Tag: Matt Yascko

Welcome back, again: Yascko takes the reins at alma mater Edison after three seasons as OC

The Edison High School football team has a new head coach who is anything but new to the program.

After spending three seasons as the Eagles’ offensive coordinator, working with a unit that featured his son as the quarterback, Matt Yascko has been elevated to head coach.

No surprise, if we’re being brutally honest.

The Edison Board of Education Tuesday night approved the appointment of Yascko to the post, where he takes over for Matt Fulham, who retired in January after 20 seasons at the helm. He left with an 80-100-1 record, and handing off a program that has made the playoffs four straight postseasons dating back to 2018, capped off with a Central Jersey Group 5 championship, the school’s first sectional title in 31 years, this past fall.


With the senior Yascko heading the offense, and the younger Yascko in charge of it on the field, the combo went 20-10 over the past three seasons.

Edison’s Matt Yascko (the QB/son, left) and Matt Yascko (the offensive coordinator/father, right) helped lead Edison to its first sectional title since 1991. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

READ MORE: Yascko & Yascko: How the father-son QB-OC tandem united to help bring Edison its first title in 31 years

The hiring is a natural fit for the Eagles, whose staff has many local ties to the community. Yascko is an Edison alum, and was on the 1991 championship team in his junior season, so the move keeps the position in the family, while also promoting from within, allowing for a sense of continuity with a “new” head coach.

Of course, Yascko has significant chops as a head coach. Following a run as an assistant under Bob Molarz at Carteret, Yascko took the reins of the Ramblers for 14 seasons, going 82-67 and reaching three state finals, winning titles in 2007 and 2012.


But he left in July of 2020 – coincidentally around the time Carteret dropped fall sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic – in order to spend more time around his son. In 2019, the younger Yascko was as a freshman for Edison, and got called upon to start the last six games of the year when Lucas Loffredo went down to injury, then moved and transferred out of the district.

That summer, when the offensive coordinator position opened up, Fulham offered Yascko the job, and the rest was history.

Yascko is the tenth head coach in Edison history, but only the second alum to lead the program. Mike Wojick is the other, and he was Yascko’s head coach when the team won the 1991 Central Jersey Group 4 crown.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Matt Yascko about being named Edison’s new head football coach. Scroll further down for additional comments about Yascko’s hiring.

Reaction from Edison:

Edison Athletic Director David Sandaal: “I couldn’t be happier. Matt has been a winner all of his life. As a player, he was a junior on the 1991 Central Jersey Group 4 sectional championship team, won two sectional crowns as the Head Coach for Carteret, and was the offensive coordinator this past fall for our 2022 state sectional championship team.”

Edison Wide Receivers Coach Brian Calantoni: “This day is a culmination of what we all worked for, for many years. We have the best coach and the best coaching staff in the state. We have six alumni on the staff. Coach Yascko is the epitome of Edison High School football, all about the team the town and the school. He’s humble, and he’s a hard worker and his teams are the same. Today is one of the best days in Edison High School football history.”

What were the Top Ten stories of 2022 on Central Jersey Sports Radio? Here’s a look at the first five:

End-of-the-year lists are always popular, so we figured what better time to look at the most-read stories on Central Jersey Sports Radio this past year, one in which we had – yet again – a record number of visitors to the site? So, we compiled the top ten feature and game stories of the past year, and present them to you now.

We start today with stories 10 through 6, and will have the top five later this week.

Click on each headline for the complete, original story.

10. Yascko, Edison defense help knock off top-seed Lenape, bring home trophy for first time in 31 years

Edison’s Matt Yascko – shown here as a freshman against South Plainfield on October 18, 2019 – helped lead the Eagles to their first title since 1991. (Photo submitted by coach Matt Yascko)

It had been a long time coming, but Edison finally got its championship. With a group that had several key four-year starters, the Eagles brought home the big one. But they’d have to travel through wind and rain to do it.

With the remnants of Hurricane Nicole buffeting the state, Edison and some of the Eagles’ heartiest fans had to make the hour-plus-long trek down to to-seed Lenape in Medford, NJ (Burlington County) to see their beloved team. But it paid off, as they won the Central Jersey Group 5 championship, their first since the CJ4 trophy they won in 1991.

FULL GAME AUDIO: Central Jersey Group 5 Final: (6) Edison 28, (1) Lenape 14

9. Sayreville looking for more of the Wright stuff

Zaimer Wright (left) with his Bellamy & Son Player of the Week Award from Week 3, poses alongside head coach Chris Beagan. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

Zaimer Wright was just a sophomore in 2021, but with him leading the way on the ground, Sayreville had its best season since they won the Central Jersey Group 5 title in 2018. His 1,403 yards and 25 touchdowns made him the to returning runningback in the Big Central Conference in 2022.

Injuries, however – both to Wright and others – slowed the Bombers a bit in 2022. They finished 4-5 as Wright only managed to play in seven of the team’s nine games and rushed for 644 yards and three touchdowns on 103 carries, fewer than half as many touches as he had in 2021.

Should he be healthy in 2023, expect more big things from Wright and the Bombers in his senior season.

8. Edison, Lenape to face off for Central Jersey Group 5 title tonight in Medford

Edison coach Matt Fulham talks to his team after a 42-23 win at St. Joseph-Metuchen on October 7, 2022. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

Excitement was at a fever pitch for Edison fans heading into the Central Jersey Group 5 title game. Not only had it been a long time since they’d won a title – 31 years, to be exact – they had not been to a final since they last won it in 1991.

And with Eagles’ fans not knowing much about Lenape other than they were a top seed in the section despite a middling record of 4-4 at the cutoff, our interviews with Edison head coach Matt Fulham and Indians’ head coach Joe Wojceichowski drew a great number of fans to check it out.

It probably didn’t hurt that Lenape fans didn’t know much about Edison either.

7. Entire Edison community mourns the loss of much-beloved youth sports leader “Mr. G”

The man Edison children knew for years as “Mr G.”

People in Edison love their school sports, as you’ll notice from this bottom five of our Top Ten list. But they also loved “Mr. G.”

Beloved youth sports mentor William Giampolo passed away in January of 2022, and the news affected everyone who’d ever played rec baseball or football dating all the way back to the 1970s. He led the Edison Boys’ Baseball League from 1973 to 1998, and was instrumental in the Edison Youth Sports Council.

We talked with Edison Boys’ Baseball League President Brian Calantoni for his memories of Mr. G for this story, which also includes a photo gallery.

6. Yascko & Yascko: How the father-son QB-OC tandem united to help bring Edison its first title in 31 years

Edison’s Matt Yascko (the QB/son, left) and Matt Yascko (the offensive coordinator/father, right) have helped lead Edison to its first sectional title since 1991. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

One more Edison story today, and this one’s a keeper. (Hey, we can’t help it if Eagles fans turn out on CJSR!)

Matt Yascko was a freshman in 2019 when the Eagles’ starter went down to injury, and he was elevated to starting quarterback for the final six games of the season. But before head coach Matt Fulham made the call, he made a call: to Yascko’s father, Matt, then the head coach at Carteret. Yascko, the dad, had played at Edison and was on the 1991 team that was the last one – until this year – to win a sectional championship for the Eagles.

With his blessing (though he might have done it anyway) Yascko, the son, became the starter.

And the next year, despite uncertainty about the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Yascko the dad joined Fulham’s staff at his alma mater as offensive coordinator, bringing father and son together for what would be an immensely successful three-year run: a record of 20-10 over that span, culminating with the Central Jersey Group 5 title this past season.

Check back later this week for the remaining five stories in our Top Ten of 2022 on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

Four Big Central standouts honored as New Jersey “Mini Max” award winners by Maxwell Football Club

The Maxwell Football Club – which annually honors its pick for the top player in college football with the Maxwell Award, the top defensive player with the Bednarik Award, and others – named 55 “Mini Max” award winners in the state of New Jersey Monday, and four student-athletes from the Big Central Conference made the list.

Matt Yascko of Edison, Steven McCaffery of Johnson, Gavin Guidette of Montgomery and Jack Donahue of New Providence – all seniors – were the honorees from the BCC.

Yascko set all kinds of passing records for the Eagles, a four-year starter who lead the team to its first sectional championship since 1991 last month when they beat Lenape for the Central Jersey Group 5 title. He set the single-season and career passing yardage records, with an even 1,900 yards this season and 5,796 overall. He also owns both touchdown records, with 16 this year and 45 for his career,

McCaffery was a lineman for the Crusaders who, in his first year as a starter on the D-line, registered 66 tackles, two sacks, a fumble recovery, an interception, and a blocked kick this year.

Guidette was a two-way player for the Cougars who rushed for 311 yards and five touchdowns this season. On defense, he registered 72 tackles and 11 for loss from his middle linebacker spot. He also had a safety, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery.

Donahue was a two-way lineman for the Pioneers. He spent more of his time on the offensive line; on defense this year, he logged seven tackles, three for a loss.

Edison’s Matt Yascko did it better and longer than anyone, earns CJSR’s “Longevity Award”

What can be said about Edison’s Matt Yascko that hasn’t already been said?

From taking over at quarterback just a few games into his freshman season after an injury to the Eagles’ starter, to winning Edison’s first sectional title in 31 years with a victory at Lenape in this year’s Central Jersey Group 5 title game, and everything in between, the kid has just about done it all.

And for three of those years had the unique experience of being coached by his father, Matt, a former standout for Edison as well, in the early ’90s, winning that 1991 championship.

Edison’s Matt Yascko as a freshman against South Plainfield on October 18, 2019, his first win as a varsity quarterback. (Photo submitted by coach Matt Yascko)

His credentials are impeccable:

  • Second all-time at Edison in career rushing touchdowns, with 21
  • Fourth all-time in rushing yards, with 1,458
  • Set the Edison single-season passing record this year, with 1,900 even
  • Holds the career passing record, with 5,796 yards
  • Holds the career passing touchdown record, with 45
  • Tied for the single-season TD pass record, with 16
  • Led the team to the playoffs all three years they were held (none in 2020 due to COVID)
  • 3.8 GPA

What else can you say?

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Edison’s Matt Yascko:

Honorable Mentions:

Frankie Garbolino of North Brunswick, who won the “Leadership Award,” owns the top three passing seasons of all-time: 1,855 last season, 1,838 this year, and 1,701 in a short eight-game season in 2020. He broke nearly every record he could have in school history, among them career passing yards (5,410) and career passing touchdowns (53).

Jayden Young of St. Thomas Aquinas also had a fantastic career, racking up 25 wins in 3 seasons, and going 18-3 the last two years, with just one regular season defeat. He’s also won 17 straight against Big Central Conference opponents, a record his team will take into next season., In his career, he threw for 5,013 yards and 54 touchdowns, finishing with a 62-percent career pass completion mark.

Delaware Valley’s Jack Bill has been the MVP of the team the past three years. The quarterback went 19-7 as a starter, amassing 5,163 total yards, and 58 touchdowns, while also contributing as a kicker on special teams, where he converted 85 extra points and eight field goals in his time with the Terriers.

Hunter Seubert of Watchung Hills accomplished the rare feat of being a two-way starter on the offensive and defensive lines for the entirety of his high school career, all four years. “He was the QB of our front,” says his dad, the head coach, a one-time New York Giant and Super Bowl champion. A captain the last two seasons, Seubert also has a 3.8 GPA in the classroom.

Edison’s championship season comes to an end against Toms River North

Coming off its first sectional title in over three decades, Edison had earned a date with the top public school in the state, Toms River North.

And on Saturday evening down at Cherokee High School, just 15 minutes from last Friday’s great night of hundred-yard glory, they met the same fate as every other team to play Toms River North this season, and very likely they next one, too.


The Eagles’ postseason run came to an end just one game shy of New Jersey’s first-ever public school state finals, losing 42-14 to the Mariners in the Group 4 semifinals.

And as it has been week in and week out for TRN, it was all about Micah Ford. The junior quarterback – who has offers from West Virginia and Maryland – rushed for 289 yards and five touchdowns, while the Mariners rolled off 420 yards of rushing offense.

Down 35-0 in the third quarter, Edison got two touchdowns back, with a Matt Yascko connection to Michael Strachan for 32 yards late in the period, and a Yascko one-yard run early in the fourth after the Eagles recovered an on-side kick, but that was as close as they would get, with Ford’s fifth touchdown of the game providing the final margin.

Click the play button above to hear Edison Councilman Richard Brescher congratulate the Eagles on their Central Jersey Group 5 championship, and wish them luck this week against Toms River North!

Toms River North (13-0) will go on to play the winner of the North 5 semifinal between West Orange and Passaic Tech, which takes place Sunday at 2:30 pm at Franklin High School. Edison finishes its season 9-4, but with the Central Jersey Group 5 title in its trophy case, the school’s third.

Click below for postgame reaction from down on the field with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Chris Tsakonas:

Edison senior QB Matt Yascko

Edison head coach Matt Fulham

Yascko & Yascko: How the father-son QB-OC tandem united to help bring Edison its first title in 31 years

The Edison Eagles have won three state sectional championships in football.

Two of them have involved Yasckos.

There’s the Matt Yascko who was on the ’91 championship team, later played on Monmouth Universty’s first-ever football team, and then coached Carteret to titles in 2007 and 2012, and now is Edison’s Offensive Coordinator.

Then there’s the Matt Yacsko who brought Edison its first title since that 1991 championship year, here in 2022. The one who loves to run the football as much as he loves to throw it, the one who a true team leader, in word and deed.


Yes, it’s a family affair in Edison. Has been for a long time now.

Even Yascko’s backup, Anthony Calantoni, is in the family mix. His dad was on the ’91 team and was the starting QB in 1992, the senior Yascko’s senior season.


But the story of how Matt – the son – became the starting QB three years ago, and how his father became his offensive coach is a long and circuitous one. It goes back to 2019, when Eagles’ starter Lucas Loffredo got injured, and Yascko – a freshman – was pressed into action.

Click the play button above to hear Edison Councilman Richard Brescher congratulate the Eagles on their Central Jersey Group 5 championship, and wish them luck this week against Toms River North!

After a few games of trial by fire – and a couple of wins – the two joined forces on the Boulevard of the Eagles, gutting out two solid years, with their third finally bringing a championship.

And, of course, there’s still more to play, with the Eagles taking on South Jersey Group 5 champion Toms River North Saturday at Cherokee High School in Medford at 5:30 pm, with the winner moving on to the state’s first ever public group finals, to be held at Rutgers University’s SHI Stadium in Piscataway during the first weekend of December.

Click below to hear Central Jersey’s Mike Pavlichko talk with Edison’s Matt Yascko (the QB) and Matt Yascko (the offensive coordinator) – the father and son duo that has helped bring the Eagles to the brink of New Jersey’s first ever football state finals:

Yascko, Edison defense help knock off top-seed Lenape, bring home trophy for first time in 31 years

1976. 1991.

And now, 2022.

Senior quarterback Matt Yascko rushed for a career high 168 yards on 18 carries – that weren’t necessarily part of the game plan – and the Edison defense registered seven sacks, as the 6th-seeded Eagles won at top-seed Lenape Friday night, 28-14, to take home the Central Jersey Group 5 title.

It was the Eagles’ first title since 1991, and they are now 3-0 all-time in sectional finals.


Edison, now 9-3 on the season, will take on Toms River North next weekend – on either Saturday or Sunday – in the Group 5 semifinals at Cherokee High School, about a 15-minute drive from where they won Friday night. The top-seeded Mariners are now 12-0 after beating 2nd-seed Kingsway 48-14 for their first title since 2015.

Edison took a 13-0 lead in the game, capitalizing on several Lenape miscues, including a bad snap on one punt, and allowing the Eagles to block another.


The first TD came courtesy of a 13-yard run by Nyekir Eato, with Matt Yascko’s five-yard TD run good for the second score. Tight end Michael Strachan caught a five-yard TD pass after that bad snap by Lenape set the Eagles up with first-and-goal at the five, and Edison took a 20-0 lead into the locker room.

Lenape would make it a game in the third and fourth quarters, capitalizing on some Edison miscues. They got it to 20-14 with just under seven minutes to play, but Yascko would run another score in from 11 yards out to seal the deal with under four minutes to play.

Click below for postgame reaction from Mike Pavlichko with Edison players down on the field after the win:

Edison QB Matt Yascko
Edison LB/K Selbin Sabio
Edison WR Michael Strachan

Edison-North Brunswick lives up to the hype, as Eagles win a wild one to clinch a finals berth for the first time since 1991

It might have been the comeback of the year in the Big Central, and there have been some good ones, including in another sectional semifinal game Friday night in Annandale.

But nothing tops what Edison did in the Central Jersey Group 5 semifinals in North Brunswick.

The 6th-seeded Eagles were down 31-17 with 3:58 left in the game. They scored to make it 31-24 and recovered Selbin Sabio’s onside kick.

Then, like a la Phil Connors in Groundhog Day, the Eagles scored again. Down one, Edison went for the jugular, a two-point conversion to go ahead.

But they didn’t get it.

Why not try another onside kick, down 31-30 with 39-seconds to go?

They did, and recovered again.


Then, aided by two pass interference penalties, Edison got into field goal range, and Sabio booted a clean ball over and through the uprights from 30-yards for the game-winner as time expired, for a 33-31 win.

Now, it’s on the road for Edison, to top-seed Lenape, which got by 5th-seed Atlantic City down in Medford Friday night, 21-20. That game will kick off at 7:00 next Friday night.

Click below to hear Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Chris Tsakonas break down the final four minutes of the game with Mike Pavlichko as well as postgame reaction from head coach Matt Fulham, quarterback Matt Yascko, and kicker Selbin Sabio:

Edison QB Matt Yascko after a Central Jersey Group 5 semifinal win at North Brunswick on November 4, 2022. (Photo: Chris Tsakonas)

Edison-North Brunswick rivalry is a friends and family affair as they meet again, this time for a chance at a title

Whenever Edison and North Brunswick face each other, especially recently, the games have been epic, knock-down, drag-out battles.

But regardless of whether it’s been close, or not, there’s this fact: the Eagles haven’t won a game against the Raiders since 2014, so there are some streaks involved.

A Mike Cipot-coached North Brunswick team has never lost to Edison (5-0).

And the Eagles’ fourth-year starting QB, Matt Yascko, has never beaten the Raiders in three tries. He became the starter in 2019, when Lucas Loffredo suffered a season-ending injury, but Loffredo started the Edison game that year.

They meet Friday night at Steve Libro Field in North Brunswick in the Central Jersey Group 5 semifinals, with the Eagles (7-3) the 6th seed, and the Raiders (8-1) the 2nd seed, and a lot on the line.

Edison last made a title game in 1991, when they won it all, to go along with their only other title, in their only other finals appearance, in 1976.

North Brunswick has made two finals appearances under Cipot: in 2018 – when they droppee an epic Central Jersey Group 5 title game at Sayreville, 6-0 – and last year, in a loss to Hillsborough’s greatest team ever. They’re 0-3 all-time, their only other appearance coming in the Central Jersey Group 2 finals in 1979 to South River.

But for all that’s at stake Friday in that regard, there’s still more.

Yascko and his North Brunswick counterpart – Frankie Garbolino, a three-year starter in his own right – are good friends. They both play baseball for their respective schools, and play on the same team in the summer. Their families are close.

That’s because their fathers played together when they were in high school – at Edison. So this one has extra juice for them, too.

Justin Garbolino, Matt Yascko (Edison’s offensive coordinator) and Brian Calantoni (Edison’s wide receivers coach and president of the Edison Boys’ Baseball League) were practically inseparable growing up, through their early school years and into high school – where they won the 1991 Central Jersey Group 4 title – and then into college, where all three roomed together – though only Yascko and Garbolino played – at Monmouth University, on the Hawks’ inaugural football team in 1993.

Media guide bios for Matt Yascko and Justin Garbolino, in the inaugural season for Monmouth University football, 1993. (Source: monmouthhawks.com)

This week, Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko visited Edison to sit and talk with Calantoni, about the ties that bind: growing up in Edison, never really leaving, and how that’s fueled the program’s recent success.

Click below to listen:

Edison alum and wide receivers’ coach Brian Calantoni. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

“The Big Central in 2 Minutes” – Week 8: It’s Playoff Time!

Now that the playoffs are upon us, “The Big Central in Two Minutes” with veteran sportscaster Mike Pavlichko takes a look at teams that can do some damage in the postseason, the double-multiplier effect, and how we did with our preseason playoff projections.

Click below to listen to the Week Eight edition of “The Big Central in 2 Minutes”: