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Around the Shore Blog

October 2, 2012

All football news will now be found in the new Around the Shore blog.



Ocean Forfeits Game to Neptune Because of Skin Issue

September 13, 2012

Ocean has forfeited Saturday’s Class B North home game against Neptune because of an outbreak of impetigo on the team, according to Ocean coach Don Klein.

A public letter on the Ocean Township website notes that players on the team have been diagnosed with impetigo, a bacterium that enters the body and causes skin irritation, and are being treated for it. Impetigo is contagious, and can be spread through close contact, so the Spartans did not want to risk a bigger outbreak by potentially infecting any Neptune players. Anyone with suspicious skin irritations has been sent to the doctor, according to the letter.

Impetigo and skin infection outbreaks are more commonly known for causing forfeits in wrestling, but can result from football equipment that isn’t properly washed or through the sharing of towels or clothes that have not been washed.

With the forfeit, Neptune moves to 2-0, while Ocean is now 1-1. Neptune’s next game is Sept. 22 against Long Branch, while Ocean will play Matawan next Friday.

“We are extremely disappointed,” Klein wrote in a text message. “We were excited about the chance to compete. Our kids have worked very hard. I feel bad for the seniors who not only lose a game, but a home game.”


NJSIAA Realignments released for 2012

August 17, 2012

The NJSIAA has released its alignments for the public brackets for 2012, including the new (groan) Group V to ensure that everyone gets their participation medal this season.

Click here to check out the new classifications.

RBR’s Garrett Sickels Sticking with Penn State

July 23, 2012

On a day that one of the harshest penalties ever leveled by the NCAA against a football program was handed down to Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, Red Bank Regional senior defensive end Garrett Sickels re-affirmed his verbal commitment to the Nittany Lions.

Penn State, which was slapped with a four-year bowl ban and scholarship limitations among several penalties, is still the place for Sickels “because my faith and commitment in the current staff could never be broken,” he wrote in a text message. Sickels is one of the top defensive prospects in the Northeast and has double-digit FBS offers. His affirmation of his commitment came on a day when several other members of the incoming recruiting class de-committed in the wake of the penalties.

Penn State also features junior linebacker Glenn Carson, who had a solid sophomore season and appears on the verge of a big junior year. As a result of the punishment, the NCAA is allowing any current Penn State players to transfer without having to sit out a year per the usual NCAA transfer rule. Carson’s future is undetermined at this time.

North-South All-Star Classic Wrap-Up

June 26, 2012

Rumson-Fair Haven defensive tackle Jack Eisenstadt (Monmouth University) and Matawan safety Larry Alston III (Old Dominion) starred on defense for the South in a 14-7 loss to the North in this year’s North-South All-Star Classic at Kean University. Click here for the recap.

Clinic Saturday to Benefit Eric LeGrand Believe Fund/Shore’s Best Camp Coming in June

May 15, 2012

On Saturday, the New Jersey Football Coaches Association will be holding a football clinic in honor of Eric LeGrand that will go to benefit the Eric LeGrand Believe Fund to support the former Rutgers defensive tackle who suffered a spinal cord injury in 2010.

The clinic will be at Colonia High School in Middlesex County from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The cost is $25, with all the money going to LeGrand’s fund. Breakfast and lunch will be served and there will be door prizes provided by exhibitors. The speakers include Southern Regional head coach Chuck Donohue Sr., who has over 200 career wins and multiple state titles, and Sayreville coach George Najjar, who has led the Bombers to consecutive Central Jersey Group IV titles.

Also, the annual Shore’s Best Camp is coming up from June 19-22 in Toms River. Below is the press release with the info.

Like the NFL pros who use the off-season to hone their skills, young aspiring football players can use their summer vacation to improve their game as well. From June 19 to 22, 2012, the fifth annual Shore’s Best Football Camp in Toms River, New Jersey, will give them access to excellent coaches and training that will help them reach that goal.  Since its start in 2008, young players just beginning to learn the game and seasoned high school players looking ahead to a college playing career have attended. Last year’s camp included 16 All-Shore high school football players. In addition, 32 Shore’s Best campers made Shore Conference Coaches All-Division Teams.

The Shore’s Best Football Camp will be held at Riverwood Park, on Riverwood Drive, in Toms River, and will feature instruction by top-level coaches from northeast U.S. football programs. Participants who are entering grades 1 through 8 will be in the Youth Camp, taught by high school coaches. Players entering grades 9 through 12 will be in the High School Camp and will receive their instruction from College coaches.

The four-day camp’s registration fee is $175.00, and campers will receive a full agenda of instruction, skill drills and game competition from 8:45 am until 3:00 pm each day. This year’s roster of participating coaches who will provide the daily workouts include L.J. Clark, Head Coach, Lakewood High School; Rob Dahl, Head Coach, Brick Township High School; Sean DeRosa, Head Coach, Pinelands High School; Dan Duddy, Head Coach, Monsignor Donovan High School; Sean Henry, Head Coach, Point Pleasant Borough High School; Walt Krystopik, Head Coach, Jackson Memorial High School; Gerard O’Donnell, Head Coach, Manchester Township High School; Tim Osborn, Head Coach, Jackson Liberty High School; Brian Surace, Head Coach, Fairleigh Dickinson University; Dan Garrett, Head Coach, Kean University; Mike Teel, Quarterbacks Coach, Wagner College; Chris Damian, Running Backs Coach, Monmouth University; Eddie Allen, Specials Teams Coordinator/ Running Backs Coach, University of Rhode Island; Tyler Moody, Offensive Line Coach, Stonehill College; Juwan Jackson, Defensive Line Coach, Monmouth University; Holman Copeland, Defensive Line Coach, East Stroudsburg University; Ethan Jeros, Recruiting Coordinator/ Defensive Line Coach, William Paterson University; Don Dobes, Defensive Coordinator/ Linebackers Coach, Dartmouth College; Chi Worthington, Defensive Backs Coach, Marian University; Michael Davidson, Safeties Coach, American International College; and Chris Melvin Recruiting Analyst for

“In putting together the camp’s instruction schedule and in finding the best coaches, we are striving to meet the goals of the participants and their parents as well,” according to Camp Director Dan Duddy.  “Our young participants are learning the skills they will need to play well and our older participants are increasing their recruitment potential. In fact, several of our 2011 participants were recruited after being discovered at the camp.”

Players interested in registering should call (732) 597-3126. To receive a $15 discount the Shore’s Best Football Camp must receive the completed registration form with payment and copy of a doctor signed physical exam postmarked by May 25, 2012. Walk-up registrations are available at 8 AM on Tuesday, June 19 and participants must bring a copy of a doctor’s signed physical form showing a current physical exam. Physicals taken before June 22, 2011 will not be accepted. The $175.00 registration fee must be paid in cash or by money order only; checks will not be accepted for walk-up registration. Participants must also bring a completed registration form to the camp which can be downloaded at

The Shore’s Best Football Camp is owned and operated by Elite Camp Services of Toms River, New Jersey. Elite Camp Services will also run the Brian Leonard Football Camp and Youth Coaches Clinic in June 2012. The website is located at Shawn Kennish, President of Elite Camp Services is the Former Director of Football Operations at Rutgers University.


NJSIAA Votes to Expand Public School Playoffs

May 9, 2012

The NJSIAA voted 21-5 on Wednesday morning in favor of creating a new Group V bracket that will go into effect in the 2012 season, according to The Record of Hackensack. That means four more teams will be crowned as state sectional champions (Central, South, North I and North II), increasing the number of teams winning state titles in New Jersey to 24.

Here are my feelings on this and how it will affect Shore Conference teams.


Ty Lewis Clinic/Thoughts on North Bergen Situation/College Commitments

May 8, 2012

The event organizers wanted me to send out a reminder to the Shore Conference coaches that the annual Ty Lewis Coaching Clinic, named after the late Red Bank Regional coach, will be held tomorrow (Wednesday) at Manasquan High School. Registration is from 3-4 p.m. and the cost is $25.

Also, here are some more college commitments. Toms River South senior fullback/linebacker Zack Liguori, an All-Class A South selection by the coaches, will continue his career at Montclair State. The Raritan trio of linebackers Nick Pydeski, Jamie Pasquin and Jared Rivera are all headed to Springfield College. Monmouth Regional offensive lineman Max Neis will be playing at Moravian College, and his Falcons teammate, offensive lineman Evan Imber, is going to FDU-Florham. Southern linebacker Alex Cattelona will continue his career at McDaniel College.

