Tag: Hillsborough

22 Big Central football players named to NJFCA Super 100 Team

by Mike Pavlichko

The Big Central Conference – in its first year of existence – was responsible for nearly a quarter of the players selected to New Jersey Football Coaches Association’s Super 100 Team, which is chosen annually in December.

The selections for 2020 were announced on Twitter Monday night.

Nominations are made by coaches who are members of the NJFCA, and comittees of coaches make the final selections based on NJSIAA playoff sections. For this season, with no playoffs, the NJFCS simply divided the state into quadrants based on geographical Northing numbers.

Only seniors can be named to the Super 100 Team, and those getting full scholarships to play football collegiately are automatically selected, according to NJFCA Commissioner John Jacob.

Cookie Desiderio and A.J. Pena of Somerville – Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Big Central Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, respectively – were among the 12 players selected in the Central section.

CJSR’s Mr. Versatility Ali Lee Jr. of Woodbridge also was selected, along with teammate Jordan Harris.

Rounding out the Central section were Austin Scott (South Plainfield), Majid Howard-Baker (South Brunswick), Omar Shehabeldin (North Brunswick), Dylan McFadden (Montgomery), Kyle DeGraw (Monroe, Keyshawn Dixon (JFK), Longevity Award winner Sean Levonaitis (Hillsborough) and Zach Zebro (East Brunswick).

There were ten players selected in the North 2 section, headlined by Rutgers-bound Desmond Igbinosun of Union, along with his teammate Diante Wilson.

Others included Shawn Martin (Scotch Plains-Fanwood), Andrew Taddeo (Ridge), Matt Quetel (Phillipsburg), Chad Martini and James Coslet (Watchung Hills), Omakus Langley II (Hillside) and Bruce Myers (Bridgewater-Raritan).

Each year, the Super 100 Team is honored with a dinner in the Spring, but whether that will happen in person or virtually – due to COVID-19 protocols – has not yet been determined.

Sean Levonaitis – Hillsborough’s heart and soul – grabs Longevity Award

by Mike Pavlichko

He got his first varsity touch his freshman year, and his first start in Hillsborough’s first-ever meeting with Colonia his sophomore year.

From start to finish, he compiled 3,169 career rushing yards, and 37 touchdowns, narrowly missing a third straight thousand-yard season that he would have captured had it not been for a global pandemic. (He finished with 958 yards in a season where he was on pace for a career high had it been a normal year.)

And it felt like Sean Levonaitis did all of that in about six seasons in Hillsborough.

He actually did it in four, it just seemed like he was around forever.

Maybe that was because his brother Scot was a Raider standout at wide receiver, who played his senior year in 2014 and finished with 1,811 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns.

But there were three years between the brothers, lest they be confused, although Scot was always one Sean looked up to.

Sean, a 5-7, 175 pound senior is the first winner of the Central Jersey Sports Radio Big Central “Longevity Award,” given to the conference player who has made significant contributions to his team for at least three seasons at the varsity level, at any position on either side of the ball.

Click below to hear Dom Savino’s conversation with Sean Levonaitis about his long Raider career:

Three other players were considered Honorable Mentions for the Longevity Award: Bernards QB Teddy Gouldin, Watchung Hills QB Chad Martini, and North Plainfield linebacker Adam Elsais.

Gouldin put together a career for the record books, quite literally. He finished his career with 4,733 passing yards, 54 career TD passes and 68 touchdowns overall in his career, part of a portfolio including more than a half-dozen Mountaineer all time records and/or firsts.

REWIND: Bernards cruises past Johnson behind Gouldin, balanced attack

Martini nearly reached the 5,000 yard mark in the passing game, hurling for 4,941 yards, including 1,544 his sophomore year, as well as 21 career touchdowns. He was a four-year starter, and a captain for the last three, as well as a leader for Rich Seubert’s squad on the field and in the classroom.

Elsais helped lead North Plainfield to its best season in a decade, a 7-1 campaign that may not have happened without him. Elsais stuck through the lean years, with the program going 4-6 last year, but 3-18 combined his freshman and sophomore years. Through it all, he was a defensive stalwart, amassing 323 tackles in three years as a starter. He also led by example in the classroom, ranking third in his class in GPA, according to his head coach, Jimmy DiPaolo.

LISTEN: Elsais, Canucks cruising to best start since 2010

Levonaitis caps stellar career, leaves Hillsborough in good hands with Amankwaa and Co.

Hillsborough High School’s football team enters every season with the same two goals.

The obvious one, like most teams, is a winning season that ends with a state title.

But equally as important in the football-loving town? Beat Bridgewater.

Though it didn’t get the chance to play for a championship in 2020, Hillsborough (4-4) defeated rival Bridgewater-Raritan during this year’s makeshift postseason, the capstone in a season that has the returning Raiders hungry for improvement.

Hillsborough finished in third place in Big Central Division 4 with a 3-2 league record. All four of its wins came by at least twenty points. Yet, two of its four losses — to Edison and top-10 Watchung Hills — came by a combined four points. The Raiders also dropped games to No. 3 Phillipsburg and No. 6 Ridge by two-touchdown margins.

Those narrow defeats have junior WR/CB Thomas Amankwaa already eager for the start of a new season. The pass-catcher’s close friendship with first-year starting QB Jay Mazuera led to a career year, hauling in a career-high 32 receptions for 637 yards and a career-best nine touchdowns. Mazuera threw for 1265 yards and 16 touchdowns, both among the top 10 in the Big Central.

When the classmates target a state title next year, they will do so without the steady services of RB/LB Sean Levonaitis. Even with the shortened season, the veteran nearly completed a third straight 1,000-yard campaign, rushing for 958 yards and a career-high 13 touchdowns to cap one of the finest careers in the program’s history.

Levonaitis and Amankwaa spoke to Central Jersey Sports Radio about the season. Click below to hear their comments:

Sean Levonaitis

Thomas Amankwaa

Wall to Wall Big Central Football will air Thanksgiving Weekend on Central Jersey Sports Radio

Did the high school football season end too soon for you? Not stuffed yet from Thanksgiving Dinner?

Have no fear.

Central Jersey Sports Radio begins a new tradition this year: We’ll air every single one of our high school football broadcasts back-to-back-to-back to…. (you get the idea) … to-back this Thanksgiving Weekend.

Buy a bigger belt!

That’s right: 3 days, 13 games, 20 teams, 30 hours of Big Central Conference Football, powered by Bellamy & Son Paving of Piscataway.

Simply go to our website and click the Listen Live button to tune in any time, morning, noon or night. We’ll be “on the air” practically from sunup to sundown – definitely after sundown!

Here’s the schedule for each day, with original air date, and approximate start time:

Thanksgiving Day – Thursday, November 26

  • Somerville vs. South Plainfield, October 2 – 8 am
  • St. Joseph-Metuchen vs. Elizabeth, October 3 – 9:45 am
  • Old Bridge vs. East Brunswick, October 9 – noon
  • South River vs. Spotswood, October 10 – 2 pm
  • Bernards vs. Johnson, October 12 – 4:30 pm
  • Bound Brook vs Voorhees, October 16 – 6:30 pm

Friday, November 27 (Now starts at 9 am instead of 8 am)

  • Edison vs. North Brunswick, October 23 – 8 am
  • Manville vs. Bound Brook, October 30 – 11 am
  • Ridge vs. Hillsborough, November 6 – 1:45 pm
  • St. Joseph-Metuchen vs. Woodbridge, November 7 – 4:15 pm
  • Metuchen vs. South Hunterdon – 6:30 pm

Saturday, November 28

  • Woodbridge vs. Somerville, November 13 – noon
  • Edison vs. Hillsborough, November 20 – 3 pm

Woodbridge holds on to top spot in CJ Sports Radio Top Ten

A 2-0 start has kept the Woodbridge Barrons atop the Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten for Week 3 of the high school football season.

Woodbridge cruised to a 41-19 win over Scotch Plains-Fanwood in their Week 3 game.

It was a week of stability, as the top six teams all held their ground while North Brunswick and Old Bridge each moved up a spot.

Two teams dropped out after suffering their second loss of the season: Hillsborough and Union. Ridge and undefeated Cranford took their places.

Woodbridge takes sole possession of top spot in CJ Sports Radio Top Ten

Though they’ve only played one game, the Woodbridge Barrons sit alone atop the Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten.

Woodbridge shared the No. 1 position in the preseason and a week ago with Union, but took over on their own after the Farmers were knocked off by unranked Bridgewater-Raritan, which jumped into the poll at No. 5. The Barrons were dominant in a 34-0 win at in-town rival Colonia.

It was a tumultuous week in the Big Central Football Conference, as none of the ten teams in the Week 1 rankings retained the same spot in Week 2.

North Brunswick also entered the rankings after a win over No. 8 New Brunswick, 28-7.

Below are the Week 2 rankings.

This post has been updated to reflect Cranford and South Brunswick also receiving votes.

Union, Woodbridge share No. 1 again in Week One Top 10

Just as in the preseason Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten, Union and Woodbridge share the top spot.

Both teams were affected by COVID cancellations in Week One, but only the Farmers were able to play. Westfield’s program shutdown happened far enough in advance that Union was able to find an opponent; they traveled to Eastern down in South Jersey and won 39-15.

Linden, however, cancelled on Union in the middle of the week, too late for the Barrons to find a replacement game. Woodbridge will open at Colonia Friday night.

Below is the Week One Top Ten:

Woodbridge, Union share top pick in preseason CJSR poll

The first preseason Top Ten in Central Jersey Sports Radio history will be marked by a split decision.

Woodbridge and Union each got a Number One vote from Mike Pavlichko – who picked the Barrons – and Dom Savino – who tabbed the Farmers.

Woodbridge – GMC Blue Division Champions in the league’s football swan song – finished 2019 with a 10-1 mark, setting a school record for victories, and making it to the North Group 1 Final, the Barrons first appearance in a championship game since they won a state title in 1997.

Union won its first state crown since 1993, taking the North 2 Group 5 title, and won the final Mountain Division Championship in the now-defunct Mid-State conference.

Following are the Preseason Rankings, with teams followed by last year’s record. First place votes are also marked.

1t. Woodbridge, 1 (10-1)
1t. Union, 1 (12-1)
3. Somerville (10-2)
4. St. Joseph-Metuchen (8-2)
5. Phillipsburg (8-3)
6. Hillside (13-0)
7. Watchung Hills (5-5)
8. Hillsborough (8-3)
9. New Brunswick (0-9)
10. Old Bridge (8-1)

ARV: Summit (6-3)