Calderon to Milford Academy, Coaching Vacancies

All Shore Media first-team All-Shore selection Ikie Calderon, a running back/slot receiver/linebacker for Neptune’s Central Jersey Group III champions, said Tuesday that he will play a post-grad season at Milford Academy in New Berlin, N.Y.

Milford has become a regular destination for Shore Conference players, as this past fall the team featured former Jackson Memorial defensive tackle Dimitrius Smith, who is now at Monmouth University, as well as former Freehold Township linebacker/punter Kevin Borden and former Toms River North linebacker Cody Groves. Milford routinely sends players to FBS programs, including running back Montrell Dobbs (Temple) and safety Jevonte Pitts (Pittsburgh) from this past season.

On the coaching front, Wall’s Chris Barnes stepped down this week to spend more time with his family after a great run with the Crimson Knights that included the third state sectional title in school history in 2002 and a trip to a state sectional final in 2004. As for who could possibly be Barnes’s replacement, current assistants Jim Rochford and John Legere are certainly candidates. Another name floating around is former Bergen Catholic coach Fred Stengel, who lives in Spring Lake. Another possibility could be Manasquan assistant Rich Read, who was a finalist for the Warriors job before current head coach Jay Price was selected, although bringing over a coach from the Crimson Knights’ Thanksgiving rival may not be the easiest sell.

The other vacancy is at Matawan, where I’m hearing that veteran assistant John Kaye looks like the front-runner to replace Hall of Famer Joe Martucci after he left to take a coaching position at Kean University. Kaye has been at Matawan nearly 20 years and already has head coaching experience with the baseball program, so he is more than familiar with the inner workings of the program.

Most school districts, which certainly could include Wall, are staying in-house because budgets are so tight. In the old days, new positions could be created to lure high-profile outsiders and money could be moved around a little, but it appears those days have come to an end. Schools seem to be looking more inward than outward when it comes to grooming replacements for big-name coaches.

 

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