Tag: Charlie Barth

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 other. Not so with Barth, who led the Big Central, and was 4th in the state in rushing with 1,702 yards in a shortened seven-game regular season that included two weeks of “postseason.” He notched a touchdown every 7.4 carries, second in the league to Desiderio, and reached the goal line 25 times. On defense, he led the Big Central with 115 tackles, the tenth best total in the Garden State.

We caught up with Barth as we presented him a commemorative football for his efforts, while his former lacrosse teammates practiced behind him. Barth played lacrosse as a freshman, and didn’t have a season last year due to the COVID-19 shutdown, but is sitting out this year to spend more time in the weight room getting ready for what hen hopes will be a big senior season on the gridiron.

New Providence standout Charlie Barth and his head coach Chet Parlavecchio talk about Barth’s excellent 2020 season, and look ahead to 2021.

Cookie Monster! Somerville’s Desiderio named Big Central Offensive Player of the Year

In the end, there was no debate, little surprise: Cookie Desiderio was the top offensive player in the Big Central Conference.

The 6-1, 215-pound senior runningback was a dominant force on offense, right from the get-go.

In the Pioneers’ opener, Desiderio touched the ball only six times, four of them resulting in touchdowns. He had two rushing touchdowns on two carries, totaling 113 yards. Desiderio also had four catches, “only” two of them resulting in touchdowns, and a total 98 receiving yards.

LISTEN: Whitaker and Desiderio postgame reaction after Somerville knocks off Woodbridge

Of course, it could only go “downhill” from there, and it did. All the “Cookie Monster” did the rest of the season was score a touchdown every 5.8 carries, the best rate in the state of New Jersey. And he led the entire Garden State scholastic scene with 26 rushing touchdowns, adding four more TD grabs.

Click below to hear Cookie Desiderio and Defensive Player of the Year A.J. Pena of Somerville talk together about their undefeated 7-0 season:

Three others earned Honorable Mention status on offense: New Providence runningback Charlie Barth, Monroe quarterback Aidan McLaughlin, and North Brunswick signal caller Frankie Garbolino.

McLaughlin is the only senior of the bunch. He threw for 1,433 yards and 13 touchdowns this season, with only 5 INTs. That was good for an average of 238.8 yards per game, and he tossed for over 300 yards three times. In a Week 2 win over Perth Amboy where the Falcons scored a school record 63 points, McLaughlin was not to be outdone: he tossed for an all-time program best 315 yards on 14-of-23 passing, with three touchdowns. He eclipsed his own mark later in the season in a win over a solid South Brunswick team, tossing for a cool 370 yards.

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

Barth is just a junior, so the Central Jersey Sports Radio Two-Way Player of the Year will be back for another year to defend his title. He rushed for 1,702 yards and 25 touchdowns on 186 carries, and was the closest of anyone in the Big Central – even the state – to Desiderio’s pace: scoring on every 7.4 carries. He scored 25 of the team’s 34 rushing touchdowns, and had multiple scores in all but one game, notching four TDs in a game twice.

Garbolino is the youngest of the bunch, a sophomore thrust into a starting role who came up roses. He went 124-for-215 for 1,685 yards, tossing 17 touchdowns and only 6 picks. The only game where he didn’t throw for at least 100 yards was his varsity debut, a 93-yard passing effort in an 18-9 win at Sayreville. And he spent his best offensive output on one of the Raiders’ toughest opponents, in a 32-7 home win over state-ranked Passaic Tech.

LISTEN: Garbolino appears on “Tuesday Night Quarterback” to talk about being one of the rising sophomore QBs in the Big Central

A disruptive force, Somerville’s Pena named Defensive Player of the Year

He was a force to be reckoned with, even though not all of the stats exist to back it up.

Somerville senior A.J. Pena has been named Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Defensive Player of the Year.

Checking in at 6-3, 240 pounds, Pena is a hybrid defensive end and outside linebacker. Pioneers’ coach Dallas Whitaker calls him “the most dominant player I have seen in six years of coaching high school.”

WATCH: A.J. Pena’s senior year highlights

Whatever you call him, the big number you need to know is 12. That’s how many sacks Pena had this year.

But you also need to know that he got to opposing quarterbacks and runningbacks much more. It’s just that no one can say how much. Whitaker says they don’t keep track of QB hurries or pass breakups. But you can be sure he got his mitts on more than a few.

Click below to listen to Pena and teammate Cookie Desiderio talk about Somerville’s 7-0 season:

Honorable mentions for Defensive Player of the Year included New Providence’s Charlie Barth and North Plainfield’s Adam Elsais.

Barth – CJSR’s Two-Way Player of the Year – led the Big Central in tackles in its inaugural season, registering 115 of them, 16.5 percent of the entire defense. He also added two sacks for the 8-1 Pioneers.

The Canucks’ Elsais registered 109 tackles to lead the team, 10 TFLs and a sack in a 7-1 campaign, the best in North Plainfield in a decade since they went 9-1 with a playoff loss to Carteret. He also ranks third in his class in GPA, according to head coach Jimmy DiPaolo. Elsias will finish his scholastic career with 323 tackles in 3 seasons as a starting linebacker.

LISTEN: Elsias, Canucks cruising to best start since 2010