Tag: North Plainfield

Eatman looks to increase numbers to bring winning culture back to North Plainfield

For the North Plainfield football team, it isn’t all about the wins and losses. Not yet.

Of course, they want to win football games, so eventually it will be. But the goal for second-year head coach Derrick Eatman is to increase the number of kids in his program. That will lead to more talent, a deeper team, and – eventually, the hope is – more wins.

Coming off a 1-9 season in his first year with the Canucks, Derrick Eatman will be relying on this year’s team to be the second building block in the house that is North Plainfield football.

Tyrell King and Anthony Penaranda are both wide receivers/d-backs and, more importantly, both juniors, who will be there this year and next to help build the program. Senior Kellan Aurielen will be their mentor, and so on, and so on.

Despite a 34-6 loss at Manchester Township to open the season, there’s still reason to be optimistic for North Plainfield. Voorhees and Governor Livingston are on the schedule before a visit to archrivak South Plainfield on September 15th.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko with North Plainfield head coach Derrick Eatman and junior Anthony Penaranda

2023 Big Central Preview: United Silver Division

Can South Plainfield repeat again as division champions? The Tigers won their first-ever division title in football in 2022, but should get a game challenge from a veteran Carteret team led by third-year head coach and Rambler alum Kevin Freeman, along with several D1 recruits, such as Sir Hezekiah Ragland.

The question here is what other teams will step up and challenge those two?

Newer coaches abound. Behind Carteret and South Plainfield last year were Governor Livingston and North Plainfield, both of whom have second-year coaches who were hired late in the previous off-season, so the Highlanders’ Pete Ramiccio and the Canucks’ Derrick Eatman actually got full summers this year with their squads.

The newest coach to the mix is Jason Goerge, son of the legendary Joe Goerge, who is in his first head coaching job at JP Stevens. The Hawks will look to snap the state’s second-longest active losing streak – 31 games, behind only Highland Park at 42.

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

NJSIAA State Tournament opening round sees half-dozen girls teams advance on opening night

Colonia, Dunellen, Highland Park, Middlesex, North Plainfield and Somerville all picked up wins on the opening night of the 2023 state girls’ basketball tournament, while seven area teams were knocked out in the first round.

Dunellen’s win was especially satisfying for the third-seeded Destroyers, who beat 14th-seed Henry Hudson 56-29 at home to snap a three-game losing streak, part of a five-game regular season stretch they had since getting knocked out of the GMC Tournament in the preliminary round. It sets up the only all-are matchup in the sectional quarterfinals, as they will take on 6th-seed Highland Park Wednesday. The Owls got by 11th-seed Woodbridge Magnet 53-33.

Dunellen lost at Highland Park a week ago, 44-29, their only meeting this season.

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Now it’s on to the sectional semifinals for Group 1 and 3 schools on Wednesday. Groups 2 and 4 begin play tomorrow, with non-publics starting play on Wednesday.

Below are the opening night results in all sections with CJSR-area teams still alive in the state tournament. Scroll further down for the upcoming schedule, including the next matchups for tonight’s winners:

Central Group 3
#1 Ewing def. #16 Middletown North, 66-34
#8 Colts Neck def. #9 Hamilton West, 56-14
#5 Somerville def. #12 Jackson Liberty, 44-37
#4 Allentown def #13 Carteret, 59-17
#3 Red Bank Regional def. #14 Hopewell Valley, 58-24
#11 Brick Memorial def. #6 Steinert, 39-23
#7 Robbinsville def. #10 South Plainfield, 31-29
#2 Ocean Twp. def. #15 JFK, 69-17

Central Group 1
#8 South Hunterdon def. #9 Manville, 46-24
#5 Pt. Pleasant Beach def. #12 Somerset Tech, 53-32
#13 Keyport def. #4 Perth Amboy Magnet, 35-21
#3 Dunellen def. #14 Henry Hudson, 56-29
#6 Highland Park def. #11 Woodbridge Magnet, 53-33
#7 New Egypt def. #10 Keansburg, 38-17
#2 Middlesex def. #15 Florence, 63-33
(#1 seed Shore had a bye)

North 2 Group 3
#1 Randolph def. #16 Rahway, 60-16
#8 North Plainfield def. #9 Governor Livingston, 42-37
#5 Colonia def. #12 Nutley, 56-27
#4 Fort Lee def. #13 North Hunterdon
#3 Millburn def. #14 Belleville, 46-18
#11 Mendham def. #6 West Morris, 50-42
#7 Warren Hills def. #10 Cranford, 57-48
#2 Chatham def. #15 Orange, 68-34

Here’s the remainder of the upcoming schedule, including matchups from Monday’s results:


Central Group 4
#16 North Brunswick at #1 Hightstown
#9 Marlboro at #8 Old Bridge
#13 West Windsor-Plainsboro North at #4 East Brunswick
#14 Northern Burlington at #3 Monroe
#15 Freehold Township at #2 South Brunswick

Central Group 2
#11 Bound Brook at #6 Spotswood
#10 South River at #7 Metuchen

North 2 Group 4
#9 Woodbridge at #8 Hillsborough
#12 Union at #5 Edison
#11 Franklin at #6 Watchung Hills
#10 Ridge at #7 Scotch Plains-Fanwood

North 2 Group 2
#13 Bernards at #4 Dayton


Central Group 3 Quarterfinals
#8 Colts Neck at #1 Ewing
#5 Somerville at #4 Allentown
#11 Brick Memorial at #3 Red Bank Regional
#7 Robbinsville at #2 Ocean Twp.

Central Group 1 Quarterfinals
#8 South Hunterdon at #1 Shore
#13 Keyport at #5 Pt. Pleasant Beach
#6 Highland Park at #3 Dunellen
#7 New Egypt at #2 Middlesex

North 2 Group 3 Quarterfinals
#8 North Plainfield at #1 Randolph
#5 Colonia at #4 Fort Lee
#11 Mendham at #3 Millburn
#7 Warren Hills at #2 Chatham

Non-Public South A First Round

#9 Our Lady of Mercy at #8 Pingry
#12 Union Catholic at #5 St. Thomas Aquinas
#11 Immaculata at #6 Camden Catholic

Non-Public South B First Round
#14 Moorestown Prep at #3 Rutgers Prep
#11 Timothy Christian at #6 Trenton Catholic
#10 Calvary Christian at #7 Bishop Eustace


Non-Public North B Quarterfinals
#5 Gill St. Bernard’s at #4 Montclair-Immaculate
#7 Wardlaw-Hartridge at #2 Morris Catholic

Rutgers Prep girls hold court in final Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten before season’s end

In the last Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball rankings before the end of the season, Rutgers Prep held onto the top position, making it 26 weeks out of 26 the Lady Argonauts have been No. 1 in the three-year history of the rankings.

Prep is 15-3, with wins last week over Blair and Rumson-Fair Haven, the latter coming in the Coaches’ Choice USA Shore Conference Challenge.

Holding on at No. 2 is St. Thomas Aquinas (17-5) which went 2-1 last week, including a loss to two-point loss to state-ranked Saddle River Dayy, a win over Colonia, and a victory over Wall in the Coaches’ Choice showcase.

Gill St. Bernard’s (14-5) holds at No. 3 after a 2-1 week, with the only area game a 74-45 win over Pingry.

South Brunswick (15-6) and Edison (18-4) flip-flopped on the strength of a 2-1 week that included a Vikings’ win over the Eagles on Friday, 61-34.

Bernards (14-5 held in sixth with two non-league wins over Johnson and Parsippany Hills, while Watchung Hills (15-4) remained in seventh, having not played last week.

Middlesex (15-5) moved up two spots to No., 8, with a 2-1 week that included wins over North and South Plainfield, and a loss playing up to the Red Division and East Brunswick.

Hillsborough (12-9) split four games last week to hold in ninth place, beating Monroe and Pemberton, falling to Pennginton and Ewing, while Monroe joined the Top Ten at No. 10. The Falcons were 2-1 with win at North Brunswick, home over Mount St. Mary, and a loss at Marlboro in non-conference play.

Previous No. 8 North Plainfield (14-6) dropped out.

Below are the full Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Rankings for Week 8:

INSTANT REPLAY: No. 10 Middlesex 60, No. 8 North Plainfield 56 (Girls)

No. 10 Middlesex got career highs of 34 points and seven three-point baskets from senior guard Neysa Aguilar on Senior Night to power the Blue Jays past No. 8 North Plainfield, 60-56 in GMC White Division action.

The win clinched second place in the GMC White for Middlesex, while North Plainfield sophomore Nyla Felton also had a career night, scoring 30 points in defeat.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko call all the play-by-play from Middlesex High School on January 31, 2023:

No. 10 Middlesex gets career high from Aguilar on Senior Night to sweep No. 8 North Plainfield, take second in GMC White

Senior Night is always a special evening, but it got the exclamation point Tuesday from Neysa Aguilar, who scored a career-high 34 points – including a career-best seven triples – to power her Middlesex Blue Jays past North Plainfield 60-56, in a game heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

The win will allow Middlesex (14-4) to finish second in the GMC White behind Edison, at 12-3 currently in the division. North Plainfield (13-5) drops to 11-4 in the White.

It was a back-ad-forth affair all night in a game that saw nine lead changes, and which was tied at 46 with under six minutes to go in the game.

Devine – all-GMC a year ago and averaging 19.9 points a game coming in – had a balanced game: nine points in the first quarter on a trio of treys, ten in the second quarter, eight in the third, and seven in the final eight minutes.

North Plainfield gave it all they had, literally and figuratively, as Aguilar wasn’t the only player on the floor having a career night. Nyla Felton had 30 for the Canucks surpassing her previous best of 22. And she had 17 of those in the second half of a game where neither team led by more than six all evening.


The problem was, North Plainfield got in foul trouble in the second half, with senior Yaz Zafar and freshman Layla Gutierrez both picking up their fourth fouls in the third quarter, while junior Avani Jones reached that mark in the fourth.

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Click below for postgame reaction presented by Sportsplex at Metuchen:

Senior Neysa Aguilar
Head Coach Kevin Harper

Middlesex girls don’t run deep, but can run up and down the floor and put it in the hoop

The rotation employed by Middlesex girls’ basketball coach Kevin Harper in his sixth season with the Blue Jays isn’t deep. It never really has been at such a small school, which seemingly teeters every year on the edge between Group 1 and Group 2.

But it hasn’t kept Middlesex from having success moving up to the Greater Middlesex Conference’s White Division.

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Nor has the graduation of a slew of players who contributed significantly a season ago, namely Mackenzie Marsh, Madison Robel, and Kaylin Nepton, among others.

And despite having a 50-game divisional winning streak snapped with a loss to Edison back on January 3rd (with 47 of those coming in GMC Blue play over the past several years), the Blue Jays just keep on keepin’ on.

The vast majority of the offense has come from two players who average a combined 38.1 points per game, on a team scoring just under 63 per contest, and they nearly split it down the middle.

One is a senior Neysa Aguilar, who’s averaging 19.9 points per game, and gets to the foul line a lot, for a team-leading 55 attempts. the other bodes well for the future: sophomore Jess Devine. She contributed as a freshman last year, but has been asked to pick up her scoring this year, and obliged to the tune of 18.2 points per game. But she can also dish it out, and take it – as in the following two team-leading stats: 109 assists, and 111 steals.

That leaves Middlesex ranked No. 10 this week, with an overall record of 14-3, 11-3 in the GMC White, tied for second place with No. 8 North Plainfield, which has identical records, and which they will play tonight in a game that can be heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio. Tuesday’s tip-off time is 5:30 pm , with pregame set for 5:15. Mike Pavlichko will call all the action. Click here to listen.

A win will determine the second-place team behind Edison in the White Division, an Eagles team which the Lady Canucks beat earlier this year, handing Edison its only division loss this season.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Middlesex head coach Kevin Harper:

Ranked North Plainfield girls continue great season in rematch game at Middlesex Tuesday

While at one end of the Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Top Ten, Rutgers Prep sits atop the pile with its 25th appearance at No. 1 in as many weeks, North Plainfield has made its first list in all that time.

And it’s a remarkable turnaround.

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Consider that since 2015, when the Lady Canucks went 12-13, they had not won more than four games in a single season, even going 0-12 in the COVID-abbreviated 2021 season.

But that year, the sophomore season for second-leading scorer Yasmen Zafar and top-rebounder Brianne Presley, was one of the formative years for them and the other seniors on this squad, who now find themselves 13-4 in their first year in the Greater Middlesex Conference, and 11-3 in the GMC’s White Division, good for a second place tie with Middlesex.

And that’s who they’ll play Tuesday night in a game that could have GMC Tournament seeding implications when the field is picked this coming Friday morning.

You can hear that game – No. 8 North Plainfield at No. 10 Middlesex (14-3, 11-3) – at 5:30 pm Tuesday, with pregame set for 5:15. Mike Pavlichko will call all the action. Click here to listen.

A win will determine the second-place team behind Edison in the White Division, an Eagles team which the Lady Canucks beat earlier this year, handing Edison its only division loss this season.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with North Plainfield first-year head coach Derrick Eatman:

It’s 25 straight weeks atop the rankings for Rutgers Prep, with two new teams joining Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten in Week 7

On the strength of a 3-0 week, and a win that solidified their position as the team to beat in the Skyland Conference – a 75-36 thumping as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio last Tuesday afternoon – Rutgers Prep held on to the No. 1 spot in the Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Top Ten for Week 7.

The Lady Argonauts (13-3) had a 3-0 week, which also included an 80-19 rout at Bridgewater-Raritan, and a 76-56 win over Montclair-Immaculate on Sunday. They’re on a seven-game winning streak heading into the final week of the regular season, with the Somerset County Tournament seeding coming up a week from tonight.

St. Thomas Aquinas (15-4) holds in second, while Gill St. Bernard’s (12-4) stays put in third.

Edison (15-2) moves up to No. 4 on the strength of a 3-0 week, while South Brunswick (13-5) moves up two spots to No. 5, despite a 1-1 week in which they beat North Brunswick, but dropped an out-of-conference game to Morristown 54-51.

READ: Edison community and beyond comes together to “Fight For Allie,” help local 11-year old girl beat brain tumor

Bernards (12-5) had a 1-2 week and dropped to sixth, after a win over Delaware Valley, but losses to Belvidere and Dayton.

In seventh is Watchung Hills, which went 3-0, sweeping a week of games from Phillsipburg, Montgomery and Hunterdon Central.

North Plainfield (13-4) makes its debut this season at No. 8, with wins in the past week over Woodbridge and South Plainfield, but a loss to former Skyland Conference foe Bound Brook. (North Plainfield joined the Greater Middlesex Conference this season.)

Hillsborough (10-7) – which fell out of the rankings in Week 4 – rejoins the Top Ten at No. 8 after a three-win week that included victories over Franklin, Hunterdon Central, and previously-No. 9 Mount St. Mary (13-6), which dropped out, along with previous No. 10 Spotswood (15-4).

Below are the full Week 7 Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Top Ten 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?

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