Tag: Woodbridge

Ridge debuts at No. 1 in preseason Bellamy & Son Paving H.S. Baseball Top Ten

The Ridge Red Devils – coming off a 24-4 season, a Somerset County Tournament championship, and a heartbreaking 11-inning loss in the Central Jersey Group 4 semifinals to end their season – will begin 2023 right where they left off: Number One in the Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten.

Not only does Ridge take the top spot in our preseason rankings, but the top four teams remained the same. The rest saw some significant movement.

The Red Devils have some key pieces back from last year’s club, including pitchers Connor Byrne and Brendan Callanan, while Callanan, Luke Somelofske and Julian Kielb – the team’s top run producer a year ago – are among the top hitters returning.

In second, it’s North Brunswick, which won its first-ever GMC Tournament Championship last year, beating defending champ St. Joseph of Metuchen in the final. The Falcons check in at No. 3.

The Raiders went 22-10 last season, and have a lot of key hitters back, including Omar and Yomar Carreras and Frankie Garbolino, while Rutgers-bound strikeout whiz Zach Konstantinovsky returns for his senior season. Last year, “Zack K” threw 67 innings, struck out 120 hitters, and walked only two, with a miniscule 0.73 earned run average.

The Falcons finished 22-9 last year, and were the Red Division Champions. Their returning lineup is loaded, with standouts like Mark Gialluisi, Robbie Carvelli, Josiah Brown and many more returning, though they lose two of the best pitchers in the league – Donovan Szak and Andrew Goldan, both of whom are now at Rutgers.

Checking in at No. 4 is Woodbridge. The Barons were 25-7 last year and a North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4 finalist, having won an epic 11-inning game at Ridge, but falling to Hunterdon Central in the final. The Barrons return their top pitcher in Eddy Nunez, as well as key offensive players like senior Ty Kobylakiewicz, and juniors Drew Lukachyk and A.J. Bosch.

In fifth is Rutgers Prep, which was 19-6 last season and won the Skyland Conference Valley Division, and made it to the Somerset County final, falling to Ridge. A young team in 2022, they still won’t have a lot of seniors, but players like sophomores Andrew Parisi (.537, 54 RBI, 11 HR) and Zach Fronio (42 2/3 innings pitched, 1.34 ERA) will have lots of experience to call upon.

East Brunswick checks in at No. 6. A Central Jersey Group 4 finalist, the Bears were 17-13 last season, and lost an epic GMC Tournament semifinal game to North Brunswick 1-0 in 12 innings.

Monroe – 16-11 a year ago – is in seventh, while Pingry comes in eighth. The Big Blue were 23-3 last season and had just one regular season loss, to Ridge. Their other two losses were in the county and state tournaments.

Immaculata – 14-13 a year ago – comes in ninth. A young ballclub went 14-13 last season, but lost some key offensive players and some big arms, like Aiden Rumain, Matt Warzeniak and Christian Martell.

And Bridgewater-Raritan, which has a veteran group returning from last year’s 15-13 team debuts in this year’s poll at No. 10.

Below is the complete Bellamy & Son Paving Preseason Top Ten:

It’s February signing day, as more Big Central players sign on the dotted line.

The “early” National Letter of Intent Signing Day for football is in December, and while it’s morphed into the main day, when most players sign, not all do.

The extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA has also affected student-athletes coming out of high school, but that’s another story altogether.

Still, many – whether it’s because they’re looking for more offers, whatever the case may be – wait until the February signing day, as a number of Big Central players have signed today.

Here’s a look at Big Central signees. Please check back as this list will be added to as we hear about additional signings.

Warriors send Seubert, McCann to Rutgers as PWOs…

Watchung Hills head coach Rich Seubert – the ex-Giant and Super Bowl champion – is sending two seniors off to play for Greg Schiano in the fall. One is his own son, two-way lineman Hunter Seubert. The other is Riley McCann, who is expected to kick and/or punt for the Scarlet Knights.

Both are preferred walk-ons.

“I’m a proud father and coach,” Seubert told Central Jersey Sports Radio. “Having two student-athletes continuing their academics and football careers at Rutgers is special. To have two home-grown young men stay and play for us here at The Hills is special, as they both proved it doesn’t matter where you go to school but how you perform on the field and in the classroom.”

McCann was the No. 2 receiver for the Warriors this past fall, with 13 catches for 261 yards and a touchdown, in addition to being a kicker, where he hit all of his 32 PATs in 2022. He was also 12-of-16 on field goals, with four over 40 yards and a long of 50 at St. Joseph-Metuchen in October.

“Riley has been a leader both in the classroom and on the field for some time,” said Seubert. “He has worked hard for this opportunity and is excited to go earn it the fun way.”

“Coach Schiano is getting two great young men to compete on the field and in the classroom.

Edison’s Malcolm Stansbury chooses Delaware State…

Edison’s Malcolm Stansbury (second from right) after signing to play football at Delaware State. From l. to r.: Edison head coach Matt Fulham, Principal Charlie Ross, mother Kiyanna, Malcolm, and Athletic Director Dave Sandaal. (submitted photo)

A four-year starter for the Eagles – who won their first state sectional title in 31 years this past fall – Stansbury with 146 catches for 1,886 yards and 15 touchdowns. He was also a great cornerback, registering five interceptions in the defensive backfield over the course of his career, but is projected to play wide receiver for the Hornets.

Click here to read the full story on Edison’s Malcolm Stansbury signing with Delaware State University.

Cranford’s Kanterman, Godwin and Lynskey headed to New England…

Shane Kanterman was the Cougars’ leading tackler at the middle linebacker spot the last two years, including on the state championship team in 2021, and signed with Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven Wednesday. QB Liam Godwin will be playing just down the road, as he inked with the University of New Haven, and Ryan Lynskey signed with Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.

This year, he was also the top runningback on the team with 787 yards on 120 carries and nine touchdowns, finishing No. 2 in rushing behind dual-threat quarterback Liam Godwin, who rushed for 930 yards and 15 touchdowns, while throwing for 887 and another ten TDs. On the state title team two seasons ago, Godwin was on the receiving end of star QB Shane Van Dam, grabbing 11 passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns.

Runningback Ryan Lynskey is also a dual-threat. He had the third-most rushing yards on the team in 2022, carrying 101 times for 636 yards and 7 touchdowns, while also hauling in 9 catches for 195 yards and 3 TDs. He also had 64 tackles and 3 interceptions playing defensive back this past season, and projects to play safety there, as well as Godwin, who registered 86 tackles and six interceptions in the past two years at the position.

Woodbridge’s Barahona headed to the Poconos…

Defensive end Kaelyb Barahona is heading to Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania. He logged 51 tackles and 3 1/2 sacks his senior season for the Barrons, including two in a narrow 14-13 loss at in-town rival Colonia in late September.

INSTANT REPLAY: No. 7 South Plainfield 54, Woodbridge 38 (Boys)

Senior guard Tyreak Williams’ 16 points led No. 7 South Plainfield past Woodbridge in a GMC White Division game heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

Fellow senior guard Brandon Dean chipped in 15 despite still dealing with an injury to his shooting hand, as the Tigers are now just two wins away from clinching the division title.

Kendall Pala and Nadino Jospeh paced the Barrons with 8 points each.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko call all the play-by-play from Woodbridge High School on January 26, 2023:

No. 7 South Plainfield overcomes slow start to win at Woodbridge, inch closer to GMC White crown

The first quarter may not have been they best they’d played all year.

South Plainfield and Woodbridge were tied 7-7 after one, but the Tigers were able to pull way after that.

The Tigers slowly grew the lead, then got a spark at the end of the half from senior guard Brandon Dean, who swished a pair of shots from downtown back-to-back, to close the half with South Plainfield ahead 28-13.

It would get as close as nine in the second half, as the Barrons made a bit of a run in the final eight minutes, but no closer. Final score: 54-38 Tigers.

Dean finished with those two triples and 15 points, but game high honors went to Tareak Williams, a fellow senior guard who has picked up the slack while Dean has been dealing with an injury to his shooting hand that’s been enough to slow him down, but not enough to keep him off the court.

For the Barrons, no one cracked double figures, as senior Kendall Pala and junior Nardino Joseph each finished with eight points. The trouble was the South Plainfield D did a number on Micah Eason, the team’s leading scorer. Coming in averaging nearly 15 points a game, he was held scoreless until the third quarter, and finished with just four points on a field goal and 2-of-3 shooting at the line.

The win puts South Plainfield at 11-1 in the GMC White with two games left, 15-2 overall. Woodbridge drops to 9-8, 7-5 in the White.

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Click below for postgame reaction brought to you by the Sportsplex at Metuchen:

South Painfield senior guard Tareak Williams
South Plainfield’s Tareak Williams (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)
South Plainfield head coach John Greco

Barrons looking to play more than spoiler Thursday in White Division clash with South Plainfield

Sure, 7th-ranked South Plainfield is looking to finish the season strong and close out its third straight divisional championship in the GMC.

But that doesn’t mean Woodbridge is looking to play spoiler tonight when the Barrons (9-7, 7-4 GMC White) entertain the Tigers (14-2, 10-1) on senior night, in a game that can be heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio

Woodbridge is trying to finish the year strong, too, after a 2021-22 campaign that saw many players get baptized by the GMC White fire, which last year included Colonia and St. Thomas Aquinas, now departed for the Red Division.

They started the year strong with three straight wins, but have had their share of heartbreaking, buzzer-beating defeats. Those include losses to rival Perth Amboy, Edison, and the Tigers themselves, in the first meeting, when senior Brandon Dean hit a runner as time expired for the victory in South Plainfield.

Follow Sportsplex at Metuchen on Instagram for the latest on open gym sessions on their courts and turf!

Tonight’s game can be heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio beginning with pregame at 5:15 and tip-off at 5:30 pm. Mike Pavlichko will call all the action. Click here to listen.

The Barrons are led by Micah Eason, a junior averaging nearly 15 points a game, and otherwise have balances scoring with senior Kendall Pala and sophomore Derrick Anderson averaging just over 8 ppg.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Woodbridge head coach Jonathan Toczynski:

South Plainfield looking to close out strong, win first division title since 2005

Sure, the South Plainfield Tigers have won two straight division titles in Greater Middlesex Conference play, and are just three wins away from locking down a third all on their own.

But those came in the Blue Division.

When No. 7 South Plainfield (14-2, 10-1 GMC White) travels to Woodbridge (9-7, 7-4) Thursday night – in a game that can be heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio – the Tigers can take one more step toward clinching their first outright White Division title in 17 years, since the days of Jeff Lubreski as head coach, and standouts on the floor like Marquis Jones and Darren Smith.

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And the Barrons are likely their biggest hurdle.

South Plainfield won the White in the winters of 2003 and 2004, and took the GMC Tournament title in ’04 and ’05, sharing the White crown in 2005 with Colonia.

A win would would leave two remaining division games – North Plainfield and New Brunswick. A split clinches a share of the division for the Tigers, and a sweep wins it outright, as they lead North Brunswick – which is 8-2 in the White – by a half-game. The Tigers split with the Raiders this season.

You can hear all Thursday night’s action live from Woodbridge High School with Mike Pavlichko calling the play-by-play. Pregame begins at 5:15 pm with tipoff at 5:30 pm. Click here to listen.

South Plainfield is lead by Brandon Dean, a senior guard averaging 21.4 points per game, one of the tops in the GMC. He also hit the game-winning shot against Woodbridge at home to beat the Barrons 48-46 on December 22nd.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with South Plainfield head coach John Greco:

Woodbridge off to hot start, 2-0 for first time in five seasons

Second-year Barrons boys’ basketball head coach Jonathan Toczynski says it was all about the little things and attention to detail.

With his Woodbridge squad focused on that during a trial-by-fire first season in 2021-22 that saw five players lost to graduation, transfer or injury, they took their lumps in 2021-22, going 8-14. But there was reason to be optimistic.

For one, Toczynski knew he would have a good core coming back. And that they would be getting key experience. That paid off in the home stretch of the year, when they won five of their last seven games, including a GMC Tournament play-in victory over Perth Amboy Tech.

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This year, led by top returning scorer Micah Eason, a junior who averaged 12.5 points per game and was a second-team All-GMC White Division honoree as a sophomore last season, the Barrons are off to a 2-0 start, something hey haven’t done since the 2017-18 campaign, when they finished 12-12.

Eason has scored 33 points and has 16 rebounds in the first two games, a 49-47 road win at Perth Amboy, and a 51-44 home victory over Edison.

And for his part, Toczynski – a JFK alum – is new, too, still learning in the second year of his first head coaching job, following a four-year run as an assistant at Bergen Catholic.

Want to find even more of the bright side? Woodbridge remains in the GMC White Division this year, but the group’s two best teams the last several years – Colonia and St. Thomas Aquinas are now up in the Red Division.

After two road games this week at Sayreville and South Plainfield, Woodbridge will face what Toczynski calls its toughest stretch of the year: three games in the Eric LeGrand Tournament against Union City, Colonia and Westfield.

Click below to hear Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko talk with Woodbridge head coach Jonathan Toczynski about the Barrons’ development, their 2-0 start, and their prospects this season:

Bosch “sparks” Woodbridge to playoff-clinching win, and Week 8 Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Week honors

It’s one thing to put up big numbers in a game, but to do it when the season on the line is extra special.

And so it went for junior A.J. Bosch last Friday night, in a must-win home game for Woodbridge that they needed to clinch a playoff berth.

All Bosch did was score all five of his team’s touchdowns – three on catches, two on runs – and then, on defense, seal the game with a late interception for a 35-21 win that got the Barrons a top 16 finish in North Group 4, earning them the seventh seed in North 1, Group 4, where they’ll visit second seed Ramapo next Friday.

The final numbers for Bosch – which won him the ninth and final Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Year award for Week Eight – were six catches for 190 yards and three touchdowns (71, 66, and 35 yards) along with 15 rushes for 85 yards and two more scores (3 and 27 yards). Then, on defense, that nail-in-the-coffin pick, and ten tackles from his safety position.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Woodbridge junior A.J. Bosch:

Like all winners, Bosch will receive a custom football at the end of the year, and one of the weekly winners will receive a $500 scholarship from Bellamy & Son Paving and Central Jersey Sports Radio.

Honorable Mentions

  • Shawn Purcell, Manville – The senior runningback had 10 carries for 194 yards and six more rushing touchdowns to give him 28 total touchdowns on the year (including 6 receiving) and 170 points. He’s believed to be the state’s scoring leader heading into the playoffs, according to MaxPreps. (Not all schools report to MaxPreps, and NJ.com does not provide statewide scoring totals.)
  • Manny Faxas, Colonia – Usually, massive stats earn these honors, but why not give it to a defensive end and an offensive guard? In a tense 21-20 win over Rahway Friday, Faxas had eleven total tackles, two TFLs and a sack, which came on the final drive to help secure the win. He also had key blocks on 79- and 50-yard touchdown runs.
  • Anthony Christian, Spotswood – The senior runningback carried 20 times for 124 yards and all three touchdowns in an 18-7 win at JP Stevens Friday night.
  • J.J. Jackson, Scotch Plains-Fanwood – First-year head coach Michael Henderson says it was “the best game of his career.” The senior runningback had two catches for 55 yards and a touchdown, 10 carries for 107 yards and a score, plus ten tackles and a pick-six on defense, though it wasn’t enough in a 21-19 loss to JFK Friday night.

Other Nominations

  • Nickie Kouflie, Bernards – In essentially one half of play, the senior runningback had two long rushing touchdowns, eleven carries for 125 yards, and a catch for 14 yards on offense, while recording two solo tackles at cornerback in a 42-0 win over Governor Livingston at Olcott Field.
  • Matt Maciolek, Bridgewater-Raritan – The senior had six catches for 84 yards and two touchdowns – including a circus catch for a 32-yard score – in a critical 34-0 win over Old Bridge that kept Bridgewater-Raritan in the playoff chase, and got them a spot in the post-season. Head coach Rick Mantz says he’s been the “team’s most consistent player.”
  • Matt Botvinis, New Providence – The junior defensiveback/wide receiver had a stellar game on D, recording 10 tackles, and was plus-3 all on his own in the tournover category, logging two INTs and a fumble recovery in a 26-6 win over Middlesex Friday night. One of thos epicks halted a potential go-ahead drive and led to a Pioneers’ touchdown at the end of the first half. The other snuffed out a potential game-tying drive.
  • Angel Ruiz, JFK – In a 21-19 win over Scotch Plains-Fanwood, the wide receiver had 7 catches for 119 yards and a 44-yard touchdown, plus an interception as a defensive back.
  • Terrell Mitchell, Somerville – The sophomore set the pace for the Somerville offense in a 41-28 must-win victory at South Brunswick that gave the Pioneers’ their second straight victory since Matt Bloom took over as head coach, and propelled The ‘Ville into the playoffs. He had 14 carries for 190 yards and a touchdown, an 81-yarder.

North Group 4 Playoff Analysis: North Hunterdon appears locked into a No. 1 seed

With Cutoff Weekend coming up Friday and Saturday this week, Central Jersey Sports Radio is taking a look at every team in the Big Central to see where we think they’ll land in the playoffs.

We’re not looking at tiebreakers just yet, and even adding the few residuals to be had can make for infinitely more possibilities – although there are none up for grabs from any Big Central opponents at this point – so we’re not doing those either. But we are looking at where we think teams will fall in the top 16. Tune in to our Playoff Projection show Saturday at 6 pm on Central Jersey Sports Radio for all our unofficial pairings.

Below is our analysis, with each team’s current ranking in the UPR standings noted.

(Click here for official standings on Gridiron New Jersey)

#1 North Hunterdon: Even if the Lions (7-1) were to lose Voorhees (3-4) at home Friday night, it still wouldn’t matter what Irvington, Ramapo, Randolph, and Morris Knolls do behind the, We think North is set as the top overall team, meaning they would be the North 2, Group 4 top seed. Who gets the other No. 1 seed is still very much up in the air; Irvington’s not a lock with a tough game against West Orange.

#7 Ridge: The Red Devils (5-2) – contrary to our initial take – can’t quite grab the second overall position and the other No. 1 seed. We thought if they’d won at Union (2-5) and had a ton go right, including losses by six other teams around them, they could do it. But two of those teams – Randolph and Morris Knolls – play each other. So unless both decide to use an ineligible player and are granted losses (yes it could happen!) a No. 1 seed is out of the realm of possibility, we now believe, for Ridge. A top four finish is possible, though, if the Red Devils win. Undefeated Wayne Valley should beat winless Mount OIive, so beyond that huge upset, Ridge would need Ramapo (5-2) to lose to Ridgewood (5-2), and Randolph (6-1) to lose to Morris Knolls (6-1). On paper, those games could go either way. So, if Ridge wins, we call that a 50-50 shot. A loss, and Ridge could drop as low as nine, going on the road for the first round if everything breaks the wrong way around them.

#8 Colonia: The Patriots and the next few teams have so many possible scenarios and combos of winning and losing and other teams’ results, so we’ll just give their range. They could legitimately go as high as No. 7 overall, guaranteed at least a first-round home game, or drop as low as 13 in a worst-case scenario.

#11 Rahway: With Colonia being a strong team with just one loss, should they beat the Patriots, they could finish as high as an eight or nine overall, meaning a first-round home game is still in play. But we believe they’re in regardless of what happens; it looks like the lowest they can drop is 14 with a loss.

#12 Montgomery: Even with a loss to Linden, it looks like the Cougars are in, but destined to be on the road in the first round, as we peg them for a range of No. 10 to No. 15 overall.

#14 Sayreville: Similar to Montgomery, we think Sayreville is in whether they beat Woodbridge or not Friday night, and in the same 10-15 overall range.

#16 Woodbridge: Here’s where things start to get tricky. We thing the Barrons aren’t guaranteed of anything, even if they beat Sayreville Friday night, and the reason is the tiebreaker. If somehow, the Barrons end up a spot ahead of Linden, the Tigers have the tiebreaker by virtue of winning their regular season matchup. That’s even the case if Woodbridge finishes 16 and Linden finishes 17, regardless of power points, OSI or UPR. So, the Barrons need to finish two spots ahead of Linden if they end up at No. 16. Win, and it’s easier: they just need a loss by Linden and nothing else, and they’ll be the last team in. With a loss, they would not only need Linden to lose, but also Barringer to win Friday night against Nutley and Bergenfield to beat Pascack Valley on Saturday. Those have to happen to bump Linden to 18 so that Woodbridge avoids the tiebreaker. *We think.

#17 Linden: The Tigers, even though they’re behind Woodbridge, have it easier. With a win, even if everything else breaks wrong – including the Barrons winning – we have them at 17, with Woodbridge in 16th, and Linden getting the tiebreaker over the Barrons. We’ll see how it shakes out. And, as stated above, they could still get in with a loss, if things break right regarding Barringer and Bergenfield losing.

UNOFFICIAL: Group 4 Playoff Standings Update

North Hunterdon keeps on winning, and keeps solidifying its position as No. 1 in the North Group 4 standings. Here’s a look at Central Jersey Sports Radio’s unofficial standings for both Group 4 supersections following Friday night’s Week 7 games:

With a win over Woodbridge, North Hunterdon remains a solid No. 1 – first in both power points and UPR – while Irvington remains No. 2, but dropped in UPR from 2 to 2.6, which is more breathing room for the Lions, whose only loss was a “good” loss – according to the OSI – to Phillipsburg.

Ridge‘s home win over Westfield helped it stay in 7th, inching closer to sewing up a top seed and a first-round home game in the sectionals. The Red Devils are at Union next Friday, and a win there should lock it up.

Colonia dropped from No. 9 to No. 10 based on other teams’ results, but still has to play this weekend – today at red-hot Summit, which is 3-3 but has won three in a row.

Rahway has pulled up behind them, from 14 to 11, after a win Friday night over Carteret, which snapped a three-game skid. And right behind the Indians are Montgomery, which pulled up from 13th to 12th after snapping a two-game losing streak with a win over Scotch Plains-Fanwood Friday night.

Sayreville drops from 10th to 14th with Friday night’s loss to Piscataway, which would have produced a good amount of power points to get the Bombers – we think – closer to the top eight. Now, that may not be possible.

On either side of the bubble are Woodbridge and Linden, both of whom lost Friday night. The two flip-flopped last week’s position, with the Barrons now in 16th and the Tigers now 17th. Why? The Barrons’ loss to North Hunterdon was “better” – according to the OSI – than the Tigers’ loss to Cranford.

Bottom Line: North Hunterdon should get that top seed. Ridge could wrap up a first-round home game with a win against Union, but might still be able to get it with a loss. Colonia may be in play for a top eight seed since they have two games to work with. Rahway and Montgomery maybe not so much. But we think they’re in the dance, so to speak. Sayreville should be. Woodbridge has Sayreville next week, and Linden is at Montgomery: consider them must-wins, and root against Middletown South.

In South 4, Middletown South and Hammonton switch places, but still hold the top two positions.