShaun Allen got a pin at :56 in the 145- pound finale. Allen is 10-10. Jackson Liberty comes into the week 12-3.Add to Matawan’s resume the Matawan Icebreaker Tournament team title back over the Christmas holidays and a seventh-place finish in the East Brunswick Tournament and it’s been an exciting season for the Huskies.“We’re working together as a team and really balanced with one or two weak spots and that’s it,” Birch said. “We can’t give up bonus points [major decisions, technical falls and pins] against Brick.”“The whole key is to lose small and win big,” said Monzo, referring to getting and not giving away bonus points.Also contributing big to Matawan’s success is senior Ryan Berg, who is 15-5 at 160 and freshman Billy Rodriguez, who is 14-6 at 126 pounds. BY WAYNE WITKOWSKI Correspondent
Mater Dei High School The Mater Dei Prep High School Varsity Cheerleading Squad is pictured at the first home game of the season on Sept. 8. The girls have been invited to perform at this year’s Gator Bowl college football game, to be held at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla. The squad is seeking sponsors to help raise funds for this once-in-a-lifetime trip. Team photo taken by Head Coach Stefanie DiPaolo.
Before leaving for Providence College and the start of his college running career, Middletown North High School’s Tom O’Neill knew what he was up against.“The next level is really hard and competitive,” he pointed out.O’Neill also knew that when he sets his mind on something, he leaves no stone unturned to achieve his goal. He embraces hard work.That goal was to make the Providence College men’s cross country team’s top 10 as a freshman. No small feat, considering the Friars are a nationally ranked program (currently No. 12 nationally and No. 2 in the Northeast Region) that draws the best runners in the country to its Rhode Island campus.Thus far, O’Neill is right on schedule. He couldn’t have dreamed of a better start to his career than to win his very first collegiate race. He led the Friars to victory in a tri meet against Holy Cross and the University of New Hampshire at Durham, NH. O’Neill won the 6K race in 18:32.90.For that win, O’Neill was named the ECAC Rookie of the Week.“It’s a great start for freshman Tom to win his first collegiate race, first time out,” Providence head coach Ray Treacy said in a college press release.O’Neill followed that win up with a second place at the Wolfie Invitational in Stony Brook, N.Y. Providence runners swept the top three places on the way to the victory with 26 points. O’Neill ran the 8K course in 24:53.61.At the recent Coast-to-Coast Battle in Beantown held at Franklin Park in Boston, the Friars finished third, and the ex-Lion was the team’s seventh scorer in 44th place, clocking 25:18.The Friars will head out to Madison, Wis., on Oct. 17 for the Wisconsin Invitational. The Big East Championships are Oct. 31 in Carmel, Ind.O’Neill was the Lions’ most successful distance runner in school history. He won multiple Group state championships as well as two NJSIAA Meet of Champions crowns (cross country and indoor track). He was an Indoor All-American at two-miles and holds school records for the 1,600 meters (4:16.37), 3,000 (8:27.66), 3,200 (9:01.34), two-mile (9:06.40) and the 5K (14:51.17).But it’s the success of his Lion teams that O’Neill was proudest of. In his senior year he led North to three NJSIAA Central Jersey championships.By far, O’Neill’s most memorable race was the final one of his high school career at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals in Greensboro, N.C. He anchored North’s Distance Medley Relay Team to a fifth place and All-American honors for himself and his teammates.
By TIM MORRIS Staff Writer Brianna Penix, middle, from Ocean Township is one of Brookdale Community College’s five returning starters from last year’s women’s national championship soccer team. The Jersey Blues are seeking an unprecedented third straight National Junior College Athletic Association Division III title. STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER ERIC SUCAR The Brookdale Community College women’s soccer team starts the 2015 season right where it left off last year — as No. 1 in the country.That doesn’t mean anything to Jersey Blues head coach Katie Miller. She takes the same approach to every season regardless of what happened the year before.“We take it one game at a time,” she said. “I don’t bring [the national championship] up. It’s a new season. This team has to make its own way.”This could be a historic season for the Brookdale women. Last year, they became the college’s first repeat national champion. If they do it again this fall, they can tie Bo Scannapieco’s softball team for the most national titles (three) and the only one to do it three straight years.Brookdale defeated Richland College (Texas), 1-0, in overtime to make it backto back championships in 2014. The Jersey Blues finished with a 19-1 record and completed the season on a 17-game win streak.In the National Junior College Athletic Association’s (NJCAA) Division III preseason poll, the Jersey Blues were ranked No. 1.Looking over the 2015 Jersey Blues, Miller stated the team has a great group. The Jersey Blues have five returning starters back from the 2014 champions, led by goalie Marti Stewart (Marlboro).Stewart was one of the driving forces behind the championship season. She shored up what was a weak link for the team heading into 2014 and turned into a great strength, making the All-Region 19 team.“Marti is playing better,” Miller said. “The fire is still there.“She has the sophomore mentality. She’s more driven. She wants to continue to play soccer.”Forwards Ashley Cafarella (Old Bridge), who was also All-Region, and Brianna Penix (Ocean Township) and defenders Alexandria Montefinese (Monmouth Regional) and Meredith Parleman (Middletown North) give the Jersey Blues a solid, veteran base. Like their keeper, they are driven to make their final season at Brookdale memorable.Brookdale also has a veteran of the 2013 championship team, forward Simone McEnough (Neptune) back. She was overseas with the Army last year. The sophomore would like to be a two-time national champion herself.Miller likes the incoming class of freshmen, which has 11 players.“They are very skilled and athletic,” she said. “They are very knowledgeable about the game.”Early in the season, the Jersey Blues will work on coming together as a team, according to Miller.Brookdale will continue to play its ball-control possession game that has been so effective, with a little twist this season. Because the Jersey Blues have so much speed up top on the forward line, the midfielders will send more through balls to take advantage of that speed and really stretch defenses.Cafarella heads the midfield unit. She and freshman Melissa Monteleone (Manchester Township) are the starting center midfielders.The outside midfielders are Claire Begley (Mater Dei), Amanda Karabin (Wall), Brittney Ramsey (Manasquan) and Endila Radoncic (Matawan Regional). All are freshmen with a lot of potential.The midfield will miss graduated All- American Caroline Duerr (Manasquan), the Region Player of the Year. She’ll be hard to replace; however, the Jersey Blues will have more depth this season.Up front, Heather Arbachesky (Wall), Julia McCarthy (Mater Dei) and Aubrey Jones (Manasquan) may be freshmen, but Miller has seen enough to note that the Jersey Blues will have the ability to score. Along with Penix adding her experience and talent, scoring should not be a problem.On the backline, Montefinese’s younger sister, Michelle (Monmouth Regional), is the starting sweeper. As expected, the sisters work very well together.With the steady Parleman returning, the Jersey Blues are solid on defense, with Stewart waiting to clean up any mistakes.Completing the 2015 Brookdale roster are defender Colleen Branagan (Matawan Regional) and defender Kaitlin Koterba (Neptune).Miller said early season tests against Division II Mercer County Community College (Sept. 10, 3:30 p.m.) and Garden State Athletic Conference foe Rowan College at Gloucester County (Sept. 12, noon), both at home, will give her a barometer. “I want to see how we react to the competition,” she said. “It will tell where we’re at and what we need to work on.”The early season schedule gives Brookdale’s women four straight home games and six of their first seven.The Jersey Blues host Northampton Community College Sept 8 at 3:30 p.m. before welcoming Mercer and Rowan.On Oct. 6, the Jersey Blues travel to Toms River to play Ocean County College, which ranked No. 5 in the NJCAA preseason poll.This year’s Region 19 Tournament will be in Union at Warinanco Park on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.Ocean County College will again be the site for the NJCAA National Championships Nov. 12-15.
By Alexander McCowanTHE manager of the Cyprus national rugby side has been basking in yet another victory, after the Moufflons beat Slovenia 34-3 in Ljubljana which extended their world record streak to 20 straight wins.Team manager Theo Lenos said: “We went there with three untested players which is always a little worrying but they played like seasoned internationals.“Two of them scored on their debut which is a great feeling for a new cap.“I firmly believe that we are building depth into this side which is truly remarkable when you know we drink from such a small pool.“These guys, who are largely unrecognised in their own country, have achieved more than any other Cypriot international team in the sporting history of our island. Twenty consecutive wins, it’s amazing.”Laurence Vasilliades, the Cyprus Rugby Federation president, claimed he had been a little apprehensive before the Slovenia game because of the absence of some key players but said: “I should have known that coach Paul Shanks and Theo Lenos would triumph.“The new caps were well schooled through Sevens and development games and fully justified their inclusion in the full side.“I think they are in many ways the future of Cyprus, there are not many countries who will cap 18-year-olds, but our policy is, if you don’t give them a chance, how will they learn?”Shanks, speaking after the game, stated: “As you know we take nothing and no-one for granted. Every game is treated the same way.The world record will not go to our heads – it’s a recognition of years of hard work and has brought some interest from the wider world of rugby. It would be nice if it led to a major sponsor getting behind us, but we will continue to train hard, develop our skills and aim for promotion.”
Holders Bayern Munich kept Arsenal at bay to reach the Champions League quarter-finals with a 3-1 aggregate win on Tuesday while Diego Costa scored twice as Atletico Madrid won 4-1 on the night to knock out AC Milan.Bastian Schweinsteiger put Bayern ahead in the 55th minute of the last-16 second leg but Lukas Podolski stunned the Allianz Arena when he fired into the roof of the net five minutes later.Podolski’s goal gave Arsenal a glimmer of hope although the Germans played keep-ball in the closing stages as the Londoners ran out of gas.Bayern had won 13 games in a row in all competitions since a 3-2 home defeat by Manchester City in the Champions League in December.They could have made it 14 victories in succession but substitute Thomas Mueller had a stoppage-time penalty saved by Arsenal keeper Lukasz Fabianski.In the night’s other match, Costa, who also scored in Atletico’s 1-0 win at the San Siro in the first leg of the last-16 tie, put the La Liga side ahead in the third minute at the Calderon with an acrobatic volley.Kaka levelled with a header in the 27th before Arda Turan’s deflected effort sailed past Christian Abbiati five minutes before halftime to restore the home team’s lead.Raul Garcia headed Atletico’s third in the 71st minute before Costa struck again five minutes from time.Atletico, who previously featured in the last eight in 1997 with a team featuring current coach Diego Simeone, thoroughly deserved their victory, while Milan’s exit means there will be no Italian side in the quarter-finals for the first time since 2009.
By Alan BaldwinThe BBC plans to cut 35 million pounds from its sports rights budget with some events likely to be dropped from free-to-air television in Britain, the corporation said on Wednesday.The BBC is tasked with saving 150 million pounds to address a shortfall caused by a drop in TV ownership, fuelled by a loophole which allows viewers to watch BBC iPlayer without a licence.The announcement did not name specific sports, but the BBC has already handed live coverage of golf’s Open Championship to Sky Sports.“Meeting this savings target will be tough, particularly given the high levels of inflation in the market,” said the BBC in a statement.“We therefore anticipate this will lead to the loss of some existing rights and events.“We have already made some tough choices which have contributed to the savings, for instance around the Open golf.“However, we have also recently secured a series of important rights – including Wimbledon, Premier League highlights, live coverage of Euro 2016 and 2020football championships and Six Nations rugby shared with ITV.”The BBC in 2011 agreed a new deal to 2018 that ended the corporation’s status as exclusive television broadcaster of Formula One in Britain, home to most of the teams and birthplace of reigning triple world champion Lewis Hamilton.It now shows half the races live, with highlights of the rest. Pay-TV channel Sky broadcasts all the races on their designated F1 channel.“I hope the BBC continue,” Ecclestone said last August. “We’re not interested in the money, we are interested in entertaining the public and doing a service. That’s what we are here for.”Media reports have put the current BBC contract at 25 million pounds a year, compared to the 40 million they paid when they had the sole rights.The Open, like the Wimbledon tennis championships, has long been regarded as one of the ‘crown jewels’ of British sport and the decision to remove it from the shrinking list of free-to-air events was a controversial one.The original deal, announced by Open organisers the R&A in February, was for Sky to have exclusive live rights for the major championship from 2017-2021, with the BBC showing highlights and broadcasting radio coverage.The BBC subsequently asked to be released from its contract a year early, meaning Sky will step in to cover the 2016 event live from Royal Troon.“Wherever possible we’re targeting savings by creating a simpler, leaner BBC. But cuts to budgets for programmes and services are unavoidable,” said BBC director-general Tony Hall.