Finally, a comment on this whole North Bergen situation. The NJSIAA found legendary coach Vincent Ascolese to have recruited two players on the team that won the North I Group IV title by stunning unbeaten Montclair this past fall. The penalty levied by the NJSIAA was two years probation, which means it has to provide proof to the NJSIAA before each season that its athletes are eligible and its administrators have to take a remedial course on the NJSIAA’s handbook. I also believe they will be subjected to one wedgie and one noogie apiece from an NJSIAA official.

You know what that means? Coaches, recruit to your heart’s content. With no penalty of forfeiting games or being stripped of titles or being banned from the state playoffs, what is there to really stop from cutting corners other than the moral implications of it? You might get double secret probation from New Jersey’s version of Dean Wormer. Plus, if you know this is going to be your last year coaching, recruit everyone in sight because you won’t be touched or your legacy won’t be affected once you walk out the door.

I fail to see how using recruited players to win a state title is different than using ineligible players, which results in teams forfeiting any games in which those players participated. How that state title was not vacated is beyond me. Essentially the NJSIAA let North Bergen keep the ill-gotten spoils of its tarnished victory. The players were both seniors, so they move on without penalty. Ascolese ran as shady a program as you’re going to find, the NJSIAA report details it, and he straight-up got away with it. It sends the message that if you’re a coach looking for a shortcut to a title, the NJSIAA rules and enforcement are not going to be a problem.

This was a chance to send a real message. The NJSIAA rarely ever is able to prove athletes were recruited, and here it was on a platter. North Bergen should’ve been stripped of the title and every single win in which those players participated. Plus, North Bergen’s probation should have included a two-year ban on being able to play in the state playoffs. Make the penalties real, and maybe that will get the next unethical coach to think twice about cheating.

As for Ascolese, his accomplishments over his 50-year career are built on a house of sand as far as I’m concerned. I don’t care how many games he won. He’s a fraud. His lawyer is crowing in that Star-Ledger story that his record is “unblemished” and he was a credit to the school and community. Give me a break. He got caught this time, but it makes you wonder how many other years he had ringers brought in to facilitate winning and then discarded them when he was done with them without the larger public or the NJSIAA being any the wiser.

Curry Drafted by Philadelphia/Vitale, Dula Make College Commitments

April 28, 2012

Congrats to Neptune graduate and Marshall star defensive end Vinny Curry, who was taken in the second round of Friday night’s NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles with the No. 59 overall pick. Click here for more.

In college commitment news, Point Boro senior running back/linebacker Jack Vitale will continue his career at Widener University, according to Panthers coach Sean Henry. Vitale was an All-Class C Central selection by the coaches at linebacker. Also, Shore Regional quarterback/defensive back Brendan Dula will continue his career at Gettysburg College, where he will play safety. Dula was an All-Class B Central pick by the coaches.


Derek Reichenbecher Approved as New Howell Head Coach/Jurkowski, Golden Make College Commitments

April 24, 2012

After 11 years as an assistant coach at Howell, defensive coordinator Derek Reichenbecher has ascended to the head coaching spot to replace Cory Davies after being approved by the Freehold Regional District Board of Education Monday night.

Reichenbecher, who has been the head boys lacrosse coach since also taking over for Davies in that job in 2003, has been both the offensive and defensive coordinator  at different points in his tenure at Howell. He has coached the linemen, running backs and linebackers, including coaching five All-Shore linemen during his 11 years. A 1996 Howell graduate who was an All-State selection as a senior, he went on to play at Boston University and is in the Howell athletic Hall of Fame.

He takes over a Rebels program coming off a 4-6 season that graduated record-breaking quarterback Ryan Davies, the son of the former head coach, as well as record-breaking wide receiver Brandon Yaegel and Fordham University-bound lineman Tim Donahue. Cory Davies was the head coach for the previous 21 years, leading the Rebels to their only state sectional title in program history and a school-record 11 wins in 2006. He decided to step down after the season to spend more time with his family.

Reichenbecher’s hiring fills the last open vacancy in the Shore Conference. The new head coaches for 2012 also include Matawan’s John Kaye and Wall’s Nick Gregorio.

In college commitment news, Point Beach senior defensive back/wide receiver Mark Jurkowski, an All-Class B Central pick and third-team ASM All-Shore selection, will continue his career at Catholic University, according to Point Beach coach John Wagner. Also, Red Bank Catholic senior defensive back/wide receiver Greg Golden will play at post-grad season at The Hun School, according to RBC coach Jim Portela.