2009 News Stories
HNT Football - End of Year Notebook - Monroe will move to GMC Red Division
By GREG TUFARO • STAFF WRITER • December 13, 2009
NJSIAA Central Group III champion Monroe will join J.P. Stevens and Edison as the newest members of the Greater Middlesex Conference Red Division following a realignment of the league's teams.
The GMC scrapped its four-division alignment in favor of a three-division format, which will help reduce the number of crossover games GMC schools will play in a proposed home-at-home series with Shore Conference foes over the next two years.
The GMC and Shore Conference are expected to cement their new two-year agreement on Dec. 21.
The pending deal comes after what many consider a highly successful pilot program between the two leagues in which the Shore Conference compiled a 38-20 record (.655 winning percentage) against the GMC.
The GMC exacted some measure of revenge, winning two of three sectional finals against Shore Conference schools.
The revamped GMC will look as follows:
Red Division (nine teams): Piscataway, Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Sayreville, South Brunswick, Woodbridge, J.P. Stevens, Edison and Monroe.
White Division (eight teams): Bishop Ahr, Colonia, South Plainfield, Carteret, J.F. Kennedy, New Brunswick, North Brunswick and Perth Amboy.
Blue Division (seven teams): Cardinal McCarrick, South River, Highland Park, Metuchen, Dunellen, Spotswood and Middlesex.
Excluding schools who have traditional Thanksgiving Day rivalries outside of their division, such as Woodbridge vs. Colonia or Piscataway vs. Franklin, the proposed crossover plan is as follows: Red Division teams will be asked to play one Shore Conference foe, White Division teams each will be asked to play two Shore Conference games and Blue Division squads will be asked to play three Shore Conference games pieces.
"I think it's a work in progress," said Bishop Ahr Athletics Director Mike Wolfthal, who chairs the GMC's football committee. "I think we are getting to where we need to be and, hopefully, we will satisfy all of our coaches."
STAFF REPORT • December 13, 2009
By: Andy Mendlowitz - Correspondent November 28, 2009 • 5:54 pm
COLONIA … Usually after a playoff loss you just want to disappear for a while and lick your wounds.
The Woodbridge High School football team, however, had to turn around and play their biggest rival instead of wilting. The Barrons sucked it up to defeat Colonia 19-6 Saturday and capture the annual Bragging Rights trophy sponsored by Woodbridge PBA # 38.
“It was harder to get up than it usually is for this game,” said Woodbridge coach Brian Russo, whose team lost to Ridge 34-21 in last Friday’s North 2 Group IV semifinal. “Any time you’re a game away for competing for a ring, then you got to come back and try to rally them back up again to play a team that’s a crosstown rival—it was hard. But we did what we had to do.”
Woodbridge (6-5) has done that all season after beginning the year 0-4. On Saturday, the Barrons did it methodically, boosted by two first half turnovers. Cornerback Johnny Mayi intercepted a pass in the end zone and defensive end Max Issaka caused and recovered a fumble.
Offensively, Mayi scored on touchdown runs of 6 and 2-yards, and Curtis Davison scored on a 6-yard scamper.
The Patriots (2-8) tried to have a late comeback after a 52-yard touchdown pass from J.T. Kotowski to Corey Jones with 5:37 left in the game to cut the deficit to 19-6. Jones extended his arms to haul in the pass and sprinted about 40 yards for the score.
After a quick Woodbridge three and out, the Barrons forced Colonia to punt from their 5 with 1:43 left, keyed by a Craig Bruno sack. Woodbridge then ran the clock out.
The game was moved from last Saturday because of Woodbridge’s playoff game. Colonia didn’t play since beating Barringer 41-14 on Nov. 14.
“It would be better off to play this game earlier in the year, but typical Woodbridge-Colonia,” Colonia coach Ben LaSala said. “I think we hurt ourselves so much in the first half and they took advantage of it.”
And while Woodbridge didn’t play in the state championship game like it wanted to, the Barrons still got to end on a winning note.
“We were grateful that we had one more [game],” said Mayi, who added he attended middle school with several of Colonia’s players. “You always want to beat Colonia. I wish we were in the state championship, but beating Colonia is still a plus for us.”
Thanksgiving week predictions and analysis: Holiday version
By Greg Tufaro November 24, 2009 • 4:06 am
Woodbridge (5-5) at Colonia (2-7), SATURDAY - 12 noon
When someone asks sophomore quarterback Kyle Anderson of Woodbridge to pass the mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving dinner, chances are they will land in the hands of the intended receiver. Did you know that Anderson’s father, also named Kyle, was a wide receiver at The College of New Jersey and that Anderson’s uncle, Jimmy, was a first-team Associated Press All-American wide receiver at the University of Delaware, where he still holds many of the school’s receiving records. Woodbridge 30-20.
GMC Football Week In Review and New Top 10 Rankings
By Greg Tufaro November 21, 2009 • 7:30 pm
Barrons bow out
Despite falling behind 21-0, it appeared Woodbridge was about to pull off another improbable win in the North 2 Group IV semifinals Friday night at Ridge. Taking the second half kickoff, the Barrons went right down the field, 63 yards, and scored a touchdown to close within 21-14. “”We came out and I felt, “Here we go,’‚” Woodbridge coach Brian Russo said. “”We got punched in the face early but we came off the ropes. We got in that come-from-behind mode and we felt we had some momentum.” They did, if only for a few minutes. Ridge answered the Barrons’ touchdown drive by running the ball from their own 33 down to the Woodbridge 10, where it had a first and goal. Four plays later the Barrons stuffed a run up the middle, and the momentum was all theirs. Two plays later, however, a Ridge linebacker stepped in front of a pass over the middle from quarterback Kyle Anderson, and ran into the end zone untouched from the 12. “”The kid made a great play on that pick,” Russo said. “”The window was wide open and all of a sudden he popped up.” It was Ridge that made all the big plays, returning two picks for touchdowns, returning a punt 70 yards for a touchdown and falling on a fumble the first time Woodbridge touched the ball. No less of a crushing blow was the loss of standout running back Curtis Davison. The senior, who ran for 148 yards in the upset win over Union a week previous, went down with an ankle injury on his second carry of the night. He never returned. “”When Curtis went down things just kind of spiraled,” Russo said.
C.J. Bruno praises Woodbridge staff
The Home News Tribune received a passionate and well-wrought email from two-way senior lineman C.J. Bruno of Woodbridge. Here’s what the senior had to say: “”I feel the Woodbridge coaching staff hasn’t received the recognition it deserves. I have played under this coaching staff for the last four years. I think people need to know the role they play in our lives both on the field as well as off. “”Coach (Brian) Russo is probably hands down one of the best head coaches any football player could ever ask for. He treats each and every one of us as if we were his own kids. He gets in our faces when we really mess things up and makes sure we understand what went wrong so we can fix it, and that’s not just on the football field. “”He also is the first one to commend us when we do it right. Coach Russo as well as all of our other coaches are people that we can look up to and use as mentors. They have taught us so much and made us realize that there is still so much more to learn. “”They have taught us to never give up and to be proud of who we are and everything we do. There are so many things I personally have learned and I will take with me as I graduate this year. “”I want to thank the coaching staff for all they do, have done and give each and every year. So much of what they have taught us will stay with us for a lifetime and change our lives forever. “”This is what makes our coaches stand above the rest.”
THE TOP 10
1. East Brunswick (7-3)
2. Monroe (9-1)
3. Sayreville (9-2)
4. Woodbridge (5-5)
5. Piscataway (4-5)
6. New Brunswick (6-4)
7. Bishop Ahr (6-3)
8. Highland Park (8-3)
9. Rahway (6-3)
10. Old Bridge (4-5)
By PAUL FRANKLIN • STAFF WRITER • November 20, 2009
BERNARDS TOWNSHIP — Although the Woodbridge High School football team made several uncharacteristic mistakes, the truth is they played the way they have all season. They never quit. "I respect the way our kids fought all the way down to the end of the game," Woodbridge coach Brian Russo said. "They showed the effort that they showed all year long." Turnovers were the difference in Friday night's North 2 Group IV high school state playoff game as Woodbridge lost 34-21 to Ridge.
WoodbridgeFootball.com 11-20-2009 9:45pm
Reporting: Coach Donovan Steele and Coach Rich Nyers
WOODBRIDGE at RIDGE NJSIAA North 2 Group IV - Round Two
Friday, November 20, 2009 7pm
LIVE COVERAGE - GAME OVER
WOODBRIDGE 0 7 7 7 — 21
RIDGE 21 0 6 7 — 34
1st Quarter Scoring
RIDGE - TD and PAT RIDGE 7 - 0
RIDGE - TD and PAT RIDGE 14 - 0
RIDGE - TD and PAT RIDGE 21 - 0
2nd Quarter Scoring
WOOD - TD and PAT RIDGE 21 - 7
3rd Quarter Scoring
WOOD - TD and PAT RIDGE 21 - 14
RIDGE - TD, PAT FAILED RIDGE 27 - 14
4th Quarter Scoring
RIDGE - TD and PAT RIDGE 34 - 14
WOOD - TD and PAT RIDGE 34 - 21
RIDGE 34 - WOOD 21
By RYAN DUNLEAVY • STAFF WRITER • November 20, 2009
BERNARDS — Keeping Nick Cefalo out of the end zone proved to be too difficult a task for the Woodbridge High School football team. And not just for the defense. Cefalo scored on offense, defense and special teams Friday night and Ridge returned two interceptions for touchdowns to defeat Woodbridge 34-21 in the North 2 Group IV semifinals. The Red Devils will face Phillipsburg in two weeks in their first sectional final appearance since 2003. Despite all of Cefalo's success, junior linebacker Mike Singer might have made the game's biggest play.
NJSIAA playoff predictions and analysis for games involving GMC teams
No.8 Woodbridge (5-4) at No.5 Ridge (8-2)
By Greg Tufaro FRIDAY November 18, 2009 • 10:52 pm
The Barrons, who opened the year 0-4, including consecutive losses to Central Group IV playoff qualifiers East Brunswick, Howell and Sayreville, ride a five-game winning streak into the fray. Woodbridge is led by sophomore quarterback Kyle Anderson, who has thrown for 1,006 yards and 11 touchdowns. Anderson benefits from a deep stable of running backs including Curtis Davison, who rushed for a career-high 148 yards and a touchdowns in last weekend’s 23-14 North 2 Group IV quarterfinal win over Union. Backfield mate Johnny Mayi caught four passes for 100 yards and a score in that game. Woodbridge has three gifted receivers in Anthony Nyers, Keith Hughes and Brian Lynch. The trio has combined for 591 yards and five touchdowns. Dan Donahue, a key two-way lineman, may miss the game with a knee injury. Woodbridge has overcome injuries all year long. In fact, it was without Davison and standout tight end/defensive end Max Issaka when it beat Piscataway 10-3 earlier this year (two other two-way starters were injured in the second half of that game). Defensively, Woodbridge is led by linebacker Praise Martin (65 tackles), lineman C.J. Bruno (43 tackles) and Issaka (43 tackles). Ridge extended its winning streak to six games with a 14-13 victory over Bridgewater-Raritan. The Red Devils suffered consecutive losses to Union and North Hunterdon in Weeks 3 and 4. Their signature win is a 35-21 victory over perennial power Immaculata. Quarterback Ben Edsall (1,430 pasing yards and 17 TDs) leads a dangerous offense. Running backs Anthony Milito (946 yards, 11 TDs) and Nick Cefalo (589 yards, 3 TDs) are an outstanding tandem. Cefalo is the team’s leading receiver with an incredible 46 catches for 929 yards and 12 touchdowns. He is one of the best players in the entire state. Ridge runs a hybrid Wing-T with some spinner series. Milito sometimes lines up nine yards deep in the shotgun. Ridge’s defense bends but does not always break. Woodbridge 35-31.
By GREG TUFARO • STAFF WRITER • November 18, 2009
The Woodbridge High School football team held a little mini-camp back in June during which quarterback Kyle Anderson impressed. "After the first couple of 7-on-7s, we knew right then he'd be our quarterback because of his accuracy and his leadership in the huddle," Woodbridge coach Brian Russo said. "He is so mature. He's got a voice, and his voice is so powerful, the kids listen to him. The question was, could he take a hit? And with pads and helmet on, could he throw?"
Barrons go on the road, defeat No. 1 Union, will play at Ridge Friday night
BY SHAWN LAYTON Staff Writer 11-18-2009
When the Woodbridge High School football team opened the season with four straight losses, head coach Brian Russo told his team it needed to take a playoff approach and treat every game as a must-win situation. His approach has paid off: the team defeated Union for its fifth straight victory. This time, the playoff approach was appropriate, because the No. 8 Barrons knocked off No. 1 Union, 23- 14, in the NJSIAA North 2 Group IV quarterfinals.
By GREG TUFARO STAFF WRITER November 16, 2009 • 10:35 am
Curtis Davison transfered from Sayreville to Woodbridge High School before the start of this season, bringing with him a wealth of potential. Like the Barrons, who dropped their first four football games, the senior running back got off to a slow start, which could be attributed in large part to injuries and youth. With a slew of underclassmen in the starting lineup including a trio of sophomores at quarterback and the two wide receiver spots, Woodbridge clearly needed time to gel.
By Greg Tufaro November 14, 2009 • 10:57 pm
4. WOODBRIDGE (5-4): The eighth-seeded Barrons stunned top-seeded Union with a 23-14 victory in the North 2 Group IV quarterfinals. James Lyzcowski and Curtis Davison each had a rushing touchdown, Johnny Mayi caught a 12-yard scoring strike from Kyle Anderson and Robert Martinez booted a 24-yard field goal to account for the Barrons’ scoring. Woodbridge, which opened the year 0-4, will face Ridge in the semifinals. Next: at Ridge, Friday, 7 p.m.
North 2 Group IV
By JOE SKREC CORRESPONDENT 11-14-2009
UNION — Woodbridge High School lineman Craig Bruno lost his helmet, but held onto the football and helped make sure the Barrons’ playoff dream continued.
Bruno, from his defensive line position, recovered a Union fumble in one of the biggest plays of a game-deciding sequence in the third quarter that propelled eighth-seeded Woodbridge past top-seeded Union, 23-14, Saturday night in an NJSIAA North 2 Group IV quarterfinal.
Woodbridge, which started the season 0-4, will play at Ridge 7 p.m. Friday night in a sectional semifinal.
Woodbridge and Union were tied 14-14 at halftime, but the Barrons fielded the second-half kickoff and drove from their 37-yard line to the Union 8.
On fourth-and-goal, Woodbridge’s Robert Martinez, a freshman, booted a 24-yard field goal for a 17-14 lead with 4:02 left in the third quarter. Those were Martinez’ only points of the game.
On Union’s first offensive play of the second half, the ball was jarred loose and Bruno recovered at the Farmers’ 14, despite losing his helmet on the play.
On third down and eight, Woodbridge quarterback Kyle Anderson connected with Johnny Mayi, who got open, like he did on many occasions Saturday night, out of the Barrons’ backfield.
WOODBRIDGE at UNION NJSIAA North 2 Group IV - Round One
Friday, November 14, 2009 7pm
WOODBRIDGE (5-4) 6 8 9 0 — 23 UNION (7-2) 0 14 0 0 — 14
1st Quarter Scoring
WOOD: Lyzckowski 2 run (pass failed)
2nd Quarter Scoring
UNION: Lee 52 pass from Daniels (Govea run)
WOOD: Davison 7 run (Lynch pass from Anderson)
UNION: Allen 8 pass from Daniels (kick failed)
3rd Quarter Scoring
WOOD: Martinez 24 FG
WOOD: Mayi 12 pass from Anderson (kick failed)
4th Quarter Scoring
NJSIAA playoff predictions and analysis
By Greg Tufaro - November 12, 2009 • 2:36 pm
No.8 Woodbridge (4-4) at No.1 Union (7-1), 7 p.m.
After opening the year with four consecutive losses, the Barrons won four straight to qualify in North 2 Group IV. Woodbridge is coming off a 42-6 victory over J.P. Stevens in which it operated on all cylinders. A key to the team’s turnaround has been the rapid development of sophomore QB Kyle Anderson. Improved blocking up front and a balanced rushing attack have taken pressure off Anderson, allowing him to make better decisions and force less passes. The recent winning streak has also prevented Anderson from having to pass in comeback situations. After throwing 10 interceptions in the first five games, Anderson has thrown just two picks over the last three. He has completed 67 of 149 passes for 836 yards and 10 TDs on the year. Perhaps nobody in the GMC throws a better ball on the run, making Anderson and his deep fleet of wideouts (including Anthony Nyers and Keith Hughes) tough to defend on designed rollouts. WR Brian Lynch has emerged in recent weeks as another pass-catching threat. Opposing defenses must respect the screen pass to RBs Johnny Mayi and Curtis Davison. Max Issaka and C.J. Bruno anchor a rapidly improving defensive line. RB/DB James Lyzchowski and WR/LB Nyers, better known for their offensive exploits, have exceled on defense in recent weeks. Woodbridge is simply one of the state’s hottest teams entering the playoffs with a 10-3 win over defending sectional champion Piscataway on its resume. The young but battle-tested Barrons opened the year with consecutive losses to Central Group IV qualifiers East Brunswick, Howell and Sayreville. One must wonder if Union’s schedule prepared it as well. Five of the Farmers’ wins have come against teams with a combined 8-35 record (.186 winning percentage). They defeated sectional playoff qualifiers Bridgewater-Raritan and Ridge. Union posted three shutouts in its first four games but has surrendered 72 points in its last four. The Farmers are coming off a 35-14 loss to Westfield. Union is big, physical and its linemen are in excellent condition. Terence Gavin is impressive in the trenches. QB James Daniels (6-4), has a strong arm and WR Elijah Lee may be the best Woodbridge has seen this season (including all of Howell’s gifted wideouts). Union will look to run the ball before taking a chance up top. It operates out of a multiple I formation and pro set. The Farmers will employ the wildcat on occasion.
By GREG TUFARO STAFF WRITER November 6, 2009
WOODRIDGE – After opening the year with four consecutive losses, the Woodbridge High School football team continued its remarkable turnaround, clinching an NJSIAA playoff berth while extending its winning streak to four games with a 42-6 victory over J.P. Stevens at Priscoe Stadium on Friday night. The Barrons (4-4), who got the help they needed when Immaculata knocked off Linden, 42-21, to eliminate the Tigers from postseason contention, will play a first-round North 2 Group IV playoff game next weekend at an opponent to be determined.
By GREG TUFARO STAFF WRITER November 03, 2009 • 12:40 pm
The J.P. Stevens High School football team has been in all but two games this season, but the Hawks, who are vastly improved, have little to show for their effort. For that reason, coach Joe Riggi and his ballclub relish the role they will get a chance to play in Friday’s Home News Tribune Game of the Week against Woodbridge at Nicholas A. Priscoe Stadium.
By GREG TUFARO STAFF WRITER November 03, 2009 • 10:54 am
The Woodbridge and Linden high school football programs are headed in completely opposite directions yet trying to reach the same destination. Both teams are in a must-win situation as they compete for the eighth and final NJSIAA playoff spot in North 2 Group IV. The cutoff for the postseason is Saturday. The top eight teams in each of the state’s 20 sections, according to a power points ranking system, are eligible for the playoffs, provided they have a record of .500 or better.
By GREG TUFARO STAFF WRITER 10-23-2009
WOODBRIDGE – An injury-riddled Woodbridge High School football team, missing two key two-way starters, turned in a spectacular defensive effort and converted two turnovers into points en route to a stunning 10-3 upset of Piscataway, ranked No. 2 in the Home News Tribune Top 10, at Nicholas A. Priscoe Stadium on Friday night.
By GREG TUFARO STAFF WRITER October 20, 2009 • 9:33 pm
The Greater Middlesex Conference’s partnership with the Shore Conference was created to alleviate scheduling woes for Group I schools in both leagues and, in my opinion, to placate three or four Group IV schools from the GMC who may have concerns regarding their ability to compete in the Red Division.
By Greg Tufaro October 20, 2009 • 8:58 pm
For a list of the top scoring, rushing, passing, receiving and kicking leaders.
By CHRIS JORDAN - STAFF WRITER 10-16-2009
OLD BRIDGE — It was the play that wouldn’t end – until Woodbridge back Johnny Mayi ended it. The senior back swept to the left and fought his way out of two stand-up scrums to battle way 42 yards for the touchdown. The score gave the Barrons a 17-3 lead at 5:34 in the third quarter and seemed to put Old Bridge it their heels, en route to a 20-9 Woodbridge win in the Greater Middlesex Conference Red Division game in Old Bridge. ”He decided not to go down and make the play,” said Woodbridge head coach Brian Russo. ”It was a statement.”
By TODD COHEN - CORRESPONDENT - 10-09-2009
EDISON – Following a difficult early stretch, the Woodbridge High School football team wasted little time to finally secure its first win of the year. Woodbridge scored three first-half touchdowns, including a score on its opening drive, to defeat Edison 21-6 Friday night. The Barrons used a balanced offensive game over the first two quarters (15 pass, 16 run) plan to register all of their points in the game. Looking more experienced than just his five varsity starts, sophomore quarterback Kyle Anderson completed 11-of-20 pass attempts for 161 yards and two touchdowns.
By MIKE JANELA - CORRESPONDENT - 10-02-2009
SOUTH BRUNSWICK — Against an opponent still finding its offensive legs, the South Brunswick High School football team held on for a gripping overtime win over Woodbridge, 14-7, on Friday night. On a night when neither side could muster the offense it hoped for, the Vikings (2-1), ranked ninth in the Home News Tribune Top 10, scored on a 7-yard play action pass from Mike Muha to Steven Mychalczuk on their first overtime possession to earn a Homecoming victory and keep Woodbridge (0-4) winless on the year.
By KEN WEINGARTNER CORRESPONDENT 09-25-2009
WOODBRIDGE … Nick Bodtmann has not had much chance to play on offense for the Sayreville High football team this year, but the senior is making the most of his opportunities. Limited by injuries so far this season, Bodtmann finally got to see time offensively for the Bombers Friday night against Woodbridge. He responded with first-half touchdown catches of 54 and 45 yards as Sayreville, the No.‚1-ranked team in the Home News Tribune Top 10, improved to 3-0 with a 23-8 victory in the Greater Middlesex Conference Red Division.
By GREG TUFARO September 18, 2009 • 1:36 pm
Thursday night’s game between Howell and Woodbridge, suspended after the lights died with 55 seconds left in the third quarter and the Rebels holding a 37-7 lead, will not be continued.
By SHERLON CHRISTIE - STAFF WRITER - 09-17-2009
HOWELL – Twelve light bulbs on one malfunctioning light tower haulted the nonconference football game between visiting Woodbridge and host Howell on Thursday evening. The officials suspended the game, citing safety, with 55 seconds left in the third quarter and with Howell holding a 37-7 lead. Howell running back Benton Burdin just scored on a 43-yard touchdown and then the lights on the malfunctioning tower went out again. “”The officials said they weren’t going to put the kids at risk. We understand that. We’ll try to work something out (with Howell),” Woodbridge coach Brian Russo said. “” We were willing to play. We have seen lights worse than this but we understand the officials’ point of view. Obviously, I don’t want to put my kids at risk.”
By GREG TUFARO STAFF WRITER 09-11-2009
WOODBRIDGE – As well as the East Brunswick High School football team played, dominating in every aspect of its 38-0 season-opening drubbing of Woodbridge at Priscoe Stadium on Friday night, the Bears know there is plenty of room for improvement. Senior outside linebacker Tim O’Sullivan, who blocked a punt that led to a score and returned an interception 55 yards for another touchdown, felt East Brunswick could have performed better defensively.
By GREG TUFARO • STAFF WRITER • September 10, 2009
Johnny Mayi unselfishly made the transition from tailback to quarterback last year to help Woodbridge fill a need. With the emergence of sophomore Kyle Anderson as a competent signal caller, Mayi may be able to return to his natural position, where he will be joined in the backfield this season by a stable of gifted running backs including Curtis Davison, a transfer from Sayreville.
By PAUL FRANKLIN • STAFF WRITER • September 10, 2009
n Sayreville it's the Touchdown Club. In Woodbridge it's the Fifth Quarter Club. In East Brunswick it's the Quarterback Club. By any name they are booster clubs for their high school football teams. Not every school has one, but those who do make their season much more enjoyable and much more memorable than just weekly wins and losses.
By Greg Tufaro September 09, 2009 • 8:50 pm
7. WOODBRIDGE (5-5)
Time will tell, but Woodbridge may have found itself a quarterback in Kyle Anderson. The sophomore’s development is key for it allows Johnny Mayi to return to his natural position as a running back. Mayi, who quarterbacked the squad last fall, will be joined in the backfield by Curtis Davison. A transfer from Sayreville, Davison rushed for 408 yards last season. Woodbridge boasts a couple of three-year starters on the offensive line in C.J. Bruno and Patrick Santiago. The Barrons have some gifted and tall receivers. Defensive end Max Issaka has a Division I body. Woodbridge is young but loaded with potential.
By HARRY FREZZA • Staff Writer • May 6, 2009
ROBBINSVILLE — The power point system that determines which teams qualify for the NJSIAA football playoffs will now be calculated differently. The NJSIAA Executive Committee approved the new formula at its meeting Wednesday by a 27-5 vote and the system will be implemented this fall. Previously, power points were calculated by multiplying an opponent's group number by two and adding the number of wins the opponent had, known as residual points. Now, a team will receive six points for a win plus points equivalent to the opponent's group size plus three times the number of wins the opponent has.
By GREG TUFARO • Staff Writer • May 1, 2009
EDISON — The signs outside Edison High School announcing the untimely death of 17-year-old senior Kittim Sherrod, a beloved student-athlete who collapsed and died during a Thursday afternoon track practice, were subtle. An American flag flew at half mast from a pole inside the horseshoe driveway, a flier offering 24-hour emergency counseling to students was taped to front door and a simple heart-shaped balloon bearing the words "I Love You" was tethered to a bouquet of roses resting on the 50-yard line of the football field where Sherrod once starred.
By STEVEN FALK • Staff Writer • April 1, 2009
ROBBINSVILLE — A proposal that will change the way power points are calculated in determining which teams qualify for the NJSIAA football playoffs is one step away from becoming reality. The NJSIAA Executive Committee approved a proposal presented by Montgomery High School by a 16-5 vote on a first reading on Wednesday. If a majority of the Executive Committee approve it on a second reading on May 6, it will be implemented beginning this fall. The proposal calls for power points to be calculated in the following manner: A team will receive six points plus the group size and three times the number of wins an opponent has defeated.
By JOHN HALEY • Staff Writer • April 4, 2009
Tarig Holman celebrated his two-year wedding anniversary in style this past week when he was named head football coach at South Brunswick High School. Holman, 32, replaces Rick Mantz, who resigned after last season to accept a position in the business world. Mantz, who was at South Brunswick for two years, guided the Vikings to the NJSIAA playoffs in 2007, marking the first time in 30 years the school qualified for the postseason. Last year's team finished 9-2 and turned in the school's best season in history. Holman, a football/track standout at Randolph High School and later at Iowa University, was an assistant on last year's team under Mantz.
Longtime assistant at Hunterdon Central named new football coach at Voorhees
By HARRY FREZZA • Staff Writer • April 2, 2009
LEBANON TOWNSHIP — Mark Priebracha, a longtime assistant to Hunterdon Central coach Matt Perotti, has been named the new football coach at Voorhees. Priebracha, also an assistant to Perotti when Perotti was at Delaware Valley, is a graduate of Shippensburg University. He was the offensive coordinator for Hunterdon Central High School since 2004 and at Del Val from 1998 to 2004. Priebracha takes over for Tony Makoski, who stepped down after last season. Mark Priebracha has spent the past 11 years working under Hunterdon Central High School football coach Matt Perotti, regarded as one of the most successful in Central Jersey. Now, Priebracha will get to take what he has learned and run his own program at Voorhees. The North Hunterdon-Voorhees Regional Board of Education approved the 36-year-old Milltown resident as the Vikings' coach at its regular meeting Tuesday night. The board is expected to approve Priebracha as a business education teacher at its April 21 meeting.
By JOHN HALEY • Staff Writer • March 27, 2009
EDISON — John Quinn, Odie Paige, Ken Pace, Nick Scheno, Jim Thomas and Karyn Grant will all be inducted into the New Jersey Scholastic Coaches Association Hall of Fame. The ceremony is noon Sunday at the Pines Manor. Quinn, whose teams won football sectional championships at Roxbury and New Brunswick, is 62-17 at New Brunswick, including two sectional titles.
By JOHN HALEY • Staff Writer • March 26, 2009
METUCHEN — The St. Joseph High School football program is more than two years away from playing its first varsity game, but the head coach is already talking about state championships. St. Joseph principal John Anderson announced Wednesday that Bob Molarz, 52, will be the head coach of the school's football program. Molarz, the head coach at Carteret from 1998-2005, met with 55 freshmen Wednesday in the St. Joseph gymnasium. Afterward, Molarz was asked what his vision is for the program.
By GREG TUFARO • Staff Writer • March 11, 2009
The Skyland Conference will not permit Franklin High School to leave its league for the Greater Middlesex Conference, for which it successfully applied for membership last month. Skyland Conference athletics directors voted 12-11 on Wednesday to deny Franklin entry into the GMC. Franklin needed two-thirds, or 15 votes, to have its request approved. Franklin will now appeal to the NJSIAA's Leagues and Conferences committee. No date has been set for that appeal. Three members of the NJSIAA's 10-member committee will have to recuse themselves from the vote due to their GMC affiliation. They are: J.F. Kennedy Principal Mike Cilento, Bishop Ahr Athletics Director Mike Wolfthal and Perth Amboy Athletics Director Gregg Ficarra.
By GREG TUFARO • Staff Writer • February 19, 2009
Franklin and Wardlaw-Hartridge were approved to become new members of the Greater Middlesex Conference in a vote of the league's athletics directors at Spotswood High School on Thursday. The Rams will join the GMC in 2010 and the Warriors will follow suit if they obtain their release on March 11 from the Skyland Conference, of which Franklin is currently a member.
By JOHN HALEY • Staff Writer • February 17, 2009
Rick Mantz, the Home News Tribune's 2008 Football Coach of the Year who resurrected the South Brunswick High School program, has resigned to enter the business world. Mantz was the highly successful head coach at Hillsborough where he won 81 games in 12 seasons, including the 2000 Central Group IV sectional championship. After stepping down at Hillsborough, Mantz took one season off and accepted the head coaching job at South Brunswick prior to the 2007 season. He also served as assistant athletics director.
By GREG TUFARO • Staff Writer • January 25, 2009
METUCHEN — The St. Joseph High School administration announced Saturday that the all-boys parochial school will add football as its 14th sports program. School president Larry Walsh (Class of '68) and principal John Anderson ('70), both St. Joseph alums, labored over their decision to offer the sport and did so only after scrutinizing an exhaustive year-long study of an 18-member football committee headed by athletics director Jerry Smith and 1978 graduate Ed Lubowicki.
By GREG TUFARO • Staff Writer • January 21, 2009
Franklin High School has applied for admission to the Greater Middlesex Conference and league president Elaine McGrath said she believes the Warriors could be a good fit. "Everybody is looking for quality competition," McGrath said. "They match up with what we have. I think it's a good opportunity for the conference to take a look at another Group IV school that would like to come in and be a member of our conference."
By JOHN HALEY • Staff Writer • January 20, 2009
The landscape of Greater Middlesex Conference football will change dramatically with Tuesday's passing of a vote which will merge the GMC with the Shore Conference to form somewhat of a Super Conference. The majority of GMC's 23 athletics directors approved the move at Tuesday morning's meeting at Spotswood High School. A 25-member group from the Shore Conference unanimously approved...
By JOHN HALEY • Staff Writer • January 19, 2009
The Greater Middlesex Conference and the Shore Conference could be in the high school football business together if everything goes as planned this morning at Spotswood High School. The two conferences would join forces as somewhat of a "Super Conference' if there is a majority vote among the 30 GMC Athletic Directors. The divisional alignments would remain the same for each conference — six in the Shore, four in the GMC — but all open dates for the 43 schools in the Shore and the 24 in the GMC would be filled by teams in the two conferences. None of the 67 schools will have a game scheduled outside of the Shore or GMC Conferences.