Archive for May, 2010

Dowling Re-Hired/Ardizzone Official at AP

May 28, 2010

Posted by Scott Stump –


Matt Ardizzone officially was approved as the new Asbury Park head coach on Wednesday night as expected, so there were no surprises there, and I think the Asbury Park administration did the right thing there. I think the best thing for that program is continuity, something that has been a hurdle at Asbury Park over the years. They clearly have a great thing going after winning three straight Central Jersey Group I titles, and Ardizzone and the rest of the staff under Don Sofilkanich were a big part of that. Ardizzone also has a year of being a head coach under his belt from the one season before Sofilkanich arrived. Ardizzone also is comfortably in place, whereas when he came to Asbury Park in 2006, he was hired two days before the season started after former coach Joe Stinson was not brought back in controversial fashion.

The main difference is that Ardizzone is a little quieter, whereas Sofilkanich, who is now the head coach at rival Neptune, is a forceful personality, but it’s not like a difference in demeanor means a different game plan. Ardizzone ran some of the most high-powered offenses in the Shore the last three years and will try to continue that despite losing several stars at the skill positions to graduation. The talent well is certainly not dry at Asbury Park, however.

As for Brick head coach Patrick Dowling, he was rehired as the coach at the Brick Board of Education meeting on Thursday night, where he was up as up to be rehired, as a non-tenured teacher and the coach, after being approved as the football coach before last season over the objections of legendary coach Warren Wolf, who had stepped down after 51 seasons as the program’s only head coach. Wolf successfully ran for a seat on the Board of Ed recently and it was thought that Dowling’s return was in jeopardy as a result of that, but he has been re-hired as football coach after going 4-6 in his first season replacing Wolf.

Rarely is reporting that someone has been rehired a story, but with all the controversy that has gone on in the last year, it was not a given, especially with Wolf now on the Board. The speculation was that Dowling would be ousted, but it’s good to see that politics did not get in the way. Dowling now will continue the challenge of bringing a once perennial playoff team back to the postseason and making an impact. They will certainly have that opportunity as they are part of the newly created Class B South, where they should be competitive immediately in a division where Lacey is the clear favorite but after that it’s a fre-for-all. Is this finally the end of this talk about Dowling and that head coaching spot or just the latest round? I guess we’ll find out next May.


Recruiting Update: Dimitrius Smith, Ryan Malleck

May 27, 2010

Posted by Scott Stump –


Just a quick update on two members of the stellar Class of 2011 in the Shore Conference, as Jackson Memorial defensive lineman Dimitrius Smith and Point Boro wide receiver/defensive back Ryan Malleck continue to generate interest and add offers.

Smith, a 6-foot-2, 290-pounder who is the youngest brother of Denver Nuggets guard and former Lakewood/St. Benedict’s Prep star J.R. Smith, received his first Division I-A offer from Buffalo yesterday, according to Jaguars coach Mike Smith. Temple, Central Florida and Boston College have all invited him to their camps along with Penn State. Many of the coaches want to see him in person, according to Mike Smith, because at 6-2 he’s right around the cut-off height for a defensive lineman at that level, so he will be attending several camps in the coming weeks.

As for Malleck, he just added offers from Virginia and Army and Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Central Florida appear to be coming soon, according to Panthers coach Calvin Thompson. Malleck is set to be the first Division I-A scholarship player out of Point Boro in quite some time and most likely projects as a tight end at the next level in the mold of Houston Texans rookie and former Brick Memorial star Garrett Graham.

Steriti, Jackson, Darmstatter to Play in NJ/Northeast Game

May 26, 2010

Posted by Scott Stump –


Toms River East running back/defensive back Nico Steriti, a New Hampshire recruit and the Shore Conference’s leading rusher, Raritan’s Bennett Jackson, a Notre Dame recruit and a two-time All Shore Media first-teamer, and Barnegat tight end and Boston College recruit Jarrett Darmstatter will be the three representatives for the Shore Conference at this year’s New Jersey-Northeast All-Star High School Football Classic at 3 p.m. at Rutgers Stadium on June 6. Matawan head coach Joe Martucci will also be part of the New Jersey coaching staff.

The game is put on by the New Jersey Football Coaches Association. You can check out the rosters and more by clicking here. Steriti will also be playing in the U.S. Army All Shore Gridiron Classic at Matawan on July 16, but this is the last time to catch Jackson and Darmstatter in action in a high school uniform because they will be leaving for their respective colleges in early July.

The game will be broadcast live on My9 (Channel 9 on most cable outlets) with former Giants lineman Shaun O’Hara doing the commentary. The game pits top seniors from New Jersey against a group from Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, Connecticut, Delaware and Virginia. This is the second year of the New Jersey-Northeast format, as it was previously New Jersey vs. New York, but it was so one-sided in New Jersey’s favor that all-stars from around the Northeast have been added to make it a star-studded event.

Ardizzone Recommended at Asbury Park

May 26, 2010

Posted by Scott Stump –


As expected, Asbury Park assistant Matt Ardizzone is on the agenda to be approved as the new Blue Bishops head coach at tonight’s Board of Education meeting, which was first reported by The Asbury Park Press. He will succeed Don Sofilkanich, who is now the head coach at Neptune and led the Blue Bishops to three straight NJSIAA Central Jersey Group I titles and a 33-3 record.

Ardizzone served as the Asbury Park head coach in 2006, when the Blue Bishops went 1-9, losing numerous close games with a sophomore-laden team, after Ardizzone was hired a day before the season started following the controversial decision to not re-hire head coach Joe Stinson over the summer. It also means that Ardizzone and his staff will square off against their former boss, Sofilkanich, on Thanksgiving.

Ardizzone has served as the team’s offensive coordinator under Sofilkanich, heading up some of the most potent offenses in the Shore the last three years with a Wing-T attack. He will lose some of his primary weapons, as three-time 1,000-yard rusher George Stephens and quarterback Jamar Small are graduating in June. This also most likely means that the bulk of Asbury Park’s staff will remain intact, ensuring some continuity at a program that has become a Group I powerhouse.

A Gridiron Classic Update and a Correction

May 25, 2010

Posted by Scott Stump –


Some quick housekeeping items concerning the U.S. Army All Shore Gridiron Classic. First, Monmouth County assistant Charlie Marsh is the defensive coordinator from Monmouth Regional, not an assistant at Matawan, as was initially in the article unveiling the rosters. He was previously on the staff at Matawan, but is securely with the Falcons, so sorry to any Falcons players who thought their coach had gone back to his old staff.

Also, Howell senior defensive back/wide receiver Rob Handy was inadvertently left off the Monmouth County roster that was given to me, but he will be playing and has been added. Also, Asbury Park senior running back George Stephens, a three-time 1,000-yard rusher, will be participating in the game, according to Monmouth County general manager Dom Lepore. Stephens had to have surgery on a torn labrum in his right shoulder at the end of the winter, but has been cleared to play by the doctors, so that adds one of the most dynamic offensive players in the Shore Conference to the Monmouth County roster.

US Army Gridiron Classic Media Day/Coscarelli to Milford Academy

May 20, 2010

Posted by Scott Stump –


The media day for this year’s U.S. Army All Shore Gridiron Classic run by the Shore Football Coaches Foundation will be tonight at Wall, so if you haven’t already checked them out in our latest issue of The All Shore Media Sports Review (click here to view) I will post the rosters for the Monmouth and Ocean County teams on the site with a story from tonight. As previously announced, the head coaches are Matawan’s Joe Martucci (Monmouth) and Toms River East’s Charlie Diskin (Ocean). The game is on July 16 at Matawan, and it also will be broadcast on MSG Varsity this year.

In recruiting news, Long Branch junior quarterback Miles Shuler, who is in the midst of a stellar outdoor track season, just added offers from Michigan State and Notre Dame and has become the most recruited football player out of Long Branch in recent memory, probably since former linebacker Berkeley Hutchinson, who went to Rutgers. Also, Red Bank Catholic junior tight end Jack Tabb is now up to 12 Division I offers, according to RBC coach Jim Portela.

Also, RBC senior defensive lineman Lorenzo Coscarelli, a key run-stopper for one of the Shore’s top defenses in the fall, is going to do a post-grad year at Milford Academy, where Howell running back/defensive back Will Hayes is also headed and where former Howell star Ryan McGuinness played for a year before moving on to New Hampshire. Coscarelli has slimmed down from his playing weight during the fall, going from 330 pounds to 290, according to Portela.

Freehold Township College Commitments

May 18, 2010

Posted by Scott Stump –


Former Freehold Township head coach Dom Lepore, who stepped down after the end of this season, has some college commitments to report from his senior class.

Linemen Vin DeMarinis and Shaun Boyle and quarterback/defensive back Cameron Beatty are headed to FDU-Florham, and tight end/defensive end Anthony Maak has committed to Albright College. Congrats to all four.

The three FDU commitments now make seven former Freehold Township players on the roster at FDU-Florham, and former Patriots linebacker Matt Poricelli is expected to be a captain on the team this fall.

Sciarappa Takes Over at Mater Dei and More…

May 14, 2010

Posted by Scott Stump –


As detailed in my story here, Mater Dei principal Steven Sciarappa is now also going to be the school’s head football coach now that former coach Ron Raymond and his staff are not being brought back. All the details are pretty much discussed in the story, but I will say that when I heard rumblings of all this happening early in the week, I thought the football program at Mater Dei was going to be disbanded.

Sciarappa said that is certainly not the case, and that it was more of a case of having the coaches be in the building and work at Mater Dei. I know athletic director Gary Carmody is a staunch proponent of the football program despite its woes, as the Seraphs have had less than 30 players on the roster and have gone 1-29 in the last three years and ended a 29-game losing streak in the fall with a 7-0 win over Newark Academy in their NJSIAA consolation game.

Certainly the main questions raised will be whether a principal who already has a lot on his plate has the time to dedicate to a serious rebuilding effort and how the team will increase its numbers at a school that only has 340 total kids and offers soccer and cross country in the fall as well. The other issue is continuity – Sciarappa is the third head coach in the last three years. Every year, these players here about how this is a new regime that is dedicated to changing things and establishing a foundation, and every year there is a change, so it makes it hard to want to buy in to what the latest coach is selling, even if it is the school’s principal.


Howell Football Commitments/Lacey Football News Release

May 12, 2010

Posted by Scott Stump –


Howell head coach Cory Davies has a host of football commitments to announce from a team that won the American Division title in the fall and reached the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV semifinals.

Senior WR/DB Rob Handy has committed to Division II Assumption College, where he joins Colts Neck quarterback Chris Chiarelli and Lacey defensive lineman Mike Stuppiello in the incoming recruiting class. Also as previously reported, senior WR Phil Adamo, an All-Shore Media first-teamer who set several school records, is headed to Monmouth University.

Senior quarterback Jimmy Ryan, who set multiple school records this season, led the Shore Conference in passing yards and was an All Shore Media first-team selection, is headed to Montclair State along with senior WR/DB Johnny Bukowiec.

Senior RB/WR/DB Will Hayes is headed to Milford Academy, a well-regarded prep school that has sent numerous players on to Division I programs. Former Howell star Ryan McGuinness did a post-grad year at Milford and has since gone on to a great career at New Hampshire.

Senior linebacker Rob Malfara has committed to Rowan, wide receiver Joe Murphy is headed to William Paterson, lineman Cole Panacionne is going to Widener.

Junior Ryan Handy, who will be one of the Rebels’ top returners next year, has received some Division I-A interest as a kicker/punter, according to Davies. He also has received Division I-AA looks as a receiver/defensive back. He recently was chosen as the Most Valuable Player at kicker/punter at the BigTime Football Showcase on May 7 at Rutgers.

—Also, to follow up on an earlier report on Lacey, Lions coach Lou Vircillo also had a news release on his four seniors committing to colleges that is below:

Four of the five senior starters of the 2009 Lacey Football Team have finalized their college intentions for 2010.

Mike Stuppiello, named the Defensive Player of the Year in the Constitution Division, and 1st Team All Shore received a full grant to attend Assumption College Worcester, MA. He was highly recruited by D 1AA universities: Holy Cross, Sacred Heart and Marist. Besides being a two-way starter for three years in football, Mike excelled for three years as the Lion’s heavyweight varsity wrestler as well as participating in track.

Joe Tulino never played organized sports until he entered high school. Through his hard work and dedication, he started for two seasons on the Varsity Football Team as a lineman. He wrestled for four years and has started for two seasons in Lacrosse. Joe has developed physically through vigorous weight training. He has also maintained a 4.3 grade point average. He has been recruited by Sacred Heart University and received a grant to play the defensive line. He plans to study physical therapy. Both Mike and Joe are members of the National Honor Society.

Cory Neal also started organized football in his freshman year. He became a starter on the offensive line as a junior and was named All Conference and 3rd Team All Shore as a senior. He is an honor roll student, he will attend Monmouth University on a full grant where he plans to play center on the offensive line. History will be his major field of study. During his four years in high school Cory also participated in three years of track.

Anthony Caputo was an outside linebacker and offensive back for the Lions, starting for three seasons. He also developed into a very competitive javelin thrower for the track team. He was named to the All Division 1st Team in Football. Anthony is an honor roll student who will study criminal justice at Monmouth University on a full grant.

The Lacey Township High School Athletic Department is especially proud to announce  that all four student-athletes are members of this year’s All Shore Football Scholar Team.

They will be honored at a brunch at Gibbs Hall at Fort Monmouth, on June 6.

Red Bank Regional College Commitments

May 10, 2010

Posted by Scott Stump –


Three seniors from Red Bank Regional will be moving on to play at the next level, according to Bucs coach Nick Giglio. Senior quarterback/defensive back Colin Lang will join Ocean standout lineman George Sofield at Carnegie Mellon, running back Dan DeCristofaro is headed to FDU-Florham, whose roster boasts a host of former Shore players, and running back/defensive end D.J. Bacon is going to walk on at Bowling Green, where former Long Branch star Jerett Sanderson recently wrapped up a great career. Congrats to all three of the Bucs moving on.