Tag: Canucks

Central Jersey Sports Radio announces “Specialty Awards” for 2020

Everyone gives out Player of the Year and Coach of the Year Awards. So do we.

But sometimes there are players, coaches or circumstances so extraordinary, they necessitate some sort of honor unto themselves.

Introducing Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Big Central Football Specialty Awards for 2020.

Tech Wizards of the Year: Bernards Coaching Staff

Rutgers football coach Greg Schiano said COVID-19 was his team’s Number One opponent. In reality, the same could be said for any sports team.

And it hit the Bernards football team when the coaching staff found out Offensive Coordinator Dave Carmen would have to sit out the Mountaineers’ Week 7 game against St. Thomas Aquinas.

LISTEN: Bernards coaching staff just crushed COVID, with an assist from Zoom

After discussion about options on the staff, Carmon wound up calling the offensive plays from his couch, thanks to the web-conferencing app Zoom. The following week, head coach Jon Simoneau would wind up doing the very same thing.

Listen below to Jon Simoneau talk about his staff’s coaching (tech) wizardry in 2020:

Record Setter of the Year: Bernards QB Teddy Gouldin

QB Teddy Gouldin owns seven career records at Bernards.

The Bernards coaching staff wasn’t the only part of the Mountaineer season that was exceptional.

Senior quarterback Teddy Gouldin – a three-year-starter – ended his scholastic efforts as the holder of seven career Bernards records:

  • Passing Yards: 4,733
  • 1,000 Yard Passing Seasons: 3
  • QB Rating: 114.4
  • Completion Percentage: 52%
  • Passing TDs: 54
  • Rushing TDs by a QB: 14
  • Total TDs: 68

Listen below to Teddy Gouldin talk about his stellar career in crimson and white:

Mr. Consistency: Woodbridge RB Ali Lee, Jr.

Ali Lee, Jr., of Woodbridge signs his National Letter of Intent to attend Stony Brook University.

The 5-10, 170-pound senior running back had a stellar career for the Barrons. The things he could do weren’t always measured in the stat column, though his stat column was impressive.

He had electrifying runs. There’s no way to tally that.

He scored momentum-changing touchdowns. There’s no category on MaxPreps for that.

But they do keep track of rushing yards and touchdowns. And of those, Lee had a lot, and was Mr. Consistency.

LISTEN: Ali Lee Jr. of Woodbridge commits to Stony Brook

Try this on for size: Lee played 26 varsity games for the Barrons. In each of his last 18 games, he ran for at least 100 yards, and scored in all of them. That streak dates back to the final game of his sophomore season; he hit the century mark in all 11 games last year, and all 6 this year.

Lee will head to Stony Brook with 3,918 career rushing yards to his name, 44 rushing TDs, and 53 total.

Listen to Ali Lee Jr. recap his career with the Barrons:

Jack of All Trades: North Plainfield’s Khan-Yae Stevens

Kahn-Yae Stevens did a little bit of everything for 7-1 North Plainfield, scoring on offense, defense and special teams.

An Honorable Mention for CJSR’s Two-Way Player of the Year, that award simply was not enough to encompass everything Khan-Yae Stevens could do.

He plays wide receiver and defensive back, but also returns punts. And he excelled at all of them.

On the offensive side of the ball, he caught 21 passes for 481 yards and 11 touchdowns, while rushing 22 times for 194 yards and a score. He also threw two passes, completing both for touchdowns, racking up 50 aerial yards.

On the defensive side of the ball, he was disruptive. Stevens logged 6 interceptions – two of them for scores – totaling 244 yards. he also logged 34 tackles, 2 TFLs, and a forced fumble.

Then, there was special teams, to complete the trifecta: 13 punt returns for 248 yards and a touchdown, averaging 19 yards per return.

Stevens was one of many whose efforts contributed to a 7-1 season, the Canucks’ best since 2010, when they finished 9-1.

Listen below to Khan-Yae Stevens talking about his all-around season for North Plainfield:

Medical Comeback Award: Bernards LB Luke Burns

Luke Burns (#34, 2nd from left) and his Bernards teammates.

