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The camaraderie of the Nottingham Little League is displayed during this District 12 game as 12-year-old Alex Coleman gets set to play defense while the 10-year-old team roots on their older cohorts (Photo by Ken Weingartner).
Notttingham's all-for-one spirit leads to another big year
The moms of Nottingham not only showed their support, they showed their patriotism as they stand respectfully duringthe National Anthem during Tuesday night's New Jersey State Little League final in Pompton Plains. The ladies were part of a huge throng from Hamilton Square that made the 90-minute trip two straight nights (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos at email@example.com).
July 31 NJ Little League State Tournament
Nottingham 12-year-old season ends in Pompton Plains
Click for Nottingham 12s & Par Troy play by play
Nottingham's 12-year-olds shake hands with Par-Troy after the North Jersey squad defeated Nottingham in Monday night's state tournament game (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos at firstname.lastname@example.org).
July 30 Little League State 12-year-old tournament
Par-Troy forces Nottingham into "if" game for the title
Click for Inning-by-Inning rundown of this game
"Deli" Dom Chiarello may be down, but it was the Livingston runner who was out as the Nottingham hurler tossed to first baseman Chris Harkness for the out. Chiarello tossed a five-hitter as Nottingham moved within one win of a state title (Photo by Sandy "Pequannock Paparazzi" Harkness).
July 28 NJ 12-year-old State LL Tournament
Nottingham routs Livingston to move within a win of title
Chris Harkness slammed a three-run double in the fourth inning to blow open Nottingham's 10-0 win over Monroe in Friday night's New Jersey Little League State Championship (Photo by Ken Weingartner).
July 27 NJ Little League 12s State Tournament
Nottingham slams 15 hits in first-round win over Monroe
When it comes to going after a state title in Pequannock this weekend, "Deli" Dom Chiarello and the Nottingham 12-year-olds don't plan on turning the other cheek as they head into states a confident team (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos at email@example.com).
July 26 New Jersey LL 12-Year-Old States
Nottingham opens against Monroe on Friday night
The Nottingham Little League 12-year-old All-Stars take their second victory lap of the summer as they carry the league flag and championship banner around Van Horn Field today after winning the Section 3 championship and reaching the state tournament for the second straight year (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos at firstname.lastname@example.org).
July 22 New Jersey LL Section 3 Tournament (12s)
Nottingham wins first 12-year-old title in a decade
Defense, depth and fundamentals fueled Square Boys
Click for play-by-play of Sayen Gang's win over N. Howell
Click for video of game highlights/player interviews
Click for video of celebration/Mark Sacco interview
Seasoned Nottingham ready for another shot at states
Next stop Pequannock! Click here for directions to state site
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HTRBA second baseman Tyler Sprigett takes a throw as a Robbinsville player slides in safely during Saturday's 11-year-old District 12 final at Sayen Park (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos at email@example.com).
July 21 District 12 Tournament (11s)
Robbinsville tops HTRBA to win another championship
(HTRBA team photo added on story page)
Jaedyn Paria slides safely into third with a third-inning RBI triple, which was just the start of a night that included an outstanding outfield catch and a game-winning hit for the HTRBA 11-year-old All-Stars (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos at firstname.lastname@example.org).
July 19 District 12 Tournament (11s)
Paria's two-run walk-off single seals 19-18 win for HTRBA
Jake Muller (in helmet) is mobbed at home plate by his teammates after blasting a second-inning home run for Nottingham. It was all the Sayen Gang would need as Chris Cote and "Deli" Dom Chiarello teamed for Nottingham's second straight Section 3 shutout (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos at email@example.com).
July 18 Section 3 Tournament (12s)
Nottingham moves within one victory of championship
Click for inning by inning play-by-play
HTRBA's Tyler Springett comes home on a wild pitch in a four-run first inning in tonight's District 12 winner's bracket final (Photo by Ken Weingartner).
July 18 District 12 Tournament (11s)
Robbinsville rolls past HTRBA with big fourth inning
Chris Harkness and Danny Melnick flank Chris Cote after the shortstop made an outstanding defensive play in the fifth inning to preserve Nottingham's lead over Clark in Monday night's Section 3 Tournament game at HTRBA (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos at firstname.lastname@example.org).
July 16 Section 3 Tournament (12s)
Strong start for Nottingham with shutout win over Clark
Click for inning-by-inning recap of Nottingham's victory
Check back for video highlights/interviews
July 15 District 12 Tournament (11s)
HTRBA tops East Windsor to reach winner’s bracket final
July 15: The HTRBA 11-year-old All-Star team reached the winner’s bracket finals of the District 12 Tournament with a 15-4 win over East Windsor PAL at Nottingham today. In its last two wins HTRBA has won by a combined 28-7.
HTRBA will meet Robbinsville at 8 p.m. Wednesday for the right to be in the finals.
Jake “The Snake” Fanning and Phil Rojek combined for eight strikeouts in the win. Offensively, Jack “The Flash” Milazzo had four RBI, while Fanning had three RBI and Cole Southard went 3-for-3 with a double and two RBI.
“Our team chemistry is great right now,” manager Dave Crawford said. “We've been working real hard and can’t wait to play again.”
July 15 Section 3 Tournament (10s)
Pittaro stars but Holbrook ousts Nottingham
July 15: CJ Pittaro collected two hits and a walks but it wasn’t enough to save the Nottingham 10-year-old All-Stars today.
Holbrook defeated Nottingham for the second straight day, 10-0, to win the Section 3 Tournament in Middletown and eliminate the Sayen Gang from the Little League Tournament.
The talented Holbrook squad, scored three in the second and four in the third and blew it open with three each in the fifth and sixth.
The loss could not take away from an outstanding season by Nottingham, who added another District 12 title to the league’s annals on Fourth of July.
July 14 Section 3 Tournament (10s)
Holbrook's 11-run fifth inning stuns Nottingham
July 14: Holbrook exploded for 11 fifth-inning runs to defeat Nottingham, 17-8, in the Section 3 10-year-old tournament in Middletown tonight.
The same two teams meet Sunday for the championship.
Nottingham held a 5-3 lead heading into the fifth before the Holbrook explosion.
CJ Pittaro drove in three runs for the Sayen Gang, while Jacob Sloss, Spencer Conti, Ryan Stromberg and Mason Walczak drove in runs as well.
Cole Southard drove in two runs in HTRBA's win over Millstone Thursday night (Photo by Brian McCarthy)
July 11 District 12 Tournament (11s)
Milazzo doubles HTRBA’s pleasure against Millstone
July 12: HTRBA’s 11-year-old All-Stars exploded for a 13-3 win over Millstone-Roosevelt in the second round of the District One Tournament as Jack Milazzo had three doubles and Cole Southard drove in two runs.
Winning pitcher Sam Crawford got two hits while Phil Rojek got the save and also had two hits. The Mercerville Men have now won their first two district games.
HTRBA meets East Windsor at noon Sunday at Nottingham in a winner’s bracket semifinal.
* * * *
Nottingham fell to Princeton, 6-1, and plays a loser’s bracket game Friday night against West Windsor.
Sunnybrae was eliminated in two straight with losses to East Windsor and Bordentown.
July 12 Section 3 Tournament (10s)
Sloss dynamic on mound and at plate in Nottingham win
July 12: The Nottingham Little League 10-year-old All-Star team moved within one win of a sectional championship by taking a 9-6 win over Manasquan in the Section 3 semifinals tonight.
Jacob Sloss pitched four shutout innings, allowing three hits and striking out nine. He was also the offensive star, going 3-for-3 with three doubles, three RBI and three runs. Zach Wolfsgruber was 2-fof-3 with a double, ,two runs and two RBI, while Spencer Conti had two RBI and CJ Pittaro had a hit and an RBI.
Nottingham plays in the Sectional final Saturday at 7 p.m. against the winner of Holbrook and Manasquan on Friday.
It was celebration time on the mound as the Nottingham Little League 12-year-old All-Stars celebrate the league's second District 12 title this season after a wild win over Robbinsville Tuesday night (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos at email@example.com).
July 10 District 12 Tournament (12s)
Nottingham wins 25th 12-year-old title in league's history
Robbinsville gets indigestion from the 'Deli' Dom Special
Click for championship video highlights/interviews
Brett Hoffman was hardly in a bunting mood in the sixth inning of Tuesday's District 12 game as he swung away and drove in the winning run in HTRBA's first-round win over West Windsor (Photo by Brian McCarthy).
July 10 District 12 (11s)
HTRBA and Nottingham take one-run wins in openers
Tristan Spadola forces out Robbinsville's Adam Holgado, but is unable to turn two in the second inning of Monday night's District 12 game (Photo by Ken Weingartner).
July 9 District 12 Tournament (12s)
Robbinsville tops Nottingham to force Tuesday 'if' game
Click here for video highlights/interview of this game
July 9 Section 3 Tournament (10s)
James hurls a gem as Nottingham wins opener
July 9: After being off since the Fourth of July, the Nottingham 10-year-old All-Stars returned to action with a bang tonight, taking a 2-0 win over Old Bridge in a first-round New Jersey Little League Section 3 game in Middletown.
Brendan James scattered five hits and struck out nine over 5-1/3 innings, while Justin Brunow notched the save by retiring both batters he faced in the sixth.
Ryan Stromberg belted an RBI Double in the second inning to score Spencer Conti, who had a hit in the game. James provided his team and himself some insurance with an RBI double off the fence in the bottom of the fifth to score Brunow, who had singled.
Brunow finished with two hits, while CJ Pittaro had a double and Jacob Sloss also had a hit.
The Sayen Gang returns to action at 8 p.m. Thursday against the winner of Tuesday’s Holbrook-Manasquan game.
Joey Sacco came out against Mike Urban tonight and outdueled the highly touted Bordentown pitcher as Nottingham came up with a 4-2 win in the 12-year-old District 12 winner's bracket final (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos at firstname.lastname@example.org).
July 6 District 12 Tournament (12s)
Sacco pitches Nottingham within one win of a crown
The Nottingham 10-year-old All Stars proudly circle the West Windsor field with their newly earned District 12 Championship banner, which the Sayen Gang won by beating Robbinsville in the title game on Wednesday (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos at email@example.com).
July 4 District 12 Tournaments
Hey now Brunow!
Justin hurls Nottingham 10s past Robbinsville for title
Robbinsville ousts HTRBA from 12-year-old tourney
Nottingham second baseman CJ Pittaro tries to make a tag on Robbinsville's Nick Zangrilli during Tuesday night's 10-year-old District 12 game at West Windsor. Robbinsville took an 18-12 victory to force a winner-take-all championship game Wednesday at 10 a.m. (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos at firstname.lastname@example.org).
July 3 District 12 Tournament (10s)
Robbinsville explodes past Nottingham to force 'If' game
Jake Muller (in helmet) is mobbed by his teammates after blasting a 280-feet grand slam against HTRBA in the secondinning of tonight's District 12 game, won by Nottingham 16-1 (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos at email@example.com).
July 2 District 12 Tournament (12s)
Nottingham explodes for 11 in second to beat HTRBA
Click for video highlights/interviews of Nottingham's big victory
Jacob Sloss (left) and Ryan Stromberg both had reasons to celebrate Sunday after playing roles in Nottingham's win over East Windsor that put the 10-year-old Sayen Gang into the District 12 finals. (Photo by Ken Weingartner).
July 1 District 12 Tournament (10s)
Nottingham outslugs East Windsor to reach finals
July 1: The Nottingham Little League 10-Year-Old All Stars have reached the finals of the District 12 Tournament by taking an 8-6 win over East Windsor today.
Jacob Sloss recorded the win going by going 3-2/3 innings with four strikeouts. Trevor Giordano and Ryan Stromberg finished the game.
Spencer Conti and Stromberg both had key RBI doubles, while Conti had two RBI and scored twice. Justin Brunow was 3-for-4 with a run, Sloss had a hit, James had an RBI single and Zach Wolfsgruber had a hit and scored twice.
The Sayen Gang will meet the winner of Monday’s Robbinsville-East Windsor game on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Spencer Conti had two hits in Nottingham's 10-year-old District 12 win over West Windsor Friday night (Photo by Ken Weingartner).
June 29 District 12 Tournament (10-Year-Old)
After small ball, James goes big as Nottingham advances
June 29: Brendan James belted a grand slam, walked four times and had five RBI as the Nottingham 10-Year-Old All Stars took an 11-6 win over West Windsor tonight.
The victory advanced the Sayen Gang to the winner’s bracket finals against East Windsor on 2 p.m. Saturday.
Playing small ball before the big hit, Trevor Giordano, Aidan Ryan and Justin Brunow each dropped perfect bunt singles to load the bases before Brendan's Grand Slam. Jacob Soss (3-for-3, triple, 2 RBI),l Zach Wolfsgruber (3-run homer) and Spencer Conti (2 hits) all contributed to the onslaught.
James, Brunow and Ryan Stromberg combined on the pitching, while Mason Walczak had a key catch in the outfield. CJ Pittaro and Tyler Nielsen contributed key plays as well.
Joe Pellitteri slugged a double but it wasn't enough on Thursday as Sunnybrae dropped a 10-1 decision to Robbinsville in a12-year-old District 12 game (Photo by Ken Weingartner).
June 28 District 12 (12-Year-Olds)
Sunnybrae ousted by Robbinsville as Palmer too tough
June 28: Daniel Palmer threw a three-hitter and Grayson Cooke's fifth-inning grand slam put the game away as Robbinsville's 12-year-old All Stars took a 10-1 win over Sunnybrae in a District 12 elimination game tonight. The Brae's run came on a Mason Fitzpatrick double that scored Kyle Tuccillo. Joe Pellitteri tried to light a fire in the fifth with a double but Palmer escaped the jam.
Chaos ensued on this play but it all worked out for Sunnybrae as third base coach Dave Meckel points to a ball getting away, which prompts Ryan Hogan to head for home after Hogan had just plated Steve Meckel with a double. The end result was a 7-1 lead for the Brae in the midst of a second-inning uprising against Chambersburg Wednesday night (Photo by Ken Weingartner). June 27 District 12 Tournament (12-Year-Olds)
Russo, Hayes ignite the Brae in victory over the Burg
June 26 District 12 Tournament (10-Year-Olds)
Kmiec stays hot as Sunnybrae rebounds from loss
June 26: The Sunnybrae Little League 10-year-old All Stars rebounded from their District 12 loss on Monday with a 22-0 win over West End.
Leadoff hitter Jake Kmiec continued his hot start with three more hits and four runs scored. Jared Werts, Zach Posivak and Jason DeAngelo handled the pitching duties in the four-inning contest.
June 25 District 12 Tournament (10-Year-Olds)
Robbinsville edges Sunnybrae despite impressive rally
June 25: The Sunnybrae 10-year-old All-Stars lost a 12-11 heartbreaker to Robbinsville in a second-round District 12 contest. The Brae made a furious comeback after falling behind 11-1, scoring eight in the fourth and two in the fifth to tie it, only to have Robbinsville score one in the sixth and hold on for the win.
Jake Kmiec had four hits and scored three times for Sunnybrae. Early control problems doomed the Yardville Gang as they issued 10 walks and hit four batters in the first three innings.
* * * *
In Sunday action, Bordentown took a 5-3 win over HTRBA.
With Matt Knappenberger (44) leading the way, HTRBA accepts congratulations from Cranbury-Plainsboro players and coaches after the Mercerville Men's 12-2 District 12 win at Van Horn tonight (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos at firstname.lastname@example.org).
June 25 District 12 Tournament (12-Year-Olds)
Glazewski's slam and Houghton's hurling propel HTRBA
Click for video highlights and interviews from HTRBA's win over C-P
Chris Cote slams a base hit against Millstone-Roosevelt during Nottingham's 15-0 District 12 victory Monday night (Photo by Ken Weingartner).
June 25 District 12
Nottingham propelled by Sacco's arm and five home runs
Sunnybrae shortstop Mason Fitzpatrick makes the tag on Blake Brown but the West Windsor baserunner was called safe with a stolen base during the fourth inning of Sunday's District 12 Tournament game (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos at email@example.com).
June 24 District 12 Tournament (12-Year-Olds)
West Windsor slugger Strype unloads on Sunnybrae
Chris Harkness slams a two-run double in the third inningfor Nottingham in its 14-4 win over Ewing in District 12 play Saturday (Photo by Ken Weingartner).
June 23 District 12 Tournament (12-Year-Olds)
Nottingham celebrates 'Deli' Dom's birthday in style
Click for video highlights of Nottingham's win over Ewing
Anthony Russo gets a high five from his manager and dad Steve Russo after belting a two-run homer in the first inning to get Sunnybrae off and running in a 17-0 win over West End in District 12 play Saturday (Photo by Ken Weingartner).
June 23 District 12 Tournament (12-Year-Olds)
After a Friday rain delay it's a sunny day for Sunnybrae
Zach Given, who was forced to withdraw early from the International Division championship game, is back in action as a member of the HTRBA 10-year-old All-Stars, who open District 12 play Saturday at West End (Photo by Ken Weingartner).
June 22 District 12 All Stars
Hamilton Township 10-year-olds get started Saturday
It's District 12 Time!
Note: Because 6-11 dropped out on Tuesday, the tournament is foregoing pool play and going straight to bracket play. Click here for bracket
Sunnybrae Little League 12-year-old All-Stars (from left) MJ Leonard, Anthony Russo, Kyle Tuccillo and Ryan Hogan are armed and ready to take on all comers as the Yardville Gang has an improved group of returnees and several talented newcomers. The 'Brae is the first township team in action as it hosts West End at 6 p.m. Friday night in the start of bracket play (Photo by Ken Weingartner).
12-Year-Old District 12 LL All Star Preview
Sunnybrae hopes a united attitude can reap benefits
Click for video interview with manager Steve Russo and coaches (Disregard pool play comments)
Nottingham LIttle League All Stars (from left) Chris Harkness, "Deli" Dom Chiarello and Chris Cote will look to repeat their efforts as 11-year-olds when the Sayen Gang roared to District 12 and Section 3 championships. The Square boys open the revamped tournament schedule Saturday with a noon bracke game against Ewing at Sayen Park (Photo by Ken Weingartner).
12-Year-Old District 12 LL All Star Preview
Nottingham looking to continue success it had as 11s
Click for video interview with manager Mark "The Webmaster" Sacco
(Disregard pool play comments) HTRBA Little League 12-year-old All Stars (from left) David Scott, Nicholas Houghton, Matt Knappenberger, Thomas Kozemchak and Kyle Rossetti are ready to put the weight of the District 12 Tournament on their shoulders as the Mercerville Gang opens the revamped tournament with a first-round bracket game Monday against Saturday's Chambersburg-Cranbury Plainsboro winner (Photo by Ken Weingartner).
12-Year-Old District 12 LL All-Star Preview
Steadily improved HTRBA looking to make an impact
Click for video interview with manager Tony Rossetti
(Disregard pool play comments)
Aug. 12 NJ Little League State Tournament
South Vineland breaks Nottingham's hearts with walk-off
Aug. 12: Things could not have started better.
Unfortunately for the Nottingham Little League 11-year-old All-Star team, they didn’t stay that way.
After scoring two runs in each of the first two innings for a 4-0 lead, Nottingham watched as South Vineland scored five unanswered runs – including two in the bottom of the sixth – for a 5-4 victory in the New Jersey Little League State Tournament.
The loss eliminated Nottingham from state play and ended an outstanding season.
"It was a great run,” manager Mark “The Webmaster” Sacco said. “ I am extremely proud of these kids and the effort they put in all season. To get this far really helps us understand what it takes to compete at this level - I think its a great foundation to build on for next year."
Matt Adams had two hits, including a homer, and two RBIs for Nottingham, while Alex Coleman hit a two-run homer in the first inning. Chris Harkness pitched well and fanned five while walking just one.
But South Vineland scored two in the second and one in the third before staging their winning rally in the sixth.
Chris Cote had an RBI single and pitched well for Nottingham in its state tournament loss to Par-Troy Thursday night (Photo by Ken Weingartner).
Aug. 11 NJ Little League State Tournament
Par-Troy uses two big innings to defeat Nottingham 11s
Joey Sacco had things well in hand Wednesday night as he allowed three hits and struck out 10 in pitching the Nottingham LL 11-year-olds to a 12-2 win over Livingston American in the state tournament opener (Photo by Ken Weingartner).
Aug. 10 NJ State LL State Tournament
Nottingham 11s open states with convincing 12-2 victory
It was a pile of sheer ecstasy on the 6-11 infield Wednesday night as the Nottingham Little League 11-year-old All Stars celebrate their Section 3 championship after beating North Wall, 12-7, in the title game (Photo by Ken Weingartner).
Aug. 3 New Jersey LL Section 3 Tournament
Nottingham 11s win Section 3 title; gear up for states
Aug. 2 Section 3 Tournament
Nottingham doesn't allow North Wall another comeback
Aug. 2: There would be no comeback this time.
Nottingham’s 11-year-old All Stars avenged an earlier loss to North Wall by taking an 8-4 win tonight in the Section 3 finals. The victory forces a winner-take-all 7p.m. game Wednesday night at 6-11.
In the winner’s bracket finals, North Wall scored six times in the sixth inning to beat Nottingham 8-6.
The Shore crew tried coming back again by scoring four third-inning runs to take a 4-3 lead. But Nottingham tallied five in the bottom of the third and held off North Wall over the final three frames.
Tristan Spadola was 2-for-2 for Nottingham while Alex Coleman continued his hot hitting with three RBIs.
Chris Cote collected eight strikeouts and walked just two in five innings for Nottingham, while Gennaro Salzano notched the final three outs for the save. The hurlers stranded seven North Wall runners.
Aug. 1 Section 3 Tournament
Nottingham 11s beat Toms River Americans to reach finals
Aug. 1: After being dropped to the loser’s bracket by North Wall in a heart-breaking loss Sunday, Nottingham’s 11-year-old Little League All-Stars bounced back with a 7-0 win over the Toms River Americans Monday night in a Section 3 win at 6-11.
Nottingham plays North Wall in the championship round at 7 p.m. Tuesday and needs to win to force the "if" game.
Alex Coleman fielder's choice in the first inning helped Nottingham put two on the board. Matt Adams, Joey Sacco, Chris Cote, Coleman and Will Cocroft all had hits for Nottingham. Andrew Barlow allowed just four hits and struck out six in going the distance.
Nottingham 11s move into Section 3 winner’s bracket final
Alex Coleman’s three-run homer powered the Nottingham 11-year-old All-Star team to a 4-2 win over the Toms River Americans in a Section 3 Tournament game at 6-11 today.
Toms River jumped to a 2-0 lead on a double by Justin Schaff, but was unable to hang on. It held the lead until the fifth as Craig Larsen scattered five hits and fanned seven. But in the bottom of the fifth inning Coleman unloaded as Nottingham took the lead.
Chris Cote settled in after the first inning, and allowed just four hits and struck out five in 3-2/3 innings. Dom Chiarello was superb in relief, pitching 2 1/3 scoreless innings while collecting one strikeout and allowing no walks and two hits.
Coleman and Cote each had two hits while Chiarello and Matt Adams both added a hit.
Nottingham meets North Wall in the winner’s bracket final Sunday at 2 p.m.
Nottingham 11s rout Marlboro South in Section 3 opener
July 28: The Nottingham Little League 11-year-olds got off to a strong start in the Section 3 Tournament, taking a 13-2 win over Marlboro South tonight at 6-11 Little League. The game ended after five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.
Nottingham scored six runs in the fourth on an RBI single by Ryan Bremer, a two-run double by Matt Adams, a steal of home by Adams, and a groundout by Alex Coleman. Adams racked up two RBIs on two hits for Nottingham. Dom Chairello and Tristan Spadola also had two hits.
Marlboro South was unable to get anything started against Joey Sacco. They managed just two hits off of the hurler, who allowed no earned runs, walked none and struck out six during his three innings of work.
Andrew Barlow threw two-thirds of an inning of scoreless ball for Nottingham to shut down the game, after Chris Cote held the Marlboro hitters at bay in the fourth.
For the second time this summer a Nottingham Little League team hoisted a District 12 championship banner as the 11-year-old team won the title Friday night with a resounding victory over Robbinsville at HTRBA (Photo by Ken Weingartner).
July 22 District 12 Finals
Nottingham 11s give league second title of the summer
Unfortunately for the Nottingham 12-year-old All Stars, they are outside of the fence and looking in for the remainder of the tournament season this summer after Thursday night's 4-3 loss to Woodbridge in the Section 3 Tournament (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org).
July 21 Section 3 Little League Tournament
Shaky defense spells end of the season for Nottingham
Nottingham's Dom Chiorello (left) and Chris Harkness, who had the game-winning hit, celebrate the Sayen Gang's thrilling 6-4, seven-inning win in Wednesday night's 11-year-old District 12 Tournament. (Photo by Dennis Symons Jr./purchase photos at dennissymons.com).
July 20 District 12 11-year-old Tournament
Nottingham moves within one win of district crown
A happy "Slammin" Sam Guarino is greeted by his fired-up Nottingham teammates after belting a fourth-inning homer to give the Sayen Gang a 2-0 lead Tuesday night. The Holbrook catcher does not look happy but emotion on both sides changed by game's end (Photo by Ken Weingartner).
July 19 Section 3 Tournament
Late Holbrook rally overcomes Nottingham LL, 5-2
Tony Morency gets ready to fire a pitch for Nottingham in its 2-0 victory over Malboro South in Section 3 play Monday night (Photo by Ken Weingartner).
July 18 Section 3 Tournament
Nottingham squeaks by Marlboro South on Morency gem
Section 3 Little League
With districts secured, Nottingham focuses on sectionals
Click here for directions to Tinton Falls Little League field
July 17 District 12 Little League
HTRBA 11s rebound after falling into loser's bracket
July 16 District 12 Tournament
Nottingham 11s top HTRBA to gain winner's bracket finals
As they hoist their individual trophies while displaying their championship banner just behind the Jim Davis Trophy, the Nottingham players and coaches leave no doubt as to who is this year's 12-year-old District 12 champion (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos by e-mailing email@example.com).
July 14 12-year-old District 12 Tournament
Nottingham holds off Sunnybrae to claim its 24th crown
Click here for more photos of the 2011 District 12 final
Sunnybrae's Chris LaBelle looks up at the umpire's call after tagging out Justin Keegan at third base during the first inning of tonight's District 12 game, won by Sunnybrae, 8-4 (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org).
July 13 District 12 Tournament
Sunnybrae victory sets up the 'Showdown in the Square'
Managers take different routes on pitchers early struggles
Alex Venutolo was one of numerous sixth-inning offensive heroes for Sunnybrae Tuesday night as his RBI single helped provide insurance in a 4-2 win over Princeton (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos by e-mailing email@example.com).
July 12 District 12 Little League
Chris is LaBelle of the ball as the Sunnybrae 12s stay alive
HTRBA 11s start well; so does Nottingham; the 'Brae falls
It may be a Lambeau Leap in Wisconsin but in Hamilton Square it's a Sayen Leap as Matt Ricci prepares to inflict severe pain on home plate as he and his Nottingham teammates celebrate Ricci's first inning home run against Sunnybrae in Monday night's District 12 winner's bracket final (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org).
District 12 Little League
Nottingham defeats Sunnybrae in winner's bracket final
Joe Garey allowed just three hits over five innings but was a tough-luck loser for HTRBA Sunday as Robbinsville took a 4-2 District 12 win (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos by e-mailing email@example.com)
July 10 District 12 Little League
HTRBA eliminated with 4-2 loss to Robbinsville
Nottingham's Thomas Persichetti slides home safely with a first-inning run on Tony Morency's single while HTRBA catcher Dominic DaBronzo leaps in the air to pull down the throw (Photo by Dennis Symons Jr.).
District 12 Little League Tournament
Nottingham tops HTRBA; Sunnybrae holds off M-R
Mike Malagrino applauds Ray Anderson as he heads around the bases ahead of Anderson, who belted a fifth-inning two-run homer to give Sunnybrae some breathing room at 4-1 in Thursday's District 12 win over Robbinsville (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos at firstname.lastname@example.org).
July 7 District 12
Sunnybrae 12s top Robbinsville to start bracket play
HTRBA's Nolan Martin slides home safely with a third-inning run against Florence after he and Mark Barry pulled off some nifty baserunning on Mike Ludowig's ground out (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos by e-mailing email@example.com).
July 5 District 12 Little League 12s
HTRBA topples Florence; Nottingham outlasts Princeton
July 5 District 12 Little League 10s
Nottingham wins again, gets another shot at Robbinsville
Nottingham 10s win two straight District 12 bracket games
Anthony "T-Bird" Bencivengo slides into second with a double that plated three runs against Bordentown in Sunnybrae's win on Wednesday (Photo by John Blainefirstname.lastname@example.org).
June 29 District 12 Baseball
Sunnybrae, HTRBA are pool perfect; Nottingham now 2-0
East Windsor's Jacob Simon shows some nice sportsmanship as he congratulates Nottingham's Matt Ricci after he slugged a home run to help his own cause in the Sayen Gang's 10-5 win over East Windsor at Ewing Monday night (Photo by John Blaineemail@example.com).
District 12 Baseball
HTRBA wins VH finale, Sunnybrae rolls, Nottingham wins
HTRBA's Stephen Leonard flips to first to record the first out of the sixth inning in today's District 12 win over Allentown in Allentown (Photo by John Blainefirstname.lastname@example.org).
June 26 12-Year-Old District 12 Tournament
Sunnybrae romps in opener; HTRBA's pitching lights out
June 25 District 12
Nottingham 10s top Millstone-Roosevelt, go 2-0 in pool
Nottingham LL 10's open District 12 play with a bang
Fresh off a District 12 title as 11-year-olds, Sunnybrae hurlers (from left) Ray Anderson, Kyle Werts and Ryan Mostrangeli will try and pitch the Yardville gang to another title as 12-year-olds this summer. Sunnybrae and HTRBA open Sunday and Nottingham on Monday (Photo by John Blaine).
Township 12s confident entering District 12 tournament
Commercial Property Cleaning is all smiles after giving Sunnybrae Little League the District 12 Tournament of Champions crown. Celebrating the title are (front row, from left) Justin Hall, Tom Blackwell, Ryan Hogan, Chris Klek, Ryan Deangelis, Nick Posivak, Hunter Chranowski; (second row) Mike Ritz, David Stec, Jack ”The Ripper” Korchik, Kyle Werts, Alex Bazjath; (back row) coaches Rick Hogan, Mike Ritz, Steve Chranowski and Charlie Werts.
Sunnbrae wins District 12 TOC as Commercial cleans up
Click here for August, 2010 District 12 stories and photos
Click here for July, 2010 District 12 stories and photos
Click here for June, 2010 District 12 stories and photos
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(Also known as
Rich Fisher's blog)
Feb 2, 2013
Groundhog Day is
Feb. 2: Well, today is Groundhog Day.
And you know what that means? It means I have found a blogging loophole.
For all you people out there -- like Whalen and Costantino and the Baroness -- who insist on telling me I need a new blog just because they don't want to read the old one for 19 straight weeks, I have discovered the answer to my problem.
Again, I reiterate, it is Groundhog Day. And if you saw the Bill Murray movie, you know that Groundhog Day is the same day, over and over and over again.
Therefor, because I am writing this blog today, it gives me carte blanche to leave it up here over and over and over and over again. Moreso than usual. Like. . .forever!
You think you got tired of seeing Phil Alu and Jon Adams at the top of this blog?
You are REALLY gonna hate The Groundhog!
* * * *
Just want to pass along good luck wishes to Nottingham junior Josh Lajeunesse, one of the many class acts and key contributors on the Nottingham state champion football team. r Josh recently discovered he needs serious shoulder surgery, which will keep him out of action for four months and unfortunately cause him to miss track season.
"Yeah, but I gotta get ready for football," he said.
Yeah ya do buddy, so good luck on the surgery No. 2 and hope all goes well!
* * * *
Speaking of Nottingham football, seems they are taking Fish Bowl 1 quite serious.
"It was nice to win a state football title," said one administrator. "But to say we won both the state title and the Fish Bowl, now that would be something!
We are keeping the administrator anonymous lest he incur the wrath of Coach Adams for linking the two together . .but we know that secretly, the Big Dawg feels the same way! lol
* * * *
Speaking of Fish Bowl, I just want to thank everyone for participating. I had hoped to get about 20-30 responses and just run them straight down in a list. But with the great feedback from everyone we got 88 responses (89 counting Donna Brihn's dog) and rand allowed us to turn it into the Fish Bowl.
What's amazing is as a collective group we couldn't pick a winner! 44-44. Wow, a township divided!
Anyway, thanks for taking part in the fun folks, and good luck to you and your team!
* * * *
Oh, one other thing. We heard back from Phil Alu (there's that name again!) about his selection of Kyle Kaepernick as Super Bowl MVP.
"Holy crap! Now I know why my Fantasy Football team sucked all year. I was playing Kyle Kaepernck out of West Oak High School in Kalamazoo, Michigan all season and not Colin Kaepernick from the 49ers."
The sad think here is, Kyle Kaepernick even sucked for West Oak High School. And Kalamazoo football is weak!
* * * *
I love my mother, but I'll never play her Super Bowl pool again. She asked me to buy five blocks, which I did. She said she would fill them in and mail it to me, which she did.
But rather than scatter my name in different blocks all over the sheet, she wrote it straight down in five blocks.
The result? In all five of my boxes I have Baltimore and nine. Nine! Are you freakin kidding me? So much for having a lot of different chances to win this baby, which of course, is the reason for multiple blocks.
Love ya mom!
Hate your pool!
* * * *
OK, that's it. I hope you like this blog, cuz you're gonna see it over and over and over and over and over. All that's missing is a picture of Ned Ryerson and the soundtrack to I Got You Babe!
* * * *
Oh, and one more thing. Does anyone out there actually watch all 8 hours of pre-game Super Bowl shows that are available? If so, then you could actually read this blog over and over and over and never get bored. Because you reeeallly need a life!
Jan 27, 2013
Happy New Year!
Yeah yeah, I know, it's an old year by now. But hey, I haven't written anything since the new year so it's a New Year for Fish Tales.
Hope everybody had a great holiday, hope everybody enjoyed the NFL playoffs, hope everybody has returned all their gifts that sucked and I just hope everbody is doin' great dogawnnit!
I don't really have a heck of a lot on my mind, but I'm getting yelled at again by people saying to put up a new blog. They don't neccessarily care what I have to say, they just get tired of seeing the same thing at the top of this spot for so long. Sorry Big Dawg, all the love is gone now, they all hate you now due to over-exposure. You have joined Phil Alu as a "stayed at the top of the blog too long" poster boy. lol.
* * * *
OK, let's start with the Super Bowl.
I mean, you never really hear much about it (insert *rolls eyes* here) so we'll talk about it!
You know what's interesting. And this, like so many other things, speaks to the popularity of the NFL. The Supe is the one championship in sports that the TV Networks don't fret about.
In baseball they would moan if the World Series match-up is the Kansas City Royals vs. the Milwaukee Brewers. "Oh God, those aren't big TV markets!"
It wasn't always like that for the Series. It was the big thing, everyone cared. Kids rushed home from school as fast as possible to catch the end of the games. But not anymore. Games that last til 12:30 a.m. don't help the cause these days, but that's only part of it.
But I digress.
Take the NBA. If they don't have the Lakers and/or the Celtics/Miami in the finals, its like a mad dash for a bridge to jump off of.
"No one will watch this. Ohhhhh noooo!"
And if it's the NHL's Stanley Cup Playoffs.... . .um, what's like, the big match-up for the NHL? OK, forget that one.
But football has no such worries. This game could be the Jacksonville Jaguars vs. the Seattle Seahawks and it wouldn't matter. 999 gazillion people would tune in anyway, just because it's like an unofficial national law.
"Gonna watch the Super Bowl?"
"How come, you don't like football?"
"I know, but it's the Super Bowl?"
I mean, that's basically the answer people give, and it's just understood. Oh yeah, it's the Super Bowl.
And by the way, when is the NFL gonna give folks a break and make this game on a Saturday so people at all the parties can recover on Sunday? . They can't be clinging to tradition or the game would still start at 1 o'clock, the halftime show would still be the Hokey-Fanokie high school marching band and the tickets could still be purchased by folks outside the 1 percent of the people with all the money in the world.
I'm sure someone did some research and concluded "Can't move it to Saturday, too costly."
Oh well, it's still the Super Bowl and we'll all watch it. Cuz hey, it's the Super Bowl!
* * * *
Speaking of the Super Bowl, I don't know who's going to win and I don't care. But if I have to make a pick, I'd pick the Ravens.
I dunno. But I had to make a pick so I picked the Ravens.
* * * *
Here's a classic basketball official story. I will not reveal the names to protect the innocent (and guilty) but it was pretty good stuff.
Three refs walked into a CVC girls game earlier this year. As they entered the gym, one of the head coaches says "Oh here they come, the three blind mice."
To which one of them -- who I am proud to say lives in Hamilton -- promptly responded by going "Yeah, but one of us can hear," and slammed the coach with a techncial foul before the game even started.
Now that's style!
* * * *
I kind of lost a kindred spirit when Stan Musial passed away last week.
First off, Stan the Man was from Donora, Pa., and I had a roomate in college who hailed from Donora. His parents knew Musial and said he was the greatest guy ever.
Secondly, Musial got his 3,000th career hit on the day I was born.
Just think. . .two monumental occurrances on the same day!
Uh, OK. . one.
* * * *
So I have seen three of the movies nominated for the Oscars so far: Lincoln, Argo and Silver Linings Playbook. All good flicks, but, man, Daniel Day Lewis blew me away as Lincoln. Good stuff!
I find Lincoln to be so fascinating. The more I learn about him, the more I want to know about what made him tick.
As opposed to somone like, say, Kim Kardashian, who I don't know anything about and yet I want to know even less.
* * * *
I would much rather see Amber Dietrich and Courtney Adams playing basketball this winter instead of texting me updates to tweet of Steinert and Hamilton girls' basketball games.
But they are injured and can't play and that stinks. But thanks girls, for contributing to the cause. You're the best!
And while Amber has been promoted to Fish4scores Director of Twitter Operations (with a 50 percent pay increase from her original salary of nothing), Courtney's work from mid-season on has promoted her to Assistant Director.
Please don't be late for the next staff meeting girls.
* * * *
I would also like to thank another Twitter contributor -- who I will only refer to as "Outcast of the People" -- but he can't seem to stay at the games for more tha none half -- and sometimes the decision wasn't his to leave. :)
* * * *
Check back later this week when we provide Super Bowl picks from the township's athetic community.
* * * *
OK, I leave you with this trivia question -- which I guarantee 80 percent of you won't be able to answer:
Who won today's Pro Bowl?
Dec 9, 2012
It's a Big Dawg
Dec. 9: So I went to a Christmas party at the house of Hightstown High Athletic Director Gary Bushelli Saturday night and it was loaded with Mercer County athletic personalities.
Aside from the Hightstown coaches, which include former Rams head football coach Jack Dunn, there were Notre Dame coach Chappy Moore, former ND/Neptune Athletic Director Vince Ardery, former Steinert AD Rich Giallella and on the list went on.
As we arrived late and struggled through the crowd to get a drink, I was stopped by one person after another with questions.
"Were you at the game? Tell us about the game? How was the game? Tell me about the interception return."
Everyone wanted to know about the Northstars win over Neptune. And at the end of every conversation I had. . .this is not an exaggaration -- EVERY conversation, it ended the same way --- "That's great for Adams. Good for Adams. Good for Jon, he deserves it. Wow Jon must be happy."
That's the common theme running throughout Mercer County and Northstar Nation today. An outpouring of congratulations has Big Dawg's Facebook page in overdrive. He wasn't checking text messages yesterday until he had the time.
It's a sheer love-fest and include me in the group. Obviously the fact that Coach Adams survived serious cancer issues in the summer adds to the story line here. But that's not where the love is coming from. Had the Dawg been healthy as a horse last summer the same accolades would be coming his way.
Adams is a guy who has worked hard as the Northstars head coach for 23 years. He loves his players and has developed a close bond with so many of them after they left. He gives tough love, sometimes he has to get tough without giving the love to get a point across.
He admitted it was hard to bench his son Stephen in the second half against Neptune because Luke Westerberg had the hot hand. It had to be killing him, since it was the first time all year he abandoned the rotation system. And it happened in the biggest game of the year.
What dad on earth would feel good about doing that? How many of them might just not have done it?
But while Adams loves his son, he treats his players as his family as well and he knew this was the move to make for Nottingham to win. In fact, he and his staff proved to be outstanding throughout the playoffs in which Nottingham went 3-0 against the Shore Conference.
Rather than avoid the other team's strengths, he attacked them. He did what conventional wisdom said not to do because he had faith in his players. And his confidence in his players to do that, gave them the confidence to get it done.
Against Manasquan and Long Branch, he decided to slug it out with a running game against teams that love that style. Against Neptune, a team that can score points in bunches with big plays, conventional wisdom said to go with a running game to keep the ball out of Ajee Patterson's hands. So what did Nottingham do? Get three offensive touchdown plays of 53 yards or more.
It wasn't just the Big Dawg. His assistants obviously played a big part in it. And why not listen to a staff that includes former head coaches Bob Harris, Frank Gatto and John Berei. It was truly a clinic the way they handled three teams that everyone thought were the favorites.
Personally speaking, we in the media love Adams. He's always a good quote and gives you all the time you need (a lot of you in Hamilton do that, which is appreciated).
Sure he'll rub some people the wrong way. No one in the world has a 100 percent fan club.
But he is close with so many people and they are all feeling good for their guy today. And they should. He's a great guy, a gregarious guy who is the classic "Big Teddy Bear" kind of guy.
My only complaint with Mr. Adams is that he playfully admonished the sportswriters for not believing his team had the speed to match up with Neptune. To that, I say please read the below blog written yesterday. Ahem, ahem.
But other than that, I love ya Big Dawg!
Just like everybody else.
Dec. 8 2012
It's in the Stars: Nottingham
will win it!
Dec. 8: I never ever make predictions. I just don't, because I don't think anyone knows what will happen in a football game.
But I am making one today. I truly believe Nottingham's football team is going to come home a winner against Neptune in the Central Jersey Group III championship game.
I had a feeling about this team after the Allentown game. That was a loss, but could have been a win and there was just something about the Northstars that impressed me in that game. They could have won as easily as lost and I didn't count it as a loss in terms of what the Stars could do down the line.
I really think this is a team of destiny. It all started in the summer when Jon Adams health issues could have led to a completely dismal season. But the Big Dawg came through in a big way, his team followed his lead and well, here we are.
But that's not the only reason I think Nottingham will win today. I also think they have developed an unshakable confidence after bringing down two straight Shore Conference teams in the first two rounds of the playoffs. That right there removes the stumbling block of "Oh gee, can we beat the Shore?"
And then there is one othe little factor: speed. Neptune's great advantage in these games is speed. Especially in the passing game. But Nottingham's has plenty of speed in the secondary, as long as a physical presence. I'm not saying the Stars have an advantage, but I am saying Neptune doesn't have an advantage.
There are just a lot of things that feel right about this game for Nottingham. So much so, that I'm actually making a prediction.
I don't know what the score will be. . .but Nottingham will be on the positive side of it when it's over.
Dec. 2 2012
Shore is good!
Dec. 2: What is all this talk about the Shore Conference being so good in football?
That's what they might be saying on Klockner Road in Hamilton Township these days, as that little strip of asphalt houses two schools that are actually tormenting the mighty Shore teams lately.
For those who don't follow high school football extensively, it is common knowledge that teams from the Shore pound teams from Mercer County every year in the state playoffs. A few teams hang, but many of the games are embarrassing blowouts.
Over the past two seasons, however, Hamilton Township schools (and Klockner Road residents) Steinert and Nottingham are 3-1 against the Shore Conference.
Steinert beat Wall in last year's playoffs, then led Neptune into the third quarter before falling in the title game. Nottingham has taken two straight seven-point wins over Manasquan and Long Branch this playoff season, despite being considered the underdog in both.
Throw in Hamilton West's near-miss loss to Middletown South in 2010 and it's safe to say that the township is carrying the banner for Mercer County against the Shore.
It's something to be proud of because, lets
face it, the Shore Conference is excellent. It has many more quality teams than Mercer from top to bottom, it has a ton of football talent and great teams play great teams throughout the year. That only toughens them up come playoff time.
Teams in Mercer, even with the West Jersey realignment, are probably getting two to three good tests a year.
The fact that Nottingham and Steinert have fared well in the playoffs doesn't mean the conference's are coming closer together in talent.
What it does mean, is we have had the privelege of watching two very special football teams the past two years. Two teams that have proven they can be great no matter what league they are in and what team they are playing.
And both have unique stories to tell.
For Steinert, it marked the first time the school ever won a playoff game, let alone reach a sectional final.
For Nottingham, it's one of the feel-good stories of the year. Over the summer, the Stars were uncertain of if they would have their head coach. And the coach himself wondered how much of a future he had after Jon Adams had to undergo surgery for cancer.
But Adams won his battle and his Northstars have won every battle but one this year. And the team it lost to is no longer around as Allentown fell to Neptune in Friday's other CJ III final.
It's the same Neptune that beat Steinert last year. The same Neptune Nottingham plays at The College of New Jersey for a championship on Saturday.
Few people outside the area probably think Nottingham will win. But that doesn't matter.
If people can't figure out by now that the Northstars may just be a team of destiny, they never will.
And besides, Nottingham has proven it can overcome the aura of the Shore Conference.
But can the Scarlet Fliers overcome the aura of Klockner Road?
* * * *
Congratulations to coach Dan O'Donnell and the Fish4scores.com basketball team, which won its inaugural game in the St. Gregory Intramural League's Senior Division. Way to go gang, you're making us all proud!
* * * *
Speaking of last year's football teams, graduated Steinert quarterback Adam Riese was on hand at the Thanksgiving game while graduated Nottingham QB Esayah Obado was at Saturday's Nottingham-Long Branch game.
Both were red-shirted at their respective schools this year -- Riese at New Hampshire and Obado and Delaware State -- and both felt it was a productive year of learning about the nuances of college football.
Nov. 20 2012
allow us to smile
times in Hamilton
Nov. 20: Thank you, Nottingham!
In the wake of so many disturbing things being reported on in Hamilton Township these days, and with today’s guilty verdict of Mayor John Bencivengo, this township needs something to smile about.
And it has reasons to do just that thanks to what's happening on the corner of Klockner Road and Hamilton Avenue.
Nottingham High School is all smiles these days with what’s going on its athletic department.
Start with the hiring of Chris “The Baron” Raba last week. Raba was finally confirmed as boys basketball coach, giving the Northstars a guy with a proven track record of success to run their program.
Then there is the football team, who gave us one of the most exciting football games seen in these parts in some time. Trailing by 14 and going nowhere at halftime Nottingham roared back for a 21-14 win to advance to the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III semifinals next week.
Let’s not forget about “Amazing” Grace Dwyer, who is sweeping New Jersey by storm in just her first year in high school. The freshman is putting up times that are remarkable and blew into Wednesday’s Meet of Champions by finishing third in the NJSIAA Group III meet last Saturday.
And to top it off, softball star Valerie Suto signed a letter of intent on Monday to play for Division I Seton Hall, which is pretty impressive.
That’s a lot of nice stuff to feel good about during this time of turmoil.
It’s no wonder that Rick “The Voice of the Northstars” Taylor has a lot to say these days.
* * * *
I couldn’t be happier for Jon Adams and the success he has had with Nottingham football this year. This was a guy who, last summer, didn’t even know if he would be teaching or coaching, let along standing two wins away from a sectional title.
Way to go Big Dawg!
* * * *
Apologies go out to Meg “Martina Scorcese” Black, the Steinert grad now attending Kutztown State. In my last blog I thanked so many people for their contributions, but forgot to thank “Blackie” for all her fine video efforts last summer (and hopefully again over winter break).
* * * *
I didn’t get a chance to write anything on it, but congratulations to Hamilton West’s Lauren “The Lamb” Wyrough for scoring two goals and leading her team to victory in the Mooch Myernick Soccer All-Star game Sunday. That gave Wyrough eight goals in five games since her knee injury.
* * * *
Also congratulations go out to Kristin Jacobs (formerly Voorhees) for being named the new Steinert girls basketball coach.
Voorhees was a standout player at Steinert under Jim “Jules” Giglio and was a long-time assistant under Bob Boyce at West Windsor-Plainsboro North.
Jacobs gets started this weekend when basketball practice gets underway.
* * * *
It has been 25 years since the Steinert boys cross country team won the NJSIAA Group III meet with Tom Canto, Aaron Oldfield, Charlie Zoda, Doug Larkin, Tom Hooker and several other standouts. The crew plans on meeting at Veterans Park with coaches Jerry Bleistein and Doug Martin this Friday and are toying with taking an anniversary run through the park. Whether or not that happens, they will then head to DeLorenzo’s for some pizza.
* * * *
Thursday’s the big day over at Steinert with the Thanksgiving game, and Texas Roadhouse plans on doing its part.
The Fish4Scores Athlete of the Week sponsor will be selling gift cards and donating some of the profits back to the schools. See tomorrow’s preview of the game for more details.
* * * *
Not sure if he would want me to reveal this, but Hamilton Little Lads Basketball Director Jack DeStefano just became a great grandfather when his grandson Nick and his wife brought a new baby boy into the world Monday.
“Now I have a new reason for sticking with Little Lads,” Jack said with a laugh.
That must be what keeps him looking so young.
* * * *
Rutgers in the Big 10. Wow.
Looks good for football, but I don’t know about basketball. And it will be interesting to see Steinert grad and RU soccer coach Dan Donigan’s take on it, as I’m not sure the Big 10 is quite on par with the Big Eats when it comes to men’s soccer.
* * * *
Well that’s it for now. I just want to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving and we’ll see you on the gridiron Thursday morning!
Sep. 23, 2012
Don’t faint but. . .
it’s a new blog!
OK, OK, I know what you’re thinking.
Another blog already? How many of these things can we take!
Well, after hearing people complaining throughout the spring, summer and fall (I was goin for the record!), even I have gotten sick of seeing the same blog for so long.
I got tired of reading about the second round of the NBA playoffs, considering the the NBA finals AND the Olympics are over. Mollie Coyne was a high school senior during the last blog, today she scored her first collegiate goal. Way to go Mol!
But the biggest complaint I got was “You gotta get Phil Alu out of there!” Sorry Phil. . .I tried to hold out as long as I could, but the masses have spoken!
The second biggest complaint came from Steinert Athletic Director John Costantino . . . every day. It seems Cos reads this blog when he wants to fall asleep. Since he didn’t have a new blog to bore him for five months. . .his whole sleeping pattern is shot.
Sooo anyway, get a pillow Cos and read away. Lots to catch up on.
And in case you forget the set-up, these are various thoughts, sectioned off by little * * * * thingies. So if you get bored with one thing, just shut up and move on to the next.
* * * *
As you may have already seen, we have some new features on Fish4Scores.com, not the least of which is a new Athlete of the Week Sponsor. We’re delighted to welcome aboard Texas Roadhouse on Route 33, which is donating gift cards and hanging up the photos of the winners each week in their fine establishment.
Owner Norm Patten is just what Hamilton Township ordered. He is not only supporting Fish4scores and the high school’s standout student-athletes, he wants to immerse his establishment into this township. So if you’re looking for a place to stage an event, make like the gang at Cheers and call “Norm!”
OK, that was lame. Are you sure you want another blog?
Secondly, we are still tying up the loose ends with the potential sponsor, but we are a few hand shakes away from awarding one student-athlete from each school a “Scholar-Athlete of the Season” award, which will be given at the end of the fall, winter and spring seasons. Once everything is finalized, I’ll let everyone know the details and we will proudly reveal the new sponsor.
Speaking of scholar-athletes, you may have seen our new feature “The Life of a Student-Athlete” where Steinert’s Jeff Mattonelli and Hamilton’s Colleen “Collar” Murphy give us some insight on their lives beyond the athletic field. We are bringing a Nottingham athlete into the rotation as well, but I have not cleared it with him yet. When I do, he will add a third view.
I gotta tell you, so far I’ve been really impressed. In their first efforts, Jeff and Murph provided interesting, entertaining insight to what they are all about, and I have a feeling it will only get better as we all get into a rhythm.
* * * *
Features aren’t the only thing that’s new.
They are coinciding with an upcoming new look for Fish4Scores.
Now, you are probably going to complain about it at first.
Why? Because it’s change, and everyone hates change. “Where is this? How do I get to this? Why did he change this!!!!”
One of the main reasons is, it will cut my workload by at least a third. This site served its use over the first three years but it takes an incredibly long time to post stories and photos. So, part of it is self preservation.
Secondly, we want to continue to highlight the day’s activities prominently, but we plan on leaving the Athlete of the Week, Scholar-Athlete of the Season and Life of a Student-Athlete directly underneath on the home page so people don’t have to go searching for them.
Thus, the top of the page will be that oh-so-popular website method of rotating photos scrolling by, so you can pick your story.
I am trying to keep the new site as functional as this one. There will still be the “Fall” “Winter” “Spring” “Summer” menus at the top, and they will drop down with the sports for that season. So it won’t be THAT different.
I just ask you give it a chance and ou’ll get used to it. And bear with me, cuz I won’t know what I’m doing for a while so there may be a few gaffes here and there. But it will all smooth out so don’t go anywhere!
* * * *
We also have plenty of new people on board. Cathy Martin Healy took the plunge behind the scenes this summer and has done a tremendous job as my marketing consultant. Cathy is a freelancer who is extremely good at what she does. If you need her talents, let me know and I’ll hook you up (and no, I don’t get a percentage).
Shannon Keenan Moscarello is our new sales representative, so if you want to put an ad on Fish4scores, let us know and I will put you in touch with Shannon.
For a brief time until he graduates, we’re happy to have Rider student JJ Duke with us, predominantly as a soccer writer but he may pop up at other events as well. Mark Pratico, another Rider guy, is back helping out with his soccer expertise and we couldn’t be happier about that.
And we have found yet another talented parent with photography talents, as Nancy Eggert is supplying us with some darn good shots of Steinert boys’ soccer. The only drawback is she was referred to us by Jim “Jules” Giglio, so I now I feel indebted to Jules. And that’s never good.
There is also recent Nottingham graduate Dave Robb, who’s slipping us some nice Northstar shots. Brian “The Shot” McCarthy is our wild card, who could be anywhere at any time to shoot a township sports team near you. Brian also has a new Facebook photo page dealing with Hamilton Township news photography that you might want to check out: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Hamilton-Herald-News-com/113569545457746.
We still have the ol’ reliables, of course. At Nottingham, there is Wes “The Media Mogul” Kirkpatrick and Mary “The Renowned One” Malone. Two legends. Need we say more?
Over at Hamilton West, there is Jim Jenkins providing quality cross country shots. And of course, one of the gutsiest football photographers around – Donna Brihn. Poor Donna needs ankle surgery but refuses to miss shooting Hamilton football so she’s hobbling up and down the sidelines with a brace at not only varsity games, but JV and freshmen contests as well.
Yesterday she had to ice it for hours after the game and apologized for getting me her photos late. How’s that for dedication? Hornet players, give Mrs. Brihn a pat on the back and a “way to go” the next time you see her. Just watch the ankle!
And then there’s Princeton Packet sports editor Bob “Sense” Nuse, who will try and provide a cross country story if any Hamilton teams are running at the same meet his son is running at. Bob knows his stuff.
Then there are the usual suspects that are staples – photographers John Blaine and Dennis Symons Jr.; writer/teacher/many other things Tony Piscotta, and jack of all trades Ken Weingartner.
The fact that so many quality people want to be a part of this blows my mind and really makes me proud. This site would be nothing without their contributions.
So as we officially begin our fourth year on Oct. 1, to all you people – and any others that I might have missed – I say thank you so much.
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Speaking of Oct. 1, that is the date of the Daniel Rossi Memorial Scholarship Fund 2nd Annual Golf Outing. For more info go to http://www.facebook.com/events/216801735100874/.
While we’re at it, don’t forget the Wraparound Sports 7th Annual Softball Tournament to fight breast cancer on Oct. 6 and Oct. 13-14. Get more info at www.wraparoundsports.org. And please say a prayer for Wraparound founder Janeen Gondek, a good friend and a tremendous person who is going through a very tough time right now.
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I thought nothing would get on my nerves more than the countless Facebook photos this past summer of sand and an ocean that people posted with variations of the following: “On the beach at LBI. . life is good.”
Well, I was wrong.
Since Bruce Springsteen’s tour swung east, my Facebook is on overload with tailgaters in the parking lot and the words “Brrruuuuce!” as their oh so clever comment.
Facebook has become the new post cards. Remember post cards? There was writing involved. And a stamp. Remember stamps?
Anyway, my attitude toward all these Facebook people telling me what a blast they’re having while I’m working, is reflective of my attitude toward post cards. (Someone please tell the kids what a post card is). When my friends went on vacation, my parting words always were “Have fun but don’t send me a post card. I’m not interested in your good time.”
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I was very bummed out this past week to hear that Steinert’s Amber Dietrich has had her senior season of field hockey cut short due to a torn ACL. Dietrich hurt it when she caught it in some high grass at Robbinsville (the turf field was unavailable).
Amber is a great kid and anyone that knows her, hopes she can get back for her final season of softball. I spoke with her today at the Nottingham-Steinert football game and she is going to see a doctor Monday. She’s hoping to be back in six months, which would get her back by March and in time for softball.
Good luck Amber!!!
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Another thing that happened since the last blog (and no Mr. Costantino, not the discovery of electricity) is that I am now writing for the Hamilton Post newspaper. The reason I say this is to support their fine website, mercerspace.com, which does a great job covering the county, and especially this township, with its news and sports coverage.
(How’s that Joe and Rob? Do I still have a job!)
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I couldn’t agree more with Steve Young concerning the lockout with the NFL officials. In case you missed it, Young said that as long as people keep filling the stadiums and as long as ratings are up, why should Roger Goodell care about the replacement refs and their flaws. In the NFL, the bottom line is the buck. Who cares if games are screwed up or, worse yet, players are crunched.
I have a close friend who worked for the NFL for years. . .in the same office with Paul Tagliabue, in fact. She and her husband moved from New York to Los Angeles a few years ago and she now works for the NFL Network.
But she told me stories that blew my mind about how cheap the NFL is. A multi-gajillion dollar corporation treated regular old workers, like maintenance men, office employees and custodians like dirt. That’s why Young’s words hit home with me, because it mirrored everything my friend told me.
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Kudos to everybody’s favorite trainer, Trenton High’s Poppy Anderson. A Hamilton resident, Poppy is the male honoree this year by the Trenton Select Club. There is truly not a classier guy associated with Mercer County athletics.
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More kudos, to Hibernians soccer coach Tom Bayless, who is being inducted into the Mercer County Soccer Hall of Fame. Tom is originally from Lawrence but his Hamilton roots run deep with all he’s done in the township.
And he’s almost as classy as Poppy! Just don’t ask me to define almost.
Love ya Bayless!
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Rutgers football beat Arkansas on the road last night and every time the Razorbacks applied the pressure, Rutgers answered. Could be an interesting year in Piscataway and no one will be happier than our JoJo's friend Andy.
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Gotta love this second wildcard in baseball. Hey, it kept me interested in the Phils for about 6 weeks longer than if there wasn't one.
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Another NHL lockout? Damn! Some of my greatest memories are of NHL games in October, when the baseball post-season is unfolding and college and pro football are in full bloom.
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Well, that’s about it folks.
See ya in 5 months . . . or whenever Haley’s Comet comes by again.