High School Football

In historic vote, NJSIAA members decide to play to Group Champs in football, starting in ’22

Even without all the votes counted, the NJSIAA knows which way it’s going. A winner has been declared, and it’s high school football in New Jersey. “The vast majority of ballots are in and have been counted,” announced the NJSIAA in a Tweet Friday afternoon following its Annual Meeting, saying “98.6 percent of voting members support the Football Championship Proposal. After a 90-year hiatus, New Jersey will crown group champions in football in 2022.” The process kicked into high gear in January, when at its Executive Committee meeting, the NJSIAA announced that a measure to eliminate language from its own […]

St. Joseph of Metuchen’s Tommy Romond is the 2020 “Fundraising University Unsung Hero Scholarship Award” winner.

St. Joseph-Metuchen’s Tommy Romond wins inaugural “Fundraising University Unsung Hero Scholarship Award”

Sure, Tommy Romond was an important part of the St. Joseph-Metuchen high school football team for several years. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t do things no one else would notice. In a difficult year for high school athletes at every level, the Falcons’ rising senior got his teammates together in small groups, when they couldn’t officially meet because of COVID-19 restrictions. He rounded them up so they could work out, practice, keep fresh, and prepare for fall 2020 on their own, just so they would be prepared for a football season that sometimes looked like it was right around […]

Bound Brook boys’ basketball coach Anthony Melesurgo talks to CJSR after his team won the Skyland Conference Gold Division Tournament in 2021.

AUDIO: Bound Brook’s Melesurgo says shorter season takes opportunity away from hoops players

The 2021 basketball season was an unusually short season, but it was an anomaly as New Jersey worked its way out of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2023, things could look very different again, but intentionally so, and Bound Brook boys’ basketball head coach Anthony Melesurgo isn’t a fan. He’s been among the more vocal coaches on social media opposed to an NJSIAA proposal that’s halfway to the finish line, one that aims to have consistency among seasons, equity for all sports and student-athletes, and allow schools greater scheduling flexibility. And while football wouldn’t be affected – since that’s getting its […]

New Carteret head coach will bring back old-style Carteret football

Run the ball, and stop the run. It was a recipe for success for many years for successful Carteret coaches like Jeff Weiner, Bob Molarz and Matt Yascko. So, while new Rambler head coach Kevin Freeman looks to the future, he’s also looking to the past, as part of an effort to keep things simple for a 2021 squad that will be his first as a head coach, and the first varsity season for virtually the entire team. Click below to hear new Carteret head coach Kevin Freeman talk about how he got the job, and his plans for the […]

Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s Shawn Martin (left) retunred four kickoffs for touchdowns in 2020, and was named CJSR’s Special Teams Player of the Year. He’s shown here with head coach Austin Holman.

Return specialist Shawn Martin hopes to write next chapter at Southern Connecticut, but not before taking the diamond one last time

Shawn Martin returned four kickoffs for touchdowns last football season for Scotch Plains-Fanwood, amassing 414 yards on just six returns. Sure, he only returned six, but that’s because no coach in his right mind would dare tell his players to kick the ball to the young man who would be the Central Jersey Sports Radio Special Teams Player of the Year. But ask him now what his favorite return is? It’ll have nothing to do with football. The 2019 football season was normal, of course, and 2020 was affected by COVID – but at least it happened. Martin missed the […]

New Providence standout Charlie Barth (right) and his coach, Chet Parlavecchio, are looking forward to big things in 2021.

It was a big year for Barth, and he’s looking for an encore – and then some

Not many people came close to what Somerville’s Cookie Desiderio – the Central Jersey Sports Radio Offensive Player of the Year – did on the football field in 2020. Of the few who did, Charlie Barth was one of them. And as CJSR’s Two-Way Player of the Year, the New Providence standout showed he could excel on both sides of the football. READ MORE: When does he rest? Charlie Barth of New Providence is Two-Way Player of the Year Plenty of football players come onto the field for offense and defense, but usually excel at one side more than the […]

From left to right, Somerville RB Cookie Desiderio, head coach Dallas Whitaker, and DE A.J. Pena pose with their commemorative footballs honoring their CJSR Player of the Year picks, and Somerville’s Team of the Year award for 2020.

Somerville’s dynamic duo – Cookie and AJ – taking divergent paths after H.S., with big hopes for the future

One is taking a prep year more than 200 miles from the field where he wreaked havoc on opposing quarterbacks. Not to be outdone, the other will travel about a thousand miles from the Gus Vanderbeek Athletic Complex to train with some of the best future college stars in the nation. But both are looking toward big college futures beyond that. The coronavirus pandemic left a lot of uncertainty in college football recruiting circles, unless you were being recruited by a big FCS school that played in the fall. Sure, schools like Rutgers had their share of question marks with […]

40 teams from across New Jersey set to compete, raise awareness at Autism Challenge this weekend

When it started in 2008, there were just eight Greater Middlesex Conference teams taking part. Thirteen years later – after a pause in 2020 due to COVID-19 – this weekend’s Autism Awareness Challenge at North Brunswick’s Community Park will feature 40 high school baseball teams from all over the Garden State – including 16 from the GMC and another five from Somerset County. The theme is “More than just a game,” says Mike Garlatti, who heads up Baseball Warehouse in Highland Park, is a Colorado Rockies scout, and is a former Rutgers assistant under the late Fred Hill on the […]

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 […]

New Pingry football coach Rick Mantz (Source: Pingry Athletics)

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 […]


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