Archive for July, 2010

Preseason Camp Previews/Gone Honeymoonin’, Back Aug. 15

July 29, 2010

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I have previews of every division and what to watch for each team when the camps start up in a little while in August. Check the football home page to see those. I figured I would give everybody something to read while I am gone.

Well, Miss All Shore Media will become Mrs. All Shore Media on Friday, and then I am going on my honeymoon and will be back Aug. 15, so there won’t be any posts between now and then. I have been told that if I bring my computer to Hawaii, it will be immediately tossed into the Pacific Ocean and followed shortly by divorce papers, so at best, I would check the Twitter link above for any quick news items that I may forward along if I actually leave my phone on.

Sabbagh to Globe, Hubbard to Lackawanna

July 24, 2010

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A few more college commitments from the Class of 2010 that recently graduated. Neptune quarterback/defensive end Jamaal Hubbard, who battled through injuries to his elbow and knee during football and basketball season, is headed to Lackawanna (Pa.) College, a competitive juco, where he will join Neptune teammate Warren Mello, a cornerback, and Asbury Park running back George Stephens in this year’s recruiting class.

Also, Howell offensive lineman Rob Sabbagh, an All Shore Media first-teamer who did not allow a sack this season while protecting the blind side of record-setting quarterback Jimmy Ryan, will continue his career at Globe Institute of Technology, according to his father. Globe plays in the same league as Lackawanna and Nassau Community College, two frequent destinations of Shore players, as well as Milford (N.Y.) Academy, where former Howell star Ryan McGuinness played before moving on to New Hampshire and where 2010 Red Bank Catholic graduate Lorenzo Coscarelli, a defensive tackle, is headed.

Stephens to Lackawanna, Davenport to Monmouth, Small to Dean

July 20, 2010

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Forgot to add in my Gridiron notes that former Asbury Park running back George Stephens, a three-time, 1,000-yard rusher who helped the Blue Bishops win three straight NJSIAA Central Jersey Group I titles, said he is headed to play at Lackawanna (Pa.) College, a strong junior college in Scranton where Neptune cornerback Warren Mello is also headed. If Stephens stays on track there, he has a chance to at least get a high-level Division I-AA look and maybe even a low Division I-A offer. Stephens was not able to play in the U.S. Army All-Shore Gridiron Classic because he had shoulder surgery in the spring and was not cleared by his doctor to play.

Stephens’s Asbury Park teammate, wide receiver/defensive back Lamar Davenport, is a late addition to the incoming freshman class at Monmouth University. Like former Asbury Park quarterback Will Johnson last year, Davenport has qualified under the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) Program at Monmouth. Davenport is listed as 6-3 and 175, but to me he looks like he has grown an inch or two since the end of the 2009 season and is closer to 6-4 or so. He could end up being a nice find for Monmouth. He did not play in the Gridiron Classic because he is taking classes at Monmouth to get up to speed heading into his freshman year. Hey, if you are missing the game to better yourself academically, I’m all for it.

That now brings Monmouth’s 2010 recruiting haul from the Shore to 11 players: Davenport, Howell wide receiver Phil Adamo, Colts Neck kicker Eric Spillane, Raritan running back Jesse Raymond, Manchester defensive tackle Jimmy Lawson, Toms River North linebacker Steve Barroso, Lacey offensive lineman Corey Neal, Manasquan wide receiver/defensive back Neal Sterling, Manchester offensive lineman Josh Siemanowicz, Lacey linebacker Anthony Caputo and Manasquan defensive end/linebacker Dan Sullivan. In addition, former Manalapan star running back Jimmy Gilburn has transferred from Stony Brook to Monmouth heading into his sophomore season.

Finally, the third member of Asbury Park’s standout trio from this season, quarterback/defensive back Jamar Small, said he will continue his career at Dean College in Franklin, Mass., which is a junior college that plays schools like Nassau Community College, Hudson Valley Community College and other competitive jucos.

Carrington back to TR North/Drumright to Bound Brook/My Humble Suggestions

July 20, 2010

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Wide receiver Anthony Carrington appears to be boomeranging back to Toms River North after spending this past school year at Lakewood. Piners boys basketball coach Randy Holmes said that Carrington, who was also a guard on the Piners’ boys basketball team, is transferring back to Toms River North, according to what Holmes has been told by Carrington’s father.

The move is more football-related than basketball, as the Mariners are a perennially strong football team, while the Piners are trying to rise from the ashes of an 0-10 season in their first year under new coach Warren Wolf, the legendary former head man at Brick. Carrington broke his leg in the football season opener for Lakewood against Pinelands last fall and did not return until January of the basketball season. As a sophomore at Toms River North in 2008, he showed promise as a fleet wideout with good size who could stretch the field vertically. His return instantly gives senior quarterback Demetrius Davis a downfield threat.

Also in transfer news, Central Regional’s Desmond Drumright, the nephew of Lakewood baseball coach Gene Drumright, has transferred to Bound Brook. Drumright, a senior, saw time as Central’s starting quarterback in 2009 and is a solid all-around athlete. Can’t say I’m shocked by this one, considering Drumright told me at a combine in the spring at GoodSports USA that he was either transferring to Bound Brook or Lakewood, depending on who got the Lakewood job, which turned out to be Wolf.

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Gridiron Classic Tonight/Two-A-Days on The Shore Sports Report

July 16, 2010

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The U.S. Army All-Shore Gridiron Classic is tonight at 7. Click here for all the information on that.

Also, there is a great new feature on “The Shore Sports Report” with Joe Giglio and Mike Krenek from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WOBM 1160 a.m. and Shore Sports 1310 a.m. called “Two-A-Days.” They are interviewing two Shore Conference head football coaches a day to talk about the upcoming season.

Even better, if you missed the interviews, you can listen to the archived audio by clicking here or by going to http://www.shoresportsnetwork.com. So far, there are archived interviews with Long Branch’s Danny George, Holmdel’s Frank Papalia, Ocean’s Don Klein, and St. John Vianney’s Skip Edwards. Definitely worth checking out and following along with as we get closer to the season.

Lacey Will Face Matawan in 7-on-7 Final and More Gridiron Notes

July 15, 2010

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Lacey will take on Matawan in the final of the inaugural 7-on-7 tournament between the two counties at 6:15 p.m. on Friday before the kickoff of the U.S. Army All-Shore Gridiron Classic at 7 p.m. at Matawan. Lacey, which returns three-year starter Craig Cicardo at quarterback, defeated Southern in the Ocean County final on Tuesday, and then Matawan, which returns star quarterback Jared Allison and running back McArthur Underwood, beat Manalapan in the Monmouth County final on Wednesday.

The game is a great chance to see some of the Shore Conference’s top returning players before the 2010 preseason gets started in earnest.

There also have been some last-minute roster additions and subtractions for Monmouth County. Manalapan linemen Johnny Dokouslis and Mike Orlando joined the team on Wednesday and Middletown South’s Steve Coluccio also made his first appearance at practice. Monmouth County was down to five confirmed offensive linemen, so it brought in Dokouslis and Orlando on Wednesday. They drove down to Toms River during the day, got a physical and were at practice at Matawan on Wednesday night.

Wall offensive lineman Pat Kilmurray and the Asbury Park duo of Lamar Davenport and George Stephens are not playing for Monmouth County.

Recruiting Update on Lacey OL Tyrell Smith

July 13, 2010

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It looks like the headliners of the Shore Conference talent from the Class of 2012 (the juniors this fall) will be a pair of linemen, Long Branch’s Ryan Brodie and Lacey’s Tyrell Smith.

Those two look to be 25-plus offer kids, with Rutgers already all over Brodie, a 6-5, 265-pound lineman who started as a sophomore and is good friends and trains with Long Branch senior star Miles Shuler.

Smith is an interesting player in that he is an extremely raw prospect who transferred to Lacey from Lakewood before this past school year. However, he is 6-foot-4 1/2 and 280 pounds with good feet and agility (he is also a basketball player). He recently had a strong performance at camp at Penn State and already had numerous coaches come to check him out in person in school this spring in the annual ridiculous “I can stand here and look at you to get an indication of you in person but can’t talk to you” mating ritual that goes on between recruiters and underclassmen because of NCAA regulations.

Wisconsin and several other Big Ten schools have been through along with several Big East programs, Rutgers included, to get a look at Smith. He will be well-coached at Lacey, which mainly runs a power running attack but has also mixed in the zone read option out of the shotgun since last season. When you are standing on the Lacey sidelines, Smith is hard to miss. He definitely passes the look test. He was the ultimate “Who is that huge kid?” last season and got better as the season progressed.

While I’m not advocating transferring in all cases, I think the Smith brothers coming to Lacey was a good decision given how much Lakewood’s program has struggled in recent years, although the Piners now have the legendary Warren Wolf at the helm. I don’t know how much better the two of them would have gotten if they had stayed and if they would received the academic support. I have seen a lot of talented Lakewood players over the year never heard from again because of grades or lack of support, but hopefully that starts to change with Wolf there.

Smith’s older brother, Deon, is a 6-2, 200-pounder who should also be a playmaker on both sides of the ball for the Lions this fall. He is another raw prospect but has pretty good speed. It will be interesting to see which way he goes. He could be everything from a preferred walk-on at a place like Monmouth or maybe even Rutgers or end up at a good Division I-AA program.

It certainly helps Deon Smith and others that the Division I-AA teams in the CAA, Northeast Conference and elsewhere should have some more scholarships for the Class of 2011. The one thing that hurt a lot of players from the Class of 2010 at the Division I-AA level was Hofstra, Northeastern and Iona dropping their programs. That flooded the market with experienced talent at that level, and many of those players who were dispersed because of those programs calling it quits took the spots that normally would have gone to high school seniors.

Raritan’s Christian Marchena Commits to Delaware

July 12, 2010

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Last year, the stars for Raritan were the guys running or catching the ball like Jesse Raymond and Bennett Jackson, but this season it looks to be the big boys up front for the Rockets who are achieving the notoriety.

Rising senior lineman Christian Marchena has verbally committed to Delaware, according to Raritan assistant Bob Generelli, the former head coach who has handled recruiting as the Rockets transition to new head coach Anthony Petruzzi. Marchena joins fellow senior lineman Shane Mertz, who verbally committed to Northwestern earlier this summer, as a Division I recruit up front for Raritan.

Delaware is one of the upper echelon Football Championship Subdivision (Division I-AA) programs and competes in the highly-competitive Colonial Athletic Association, which includes defending FCS champion Villanova. Marchena had offers from Albany, Lafayette, Stony Brook and Bucknell before making his choice. He suffered a season-ending knee injury that wiped out his sophomore year and then came back in 2009 to be a starter on the offensive line for a Rockets team that finished 8-3 and reached the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group II semifinals.

The Blue Hens’ current roster includes one Shore Conference player, former Howell standout David Hayes, a sophomore running back.

U.S. Army All-Shore Gridiron Classic Notes

July 12, 2010

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With two days of practice in the books leading up to Friday’s U.S. Army All-Shore Gridiron Classic at 7 p.m. at Matawan, here are a few updates. First, just a reminder that the game will be broadcast live on the radio by the Shore Sports Network on 105.7 “The Hawk” FM and streamed online at http://www.shoresportsnetwork.com, and it will also be televised on tape delay by MSG Varsity for Cablevision subscribers.

The Monmouth County team has definitely lost some star power as standout linebackers Billy George of Long Branch and Kevin Whitlock of Red Bank Catholic will not be playing because of commitments to wrestling and lacrosse, respectively, which are the sports the two will compete in on the collegiate level. The Middletown South trio of linebacker Sean Campbell, the All Shore Media Defensive Player of the Year, as well as defensive end Nick Bricker and offensive lineman Steve Coluccio, have missed the first two practices and are not expected back until Tuesday because they are on vacation.

It also looks like Monmouth County will be without Asbury Park running back George Stephens, a three-time, 1,000-yard rusher and one of the most explosive offensive players in the Shore. He had shoulder surgery in the spring and has not been cleared by the doctor to play yet. I talked to his Asbury Park teammate, Jamar Small, on Sunday and he said it looks like it might be a long shot for Stephens to get cleared and have time to get some practices in, so the chances of him playing are slim.

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U.S. Army All-Shore Gridiron Classic Practice Schedule

July 9, 2010

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The practices for the upcoming U.S. Army All-Shore Gridiron Classic on July 16 are set to begin on Saturday at Matawan for the Monmouth County team and at Toms River East for the Ocean County team. In case you want to swing by and check out any of the practices, here is the schedule. We will have stories on the players throughout the week leading up to the game and also individual player profiles for each player.

Admission to the game is $10, and it will be broadcast live on the radio at 105.7 “The Hawk” FM and rebroadcast on TV on MSG Varsity for Cablevision subscribers.

Practice schedule

Monmouth County

At Matawan

Saturday and Sunday – 9-12 a.m.

Monday-Thurs. – 6:30-9 p.m.

Ocean County

At Toms River East

Saturday and Sunday – Double sessions (9-10:15 a.m. and 11:30-1:30 p.m.)

Monday-Thursday – 5-8:30 p.m. (On field at 6 p.m.)