From nearly losing a leg, to an all-stater who finished his high school career with nearly 300 tackles: that’s the story of Luke Burns in a nutshell.

Bernards head coach Jon Simoneau says the senior “nearly had his leg amputated as a freshman” after he suffered a lacrosse injury that led to compartment syndrome, a condition that occurs when pressure in the muscles reaches dangerous level, dangerously decreasing blood flow.

He rebounded, however, despite suffering another unrelated leg injury this year. That limited him to six of the nine games Bernards played, but he still managers 70 tackles (11.7 per game), 8 TFLs and 4 1/2 sacks.

He finished off his Mountaineer career with 296 tackles (91 solo, 10.6 per game), 19 TFLs, 8 1/2 sacks, and 10 forced fumbles.

Click below to hear Luke Burns talk about recovering from injury to finish off a great high school career:

North Plainfield named Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Turnaround Team of the Year

Following a 1-10 season in 2018, North Plainfield got things headed in the right direction with a 4-6 record in 2019.

In a pandemic-shortened 2020 season, the Canucks almost entirely reversed field, and finished with a 7-1 mark, their lone loss coming by a 30-14 score in a Week 8 postseason affair with Linden.

It was their best season by far and away since North Plainfield went 9-1 in 2010, their lone loss to Carteret in the state playoffs.

Head coach Jimmy DiPaolo’s squad only won three games in his first two seasons at Krausche Field, but now are 11-7 over their last two seasons.

LISTEN: Elsais, Canucks cruising to best start since 2010

Adam Elsais was a big reason why. The three-year starter at linebacker was a big influence on the team, which also saw like Kahn-Yae Stevens emerge. The junior, who played in all three phases of the game, scored at least a touchdown in each of them. Fellow junior Keiahn Grenald at QB will help form a solid base for the future as well, for a team that learned from Elsais and other seniors, but will have to forge their own way in 2021.

Click below to listen to head coach Jimmy DiPaolo talk about North Plainfield’s big turnaround:

Honorable mentions for Turnaround Team of the Year include Monroe and Scotch Plains-Fanwood.

Monroe finished 5-1, by far its best record since Chris Beagan left in 2016 to coach his alma mater, Sayreville. Dan Lee’s squad went 8-30 in his first four seasons, but this year’s 5-1 record – interrupted by a COVID stoppage – included wins over two solid teams in South Brunswick and, ironically, Sayreville. The Falcons’ only loss came to Old Bridge, which ended the season ranked 7th in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten.

LISTEN: Monroe senior QB Aidan McLaughlin credits his teammates for his record-setting performance

Scotch Plains-Fanwood, meanwhile, finished 5-2 in head coach Austin Holman’s second year, following a 4-6 record in his first campaign. From 2013-2018, under Jon Stack, then Mark Ciccotelli, the Raiders had gone a combined 9-50 over six seasons. This year, they lost only to Woodbridge – which finished 7-1 and was ranked No. 1 for most of the year in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten and Big Central Media Poll – and Cedar Grove, which finished 5-1 playing in the North Jersey Super Football Conference. The Raiders also picked up blowout wins over Princeton, JFK and Colonia by a combined 136-29 margin.

AUDIO: Canucks cruising to best start since 2010

by Mike Pavlichko

An undefeated season may come with an asterisk in 2020, but the folks in North Plainfield don’t care about that.

The Canucks are halfway there.

Not that fourth-year head coach Jimmy DePaolo is thinking about that. Quite the opposite, he and his players are taking it one game at a time.

But North Plainfield is 3-0 for the first time since 2010, when the team went 9-1, finishing with a perfect regular season. Their only blemish was an opening round playoff loss to Carteret, an eventual sectional finalist who lost to Rumson.

Central Jersey Sports Radio got a chance to catch up with DiPaolo, as well as senior linebacker Adam Alsais, a three-year starter and two-time captain who has seen two very lean years on varsity, and is enjoying every minute of a COVID-shortened 2020.

Head Coach Jimmy DiPaolo

Senior LB Adam Elsais