Tag: football

Who’s the “strongest” team in the Big Central? Here are the league’s SI ratings heading into 2021

Now that the NJSIAA has released its official starting Strength Index numbers for the 2021 high school football season, who’s the strongest team in the Big Central?

Well, to be honest, not much changed since the end of the 2021 season.

At least at the top, Phillipsburg has the highest 2021 preseason Strength Index in the league, followed by Somerville.

Continue reading “Who’s the “strongest” team in the Big Central? Here are the league’s SI ratings heading into 2021″

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 you do it in the least amount of time, while raising the most amount of money?

All questions John Tuohy can answer.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with John Tuohy about the type of money-raising events Fundraising University can offer:

Marcus Borden – winner of two titles – says group champs won’t cheapen sectional crowns

Five years after East Brunswick beat Jackson to win its first state sectional title under Marcus Borden, the Bears were at it again.

In the snow at the College of New Jersey, they took home another Central Jersey Group IV title, beating Brick Memorial 9-0.

For a coach who remembers just about every play of every game he’s ever coached in (spend some time with him and you’ll see what I mean) that game especially sticks out.

With the NJSIAA membership voting Wednesday to allow public group championships by a large margin – 318-12, with six abstentions – some have worried it could make sectional titles less relevant.

Just don’t put Borden in that category. Listen below to his conversation with Central Jersey Sports Radio about the NJSIAA’s historic vote, and his own past efforts to get New Jersey to play to group titles:

Hillsborough’s Carty hopes momentum carries over from historic NJSIAA vote

Wednesday’s announcement that the NJSIAA membership voted by an unprecedented 318-12 to allow high school football to play to state champions was greeted with cheers across the state, but especially by Kevin Carty, Jr.

The Hillsborough head coach sits on the NJSIAA’s Executive Committee and was a co-sponsor of the measure that came out of a Leagues and Conferences working group, along with Executive Director Colleen Maguire.

Carty spoke to Central Jersey Sports Radio shortly after the vote. You can hear his comments below:

“Veteran” sophomore Yascko helped Edison take steps forward

There was no sophomore slump for Matt Yascko.

The freshman quarterback who stepped in midway through 2019 when Lucas Loffredo went down to injury, then eventually transferred to Piscataway, might have done it a little more under-the-radar than when he took the GMC by storm a year ago, but he led Edison to a 5-2 mark in a seven-game COVID-shortened season.

Yascko started the year with a 53-yard passing effort in a 7-6 loss to Franklin, a game he’d like to have back, but which he says he built upon for the rest of the season.

All he did from there was pass for 1,076 more yards in the remaining six games – with another one-point loss sandwiched in, against North Brunswick – culminating with a 383-yard, four touchdown performance against Hillsborough in the season finale, a 50-49 victory he sealed with a touchdown and game-winning two-point conversion.

Head Coach Matt Fulham is excited for the future, with two more years to work around Yascko, following a campaign in which the QB’s dad joined the staff as offensive coordinator.

Hear Central Jersey Sports Radio’s season-ending conversations with the younger Yascko and Fulham by clicking below:

Sophomore QB Matt Yascko

Head Coach Matt Fulham

Maguire recaps football, looks ahead to Spring, and weighs in on NJSIAA finances heading into 2021

by Mike Pavlichko

In a wide-ranging exclusive interview with Central Jersey Sports Radio, NJSIAA Executive Director Colleen Maguire says “every game played was a major success” this football season, a year that was unlike any other, played in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

She also looks ahead to the winter season for boys’ and girls’ basketball – which start in January – as well as wrestling, which won’t begin until March.

Maguire’s expertise is in the financial arena, and she says “we’re a bare bones operation” in characterizing the NJSIAA heading into 2021. She says she’s grateful for the one-time stipend from the state, which will help offset some of this year’s losses.

Hear NJSIAA Executive Director Colleen Maguire’s full interview below:

South River Board of Ed OKs fall sports; Rams will play on

by Mike Pavlichko

Fall sports are on in South River.

The local Board of Education Thursday night approved the playing of fall sports – including football – after parents, students and alumni grew concerned this week that the Rams might join the handful of other schools around New Jersey – including Piscataway and Carteret in Middlesex County – who have cancelled their fall sports season.

“It is the Board’s position, and it was unanimously agreed by all board members, to move forward and allow the fall sports season,” announced Board of Ed President Cynthia Urbanik during a virtual Zoom meeting.

But the good news for student-athletes didn’t come without a little sweating it out. The Board met in closed session for more than an hour before the announcement was made.

“As you know this board spent quite a bit of time in closed session, not only tonight, but since July,” Urbanik told the meeting, “not only discussing return to school, but among other things, fall athletics.

Urbanik said the Board has been doing extensive research on the return of athletics since July.

The only sport that will not be played this fall at South River will be volleyball, which will take place during later in the school year during what the NJSIAA is calling season three. Indoor sports such as volleyball are considered higher risk for athletes, coaches and fans to catch to coronavirus.

South River Booster Club President Tammy Torok, whose son Joseph Lepore plays on the football team, helped organize a “Rams Speak” rally Thursday morning outside the Board of Education offices on Montgomery Street.

South River football player Marcus Granadiero – a junior, left – and Austin Soares – a senior who also plays baseball – talk about why they want to play fall sports at a rally Thursday morning in support of their cause, in front of the Board of Education offices on Montgomery Street, on Thursday, August 27, 2020.

She told Central Jersey Sports Radio Wednesday there had been rumors after Monday night’s agenda meeting that the Board wanted to cancel fall sports, and she thought students should explain why they want to play.

Watch Central Jersey Sports Radio’s coverage of Thursday’s “Rams Speak” rally here.

Torok was one of many watching the virtual school board meeting Thursday night. Some couldn’t even get in, as the meeting was capped at 100 participants.

“My family was here. My nieces and my son were here,” said Torok shortly after the announcement. Her nieces also are involved in cheerleading.

“I think we had just a mixed bag of feelings, to be honest,” Torok said about the moment the board went into closed session. One resident – before the closed session – told the board during a public comment session that he felt the panel should have been more clear after Monday night’s meeting about what its intentions were.

Hear South River Booster Club President Tammy Torok’s interview with Mike Pavlichko here.

Torok says she had a good conversation Thursday morning with South River Schools Superintendent Sylvia Zircher, telling her, “If you take football out of this town, you take everything away. It’s just not the same.” She encouraged Zircher and the board to listen to what residents have to say and take their opinions into account.

The Rams have one of the most storied football programs in the state, sending several players on to the NFL, including Joe Theisman, Drew Pearson, Kenny Jackson, and Alex Wojciechowicz. Head coach Rich Marchesi is heading into his 34th season at the helm of the program, and has won over 200 games in that time, making him the winningest coach in South River history.

WATCH: South River student-athletes, parents, alums push to keep fall sports season alive

A group of dedicated South River High School students who play sports from football to soccer and cheer took to Montgomery Street in front of the South River Board of Education offices Thursday morning, intent on letting the district’s governing body know they want to play this fall.

Organizer Tammy Torok, president of the South River Booster Club, says she got wind that discussion of the topic at an agenda meeting Monday night wasn’t favorable, and decided to make sure students – including her son, who’s on the football team – knew what might happen if they didn’t speak up.

A handful of districts around New Jersey have cancelled fall sports due to the coronavirus pandemic, even though Governor Phil Murphy and the NJSIAA support outdoor sports like football and soccer being played, believing the season can take place safely if proper protocols are met.

Torok says she wanted to see a positive, proactive approach.

The theme for Thursday’s rally was “Rams Speak.” Watch the video below for a recap: