Tag: Metuchen

2023 Big Central Preview: Patriot Silver

When you consider an eight-win team finished fourth in a five-team division last year, you might consider that parity.

That was Roselle, which went 8-3 in 2022, but with all three of those losses coming in the division, against only one win in the Patriot Silver.

There was clearly a defined best team – Hillside – and the one that needed work – Metuchen – but all in all, this year, with the Bulldogs now in Year 2 for alum Jordan Leitner, and the Comets losing D-1 talent nearly all over the field, the ends of that spectrum may be closer.

And that big question mark surrounding the Patriot Silver also includes all the teams in between. There’s the aforementioned Roselle, which should be right in the mix again. AL Johnson will be very experienced, and so will New Providence.

It could all just come down to who’s better any given Friday night with this bunch.

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

Four advance on opening weekend of newly-expanded GMC Tournament

South River, Metuchen, Piscataway and Carteret all won opening round games Saturday afternoon the the GMC Tournament, part of the pilot program format that expanded the Championship field to 20 teams this season. All will go on to play Monday at higher-seeded teams – the top four – that had first round byes.

(16) South River 4, (17) Colonia 3

The 16th-seed, South River, had perhaps the most dramatic win of the day, a 4-3 walk-off at Grekoski part against 17th-seed Colonia. The Rams trailed 3-0 heading into the sixth inning, but scored twice in the bottom half on a Julius Rosado home to pull within a run, then twice more in the bottom of the seventh for the victory.

Click here for the full story on the South River win, with postgame reaction from head coach Mike Lepore.

The Rams (10-4) move on to play at top-seed North Brunswick (11-5) on Monday at 4pm at Community Park.

(19) Metuchen 4, (14) JFK 2

It was an all-Blue Division opening round game, as 19th-seed Metuchen also had to rally for a 4-2 first-round win, coming back from down 2-0 heading into the top of the seventh. Kennedy – the 14th-seed and home team – scored in each of the first two innings, and held that lead until the seventh when Metuchen got all four of its runs, on RBIs from Marcus Malamug, Daniel Cordes, Lucas Weiss and Simon Rosal.

JFK fell to 9-8 with the loss.

Metuchen (7-8) won’t have to go far for its second round game on Monday, visiting 3rd-seed St. Joseph-Metuchen for a 4 pm first pitch.

(15) Carteret 2, (16) JP Stevens 1

The 15th-seeded Ramblers – the GMC Gold Division champion – fell behind in the fourth, but took the lead in the fifth and hung on for a 2-1 win over 16-seed JP Stevens (3-14).

The game didn’t see much offensive action, with the teams combining for just ten hits, and the only two extra base hits – doubles – coming from the Hawks’ lineup. They scored a run in the top of the fourth, but Carteret took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth, and got solid pitching from the combo of starter Nick Kee and reliever Justin Santana. Kee allowed just a run on four hits in 5 and 2/3 innings, while Santana threw an inning-and-a-third of no-hit, shutout ball to earn the save.

The Ramblers (14-2) will visit second-seed Old Bridge (13-6) at Fred Cole Field, Monday at 4 pm.

(20) Piscataway 7, (13) St. Thomas Aquinas, 4

The higher-seed Trojans (No. 13) never got a chance to lead in the game, as the 20th-seed Piscataway led 6-0 before Aquinas could get on the board with a run in the bottom of the second. The Chiefs scored a run in the first, then had a five-run outburst in the top of the second.

They added another insurance run in the third.

Troy Hutchinson and Jason Hoffman each had two RBI’s in the game, with Hutchinson’s coming on a pair of walks. Terrance Bell, Jr., was 4-for-5 with an RBI while Piscataway starting pitcher Jaden Peace went the distance to get the win, throwing seven innings, scattering six hits and allowing just one unearned run.

The Chiefs (5-12) now move on to play at 4-seed Monroe Monday afternoon at 4:00 in the second round.

Rutgers Prep girls keep on keepin’ on, lead Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Top Ten again

Make it 24 straight weeks at No. 1 for Rutgers Prep in the Central Jersey Sports Radio/Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Top Ten, as the Lady Argonauts remain the only team ever to hold the top spot in the rankings, now in their third year.

Rutgers Prep (10-3) went 2-0 in an abbreviated week gone by, with wins at Hunterdon Central and Hillsborough by a combined 166-71. They will take a nearly four-year and 50-game winning streak against Skyland Conference opponents into a huge clash Tuesday afternoon at home against Gill St. Bernard’s, which can be heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio. It’ll determine the Skyland Conference Delaware Division winner, and could figure into who gets the top seed in the Somerset County Tournament with the seeding two weeks from today.


St. Thomas Aquinas (12-3) held in second with wins over South Brunswick and Old Bridge, while Gill (11-3) had a 2-0 week with wins over Hillsborough and Bridgewater-Raritan, keeping them in third.

The rest of the rankings, however, saw some shifts.

Bernards (11-3), Edison (14-2) and Middlesex (12-2) all edged up one spot each to fourth, fifth and sixth, while South Brunswick (12-4) dropped from No. 4 to No. 7 after a 1-2 week that saw them beat Piscataway, but lose to No. 2 Aquinas and unranked Colonia.


The bottom three also saw some shuffling: Watchung Hills (12-4) moved up two spots to eighth on the strength of a 3-0 week that included wins at Ridge and Hillsborough, and at home over Immaculata.

Mount St. Mary (11-5) dropped one spot to No. 9 after a 1-1 week: a win over Somerville and a loss at Warren Hills.

Spotswood (12-4) entered the rankings after a 3-1 week where they lost to East Brunswick, 56-41, but rebounded with wins at Carteret and at home over South River and Keansburg. Metuchen (12-3) – previously ranked No. 9 – dropped out with a 2-1 week that included a loss at Woodbridge. The Chargers and Bulldogs square off against each other Monday.

Below are the full Week 6 Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Rankings:

Few teams lose, but Franklin, Old Bridge girls bow out of Bellamy & Son Paving Week 6 Top Ten

The top four teams in the Bellamy & Son Paving Girls Basketball rankings remained the same this week, while Franklin and Old Bridge dropped out, and Metuchen and Watchung Hills joined the group.

From No. 1 to No. 4, neither Rutgers Prep (8-3), St. Thomas Aquinas (10-2), Gill St. Bernard’s (9-3), no South Brunswick (11-2) dropped a single game last week.


Previously-6th Franklin dropped out after suffering an 0-3 week – albeit losses to Gill, Rutgers Prep and Rumson – and falling to 4-7 on the year. Meanwhile, Edison (12-1) suffered its first loss of the season – falling at Monroe 60-36 – and dropped one spot in the poll from fifth to sixth.

That all paved the way for Bernards (10-3) to move up to fifth on the strength of a 4-0 week.

Middlesex (9-2) and Mount St. Mary (10-4) each moved up a spot to seventh and eighth, followed by two new teams.


Metuchen (10-2) joins the rankings at No. 9, while Watchung Hills (9-4) takes the last spot at ten.

Below are the full Week 5 Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Rankings:

You – the fans – get to pick again! It’s the Jersey Central Sports Radio 2022 “Highlight Reel Play of the Year.” Watch the video, and vote!

Central Jersey Sports Radio is giving YOU the chance to weigh in on your favorite play of the 2022 high school football season!

We received a lot of entries from high school football coaches all across the Big Central.
And after a lot of blood, sweat and tears, we narrowed it down to eight!

Watch the video below, then scroll down
to vote for your favorite!!
Voting ends at 11:59 pm on Monday, Dec. 12.
Remember: Vote early, vote often!

Which was your favorite play?

Thanks for your answer!

The poll has expired!

“The Big Central in 2 Minutes” – Week 0: First Wins, Big Games Ahead

Central Jersey Sports Radio is slimming down!

Our newest feature this year is “The Big Central in Two Minutes” – quick hits and thoughts by Mike Pavlichko – which makes its debut today and will drop every Tuesday morning during the 2022 football season.

In just two minutes, Mike will hit on some of the key points and notes of the week gone by, and the week ahead.

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

Metuchen tops Highland Park for fourth straight Goal Post Trophy win; Leitner gets first coaching victory

On a hot, late-August day with the sun beating down, hobbling several players with cramps, Metuchen got touchdown scores from six different players as the Bulldogs beat arch-rival Highland Park 40-6 Saturday afternoon, in a Week Zero game heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

It means Metuchen can keep the Goal Post Trophy another year; they’ve had it since 2017. It also extended Highland Park’s losing streak to 34 games, the longest active streak in New Jersey.

The Owls – with some of their best program numbers in years, over 30-players strong heading into the game – were still in it at halftime, down 14-0. Matt Flood’s four-yard touchdown run and Aiden O’Leary’s 43-yard touchdown catch-and-run both cam in the first quarter, and Highland Park wasn’t out of reach.

But two third-quarter TDs gave Metuchen some distance – a three-yard run by quarterback John Bolesta, a touchdown pass to Cody Cardillo from five yards out – until Highland Park threw some wrinkles in on offense, using wide receiver Markos Hantsoulis in the Wildcat, leading to a 24-yard touchdown run with under three minutes to go in the third quarter.

The Bulldogs finally salted it with a one-yard run by Evan Toth and a 12-yard touchdown scamper by Daniel Ayala.

For the Owls, though, the loss showed some promise, and there are winnable games on the schedule. Their numbers finally allow third-year head coach Shawn Harrison – whose program didn’t field a varsity team in 2020, his first year – some flexibility on both sides of the ball.

Metuchen still trails in the overall series, despite having won four straight on the field, plus a 2019 forfeit. Not counting that decision, the Owls lead 61-24-1.

The win was the first for new Metuchen coach Jordan Leitner, a former star quarterback for the Bulldogs.

Click below for postgame reaction from Metuchen’s win over Highland Park:

Junior QB Jon Bolesta
Metuchen junior QB Jon Bolesta (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)
Junior RB Matt Flood
Metuchen junior RB Matt Flood (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)
Metuchen head coach Jordan Leitner
Metuchen head football coach Jordan Leitner (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

Leitner has learned from Ulmer and Jensen, now looks to put another stamp on Metuchen

Jordan Leitner has been to the playoffs. He’s won games. As a former quarterback, he owns several Metuchen school records. And he’s been the offensive coordinator for the Bulldogs under three of the program’s last four head coaches: Bob Ulmer – for who he played in the mid 2000s – Mike Warnock and Guy Jensen.

Now, he’s the head coach, and looking to get his Bulldogs back to the playoffs for the first time since 2014.

He takes over for Guy Jensen, a regimented head coach who instilled discipline in the program. Now it’s time for Leitner to get the program to take the next step.

They’ll try to get off on the right foot this Saturday afternoon at 1:00 when Metuchen takes on arch-rival Highland Park at home. The Owls lead the all-time series 61-23-1, but have won the last four meetings and seven of the last eight dating back to 2013, outscoring the Owls in those wins by a combined 253-42 with two shutouts. That also includes a forfeit win in 2018. The lone blemish was a 35-7 Highland Park win on Thanksgiving 2016.

You can listen to the game on Central Jersey Sports Radio with pregame set for 1:00 from Metuchen High School. Mike Pavlichko and Justin Sontupe will call all the action; click here to listen.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Metuchen head coach Jordan Leitner:

St. Joe’s is the favorite, but here’s how all 16 teams can win the GMC Tournament

No team worth its weight in stirrups and rawhide enters the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament bemoaning its seed and wishing they were someone else.

If you’re picked as one of the top 16 teams in the league and make the “big dance,” there’s reason to think you have a shot, or else why get up in the morning?

The way the tournament is laid out, with enough time for every team’s No. 1 starter to pitch three games – that is, if Mother Nature cooperates on Monday – just about everyone has a shot, since there are so many good No. 1s in the county.

So why should 16th-seed South River have hope like top-seed St. Joe’s or third-seed Middlesex has hope that they can win it all?

Click below to listen to Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko break down all 16 teams: