Tag: Colonia

Another win over a ranked team keeps Phillipsburg No. 1 in CJSR Week 3 Rankings

In its opening game, top-ranked Phillipsburg easily dispatched of No. 2 Sayreville.

Game Two was a bit more challenging, but with a 21-14 win over third-ranked Ridge, the Stateliners are 2-0, passing two early season tests, and hanging on again to the top spot in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten.

Ridge remains in the rankings, but at 1-1 now, drops to fourth. Two other one-loss teams are in the Top Ten. Sayreville (2-1) – with the loss to Phillipsburg – is eighth this week, while Colonia – also 2-1, with their loss coming to Sayreville – is right behind them in ninth.

Somerville and Hunterdon Central again tied for tenth, both at 3-0, leaving eleven teams in the rankings.

Following are the full Central Jersey Sports Radio Week 3 rankings:

Phillipsburg again No. 1 in CJSR Top Ten; Somerville and Hunterdon Central join rankings

Off to a 2-0 start, Phillipsburg maintained its No. 1 ranking in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten for Week Two.

There was little change in this week’s rankings, which narrowed a bit. No. 10 Westfield dropped out after a loss to previously-No. 9 Watchung Hills, which moved up to sixth.

And two new teams joined the poll: Somerville (2-0) tied for tenth with Hunterdon Central (2-0). The Pioneers also received votes last week, while Hunterdon Central got its first-ever vote for the CJSR Top Ten. (CJSR’s first Top Ten came out in our inaugural season, 2020.)

No teams ended up in the Also Received Votes category, as Somerville and Central were the last two vote-getters, and both ended up in the Top Ten.

Below are the full Week Two CJSR H.S. Football Rankings:

Phillipsburg retains top spot, Sayreville moves up, Aquinas moves into Week 1 rankings

While Phillipsburg hasn’t opened its 2023 season yet – they host Sayreville this Friday in a highly-anticipated matchup – the Stateliners remain No. 1 in the Week One Central Jersey Sports Radio rankings.

The biggest gains in Week Zero play were made by Sayreville and St. Thomas Aquinas. The previously-No. 4 Bombers were 42-21 winners on the road against No. 8 Colonia, and moved up to No. 2 this week. St. Thomas Aquinas – which also received votes last week – debuted in this week’s rankings at seven.

No. 8 St. Joseph-Metuchen dropped out, despite being idle, making room for the Trojans.

Below are the full Week One Central Jersey Sports Radio H.S. Football rankings:

All the “Wright” stuff leads No. 4 Sayreville to 42-21 win at No. 8 Colonia in season opener

Zaimer Wright figured in four Sayreville touchdowns in Friday night’s Week Zero game, leading his fourth-ranked Bombers to a 42-21 win on the road at No. 8 Colonia in the season opener for both schools.

He scored two touchdowns on the ground in the first half, and threw for another. He added another in the third, and finished with 17 carries for 195 yards.

Derek Osae also had a 70-yard interception return for a touchdown for Sayreville (1-0).

Click below for postgame reaction from Marcus Borden with Sayreville senior runningback Zaimer Wright and head coach Don Sofilkanich, sponsored by the Sportsplex at Metuchen:

2023 Big Central Preview: Liberty Gold

With one of the most talented, quick, electrifying players in the Big Central Conference, you would be hard-pressed to suggest anyone other than Colonia is the favorite to win the Liberty Gold Division in 2023.

Granted, that doesn’t make it a given. There’s a whole season of football still ahead of us.

But surely having Jaeden Jones back to lead the offense is a big plus for Colonia head coach Tom Roarty, along with other seniors like Joe Perosi at tightj end/linebacker, two-way lineman Logan Ramos, and wide receiver/d-back Toby Popoola.

Linden may be the Patriots’ biggest challenger, with a third-year starting quarterback in Te’Quan Thomas. He’s been around enough to know that his numbers (689 yards passing) don’t matter as much as the team’s (2,430 yards rushing).

Woodbridge – which was a bit young last year – is back and more experienced. Derek Anderson will run the show at quarterback; the junior saw limited action last season as a sophomore, but veteran wide receiver/defensive back AJ Bosch will be leaned upon, along with fellow seniors Dean Fiore at linebacker and receiver, along with two-way lineman Kevin Rosario.

JFK will look to improve under second-year head coach Michael Henderson, while Perth Amboy also is looking to get things going in the right direction; each managed just two wins a year ago.

Click below to listen to Mike Pavlichko’s preview of the Liberty Gold Division from the Big Central Conference’s inaugural Media Days:

Jones will run the show again for Colonia, expecting big things in ’23

The 2022 season saw quarterbacks as the top two rushers in the Big Central Conference.

One of them, Matt Sims of Brearley, has graduated. The other, Jaeden Jones of Colonia, is back to do it again.

The senior Jones, a quarterback and defensive back for the Patriots, is one of the league’s most electrifying players, and followed another dazzling QB, Josh Oluremi. In back-to-back years, they led Middlesex County in rushing, the first time it’s happened since at least the mid-90s, the furthest back we could find reliable statistics.

He’ll be a huge key for Colonia this year, which is coming off an 8-2 season and the inaugural Liberty Gold Division championship.

Their division isn’t easy, with Linden always in the mix, and Woodbridge expected to improve with a more veteran squad this year, but Colonia expects to be there again, and for good reason: they have all the pieces.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko’s interview at Big Central Media Days with Colonia head coach Tom Roarty and seniors Jaeden Jones, Joe Perosi, Logan Ramos and Tobi Popoola:

South River walks off Colonia, erases 3-0 deficit in final two innings to advance in GMC Tournament

With its second walk-off win this week, 16th-seed South River came back from three-runs down to stun 17th-seed Colonia 4-3 at Grekoski Park Saturday afternoon, advancing to the second round of the GMC Tournament.

Twice, it was Julius Rosado – who started the game on the mound and came out in the fifth inning with a high pitch count – with a key stroke.

In the bottom of the sixth, down 3-0, Joe Lepore – head coach Mike Lepore’s nephew – walked to lead it off. Then Rosado blasted a nearly-400 foot home run to left center to bring the Rams within one. Parker Lane hit a triple, and Colonia brought in Colin Kroner to replace Dylan Conklin on the mound.

Kroner hit his first batter, setting up first and third with nobody out for South River, but then got the next three outs on a pop up, strikeout and ground out.

After a scoreless seventh pitched by Gavin Franco – who’d come in during the top of the fifth – the Rams had 8-9-1 due up in their final at bat, and after two ground balls, South River was down to its final out. But they were back to the top of the order as they were in the sixth.

Lepore singled up the middle, and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Rosdado was up next, and though he didn’t put it over the fence this time, he singled through the left side to tie the game at three, and advanced to second on the throw to the plate.

That set things up for Parker Lane, with a runner in scoring position and two out. And on a 2-1 pitch, he singled up the middle. Rosado beat the play at the plate, and Grekoski Park went wild. Colonia fell to 7-10 with the loss.

The Rams (10-4) now move on play in Monday’s first round, where they will visit North Brunswick (11-5) at Community Park for a 4 pm first pitch.

Click below to listen to South River head coach Mike Lepore detail the Rams thrilling victory in the opening round of the GMC Tournament:

St. Thomas Aquinas finishes the season where it began: No. 1 in the Bellamy & Son Paving Boys’ Basketball Top Ten

On the strength of a 25-4 season – and its third straight GMC Tournament Championship – the St. Thomas Aquinas boys’ basketball team finishes the year at No. 1 in the final Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten, never budging from the top spot from the preseason rankings all the way through to the end.

The Trojans have been the dominant boys’ team in Middlesex County for the last several years. Though their three-year run as full county tournament champs was interrupted by a loss in the GMC’s COVID-year, one-off, Karl-Anthony Towns/Jay Williams four-team postseason pod to Colonia, they have won 31 straight games against Greater Middlesex Conference opponents since.

St. Thomas Aquinas has won 57 straight divisional regular season games, with the Trojans’ last loss coming in January 2018 at Carteret, back when they were in the Blue Division. And they are now 103-23 in five seasons with head coach Dave Turco at the helm.

Checking in at No. 2 in the final rankings is Colonia, which had a fantastic year, going 22-9 this season. Though they didn’t win the Red Division (STA did) or make the GMCT Final, they were the only boys’ basketball team in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Coverage area to win a sectional title this season, beating Snyder to win its second straight North 2, Group 3 title, and third in the last four playoff seasons.

St. Joseph of Metuchen finished third, checking in at 18-11, rising all the way from No. 10 in the last rankings before the playoffs. The Falcons finished the year strong, reaching the Non-Public South A title game, where they lost to eventual Group A state champ Union Catholic.

Rutgers Prep (22-8) finishes fourth, having won both the Somerset County Tournament championship – beating defending champ Gill St. Bernard’s in a thriller – and the Skyland Conference Delaware Division title.

South River (26-4) checks in at No. 5, the darling of the GMC all year long. The Rams won the Blue Division title, but got the attention of Central Jersey basketball fans in late December, when they knocked off St. Joseph in Metuchen the day after Christmas. They picked up the third seed in the county tournament, and reached the semifinals. In the states, they went to the Central Jersey Group 2 final, losing to eventual state Group 2 champion Manasquan.

Gill St. Bernard’s finished 19-8 and comes in sixth in the final rankings. The SCT finalist had a successful season considering a Mergin Sina’s squad had almost a complete roster turnover of key players from last year’s team, and its highly-touted point guard returned to Europe just a couple of weeks into the season.

South Brunswick had a nice run all the way to the County finals, as well as the Central Jersey Group 4 final, and finished 20-7 on the season, checking in at No. 7.

In eighth is South Plainfield (23-6), which won the GMC White Division, and had one of the county’s top scorers in Brandon Dean.

Ninth is Bound Brook (22-5), the Skyland Conference Valley Division champs, followed by Hillsborough (19-8).

Below are the full final Bellamy & Son Paving Boys’ Basketball Rankings for 2022-23:

Ramapo too much for Colonia down the stretch, as Patriots’ season ends in the Group 3 semis – again

Colonia has now won back-to-back sectional titles in North 2 Group 3, and has taken the title in three of the last four playoff years.

But they just can’t seem to get over that hump, that hump called Ramapo.

For the second year in a row, the Patriots lot to the North 1, Group 3 champions in the Group 3 semifinals out at Phillipsburg High School, last year by ten, this year by four.

Maybe the third time will be the charm.

But that was little consolation on Wednesday night out on the State Line, where Colonia – unlike last year – led going into the fourth quarter, albeit by one, thanks to a Jaeden Jones bucket.

But Ramapo got out to a slim lead in the fourth quarter, by two, three, four; never quite enough to seal the deal until the end, but enough to keep the Patriots in catch-up mode.

Colonia ends its season 25-5, while Ramapo goes on to the Group 3 finals at Rutgers University’s Jersey Mike’s Arena Saturday at a time to be determined against Central Group 3 champ Nottingham, which beat South 3 winner Moorestown 56-49 down at Brick Memorial High School Wednesday night.

Colonia gets past Snyder to win 2nd straight North 2, Group 3 title; Monroe girls fall to Jax Memorial in CJ4 final

The Greater Middlesex Conference public schools went 1-1 in sectional title games Monday night, as the Colonia boys won their second straight North 2, Group 3 title – and third in the last four postseasons – while the Monroe girls fell in the Central Jersey Group 4 championship.

The Patriots led a tight game most of the way, and were up the half by four, 29-25, but pulled ahead on a 12-2 run to lead 41-20 under the three-minute mark in the third quarter. The fourth-seeded Patriots came out with a 64-51 win, to make it back-to-back titles in the section, and their third in the last four playoff seasons.

Jaeden Jones led Colonia with 17 points, while Noah Taylor chipped in a double-double, with 15 points and ten rebounds.

Now, for the second year in a row, they move on to the Group 3 semifinals in Phillipsburg, and will play the North 1 champion Wednesday night at 7 pm at Phillipsburg High School. Tonight’s North 1 final features top-seed Ramapo and 2-seed Teaneck, and tipped off at 7 pm. Ramapo knocked Colonia out last year in the group semis, also in Phillipsburg.

Click below for postgame reaction with Colonia head coach Jose Rodriguez:

On the girls’ side, third-seed Monroe fell 53-45 to 5th-seed Jackson Memorial, which also knocked them out last year in the semifinal round. Senior Haley Higgins led the Faclons with 13 points, while sophomore Evangelina Francisco scored 12 in the loss.

The season ends at 17-10 for the Falcons.