Archive for January, 2011

Mike Smith Steps Down at Jackson Memorial

January 31, 2011

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After being part of three state championship football teams as an assistant and a head coach at his alma mater, Jackson Memorial head coach Mike Smith said on Monday that he has resigned to spend some time with his family.

Smith, 43, had a career record of 54-32 in eight seasons as head coach and led the Jaguars to a 6-4 season this past fall. Jackson Memorial won the 2005 NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV title under Smith and also appeared in the 2004 CJ IV final. Smith was also the defensive coordinator on the back-to-back undefeated Jackson teams in 2000-01. He has coached a total of 18 years between a seven-year stint at Lakewood and his time at Jackson Memorial.

Smith has a daughter who is currently a freshman at Jackson Liberty and another who is in middle school, both of whom are athletes.

“For 18 years, I watched everyone else’s kids play, so I want to watch mine a little bit,” Smith said. “It was a very hard decision, but it’s just one of those things, and when it came down to it, my oldest daughter only has three years of high school left.

“I think the program is in a good spot. We have a great parents’ club, great support, and it’s set up for someone to come in and have success. It’s a great place to be.”

The Jaguars return 1,000-yard rusher Brandon Winston and nearly their entire defense next year while competing in Class A South. They will lose a pair of standout linemen in seniors Tim Nolan and Dimitrius Smith as well as quarterback Fred Scheer to graduation. Jackson’s last playoff appearance came in 2007, as the Jaguars have adjusted in recent seasons to losing some talent thanks to the opening of Jackson Liberty High School.

Defensive coordinator Walt Krystopik and offensive line coach Tony Compitello are possible candidates to replace Smith at a job that is considered one of the better ones in the Shore Conference. Quarterbacks coach Bill Rankin is also a possibility, but Rankin took on a more reduced role this season because he has three children under the age of three years old and could not devote the amount of time necessary to be the offensive coordinator, a role he had previously held.


Connor Hayes to Bucknell, Steve Franco to West Chester

January 31, 2011

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Ocean Township defensive end Connor Hayes is the latest Shore Conference player to become a member of Bucknell’s 2011 recruiting class, according to Ocean coach Don Klein. Hayes joins Pinelands’ wideout/safety Jake Hartman and Brick linebacker Dylan McDonnell among the Bucknell recruits.

Also, Toms River North 300-pound lineman Steve Franco will sign with Division II West Chester University on Wednesday, according to Mariners’ coach Chip LaBarca Jr.

Congrats to both players, who were All-Division selections by the coaches this past season.

Matawan’s Jared Allison Commits to New Hampshire

January 28, 2011

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Matawan senior quarterback/defensive back Jared Allison has verbally committed to New Hampshire  late Wednesday night, which was first reported by the Asbury Park Press.

Allison, who said as early as Wednesday afternoon that he had not made a decision yet, had taken official visits to New Hampshire, Eastern Illinois, Bryant and Wagner. At 5-foot-8, 165 pounds, he is projected to play wide receiver for New Hampshire, which also secured a commitment from Barnegat senior wide receiver Mike DeTroia.

Allison was a rare four-year starter at quarterback for the Huskies and led them to a record of 22-2 in his final two seasons, including a Central Jersey Group II title in 2009 and an appearance in the CJ II final this past fall.

“After talking with my family and deciding where I wanted to get my degree, this is the place that I felt was best,” Allison said about New Hampshire.

Allison also had interest from Rutgers as a preferred walk-on, but decided to go to a program that has been a Football Championship Subdivision (Division I-AA) power, reaching the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs this past fall and competing in the high-level Colonial Athletic Association. Former Toms River East star running back Nico Steriti is at UNH and former Howell star Ryan McGuinness just finished his career as a starting defensive back this fall.

Allison was a two-time, first team All-Conference selection by All Shore Media and was selected as the Shore Conference’s Most Valuable Player this fall.

A big reason Matawan won 22 of its last 23 games was because of the play of the electrifying Allison, one of the hardest players to defend in the Shore Conference. He finished 43-for-93 for 824 yards and 10 touchdowns passing and ran for a team-high 866 yards and 10 touchdowns but had nearly 2,000 total yards when you factor in his special teams production. He had punt return touchdowns of 92 and 80 yards in the state playoffs and also caught a touchdown pass during the season in addition to having multiple special teams scores during the regular season.  Allison also was a starting defensive back and a playmaker in the secondary.

Football Camp in Metuchen on Sunday/FT’s Matt Intile Commits to Holy Cross and More

January 26, 2011

Before I get to the information on an upcoming camp, congrats to Freehold Township senior Matt Intile, a two-time All-Division selection by the coaches, who has verbally committed to Holy Cross, according to Patriots coach Mike D’Antonio. Intile was an All-A North selection as a safety this season with 31 tackles, 5 pass break-ups and a fumble recovery. He also finished his career with 1,000 all-purpose yards as a running back/kick returner.

Intile also had interest from Sacred Heart and Lafayette. He is also an excellent student, with a 4.08 grade-point average.

Now on to the camp info.

The 2011 MJF College Football Recruiting All-American Football Camp  will be held this Sunday at the Metuchen Sportsplex. The information is below. Matawan assistant Jay Bellamy and other assistants with Shore Conference ties, including director Mike Fenske, a former St. John Vianney player, will be working the camp.

The 2011 MJF College Football Recruiting All- American Football Camp
-Sunday January 30, 2011  12-4pm
-Metuchen Sportsplex
-215 Durham Ave, Metuchen, NJ 08840
-For football players grades 8-12- all positions
-Cost: $100
-Make check for $100 to Michael Fenske
103 Rock Spring Rd. Unit 1 Stamford, CT 06906
-Registration forms are on web site
Fill out, cut and paste and email to
MJF College Football Recruiting is proud to kick off our camp season with The 2011 MJF College Football Recruiting All- American Football Camp. Our camps offer top coaching and instruction from former and current college, NFL players and coaches. Players will learn skills that will help them take their game to the next level.
The camps offer college football recruiting exposure that no other camp/combine or showcase in the country comes close to offering and delivering on. Besides our coaching staff we have a team of scouts and evaluators that scout all the prospects at the camps. We put together an in depth scouting report that goes out to all college football coaches at over 500+ colleges across the country. The feedback that we get from college football coaches regarding these reports has been tremendous. In these reports we provide a players information, contact information, include their youtube highlight film if they have one and want it in the report as well as an evaluation of college caliber prospects. The reports have greatly helped the recruitment of many prospects from past camps.
Any player that attends an MJF camp, your info and films will be included on many other scouting repots/lists that we send to college coaches throughout the year.
If is ” exposure” to college football coaches you are looking for, this camp is for you
This is not a combine or testing event. Its a skills based football camp to help you improve and become a better football player. Combine warriors don’t always translate into good football players. On field performance is what we are about, teaching you how to become a better football player, and what it takes to play at the next level, the work ethic,drive and attitude we believe is necessary to be a top player/prospect and reach your full potential.
We will also have a brief recruiting overview session to discuss the college football recruiting process, with valuable information that players who have aspirations to play college football at any level need to know, parents need to know also and are welcome to listen to this. This is knowledge and things we know and continue to learn speaking all year with college football coaches across the country helping prospects from All- American caliber players with 40 offers to D2 or D3 prospects. There is a lot to know, there are a lot of truths and myths and we will give you a very good overview of the process. MJF College Football Recruiting has built tremendous relationships with college football coaches across the country through the high quality scouting we provide for college football programs. Leverage those relationships we have built by attending our camp, learning, and getting your info, films and evaluations in front of every college football coach in America
This is a fantastic opportunity- take advantage of it. We look forward to seeing you at camp.

Former RFH star TE Paul Michael Barrows Commits to Rhode Island

January 25, 2011

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Former Rumson-Fair Haven standout tight end Paul Michael Barrows, an All Shore Media first-team All-Conference selection in 2009, has verbally committed to Rhode Island, according to Rumson coach Shane Fallon.

Barrows did a post-grad year at Cheshire Academy in Connecticut this past fall, catching 46 passes for 800 yards and 11 touchdowns while also playing on defense. Barrows had an offer from Division I-A Akron and interest from Rutgers, Penn State and UConn as well as offers from FCS (Division I-AA) runner-up Delaware along with UMass.

Barrows is the second Rumson player in recent years to play at Rhode Island, as former wideout Nick Del Grosso played for the Rams from 2005-09. Del Grosso also did a post-grad year like Barrows, playing at Wyoming Seminary Prep for one season before heading to Rhode Island.

Jake Hartman Commits to Bucknell

January 23, 2011

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Pinelands senior wide receiver/defensive back Jake Hartman, a third-team All Shore Media All-Conference selection this fall and also a basketball standout, verbally committed to Bucknell for football on Sunday, according to head basketball coach and football offensive coordinator John Tierney.

A great all-around athlete, Hartman had 28 tackles, 6 passes defensed, and 4 interceptions as a safety for the Wildcats, who finished 5-5. Hartman also led the team with 15 catches for 539 yards and 5 touchdowns, and his 36 yards per catch led the Shore Conference. Also an outstanding student with a 4.1 grade-point average, Hartman had offers from Bucknell, UPenn and Maine.

He is currently in the top 10 in scoring in the Shore at 19 points per game for the Wildcats. Congrats to Hartman.

Ron Signorino Jr. Approved as New TR South Coach

January 19, 2011

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Got off the plane from my 4-day trip to California last night and in between the 8 million basketball-related texts, there was one saying that it became official on Tuesday night that former Monsignor Donovan assistant Ron Signorino Jr. was officially approved as the new Toms River South head coach by the Board of Education, which was first reported by The Asbury Park Press.

As we all know, his father, Ron Signorino Sr., is a member of the Shore Football Coaches Foundation Hall of Fame and a legend at Toms River South from his two stints as head coach between 1964-2000. Signorino Jr. had a successful tenure as offensive coordinator at Toms River South under his father, then Toms River East and finally at Monsignor Donovan. He turned the Griffins from a low-scoring team to one of the best statistical offenses in the Shore in the past few seasons by installing the triple option.

