Tag: Woodbridge

Linden’s Te’quan Thomas cops first Bellamy & Son Player of the Week Award in ’23

It was a hot night, the season opener, and Te’quan Thomas knew he had to reach down for a little more.

He had already run the ball 18 times for 213 yards. He had distributed the ball on the ground 20 times for another 144 yards.

It was a short yardage situation, but he went for it. Second-and-three from the 23. Dig deep.

Thomas reached the end zone, then ran in a two-point conversion to wrestle back the lead from Elizabeth for the third and final time all night, giving his team a 27-22 lead that would hold for the final 101 seconds of the game.

The final line on Thomas in Week Zero was 19 carries for 236 yards and three touchdowns, 5-of-7 passing for 34 yards.

And now, it includes Week Zero Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Week honors.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Week One Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Week Te’quan Thomas of Linden:

The Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Week is chosen from nominees by Big Central coaches. At the end of the season, one player will be chosen to receive a $500 scholarship courtesy of Bellamy & Son Paving. As we did last year, we will recognize a few “Honorable Mentions,” and include all other all nominees in our weekly story.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Jahad Thompson, Carteret: Next to the word “efficient,” Webster’s put Thompson’s picture. Only playing the first quarter of a 42-7 win over visiting St. Joe’s-Hammonton Friday night, he rushed three times for 105 yards, but two of them went for touchdowns of 55 and 41 yards. Not too shabby.
  • Eric Dowden, New Providence: Talk about an answer. Leading 7-0 over Governor Livingston on his 68-yard touchdown catch in the first half, the Pioneers surrendered a game-tying touchdown in the third quarter, but the 7-7 score didn’t last long. Before another play could be made from scrimmage, it was 14-7, thanks to Dowden’s 80-yard kickoff return to the house.
  • Anthony Romano, Scotch Plains-Fanwood: In a 25-0 whitewash of Monroe, Romano went 5-of-6 passing for 58 yards, but also ran it 15 times for 149 yards, including touchdown runs of 19 yards and one yard. And it all came in the senior’s first game as captain, and first varsity start at QB.

Other Nominations:

(in alphabetical order, by school)

  • Terrence Hanratty, Bernards: The senior runningback carried 16 times for 125 yards and two touchdowns in a season-opening 47-6 win over Jefferson out of the Super Football Conference. He also had a 35-yard catch and a two-point conversion in the win.
  • Jake Saus, Hunterdon Central: In a 44-7 win over defending sectional champion North Hunterdon, the senior runningback carried 24 times for 215 yards, part of a 415 yard effort by the ground game, and overall 650 yard night by the offense. Saus scored four rushing touchdowns, and added a catch for 39 yards.
  • James Campbell, Governor Livingston: Despite dropping their opener to New Providence, 14-7, the Highlanders’ defense did its part, holding the Pioneers to just 98 yards of total offense. AS part of that effort, the senior DE Campbell registered six tackles, two TFLs and a sack.
  • Brady Post, Montgomery: In a 34-7 win over Robbsinville Friday night, Post racked up 196 yards and three touchdowns on just 17 carries, an 11.5 yard clip. He also had a sack on defense.
  • Zaimer Wright, Sayreville: Beset by injuries last year, the senior picked up right where he left off after a sensational sophomore campaign with a 17-carry, 195-yard, three-touchdown performance. He also threw a 46-yard TD pass to Ky’Von Mitchell. Welcome back!
  • Trey Lazar, Spotswood: The senior quarterback was a workhouse on the natural grass at Chagrer Stadium in a 14-0 win over Bordentown. He rushed 21 times for 122 yards and two scores (from one- and two-yards out). That second TD came on an eight-minute drive then ended with Lazar sneaking across the goal line on fourth-and-goal.
  • Brayden Kelly, Watchung Hills: The junior cornerback had two interceptions in a 37-8 season-opening win over Bayonne, including one that went back 22 yards for a score. He also had a tackle for loss, and made a catch on offense for six yards.

Woodbridge seniors looking to close out careers with a bounce-back year

Pre-COVID and post-COVID, Joe LaSala really had the Woodbridge football program humming along. They went to the North 1, Group 4 final in 2019, with a 10-0 record until falling in the title game at Northern Highlands.

They had a perfect 5-0 regular season before their first pod game against also-unbeaten Somerville in 2020, but dropped that one to end 5-1.

The 2021 year was also solid: 7-3, sweeping in-town rivals Colonia and JFK.

So last year was a bit of an anomaly at 4-6, but they finished strong, winning three of their final five games after starting 1-4.

This year, the Barrons are hoping to build off that momentum with a good number of pieces back. That includes their top wideout, senior A.J. Bosch, who had 8 touchdown catches and 655 yards receiving, plus two other juniors who had over 100 yards receiving last year in Bryan Anderson and Sincere Barner.

Quarterback Derek Anderson is back, also a junior. That means all those players were sophomores last year, and sometimes it shows. With an extra year under their belts, LaSala hopes that experience shows in 2023.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko at Big Central Media Days with Woodbridge head coach Joe LaSala, seniors A.J. Bosch and Dean Fiore, and junior Derek Anderson:

2023 Big Central Preview: Liberty Gold

With one of the most talented, quick, electrifying players in the Big Central Conference, you would be hard-pressed to suggest anyone other than Colonia is the favorite to win the Liberty Gold Division in 2023.

Granted, that doesn’t make it a given. There’s a whole season of football still ahead of us.

But surely having Jaeden Jones back to lead the offense is a big plus for Colonia head coach Tom Roarty, along with other seniors like Joe Perosi at tightj end/linebacker, two-way lineman Logan Ramos, and wide receiver/d-back Toby Popoola.

Linden may be the Patriots’ biggest challenger, with a third-year starting quarterback in Te’Quan Thomas. He’s been around enough to know that his numbers (689 yards passing) don’t matter as much as the team’s (2,430 yards rushing).

Woodbridge – which was a bit young last year – is back and more experienced. Derek Anderson will run the show at quarterback; the junior saw limited action last season as a sophomore, but veteran wide receiver/defensive back AJ Bosch will be leaned upon, along with fellow seniors Dean Fiore at linebacker and receiver, along with two-way lineman Kevin Rosario.

JFK will look to improve under second-year head coach Michael Henderson, while Perth Amboy also is looking to get things going in the right direction; each managed just two wins a year ago.

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

Old Bridge finishes No. 1 in final Bellamy & Son Paving Baseball Top 10; Knights are CJSR Team of the Year

The Old Bridge baseball team reached unprecedented heights in 2023, reaching its first-ever state title game. And though they fell just a few runs short of an overall Group 4 title, the Knights – who won Central Jersey Group 4 for the first time in eight years – are the No. 1 team in the final Bellamy & Son Paving rankings, making them the Central Jersey Sports Radio Team of the Year.

Old Bridge finished 21-9 on the season, and beat North Brunswick 2-1 in the CJ4 title game, their first appearance in the finals since 2019. It was the first ring for head coach Matt Donaghue, who played for the Knights in high school under the legendary Fred Cole.

Scroll down for the full rankings.

Finishing second is St. Joseph-Metuchen (21-10), which was in the top ten during the season, but fell out in the last rankings before the state tournament started. The Falcons were the GMC Tournament champions, besting Red Division champion North Brunswick in the finals.

Ridge (25-4) finishes third in the rankings, despite the Red Devils’ being disqualified from the state tournament for a pitch count violation in their North 2, Group 4 quarterfinal game. Ridge had a successful season to that point, and still is one of the best teams in the area.

North Brunswick (21-7) comes in fourth in the final rankings, having won the Red Division in the GMC. But they fell just short in the league tournament finals, and lost to Old Bridge in the Central Jersey Group 4 title game.

Checking in at No. 5 is Rutgers Prep (14-15), which had a wild season. The Argonauts started 1-6, then won five straight to win the Somerset County Tournament, beating the top two teams in the county en route: Bridgewater-Raritan in the semifinals and Ridge in the finals. They also made it all the way to the Non-Public South B title game, losing on a walk-off single at St. Mary-Rutherford.

Bridgewater-Raritan (23-7) comes in sixth. The Panthers were the top-seed in the Somerset County Tournament, thanks to early wins over Ridge in-league, and Hunterdon Central out of conference.

Spotswood (21-8) had a terrific season, winning the GMC Blue Division title, and going all the way to the Central Jersey Group 2 title game, where the Chargers lost to Rumson-Fair Haven.

Woodbridge (20-6) comes in eighth, with its second straight 20-win season.

Coming in ninth is Middlesex (17-9), which made it all the way to the Central Jersey Group 2 championship game, where the Blue Jays lost to Point Pleasant Beach for the second year in a row.

In tenth is South Plainfield; the Tigers reached the GMC tournament semifinals – losint 2-1 to St. joe’s – and made the North 2, Group 3 semifinals, eliminated by Millburn in another 2-1 loss.

Below are the full, final Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten Rankings for 2023:

Spotswood knocks off Woodbridge in GMCT second round on brilliant effort from Casey Cumiskey

The Cumiskey brothers are both committed to Seton Hall, but forget about sophomore Carter for a moment, because Casey still has some memories to make in this, his senior year.

Casey Cumiskey scattered three runs over 6 1/3 innings of work, gave up five hits and struck out six, in a 5-3 upset win for the 11th-seeded Chargers at 6th-seed Woodbridge in the GMC Tournament’s second round Monday night.

The win puts Spotswood (14-4) in one of the 4 pm quarterfinal games Wednesday afternoon at North Brunswick’s Community Park against 3rd-seed St. Joseph-Metuchen, a 12-2 winner over 19-seed Metuchen Tuesday evening.

Woodbridge (13-5) got a run in the second on a Dean Fiore two-out triple, but Spotswood got it back in the top of the fourth. Carter Cumiskey reached on a single, then Jackson Walsh beat out the throw from the catcher on another bunt to put runners at first and second with nobody out. Chris Bottigilieri laid down a second bunt, and the first baseman Ty Kobylakiewicz charging went for a force at third but threw it away and Casey Cumiskey came home to score. But after another bunt and a fielder’s choice force at third, Woodbridge starter Eddie Nunez got two Ks to get out of the inning.

And Woodbridge went up 2-1 in the bottom of the third when Shawn Kish singled, then Xavier Diaz drove him in with a walk.

In the top of the fifth, Spotswood small ball and a wacky outfield play got them four runs. Ryan Orth led off with a walk, and Breckyn DeAngelis reached on a hard hit ball deep in the hole to shortstop. Casey Cumsikey then knocked in both runs with a two-RBI triple on a fly ball to right field that the right and centerfielders misplayed, thinking it was in the gap. It landed about 30 feet more toward right field.

After a groundout, another bunt by Jackson Walsh was misplayed by the catcher as Cumiskey came charging home to put Spotswood up 4-2. The Chargers loaded the bases and a walk to Shawn Lennan brought in another run to make it 5-2 before Nunez escaped further damage with a strikeout.

The Barrons got a run back in the bottom of the fifth, making it 5-3 on a groundout to short by Drew Lukachyk., but Shawn Kish made the third out on a hard hit ball deep in the hole to short that Orth fielded cleanly, throwing a bullet to first base to end the inning.

After a 1-2-3 sixth for both teams, and nothing across in the seventh, Woodbridge threatened.

Dean Fiore flew out to lead off, then A.J. Bosch walked, and the Cusmiskey had reached his pitch limit. Spotswood coach Glenny Fredricks brought in Jackson Walsh from second to pitch. He walked Tyler Weber to put runners at first and second with one out. Ty Kobylackiewicz hit it to second, and Weber was erased at second, bringing up cleanup hitter Drew Lukachyk.

But on a 1-2 pitch, Walsh threw a high fastball, Lukachyk took a big cut and missed, and Spotswood had its upset.

Click below for postgame reaction presented by Sportsplex at Metuchen:

Spotswood starting pitcher Casey Cumiskey
Spotswood head coach Glenny Fredricks

Ridge remains No. 1 in Week 5 Bellamy Top Ten after red-hot 5-0 week

On the strength of a five-win week, Ridge – winners of 13 straight – is the No. 1 team again this week in the Bellamy & Son Paving Week Five rankings.

The Red Devils are 16-2 and travel to Seton Hall Prep Monday ahead of Tuesday’s Somerset County Tournament Final against 12-seed Rutgers Prep, which you can hear right here on Central Jersey Sports Radio at 7 pm. Ridge is going for its second straight title.

Old Bridge (13-6) holds at No. 2 after going 2-1 last week, and opens play in the GMC Tournament second round tomorrow at 4 pm against 15th-seed Carteret.

Bridgewater-Raritan (13-3) went 2-0 last week, with wins over Hunterdon Central and Immaculata, the latter a 19-4 slugfest.

North Brunswick (11-5) moves up to No. 4 after a 3-1 week. The Raiders earned the top-seed in the GMC Tournament, finishing just ahead of Old Bridge, despite being swept two games by them in the regular season.

Checking in at No. 5 is Monroe (8-6), which went 2-2 in the past week, splitting a two-game set with Old Bridge, losing at Woodbridge, but beating Sayreville (12-5) – which drops to sixth – by an 11-1 score.

In seventh is Woodbridge (13-4), which went 4-0 last week, right ahead of Spotswood (13-4), which had a 2-2 week. The Chargers visit the Barrons Monday night in a GMC Tournament second round game, the opener for both schools.

Moving up one place to No. 9 is Rutgers Prep (8-9), which was 2-2 in the week gone by, including a win in the Preb B Tournament quarterfinals over Princeton Day, 13-2. The Argonauts take on 6-seed Doane Academy on Wendesday in the semifinals, but before that have that date with Ridge in the SCT Finals Tuesday night.

Rejoining the rankings this week is Bernards (10-5) in the ten spot, following a 3-1 week.

Edison dropped out after going 0-4 in the week gone by, with losses to Woodbridge, Old Bridge, East Brunswick and North Brunswick.

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

INSTANT REPLAY: #6 Woodbridge 14, Perth Amboy 1

Perth Amboy got on the board first, but sixth-ranked Woodbridge scored 14 unanswered runs – including ten in the bottom of the third when the Barrons sent 14 hitters to the plate – in a 14-1 victory over the visiting, rival Panthers in a GMC White Division game heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko and Chris Tsakonas call all the play-by-play on May 2, 2023 from Peterson Field in Woodbridge.

Woodbridge bats explode, Barrons top Perth Amboy 14-1 to clinch share of second in GMC White

Sixth-ranked Woodbridge put up ten runs in a third inning where they sent 14 batters to the plate, en route to a mercy rule, 14-1 GMC White Division home win over Perth Amboy, as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

The win puts the Barrons (11-4) at 8-3 in the division, clinching at least a share of second in the GMC White Division, with Edison a half game behind. Since Edison and Woodbridge split their two games this season, the Barrons would need to win their rematch game at Perth Amboy Thursday to clinch second outright, with the GMC Tournament seeding meeting Friday morning.

Perth Amboy actually struck first in the game against Eddy Nunez. Jose Neris dropped a ball down the right field line on the first pitch of the second for a leadoff double. After Victor Ari walked to put runners at first and second, Julian Collado hit a ball to third that Robert Bunten short-hopped to first, allowing Neris to score.

Nunez then hit DH Armando Lagomarsini, but refocused, and struck out the next two batters to end the inning, leaving the bases loaded, and giving him six strikeouts in his first two innings of work.

