first_imgStaff Writer Jackson, TR East dominate Middletown South tourney Local teams struggle to compete with out-of-towners JERRY WOLKOWITZ Middletown North’s Marc Evans tries to roll over Red Bank Regional’s Nick Delorenzo for a pin during a 112-pound match during the Middletown South Wrestling Tournament on Saturday. Evans went on to beat Delorenzo 9-4 before bowing out in the semifinals. It wasn’t that long ago that the Middletown South Wrestling Tournament was a showcase event for many of the Bayshore area’s finest grapplers. Back when the likes of the legendary Glenn Pritzlaff were dominating the competition on the mats, the host Eagles were always a sure choice to contend for the overall team title, while squads like Middletown North and Rumson-Fair Haven would battle for respect and a good finish against imposing Ocean squads that would always seem to have at least three or four top wrestlers with potential district, region and even state titles on their minds. And to take home a title from the tournament was always an accomplishment worthy of acknowledgment, and a sure sign that you were ready to compete with the area’s, and many of the state’s, best. Because of the quality of wrestling the tournament annually presented, it began to establish a reputation as one of the top holiday-time tournaments in the state, drawing interest from schools outside the Monmouth County wrestling circle. JERRY WOLKOWITZ Middletown South’s Tom Gray tries to escape the hold of Freehold Township’s Chris Stein during a 130-pound match on Saturday. Each year, more and more teams from outside of Monmouth County expressed interest in joining the fray, eager to give their wrestlers a chance at the prestige that came with a win at the Middletown South Tournament. As a result, Saturday’s finals shouldn’t have been much of a surprise, as only one local wrestler made it to the finals against competition hailing from throughout the state. South’s Brian Hennessy entered the finals against Freehold Township’s Rob Morello, knowing exactly what to expect. The two have seen plenty of each other, and after Hennessy beat the 135-pound leader of the Freehold team in a dual meet last year, they have enjoyed a serious rivalry ever since. This time around, Morello, the Region VI runner-up last year, came back to beat Hennessy, taking him down with 14 seconds left in overtime to win 4-2. The bout was one of the more exciting finishes of the tournament, and marked the high point for the local wrestling scene. Hennessy continued to impress, and should be a favorite when the district tournament rolls around. The finals were dominated by a young Jackson team which is proving that it hasn’t lost all that much from last season’s top-ranked team in the Shore Conference. The Jaguars got by a Toms River East team which did not field a full lineup 171 1/2 to 141 1/2, as the Raiders rested up for an important dual meet with the Jags on Jan. 10. However, the Raiders had more winners (four) than Jackson, who took the team title by placing four runners-up and five third-place finishes. In third place for the team title was High Point (137 points) followed by Clifton (93 1/2), Woodbridge (80 1/2) and Pinelands (61). Then came the local teams, Middletown South (46), Middletown North (42), Neptune (36), Allentown (34), Freehold (29) and Red Bank (9). Middletown North junior Marc Evans managed a third-place finish in the 112-pound weight class, beating Pinelands’ David Smith 5-3 in the consolation round. He was joined by teammate Dan Ling, a senior who took third in the 145-pound class with a 9-5 decision. However, North’s Ryan Oswin (130) and Joe Bisking (171) were unable to win their consolation matches. Middletown South also had a few wrestlers survive until the consolation round, where they were beaten. As for Red Bank, only sophomore Brandon Scott (145) made it to the consolation round, where he lost a 13-10 decision. Other local teams were also in action this weekend in a series of nondivisional meets. Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft, used a steak of 11 straight wins to overcome Holmdel on Saturday, 65-10. The Hornets won the match’s first two contests at 103 and 112 before the Colts ran off their streak to push their early-season mark to 2-0 heading into tomorrow’s Manchester Hawk Classic. As for the 1-1 Hornets, they will look for a better showing as the host of tomorrow’s Holmdel Christmas Invitational. Other schools that will travel to Holmdel tomorrow are Keyport, coming off a 65-15 loss at the hands of Manchester; St. John Vianney, who topped Keansburg 72-12, and Monmouth 59-11 on Saturday; Red Bank Catholic; Rumson-Fair-Haven; Shore; and a St. Rose squad which lost three matches on Saturday to Point Borough (83-0), Manasquan (72-12) and Donovan (57-15). As for Rumson, they have jumped out of the starting blocks this year and are looking to continue to notch wins early in the season. Led by the sophomore tandem of Patrick Berger (15-3 last year) and Bryan Heller (25-3), the Bulldogs will be a tough match-up for everyone at the Holmdel tournament. Senior Jesse Eckleberry (21-5 last year) will also be a favorite tomorrow. By Doug mckenzie last_img read more

first_img By Warren RappleyeaStaff Writer By Warren Rappleyea Staff Writer With a new coach and several returning starters, the Holmdel High School softball team is looking to surpass last spring’s 8-13 record. Following some poor weather during the week, the Hornets finally opened the season on Saturday against defending Parochial A champion St. John Vianney and suffered a 10-0 loss. “I’m looking at this as kind of a building year because this is a young team even though it has some varsity experience,” said coach Lisa Schutt. “But I have high expectations and I’m going to push the girls hard. We’re going to train like a championship team and do our best to play like one.” Schutt knows a thing or two about winning. She played for Middletown South, a perennial Shore Conference power, and at the University of Georgia. Last year she served as a volunteer assistant for Tom Erbig at Middletown South. The new coach plans to lean on the experience of senior co-captains Stacie Gussis and Angela Sze to help lead the way. Gussis, a first baseman in her third varsity campaign, and Sze, an excellent defensive center fielder, are also among the Hornets’ top hitters. Holmdel carries just three other seniors, outfielders Lizzy Hayashida and Alaina Infuntino, and second baseman Tara Ruda, all of whom moved up from the junior varsity. Junior Juliann Vikse, an outfielder last spring, is the Hornets’ primary pitcher. Schutt noted that Vikse has good speed on her deliveries and has been hitting spots consistently. Sophomore Jen Curran, who earned a starting berth last season, returns behind the plate and in the leadoff spot. Her strong arm should discourage opposition base runners. Except for Gussis, the infield in comprised of juniors: returnees Jen Zudonyi and Kristina Dayback at shortstop and second base, respectively, and Megan Yetka, the third baseman. Another junior, Amanda Kapsales, is the right fielder, and sophomore Tiffany Hsu is in left field. Lefty-hitting Marissa Marra, also a soph, will see action at first base and in the outfield. “We have a solid infield and strong pitching,” Schutt said. “Our goal is to work as a team and gain the skills to compete with the top programs.” Holmdel was scheduled to return to play yesterday against Red Bank Regional, and is scheduled to take on Raritan tomorrow in Hazlet. Hornets need to rebound from a season-opening loss to SJV last_img read more

first_img BY WARREN RAPPLEYEAStaff Writer With a group of young veterans returning, the Holmdel High School boys tennis team is looking to improve on last spring’s 14-4 record. The Hornets feature a trio of sophomores in the singles slots and a very deep and talented group of players, coach Chuck Chelednick said. The Hornets got off to an inauspicious start, however, dropping its season-opener last Monday to fifth-ranked Christian Brothers Academy (CBA), 3-2, in what was a hard-fought battle that came down to the final match at second doubles. They then dropped a 3-2 match to Rumson-Fair Haven on Thursday, before blanking Raritan, 5-0, on Friday. Jonathan Tai holds down the first singles slot for Holmdel. A year ago, Tai went 12-5 alternating between the first and second spots, and boasts a consistent all-around game and a tricky spin serve that keeps opponents off-balance. Jeff Yang, a solid baseline player with good forehand strokes, is No. 2. He was 13-3 last season. Jeff Yen is an exceptionally quick baseline player who wears down opponents. Yen was 14-1 as a freshman. Senior Julius Li and junior Ken Hettler, who combined to go 14-2 last season, are at first doubles. Greg Teng, a sophomore, and Josh Mooney, a junior, will start the season at second doubles. Sophomore Alex Wu and Jon D’Agostino, who were 10-1 together a year ago, will also see doubles action. “We’re very deep and I’m going to mix and match players throughout the year,” Chelednick said. “Everyone will get their shot.” Other members of the team include juniors Ken Chiou and Kushal Patel; sophomores Justin Chu and Allen Liu; and freshmen Eric Chung and Vincent Lyu. “We’re playing in a very tough conference [Shore A North)], so we’re going to need our doubles teams to come through,” Chelednick said. “I think a lot of our matches will be 3-2s, so we’re going to need strong seasons from just a bout everyone.” As the 10th-ranked team in the Shore, Holmdel faces some high expectations once again — nothing new for one of the Shore’s elite programs. BY WARREN RAPPLEYEA Staff Writer last_img read more

first_imgThe MC Renegades, a 13U travel baseball team playing in the central Jersey area, is seeking quality players, especially pitchers and catchers. Players must be born after May 1, 1995. The team will be having indoor winter training workouts starting in January and then will play in a spring travel baseball league, including tournaments. The team is looking for dedicated players. A few slots are still available. If interested, contact Les Kramsky at 732-239-6767 or lesrkramskyesq@ read more