Tag: 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 entire baseball season last year when it got wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic, only getting in a handful of games in the Last Dance Baseball Tournament.

So, right now, his favorite return is the one he just made this week back to the baseball field with his Scotch Plains teammates. (They just played their first game this week after a COVID-related pause.)

Martin is headed to Southern Connecticut State University, to play wherever he can get on the field for the owls, after a tumultuous recruiting season that tended to be the norm for high school athletes around the country, unless you’re a four- or five-star kid.

Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko caught up with Martin this week before his Raiders’ baseball team left for an afternoon game at A.L. Johnson.

Click below to listen:

Scotch Plains-Fanwood kick return specialist Shawn Martin

Cipot helps North Brunswick figure it out, and is named Coach of the Year

In The Sound of Music, the nuns in the abbey sang “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?”

In North Brunswick, head coach Mike Cipot had to figure out how to solve the problem of not having the graduated Myles Bailey.

All he did in his time with the Raiders was re-write more than a couple of key pages in the record books. Bailey is tops in career rushing yards (5,096), career rushing touchdowns (41), and career points (314). And as a safety, his 8 career interceptions rank 5th all-time in school history.

Bailey now is a grayshirt at Central Michigan, and he’s not the only top talent Cipot lost.

There’s Samod Wingo, a TE/DE who is at William Paterson, and Leon Lowery – who played in a handful of games late in the season for Syracuse.

But Cipot and his assistants found a way, leading North Brunswick to a 7-1 season, their only loss to Cranford, one of the Big Central’s top teams.

How did they account for the loss of Bailey’s big numbers? By committee.

Five different players – including the quarterback, sophomore Frankie Garbolino – rushed for 100 yards or more this season.

Click below to hear Mike Cipot talk about how the Raiders continued their success in 2020:

Honorable mentions for Coach of the Year included Dan Lee of Monroe and Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s Austin Holman.

Lee’s Falcons finished 5-1, by far the school’s best season since he took over for Chris Beagan in 2016. Monroe had gone a combined 8-30 in Lee’s first four seasons. Their only loss came by 7 at home to Old Bridge in Week One, and they won their remaining games by a combined 184-60, never allowing more than 18 points the rest of the way.

Holman led the Raiders to a 5-2 season, following a 4-6 mark in his first year at SPF in 2019. He took over a program that had gone a combined 9-50 under Mark Ciccotelli and Jon Stack from 2013-18. They scored three blowout wins, beating Princeton, JFK and Colonia by a combined 136-29.