The Jersey Shore Tides continue to play well this summer — they won three of their four games last week, raising their record to 15-5 as they remain in first place of the wood bat ABC Collegiate League (ABCCL). After having an 11-game winning streak ended last week, they started another streak and have won three straight games. Last Tuesday, the Tides lost to the Protocall Starz, 7-6. Ian Law (Lafayette College) of Linwood had the big hit for the Starz with a three-run homer in the fourth inning to provide a 4-0 lead. The Tides tied it up with four runs in the top of the sixth, but the Starz came back with three more in the bottom of the sixth to take a 7-4 lead. The Tides added one more in the seventh and ninth, but fell short in the 7-6 loss. The Tides were led by Angel Aponte (Manhattan College) of Dumont and Mike Weckenman (Temple University) of Newton, Pa., with two hits a piece. On Thursday, the Tides faced the Manchester Yankees. The game would put the winner into first place in the ABCCL. The Yankees took a 1-0 lead in the second on a double by Bayville’s Mike Rooth (Felician College) and single by Manchester High School’s Jeff Struble (The College of New Jersey). The Tides countered in their half of the inning with a double by Sean Abate (University of Pennsylvania) of Dumont, and a single by Chris Wilson (The College of New Jersey) of Pt. Pleasant Beach. The Tides added four more runs over the next few innings to stake a 5-1 lead and blew the game wide open in the eighth to coast to a 9-3 win. The strong offensive game was sparked by Wilson, Dumont’s Nick Pulos (University of Pennsylvania), and Holmdel’s Chris Kapsales (Brookdale Community College) who each had two hits including a double. Marlboro’s Craig Rodwogin (Columbia University) added three singles for the Tides. Pitching for the Tides were Erik Johanson (Tufts University) of Wynnewood, Pa.; Steve Holt (Rutgers University) from Toms River High School South; Justin Green (Olney Central College) of Salem, Ill.; Chris Kapsales, and Mike Weckenman. On Sunday, the Tides played a doubleheader against the Middletown Monarchs on the artificial turf at Jack Cust’s Baseball Academy in Flemington. Before the start of the game, the Tides faced a tough opponent in the errant directions provided by the Academy combined with absent street signs. Several players and a coach arrived late, and a starting pitcher never found the field. The Tides took the first game with dominant pitching, 2-0, while only getting one hit, an infield single by Holmdel’s Mike Pahira (Pace University). Both Tides runs were unearned. Justin Green, Holmdel’s Mike Tuozzo (Wagner College, Staten Island, N.Y.) and Nick Amabile (The College of New Jersey), and Green Brook’s Brian Searls (Manhattan College) combined for the shutout, allowing only three hits over nine innings. Bayonne’s Bill Opel (The College of New Jersey) provided a strongly pitched game for the Monarchs. In the second game, the hitters for both teams made up for their lack of productivity in the opener. The Tides opened the scoring in the first and second innings with three runs on doubles by CBA’s Chris Contrino (Brown University) and Craig Rodwogin, along with singles by Pahira, Weckenman, and Dallas Sims (Lincoln Trail College) of Floyds Knobs, Ind. The Monarchs came back to take a 4-3 lead with a dominant offensive performance from Middletown’s Eric D’Alessandro (Rider University). D’Alessandro would end the day going 3-for-4 with a double and home run including three RBIs and three runs scored. The Tides received some unexpected offense from pitcher Erik Johanson who was allowed to hit since the Tides were missing their designated hitter for the game. Johanson responded by going 2-for-2 with a double, two RBIs, and a run scored. The Tides had a 9-4 lead going into the eighth due to three scoreless innings pitched by Dallas Sims and Sean Abate, but the Monarchs fought back. By the ninth, the score stood at 9-7 and the Monarchs’ Matt Inzerillo (Montclair State University) of Middletown led off with a double followed by a walk to Freehold’s Nick Papa (Wagner College), who was the potential tying run with nobody out. The Tides brought in Chris Kapsales to stem the Monarch’s rally. Kapsales retired the side to save the game and a 9-8 victory, providing a sweep of the doubleheader for the Tides. Left-handed pitcher Justin Green of the Tides extended his streak of not allowing a hit to 42 straight batters.
BY WARREN RAPPLEYEA Staff Writer BY WARREN RAPPLEYEAStaff Writer The Keyport High School boys and girls bowling teams head into their season openers Thursday against Middletown South with the hope of repeating as champions on their respective sides of the Shore Conference’s Northern Monmouth Division. Last season, coach Sal Principe’s girls went 31-5 to win the division crown by a mere half-game. It was the girls’ second division title in three years. Principe’s boys, meanwhile, were 33-9, and Bob Rohe won the Shore Conference championship. Things are looking promising again this year for the Red Raiders. Senior Amanda Stumpf, whose 160 average topped the league, is back to lead a talented girls team. Melinda Bomersbach, another senior, returns to the lead-off spot, where she averaged 156 pins — good for second in the league, a year ago. Sophomore Jenna Stumpf averaged 149 pins last season, and Principe expects her to be even better this winter. The same holds true for junior Christine George, who averaged 145 pins a year ago. Promising sophomores Stephanie Capone and Stephanie Duke are likely to share the fifth spot in the Keyport lineup. Rohe, a junior who averaged 199 pins and put up a 715 series last season, leads the boys and will be looking to defend his title as the conference’s top male keggler. Senior Ryan Loihle averaged 182 pins last season and rolled a 600 series. Fellow senior Mike Capone averaged 166, and Principe said Capone’s hard work in the off-season should pay off in higher pin counts. Sophomore Marty Visaggio, who averaged 160 in limited action last winter, is expected to play a more prominent role this time out. Several other boys are also expected to see action, including seniors Glenn Michaud and Dave Schumann, sophomore Phil Specchio, and a pair of freshmen, James Cornelious and Nick Maupai. “Bowling is fun, but we take it seriously here at Keyport,” Principe said. “Our banners are hanging in the gym and we’re looking for big things again this year, and I think things are looking promising for both the boys and girls teams.” Following the season opener against Middletown South, the Red Raiders will compete in the Bishop Ahr Tournament on Saturday at Carolier Lanes in North Brunswick.
ERIC SUCAR staff Matawan freshman Ryan Berg performs a wrestling drill during a recent scrimmage against Red Bank Regional High School. The Huskies will open their season on Saturday by hosting the Matawan Icebreaker Invitational Tournament. After putting up a 15-14 record in what was a rebuilding year, the Matawan High School wrestling team is looking to contend for the Shore Conference’s Class A Central championship. Coach Andy Lasko said his team has set the bar high in a division that also includes the likes of Raritan and St. John Vianney. Nevertheless, the Huskies mentor believes Matawan will be a contender for its first division title. “Our primary goal is to be competitive every night and we have the wrestlers on board who can do that,” Lasko explained. “We’re setting the bar high because we think this group can really gel. Most of them have been together since middle school; they know each other and they support each other.” Having six grapplers back who won 20 times or more a year ago is a huge plus. Matawan also has time before its regular season starts on Jan. 3 with a quad match that includes Red Bank Regional, RBC and Monmouth Regional. In the meantime, the Huskies will host their annual Icebreaker Invitational Tournament on Dec. 20. Leading the returnees is Johnny Short, who will compete at 130 pounds. The junior won 36 matches last winter, took second place in the District 21 competition and fourth in Region 6. Cesare Antista, who moves up to 135 pounds, enters his fourth varsity campaign with 90 career victories — a very nice average of 30 wins per season. The 189-pounder, Rob Rivera is coming off of a 25-win campaign and a second-place showing in District 21. Juniors Chris Carrillo (152) and Charlie Cook (160), along with sophomore Tom Dillon, also posted 20 victories and Lasko is expecting even more from all three of them. Lasko also has high expectations for heavyweight Chris Howley, who missed most of last season after suffering an injury during football season, and junior Jordan Long (145), a gritty competitor who finds ways to win. The rest of the Huskies lineup includes John Kozman (140) and Ed McCarthy (171); juniors Jimmy Alvarez (215) and Devon Rust (119); sophomores Andre Hodge (215), Michael Lawrence (160/171), Patrick O’Donnell (112), Zeke Vega (125), and McArthur Underwood, III (140); and freshman Francis Palumbo (215). “Our experience will certainly help us— the guys learned a lot last year,” Lasko said. “Right now we’re just working hard and focusing on the fundamentals. In the end, that’s what wins matches.” The coach reported that of the 51 grapplers in the program, 28 are freshmen—many of whom are graduates of the middle school program, which bodes very well for the Huskies’ future. “That shows that kids are getting into the wrestling program in town and sticking with it,” Lasko added. “I was very pleased to have so many experienced freshmen come out.” BY WARREN RAPPLEYEA Staff Writer
Christian Brothers Academy confirmed it was one of the nation’s best cross country teams by finishing fifth at the Nike Cross Nationals (NXN). The NXN was held in Portland, Ore., on Dec. 4 inside the Portland Meadows Race Track. The two-loop manufactured course featured leaps over hay bails. On the day of the race, the course was wet and soggy, which made footing treacherous, which translated into slower times The Colts, competing as the Lincroft XC Club, scored 179 points in taking fifth. Aradia XC Club won the national title with 92 points. There were 22 teams competing in the championships along with the best individuals from across the country. The individual championship was won by Luke Verzbica from Illinois, the top-ranked harrier in the country. He was first in 16:00. CBA was led by Mike Mazzaccaro, who was 15th overall completed the 5,000-meter course in 16:44. In team scoring, however, he was sixth. Mazzaccaro was first among the New Jersey harriers who qualified for the NXN either as individuals or with their team. George Kelly (17:17:7), Dan Mykityshyn (17:26), Conrad Lippert (17:17:34) and Will Bragg (17:53) completed the Colt scoring finishing 29-34-41-69. This was CBA’s best finish at the NXN. The Colts previous best was eighth in 2005. The 2010 season turned into a special one for this CBA team. It regained the program’s position as the best in New Jersey when the Colts won their 16th NJSIAA Meet of Champions. They not only won it but broke the Holmdel Park team average record in the process, averaging 16:05.8 per runner. In winning the Shore Conference title earlier in the season, the Colts smashed the Ocean County Park team record (15:32.1) led by Mazzaccaro’s course record 15:03. Nationally ranked throughout the season, the Colts punched their ticket to Portland by winning the NXN Northeast Championship held at Bowdoin Park in Wappingers Falls, N.Y., on Nov. 27. CBA made a case for itself throughout the season as one of the greatest teams in state history, and a fifth place at the nationals did little to harm that reputation. Red Bank Catholic’s Molly McNamara saw her reputation soar this fall. She qualified for the NXN by winning the Northeast Regional, the biggest win of her cross country career (18:33). At the NXN, McNamara finished 25th (19:29). Like Mazzaccaro, she finished first among the New Jersey runners at the race. McNamara came up with the goods all year for an RBC team that won the Non-Public A state title among a bevy of other titles. McNamara broke the OCP course record in winning the SC title in 17:14 back in October and was the NP-A state champion. McNamara is Stanford University bound next fall.
BY WAYNE WITKOWSKI Correspondent Mike Ciccotelli realizes his Keyport football team has a lot of work to do — after a season-opening 44-24 loss at non-divisional foe Metuchen on Sept. 10 — to compete in the NJSIAA playoffs again this year as the Red Raiders move up to Group II.“We have to regroup and correct some of our mistakes. I feel we can,” said Ciccotelli, whose team has a showdown at home on Sept. 17 at noon against Shore Regional, the team that beat Keyport in the Central Jersey Group I playoffs last year and in the game that decided the Shore Conference B Central title in an 8-3 season.But Ciccotelli feels his defense will not be facing a player like Metuchen’s Errol Lindo, who rushed for 222 yards on 31 carries and scored five touchdowns.“That hasn’t happened to me, with a player scoring five touchdowns, since my first year of coaching in 1978 when a kid from St. John Vianney did that,” said Ciccotelli. Keyport High School running back Sam Bellamy is running to daylight against the Metuchen defense during the Sept. 10 season-opener in Metuchen. The Red Raiders fell to the Bulldogs, 44-24, despite two touchdowns by Bellamy. ERIC SUCAR staff But he did express some satisfaction with the play of his 6-4 sophomore quarterback Alex Thomson, who completed 10 of 17 passes for more than 100 yards.“He looked very poised out there,” said the coach. “He’s the tallest quarterback I’ve had, and he can see the field, make good decisions and takes control of the huddle.”Thomson helped rally his team behind a veteran offensive line from a 16-0 deficit to a 17-16 lead as veteran kicker Angelo Miragliotta, a junior, kicked a 31- yard field goal to close the first half and give Keyport that 17-16 lead. After that, the only bright spot was senior halfback Sam Bellamy scoring his second touchdown of the game as Metuchen pulled away.“I was proud up to that point,” said Ciccotelli, referring to the halftime break. “We showed a lot of guts coming back.”With no injuries reported from the opening game, the play up front will determine what lies ahead for Keyport, with returning starters Omar Elgohail (6-1, 245) at right tackle, Thomas J. Frick (6- 0, 205) at right guard, David Hamilton (6-3, 225) at left tackle and Connor Thompson (Alex’s brother, 6-2, 270) at center all back in the starting lineup from last year. All are seniors except for Connor Thomson, a junior. Junior Rich Shevlin (6-0, 205) starts at left guard.“As the line does, we go,” said Ciccotelli. “We have to get it done to be successful.”They’re blocking for returning senior starter Rich Smith at halfback in the wing-T. Seniors Kevin Churak and Bellamy also play at running back.TylerAlvarez (6-0, 185), a junior, starts at tight end while junior Greg Armstrong and senior Nick Williams are wide receivers. Ciccotelli is the offensive coordinator. Frick and Hamilton are back at the end spots on defense under defensive coordinator Jay Grahm, and Connor Thomson plays nose tackle, where he drew praise from Ciccotelli for his efforts against Metuchen.Smith, who had a lot of tackles last year, is an interior linebacker in the 3- 5 formation with Shevlin and senior Ryan Hynes. Junior John Olsen and Bellamy play on the outside. Churak and Armstrong are the cornerbacks, and Miragliotta is the safety. Miragliotta also is punting this year and has shown ongoing improvement, according to his coach.The rest of the staff includes Brian Brady coaching the offensive line and linebackers, Nick Christphakis coaching both lines, and Ezara Hill working with the secondary.
By Andreas VouTHERE were mixed fates for Cyprus’ two Champions League representatives in the third qualifying round on Thursday night as APOEL sealed their passage to the play-off with a comfortable 2-0 win over HJK Helsinki while AEL were unable to hold on to their narrow first-leg win against Zenit St. Petersburg, going down to a 3-0 defeat.Following their 1-0 win against Russian giants Zenit just over a week ago, AEL had their eyes firmly set on pulling off the shock of the round on their visit to the Petrovsky Stadium. AEL’s game plan to sit back and hit the hosts on the break was evident from the off, and it was working well in the early exchanges. It took Zenit 19 minutes to muster a presentable chance, one which fell to Salomon Rondon who was handed a golden opportunity, but the Venezualan aimed his header wide from the edge of the six yard box. On 26 minutes, AEL’s challenge got even tougher as Danielzinho, booked just moments earlier for simulation, was shown a second yellow card for blocking the taking of a quick Zenit free-kick.The extra man proved decisive – 10 minutes into the second half, from an almost identical chance to the one he spurned in the first, Rondon headed home to level the tie.It was one-way traffic from then on. AEL defended valiantly but Zenit continued their surge on Karim Fegrouch’s goal.With just two minutes left and extra-time beckoning, Rondon was again denied from a close-range header but Danny was on hand to tap in to an open net for 2-0. Aleksandr Kerzhakov then made it 3-0 in injury time from the spot to seal qualification for the Russians.APOEL, following their 2-2 draw in Helsinki, could have taken a passive approach but instead took the game to the visitors and got their reward. The two goalscorers from the first-leg combined to devastating effect to hand the Nicosia giants the perfect start. After just 18 minutes, Tomas de Vincenti made a key dispossession in the centre of the field before threading a perfect through ball to Cilian Sheridan, who took one touch with his right foot to compose himself before thrashing the ball into the corner of the net with his left.Just as Helsinki did in the first-leg, APOEL were given a penalty on the stroke of half-time which De Vincenti converted to make it 2-0. There would be no second-half fightback, however, from the Finns and APOEL held on to earn their place in Friday’s Champions League play-off draw.The win guarantees that APOEL will feature in the group stages of European competition for the fourth time in six years, as even if they were to suffer defeat in the play-off round, they would go directly into the Europa League groups. Not all is lost for AEL either, as they enter the Europa League play-off round where they will aim to enter the group stages of the competition as they did in the 2012-13 season.
By Martyn HermanNine-time French Open champion Rafa Nadal will no longer be regarded as an “immovable obstacle” at Roland Garros this year, according to twice former winner Jim Courier.The American, who ruled the claycourt grand slam in 1991 and 1992, has watched the Spaniard’s increasing vulnerability on the red dust with interest in the build-up to the year’s second grand slam which begins in Paris on Sunday.While Courier believes the best-of-five-set format means Nadal remains formidable, he makes world number one Novak Djokovic favourite followed by Japan’s Kei Nishikori.“For the first time in many years Nadal will not be the favourite going into Roland Garros,” Courier, who will commentate on the tournament for British channel ITV, said.“That role is now firmly occupied by Novak Djokovic. Nadal is less vulnerable in Paris, given the best of five-set format which allows him more time to problemsolve but there are now guys in the locker room who see him as an opportunity rather than an immovable obstacle.”Nadal was beaten by Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarter-finals of the Rome Masters, following his defeat by Andy Murray in the Madrid Masters final the week before.The 28-year-old Spaniard also lost to Djokovic in Monte Carlo and has looked nowhere near the player who has lost only one match at Roland Garros in 10 years of domination.Djokovic, beaten in last year’s final by Nadal, has been in electrifying form and after beating Roger Federer to win the Rome title on Sunday looks to have a golden opportunity to complete his career grand slam.That favourite tag will bring its own pressures, though, and Nadal, who will be seeded outside the top four, is not the only threat to the Serb’s hopes of a first French Open.“Murray is most certainly a threat to go very deep and, if the draw breaks in his favour, a final is attainable,” Courier said.“Once you reach the final, anything goes – especially now that Nadal is playing like a mortal on the clay again.“Kei Nishikori is my second favourite behind Djokovic and I firmly believe he is the second best claycourt player today.“Also, Nick Krygios has the game, aggressive energy and athletic ability to stir things up the way he did at Wimbledon last year and in Australia in January.”
