Category: Top Ten

North Brunswick claims top spot in Big Central Media Poll, edging out Union in Week Two

A week ago, North Brunswick had three first place votes in the Big Central Week One Media Poll, while Union had just one.

But the voters that didn’t pick Union first had the Farmers higher than those who didn’t have the Raiders in the top spot, so Union took Number One.

In Week Two, the first place votes went the same way – with Somerville and Woodbridge each getting a nod – but a win over ranked Old Bridge on the road boosted the Raiders in the minds of voters, and this week, they earned the top spot with 52 points, two more than Union.

There was little other change in the poll. Hillsborough jumped over Phillipsburg following a 21-14 overtime home win over the Stateliners, while Edison and Watchung Hills both dropped out. Three teams – Bernards, Cranford and Linden – tied for tenth, with five other teams getting votes.

Below is the Week Two Big Central Media Poll:

North Brunswick win over No. 4 Old Bridge keeps Raiders at No. 1 in CJSR Week Two Top Ten

Going on the road is never easy. Going to Vince Lombardi Field in Old Bridge is even tougher, where the Knights’ student section is loud. Coming out of there with a victory is even tougher.

But that’s what No. 1 North Brunswick did on Friday, pulling out a 34-27 victory at then No. 4 Old Bridge. And so, the Raiders remain No. 1 this week in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten, picking up both first place votes.

Woodbridge and Summit made their season debuts in the rankings, while Edison and New Providence dropped out, though the Pioneers were more of a mathematical casualty, having still received a vote in the poll.

The Media Poll will be out later Monday afternoon.

Below are the Week Two CJSR Rankings:

Manville Youth Athletic League in desperate need of donations after suffering wrath of Ida

Anyone not living under a rock knows Manville was one of the hardest hit communities in New Jersey after the remnants of Hurricane Ida swept across the Northeast.

And, sadly, the Manville Youth Athletic League was not spared.

The Manville Youth Athletic League is all volunteer, offering various athletic programs for the children of the boro, and surrounding local towns, including football, cheerleading, and wrestling.

It’s headquarters at Gerber Field along Dukes Parkway East – on the banks of the Raritan River – took on several feet of water, damaging equipment, fields and the building itself.

A Gofundme page has been set up to benefit the MYAL, with a goal of $10,000. So far, $900 has been raised.

Click here to be taken directly to the Gofundme page to benefit the Manville Youth Athletic League. All donations are fully tax-deductible.

According to the page, “While our proud citizens always provide monetary donations, right now they are simply too beholden to their own personal financial hardships to contribute to M.Y.A.L. We are humbly reaching out to our neighboring towns, organizations and friends to ask for help.”

Water remained in the Manville Youth Athletic League building on dukes Parkway East following the remnants of Hurricane Ida and massive flooding in the borough. (Source: MYAL Gofundme fundraising page)

Manville was decimated by Ida’s remnants, with hundreds upon hundreds of homes and businesses damaged, many ruined beyond repair.

On the Manville high school football team alone, four student-athletes lost their homes, now a total loss. But after their teammates helped them, they all helped the rest of the neighborhood.

Listen to their story here:

And while the high school team was able to open its season Friday with a 48-6 road win at Dunellen, and now plays its next two games at Ned Panfile Stadium, its home grounds off North 13th street, things are looking bleak for the Manville Youth Athletic League.

“A few weeks ago our children were bursting with excitement as they kicked off practice for the fall seasons of football and cheer,” the Gofundme page says. “If you have the wherewithal to assist, we would greatly appreciate it and will ensure that every cent is used to rebuild and restore so that our children can continue playing their hearts out for the sports they love.”

It goes on to say, “There are more challenges and pressures today than every before for our youth and giving them access to team sports provides so many healthy and necessary benefits for them- please help us ensure our children can continue the proud tradition of Mustang pride through the M.Y.A.L.!”

Once again, pleas click here to be taken directly to the Gofundme page to benefit the Manville Youth Athletic League. All donations are fully tax-deductible.

Union takes top spot in Big Central Media Poll; four different teams get first place votes

Somerville began the year as a unanimous Number One in the preseason Big Central Media Poll, but after dropping its second game of the year Sunday at Rutgers to Northern Highlands, Union has taken over at the top of the Week One rankings.

But the Farmers (1-1) are far from a unanimous pick. In fact, they only picked up one first place vote from the media members participating in the poll, while North Brunswick – 1-0 after a 56-21 win over South Brunswick in its opener – picked up three. But the Raiders picked up 51 points, finishing one point behind Union, which tallied 52.

Overall, four teams picked up first-place votes; Woodbridge (2-0) and Somerville (1-1) each got a nod.

In actuality, the entire poll was wide open this week, with 17 teams getting at least one vote.

North Brunswick takes over top spot in CJSR Week 1 Top Ten

Locked in a 21-all tie Friday night against their old Thanksgiving Day rivals, North Brunswick used a balanced attack to score four touchdowns in about five minutes of game action and 35 unanswered points to pick up a season-opening 56-21 win over South Brunswick.

That win, coupled with Somerville’s loss to Northern Highlands – albeit a very good Highlander team, the defending North 1 Group 4 champ from 2019 – flipped the top two spots in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Week One Top Ten.

Somerville finished atop CJSR’s first-ever final rankings in 2019, after beating Woodbridge in the first round of postseason games. The Barrons had been a unanimous No. 1 most of the year. And the Pioneers led the preseason CJSR rankings this year.

But after Week One, North Brunswick has taken the top spot, gaining both first-place votes.

Hillside was the only team to drop out of the rankings, doing so after a 14-7 loss to unranked Bernards – their first loss to the Mountaineers since 2016 – which jumped into the Comets’ spot in the Top Ten. Bernards was the only Big Central team to beat a ranked opponent in Week One

Here’s the Week One Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten:

Somerville leads the pack, a unanimous pick in preseason Top Ten

The Somerville Pioneers closed out the COVID-shortened 2020 football season as Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Team of the Year, a unanimous Number One pick in the final rankings.

They start 2021 right where they left off.

Despite the loss of CJSR Offensive Player of the Year Cookie Desiderio and Defensive Player of the Year A.J. Pena, the ‘Ville is expected to have enough talent and explosiveness on offense to still be a championship contender this fall, led by runningback Jaimen Bryant and quarterback Mike Miller.

READ MORE: Miller, Bryant ready to lead Somerville air attack

Nipping at their heels at No. 2 is North Brunswick, led by Frankie Garbolino at QB and a host of other returning offensive players.

Below is the Central Jersey Sports Radio Preseason Top Ten:

Note: There will be no new rankings after the Week Zero games, since only a fraction of league teams participated. New rankings will be out following Week One and all subsequent weeks, except during the state playoffs.

Somerville also was a unanimous No. 1 in the Big Central Media Poll, getting all six first-place votes. The Media Poll includes votes from Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino, MyCentralJersey football analyst Marcus Borden, longtime Courier News sportswriter Harry Frezza, Big Central Gridiron’s Greg Machos, and the King James Radio Network’s Korbid Thompson.

Below is the preseason Big Central Media Poll:

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:

Rutgers Prep steamrolls everyone, runs wire-to-wire with No. 1 ranking to be named CJSR Girls’ Basketball Team of the Year

Here are the two numbers you need to know: 31 and 45.

Want us to use them in a sentence? OK.

The Rutgers Prep girls’ basketball team allowed a paltry 31 points per game this year, while beating teams by an average of 45 points.

And we did not just pull those numbers out of a hat.

En route to a perfect 13-0 season, and the Skyland Conference Tournament’s top pod title, Rutgers Prep blitzed all comers this season, and finishes 2021 where it began: as the Number One team in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten, earning them the honor of our 2021 Girls’ Basketball Team of the Year.

No one even came close.

How good was Rutgers Prep?

Let’s put it this way. No disrespect to any other team, but if you actually ranked the teams in terms of how good they were, Rutgers Prep would be No. 1, and the next team behind them might be at No. 3.

The Argonauts are also ranked No. 21 in the nation – not the state, the nation – by ESPN, behind No. 13 St. John Vianney, but a spot ahead of Trenton Catholic, which is scheduled to close after this academic year, and to whom Rutgers Prep lost last year in the Non-Public South B finals.

LISTEN: An audio retrospective on Rutgers Prep girls’ dominance in 2021, with Mary Klinger, Christina Dalce, Belle Pellecchia

Monroe – the winner of the Greater Middlesex Conference’s top bracket, the Somogyi Family Pod – checked in at No. 2, avenging its only loss of the season in the Somogyi Pod title game, using a second half rally to beat St. Thomas Aquinas in their second meeting of the year.

Below are the final girls’ basketball rankings for 2021, including postseason achievements:

The goal was: “Get hardware.” They did, and Watchung Hills is the CJSR boys’ basketball 2021 Team of the Year

There were many good boys’ high school basketball teams in the GMC and Skyland Conferences in this COVID-shortened season, but when you beat three of them – including two that you lost two a total of three times this season – en route to winning your league’s top pod trophy, that has to count for something.

For us, that counts for making Watchung Hills the No. 1 team in the final Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten of the year, and thus the 2021 Boys’ Basketball Team of the Year.

The Warriors finished the year 12-3, their losses coming to Hunterdon Central twice, and once to Gill St. Bernard’s, at the time the No. 1 team in our rankings.

Watchung Hills beat both of those teams in the first two rounds of the Skyland Conference Tournament’s Blue Division pod, then knocked off then No. 5 Rutgers Prep in the finals on the road, on a game-winning baseline bucket by Tyler Bokatch in the final few seconds, holding off one last chance by the Argonauts, who had to go the length of the floor in just under 1.5 seconds.

LISTEN: An audio look back at Watchung Hills boys’ basketball, 2021 CJSR Team of the Year, with Coach Justin Salton, Trevor Bokach, Elijah Lewis

Second in the final rankings was Colonia. The Patriots – in a four-team GMC pod – took down the No. 3 and No. 2 teams in the rankings, respectively: St. Joseph of Metuchen and St. Thomas Aquinas.

Below are the final rankings, including postseason tournament superlatives:

Rutgers Prep girls continue to cruise, and hold No. 1 spot in the rankings

One of three unbeaten teams remaining in the area, Rutgers Prep remains the Number One team in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Girls’ Basketball Top Ten for Week Five.

The Argonauts are 9-0 following a 2-0 week, outscoring Immaculata and Phillipsburg by a combined total of 128-40; they beat the Spartans 74-15 and the Stateliners 54-25. Prep has now held five of its nine opponents under 30 points.

Gill St. Bernard’s also is 9-0; the Knights beat Franklin in overtime last week 44-42, en route to a 3-0 week, and are in second.

Mount St. Mary rambled through a four-win week, to end the regular season 12-0, with the maximum number of games that can be played through the start of the three-game Skyland Conference Tournament. They beat Pingry and Voorhees this week, bookended by wins in both ends of a home-and-home with Somerville.

Dropping from the ranks of the undefeated was Calvary Christian of the GMC Gold, which fell to 9-1 after a 2-1 week that began Monday with a 42-28 loss to Blue Division crossover foe Metuchen.

Entering the rankings is Middlesex; the Blue Jays check in at No. 8 after beating the highest-rated GMC team, St. Thomas Aquinas, 59-50 at home on Friday.

Aquinas actually held steady in third despite a 1-2 week, having beaten 4th-ranked Franklin but losing at Saddle River Day. The Trojans did not drop, however, because they beat Franklin and a were one spot ahead of them, and two weeks ago beat No. 5 Monroe head to head.

Franklin had a 2-2 week, but their losses were to two teams ahead of them in the rankings – Aquinas and No. 2 Gill St. Bernard’s. They followed those defeats with a pair of wins at Bridgewater-Raritan and Watchung Hills.

Below are the complete Week 5 rankings: