Tag: Phillipsburg

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.

Phillipsburg’s Hille and his senior classmates “made a ton of memories”

by Mike Pavlichko

It wasn’t the year Phillipsburg football expected.

Heck, it wasn’t the year anyone epected.

But senior Phillipsburg fullback and linebacker Jacob Hille says he and his senior teammates “made a ton of memories” along the way.

During Hille’s four years in the program, the ‘Liners went 34-9, although they were unable to beat their rivals across the river in three tries. (Their last win against Easton came in 2014.) Their fourth attempt got sunffed out by COVID-19.

Hille – in mostly a blocking back role – carried 11 times this year for 85 yards. More than half of them – 46, to be exact – came on a third quarter touchdown run in his final game as a senior, in a 42-17 Week 7 win over Ridge at Maloney Stadium.

But he also had an impact on defense, tallying a team-high 48 tackles in 2020, along with 2 interceptions and 3 tackles for loss.

Earlier this month, he got his first scholarship offer, which came from Valparaiso.

Listen below to Jacob Hille’s season-ending conversation this week with Central Jersey Sports Radio:

Somerville is Central Jersey Sports Radio’s first “Team of the Year”

Finishing the COVID-shortened 2020 high school football season with a perfect 7-0 mark, the Somerville Pioneers accomplished what they set out to do: beat the best, and finish undefeated.

It was the closest anyone could come to a championship.

Their final game turned out to be a 39-26 road win over then-No. 1 and undefeated Woodbridge, a victory that propelled then No. 2 Somerville into the top spot in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten.

They held onto that spot in the final rankings, to earn the first-ever “Team of the Year” award given out by Central Jersey Sports Radio, and also finished No. 1 in the inaugural Big Central Media Poll.

Somerville was the only undefeated team in the Big Central. North Plainfield – with a remarkable turnaround off a 4-6 2019 season and a 7-24 mark over the past three years – had been undefeated until a 30-14 road loss to Linden in Week 8.

The undefeated season is the Pioneers’ fifth overall and first since 1983, when they went 11-0 and won the Central Jersey Group 2 title. They also went 11-0 an route to a state title in 1979. Their first of 11 state titles overall came in a 1953 season that saw the Pioneers go 9-0. They also finished 7-0-1 in 1929, and won the only game they played in 1909, defeating Bound Brook 16-5.

Following are the final Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten and Big Central Media Poll. A trophy will be presented to Somerville for the honor at a later date.

Week 3 Media Poll finds Barrons in the top spot again

A week two win kept Woodbridge atop the Big Central Media Poll this week, although the Barrons still were not a unanimous selection. They got four first-place votes for the second week in a row, while Phillipsburg – just like last week – got the other two. The Barrons are 2-0, while the Stateliners are 3-0.

The top four positions in the survey were unchanged, with Somerville and St. Joseph-Metuchen holding in third and fourth, respectively.

Ridge and Bridgewater-Raritan joined the rankings this week, replacing Union and Hillsborough, both of which suffered their second losses of the season in Week 3.

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)

COVID takes some lustre off Big Central’s inaugural season

by Mike Pavlichko

There were supposed to be some highly intriguing matchups in 2020.

That was the promise of the Big Central Football Conference, the long awaited merger that follows the trend around the rest of the Garden State: large superconferences swallowing up smaller ones and encompassing large swaths of New Jersey.

The Big Central gives us 60 teams that used to be in the Greater Middlesex and Mid State Conferences.

The names had a nice ring to them. The GMC will survive in all sports besides football. The Mid-State also was a football-only league, as Hunterdon, Warren and Union Counties make up the Skyland Conference in other sports.

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