Tim WharnsbyRoger Federer avenged his Wimbledon final loss to Novak Djokovic by beating the top-seeded Serb 7-6(1) 6-3 on Sunday to capture his second consecutive Western & Southern Open title.The Swiss second seed, playing Djokovic for the first time since losing to him in the Wimbledon final for a second straight year last month, brought his record number of Cincinnati titles to seven with the win.Federer, who did not concede a service break all week, easily handled his service games throughout the match, losing only 13 points on his serve. He also employed an attacking style that gave Djokovic fits, winning 15 of 21 net points in the first set.After cruising through the first set tiebreak, Federer earned the only break of the match in the second game of the second set en route to sealing the win in 90 minutes.“I tried to really mix it up on his second serve and I was hoping to serve good enough myself to keep me out of trouble,” Federer said in his courtside interview.“He had that one bad game at the beginning of the second set, which made the difference in the match.”The win will give Federer a jolt of confidence going into the August 31-September 13 US Open where he will be seeking a sixth title at Flushing Meadows and first since 2008.With the win, Federer also denied long-time rival Djokovic from completing the set of all nine ATP Masters titles and took a 21-20 edge in career head-to-head meetings.“It’s now the fifth time I’ve been in this final. I guess I’ll have to wait until Roger retires,” Djokovic joked.“I knew coming into the match he was going to be aggressive. No question about it. So I tried to handle it. I did well until the tiebreak in the first set. After that, he was just the better player.”Federer will now move into second spot in the world rankings on Monday, which means the two rivals could meet again in the final at Flushing Meadows.After the match, Federer assessed his game going into the year’s final grand slam.“Good, regardless of whether I would have won or not,” said Federer. “I was well prepared. I had a good Wimbledon, a good offseason, recovered well and trained really hard. I knew I was going to be ready for the Open.”
Argentina have left Boca Juniors striker Carlos Tevez out of their squad for the Copa America Centenario to be held in the United States next month.Tevez, who helped Boca reach the Copa Libertadores semi-finals on Thursday, was not on the 23-man list coach Gerardo Martino announced on Friday for the June 3-26 tournament.With Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero named as the central strikers, Tevez, 32, was deemed surplus to requirements despite having been part of last year’s Copa squad in Chile.Rosario Central centre back Javier Pinola missed out after breaking his leg in a Copa Libertadores match last week, and veteran right back Pablo Zabaleta of Manchester City also became unavailable after deciding to have surgery for an ankle problem.Independiente’s Victor Cuesta earned his first Argentina call-up in place of Pinola, boosting to four the number of home-based players in the squad.Argentina, captained by Lionel Messi, are targeting victory in the tournament after failing to succeed at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, where they lost to eventual winners Germany, and the 2015 Copa America as hosts Chile beat them on penalties.This year’s Copa America marks the centenary of the South American tournament first played in Buenos Aires in 1916 and won by Uruguay, who hold a record 15 titles, one more than Argentina.Six teams from the CONCACAF region comprising North and Central America and the Caribbean have been drafted into the 16-nation event.Argentina meet Chile, Bolivia and Panama in Group D.Squad:Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (Manchester United), Nahuel Guzman (UANL Tigres), Mariano Andujar (Estudiantes)Defenders: Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City), Victor Cuesta (Independiente), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United), Facundo Roncaglia (Fiorentina), Ramiro Funes Mori (Everton), Gabriel Mercado, Jonathan Maidana (both River Plate),Midfielders: Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Lucas Biglia (Lazio), Matias Kranevitter, Augusto Fernandez (both Atletico Madrid), Ever Banega (Sevilla), Angel Di Maria, Javier Pastore (both Paris St Germain), Erik Lamela (Tottenham Hotspur)Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Hebei Fortune), Nicolas Gaitan (Benfica)
France and Romania are going to kick off Euro 2016 at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis on Friday night. This year’s European Championship is going to be the biggest ever with 24 teams competing over the course of 51 games. They will be staged in 10 locations across France.The Stade de France is the tournament’s largest venue with a capacity of 80,000 while the Stade Municipal in Toulouse is the smallest with a 33,000 capacity. Euro 2016 venues will have an average capacity of 48,800, playing host to 5.1 matches each. You will find more statistics at Statista