Tag: Manville

Week 3 Friday night hot takes: No. 1 upended, Cougars and Mustangs and more start hot

The big news of the night of course was the No. 1 North Brunswick Raiders, who surely won’t hold that position next week.

That takes nothing away from the Sayreville Bombers, who upended the Raiders 35-22 on their home field Friday night to pick up their first win of the season against two losses, albeit to teams who are both in the top ten in the Big Central Media Poll (and maybe at least one of those teams warrant another look in the CJSR rankings).

But that was the big story line Friday night, along with a host of others.

Sayreville has had a couple of down years since winning the inaugural South 5 “bowl championship” in 2018, beating Williamstown in their very own of the Miracle at the Meadowlands.

But the program has persevered under alum Chris Beagan, now in his seventh season at the helm.

HEAR MORE: Sayreville topples No. 1 Raiders, wins it with defense as much as offense

Consider the fact that the Bombers first four opponents all are or have been in the Top Ten this year, in one or both polls.

Bridgewater-Raritan from Week One is in the Media Poll, Woodbridge is in both and got a first place vote each of the last two weeks in the Media Poll, North Brunswick was Number One the last two weeks in the Central Jersey Sports Radio rankings, and this week as well in the Media Poll, and Edison – next week’s Bombers’ opponent – was in the lower half of the top ten before getting bounced last week after a loss to Colonia.

Sayreville is what they call a tough out. After Edison, the Bombers have St. Joe’s, Pisctaway (both 0-2), and South Brunswick (1-2) before finishing with New Brunswick (2-1) and Old Bridge (2-1).

Time to turn those tough outs into hits.

Manville pouring on the points…

No one wants to hear about any more water in Manville, but the Mustangs are making it rain.

After their season opener was cancelled and declared a “no contest” after Ida’s remnants devastated the majority of the town and drew a visit from President Biden, Manville has gone out and won two straight, by a combined score of 89-6 over Dunellen and Montclair-Kimberley Academy. Shaun Purcell had another great game with a rushing and receiving touchdown, while QB Danny Wildgoose and runningback Brandon Flores also got into the scoring column.

They could be on the opening chapters of writing a great book this season. Manville last made the playoffs in 2017, only their third playoff berth, and has never won a playoff game. That’s a long way away, but maybe they can dream…

Cranford is hot out of the gate, too…

Maybe things would have gone differently in Week Three had the Cougars not come out on the right side of last week’s 33-27 overtime decision at home against North Hunterdon.

Then again, as solid a program as Cranford has built – with a lot of multi-sport athletes who head coach Erik Rosenmeier says are not just allowed to, but encouraged to play other sports – it might not have made a difference.

No matter, the Cougars are off to a 2-0 start, with senior QB Shane VanDam leading an offense that has put up 88 points in two games.

HEAR MORE: Cranford wins a battle of top Union County QBs, Cougars off to 2-0 start

The big difference Friday night was that it was nowhere near as close as the opener; the defense held Summit to just eight measley points.

Things are looking good in the tiny Union County town.

Monroe back down to Earth, but are still hot…

Speaking of teams that have put up a lot of points, Monroe outscored its first two opponents 121-26, but cooled off a bit Friday night when they edged out Hamilton out of the West Jersey Football League 18-13.

Still, the Falcons are off to a 3-0 start, their best record out of the gate since winning five-in-a-row to start 2013 under Chris Beagan. They dropped four of their last five that year to finish 6-4, with the last two losses coming in the regular season finale and the opening round of the playoffs, both to Sayreville.

In their 11-1 state title season, they started 1-1 before winning ten straight to take the Central Jersey Group 3 title over Middletown South 30-10 in the snow at the College of New Jersey.

Manville Youth Athletic League in desperate need of donations after suffering wrath of Ida

Anyone not living under a rock knows Manville was one of the hardest hit communities in New Jersey after the remnants of Hurricane Ida swept across the Northeast.

And, sadly, the Manville Youth Athletic League was not spared.

The Manville Youth Athletic League is all volunteer, offering various athletic programs for the children of the boro, and surrounding local towns, including football, cheerleading, and wrestling.

It’s headquarters at Gerber Field along Dukes Parkway East – on the banks of the Raritan River – took on several feet of water, damaging equipment, fields and the building itself.

A Gofundme page has been set up to benefit the MYAL, with a goal of $10,000. So far, $900 has been raised.

Click here to be taken directly to the Gofundme page to benefit the Manville Youth Athletic League. All donations are fully tax-deductible.

According to the page, “While our proud citizens always provide monetary donations, right now they are simply too beholden to their own personal financial hardships to contribute to M.Y.A.L. We are humbly reaching out to our neighboring towns, organizations and friends to ask for help.”

Water remained in the Manville Youth Athletic League building on dukes Parkway East following the remnants of Hurricane Ida and massive flooding in the borough. (Source: MYAL Gofundme fundraising page)

Manville was decimated by Ida’s remnants, with hundreds upon hundreds of homes and businesses damaged, many ruined beyond repair.

On the Manville high school football team alone, four student-athletes lost their homes, now a total loss. But after their teammates helped them, they all helped the rest of the neighborhood.

Listen to their story here:

And while the high school team was able to open its season Friday with a 48-6 road win at Dunellen, and now plays its next two games at Ned Panfile Stadium, its home grounds off North 13th street, things are looking bleak for the Manville Youth Athletic League.

“A few weeks ago our children were bursting with excitement as they kicked off practice for the fall seasons of football and cheer,” the Gofundme page says. “If you have the wherewithal to assist, we would greatly appreciate it and will ensure that every cent is used to rebuild and restore so that our children can continue playing their hearts out for the sports they love.”

It goes on to say, “There are more challenges and pressures today than every before for our youth and giving them access to team sports provides so many healthy and necessary benefits for them- please help us ensure our children can continue the proud tradition of Mustang pride through the M.Y.A.L.!”

Once again, pleas click here to be taken directly to the Gofundme page to benefit the Manville Youth Athletic League. All donations are fully tax-deductible.

This Week in the Big Central – Episode 3: The Flood

This year was supposed to be about getting back to normal in New Jersey High School Football.

Week One was anything but.

In Episode 3 of “This Week in the Big Central,” driven by Mark Montenero and his team at the world-famous Autoland, we look at how the remnants of Hurricane Ida – and the residual flooding – played havoc with the high school schedule, even moving the Rutgers-Temple season-opener and forcing an audible on the weekend “Rumble on the Raritan” showcase at RU’s SHI Stadium.

This Week on TWiBC, Mike Pavlichko looks at how the Top Ten fared, and looks ahead at the Week 2 slate with Dom Savino, and is joined by several coaches and players.

But the feature story is the flood, and how it affected Manville. Not just the community, but the football team, and how the Mustangs, in turn, took care of their teammates, and their whole town.

Trio of Bound Brook standouts talk No. 6 Crusaders’ big season-opening win over Manville

It was all smiles in Bound Brook Thursday night, as the 6th-ranked Crusaders used a 26-0 first-half run to pull ahead early and beat Manville for the 16th straight time.

Senior Arianna McCleod led all scorers with 21 points in a 70-36 victory heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, powered by Bellamy & Son Paving.

Sophomore point guard Casey Miller added 20 for Bound Brook, with three treys.

But it was the defense that fueled Bound Brook, and they got a good effort there in the paint from one of the newest Crusaders: 5-11 freshman Brenae Jones.

Click below to hear postgame reaction from the Crusaders, and head coach Jen Derevjanik.

Senior Guard Arianna McCleod
Sophomore Point Guard Casey Miller
Freshman Forward Bernae Jones
Bound Brook Head Coach Jen Dervejanik

No. 6 Bound Brook and Manville square off in girls’ basketball season opener Thursday night

by Mike Pavlichko

The Bound Brook Crusaders don’t have that one star player.

The Manville Mustangs have all five starters back, but lack a bench.

Both will be put to the test Thursday when they square off in their season openers on High School Basketball presented by Bellamy & Son Paving on Central Jersey Sports Radio. Mike Pavlichko will have the call live from Bound Brook High School, and you can listen here.

No. 6 Bound Brook has dominated the series since just before Jen Derevjanik became the head coach. They had won two straight before she arrived, and have not lost since, for a total of 15 straight wins against Manville.

READ MORE: Bound Brook’s Derevjanik named NFHS girls basketball Coach of the Year in NJ

The Mustangs last defeated Bound Brook on January 24th, 2013, a 50-19 home win. They took both games from Bound Brook that year.

Coincidentally, 2012-13 was the last time Manville finished the season with a winning record, going 13-11 that year.

LISTEN: “Like a kid in a candy store,” HS coaches and players welcome start of practice

Click below to listen to interviews with Bound Brook head coach Jen Derevjanik and Manville head coach Mike Knitowski.

Bound Brook head coach Jen Derevjanik:

Manville head coach Mike Knitowski

Manville’s Angelo Drake took on informal “coaching role,” wins Leadership Award

by Mike Pavlichko

Manville finished 2017 with a 7-2 record, and things were looking good for the Mustangs.

Angelo Drake was all ready for his sophomore season, and the opener against rival Bound Brook in 2018. And then the unthinkable happened: He broke his forearm making a tackle on a kickoff.

History repeated itself in the 2019 season opener. Same team, same play, same game.

You’ve got to be kidding.

Any other player who’s not a legitimate threat to play on Sundays might have packed it in. But not Angelo Drake.

Instead, “he never missed one day,” says head coach Pat Gorbatuk.

“He took on the role of assistant coach, helping set up practices, running drills and mentoring young players.”

He was voted a team captain as a junior, because he was – as Gorbatuk explained it – “every player’s favorite teammate.”

Listen below to Angelo Drake and his head coach, Pat Gorbatuck, talk about Drake’s model leadership for the young Mustangs:

Honorable mentions for the Leadership Award go to Nasir Williams of Roselle Park, and Shawn Patterson of Linden.

After not playing the 2018 season due to low numbers in the program, Williams – a senior – rushed for over an average over 100 yards per game in six games this season, also logging more than four tackles a game on defense. His 1.4 TDs per game were 30 percent of the team’s offense. Head coach Greg Dunkerton says Williams stayed with the program and continued to excel despite the lack of team experience, playing through injuries, and at times with as many as six sophomores on the field. He says Williams made it his goal to instill a sense of “Panther Pride” in his younger teammates.

Patterson – a senior at Linden – was a three-year starter on the offensive line, and in 2018 helped paved the way for 3,100 yards of total offense – 2,384 on the ground and 778 in the air. Coach Al Chiola says he first met Shawn in his 6th grade social studies class, where he told the coach he couldn’t wait to play football for Linden. Chiola says after a COVID shutdown, Linden had the option of playing No. 1 Woodbridge with just 2 days of practice, or taking the week off to prepare for Cranford the following week, when Williams said, “Coach, let’s play. We just want to play football.” Chiola says Williams only missed three snaps his entire varsity career.

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

Manville’s Gorbatuk talks small-school challenges in the Big Central

by Mike Pavlichko

It’s not easy being a small school in the Big Central these days.

Manville has had its issues like any other school in this COVID-shortened 2020, including having less preseason practice time than normal. For a small school, that just makes life more challenging.

Add to that the fact that the Big Central reshuffled its inaugural divisions this year in order to cut down on travel, which left Manville in a division with bigger schools like Delaware Valley, whom they normally would not play.

It also didn’t help with travel. As one of the smaller schools on the Western side of the Big Central, they ended up having to travel to Del Val and also South Hunterdon, while schools further east like Dunellen got to go to Roselle Park and New Providence as road games.

Manville’s final game of the season – unless they can pick up a Week 6 opponent – will be this Friday, when the Mustangs entertain Bound Brook on Central Jersey Sports Radio (6:50 pm pregame, 7:00 kickoff). Click here to listen.

Below, here my conversation with Manville Head Coach Pat Gorbatuk: