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The Hibernian U18 Xtreme travel soccer team claimed the NJ Youth State Cup Championship on May 17 with a 3-0 win over the Lawrence Hamnett in Manalapan. The team members are (front row, from left) Katie Greener, Emily Schrukraft, Kelly Arnold, Cristina Tous, Tiana Richards, Barbie Garretson, Alexa Soltesz; (back row) head coach Wayne DeAngelo, Ashley Kruchinsky, Stefany Soltesz, Paloma Rodney, Elizabeth Haggerty, Kelsey Ignace, captain Julia “St. Paddy’s Queen” DeAngelo, Melissa Barnes, Jasmine Paige, Anna Cox, captain Jessica Marcus and assistant coach Guillermo Tous.
Mady Balke connects for a dramatic three-run home run to give Steinert a 5-4 lead in the fourth inning of the Spartans victory over Ocean Township in the CJ III quarterfinals Wednesday (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos at email@example.com).
May 20, 2015 CJ III Softball: Quarterfinals
BBB spells victory as Balke, Backlund Blasts lift Steinert
Non-homer hitters also big contributors in Spartans' win
Nottingham's Kristin "Z" Hallam looks down to make sure he gets the plate after hitting an inside-the-park home run to tie the game in the third inning at Ocean Township (Photo by Wes "The Media Mogul" Kirkpatrick).
May 20, 2013 CJ III Softball: Quarterfinals
Nottingham rally falls just short at Middletown North
The Steinert seniors got together for the last time as Spartan teammates after today's season-ending win over West Windsor-Plainsboro South. Playing their last game for the Green & White were (from left) Pat Fessler, Steven Loney, Anthony Peroni, Nick Giori, Domenic Maruca and Alec Gerasimowicz (Photo by Amanda Ruch / http://amandaruchphotography.smugmug.com/).
May 19, 2015 Baseball
Steinert wins season finale at WWPS; Stars fall to Tigers
May 19, 2015 Softball
Spartans let down in setback to WW-P North
The NJ Rush 02 girls soccer team, part of the Hamilton Wildcats Soccer Club, recently won the U12 premier bracket of the Epic Tournament in Yardley, Pa. The team members are (front) Nicole Rende, (kneeling, from left) Gia Girman, Victoria Dalton, Lauren Corby, Victoria D’Imperio, Emily Brutnell, Jamie Wills, Isabela Ricardo; (standing) Sophia Miranda, Jayne McGrath, Jiselle Daniels, Morgan Hart, Jasmine Lewis, Julianna Romano, Gabrielle Girman, Bella Pesce and Nicole Johan-Wisnierski. The coaches are Warren Lewis and Chris Pettit.
Click here for over 20 new HGSA game reports
Nottingham's Brien Cardona comes across the plate with Nottingham's fifth run of the day after a two-run single by Sean McGeehan gave the Northstars a 5-0 lead in what would become a 6-1 win over Steinert in Monday's CJ III game. Spartan catcher Anthony Peroni tries to make the tag (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos at firstname.lastname@example.org).
May 18, 2015 CJ III Baseball: First Round
Northstars scoff at their 15th seed as they stun Steinert
Stars' freshman Houghton has an awesome state debut
Notebook: Hornets vs. Stars in quarterfinal showdown
The Hamilton West baseball team mobs winning pitcher Alex Cruz (facing camera) after the senior logged a 116-pitch effort and escaped from numerous jams to pitch the 10th-seeded Hornets past 7th-seeded Ewing in Monday's CJ III first-round game (Photo by Mike Dill/DillSportzAndEventPhotography).
May 18, 2015 CJ III Baseball: First Round
Veterans and surprise stars spark Hamilton past Ewing
Freshman Heather Clevenger fired a three-hit shutout as Nottingham defeated Lawrence Monday (Photo by Wes "The Media Mogul" Kirkpatrick).
May 18, 2015 Softball
Clevenger zips Lawrence for Stars; Spartans win 20th
Alexander Borzelin displays his complimentary t-shirt while receiving his gift card from Rossi’s hostess Samantha Jemison after the Nottingham High senior was named the Fish4scores.com/Rossi’s Athlete of the Week (Photo by Rich Fisher).
May 17, 2015 Fish4scores/Rossi's Athlete of the Week
Northstars ride Borzelin to MCT Track & Field crown
Steinert three-letterman Alissa "Scooter" Brugnoli and Nottingham two-letterman Mackenzie Henry display their certificates and scholarships after receiving NJSIAA Scholar-Athlete awards at the Pines Manor in Edison on Sunday, May 17 (Photo by Art Shamsky).
With nearly everyone from the Steinert softball program coming in to field a Hightstown bunt, Kasey Giordano earned the honors, although Jess Ketterer beat it out for a second inning single in Saturday's CJ III first-round game. Completing the lineup are pitcher Kaley Wise, first baseman Kelly Schwager and third baseman Tyler Valenza (Photo by Amanda Ruch/http://amandaruchphotography.smugmug.com/).
May 16, 2015 CJ III Softball: First Round
Steinert tops Hightstown with solid all-around effort
Z being Z is good enough for Stars in win over HoVal
Steinert's Shane Keledy slides in with a fourth-inning double as Nottingham's Brien Cardona is late with the tag (Photo by Amanda Ruch / http://amandaruchphotography.smugmug.com/).
May 15, 2015 Baseball
Steinert tops Stars in precursor to CJ III state game
Connor Braddock got Steinert's lone goal on Friday in his final high school game as the Spartans fell to Shawnee in a state tournament game (Photo by Dennis Symons Jr./purchase photos at dennissymons.com).
May 15, 2015 SJ III Boys Lacrosse
Shawnee too much for Steinert for third straight year
Nottingham's Alexis Davidson gets ready to connect for a sixth-inning homer at Princeton on Friday. The sophomore was the winning pitcher in the Stars 4-3 victory (Photo by Tori D'Antuono).
May 15, 2015 Softball
Nottingham grinds out a one-run win at Princeton
Notre Dame's Kelly Tinsman scores on a third-inning wild pitch as Steinert hurler Cora Bridgers waits for the throw to come from catcher Maddy Balke. Tinsman, who is playing in honor of her grandmother as she deals with serious health issues, made the score 4-0 in what would become a 7-1 Irish win (Photo by Amanda Ruch/http://amandaruchphotography.smugmug.com/).
May 14, 2015 MCT Softball: Championship Game
Steinert runs into one tough customer as ND prevails
Hamilton's Ferlisi contributes to Irish's run to the title Spartans fall but freshmen answer call under pressure
Anthony Francioso tried to spark Steinert with a pinch-double to lead off the seventh inning on Thursday but it only helped get the Spartans close as they fell to Notre Dame, 4-3 (Photo by Amanda Ruch).
May 14, 2015 Baseball
Notre Dame hands Steinert third straight defeat
Cabrini freshman Jess Giordano, a Steinert grad,made the Colonial States Athletic Conference this week after an outstanding week in the circle (Photo courtesy of Cabrini College Athletic Communications).
Apr. 23 College Softball
Giordano honored at Cabrini; township players aid MCCC
Congratulations and kudos to "Team Terry", which did the Walk for MS at Veterans Park Sunday. Led by captain Terry Rossi and Post-Walk Happy Hour Director Kathy Clemency, the members of Team Terry did a 5K walk to raise funds to fight multiple sclerosis.
After a torrid week in which he hit .389, Rider leftfielder and Steinert graduate James Locklear received the CollegeSportsMadness.com Player of the Week from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (Photo courtesy Pete Borg/Rider Athletic Communications).
Apr. 15, 2015 College Baseball
Rider's torrid-hitting Locklear gets first collegiate honor
Mike Fornaro learned a valuable lesson Sunday night, that when you get all dressed up the pretty girls come flocking. Fornaro is flanked by Steinert senior classmates Kylie Kiefffer (left) and Julia "St. Paddy's Queen" DeAngelo as the trio was honored with berths on the Hibernian Senior 11 team. Fornaro and Kieffer were also scholarship winners (Photo by Suzanne Fornaro).
It was a fun time in the Hornets Nest recently as over 40 students participated in the Hamilton West Unified Basketball Tournament, which provided an opportunity for students with and without disabilities the ability to compete together in a competitive environment (Photo by Carol Teeter).
Hamilton West Unified Basketball Tournament
Team Orange tops Team Black in championship game
Various Nottingham athletes spent a recent day off from school at the Trenton Boys and Girls Club. Northstar athletes ranging from baseball, girls soccer, football, cheerleading, track & field, cross country, swimming, tennis, and field hockey all came together for a great day of teamwork. They spent the day teaching and collaborating in various educational activities with the fantastic young kids from the Trenton Boys and Girls Club. From Left to Right are Eric Struble, Mackenzie Henry, Shannon McLaughlin, Samantha Kelly, Lindsay Argiriou, Arianna Hampton, Daisy Hoffman, Mia Salenetri, Joe Fosco, Katie Johnson, Faiq Siddiqui, Vincent Morency, Theresa Miktus, Kaitlin Alvarez, Jugal Shah, Taylor Varone, Joely DeMonte, Brian Munnelly and Meraf Degaga.
The Hamilton West cheerleaders proudly display their CVC Divsion championship plaque along with their Spirit Award after excelling at the competition on Nov. 22 at Hightstown High School. Joining the girls are members of the football team, who showed up to cheer them on in a case of role reversal (Photo by Jason "Shutterbug" Malloy).
CVC Cheerleading Competition
Hamilton makes school history by winning division title
Former Steinert athlete, baseball coach and athletic director Rich Giallella displays his plaque after receiving one of the top athletic honors in New Jersey high school sports. Giallella was inducted to the NJSIAA Hall of Fame Monday at the Pines Manor in Edision. He is flanked by NJSIAA President Thomas Coleman on the left and Executive Director Steve Timko on the right (Photo by Brian "The Chef" Giallella).
Dec. 1, 2014 NJSIAA Hall of Fame
It's official: Giallella one of NJ sports top contributors
The Angiolino family poses behind a photo of Joey on Sunday, as Joey's Little Angels 4th Annual Toy Drive took place at Mercer Oaks (aka The House That Hinsey Built) and hauled in a record 656 toys to be donated to Duke hospital, Capital Health, Children's Hospital Of Pennsylvania and RWJ New Brunswick. The Reynolds 8th-graders were on hand to sing songs to the invited friends and family, while several athletes donned kid-friendly costumes, including Hamilton's Kevin Smiegocki (Sponge Bob), Notre Dame's "Deli" Dom Charello (Buzz Light Year), Steinert's Dominic Maglione (Elmo) and Grice's Vinnie Maglione (Dora The Explorer). Volunteers also included Nottingham's Maria Ship, Notre Dame's Alyssa "Deli Queen" Chiarello, Steinert's Megan Brugnoli, Morgan "The Menace" Comfort, Paige Meszaros, Gaby Bennett and Katie Whittaker.
Hamilton grad Jayson DiManche walks off the field with all smiles after a Bengals win in October. The second-year man feels his NFL career is progressing nicely in Cincinnati.
Nov. 15, 2014 Q&A With Jayson DiManche
DiManche talks football after watching a West victory
Coach Erin Wolverton (left) recently led the Hamilton West Unified Soccer team to the silver medal at the 2014 Shriver Cup Soccer Championship. Play Unified has provided an opportunity for all athletes to compete in an inclusive environment. Athletes competed from across the state during this event on Nov. 2. Hamilton's players (not in order) included Mark Harmon, Joe Misciascio, John Mudri, Orlando Negron, Sam Nelson, Daniel Rodas, Shayne Rogers, Lashay Ross, Jeff Ruble, Tatiana Saffron and Alex Smith (Photo by Carol Teeter).
Shriver Cup Soccer Championship
West earns silver at Shriver Cup Soccer Championship
It was a Hamilton Township happening at Sunday night's Trenton Select Committee Testimonial Dinner, as all but one honoree hails from the township. From left to right are men's honoree and Steinert soccer legend Bobby Smith, women's honoree and Hamilton West player/Nottingham soccer coach Elyse Diamond, Gilbert P. Rossi Memorial Scholarship winner and Steinert grad Shane Plunkett, Jim Carlin Memorial Distinguished Service Award Carol Wagner, Nottingham Babe Ruth's Dan DeRose for Special Recognition, scholarship winner (and Hamilton party crasher!) Nicole Capuano, a Ewing High graduate, and Nottingham Little League's Bob Montague for Special Recognition (Photo by Rich Fisher).
The Nottingham High Career Explorations Class, taught by Rob Nosari (front row right), welcomed Fish4scores' CEO Rich Fisher as a guest speaker Friday morning and asked several thought-provoking questions about careers in journalism. Fish4scores would like to thank the class for their invitation and their courtesy (Photo by Joe Shamma).
The Trenton Power reached the finals of the Cranbury Over-50 Tournament for the fourth straight year behind the play of (front row, from left) John Carmignani, Tom Moffat, Tony Pringle, Ed "Mooner" Myslinski, Lou Cioffi, John Bowen, Harold "Bird" Fink, Kevin Doran, Andy Marraffa, Steve Moffat; (back row), Bruce Brodowski, Matt Marraffa, Ted Rassmann, Nick "Klaus" Wiener, Rick Weiner, George Tiger, Rich Alito, Amr Ahmed, Paul Zuber, Joe Moffatt and coach Greg "Chief Dude" Sandusky.
Cranbury Over-50 Men's Soccer
Trenton Power reaches finals before losing to Radnor
Prior to the national invasion of Special Olympics athletes to Mercer County, the Hamilton SKOR Diamonds Unified Softball Team won the Gold at the New Jersey Special Olympics State Games in early June. Team members are Sean and Nick Reese, Alex Buzgo, Tommy Smith, Billy Collins, Ryan "Mehoff" Fink, Charlie Wagner, Ben Kraml, John McKenna, Andrea Roberts, Justin Jennings, Kyle Stricker, Kevin Brunkel, Michael Underwood and Bruce Sapp.
Special athletes from Hamilton
The New Jersey Special Olympics was staged in New Jersey this week and a couple of Hamilton Township athletes distinguished themselves well. Above, Patrick Rhoads, who has worked for Mercer County Special Services for the past 18 years, scored several goals for the New Jersey soccer team, and had one in the championship game when NJ beat Texas, 4-1. Below, Sean Reese, the pride of the YMCA, shows the form that enabled him go 6-for-12 for the Jersey softball team (Top photo by John Blaine/purchase photos at email@example.com; below photo by Michael Dill/michaeldillphotgraphy.com).
Nottingham High's NJSIAA state bowling champion Raychel Waltz (front row, center) signs a Letter of Intent to roll strikes for Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn. Flanking Raychel is her dad John and mom Carol. In the rear (from left) are Athletic Director Dee "The Wizard" Taylor, bowling coach Kristen Dunham and Principal Mike Giambelluca (Photos by Wes “The Media Mogul” Kirkpatrick).
Spartans take the nation by storm!
The Steinert cheerleaders proudly display their championship banner and trophy they earned by taking first place in the Large Varsity Level 4 at the 2014 All-Star Cheer and Dance Nationals at the ESPN Wild World of Sports complex in Orlando, Fla. (Click for more pictures).
Sporting the same Orange & Black colors of the Cincinnati Bengals that he used to wear while playing for Hamilton West, Bengals linebacker Jayson DiManche gave the students at Wilson Elementary School a thrill on Monday when he was the honorary "Principal of the Day." DiManche thoroughly enjoyed his day in the big seat, posting on Facebook "A big thank you to Principal Panfili and the whole Wilson Elementary school staff for letting me run around the halls all day! It was such a great experience and I enjoyed being around all of the students, teachers and parents, I can't wait to be back!" There is no word yet whether the Bengals have offered Principal Barbara Panfili the opportunity to be Linebacker of the Day next training camp, but we here at Fish4scores highly recommend it. Afterall, fair is fair! (Photo by Nick Sakowski).
Ten years after signing with the Baltimore Orioles, Hamilton West grad Jim Hoey has decided to retire from professional baseball in order to pursue a career in web development.
Feb. 17 Professional Baseball
Hamilton grad Hoey makes tough decision to hang it up
Click here for Jim Hoey's official retirement statement
Nottingham senior Raychel Waltz displays the trophy she earned Wednesday for winning the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions Bowling title at Carolier Lanes in North Brunswick. Raychel is the first girl from Mercer County to ever win the championship (Photo by Kristin Dunham).
Feb. 12 Tournament of Champions Bowling
Nottingham's Raychel Waltz the Queen of New Jersey!
Kloc and West claim the championship in Fish Bowl II
FISH BOWL II
Where the Super Bowl collides with Fish4scores
The Nottingham High cheerleaders not only cheer for a state champion, they are champs in their own right as they tell whose number one after winning last Sunday's CVC Cheerleading Classic's Small Division title.
Nov. 17 CVC Cheerleading Classic
Steinert takes overall title; Stars also win; West second
Hamilton West graduate Jayson DiManche is making positive strides with the Cincinnati Bengals during his rookie season, and was awarded his first NFL game ball in last Sunday's win over the Jets (Photo by wlwt.com).
Nov. 2 Q&A With Cincinnati Bengals Jayson DiManche
West grad not letting himself get overwhelmed by NFL
Hamilton West's Jayson DiManche thought he did enough to make the Bengals roster, but wasn't counting on anything until coach Marvin Lewis called on Saturday with the good news (Photo courtesy bengals.com).
Sep 2 NFL Football
DiManche talks about making the Cincinnati Bengals
With HBO's "Hard Knocks" filming his every move Saturday, Hamilton West grad Jayson DiManche (54) got the good news from Bengals coach Marvin Lewis that he is an NFL player (Photo courtesy of bengals.com).
Sep. 1 NFL Football
Hamilton West grad DiManche now a Cincinnati Bengal
Hamilton Township resident Sean Reese watches his majestic drive for Team New Jersey during Saturday's Special Olympics of North American Softball Invitational Tournament at Mercer County Park. Several Hamiltonians played and coached in the event, which featured 24 teams from across the nation (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos at firstname.lastname@example.org). Click here for more photos
Hamilton Township's James Albanese soars through the air during the 18-year-old diving competition at the AAU Junior Olympics in San Antonio. Albanese made a strong showing in Texas.
Township's Albanese looks good in Junior Olympics
The Hamilton Aquatics Club sent 17 swimmers to the recent YMCA Long Course Nationals in Atlanta, including (front row, from left) Lizzy Demoine, Lisa Mazukewicz, Sarah Lattime, Hailey Thayer; (middle row) Chelsea Ackerson, Maria Nitti, Annie Menninger, Ian Dixon-Anderson, head coach Sue Welsh, Zach Mabin, coach Dave Tees, Maggie Herbert; (back row) Maddie Horner, Jake Torres, Mark Dawes, Adam Druckman, Teddy Slahetka, Matt Tees, and Steven Walsh.
YMCA Long Course Summer Nationals
Hamilton Aquatics Club sends a whopping 17 to nationals
The winning foursome at this year's Al Doan Jr. Memorial Golf Outing at Old York Country Club were (from left) of Tom Boesch, Mike "Father of Bullet Head” Braender, George Joo and Kurt Amburgey. The group shot a blistering 13 under par (Photo by Wes "The Media Mogul" Kirkpatrick).
Al Doan Jr. Memorial Golf Outing
Record turnout and new champion highlight a nice day
Hamilton West graduate Jayson DiManche (54) takes the field for preseason warm-ups with the Bengals prior to Thursday night's ESPN game at Atlanta. DiManche a linebacker, is trying to make Cincinnati after signing as a free agent out of Southern Illinois and had a quarterback sack in his first game (Photo by Morgan Pietrow).
Aug. 9 NFL
Bengals' website calls West's DiManche 'interesting case'
The best of Hamilton Township's "good sports" were out in force at Mercer Oaks Tuesday night at the Colonial Valley Conference Sportsmanship Award Banquet. The honorees from the three township schools were (from left) Lindsey Diamond, Kelly Tohill, Trevor "Rev Trev" Jones, Luke Westerberg, PJ "Chill" Wiegartner, Ron "Yack" Yacyk, Mackenzie Ewell, Imani Alston and Lauren Kelly.
FISH BOWL I
Where the Super Bowl collides with Fish4scoresNicole Kasian, the first lady of Steinert football, has laid claims to the inaugural Fish Bowl 1 title by predicting the Super Bowl winner and the exact 34-31 score. Nicole is the individual winner while her school also claimed the team title, making it a clean sweep in Spartan Land.
Kasian Fish Bowl I winner;Steinert takes team title
(Revision. . .Nottingham incorrectly posted as winner earlier)
Hamilton West senior midfielder Colleen Murphy (right) is still coming to grips with the end of her high school soccer career (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos at email@example.com).
Life of a Student-Athlete: Colleen Murphy
Murph reflects on the end of her Hornet soccer career
After eight successful seasons as the Steinert girls basketball coach -- in which he was tied with Reggie Murray as the CVC's best dresser -- Bryan Rogers announced he is stepping down from the position on Monday afternoon (Photo by Ken Weingartner).
Oct. 1 Girls Basketball
Rogers calls it quits after eight years as Steinert coach
The Rossi brothers (from left) -- Nicholas, Christopher, Peter III, and Daniel -- spent a happy Christmas at the Salt Creek Grill in 2009, but one year later Daniel committed suicide on Dec. 23. The Rossi family continues to remember Daniel with fund-raising events for Steinert athletics while also pointing out the warning signs of suicide (Photo courtesy of Peter Rossi Jr.).
Daniel's suicide spurs on Rossi family to help others
Click for info on the Daniel Rossi Memorial Scholarship Fund's Golf Outing
"Irish" Mike Walsh has given his last fist bump as a head coach as his promotion to Nottingham High vice-principal means he had to give up his varsity coaching jobs in cross country, boys basketball and softball (Photo by Ken Weingartner).
Aug. 28 "Irish" Mike Walsh
Walsh gives up three coaching positions to become VP
(Also known as
Rich Fisher's blog)
The right man won
The script is too good to be true.
The man who sticks by his wife as she battles breast cancer, the man who has always been a class act and a true famly man, wins the Masters.
The guy who was so utterly scummy to his wife didn't.
There's nothing more to write. It was just great.
Wait, there is one more thing.
I used to be indifferent toward the man who apparently invented golf (and re-invented the libido), other than hating the way broadcasters gushed over him. But after his utter dirt bag behavior and these well-crafted, spin doctor apologies, and that completely disgraceful Nike commercial with his late father's voice-over, I hope he never wins again.
And now, he probably won't. It's one thing to put the shame and humiliation of sexual indisgression behind you. But when you're snubbed by a high-powered media outlet like Fish4Scores, which captures an audience all the way from Bromley to Groveville. . .well, you've pretty much had it.
A banner day for
Eagles PR machine
The Donovan McNabb trade is already successful for the Eagles.
For the past two years, Joe Banner has despised the Phillies for stealing the Eagles thunder. He seems to have a problem with fans wanting to follow a team that actually wins championships rather than comes close.
But the timing of this trade could not have come at a better time for Eagles public relations.
All winter long the Philadelphia fans have salivated at Roy Halladay’s first start in a Phillies uniform. On a normal day, the morning sportscasts would be blaring about Halliday’s debut.
Instead, it’s been shoved beneath a mountain of McNabb. Not sure if that was part of the plan – probably not – but it’s obviously a tremendous piece of good timing for the Eagles.
Now, when the actual NFL games start, it will be a little different.
This trade has shocked the world, if only because McNabb has gone to a team that will play Philly twice a year. And that will, indeed, be interesting.
If anything, McNabb has shown a penchant for coming up short in games that mean a lot. Can you even imagine him coming into Philadelphia, a place where his relationship has been nothing short of bizarre considering the love and hate he gets from there.
Will he show the fans they were wrong and have a huge game? Or will he choke it up as has been his custom.
Time will tell.
But I have to imagine that right now, Joe Banner is sitting in his office quite smug. The team that he hates, maybe as much as the Cowboys themselves, has been completely knocked from the public eye in Philadelphia, in what should be a major Phillies moment.
Oh, and by the way, the NCAA championship game is tonight.
Click here for past blogs.
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May 11, 2015
Rest In Peace,
May 11: Mercer County lost an absolute legend on Sunday.
Friends and family are mourning the passing of the great Judge Daniel O’Donnell today, while at the same time celebrating his incomparable life. The Judge – which is how he is affectionately referred to by all who know him – succumbed peacefully to a battle with cancer surrounded by his family on Mother’s Day.
And while The Judge is a West Trenton guy, he deserves tribute on this website as he has four grandchildren making an impact on the Hamilton Township sports scene. Actually, he deserves tribute regardless, but he has certainly been on the township scene the past decade.
Grandkids Jack, Sean, Flannery and Grace (my personal favorite, as we share a common interest) have all played basketball for St. Gregory’s in the Mercer County CYO League, while Grace and Flannery are also long-time players in Hamilton PAL basketball.
Their dad – The Judge’s son and my close friend Dan – has served as a St. Gregory’s coach while their mom Megan served as the team mom.
The kids have also played in the YMCA soccer leagues out at Sawmill, and Jack was a varsity soccer player for Notre Dame High.
Why am I telling you all this? Because The Judge was a constant presence on the sidelines at those games, quietly looking on proudly as his grandchildren performed. To watch him or to talk with him, you would never know he was a very powerful man in Mercer County as a retired Superior Court Judge.
Nope, you would think he ran the hardware store down the street. Or that he was a retired stand-up comedian, as two of his greatest traits were modesty and humor.
The Judge was truly a regular guy. He liked to hang out at the old Tony Kall’s bar in Trenton with other county legends, including veteran sportswriters Bus Saidt and Harvey Yavener, along with popular man-about-town Joe Tiger
He enjoyed having fun, enjoyed his family, absolutely loved golf and went about it all in an easy going manner.
But he was also serious about his job and was truly one of the most respected judges you will ever run across. He was also popular. And there is a fine line to walk in being respected AND beloved, because some people fear those they respect, and others don’t quite respect those they like.
The Judge’s secret was blending wisdom with humor and common sense. It was what made him respected in his court room and with the gang at Tony Kall’s.
And as Dan Jr. will attest, The Judge enjoyed the company of all his son’s friends. We were so privileged to not just know him, but get to spend time with him as he took great interest in things that we did. I didn’t see him all that much, but when I did, he treated me like a close friend.
I have, of course, left out The Judge’s greatest love – Notre Dame University sports. He graduated from Notre Dame and had a lifelong passion for the Irish athletic teams. I am one of those guys who always root against dynasties – Yankees, Notre Dame, Duke, etc. – but when I knew The Judge was on limited time this winter, I secretly rooted for Notre Dame to shock the world and win the NCAA Tournament.
It didn’t happen, but I’m sure The Judge took it in his usual, off-beat manner.
And as a final tribute to The Judge, I leave you with my favorite line from his vault of dry wit – and take this with a grain of salt and the humor in which it was meant, as he spent a lifetime as a church-going man happily married to his wife Jean.
But whenever The Judge was asked how old he was when he got married, he would casually respond with a straight face “Thirty-three. . .same age as Christ when they crucified him.”
Every married guy in the world roared, and even Jean had to laugh.
So rest in peace Judge. You were always loved and your memory will always be cherished with a smile.
* * * *
Steinert phys-ed teacher and former varsity basketball coach Albert Mostrangeli wants it known that Spartan baseball slugger is not his son.
“Everyone is asking me that,” Mostrangeli said. “I think we have the same great grandfather. That might make us like, fifth cousins or something.”
It’s not that Albert doesn’t want to be associated with Ryan. He’s just getting tired of being asked!
Who says we don't help make life easier for people here?
May 1, 2015
Mariota to Birds
farce typical of
NFL draft overkill
May 1: On Thursday afternoon prior to the Steinert-Nottingham girls lacrosse game, Spartans Athletic Director Steve Gazdek said it was “Christmas Day” for football fans, because the NFL draft was beginning that night.
Gaz isn’t the only one to call it that, but he was the last one I heard say it before the draft started.
And for Philadelphia Eagles fans, Gazdek could not have been more correct.
Not because they got the gift that they wanted. Quite the opposite, in fact. But the whole lead-up to the draft was, and always is, not unlike getting ready to celebrate the biggest holiday of the year.
Think about it. In preparing for Christmas, we shop. We decorate. We clean (well, I don’t). We party (I do). We send out cards. We party some more. We wrap presents. We make plans. This goes on for months.And then, Christmas arrives. One day. And boom! Gone.
Sixty days of preparation and the whole thing you’re preparing for, lasts for a tiny blip on the radar screen. It’s like “We did all that, for this?” And half the time it’s a big letdown.
Now, think about Eagles fans. I abhor talk radio, especially the Philadelphia stations because they just beat to death everything Eagles all the time, as if nothing else exists (In fairness, all media outlets in Philly did this with the Mariota thing).
But I do check in the talk shows, every so often, just to see if either Ray Didinger is on (who is the best, hands down), or if they might be talking about something else.
Needless to say, since the end of this past football season, they talked about NOTHING but how the Eagles could go an unprecedented 20th to 2nd to get Marcus Mariota.
They discussed the pros. The cons. Every conceivable deal. Every slick move. Every stupid move. What’s enough? What’s too much? If scientists put as much effort into curing AIDS and cancer, we would be the healthiest planet in the universe.
This went on for days, weeks, months. Same topic, over and over, just re-wrapped in different packages. So what happens on Thursday? The anticipation builds all day, and within 30 minutes, boom! Gone! Tennesse takes Marcus in the second round.
All that planning. All that arguing, all that hashing and re-hashing. And for what? Less than a half hour to realize it didn’t happen.
Now you wait around for New Year’s Eve – which in this case is when the Eagles actually drafted – and hope to salvage the holidays by having a good time and maybe get a kiss from someone who’s good looking.
The whole process is what’s great and terrible about the NFL draft. It’s great for the NFL itself, terrible for people like me, who love watching pro football games but don’t enjoy living the NFL every freakin’ day of the year.
Never have so many wrong predictions been made, than those leading up to draft day. Never have there been more arguments about stuff that won’t even happen. And that is why it’s great for the NFL, because right or wrong, people are talking about the league every hour of every day.
I start to think Roger Goodell and his merry band of owners won’t be happy until every other sport in this country is extinct. I don’t knock them for succeeding. I praise them for their marketing abilities. It’s just not for me, that’s all.
But most people love it, and the NFL seizes that, like any smart business would.
Again, don’t get me wrong. I love NFL football. I live for it in the fall, when it’s played.
But hey, there’s more out there in the world the other seven months of the year.Even if the NFL doesn’t want us to ever explore it.
* * * *
Speaking of Christmas, Steinert’s Gaby Bennett might want to set up a tree in May to take care of all the gifts she has been getting.
And they’re all well deserved.
Gaby is in the home stretch of an outstanding career, in which she has stamped herself as one of the great female athletes in Steinert history.
She has won the maximum of 12 varsity letters. She played first singles at tennis for four straight years despite never playing competitive tennis before high school. She was a 1,000-point scorer in basketball. And she’s going to The College of New Jersey for softball – her best sport.
Recently, Bennett has been given scholarships by the Mercer County Softball Hall of Fame and the Steinert Athletic Hall of Fame. This Sunday, she is being given the Renee Keister Award and the Doug Hice Award at the 34th and final Clarence O’Shea Memorial Awards Breakfast.
For those who aren’t aware, Renee Keister is former McCorristin High basketball great who is now Steinert mom Renee Balke. Renee's daughter, Maddy, is teammates with Bennett in softball and basketball. That makes it kind of cool.
So congratulations Gaby. You’ve been fun to cover for four years, despite having to put up with your dad (Love ya Mr. Dolphin!) and I’m sure your future is bright at TCNJ.
And congratulations Renee, for having your award to go to such a class act.
* * * *
While we’re on the subject, this is the last Clarence O’Shea breakfast and it will be missed.
For 34 years, the first Sunday in May brought together a plethora of Mercer County sports figures for just a really cool event. Coaches and athletes are honored and awarded, and it just illustrates the unique bond that this county has when it comes to high school sports.
A lot of that had to do with the late Trentonian writer Joe Logue, who covered high school sports for over 50 years, was a huge influence on me, and started the Golden Wave Club that runs the breakfast. I always liked that Joe’s legacy lived on with this event, and I’m sorry to see it go, but with Linda Weise getting the big award and a slew of great kids getting scholarships, it is going out on top. * * * *
They don’t get a lot of publicity, but here’s a shout-out for the Nottingham boys tennis team. The Northstars had lost 22 straight matches at one point into this season, but have come back with three wins. It’s not a lot, but it’s an improvement that deserves a few kudos. Well done fellas.
* * * *
The Mercer County Baseball Tournament is upon us beginning Monday, and here is what’s always important to remember. Don’t be surprised to see lower seeds upset higher ones. Sometimes, it’s not even an upset.
Baseball, unlike any other sport out there, is the only one in which a school doesn’t have its best team on the field every game. It all comes down to pitching. When your ace is out there, you have your best tetam. If another team has an ace going against you, it can beat you because that’s their best team.
Case in point, Steinert’s loss to Bridgewater-Raritan this year. The Spartans threw their No. 4, the Panthers threw their No. 1 and Steinert got beat pretty good. But that wasn’t the Spartans “best” team.
Another point to make is that the MCT seeding is based strictly on record, which is never a great indicator, but it’s really the only way to go about it. So, that also can be a little misleading on where a team is bracketed.
I’m not predicting a rash of upsets. I’m just saying, don’t be stunned if and when they happen, because they can occur in baseball more than in any other sport.
* * * *
Steinert’s Ryan Mostrangeli has been hitting so good, that when he goes 2-for-4 it is a slump. That’s what he did on Friday at Lawrence, and his average actually dropped from .535 to .532. Time to hit the batting cage Ryan!
Apr. 19, 2015
I hate to say it, but
history tells us that
Mets or Yankees
will win it all by '19
Apr. 19: The Mets and Yanks are feeling pretty good about themselves this weekend after sweeping teams from Florida.
Are they on the precipice of something big?
I’m not sure it will be this year, but it’s not far off.
I despise both teams, but I am here to say that if you are a fan of the Mets or Yankees, take heart. It’s a virtual lock that one of your teams is going to win a World Series within the next five years.
History says so.
It didn’t start well for Gotham. The New York Giants (yes kids, the same franchise that now wins all the time in San Francisco) won the second World Series ever in 1905, and no New York team won another until the Giants won three straight from 1921-23.
In fact, from 1921 through 1962, the longest streak of a non-New York World Series winner was three years. Three years!! The three New York teams won 27 championships during that time, the rest of baseball 15. Think about that. I know as a Phillies fan I sure do...and not with a smile.
Most of that had to do with the Yankees, of course, as they won 20 during that period. But that “less-than-a-decade streak” was in serious jeopardy in the 1960s/early 70s when the Yanks were the worst they’ve ever been (aahhh, they were the days!). The Bombers went without titles from 1963-76 and New Yorkers needed a miracle to keep the less-than-10 streak alive.
And that’s exactly what they got.
It came in 1969 when the 8-year-old Mets – who were one of the worst franchises ever in their first seven years – stunned Baltimore to win the Series. They were dubbed the Miracle Mets and “The Amazins’”, a term the New York Post still uses.
Had the Mets not pulled off the biggest shocker in MLB history, it would have been a 14-year drought in Gotham.
Some lean times have followed, as New York toyed with a decade-long Series drought numerous times. From 1970 to 1995, there were dry spells of seven years (Yanks win in 1977-78), eight years (Mets win in 1986), and the longest one of all, nine years. But still not 10!
We New York haters had to pay for that bliss, however, as the Yanks snapped the skid in 1996 to start a binge of four
titles in five years. That was followed by another eight-year dearth before the Yanks won in 2009.
That was five years ago. As you know by now if you’ve managed to read this far, the famine never reaches 10.
So sometime between now and 2019, either you Mets fans or you Yankees fans can prepare to celebrate.
And yes, it kills me to say that. But hey, you can’t argue with history. * * *
How about Britt McHenry? What a shallow, egotistical, entitled, angry disgrace of a human being she is. For those not familiar with the story, McHenry is the hot blonde sideline reporter for ESPN. Yes I know, I’ll probably have to be more specific since that only narrows it down to a zillion.
Anyway, her car was towed in Virginia and she went off on the cashier at the pound and berated her in just an awful way. She degraded the other woman's job, teeth and weight, while she arrogantly proclaimed "I'm on TV!". (Maybe I should try that sometime. “Hey, I’m on Fish4scores!” How hard would that person be laughing?)
Anyway, a video of this tirade went viral and ESPN gave her a week’s suspension. A week! You have to actually see the video to realize that a week is not enough.
McHenry has her detractors and her defenders, as several columns have been written saying we don't hear what the other person said and that the towing company had a horrible reputation. But we do hear the woman telling McHenry she was on video, so if the cashier knew this was being taped, would she really say something to instigate such responses and risk her own job?
Whatever, Britt got suspended for a measly week.
But think about it.
This has become standard now at ESPN. One of their on-air personalities does or says something outrageous and all they do is get suspended instead of actually fired.
Why? Because the incidents always get great publicity and ESPN knows that once these people return on air, anyone who didn’t know them before, will want to watch them now to see just who these horrible people are. Britt McHenry is more famous now than ever before.
It’s all about the ratings, and jerks like this bump the ratings. Their horrid behavior is the best publicity ESPN could get. And this is a network that has taken self-publicity to unthinkable levels. * * *
Haven’t met a person yet who doesn’t feel bad for Princeton Day School’s Cole McManimon having a game-tying home run taken away from him when it was ruled he missed home plate against Hamilton.
And he was told he missed it by a lot.
As a photo by Hamilton photographer David Bremer showed, that clearly wasn’t the case.
Three high school umpires I have spoken with, who saw Bremer’s photo of Cole’s foot either on the edge of the plate or missing it by a 1,000th of an inch, said they would never have made that call in a million years. Actually, they just said they wouldn’t make the call. I added the million years for effect.
One coach told me “If they made that call against my team they would have had to take me away in handcuffs.”
Hey, everyone makes mistakes, but when it costs a kid one of the most memorable moments he might have in high school, that just plain sucks.
* * *
How about the track & field resurgence in Hamilton Township?
The Nottingham boys have been outstanding for the past seven years and are off to another great start this year. The Hamilton West boys rose from the ashes the past two years and still have some quality athletes who could do well in the state and county meets.
And the Steinert boys – a program that has been in disarray for a long time, had a huge turnout this year and had a nice dual meet win over Hightstown last week. The Spartans have some good weight men, an improving sprinter in Marco Granston and some nice distance runners.
On the girls’ side, Nottingham’s Grace Dwyer is not the only game in town anymore. Hamilton West has made tremendous strides this year and have some strong sprinters, jumpers and throwers. I loved Hannah Donkor’s line the other day, saying “It’s Field and Track” instead of track and field. And Steinert has some quality throwers and distance girls that will also be heard from in states and counties.
The best part is, when you listen to the athletes talk, they are proud of the track renaissance. It’s not just a sport for them to stay in shape. They want to succeed and they want their team to succeed. * * *
What a great night for Nottingham softball on Saturday, winning their tournament and beating a really good East Brunswick team in the title game in walk-off fashion after trailing 2-0.
But I gotta tell you, I was pretty scared when Kristin “Z” Hallam got hit in the back with a pickoff throw and started screaming. Part of it was concern, the other was shock.
Hallam is not just a great player, but a tough, tough kid. When you hear someone like that crying loudly and yelling she can’t feel her arm, it’s frightening.
And I can only imagine how her teammates and family members felt.
Fortunately, she hung in there and scored the winning run, although she did say today that her back was “a little sore.” When I told her she scared the hell out of me, she said “I scared the heck out of myself!”
* * *
Congratulations to Bob Hutchinson, who came in 12 minutes under the over-under mark set for his Steinert Hall of Fame induction speech Saturday night.
His championship softball team was inducted last year and the extremely popular Hutch proceeded to give one of the longest speeches in HOF history.
I was informed this year by former Spartan trainer/coach Ron Sebastiani that the over-under was 17 minutes, and the actual speech took five.
Congrats Hutch, on the well-deserved honor and on the brevity!
* * *
Note to Brian “The Chef” Giallella. Stop scheduling games on the same day of the Steinert Hall of Fame dinner. It seems you lose all the time on that day. Instead, you should help the kitchen prepare the dinner for that night.
Apr. 5, 2015
The blog is
Apr. 5: What better day to resurrect this blog than Easter Sunday, right?
Happy Easter everybody, I hope you’ve all had a good past eight months while I’ve been gone, and I hope you have a nice holiday today.
* * *
So, how about this Steinert baseball team. When you talk about amazing starts to a season, it doesn’t get better than what the Spartans have done.
In their first two games, they rally to tie it in the seventh and win it in the bottom of the eighth. That’s a tough act to follow, and yet yesterday the Spartans beat the No. 1 ranked team in the state.
What was most impressive about that feat is that Steinert did it legitimately. OK, maybe a few of the big hits got help from the wind, but for the most part, Steinert stung the ball against one of the state’s best pitchers. The Spartans pitching harnessed an attack that had scored 27 runs in two games, and the defense was nearly flawless.
Kudos to both coaches afterward. Brian “The Chef” Giallella did not gloat over the win and kept things in perspective. GC’s Mike Rucci took his team to task, saying it did nothing right. But at the same time he praised the Spartans for their effort and gave them their due credit.
It was a great day at Fort Giallella, which is abuzz these days with the addition of Jim “Chorizo & Eggs” Geraci as the public address announcer.
* * *
Since this is the first blog in 8 months, I must take time to acknowledge our new Athlete of the Week sponsor, Rossi's Tavern on Whitehorse Road. Alan Meinster, Mike Rossi and the crew have been awesome to work with.
And for those who don't know, the legendary hamburger establishment is now running a Sunday brunch from 10 to 2, so check it out. Good stuff!
* * *
Who said Rutgers fans don’t have any rooting interest in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament?
If Wisconsin can defeat Duke Monday night, the Scarlet Knight faithful can proudly say their team beat the team that went on to win the national championship. Of course, the Badgers didn’t have Frank Kaminsky in that game, and the win was followed by 13 straight losses to end the season, so make of it what you will.
* * *
I’m wrestling with what to make of Kentucky after last night. Everyone says it’s a special team, it went 38-0, blah blah blah. But, how special can a team be that doesn’t even make it to the finals?
I understand that this was a team that could have let egos get in the way with so many superstars, and they all banded together, sacrificed playing time and had one heck of a run. I still think, however, they are a better team than Wisconsin. And when you’re the better team and you don’t win, that takes a little shine off the “special” tag.
I myself think
Wisconsin is pretty special. They are a fun team to watch (as was Kentucky) and they use their personnel to perfection. Sam Dekker is the perfect complement to Kaminsky, who is unique just by the fact he always looks like he’s five seconds away from dozing off.
And the biggest thing Wisconsin did, was make life normal again for all of us Duke haters. The scuttlebutt was that if Duke and Kentucky met in the finals, this would be one time everyone rooted for Duke because it was the underdog (I would have rooted for Kentucky).
As it turns out, we don’t have to worry about it anymore. Goooooo Badgers!!!
* * *
So I have a 17-game season ticket plan for the Phillies, and I was complaining on Friday night because one of the games in my plan was the exhibition game with the Pirates.
Well, kudos to the Phils for pulling a class act. Because of the bad weather, anyone with tickets to that game can exchange their stubs for any game in April besides opening day.
Granted, Phils will be hurting for fans this year. But still, it’s a nice gesture.
* * *
This is way overdue and something I would have written in February if I had a blog in February. But this issue of Tom Brady vs. Joe Montana as the greatest quarterback is interesting.
Most people seem to think Montana is the better QB because he went 4-0 in the Super Bowl. He never lost. Brady, of course, is 4-2. So because he has won as many Supes as Montana, but lost two, he is not as great.
So, what does that mean? We are penalizing our quarterbacks for making it to the Super Bowl? If you make it and lose, it diminishes your value?
And of course, the most ludicrous reason I ever heard (from a Philadelphia radio host) is that Montana is greater because he beat better quarterbacks.
There is no more useless stat in sports than a quarterback’s record vs. another quarterback, because they are playing against the defense. I don’t know what the statistics are, so I’m not sure how good the defenses were that Montana beat, as opposed to the defenses that Brady beat. But that is what should determine this argument, don’t you think?
Let’s put it this way. One of the great defenses of all time was the 1985 Chicago Bears. The quarterback of that team was a charismatic but hardly great Jim McMahon. Let’s just say the Patriots beat the Bears in that Super Bowl (instead, they got blown out).
Going by this radio host’s barometer, New England quarterback Tony Eason’s feat wouldn’t be all that great because he only beat McMahon. When, in fact, he actually beat a legendary defense.
Anyway, I’m putting Brady as the greatest. I think getting to six Super Bowls and winning four of them is pretty damn impressive, especially when it took a miracle catch in one of his losses to beat him.
* * *
OK, I know this blog is pretty boring. But hey, it’s been a while. I’m just warming up.
The next one I write will be VERY boring. :)