Offense was a major Achilles’ heel for the Indians under former coach Bill Hill Sr., who was not rehired after the team went winless for the first time since 1963 and the first time ever since the school became Toms River South (it was formerly just Toms River High School before the other high schools were created). The Indians averaged 9.2 points per game last season and only scored more than 14 in one game, a 28-22 loss to Lakewood on Thanksgiving.

Perhaps Signorino Jr.’s biggest challenge is creating renewed enthusiasm in a program that has been far behind its counterparts at Toms River North and Toms River East in recent seasons. According to the APP, he is bringing his father and former TRS star quarterback Matt Martin with him on his staff, so I’m sure a big emphasis will be a return to the Indians’ proud tradition. He also will look to beef up the participation numbers and maybe get some of the good multi-sport athletes in the school to come out for football. In talking to some of those athletes in past seasons, they indicated that they considered playing football but did not do it for various reasons, so maybe they can be excited to join a program looking to reclaim its place in the spotlight.

Toms River South has always had some of the best fan support in the Shore through good times and bad, so I don’t think it will take much to really get that base enthusiastic again. It’s more about getting results on the field. Given the fact that Signorino Jr. complemented the leadership of Dan Duddy and helped make Monsignor Donovan a respected team and one that could put big numbers on people on offense, the ingredients are certainly there for him to get this ship righted quickly while competing in the tough Class A South.

One game that will definitely be fun is the annual game with Toms River East. A few years back, Signorino Jr. and current Toms River East head coach Charlie Diskin were the two main candidates for the job. Diskin got the job, and Signorino left Toms River East to coach elsewhere.

Signorino Jr. is also someone who has endured tough times and persevered as he had one of his kidneys removed in the past year because of kidney cancer and has made a full recovery.

I think he will have this team being one that will not be an easy win in a hurry, and he seems to have all the qualifications of the type of coach Toms River would want – he has deep Toms River ties, he has been part of successful staffs, he is the son of a Toms River legend, and his units have been productive with him as a coordinator. Good luck to him.

His hiring now leaves openings at Neptune, St. John Vianney and Point Beach.

Sofilkanich to Bishop Ahr is Official

January 13, 2011

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As reported here in my last post and even confirmed by one of his former players yesterday on Twitter,  Don Sofilkanich is headed from Neptune to Bishop Ahr, which became official on Wednesday according to a report by The Home News Tribune.

That now leaves a head coaching opening at Neptune, which will have its third head coach in three seasons after Sofilkanich was one and done.

Coaching Carousel

January 11, 2011

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It looks like Neptune may be searching for its third head coach in the past three seasons shortly. Several sources have indicated that Don Sofilkanich, who left Asbury Park after winning three straight state titles to take the Neptune job before last season, may be leaving to take the head job at Bishop Ahr in Edison. Sofilkanich did not return a call seeking comment on Monday.

Sofilkanich led Neptune to a 6-4 finish in the fall, which included a state playoff appearance. The injury-ravaged Scarlet Fliers lost to eventual Central Jersey Group III champion Freehold in the quarterfinals.

Sofilkanich has strong Middlesex County ties and formerly coached at New Brunswick, so it is no surprise he would want to work closer to home. Neptune beat Bishop Ahr 62-0 in the season opener this past fall, and the Scarlet Fliers open up with Bishop Ahr in 2011, so this potential move would certainly add some spice to that game.

A potential candidate for the job would be former Point Boro coach Calvin Thompson, who led the Panthers to a state title during his tenure before stepping down in the middle of this past season. However, it depends on whether Neptune wants someone who would be in the building or not, as Thompson runs his own training business. Sofilkanich does not teach at Neptune, so maybe that is not a hurdle. Neptune’s next Board of Education meeting is on Jan. 26, so we’ll see if Sofilkanich’s resignation from the football job is on the agenda.

Neptune returns running back Ikie Calderon, quarterback Jaheem Woods and several other experienced returners next season, so the ability is certainly there to win now.

As for another job at a prominent program, Toms River South, by all accounts it’s between Monsignor Donovan offensive coordinator Ron Signorino Jr., the son of legendary former TRS head coach Ron Signorino Sr., and former Indians quarterback Bill Rankin, who is an assistant at Jackson Memorial, with Signorino Jr. being the front-runner. It would surprising if it’s not one of those two, most likely Signorino. The next Board of Ed meeting is Jan. 18, so there could be a new coach by next week.

It will be up to one of them to rebuild a program that went 0-10 for the first time in its history since becoming Toms River South. Former head coach Bill Hill was not rehired by the Board of Education.

Miles Shuler Has TD Catch in US Army All-American Bowl

January 8, 2011

Long Branch’s Miles Shuler, a Rutgers recruit, made his presence felt in San Antonio today with a touchdown catch for the East in a 13-10 win over the West in the prestigious U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Click here to check out the highlights and recap.