In the bottom of the third, Woodbridge blew the game open. Nine hitter Dean Fiore led off and got hit by Amboy starter Justin Foy. After A.J. Bosch flew out to center, Tyler Weber walked, and in came courtesy runner Derek Anderson. Ty Kobylakiewicz worked the count to 3-1 before Amboy decided to intentionally walk him to load the bases to try and get a force at home.

But Drew Lukachyk made sure that didn’t happen. He roped the first pitch into the outfield for a bases-clearing three-run triple to give Woodbridge a 3-1 lead they would build upon and never relinquish. Shawn Kish followed with an RBI triple of his own on the first pitch he saw to make it 4-1. Tim Diegnan drove in Kish with a sac fly to center to make it 6-1, and the rout was on.

Woodbridge added four more runs in the bottom of the fourth on just one hit to extend the lead to 14-1, then Nunez complete the game for the win getting Perth Amboy (0-13) out 1-2-3 in the fifth.

In fact, Nunez set down Amboy in order in every inning but the second, when they sent seven men to the plate.

Click below for postgame reaction presented by the Sportsplex at Metuchen:

Woodbridge second baseman Drew Lukachyk
Woodbridge pitcher Eddy Nunez
Woodbridge head coach Mike Monaco

Woodbridge looks to veterans to continue hot streak as Perth Amboy comes to town

When you look at Woodbridge baseball this season, one thing stands out: experience.

This year, the Barrons (10-4, 7-3 GMC White) are relying on their experience, returning several of the contributors that powered them to a 25-7 season and a deep state tournament run, which ended in the North 2 Group 4 title game against eventual Group 4 runner-up Hunterdon Central.

One of those veterans will be Eddie Nunez, who will be starting on the mound for Woodbridge against Perth Amboy (0-12, 0-9 GMC White). Nunez has taken his game to another level this year, with a 1.72 ERA in five starts this season.

Offensively, it’s been a collective effort for the Barons, with a team batting average of .324 on the season.

Leading the pack for them has been catcher Tyler Weber, who is hitting a team-high .452 with 16 RBIs. Ty Kobylakiewicz is hitting .400 with 14 runs batted in and two home runs. Drew Lukachyk has also been a power threat, leading Woodbridge with three home runs and 19 RBIs while also batting .400.

Now, the Barrons will look to build off a 4-3 win against Edison – led by a HR and three RBIs from Lukachyk – which earned them a split in the series.

Not only that, but Woodbridge needs just one win against Amboy to clinch sole possession of second place in the White over the 8-3 Eagles, who are done with divisional play.

Listen to Woodbridge head coach Michael Monaco speak about the Barrons’ success ahead of the Perth Amboy game with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Chris Tsakonas:

Improving Perth Amboy seeks first win in GMC White night game at Woodbridge

The 2023 edition of Perth Amboy High School baseball has not won a game yet.

The Panthers may be 0-12, but fourth-year head coach Damon Clark’s club has improved from Opening Day onward.

Case in point: they lost their first four games by a combined score of 62-5, getting shutout three times.

In their last four games, the Panthers have lost by a grand total of eight runs: a pair of three-run losses and a pair of one-run losses among them. So, it seems like a matter of time before they finally get to drop a W in the win column.

Their next chance comes Tuesday night, when the Panthers visit sixth-ranked Woodbridge in a GMC White Division night game that can be heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

First pitch is set for 7:00. Pregame is at 6:40 pm with Mike Pavlichko and Chris Tsakonas on the call. Click here to listen.

The Panthers return just one senior starter from last year’s 8-14-1 team: senior Melvin Jiminez, who’s hitting .364 on the season.

The pitching took a while to jell, partly due to the team not having a returning catcher. Senior Victor Arias has taken over that spot, playing his first year of high school ball, and Clark says he’s adapted to the role nicely, helping the staff settle in as of late.

Click below to hear Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko talk with Perth Amboy head coach Damon Clark about the Panthers’ season, and Tuesday’s night game at Woodbridge: