Category: Football

SPONSORED: Now is the time to start planning fall fundraisers; John Tuohy of Fundraising U. explains how to raise the most money in the least amount of time

As the world keeps working to get back to a “pre-pandemic normal,” high school sports teams hopefully will be getting back to normal this fall, too.

But that also means they’re going to have to raise as much cash as they did before – if not more – to keep things going.

That’s why John Tuohy of Fundraising University – one of Central Jersey Sports Radio’s founding sponsors – says now is the time to start thinking about fundraisers.

What’s your fundraising goal? What would you like to sell? Who can be involved? Who are you selling to? How can you do it in the least amount of time, while raising the most amount of money?

All questions John Tuohy can answer.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with John Tuohy about the type of money-raising events Fundraising University can offer:

Rick Mantz talks facilities, academics, and his plans for Pingry

He says his golf game isn’t going so well, and he misses coaching football.

But really, anyone who knows Rick Mantz couldn’t have expected him to be gone from the sidelines for very long.

Mantz – who had perhaps his greatest success as the head coach of Hillsborough, but also turned around South Brunswick’s program and coached for a spell at Passaic – will be back on the sidelines after spending three years at Rutgers as high school relations coordinator, hired earlier this week as the new head coach at Pingry.

The Big Blue have been playing a mostly prep school schedule since 2017, when it left the now-defunct football version of the Skyland Conference.

And while Mantz says there’s no immediate plans to change that, he also believes there’s no reason Pingry – with what he says are top notch facilities and academics – can’t compete with schools like Morris Catholic, St. Joseph-Metuchen, Bishop Ahr and Immaculata, its nearest non-public competitors, geographically-speaking.

Click below to hear Rick Mantz talk about his plans for the Big Blue with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko:

SPONSORED: Fundraising University helps HS sports teams adapt to COVID, and still raise money

It’s not easy to ask for money in this day and age, with COVID leaving people out of work and hurting them economically.

But high school sports teams are still playing, and their costs have gone up. That makes fundraising more important than ever.

That’s where Fundraising University comes in. Click here to learn more!

Their goal is to help sports teams raise the most amount of money in the least amount of time. It could be cookie dough, popcorn, or local discount cards for your favorite restaurants around town.

Whatever it is, John Tuohy, the New Jersey representative for Fundraising University is the man to call.

And now is the perfect time to set up a fundraiser for the Spring, or even football or any other Fall sport. It’s never too early.

Plus, Fundraising University now has a special for Central Jersey Sports Radio listeners! Mention you heard about Fundraising University here, and they will give you an extra $100 incentive for your best fundraising student-athlete, on top of their other, typical incentives.

Click below to listen to Mike Pavlichko and John Tuohy talk about how Fundraising University can help your school raise the most amount of money in the least amount of time!

Reach John Tuohy of Fundraising University at 732-772-3354. You can also find them online by clicking here. Fundraising University also can be found on Twitter.

GMC Basketball Coaches Prez asks HS hoops fans to support Marisa Tufaro Foundation, in lieu of attending tourney games

There’s no Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament this year. No big semifinal weekend at Middlesex County College, no Championship Doubleheader at a place that should for all intents and purposes be at the RAC. (But that’s a conversation for another time.)

And the head of the GMC Basketball Coaches Association has a good idea what you could do with the two, three, four or five dollars you might have plunked down for your admission to any of those venues.

Donate it to the Marisa Tufaro Foundation.

Marisa Tufaro

From 2017 to 2019, the Association raised $8,000 for the Foundation – which does a wide range of terrific charitable work throughout New Jersey – via its annual senior all-start doublehader.

But COVID forced its cancellation last year – its status this year is uncertain – and the Marisa Tufaro Foundation still has good deeds to do.

Click here to donate to the Marisa Tufaro Foundation. Any size donation is welcome!

So, Jose Rodriguez – the former Carteret standout, St. Joe’s assistant and current Colonia head coach, who’s now president of the Coaches Assocation – says why not save the few bucks and help out a great local charity.

Its named in honor of Marisa Tufaro, the daughter of MyCentralJersey.com local sportswriter Greg Tufaro. Marisa tragically passed away at the age of 13 in 2017. Born with a heart defect, she received a transplant, but then was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, which ultimately took her life.

Click below to listen to Jose Rodriguez’ suggestion for how you can help donate to the Marisa Tufaro Foundation:

Donations in the amount of a normal game admission can be made online at The Marisa Tufaro Foundation’s website or checks can be made payable to The Marisa Tufaro Foundation and mailed to P.O. Box 10625, New Brunswick, NJ 08906

Murphy extends parent/guardian fan admission to college athletics, to open other sports venues to limited fans next week

New Jersey Governor Murphy last week opened up high school athletic venues to two parents/guardians per student-athlete, with three weeks left in Season 2, which includes high school basketball.

Now, he’s extending that allowance to college sports – like Rutgers – as long as capacity limits aren’t exceeded, effective immediately.

He made the announcement around 11:30 this morning on the Moose and Maggie show on WFAN 660 AM in New York.

In addition, Murphy is allowing all sports – professional and college – and entertainment venues with a capacity of 5,000 or more o open to ten percent capacity effective Monday, March 1 at 6 am. Outdoor venues can open to 15 percent. The opening also affects entertainment venues such as concert halls and amphitheaters.

That means for the Prudential Center in Newark, which has a hockey capacity of 16,500, as many as 1,650 fans could potentially be allowed.

Parents and guardians will be able to attend the last men’s basketball home game of the year – Wednesday against Indiana – and the last women’s home game of the year, which is slated for March 4th or 5th against Ohio State.

But while the Governor said on the ‘FAN that opening all indoor venues to ten percent capacity could allow the general public to go to games at the RAC, it’s too little to late, and a moot point at the same time.

Wednesday’s last home game for the Rutgers men falls before the new regulations go into effect. The women’s team’s last game comes after the new rules take effect, but the Big Ten has not been allowing fans all season, in order to keep a level playing field among teams in states with varying degrees of regulation.

CLICK HERE to listen to Murphy’s full interview with Moose and Maggie on WFAN.

New York recently announced it would open sports venues to limited capacity as well, with the first to be the Barclays Center for a Brooklyn Nets game Tuesday But while fans there will be required to show negative PCR tests, Murphy said such a requirement will not be in effect in New Jersey.

SPONSORED: Basketball Warehouse helps players of all ages improve their skills and confidence in a personal setting

The following is sponsored content from Basketball Warehouse. Please support our sponsors, who make our coverage of high school sports on Central Jersey Sports Radio possible.

It was 2013, and brothers Bobby and Mark Timinski – standout high school basketball players in their day – had a mattress and furniture business, with a warehouse in Edison. And they had a lot of extra space.

Basketball junkies their whole lives – Bobby played at St. Joe’s and Colonia while Mark played scholastically in Florida before playing for the Gators in College – they decided to open a training facility with the leftover space.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Basketball players can work in small groups as seen here, or individually, at Basketball Warehouse in Edison.

Bobby says they noticed while there were a slew of travel and AAU teams around, there were few places to work on the fundamentals of the game.

Basketball Warehouse welcomes basketball players ranging from age 8 through those already in college, and hosts summer camps, as well as individual and group sessions, where players can work at their own pace.

One of the practice courts at Basketball Warehouse in Edison.

Mike Pavlichko got a chance to talk with Bobby Timinski about the origins of Basketball Warehouse, and why it’s the ideal place to go for anyone looking to up their game on the court, at any level.

Click below to hear more with Mike Pavlichko and Bobby Timinski:

Follow Basketball Warehouse on social media: They’re on Twitter at @BballWarehous and on Facebook. Visit them at www.basketballarehouse.net.

Central Jersey Sports Radio announces “Fundraising University Unsung Hero Scholarship Award”

Central Jersey Sports Radio is happy to announce its first scholarship: the Fundraising University Unsung Hero Scholarship Award, which will be given to the high school football player in the Big Central Conference who was most valuable to his team off the field and behind the scenes in 2020.

The award will be $500 and given to a player who doesn’t score the most touchdowns, have the flashiest highlights, or get the most press. A nomination form will be emailed to coaches in the Big Central Conference, and a winner will be chosen by Central Jersey Sports Radio in conjunction with John Tuohy of Fundraising University in New Jersey. The winner will be announced by the end of April.

Click below to learn more about the award:

AUDIO: Governor Murphy announces an Executive Order to allow limited fans at indoor high school sporting events

This story will be updated if Governor Phil Murphy makes additional comments at today’s press conference. Please check back here for updates.

During his regularly scheduled Friday COVID press conference, Governor Murphy announced he will sign an executive order today allowing limited numbers of fans to attend high school sporting events.

Murphy said fans will be limited to two parents or guardians per student-athlete under the age of 21, as long as capacity limits of 150 people or 35 percent of the room’s capacity – whichever is smaller – are not exceeded.

No other spectators will be allowed to attend.

The St. Joseph-Metuchen “Falcon Flock,” the student section that’s often raucous at St. Joe’s basketball games, has been noticeably absent this year due to COVID regulations banning all fans from games. They still won’t be allowed at games this year, but up to 2 parents or guardians per student athlete will be allowed in high school gyms for the rest of the season. (Source: St. Joe’s website)

“I know many parents, especially those of our senior athletes, have been anxious to get back into the stands to cheer on their student-athletes, in what may, for many, be their final season of competition,” said Murphy.

The Governor said the decision was made as “the metrics in our hospitals and elsewhere continue to trend more positive for us.”

“This is something I have been wanting to do for our student athletes and their biggest fans,” Murphy added.

For the limit to be smaller than 150 people, the full capacity of a gym would have to be about 430 people.

Few gyms, if any, in Central Jersey would fall under that category. Edison, for example, has a capacity of 900, including a handful of rows on each baseline. Taking those out, capacity would be 650, still enough to allow up to 150 people.

The NJSIAA responded to the changes with a statement released on Twitter.

“NJSIAA welcomes the Governor’s executive order, which provides an opportunity for limited spectators to attend high school sporting events. We hope this order marks another positive step in the return to play. At the same time, we urge parents to give our member schools time to review the Governor’s order and determine both overall feasibility and a specific process for increasing capacity as outlined.”

Murphy stressed that all New Jersey Department of Health guidelines would remain in effect. Fans will have to social distance – unless in the same family – and wear masks at games. Murphy added that if a positive case arises, all those in attendance would have to assist with contact tracing.

Murphy said while this could allow fans at games as soon as this weekend, local school districts would have the authority to decide when fans could begin coming to games, whether to have a smaller limit, or whether to even allow fans at all.

Click below to hear Murphy’s comments today on allowing fans back at indoor high school sporting events in New Jersey:

OPINION: Why now is the right time to allow limited fans at H.S. basketball games

The news broke on NJ.com shortly after flip-off (no tip-offs!) of our high school basketball game last night between No. 6 Colonia and Edison. The Eagles had finished their Senior Night activities, but no parents were anywhere to be found.

In fact, the game was delayed a bit so that the masked parents – who didn’t even bother to take off their coats, that’s how quick they were in and out of the gym – could get home in time to watch and listen to the live stream of the game.

NJ.com reported that Governor Murphy could announce today that limited fans – possibly with an emphasis or priority on parents of seniors – would be allowed at high school basketball games in New Jersey.

The news was not a complete surprise. The day before the regular season started on January 25th, Murphy hinted that he was leaning in that direction “soon,” though didn’t commit to a policy or timetable.

Fans have been missing from high school basketball games across New Jersey, but a few two-dimensional ones – even a couple furry family members – were present at last night’s girls’ basketball home game against Edison.

Central Jersey Sports Radio will be on the Governor’s virtual COVID briefing today to hear the news, if indeed it does get announced today. (Murphy is holding the call virtually after he went into self-quarantine earlier this week following a positive COVID test by one of his family members; the Governor himself has tested negative.)

I say, it’s about time. And the Governor probably has seen enough feedback from the last few weeks to realize it’s possible.

What also helps is that the people involved in this decision-making/feedback process are parents. The Governor has kids who play high school sports, as does NJSIAA Executive Director Colleen Maguire. And the Murphy has sat at the dais during COVID with Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly, who is also the head football coach at Hackensack.

Here are three people so closely connected to high school sports, that they get it. They are not handing down rules from some ivory tower,

But are they too close? Are they blinded by the emotion of wanting to see their kids play in person so much that they ignore the science?

Not by a long shot.

What the Governor likely will propose is some sort of highly limited capacity. He’s also talked about prioritizing senior parents. But think about it: high school teams are capped at 14 varsity players.

Let’s say parents are only allowed at home games. Assuming every parent could make every game, that’s a maximum 28 parents. But there are single parents, some who work, and some who have other things going on. So we’re probably talking 14 to 28 extra people in a gym.

Most high school gyms can fit at least a couple hundred fans. Many are larger. I’ve heard the question “Who is going to monitor this? How will we make sure they wear masks?”

It’s certainly easier than it was during football season, where stadiums are much larger and much more spread out.

And the timing – I mean, it could be better – but it’s not bad.

The numbers are coming down in New Jersey. They’re better here than in a lot of states.

They’re far from good, of course. And while we still need to take precautions – wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands often – there’s no reason people acting reasonably can”t come into a high school gym.

Take a look around: New York City sports arenas will be opening to very small capacities in just over a week. Of course, fans will be required to show proof of a negative COVID test within 72 hours, but we’re also talking about 2,000 fans, who likely will have a beer (or two or three) and might be acting rowdy. That won’t be the case with 20 or so high school parents.

I’ve been at four high school basketball games since the start of the season. It was sad to see Edison parents show up for Senior Night, be honored, then have to leave to go home to watch their sons play on YouTube because they’re not allowed in the gym.

But the main thing is this: only three weeks remain in Season 2, for high school basketball. Three weeks, and only very limited opportunities for parents to see their sons and daughters – especially their senior sons and daughters – take the court.

Time is running out faster than we can get a wrap around COVID-19.

The mantra from student-athletes and parents for months had been “Let ‘Em Play.”

Now, I say, “Let ‘Em Watch.” Just maybe not all of them at the same time.

Big Central back to “traditional” divisions, releases full football schedule for 2021

by Mike Pavlichko

Nobody knows what things will look like in September.

But if things with the COVID-19 pandemic improve enough that a full high school football season can be played, the Big Central Conference is ready with its league schedule.

The Big Central was formed in 2017, named in 2018, and was set to begin playing its full schedule in 2020. But the global pandemic forced the NJSIAA to shorten the season schedule, and the Big Central shifted some teams around to form divisions that more closely resembled geography than talent level or school size.

Group 1 Bound Brook, for example – which would have been in a division with Brearley, New Providence, Middlesex and Roselle Park – wound up playing Group 2 Delaware Valley and Group 3 Voorhees. They lost to Del Val, but beat the Vikings. It was the Crusaders’ first win over a Group 3 school in the playoff era.

One can’t really call anything with a one-year-old league “traditional,” but for 2020, the Big Central will go back to its “original” divisional formations.

Click below to hear Big Central Conference President Scott Miller talk about the 2021 football schedule:

Returning to the slate are the two schools that had their districts cancel all fall sports in 2020: Piscataway and Carteret. The Chiefs are coming off a 6-4 season and a first round exit at the hands of West Orange in 2019, while the Ramblers are in a more tenuous situation.

Carteret is coming off a 2-8 campaign in 2019, and in a bit of a state of flux.

They’re seeking a new coach following the departure of Matt Yascko after 14 seasons, two state titles, and an 82-67 overall mark (.550 winning percentage). Yascko left to become the offensive coordinator at Edison, his alma mater, so that he could coach his son – a quarterback also named Matt – who just finished his sophomore season.

Once again, Immaculata does not plan to play in the Big Central. Last February, before COVID-19, the Spartans backed out of the league slate, unhappy with the division they were assigned and their opponents, opting instead to play as a member of the North jersey Super Football Conference’s United Blue Division.

READ MORE: Hackensack’s Wimberly reflects on historic NJSIAA vote, and the value of HS sports during COVID-19

They wound up playing three Big Central schools anyhow, losing to New Brunswick and Montgomery in the regular season, and Bernards on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

For now, at least, Highland Park returns to Division 1B. The Owls – historically one of the most storied programs in Middlesex County – did not play a varsity schedule last year due to a lack of players in the program.

In fact, the 2021 schedule is virtually the exact same slate the Big Central adopted for 2020, before COVID restrictions forced it to be scaled back.

In the entire Division 5D, for example, every matchup is the same in 2021 as it would have been in 2020, except for Sayreville getting a Week One crossover home game against Bridgewater-Raritan, and North Brunswick’s picking up a Week Two crossover at Old Bridge. The Bombers and Raiders had byes in those weeks in the original pre-COVID 2020 schedule.

READ MORE: Profit in a pandemic? Maguire says NJSIAA pulled through the fall in the black

Many schools have open dates, but it remains to be seen whether they will schedule opponents, or keep them as bye weeks.

The Big Central Divisions for 2020 are as follows.

  • 5D: Edison, New Brunswick, North Brunswick, Piscataway, St. Joseph, Sayreville
  • 5C: East Brunswick, JP Stevens, Monroe, Old Bridge, Perth Amboy, South Brunswick
  • 5B: Bridgewater-Raritan, Franklin, Hillsborough, Hunterdon Central, Phillipsburg, Ridge
  • 5A: Elizabeth, Plainfield, Union, Watchung Hills, Westfield
  • 4: Colonia, Cranford, JFK, Linden, Montgomery, North Hunterdon, Scotch Plains-Fanwood, Woodbridge
  • 3: Carteret, Rahway, Somerville, South Plainfield, Summit, Warren Hills
  • 2B: A.L. Johnson, Metuchen, Roselle, St. Thomas Aquinas, South River, Spotswood
  • 2A: Bernards, Delaware Valley, Governor Livingston, Hillside, North Plainfield, Voorhees
  • 1B: Belvidere, Dayton, Dunellen, Highland Park, Manville, South Hunterdon
  • 1A: Bound Brook, Brearley, Middlesex, New Providence, Roselle Park

As we’ve all come to learn, much can change – and quickly – in the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic. But as it looks in January of 2021, on paper, click below to see the full Big Central master schedule.