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RFH Defensive Back Commits to Holy Cross
For the second straight day, a Rumson-Fair Haven rising senior commits to play Division I football. Check out JSZ’s highlight reel and A to Z feature on defensive back Ryan Ruane One day after teammate John Volker committed to Princeton, RFH defensive back Ryan Ruane has given a verbal commitment to play Division I FCS football at Holy Cross. I am very excited to announce that I will be continuing my academic and football career at the College of Holy Cross! ⚔️✝️ #CROS21SBACK pic.twitter.com/UvJkd3ecZy— Ryan Ruane (@RyanRuane1) August 7, 2020 Watch highlights of Ruane, a 2019 JSZ All-Zone selection in the secondary: Earlier this summer, we profiled Ryan in our A to Z Series: Jersey Sports Zone’s coverage of Rumson-Fair Haven is brought to you by ACI Medical & Dental School
RFH’s Volker Commits to Princeton
Charlie Volker was an All-Ivy League running back at Princeton and now younger brother John Volker follows his footsteps. Watch JSZ’s highlight reel and A to Z feature on the Rumson-Fair Haven running back with blazing speed John Volker is one of the fastest players in New Jersey and he’s bringing that blazing speed to the Ivy League and Princeton. Volker has given a verbal commitment to the admissions process with the Tigers. John will follow in the footsteps of younger brother Charlie who had a successful four-year career at Princeton from 2015-18: I want to thank the Princeton coaching staff for giving me the opportunity to play at the next level. I would also like to thank those in Rumson and Fair Haven who have guided me along the way. That being said, I’m committing to the admissions process at Princeton University! 🐅 pic.twitter.com/Z8XXRlDK1B— John Volker (@JohnVolker3) August 6, 2020 Volker was able to put together an impressive junior season with over 1,000 all-purpose yards and nine touchdowns despite playing the second half of the year with a broken bone in his foot. Jersey Sports Zone profiled Volker earlier this summer in our A to Z Series of players we’re most excited to see in 2020: Jersey Sports Zone’s coverage of Rumson-Fair Haven is brought to you by ACI Medical & Dental School
Camden’s Chestnut Commits to Syracuse
Duce Chestnut does it all on the football field for Camden. Offense, defense, and special teams, Chestnut is a play-maker at any position for The High. The four-star rising senior announced his college decision on Sunday afternoon, committing to Syracuse. Chestnut chose the Orange over Louisville, Miami, Michigan State and Rutgers. He was recently profiled in JSZ’s A to Z series of top players in New Jersey we’re excited to see in 2020. Watch our profile here: Here’s JSZ’s highlight reel of Duce at quarterback, wide receiver and DB for Camden in 2019: Jersey Sports Zone’s coverage of Camden is brought to you by Cooper University Health Care.
Gov. Murphy Hopeful For Safe Return to NJ HS Sports
The Last Dance World Series accomplished plenty over its three-week stretch: seniors were given a final memory with their teams and a true state champion was crowned after spring sports were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But the 222-team baseball tournament achieved another goal, as well. It’s now being viewed as a successful and potential blueprint for the safe return to high school sports in New Jersey. Prior to first pitch a the LDWS final, Gov. Phil Murphy and Sen. Paul Sarlo spoke with Jersey Sports Zone about how student-athletes can safely get back to playing scholastic sports in the fall and beyond. Both lawmakers are hopeful there will be official seasons. JSZ’s Jay Cook has the story from Trenton: Sponsor Shoutout! Jersey Sports Zone’s coverage of the Last Dance World Series is brought to you by RWJ Barnabas Health – the tournament’s title sponsor.
Ahmad Ross Commits to Army
St. Joseph (Hammonton) rising senior Ahmad Ross has earned a reputation as one of the toughest players in South Jersey. Ross helped lead the Wildcats to a (9-2) record last season, playing both linebacker and fullback. The Bridgeton native announced his college decision on Friday evening, committing to the Army Black Knights. Watch Ross in action for St. Joe last season here:
JSZ A to Z: Top HS Football Players We’re Excited to See in 2020
Today’s “JSZ A to Z” Feature: Zaire Angoy, Irvington DT We reach the end of the road in our JSZ A to Z series with Zaire Angoy. The Irvington defensive tackle showed his ability to attract double teams and still make plays. After losing weight and joining the wrestling team, Angoy became highly recruited and ultimately chose to stay close to home at Rutgers. Watch our final feature in this exciting series: “JSZ A to Z” Features Click the name to watch the video. A Jaiden Abrams, Hammonton Steve Angeli, Bergen Catholic Aaron Armitage, Blair Academy B Kharyi Banton, Newark West Side Tahj Bullock, St. Peter’s Prep Andrew Butler, DePaul Catholic C Duce Chestnut, Camden Alijah Clark, Camden Amari Clark, Woodrow Wilson D Ah-Shaun Davis, Willingboro Carnell Davis, St. Augustine Charles DePrima, Ramapo Cookie Desiderio, Somerville E Audric Estime, St. Joe’s (Mont.) F Cole Freeman, Delbarton Frankie Monte, St. Joe’s (Mont.) G Mikai Gbayor, Irvington Dominick Giudice, Mater Dei Prep Keshon Griffin St. Joseph (Hamm.) H “Hollywood” Robinson, Penns Grove I Desmond Igbinosun, Union J Mike Jarvis, Shawnee Giye Jenkins, Seton Hall Prep K Jake Kazanowsky, Toms River North Jake Ketschek, St. Augustine L Casey Larkin, Wall Donovan Leary, Timber Creek Ali Lee, Jr., Woodbridge Jake Louro, Red Bank Catholic M Tywon Malone, Bergen Catholic Camron McNair, Donovan Catholic Bryce Myers, Bridgewater-Raritan N Naran Buntin, Mater Dei Prep O Gordon Ogden, Red Bank Regional P Avery Powell, St. Peter’s Prep Q Matt Quetel, Phillipsburg R George Rooks, St. Peter’s Prep Frank Riggio, Verona Ryan Ruane, Rumson-Fair Haven S Keon Sabb, Williamstown Justin Shorter, Blair Academy Patrick Smith, Holy Spirit Ricky “Pop” Spruill, Notre Dame T Will Towns, Jackson Memorial Jordan Thompson, Parsippany Hills U Kanye Udoh, St. Augustine Prep V Geno VanDeMark, St. Joe’s (Mont.) John Volker, Rumson-Fair Haven W Kevin Wigenton II, Hun School X Xavier Coleman, Lenape Y Yah-Sin Calhoun, Freehold Boro Z Zaire Angoy, Irvington
Aaron Lewis Transfers to Rutgers
Recent Williamstown grad Aaron Lewis entered the transfer portal last week after leaving Michigan. Lewis wanted to be closer to home because of a family issue, and has landed at Rutgers. Lewis made the announcement on his Twitter account on Monday: After deep discussions with my family, I’ve decided it’s best for me to continue my academic and athletic career at Rutgers University where I will be closer to home. @RUCoachFran @CoachPanagos @GregSchiano pic.twitter.com/RMp1tVAC61— aaron.lewis84 (@aaron_lewis71) July 20, 2020 Lewis helped lead Willimstown to back-to-back South Jersey Group 5 titles in his final two seasons at the school. Take at look at Lewis in action for the Braves with our 2019 JSZ All-Zone profile:
BREAKING: NJ Fall Sports Season Pushed Back One Month
New Jersey high school student athletes very well may get the chance to hit the fields this fall, but it could be a much shorter season than they’re used to. The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) officially announced Friday a plan for the fall sports season to begin on Oct. 1 and last until Thanksgiving weekend on Nov. 27-28. Athletes are still allowed to return to campus for the first time since March in the NJSIAA’s “summer recess” period which is set to begin Monday (July 13). The summer recess period is now extended through August 28. After that, there will be a two-week hiatus from August 29 through September 13 (only virtual meetings will be permitted). Official practices for fall sports will begin September 14 leading up to girls tennis opening September 28, football on October 2 and all other fall sports getting stated October 1. “High school sports are school-based, so we need to first ensure all is in order with the opening of our schools,” says Colleen Maguire, NJSIAA chief operating officer in a press release. “After that, we can begin playing sports. To be clear, our goal is to return to play – while making sure that health, safety, emotional well-being, and academics come first. We have a different model than some other types of programs that are far smaller in scale and operate independently. We have a duty to ensure that New Jersey’s schools and their more than 1.5 million students and teachers, including 283,000 high school student-athletes, can first return to school and their academics, and then participate in extracurricular activities like sports.” When it comes to high school football, the regular season has a six-game window and post-season play will be limited to just two weeks of play. Traditional Thanksgiving contests will still be able to be played past the November 22 end-date to the fall sports season. The NJSIAA Sports Advisory Task Force has identified the following eight guiding principles that will drive the decision-making process. 1. Ensure the health and safety of all student-athletes. 2. Re-engage all student-athletes as soon as possible for their social, emotional and mental well-being. 3. Maximize participation across all sports and all student-athletes. 4. Keep competition as local as possible for as long as possible. 5. Develop multiple return to play models to minimize the risk of a cancelled season. 6. Maintain the ability to pivot to back-up plans when deemed necessary. 7. Minimize potential impact on the spring season. 8. Minimize the importance of postseason, statewide championships. In a memo to NJSIAA member schools, the NJSIAA Sports Advisory Task Force said: “This plan is the first model to be provided in what will be a series of return to play models that will be in place for the 2020-2021 school year. The goal of the task force is to identify multiple back-up models that will be available as both school-related and health-related circumstances evolve.” The memo went on note: “This plan is intended to allow schools and leagues and conferences to start planning for a fall sports season. We all recognize the fluidity of the COVID-19 pandemic and realize the circumstances are changing regularly. We will provide updates to all potential plans as timely as possible to ensure schools and leagues and conferences have time to adapt to any pivots to a different return to play model.” New Jersey’s various scholastic leagues and conferences are strongly encouraged to revise schedules to emphasize local competition and minimize the number of different schools that come in contact with each other. Smaller divisions of schools for competition purposes is encouraged in order to facilitate communications and scheduling. The NJSIAA will strive to open postseason participation to any team wishing to participate. As with the regular season, the postseason will remain local, meaning a sectional championship or less. A seeding committee will be used by every sport in order to remove the reliance on power points, standings, and overall record. “By reducing the length of the season, student-athletes will have the opportunity for participation – but will also have more time to focus on their academic requirements,” says NJSIAA President Steve Shohfi. “A reduced season will naturally lead to a reduced amount of competition, which minimizes the risk of infection through exposure to many different teams and schools.” Denis Nelson, a member of the NJSIAA COVID-19 Sports Advisory Task Force and the athletic director at River Dell Regional High School notes: “Removing the possibility for statewide, postseason competition is intended to convey the specific message that the fall season is specifically about opportunity, engagement, and participation. It is not about winning championships. From a health perspective, it’s appropriate to keep sports as local as possible. From a competition perspective, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a substantial but different impact on every school district. As a result, the playing field won’t be level this year, so it’s only fair not to crown statewide champions.”
Hightstown Herd helps Coach Cam Harper after accident
In uncertain times where a high school football season has never been more anticipated, the heart of the game is on full display in Mercer County. Hightstown football assistant coach Cam Harper, who also works in the town’s Pop Warner program was involved in a serious car accident on June 29. After numerous life saving surgeries he is currently alive in intensive care. The team looking for a way to help their beloved coach set up a Gofundme page that received close to $16,000 in the first day alone. Click to donate + Watch the feature below: Thank you to Princeton Orthopaedic Associates for sponsoring our Hightstown coverage.
Ramapo QB, Shore RB is Harvard Bound
The Ivy League continues to get outstanding student athletes from New Jersey. Charles DePrima is on his way to Boston and the Crimson. Watch his JSZ highlight reel and his A to Z feature! One of NJ’s top quarterbacks is Ivy League bound. Charles DePrima has given a verbal commitment to play for Harvard. DePrima was one of the most dangerous dual-threat quarterbacks across the entire Garden State in 2019. DePrima’s first season was stellar as he accounted for 2,065 passing yards with 15 touchdowns to only three interceptions along with another 1,201 yards on the ground with 17 more scores. DePrima will lead Ramapo next season again as they ride on a 26-game win streak. He made his commitment on Friday night via social media: Harvard Football ‘25 #committed #GoCrimson pic.twitter.com/WJXpcd1jLY— Charles DePrima (@_charlesdeprima) July 3, 2020 We featured DePrima in our A to Z series profiling the top players we’re excited to see this upcoming football season. Check out our breakdown of the Ramapo QB: Less than a week later, Shore Regional running back Shane McLaughlin committed to Harvard. COMMITTED to HARVARD 100% #CRIMXXI pic.twitter.com/TaEu158w6y— Shane McLaughlin (@shane5_M) July 10, 2020
St. Joseph Academy Moves Closer to a “Touchdown”
It was a spring of uncertainty for student-athletes and coaches at St. Joseph (Hammonton). Dealt with news the school would be closing, the Wildcats community rebranded as St. Joseph Academy and took a big step forward on Wednesday night. JSZ’s Mike Frankel has the story:
Willingboro RB commits to North Carolina State
Demie Sumo was electrifying in the state finals at Rutgers. The Willingboro running back has made a verbal commitment to the North Carolina State. Check out the JSZ highlight reel of the newest member of the Wolfpack! Willingboro running back Demie Sumo has given a verbal commitment to play Division I FBS football in the ACC at NC State. Sumo had a three touchdown game in the Chimeras Group 1 Regional championship win over Penns Grove at Rutgers. He finished his junior season with over 920 all-purpose yards and 16 total touchdowns. He made the announcement via his social media: I don’t come from a rich family but a rich family must come from me🦈🤘🏽 #Wolfpack #ncstatefootball pic.twitter.com/Wci6GpwVdn— Demie (smoove) Sumo (@kingmetrius_) July 1, 2020 Check out Demie’s JSZ highlight reel from his junior season:
Fucetola Steps Down at Williamstown
After nearly a quarter of a century as head coach at Williamstown, Frank Fucetola is retiring. Fucetola steps down with a career record of 182-99; which includes 24 seasons with the Braves, and three seasons as head coach at St. Augustine. Fucetola guided Williamstown to back-to-back South Jersey Group 5 titles in 2018 and 2019. His 2012 Braves team also won a sectional crown. Williamstown won its first regional title with a victory over Cherokee at Rutgers, in Fucetola’s final game on the sidelines. You can watch the highlights from that game here:
Tahj Bullock’s a Hokie! St. Peter’s Prep QB is ACC bound
Tahj Bullock has a highlight reel a mile long which matches his arm strength and talent. The St. Peter’s Prep quarterback gives a verbal commitment to play for Virginia Tech. Watch his JSZ highlights now! The state’s top ranked QB is on his way to the ACC. St. Peter’s Prep signal caller Tahj Bullock gave a verbal commitment to Virginia Tech choosing the Hokies over Rutgers and UCLA. Bullock had 2,274 passing yards along with 28 TD passes and seven more on the ground. Bullock was the leader of a St. Peter’s Prep squad that won the Non-Public 4 state championship in 2019. Watch his JSZ highlight reel to see one of the most dynamic players in the Garden State. Bullock was recently profiled in JSZ’s A to Z series, featuring the players we’re most excited to see this fall in 2020. Watch this story to learn more about the newest Hokie:
Fall Sports Season May Start on Time, NJSIAA Says
Since the COVID-19 pandemic forced the state to cancel the high school spring sports season in May, the focus of scholastic athletics in New Jersey has shifted to whether or not there will be a fall sports season. Well, it looks like we could have an answer. The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) announced today its plan to create a “summer recesses period” this summer while it plans to have the fall sports season start on time. The “summer recesses period” is essentially a timeframe to open summer workouts, which the NJSIAA says could begin on July 13. Guidelines from numerous state entities should be released in a week, on June 19. That’s big news for high school athletes and fans all around the Garden State. “NJSIAA has established direct communication with the governor’s office, the state departments of health and education, and other state associations that are in similar situations regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Colleen Maguire, NJSIAA chief operating officer. “While we’re hopeful school-based athletics will start soon, the public needs to understand that high school sports are unique in that, unlike recreational programs, they must be in sync with our schools. Scholastic sports are part of the curriculum; they don’t operate independently.” For weeks, the state athletic association has been working with its Medical Advisory Task Force to determine how, and when, it will be safe for all New Jersey student-athletes to return to the playing field. “We believe it’s essential to the physical and mental well-being of high school students across the state to return to physical activity and athletic competition in a safe and phased manner,” says Dr. Damion Martins, medical director of Sports Medicine at Atlantic Health System, New York Jets team physician, and member of the NJSIAA Medical Advisory Task Force. “Our guiding principles include the need to screen for symptoms, promote appropriate social distancing and hygiene practices, and decrease potential exposure to respiratory droplets.” The return to high school athletics around the country has become a hot topic, as other states have already cleared a path for students athletes to play in the late spring. However, Gov. Phil Murphy has said that high school athletics can return no earlier than June 30. Stay tuned with JerseySportsZone.com as we continue to update you on the latest new surrounding a return to high school athletics in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wall’s Larkin commits to Army
Wall’s Casey Larkin was one of the most versatile weapons in New Jersey. Now he’s bringing those skills to West Point. Watch the highlight reel of the JSZ All-Zoner! Wall Township was one of New Jersey’s breakthrough teams in 2019 going 12-1 and finishing as the top ranked team in the Shore Conference. Casey Larkin was a big part of the Crimson Knights success and will remain a Knight in college. Larkin gave a verbal commitment to the Army Black Knights on Sunday evening: Ready to become a Black Knight!!! @ArmyWP_Football pic.twitter.com/eGdaC7rrce— Casey Larkin (@CLrkn) June 7, 2020 Larkin had over 1200 yards rushing and receiving and had two interceptions on defense for a Wall team that went 12-1. Larkin suffered an ankle injury on Thanksgiving that prevented him from playing in the Group 3 bowl game against Woodrow Wilson, the lone loss of the year for Wall. Casey will be featured later this month in JSZ’s A to Z series. Watch his junior highlight reel now:
Williamstown’s Donovan Ezeiruaku Commits to BC
Donovan Ezeiruaku helped lead Williamstown to its second straight South Jersey Group 5 title last fall. He registered 7.5 sacks and more than 50 tackles, as the Braves finished the year with a record of (12-1). Ezeiruaku announced his college decision on Sunday evening, committing to Boston College. #VibesInTheHill #GetIn 🦅 pic.twitter.com/AdrkW1JWQk— Donovan Ezeiruaku 🇳🇬 (@Donovan_Ez) June 7, 2020 Watch Ezeiruaku’s junior season highlights here:
Shawnee’s Jarvis makes Big Ten commitment
Shawnee defensive end Mike Jarvis has made his college choice. Watch his JSZ highlight reel and learn of his new college home Three-star defensive end Mike Jarvis is heading to the Big Ten. The 6-foot-5, 250 pound rising senior has given a verbal commitment to play at the University of Wisconsin. Jarvis had 80 tackles, 5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles and a fumble recovery for a Renegades team that went 10-3 and won the South/Central Group 4 championship at Rutgers. #COMMITTED @SHSrenegadesFB @GridIronAccess1 pic.twitter.com/p0xxeueen8— Mike_jarvis (@mjarvis42) June 3, 2020 Mike Jarvis is part of Jersey Sports Zone’s A to Z series of top players we’re excited to see in 2020. Keep an eye out for his feature story later this month Watch JSZ’s junior year highlight reel of the newest Wisconsin Badger:
Irvington’s Angoy commits to Rutgers
Coach Greg Schiano and his staff continue to add top New Jersey talent to its class of 2021. Irvington defensive tackle Zaire Angoy commits to the Scarlet Knights. Watch his JSZ highlights now! Irvington defensive tackle Zaire Angoy is staying close to home after giving a verbal commitment to play for coach Greg Schiano and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Standing 6’4″ and 310 pounds, Angoy helped the Blue Knights to a 7-4 record playing defensive tackle and on the offensive line. He made his commitment on Monday night via social media: COMMITED❤️⚔️ pic.twitter.com/frKuP3PD8P— Zaire Angoy (@ZaireAngoy) June 2, 2020 Angoy will be featured in JSZ’s A to Z series (Our final piece in the “Z” slot) Watch Zaire’s highlight reel and the impact he made on the defensive side of the ball:
Jackson Memorial RB chooses ACC school
Will Towns is one of the top running backs in New Jersey for the class of 2021. The Jackson Memorial rising senior has made his college choice. Watch JSZ’s highlight reel and find out where he’s going to play in the ACC Will Towns picked up over a dozen FBS offers as one of New Jersey’s fastest rising recruits. The Jackson Memorial running back has given a verbal commitment to play in the ACC for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Towns made the announcement Saturday night via social media: RESPECT MY DECISION. #COMMITTED pic.twitter.com/ywZm1CeYmH— SlimWilly Towns (@WillTowns) May 30, 2020 Towns ran for 1,372 yards and 12 TD’s in his junior year at Jackson Memorial along with two more scores receiving. Watch JSZ’s highlight reel of the newest Demon Deacon: Jersey Sports Zone’s coverage of Jackson Memorial is brought to you by Louro Chriropractic Center
Big 6 QB Dorian Nowell Makes College Choice
One of the toughest high school football conferences has produced yet another Division I quarterback, and this time the destination is our nation’s capital. Rising senior Dorian Nowell announced Saturday evening he had committed to Georgetown University. Georgetown 25’ #HoyaSaxa #DefendtheDistrict pic.twitter.com/dutwL7loNZ— Dorian Nowell✍🏾 (@doriannowell) May 23, 2020 Nowell, now enrolled at St. Joe’s (Mont.), was the starting quarterback at Paramus Catholic during his sophomore and junior seasons. With the Paladins, he collected 16 touchdowns to only five interceptions for 2,484 yards and went 6-15 over the past two seasons. WATCH Nowell’s Junior Season Highlights! Nowell did not play in Paramus Catholic’s final two games last season and it was announced in January he had transferred to St. Joe’s. The rising senior is expected to be in the mix for the starting quarterback job with the Green Knights this season as senior Michael Alaimo is graduating and committed to play at Purdue University. Nowell will now head into the 2020 season as the only quarterback from a Big Six program (St. Joe’s, Bergen Catholic, St. Peter’s Prep, Paramus Catholic, Don Bosco Prep, DePaul) committed to a D-I program so far. For all the latest on recruiting news for New Jersey high school athletes, follow along with JerseySportsZone.com!
Princeton’s Shayla Marciano – Michigan LAX commit
One of Mercer County’s best didn’t get to touch the lacrosse field this year but it doesn’t take away from the greatness she’s brought with her the last three seasons. In 2019 Princeton’s Shaylah Marciano had 62 goals, 50 assists and 76 draw controls to help lead the Tigers to a Central Group 4 Title. Marciano will continue her lacrosse career at the University of Michigan. Watch her junior season highlights below: Thank you to Princeton Orthopaedic Associates for sponsoring our Princeton coverage.
NJSIAA Lays Out Plan For When HS Sports in NJ Can Return
It’s been nearly three weeks since officials closed New Jersey schools for the remainder of the 2019-2020 year to curb the spread of COVID-19. That effectively put an end to the spring sports season in 2020. Now the conversation turns to when high school sports in the Garden State can actually resume. New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) executive committee president Mary Liv Ivans penned a letter Friday laying out that plan in detail. It’s all centered around having a fall sports season this year. Ivans will chair the newly-formed NJSIAA COVID-19 Medical Advisory Task Force, a collaboration of professionals tasked with the goal of making sports safe for New Jersey high school athletes this fall. “The goal of the task force is to identify and implement both general and sports-specific modifications that will be required by NJSIAA member schools,” Ivans wrote. “In the short-term, our efforts will be focused on returning the fall athletes to their sports for the 2020 season.” The formation of this new group comes only days after the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) released a 16-page guideline depicting how high school athletes can be kept safe when a return to sports is made. The NJSIAA’s new task force will look to “identify and implement both general and sports-specific modifications that will be required by NJSIAA member schools,” wrote Ivans. “The fewer cases there are today, the greater the likelihood we will play in the fall. And as we navigate the next few months, it is important that we prepare to be flexible with a new normal. Of course, the timing of our return to school will ultimately be determined by the State of New Jersey. And, it’s important to keep in mind that going back to our school buildings won’t necessarily guarantee an immediate return of athletics. It’s possible that some sports will follow different schedules than others,” she continued. The state athletic association announced members signed onto the task force. They are Kathy Whalen, NJ Department of Education; Dr. Lakota Kruse, medical director, NJ Department of Health, Division of Family Health Services; Dr. Jack Kripsak, chair of the NJSIAA Medical Advisory Committee; Dr. Damion Martins, team physician and director of Internal Medicine to the New York Jets and a member of the NFL COVID Taskforce; and Dr. Rob Franks, a team physician for USA wrestling and team consultant to the Philadelphia Phillies. NJSIAA assistant director Tony Maselli will serve as the NJSIAA liaison. “Many obstacles remain,” Ivans concluded. “Hard work, patience and flexibility will be required, and at times some may feel deflated. But I’m confident that together, we will help get our kids safely back in the game.” For the latest on how the COVID-19 pandemic will impact high school sports in New Jersey, continue to follow along with us here at JerseySportsZone.com.
Highland’s Johnny Martin III Commits to Temple
Johnny Martin rushed for 11 touchdowns and over 1,000 yards in just six games for Highland last fall. The Tartans rising senior announced his college decision on Thursday night, committing to Temple University. Hey philly🦉🍒 pic.twitter.com/DJXKfa3nVK— Johnny Martin III (@johnnymartin0) May 21, 2020 Watch Martin’s junior season highlight reel here: Coverage of Highland is brought to you by Cooper University Health Care.
Union’s Desmond Igobinsun stays home and commits to Rutgers
In 2019 Union’s Desmond Igobinsun scored 8 touchdowns, 43 catches, 700 + yards receiving, 935 all purpose yards, 96 tackles, 2 interceptions and a blocked field goal. His efforts helped lead the Farmers to a 12-2 record and the North, Group 5 Regional Championship. He has decided to make the short trip and continue his football career in the Fall at Rutgers University. Check out the three star recruit’s junior season highlights:
Lenape’s Xavier Coleman Commits to Boston College
Xavier Coleman rushed for over 600 yards and scored 14 touchdowns on the ground for Lenape last season. Coleman also finished with over 500 receiving yards and hauled in seven touchdown catches during his junior year for the Indians. Coleman announced his college decision on Sunday evening, committing to Boston College. This for you Ma ❤️609% Committed 🙏🏽THANK YOU GOD ! pic.twitter.com/0akCmLpU0G— Xavier Coleman (@Xtooshiftyy) May 10, 2020 Watch Coleman’s junior season highlights here:
Mater Dei’s Naran Buntin commits to Kent State
The Seraphs wideout becomes the second Mater Dei Division I commit from the class of 2021. Watch his JSZ highlight reel! Mater Dei Prep wide receiver Naran Buntin was one of the Seraphs key weapons on offense during their run to the Non-Public Group 3 state finals. Buntin will play FBS football at Kent State giving his verbal commitment to the Golden Flashes on social media: ALL IN ⚡️#FLASHFAST pic.twitter.com/E7k1XqTLlB— Naran Buntin (@asvp_naran) May 5, 2020 Buntin joins Mater Dei Prep teammate Dominick Giudice (Michigan) as Seraphs D-1 football commits. Watch Naran’s JSZ highlight reel from his electric junior season: Jersey Sports Zone is excited to have ACI Medical & Dental School join our team and present our Central Jersey Game Balls all year long in addition to allowing us to bring great highlights and features to Rumson-Fair Haven and Middletown North. One of the top technical schools in NJ, Advantage Career Institute Medical & Dental School in Central New Jersey offers a variety of programs in the in-demand medical and dental industries. Visit ACI.edu to learn more!
Penns Grove’s Nasir Robinson Commits to Navy
Nasir “Hollywood” Robinson helped lead Penns Grove to its second straight South Jersey Group 1 championship last season. The junior rushed for over 1,600 yards and scored 34 touchdowns for the Red Devils. Robinson announced his college decision on Tuesday evening, committing to Navy. 100% COMMITTED TO NAVY #WE21ive #BuiltDifferent #NavyFB @CoachKnowsBest @NextLevelQBs @her_visions @JMacDonald_Navy @NavyFB @ArmyNavyGame @ryanwpatti @AlexBroggi @Rivals pic.twitter.com/bOoIiSPKsU— Nasir “Hollywood”Robinson (@NasirRobinson15) May 5, 2020 Watch Robinson in action for Penns Grove last season here:
Holy Spirit’s Patrick Smith Commits to Colorado State
Patrick “Cheeks” Smith helped lead Holy Spirit to the Non-Public Group 2 state championship last season. Smith rushed for over 1,300 yards and scored 22 touchdowns for the Spartans last fall. The junior recently announced his college decision, committing to Colorado State University. COMMITTED…….#2am1y ✅🐏 #RamClash🤜🤛#ColoradoSTATEofmind #WakeUpRammin #GreenMeansGo🚦 pic.twitter.com/cYccXsuK89— Patrick “Cheeks” Smith🚀⚡️🏈 (@thatkidd_cheeks) May 4, 2020 Watch a highlight reel of Smith in action here:
Hun’s Kevin Wigenton II talks committing to Michigan State football during quarantine
The Covid-19 pandemic has made 2020 the most interesting year in sports history. With professional leagues taking a hiatus and the NCAA cancelling their Spring calendar, high school athletics have also taken a hit as many athletes still await their fate of getting to play a season before Summer. Offensive lineman Kevin Wigenton II of the Hun School (Princeton) is one of New Jersey’s premiere pass blockers in the Class of 2021 and he speaks with JSZ’s Nery Rodriguez on committing to Michigan State during quarantine: Thank you to Princeton Orthopaedic Associates for sponsoring our Hun coverage!
How North Jersey Athletes Are Giving Back During COVID-19 Pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic has hit the United States hard and New Jersey is the second-most impacted state in the country. As the end of April nears, the Garden State has 116,264 positive cases and 6,770 deaths. High school sports in New Jersey have been shut down for over a month but that doesn’t mean student-athletes have stopped working to support their communities. Indian Hills senior Vicki Enright and Don Bosco Prep senior Christian Schmidhauser are just two of the hundreds of high school athletes going the extra mile to help aide frontline healthcare workers during this trying time all across the state. JSZ North Jersey MMJ Jay Cook highlighted the pair as their initiatives have helped supports nurses and doctors across North Jersey: Other North Jersey Teams and Athletes Giving Back Great job @CPHS__Soccer Staff!#NJThanksYou #RedRaiders #BL16 https://t.co/usAc2Vk9Tt pic.twitter.com/Lq9pIcYtpu— CPHS Athletics (@CPHS_Athletics) April 29, 2020 The softball team will be conducting a fundraiser to support The Valley Hospital Foundation 💜 if interested in purchasing a shirt or mask please follow the link below!https://t.co/tBPD1brdeJ pic.twitter.com/uuknoSUife— NorthernHighlandsSoftball (@NorthernHighla1) April 29, 2020 Excited, Proud, and Fortunate to be a part of helping the community that ALWAYS helps us…Ramsey Softball donates 1K to Ramsey Strong. Here’s to helping the local restaurants and first responders who are making a difference 🙏💙🥎💛🐏🙏 #RamseyStrong #RamseyPride pic.twitter.com/GWmRtssdfg— Ramsey Softball (@RamseySoftball) April 29, 2020 SW#5 with another big thanks to first responders and healthcare workers for their UNMATCHED dedication and sacrifice #team #together #FirstResponders #HealthcareHeroes pic.twitter.com/QQTGV6huzr— Westwood Card Hoops (@wwrsdboyshoops) April 29, 2020 We are partnering with ‘Feed it Forward.’ This group seeks out people who are unable to access meals in our and nearby communities. We will buy food locally to support our restaurants. If you would like to make a donation, pm us. Thank you and stay safe:) @whillsathletics pic.twitter.com/YhluE36wPq— Wayne Hills Track and Field (@WayneHillsTFXC) April 24, 2020 Our program was able to donate meals to the St. Barnabas ICU today. So happy to help out the brave men and women fighting on the front lines of this pandemic. Thank you to our parents & families for their generous donations and Fresco Market & Catering for providing the food! pic.twitter.com/fE5i7jIEOt— West Essex Boys Lacrosse (@WEBoysLax) April 25, 2020 Sponsor Shoutout! JSZ wants to thank its loyal sponsors for supporting New Jersey high school athletics so we can continue to tell meaningful stories during the coronavirus pandemic. Thanks to Rothman Orthopaedics for sponsoring our coverage in North Jersey!
Long Branch 4,000-yard rusher makes college choice
Jermaine Corbett was one of the most electrifying running backs in New Jersey over the past three years. Watch JSZ’s highlight reel and see where he’s heading to play college football Jermaine Corbett has given a verbal commitment to play Division II football at Stonehill College. Corbett racked up 4,367 yards and scored 60 times in his three-year varsity career with the Green Wave. Despite playing most of his senior year injured, Corbett was still able to rack up over 900 yards on the ground and was a game-changer on defense and special teams. Corbett’s senior year highlight reel includes Jermaine’s thanks to everyone who helped him make the decision: 110% COMMITTED💜 pic.twitter.com/vUG4WhywAY— Jermaine Corbett (@Jermaine_2x) April 25, 2020
P’Burg QB Ben Ries Commits to Bloomsburg
Patience is a virtue, and no one in Phillipsburg knows that better than Ben Ries. After over 1,000 combined yards of offense and 19 total touchdowns, the Stateliners’ senior signal caller announced this week his commitment to Bloomsburg University. JSZ caught up with Ries about why he chose to commit to the Huskies, what he loves about the program and his high school career with Phillipsburg. JSZ’s Jay Cook has the story: Sponsor Shoutout! Jersey Sports Zone is able to keep highlighting New Jersey athletes during the COVID-19 pandemic thanks in part to our loyal sponsors who love high school sports. Thanks to our long-time sponsor, the Garnet Booster Club, for sponsoring JSZ’s coverage of the Phillipsburg Stateliners.
End of an Era? St. Joseph Faces Uncertain Future
The St. Joseph (Hammonton) football team is one of the most storied programs in South Jersey. Now the future of the school is in doubt after the Diocese of Camden announced St. Joseph would be closing at the end of June. The Wildcats say they’re not going down without a fight, as school officials look for a different path forward. JSZ’s Mike Frankel has the story: South Jersey coverage is brought to you in part by Cooper University Health Care.
Tim Watson Steps Down at Cedar Creek
Tim Watson is the only head football coach in the history of Cedar Creek High School. After nine seasons and two sectional championships, Watson announced he’s stepping down to spend more time with his family. His career record with the Pirates stands at 71-27, including a 10-3 campaign last fall. Cedar Creek beat Camden in the Central Jersey Group 2 final last season. Here’s Watson’s speech to his team after that victory:
Keshon Griffin Commits to Rutgers
Keshon Griffin of St. Joseph (Hammonton) announced his college decision on Friday, making a verbal commitment to Rutgers. The junior was one of the Wildcats’ top players last fall as both a tight end and an outside linebacker. Griffin projects as an outside linebacker for the Scarlet Knights, adding to a loaded 2021 recruiting class for Rutgers. Watch some of Griffin’s junior year highlights here: @TodderickHunt @StJoe_Football @RUCoachFran @CoachPanagos @GregSchiano @RFootball #Chop21 pic.twitter.com/hk6oDBHsak— Keshon Griffin (@yeakeyyy) March 27, 2020 Coverage of South Jersey football is made possible by NJM Insurance.
