A Look at Central-Lacey from Coach/Alumnus Perspective

All Shore Media Contributor James Tweed is a former player at Lacey and a former coach at Central. He talked to his old coach, Lou Vircillo, and his former fellow assistant Central’s Vinnie Casale, about the showdown on Saturday in which Central will try to win a share of the B South title and beat Lacey for the first time in nine years.

Keys to the game:

Vinnie Casale:

“We need to be able to move the ball on them (Lacey), they are very big and strong”

“We need to be able to tackle well, especially #4 (Kyle Spatz), he is very elusive and doesn’t go down on the first hit.”

Lou Vircillo:

“We need to reduce the mistakes that have been the culprit for us this year,” “we’re a very young team.”

“If we’re able to play error-free football then we’ll have a chance.”

What a win would mean to the program:

Vinny Casale:

“Every win is important, we haven’t played for a championship for 10 years’ “just being in this position is great.”

Lou Vircillo:

“We just worry about each game at as it comes,” “tomorrow’s goal is to play well and hopefully beat Central,” “we’re not worrying about lofty things, if it happens (playoffs) then it happens.”

How important is this game in terms of the Lacey-Central rivalry (especially since they’re not playing again for at least two years):

Vinny Casale:

“Over the past ten years or so, it hasn’t been much of a rivalry,” “they’ve been the “big brother” during that time.” “Again, we’re just happy to be in the position we’re in right now.”

Lou Vircillo:

“Every game is important”

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James Tweed’s take: It seems that even though this game is a championship game for Central, the rivalry is not as intense as it was when I played in it for Lacey in the late 1980’s and coached in it for Central in the 1990’s and 2005. However, the bridge over the Cedar Creek on Western Blvd that boarders Berkeley and Lacey Townships was decked out in Garnet & Gold and Navy & Cardinal balloons as I drove “home.”  It is a shame that this may be the last regular season meeting between the two teams now that Lacey will be moving up to A-South next year. Regardless of that fact, the game will mean a lot to the two teams playing tomorrow, the two communities, and to the alumni who took part in this game since the early 1980’s. Its been 23 years since Central ruined our undefeated season, one week after we won Lacey’s first state championship (to earn a piece of the 1988 B-South Championship)…and to this day, even as many of us have developed pot bellies and lost some hair, it is still a source of ribbing by those old Central guys.

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2 Responses to “A Look at Central-Lacey from Coach/Alumnus Perspective”

  1. George Says:

    How is Kyle Spatz related to Michael and or Scott Spatz? Scott Spatz was a beast back in the day at North Bergen HS…”THE CREEPER”.

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