Mater Dei’s Giudice commits to Michigan
JSZ brings you some big recruiting news. Mater Dei Prep defensive end Dominick Giudice is on his way to the Maize and Blue. Watch the highlight reel of New Jersey’s sack leader in 2019! One of New Jersey’s fast-rising recruits in the class of 2021 has made his college choice. Mater Dei Prep defensive end Dominick Giudice has given a verbal commitment to play Division I football in the Big Ten at the University of Michigan. Giudice led the state in sacks with 24 in his junior season and helped guide Mater Dei Prep to the Non-Public Group 3 state championship game. Giudice made his announcement on Wednesday night via his social media channels: God has blessed me with the opportunity to play the game of football at a high level to be used as a platform for Him! I’m so blessed to announce that I am committed to my childhood dream school, The University of Michigan!!! #GoBlue @CoachNua @FBCoachDBrown @CoachJim4UM pic.twitter.com/rgXI8QwK9c— Dominick Giudice (@dom_giudice27) March 26, 2020 Giudice spoke with JSZ about his commitment and how he’s keeping busy as the state remains locked down due to the coronavirus: Giudice was a JSZ All-Zone selection in 2019 after his 24 sack season. Watch our highlight reel from the dynamic pass rusher:
St. Augustine’s Carnell Davis Commits to Rutgers
Carnell Davis made an instant impact once he became eligible for St. Augustine last fall. The junior standout was a force on both sides of the football, at defensive back and wide receiver, helping to lead the Hermits to the Non-Public Group 4 semifinals. Davis announced his verbal commitment to Rutgers on Tuesday, as he plans to stay in the Garden State and suit up for the Scarlet Knights. Check out Davis’ 2019 JSZ All Zone Profile here: @BrianDohn247 @NextLevelQBs @CoachPhilJr @EauGallieHC @HermitAthletics @RivalsFriedman @RFootball @RUCoachFran @GregSchiano pic.twitter.com/CDxXqbSVsy— Nell®2️⃣1️⃣ (@carnell_davis1) February 18, 2020
Camden’s Alijah Clark Commits to Rutgers
Rutgers’ 2020 recruiting class was filled with some of the Garden State’s best players. Now the Scarlet Knights have landed their first commitment in the class of 2021. Camden athlete Alijah Clark made a verbal commitment to Rutgers, announcing the news on his Twitter account. Clark reeled in five touchdown catches for the Panthers last fall, before an injury at quarterback changed The High’s offensive focus to the running game. Clark also finished with a pair of rushing touchdowns and five interceptions for The High in 2019, leading Camden to the Central Jersey Group 2 final. Check out new Rutgers commit Alijah Clark in action: #All in pic.twitter.com/Fnmxe7WdlP— (Cinco)Alijah Clark5️⃣ (@cinco_agent) February 6, 2020 Coverage of Camden is brought to you by Cooper University Health Care.
St. Joe’s Head Coach Augie Hoffmann Joining Rutgers Football Staff
The North Jersey to Rutgers University pipeline just got that much stronger, but not in the way you’d initially think. St. Joe’s (Mont.) head coach Augie Hoffmann — who was at the helm for six seasons and two state championships — has accepted a role on the Rutgers University coaching staff under Greg Schiano. According to a source familiar with the situation, Hoffmann made the announcement during an emotional team meeting Tuesday morning. Those familiar with the St. Joe’s program knew Hoffmann, who was a Class of 1999 St. Joe’s alum himself, as a beloved member in the Green Knights’ community. That same source also confirmed to Jersey Sports Zone that Hoffmann will be the tight ends coach at Rutgers University. “Augie is one of the most respected coaches in New Jersey,” Schiano said in a statement. “As a leader of one of the top programs in the state, he has a proven track record of developing elite talent both on and off the field. Augie is a tireless worker and his reputation among the players and coaches in our state speaks for itself. We look forward to welcoming Augie and his family to Rutgers.” Hoffmann received significant interest from to join other coaching staffs. He turned down a job on the Miami Dolphins under head coach Brian Flores last year. He also received significant interest from Boston College to work under new head coach Jeff Hafley, the source said. Hoffmann is a 2003 grad from Boston College. WATCH: JSZ’s coverage of Augie Hoffmann Hoffmann was handpicked by former St. Joe’s head coaching legend Tony Karcich to replace him after retirement going into the 2014 season. In the six seasons as head coach, Hoffmann accumulated a 49-19 record while winning a Non-Public Group 3 state championship in 2016 and a Non-Public Group 4 state championship in 2018. Players and coaches in North Jersey knew Hoffmann to have a fiery yet passionate personality. That translated to numerous players transferring into the program to play for a coach who got the best out of them. What This Means for Rutgers Schiano has quickly put together a coaching staff with tons of New Jersey flavor. He retained last year’s interim head coach Nunzio Campanile (former Bergen Catholic head coach) and brought in former Temple defensive back coach Fran Brown (Camden native). Fired up to be on the same sideline w/ my guy Coach Hoffmann. #Chop https://t.co/afgV7Ka0xa— Nunzio Campanile (@CoachNunz) January 7, 2020 Sean Gleeson, a New Jersey native and former Princeton University assistant, is both the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Hoffmann coached current Scarlet Knights tight end Matt Alaimo during his high school career at St. Joe’s. That much New Jersey influence is sure to have an impact on recruiting some of the Garden State’s best to stay home. WATCH: What do NJ high school coaches think of Greg Schiano?
All-American Jalen Berger Commits to Wisconsin
The wait is over. Jalen Berger — a 2019 JSZ Zoneman Finalist and the consensus No. 1 ranked player in New Jersey’s Class of 2020 — has officially announced his commitment to Wisconsin. Berger made his decision official during the NBC broadcast of the 2020 All-American Bowl from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas on Saturday afternoon. Committed!! AGTG #OnWisconsin 🦡 pic.twitter.com/cZLXzNhdwq— Jalen Berger (@JalenBerger) January 4, 2020 His announcement caps off a remarkable high school career for a player who was a national recruit courted by most, if not all, of college football’s elite programs. Watch Jalen Berger’s 2019 Highlight Reel HERE The Wisconsin to New Jersey connection is clear. Former Salem High School and South Jersey star running back Jonathan Taylor spent the last three seasons in Madison, putting together one of the best collegiate careers in NCAA history. Taylor was recently named an All-American and Doak Walker Award winner for the second consecutive season. He picked the Badgers over LSU, Penn State, Rutgers, UCLA, Alabama, Ohio State, Oregon and many others. The six-foot, 190-pound Newark native was a dynamic and dominant offensive player in his four-year varsity tenure at perennial North Jersey powerhouse Don Bosco Prep. Although he’s officially listed as a running back, the Ironmen offensive staff used Berger in a multitude of formations. On any given down, he could be found in the backfield, lined up in the slot, cast out wide or even in the shotgun taking a snap. His prowess on the gridiron translated to eye-popping numbers in his senior season. He accounted for 1,081 rushing yards, 338 receiving and 18 total touchdowns while leading his team to the Non-Public Group 4 state championship at MetLife Stadium. Berger headlined New Jersey’s representation at the 2020 All-American Bowl. Joining him were St. Joe’s (Mont.) OL Luke Wypler (Ohio State); St. Peter’s Prep LB Cody Simon (Ohio State); Bergen Catholic DB Jordan Morant (Michigan) and Delran DB RJ Moten (Michigan). Berger was one of six finalists for JSZ’s Zoneman Trophy given to the top high school football player in New Jersey:
The Schiano Effect: JSZ All-Zoners flip commitments to Rutgers
Watch JSZ highlight reels of the newest commitments to Rutgers and follow along as the recruiting trail heats up leading to Wednesday’s early Signing Day period. On Tuesday, Rutgers head football coach Greg Schiano spoke at the third annual Jersey Sports Zone football banquet in front of the state’s top players talking about the importance of recruiting in-state talent. In the span of three days, Schiano and his staff have managed to get three members of JSZ’s All-Zone team to switch from Power 5 commitments to stay in-state and be part of the Scarlet Knights football program. That number could continue to grow leading up to the first early signing day period this Wednesday: Chris Long, Willingboro An original commit to Temple, Long was recruited by Fran Brown to Philadelphia. Long gave a glimpse of his future when he had a 7 catch, 212 yard, 3 TD performance at SHI Stadium in the Chimeras 50-14 win over Penns Grove in the South Group 1 championship. Long finished with South Jersey’s single-season receiving yards record topping 1600 yards with 20 TD catches. Brown was on the sidelines for the Willingboro victory and two days later Long announced his switch from the Owls to Rutgers: I just want to thank God because without him none of this would even be possible. For the next 3-4 years I will be taking my Talents to Rutgers University. Represent My state🙏🏾 #Chopnation @GregSchiano @RUCoachFran pic.twitter.com/C3dwAYoEHu— Chris Long™️ (@Hunchoboychris) December 10, 2019 Max Melton, Cedar Creek Wide Receiver Melton was a Big Ten commit to Purdue, but he is now on his way to Piscataway. Melton will join his older brother Bo on the Scarlet Knights roster and is projected to play in the secondary in college: COMMITTED⚔️‼️… Thanking God for every blessing he has given me. I will be representing my home state! #ChopNation @RUCoachFran @GregSchiano pic.twitter.com/7BYUu50In7— Malachi "Max" Melton (@melton_max) December 11, 2019 Tyreem Powell, Vineland Linebacker Another big name from South Jersey makes the switch. The original Virginia Tech commit made the switch to Rutgers. Projected as a linebacker in college, Powell played quarterback showing off his athleticism in his senior season at Vineland: IM STAYING HOME ! 🛡 ⚔️ #ChopNation @GregSchiano @RUCoachFran pic.twitter.com/UQNjjQrns4— Tyreem Powell (@ReeeemX_) December 12, 2019 Greg Schiano at JSZ Football Banquet Watch coverage of Greg Schiano’s visit to the JSZ Football Banquet including reaction from high school coaches in the Garden State along with Schiano’s message to the top players in the state:
N.J. HS Football Coaches Excited about Greg Schiano Hire
There’s no doubt about it — New Jersey high schools produce some of the most talented and competitive players in college football. In the two weeks new Rutgers University head coach Greg Schiano has been on the job, he and his assistant coaches have been hitting the pavement to recruit the Garden State’s best to stay home. So we had to ask some of New Jersey’s top high school coaches — what do you think about the Schiano hire? Let’s just say they’re excited. JSZ’s Jay Cook has the story: JSZ’s 1-on-1 with Greg Schiano Greg Schiano was a surprise special-guest speaker at Jersey Sports Zone’s third annual All-Zone football banquet on Dec. 10 in Woodbridge. JSZ’s Chief Operating Officer, Rich Chrampanis, spoke with Schiano about his excitement to be back at the helm with the Scarlet Knights.
Diggs wins Zoneman, Schiano speaks at JSZ Football Banquet
The third annual JSZ Football Banquet featured the top players in New Jersey, an inspiring JSZ Courage Award and Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano opening our ceremony. It all capped off with Woodrow Wilson’s Fadil Diggs winning the Zoneman Trophy. Watch Jersey Sports Zone’s team coverage now! Rutgers Greg Schiano speaks at third annual Jersey Sports Zone Football Banquet The top high school football players from every part of New Jersey were assembled at the Delta Hotel in Woodbridge for the JSZ Football Banquet. Before the highlights of the 2019 JSZ All-Zone team, Rutgers head football coach Greg Schiano got things started with a great message to the honorees. The Scarlet Knights have made it known that recruiting the best players in -state is a top priority. Schiano was joined by assistant coaches Nunzio Campanile and Fran Brown to celebrate New Jersey’s best on the gridiron: Fadil Diggs wins JSZ Zoneman Trophy Woodrow Wilson defensive end and wide receiver Fadil Diggs took home the JSZ Zoneman Trophy. The Texas A&M commit helped lead the Tigers to a South Group 3 Regional Championship and won the balloting among NJ head football coaches and statewide media members. St. Joe-Hammonton running back Jada Byers was the runnerup. Byers and Diggs had equal first-place votes but Fadil was on nine more ballots in the Heisman style voting which gave him the top honor: The Zoneman Trophy was presented by NJM Insurance. Thanks to NJM’s Joe Dotro for being on hand to honor the best players in New Jersey! Zoneman Voting Name High School 1st 2nd 3rd Total Fadil DiggsWoodrow Wilson252411134 Jada ByersSt. Joe-Hammonton251610117 Jalen BergerDon Bosco Prep13182499 Cody SimonSaint Peter's Prep12142080 Luke WyplerSt. Joe-Montvale251026 Kyle MonangaiDon Bosco Prep42521 Thanks to everyone from around the state who was part of the Zoneman process Zoneman Ballots JSZ Staff: Rich Chrampanis, Nery Rodriguez, Mike Frankel, Jay Cook Statewide Media: Chris Melvin, Asbury Park Press, Dave McCarthy, McCarthy Report, Todderick Hunt, NJ.Com, Bob Badders, Shore Sports Network, Kevin Minnick, NJ.Com, Andrew Koob, NJ.Com, Pat Lanni, NJ.Com, JJ Conrad, NJ.Com, Mike McGarry, Press of Atlantic City, Ryan Patti, Rivals.Com, Tom Williams, PrimeEvents.Net, Tom McGurk, Courier-Post, Brian Carr, NorthJerseySports.Com, Shawn Brown, 247 Sports, GMC Gridiron, Joe Zedalis, NJ.Com, Mike Kinney, NJ.Com, Mike Fenske, MJF Recruiting, Brian Dohn, 247 Sports, JP Parachini, Worrell Media Coaches: John McKenna, DePaul Catholic, Vito Campanile, Bergen Catholic, Dallas Whitaker, Somerville, Dan Russo, Vineland, Pete Lancetta, St. Augustine Prep, Jim Raso, Hammonton, Tim Gushue, Shawnee, John Emel, Penns Grove, Rob Hinson, Timber Creek, Dennis Thomas, Millville, Steve Scanlon, Clearview, Chuck Smith, Mainland, Joe Hoyle, Dwight Morrow Bill Fitzgerald, Seton Hall Prep Montrey Wright, Salem Kevin Smith, Ocean City Kevin Stetser, Egg Harbor Twp. Joe Wojceichowski, Lenape Jay Graber, Matawan Kevin Kostibos, Summit Dan Higgins, Piscataway Ken Loomis, Wildwood Vin Mistretta, Jackson Memorial Jeff Rainess, Holmdel John Fiore, Montclair Brian Bowers, Delbarton John Whitehead, Paramus Catholic Barris Grant, Hillside Len Zdanowicz, Brick Township John Adams, Woodstown Benji Wemberly, Hackensack Rob Davis, Barnegat Marion Bell, West Side Jamil Jackson, Elizabeth Drew Gibbs, Ramapo Rich Hansen, St. Peter’s Prep Wilber Valdez, Union City Kevin Carty, Hillsborough Frank Duffy, Phillipsburg Augie Hoffmann, St. Joe’s (Mont.) Ed Guerreri, Manalapan Jim Sharples, Jackson Liberty Brian Russo, Rahway William Nahan, Randolph Drew Lachenmayer, Allentown David Schuman Red Bank Regional Kenny Scott, Winslow Twp. Brian Leary, Highland LJ Clark, Lakewood Dan Sabella, Don Bosco Sean Clancy, Notre Dame Chris Thomas, Pitman Dan George, Long Branch Clifton Tabb, Pennsauken Mike Schatzman, Washington Twp Tim Hagerty, Glassboro Ralph Cinque, Clifton Sights and Sounds from JSZ Banquet Before the players came inside to eat dinner and watch JSZ’s All-Zone presentation, Nery Rodriguez gave us some red carpet coverage having fun with some of the best players in the state! JSZ Courage Award Winners Coach Dwayne Savage, Kenneth Smith – Camden Coach Chris Sacco, Ernest Howard, Pleasantville Jersey Sports Zone’s Mike Frankel was shooting highlights of Camden and Pleasantville in the state playoffs when gunshots rang out during the third quarter wounding two and killing 10-year old Micah Tennant. Through adversity, both towns turned to their football teams to help unite communities and begin the healing process. JSZ was proud to honor four great leaders with this award. In case you missed it, Jersey Sports Zone chronicled the resumption of the Camden/Pleasantville game at the home of the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles Meet the 2019 JSZ All-Zone Team QuarterbackRunning BackWide ReceiverTight EndOffensive LineZoneman Finalists Michael Alaimo, St. Joe-MontvaleJaiden Abrams, HammontonTedy Afful, DePaul CatholicKevin Bauman, Red Bank CatholicChandler Bird, Saint AugustineJalen Berger, Don Bosco Prep Louie Barrios, Cedar CreekMyles Bailey, North BrunswickAhmad Brown, Holy SpiritDominic Busby, Seton Hall PrepBryan Felter, Bergen CatholicJada Byers, St. Joe-Hammonton JD Breslauer, Parsippany HillsMatt Colantuono, Seton Hall PrepEJ Comerford, Parsippany HillsShawn Collins, MontclairBardhyl Gashi, West EssexFadil Diggs, Woodrow Wilson Tahjamell Bullock, Saint Peter's PrepCorey Dempster, BoontonCarnell Davis, St. Augustine PrepCharles Finley, DePaul CatholicJalen Genao, Union CityKyle Monangai, Don Bosco Prep Andrew Butler, DePaul CatholicAudric Estime, St. Joe-MontvaleMalik Harvey, Woodrow WilsonLucas Giordano, Seton Hall PrepCody Simon, St. Peter's Prep Ryan Clark, Donovan CatholicEthan Harris, Northern HighlandsKyree Hinton, SomervilleNajae Hallenbeck, Toms River NorthLuke Wypler, St. Joe-Montvale Charles DePrima, RamapoMalik Ingram, Mater Dei PrepConnor Kennedy, LenapeDeclan McCauley, Westfield Devin Kargman, Woodrow WilsonAli Lee, Jr. WoodbridgeChris Long, WillingboroJosh Toner, Cherokee Connor Katz, CranfordMuheem McCargo, Woodrow WilsonJelani Mason, Saint Peter's PrepColin Tunc, Bergen Catholic Vincent Pinto, Park RidgePiotr Partyla, LyndhurstMalachi Melton, Cedar CreekGeno VanDeMark, St. Joe-Montvale Andrew Sanborn, UnionTrebor Pena, OceanAhmirr Robinson, UnionDevon Willock, Paramus Catholic Hank Shapiro, WestfieldFrank Riggio, VeronaGriffin Rooney, WestfieldIsaiah Wright, Saint Peter's Prep Zakee Swann, IrvingtonByron Shipman, Saint Peter's Prep Jake Tirone, RamapoTarheeb Still, Timber Creek Cortaz Williams, Notre Dame Zahir Swann, Irvington Defensive LineLinebackerDefensive BackKicker/PunterJSZ All-Prep Team Jeremiah Grant, Bergen CatholicTirek Austin-Cave, CamdenNahree Biggins, HillsideVincenzo Rea, ManalapanAaron Armitage, Blair Academy Jahmir Greene, Don Bosco PrepBobby/Tommy Coury, PhillipsburgDarian "Duce" Chestnut, CamdenSebastien Tasko, St. Joe-MontvaleNick DeGennaro, Hun Dominick Giudice, Mater Dei PrepJake DeLuccia, Wayne ValleyNasir Clerk, IrvingtonChristian Forbes, Lawrenceville Cameron Horsley, CinnaminsonSolomon DeShields, MillvilleJermaine Corbett, Long Branch Ian Franzoni, Hun Aaron Lewis, WillamstownGordon Forsyth, Rumson-Fair HavenCasey Larkin, WallSanoussi Kane, Blair Academy Leon Lowery, North BrunswickMikai Gbayor, IrvingtonClarence Lewis, Mater Dei PrepChristopher Mayo, Peddie Tywon Malone, Bergen CatholicCharlie Gordinier, Red Bank CatholicJoe Lusardi, SummitMatt Sluka, Peddie Andrew Messineo, RidgewoodTyreem Powell, VinelandElijuwan Mack, St. Joe-MontvaleKorey Smith, Peddie Collin McCarthy, Jackson MemorialColin Ramos, Don Bosco PrepJordan Morant, Bergen Catholic Isaiah Raikes, Saint Augustine PrepMakhi Scott, Penns GroveRJ Moten, Delran George Rooks, Saint Peter's PrepDalton Short, ShawneeAlex Odom, Kingsway Khurram Simpson, Mater Dei PrepClyde Washington, LenapeRomaine Robinson, Don Bosco Prep Amin Vanover, Saint Joe-MontvaleJack Wittmaack, RidgewoodEric Rogers, Burlington Twp. Ryan Ruane, Rumson-Fair Haven Keon Sabb, Glassboro DJ Woodbury, Burlington City JSZ Top Plays from 2019 We had the Top Play Belt winners of 2019 and the end of year Plays of the Year winners attend the banquet. Thanks to everyone who voted all year long! Jersey Sports Zone Weekly Top Play Winners Week 0: Sam Williams, PingryWeek 1: Thomas Amankwaa, HillsboroughWeek 2: David Hicks, Red Bank RegionalWeek 3: Nate Summerville, ShawneeWeek 4: Nasir Calhoun, Donovan CatholicWeek 5: Nasir Abney, Holy CrossWeek 6: Mike Casanata, Wayne HillsWeek 7: Jada Byers, St. Joe-HammontonWeek 8: Jake Cook, MainlandWeek 9: Jimmy Pepe, Randolph Week 10: Lonnie Cebulski, Jackson Memorial Jersey Sports Zone Plays of the Year Winners Touchdown Run of the Year: Billy Guidetti, Red Bank Catholic Touchdown Pass Play of the Year: Hank Shapiro/Griffin Rooney, Westfield Defensive TD of the Year: Wally Doman, Jackson Memorial Special Teams TD of the Year: Damon Murray, Hoboken Sack/Big Hit of the Year: Amin Vanover, St. Joe-Montvale Clutch Play of the Year: Jahmir Brown, Woodbridge Viewers Choice Play of the Year: Brandon Martins, Nutley 2019 JSZ Zoneman Trophy Finalists In case you missed it, watch JSZ’s profile of our six Zoneman Finalists: Jalen Berger, Don Bosco Prep Jalen Berger has been one of New Jersey’s most prolific recruits throughout his four-year varsity career as the starting running back at North Jersey power Don Bosco Prep. Berger, named a 2020 All-American, delivered the goods in his senior season while accounting for 1,218 scrimmage yards and 17 touchdowns for the Ironmen. Berger remains uncommitted yet holds offers from college football’s best — Alabama, Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, LSU and Michigan are among the schools recruiting him. The announcement will come on live TV during the All-American bowl on Jan. 4 from San Antonio, TX. Jada Byers, St. Joseph (Hamm.) There’s no other way to put it — Jada Byers is the most dynamic scoring threat to ever grace South Jersey. Byers, a Sacred Heart commit, was an electric runner with the football who scored a South Jersey record 102 touchdowns in three years of varsity play with the Wildcats. His mark of 644 career points ranks second in South Jersey history only behind Kevin Harvey. The highlights of Byers’ 2019 season was a 10-touchdown performance against Morris Catholic in the sectional semifinals. Fadil Diggs, Woodrow Wilson There might not be a better two-way player in the Garden State. The Woodrow Wilson star and future Texas A&M Aggie shined on both sides of the ball in a stellar 2019 season. He collected 95.5 tackles and 17.5 sacks on defense while also catching 65 passes for 1,031 yards and 11 touchdowns on offense. Woodrow Wilson head coach Preston Brown told JSZ Diggs is the best player in Camden’s history. Kyle Monangai, Don Bosco Prep Talk to anyone in North Jersey and they’ll tell you Don Bosco Prep doesn’t get back to it’s winning ways without Kyle Monangai on the field. After transferring to the Ramsey private school from Seton Hall Prep after his sophomore season, Monangai put up eye-popping numbers. He put up 2,903 scrimmage yards on 310 touches with 35 touchdowns in arguably the toughest conference in America. He holds 25-plus D-I offers yet remains uncommitted. Cody Simon, St. Peter’s Prep He’s the best player on the best team in New Jersey — does anything else need to be said? Simon’s boasts one of the most polished resume’s we’ve seen in years. He was a preseason for the 2019 Butkus Award, was one of five N.J. players named an All-American and is committed to play at Ohio State. Simon led the Marauders with 106 tackles, 4.5 sacks, four interceptions and four touchdowns on defense and special teams. Luke Wypler, St. Joe’s (Mont.) What does it take to be ranked the No. 1 center in the entire country? Watch the way Luke Wypler dominates on the gridiron. Wypler’s intelligence and intensity on the field is a major reason why St. Joe’s had the toughest offensive line in the state — that translated to a Non-Public Group 4 championship in 2018. Wypler, also named a 2020 All-American, is committed to play at Ohio State after a stellar career in Montvale.
Meet the 2019 JSZ Zoneman Trophy Finalists
Jersey Sports Zone is excited to formally announce the six finalists for the 2019 Zoneman Award — our version of the N.J. high school football player of the year. The winner will be announced on Dec. 10 during our All-State Football Banquet held at the Delta by Marriot Woodbridge Hotel. Watch all six features from our team of multimedia journalists to learn more about New Jersey’s top football honor! The Story of the Zoneman Trophy and Our Football Banquet By Rich Chrampanis | Jersey Sports Zone Chief Operating Officer In the year 2000, I received the great honor of a Heisman Trophy ballot as I started my tenure on television at WPDE-TV in Myrtle Beach. I was so excited to get the chance to weigh in on such a significant award and it got me thinking of bringing the same kind of excitement to our high school football coverage. So we built a trophy and instead of the Heisman, the Zoneman was born. During my 15 years, we were fortunate to have some outstanding winners of our award starting with former Pittsburgh Steelers and Miami Dolphins linebacker Lawrence Timmons, former Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson and current Oakland Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow, who caught the game winning TD pass in the 2016 National Championship game. The Zoneman tradition is still going strong in South Carolina, began its New Jersey chapter on the Jersey Shore and is now a statewide honor. We’re excited to continue this tradition in New Jersey high school football as we will present the most outstanding player in the state with our Third Annual Zoneman Trophy. Somerville quarterback Jalahn Dabney won the 2018 Zoneman Trophy for his outstanding senior season with the Pioneers. The Zoneman Balloting Our 2019 Zoneman was voted on by head coaches from every part of the state (WJFL, Shore Conference, Greater Middlesex Conference, Mid-State 38 and the SFC) as well as the JSZ staff and media representatives from around the state. Every ballot has a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place vote with three points awarded for 1st, two for 2nd and one point for 3rd. We are excited to announce the finalists for the 2019 Zoneman Trophy in alphabetical order: Meet the 2019 Zoneman Finalists Jalen Berger, Don Bosco Prep Jalen Berger has been one of New Jersey’s most prolific recruits throughout his four-year varsity career as the starting running back at North Jersey power Don Bosco Prep. Berger, named a 2020 All-American, delivered the goods in his senior season while accounting for 1,218 scrimmage yards and 17 touchdowns for the Ironmen. Berger remains uncommitted yet holds offers from college football’s best — Alabama, Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, LSU and Michigan are among the schools recruiting him. The announcement will come on live TV during the All-American bowl on Jan. 4 from San Antonio, TX. Jada Byers, St. Joseph (Hamm.) There’s no other way to put it — Jada Byers is the most dynamic scoring threat to ever grace South Jersey. Byers, a Sacred Heart commit, was an electric runner with the football who scored a South Jersey record 102 touchdowns in three years of varsity play with the Wildcats. His mark of 644 career points ranks second in South Jersey history only behind Kevin Harvey. The highlights of Byers’ 2019 season was a 10-touchdown performance against Morris Catholic in the sectional semifinals. Fadil Diggs, Woodrow Wilson There might not be a better two-way player in the Garden State. The Woodrow Wilson star and future Texas A&M Aggie shined on both sides of the ball in a stellar 2019 season. He collected 95.5 tackles and 17.5 sacks on defense while also catching 65 passes for 1,031 yards and 11 touchdowns on offense. Woodrow Wilson head coach Preston Brown told JSZ Diggs is the best player in Camden’s history. Kyle Monangai, Don Bosco Prep Talk to anyone in North Jersey and they’ll tell you Don Bosco Prep doesn’t get back to it’s winning ways without Kyle Monangai on the field. After transferring to the Ramsey private school from Seton Hall Prep after his sophomore season, Monangai put up eye-popping numbers. He put up 2,903 scrimmage yards on 310 touches with 35 touchdowns in arguably the toughest conference in America. He holds 25-plus D-I offers yet remains uncommitted. Cody Simon, St. Peter’s Prep He’s the best player on the best team in New Jersey — does anything else need to be said? Simon’s boasts one of the most polished resume’s we’ve seen in years. He was a preseason for the 2019 Butkus Award, was one of five N.J. players named an All-American and is committed to play at Ohio State. Simon led the Marauders with 106 tackles, 4.5 sacks, four interceptions and four touchdowns on defense and special teams. Luke Wypler, St. Joe’s (Mont.) What does it take to be ranked the No. 1 center in the entire country? Watch the way Luke Wypler dominates on the gridiron. Wypler’s intelligence and intensity on the field is a major reason why St. Joe’s had the toughest offensive line in the state — that translated to a Non-Public Group 4 championship in 2018. Wypler, also named a 2020 All-American, is committed to play at Ohio State after a stellar career in Montvale.
Watch JSZ’s Top 10 Plays from MetLife and Rutgers
The 2019 high school football season is over and Jersey Sports Zone closed it out in style with highlights and post-game reaction from 13 games over two weekends at MetLife Stadium and Rutgers University. The JSZ team put together our Top 10 Plays captured by our cameras. Thanks to everyone who watch our videos and take one more look at an incredible display of New Jersey’s best on the biggest stages: JSZ’s Top 10 Plays from MetLife and Rutgers – NJSIAA Regional and State Championships #10: Ahmad Brown, Holy Spirit #9: Cody Simon, Saint Peter’s Prep #8: Vincent Pinto, Park Ridge #7: Colin Ramos, Don Bosco Prep #6: Matt Wesley/Mike Giunta, Shawnee #5: Tommy Moran/Elijah Lugo, Wayne Valley #4: Fatir Bell, Hillside #3: Malik Harvey, Woodrow Wilson #2: Demie Sumo, Willingboro #1: Quentin Lemon/Avery Powell, Saint Peter’s Prep
Watch Sunday 12.8 JSZ Championship Football Highlights
It’s the final day of the New Jersey high school football season and we’ve got four fantastic games to close out the 2019 season. The highlights are posted from a full day of action at Rutgers! Holy Spirit 38 St. Joe (Hamm.) 0 | Non-Public Group 2 Championship In a rematch of the 2018 Non-Public Group 2 final, the Spartans got their revenge and then some. Patrick Smith rushed for a pair of touchdowns, E’lijah Gray scored a TD, and Trevor Cohen connected with Elijah Steward for a touchdown on offense. Spirit blocked a punt for a touchdown on special teams. And perhaps most impressively, the Spartans defense shut down the Wildcats all night long. Spirit dedicated the win to former player, head coach, and assistant coach Bill Walsh, who died less than a month ago after a courageous battle with ALS. JSZ’s Mike Frankel has the highlights and reaction from Rutgers: Hillside 25 Cedar Creek 3 | South-Central Group 2 Regional Championship Hillside has reached perfection! The Comets close out a stellar 2019 campaign with a signature performance to end the year with a 12-0 record. James Louis found the end zone twice in the win while Nahree Biggins and Co. led a suffocating defensive outing. JSZ’s Jay Cook has all the highlights and post-game reaction: Woodrow Wilson 12 Wall 7 | South-Central Group 3 Regional Championship After falling to Rumson-Fair Haven a year ago, Woodrow Wilson returned to the South/Central Group 3 Regional Championship and defeated Wall. The Tigers scored in the first quarter on a Malik Harvey touchdown, but Wall would take a 7-6 lead at halftime. Defense ruled the second half with both teams coming up with big stops on fourth down. Quarterback Devin Kargman’s one-yard keeper put Wilson ahead 12-7 in the fourth quarter. Despite the Knights moving the ball well with under two minutes remaining, Malik Harvey would end the game with a strip to hand Wall its only loss of the season. JSZ’s Nery Rodriguez has the highlights: Willingboro 50 Penns Grove 14 | South Group 1 Championship Au-Shaun Davis threw five first-half touchdown passes and the combination of Demie Sumo and Chris Long had three TD’s apiece as the Chimeras ended the 25-game win streak of Penns Grove and avenged last year’s Group Championship loss at MetLife Stadium. Long finished with 7 catches for 212 yards and 3 TD grabs making him the South Jersey single -season receiving yards leader. JSZ’s Rich Chrampanis has the highlights of the final high school football game of 2019 in the Garden State:
Watch Saturday 12.7 JSZ Championship Football Highlights
The final weekend of the season is underway at Rutgers. JSZ has complete coverage from a pair of regional championship games, plus a Non-Public title game. The highlights are posted from all three Saturday games! DePaul Catholic 27 Mater Dei Prep 25 | Non-Public Group 3 Championship Andrew Butler threw for 363 yards and 3 TD passes along with a TD run and the DePaul defense made a critical stop on a game-tying two-point conversion attempt in the fourth quarter to win their fifth state championship this decade. Mater Dei stormed back from a 20-6 halftime deficit with long TD’s from Clarence Lewis and Naran Buntin to rally in the second half, but the Seraphs could not punch in the game-tying two-point conversion attempt. DePaul WR Tedy Afful had 10 catches for 203 yards and a TD in the win. JSZ’s Rich Chrampanis has the highlights from Rutgers: Williamstown 30 Cherokee 14 | South-Central Group 5 Regional Championship The Braves took it to the Chiefs from the start, building a 23-0 lead at Rutgers. Sophomore Turner Inge turned in a monster performance, rushing for 141 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Dougie Brown and Brody Colbert also found the end zone for Williamstown in the win. Billy Osborn threw a pair of touchdown passes for Cherokee in the loss. JSZ’s Mike Frankel has the highlights and reaction: Shawnee 34 Hammonton 0 | South-Central Group 4 Regional Championship What a third quarter it was for Shawnee. The Renegades took a 14-0 lead into halftime but exploded after the break with two turnovers and three touchdowns to power a 34-0 rout of Hammonton. Matt Welsey chipped in four touchdowns in the win while Matt Papa (19 tackles, 1 INT) and Matt Suriano (35-yard fumble return TD) led a suffocating defensive effort. JSZ’s Jay Cook has the highlights and post-game reaction: JSZ’s coverage of all Shawnee athletics for the 2019-2020 athletic year is proudly brought to you by Cooper University Health Care.