JSZ A to Z: Top HS Football Players We’re Excited to See in 2020
Today’s “JSZ A to Z” Feature: Matt Quetel, Phillipsburg RB Phillipsburg’s Matt Quetel is a throwback to running backs of football past with his physical, hard hitting style of play. In 2019 Quetel finished with 1,302 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns for the Stateliners. Watch his “A to Z” feature: This Week’s “JSZ A to Z” Schedule “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, Saint Peter’s Prep Q Matt Quetel, Phillipsburg R George Rooks, Saint 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
Ramapo QB 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:
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:
It’s Selection Saturday! Watch JSZ’s Last Dance Baseball Tournament Selection Show
Jersey Sports Zone reveals the brackets for the Last Dance Baseball Tournament. We’ve got all the matchups as 222 teams try to be the last team standing in Trenton on July 30. In case you missed our live show, check out all the brackets plus interviews with players and coaches around the state. The spring sports season was taken away from New Jersey high school athletes but thanks to an extraordinary effort by the New Jersey high school baseball community, sports is coming back and Garden State diamond squads get an incredible summer tournament for One Last Dance. JSZ presents the Last Dance Baseball Tournament Selection Show. Just like the NCAA Baseball Tournament, we have all the brackets, matchups and interviews with coaches and players from around the state. Click on the video below to watch the reveal of the 222 teams that will play in 32 different regions. Jersey Sports Zone’s coverage of the Last Dance Baseball Tournament is made possible by Sterling National Bank. We will have coverage of all nine days of the Tournament starting on July 14 with pool play around the state About the Last Dance Tournament 222 teams, 32 regions. Every team is guaranteed three games in modified pool play. Regions with four teams will play round robin with the best record advancing to the 32-team single elimination tournament that begins in week two. Eight team regions will have modified pool play in the first two days. Teams with 2-0 records will meet up on the final day to determine the region winner. While all the teams are varsity baseball players, the tournament is not associated with the NJSIAA and school uniforms will not be worn. A lot of teams were not allowed to use their school name or nickname which is why you’ll see a lot of different names in the brackets. Last Dance Tournament NORTH BRACKETS SOUTH BRACKETS
Top Wrestlers Cosgrove and Troczynski Commit to Penn
Two of New Jersey’s best wrestlers both made their college decisions on Friday. Martin Cosgrove of Camden Catholic and Andy Troczynski of Delbarton both announced commitments to the University of Pennsylvania. I am very excited to announce my commitment to the admissions process to continue my academic and athletic career at the University of Pennsylvania. I am extremely thankful to everyone who has supported and helped me throughout the years. #themovement pic.twitter.com/vgha5rHCil— Martin Cosgrove (@Mcozz36) June 26, 2020 I am extremely excited to announce that I have committed to the admissions process to continue my athletic and academic career at the University of Pennsylvania. Thank you to everyone who has helped me get to where I am today. #themovement pic.twitter.com/zrPRCa4tJz— Andrew Troczynski (@AndrewTroczyns1) June 26, 2020 Cosgrove won the 195-pound state title last season as a sophomore for the Irish. You can watch the highlights here: Troczynski placed second in the state at 145 pounds as a sophomore for the Green Wave last season. Coverage of Camden Catholic is made possible by NJM Insurance.
HC’s Mason named Gatorade National Player of the Year
Hunterdon Central junior Emily Mason was named the 2019-20 Gatorade National Player of the Year. Watch her JSZ highlight that was one of the big moments of the 2019 New Jersey high school girls soccer season! Hunterdon Central junior Emily Mason was selected as the Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player for the 2019-20 season. The junior who is committed to Rutgers and is the only high school player on the US National Under 20 team led the Red Devils to a 21-1-1 record and a Group 4 state championship. Jersey Sports Zone was there for the biggest game of the season for HC when they upset #1 nationally ranked Eastern 1-0 on a goal by Mason. Here’s the press release from Gatorade with the formal announcement of Mason as the National Player of the Year In its 35th year of honoring the nation’s most elite high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today announced Emily Mason of Hunterdon Central Regional High School in Flemington, N.J. is the 2019-20 Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year. Mason won the prestigious award for her accomplishments on and off the field, joining an impressive group of former Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year winners who have gone on to have incredible success – they’ve combined for 17 gold medals and eight National Championships. Due to the ongoing situation with the coronavirus pandemic, Gatorade coordinated a virtual surprise, including a video call by Sky Blue FC’s Mallory Pugh to break the exciting news to Mason. The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Mason as the nation’s best high school girls soccer player. A national advisory panel comprised of sport-specific experts and sports journalists helped select Mason from nearly a million high school girls soccer players nationwide. Competition for the national award was fierce. Mason topped the list of 51 state winners in girls soccer who collectively boast an incredible list of accomplishments, including 21 First Team All-State selections, eight returning state Gatorade Players of the Year and 26 with a GPA of 4.0 and above Mason is now a finalist for the most prestigious award in high school sports, the Gatorade Female High School Athlete of the Year award, which is announced in July. “Emily Mason is relentless,” says United States U-20 Women’s National Team assistant coach Heather Dyche. “The game doesn’t faze her. She doesn’t go through any high highs or low lows. If you’re in a tie game, she’s saving balls off the line. If you’re up 3-0, she’s saving balls off the line. She was the youngest player on our team by far at the 2020 CONCACAF tournament and she really held her own. Emily has an incredibly bright future. She’s a great kid, too.” The 5-foot-9 junior defender and midfielder led the Red Devils to a 21-1-1 record and the Group 4 state championship this past season. Mason recorded nine goals and three assists, including the lone score in a 1-0 win over unbeaten Eastern Regional High in the state semifinals. She also anchored a defense that surrendered just nine goals in 23 games. A member of the U.S. Soccer Under-20 Women’s National Team, Mason was a starting fullback in February as the U.S. team qualified for the 2021 Under-20 Women’s World Cup. The 2019 NJ.com State Player of the Year, she is ranked as the nation’s No. 3 recruit in the Class of 2021 by TopDrawerSoccer.com. A participant in the Hunterdon Outreach Program supporting special needs children through athletics, Mason has volunteered locally on behalf of the Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, including mentoring in the church’s Children’s Liturgy of the Word initiative. “Emily Mason is the best player we played against all season,” said Kevin Ewing, head coach of Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School. “We faced them twice and each time she was a major reason we could not do much offensively. She is physically dominating on the field and has a good first touch and excellent field vision.” Mason has maintained a B average in the classroom. She has made a verbal commitment to play soccer on scholarship at Rutgers University beginning in the fall of 2021. “Even with many sport seasons canceled or cut short this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, we are continuing to honor incredible student-athletes like Emily Mason through our Gatorade Player of the Year program,” said Gatorade Senior Vice President and General Manager Brett O’Brien. “Mason rose to the top of our list of nearly a million student-athletes who play girls soccer due to her athletic performance, success in the classroom and devotion to her community.” Each year a selection committee evaluates the nation’s top talent in the District of Columbia and all 50 states, choosing national winners in 12 different sports: football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, baseball, softball, boys and girls soccer, and boys and girls track and field. From the 12 national winners, one male and one female athlete are each named Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year. Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators. Previous winners include a distinguished list of athletes, such as Peyton Manning, Abby Wambach, Karl-Anthony Towns, Derek Jeter and many other sports icons. To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit www.Gatorade.com/POY, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatorade.
GSB’s Walsh commits to Northwestern
JSZ All-Zone selection Caleigh Walsh makes a Sunday night Big Ten commitment. Check out her JSZ highlights! Gill St. Bernard’s Class of 2021 forward Caileigh Walsh has given a verbal commitment to play in the Big Ten at Northwestern University. Walsh was a two time JSZ All-Zone selection in 2019 and 2020. She made her commitment via social media: So happy to announce that I’ve decided to commit to Northwestern University women’s basketball!! Thank you to everyone who’s supported and guided me in my decision! So excited 💜 NU ‘25 babyyyyy @GSBAthletics @nuwbball pic.twitter.com/oZf3w0FFcD— Caileigh (@caileighwalsh10) June 21, 2020 Walsh averaged 19 points and 11.7 rebounds per game for GSB in her junior campaign. Check out her JSZ highlight reel:
NJSIAA to allow fall sports workouts beginning July 13
Phase one of the official return of high school sports begins on July 13th through July 26th. Jersey Sports Zone has the bullet points of the long list of guidelines to pave the way for athletes to get back on campus The last time the NJSIAA officially had high school sports was back on March 13 before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the remainder of the 2020 high school winter season and the entire spring sports slate. With a pair of task forces representing the medical and athletic side, the NJSIAA has given the green light for fall sports athletes to begin training on July 13 in a two week first phase and a return to sports. “These guidelines represent the first of a succession of steps toward meeting our return to play targets,” says Colleen Maguire, NJSIAA chief operating officer. “But, it’s important that we take a disciplined approach and stay mindful of health and safety concerns for all.” The details of Phase Two will be released sometime in July. At this point, the fall sports schedule is set to begin on time but can change as the state continues to monitor the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Unlike youth and recreation sports — which are operating on an accelerated schedule — high school sports must remain in sync with our schools,” added Tony Maselli, NJSIAA assistant director. “Scholastic athletics are part of the school curriculum; they don’t operate independently. As the most densely populated state and one that was significantly impacted by COVID-19 during the spring, New Jersey is working to safely return to school more than 1.5 million teachers and students – including 283,000 scholastic athletes – without causing a significant spike. Our guidelines provide a staged approach to those schools that wish to move forward during July. And, at the same time, they give student-athletes time to ease into more rigorous activities.“ PHASE ONE FALL SPORTS WORKOUT GUIDELINES Student-athletes who presently have COVID-19, or who have tested positive for COVID-19, shall provide clearance from a physician before he/she will be permitted to participate in workouts. Each day all coaches, student-athletes, and staff must clear the pre-screening process before they are permitted to participate in the workouts. The pre-screening process will consist of a review of the pre-screening questionnaire, which shall be completed and provided designated school personnel, and a temperature check.Any individual who answers “yes” to any question on the questionnaire, or who has a temperature greaterthan 100.4°F, shall not be permitted to participate in the workout and shall be required to return home.Workouts shall be no more than ninety (90) minutes in duration and shall include a ten (10) minute warm-up, and a ten (10) minute cool down. Only one workout per day is permitted and there must be one (1) day of rest per every seven (7) days. Access to workouts must be limited to student-athletes, coaches, and appropriate school personnel.There shall not be any physical contact, of any kind, between student-athletes and coaches during PHASE 1.Throughout PHASE 1, workouts shall be limited to conditioning, skill sets, and sport-specific non-contact drills. Face Coveringsa. Student-athletes who are engaged in high-intensity aerobic activity, e.g., running, sprinting, etc., do not needto wear face coverings during the period of the aerobic activity. Once the aerobic activity is over, student-athletes shall wear face coverings.b. Student-athletes who are not engaged in high-intensity aerobic activity, e.g., sitting on the bench, reviewingplays, watching videos, waiting in line, etc., are encouraged to wear face coverings.c. Coaches and district personnel must wear face coverings at all times. Groupings/Social Distancinga. No more than ten (10) student-athletes may be grouped together in a single area and the groups should be predetermined by the coach prior to the start of the workout.b. Social distancing of at least six (6) feet shall be maintained between student-athletes and staff at all times,including within the ten (10) student-athlete groupings.c. Once student groupings are determined, student-athletes may not switch to another grouping, even for anothersport.d. More than one group of student-athletes can be in a single area, provided there is twelve (12) to eighteen (18)feet between each group of student-athletes.e. Groupings must stay together throughout the entirety of PHASE 1.f. There shall not be celebratory contact, e.g., fist bumps, high-fives, huddles, etc.g. Student-athletes who participate in more than one sport are encouraged to be grouped with their fall sportsteammates. Sports Equipmenta. Sports equipment shall not be shared at any time during PHASE 1.b. Each student-athlete shall bring individual water bottles to each workout for his/her own personalconsumption. There shall not be any trading or sharing of water bottles.c. All sports equipment and touchpoints (e.g., benches, agility cones, ladders, clipboards, etc.) must be cleanedand disinfected after each workout with EPA approved cleaners and disinfectants against COVID-19. Locker Rooms/Restroomsa. Student-athletes shall not have access to locker rooms at any time unless needed for restroom access.b. Restrooms shall be cleaned and disinfected regularly with EPA approved cleaners and disinfectants againstCOVID-19.c. Restrooms use shall be limited to one person at a time.d. To the fullest extent possible, appropriate social distancing shall be maintained, and face coverings are wornwhen more than one student-athlete is in the restroom. Hygienea. Students and staff should make every effort to wash their hands as often as possible including before and afterthe workout.b. Hand sanitizer shall be accessible at all times.c. Student-athletes shall wear their workout gear to the workout and shall return home in the same workout gear.d. There shall be no spitting, chewing seeds or gum during the workout. Click HERE to see the full NJSIAA guidelines including frequently asked questions and more information from the medical task force
JSZ to Present Last Dance Selection Show on SATURDAY
UPDATE – Tournament organizers are close to completing the field for the Last Dance Baseball Tournament and asked JSZ to move their Selection Show from Tuesday to Saturday at 12 noon. We’ll have a full breakdown of the matchups and interviews from players and coaches around the state! The high school baseball season was lost, but there’s one last dance in store for New Jersey teams. The Last Dance Tournament is set to begin in about a month, with well over 200 teams taking part from all over the state. The tournament will feature a round-robin format in the opening round, with single-elimination games to follow. North Jersey and South Jersey champions will eventually be crowned, before an overall state championship will be up for grabs. Jersey Sports Zone will present an exclusive Last Dance Selection Show on Saturday. Teams, brackets and locations will be revealed during the show. JSZ will also have interviews with tournament organizers, players and coaches. Just like the NCAA Baseball Tournament, the JSZ Last Dance Selection Show will reveal where teams will play across the state this Saturday at 12 noon on all of our social media platforms. Here’s a taste of what’s to come: Jersey Sports Zone’s coverage of the Last Dance Tournament is proudly brought to you by Sterling National Bank.
Trey Patterson Makes College Commitment Official!
Trey Patterson is one of the most dynamic basketball players in the entire country, and the Class of 2021 star forward has made his college choice. Jersey Sports Zone went in-depth with Patterson, ESPN’s No. 26 senior in the country, to produce his official college commitment video. Where Is He Going? Found Out HERE! Patterson led Rutgers Prep to a 27-2 season in 2020 while averaging 19.8 points and 10.1 rebound per game. He was the only junior named a finalist for Jersey Sports Zone’s Mr. Hoop Zone Player of the Year in 2020. That list included other Garden State stars like Lance Ware, Jonathan Kuminga, Taj Thweatt and Cliff Omoruyi. Watch Trey’s Junior Season Highlight Reel HERE! Stay tuned with Jersey Sports Zone for all the latest news, highlight reels and recruiting updates on the best players in every sport in New Jersey!
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:
Ocean City’s Jake McKenna Signs with Phillies
It was a call Jake McKenna had been dreaming about for his entire life. The Ocean City senior picked up the phone on Sunday morning, and agreed to sign with the Philadelphia Phillies. McKenna is a 6-foot-7, 230-pound left-handed pitcher, who finished with 18 strikeouts in 8+ innings of work as a junior in 2019. McKenna was poised for a big senior season, but never got to take the mound because of the coronavirus pandemic. He was slated to pitch at St. Joseph’s University next year, but instead signed with the Phils for the free-agent maximum of $20,000. We caught up with McKenna to get his thoughts on a whirlwind and unforgettable day: Photo courtesy: Andrew Bristol.
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.
Four NJ Freshmen Land in ESPN’s Top 25 List
New Jersey basketball has been a staple on the national scene as dozens of high-profile recruits have hit the college and professional basketball leagues in recent years. It should come as no surprise that the next great crop of players is here to stay. A staggering four freshmen from the Garden State’s Class of 2023 earned a Top 25 national ranking from ESPN – California is the only other state with as many players on the list. JSZ has the breakdown and highlight reel of each New Jersey player here! No. 1 DJ Wagner, Camden, 5 Stars There’s a reason why DJ Wagner is at the top of this list. The Camden frosh came right in and was an immediate starter on the top team in New Jersey this past season. Wagner delivered 18.6 points per game as the top scorer on a 29-1 Panthers squad and scored in every way imaginable. The 6-3 point guard will be must-see TV over the next three seasons. No. 8 Simeon Wilcher, Roselle Catholic, 5 Stars It took a little adjusting, but Simeon Wilcher earned himself a spot in Roselle Catholic’s starting five early on in his freshman season. The 6-3 wing player displayed a lethal three-point shot and his speed was problematic for defenders in the paint. Wilcher is sure to be a centerpiece for Dave Boff’s team throughout his high school career. No. 11 Akil Watson, Don Bosco Prep, 5 Stars Akil Watson is quickly making himself a household name in the Garden State hoops scene. Players like Ron Harper, Jr. and Myles Ruth have all come from the Ironman program, and Watson looks to put himself among those players. He’s a 6-7 power forward who is a smooth finisher with flashy handles. No. 19 Mackenzie Mgbako, Gill St. Bernard’s, 5 Stars Gill St. Bernard’s head coach Mergin Sina has quickly established his team among the most talented in the state thanks to elite players. Mackenzie Mgbako has the size (6-7, 195 pounds) and agility to become one of the top players in New Jersey. He employs dead-on accuracy with his jumper and is the toughest finisher at the rim of this group. The future hoops stars of tomorrow 🏀Here's the first look at the ESPN Top 25 for the class of 2023. pic.twitter.com/cJVOvCiE4C— ESPN (@espn) June 9, 2020 Stay tuned with Jersey Sports Zone as our team will keep you updated on the latest recruiting news and player updates from the top athletes in the Garden State.
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:
Steinert’s C.J. Pittaro – Vanderbilt baseball commit
C.J. Pittaro has shined as one of Mercer County’s must-see players during his three years of varsity play for Steinert. The utility infielder ends his high school career with 47 RBI’s, 26 hits, 45 runs scored and 12 stolen bases, with seven coming in 2019. Pittaro will continue his baseball career at Vanderbilt University. Watch his junior season highlights below: Thank you to Princeton Orthopaedic Associates for sponsoring our Steinert coverage.
Scottie Lewis leads peaceful protest in Asbury Park
Former Ranney basketball star Scottie Lewis formed PeaceByU, an activist group, that staged a peaceful protest in front of the Asbury Park police station. Watch the powerful images and hear the messages of three college basketball standouts from New Jersey An estimated crowd of 2,000 gathered in Asbury Park to stage a peaceful protest that was led by University of Florida guard Scottie Lewis. Lewis asked Asbury Park police officers to take a knee in prayer as a sign of solidarity which concluded with the former Ranney School basketball star embracing the police officers who joined him. Princeton University junior Elijah Barnes, who was part of the great Ranney/Mater Dei rivalry during his high school days and Rutgers University guard Ron Harper, Jr. were among the basketball community that came out to show their support. The protest concluded with Lewis leading a walk down Main Street in Asbury Park. While there has been violence and anger in protests across the nation following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the Lewis-led protest provided another side of a community coming together. Watch JSZ’s story from Asbury Park on a rain Friday afternoon:
Jones, Whitehead make Division I commitments
Two more outstanding girls basketball players have committed to Division I schools. JSZ has highlight reels of Hudson Catholic’s Zanai Jones and St. John Vianney’s Christina Whitehead along with their college announcements Christina Whitehead commits to Farleigh Dicksinson St. John Vianney continues to churn out Division I talent year after year and Christina Whitehead is the latest on the list. Whitehead was part of a Lancers team that was ranked number one in the state when the coronavirus shut down the season. She made her verbal commitment on June 4: The SJV Lady Lancers would like to congratulate Christina Whitehead @cwhitehead45 on committing to Fairleigh Dickenson to further her academic & athletic career and play D1 Basketball! We are SO PROUD of you! 💛🖤@sjvcoach @SJVHS_Athletics @SJVLancerNation @FDUKnightsWBB pic.twitter.com/r5s2a8DCV2— Lady Lancers (@SJVLadyLancers) June 4, 2020 Watch Christina’s JSZ highlight reel from her junior year: Zanai Jones commits to Villanova The Hudson Catholic guard is a 1000 point scorer and a 2020 JSZ All-Zone selection. Jones made her verbal commitment to play in Philadelphia for the Villanova Wildcats on May 26. Check out her JSZ junior highlight reel:
Successful Crusade: Wildwood Catholic to Remain Open
The Diocese of Camden has accepted Wildwood Catholic’s proposal to move forward as Wildwood Catholic Academy “for the school year 2020-2021 and into the distant future, God-willing.” The Diocese of Camden had originally announced Wildwood Catholic would be closing at the end of this school year, but school officials were able to raise over one million dollars since late April. The Wildwood Catholic boys basketball team was one of the best in the state this past season, winning the Non-Public B South title before the coronavirus pandemic abruptly ended the season. The Crusaders girls basketball team also had an outstanding season this past winter. Here’s JSZ’s feature story on the the Crusaders’ hopeful outlook, after receiving the closing news back in April:
Michael O’Connell Goes From Big 10 Lax Commit to PAC 12 Hoops Signee
Michael O’Connell made national recruiting headlines this week as he jumped from being a Big 10 lacrosse commit to being the newest point guard at a PAC 12 program. It’s not very often you see the two-sport combination of basketball and lacrosse, but Blair Academy senior Michael O’Connell has made it work. O’Connell — a Maryland lacrosse commit since the ninth grade — announced earlier this week his decision to decommit from the Terrapins and sign his National Letter of Intent with Stanford University to play college basketball in the PAC 12. Welcome to the family, @MichaelOC_12.🗞: https://t.co/bzuqB24qIr#GoStanford pic.twitter.com/4GGSicpNm8— Stanford Men's Basketball (@StanfordMBB) June 1, 2020 O’Connell, from way of Mineola, New York, put up 18 points per game this season as the Buccaneers won their second-straight Mid-Atlantic Prep League championship. He sat down with JSZ’s Jay Cook and touched on his recruitment, his unique decision, what makes both sports similar and what the Cardinal fans can expect from their newest point guard: O’Connell was featured on JSZ earlier this spring when we published his senior season highlight reel. Watch it here! Follow along with Jersey Sports Zone for all the latest recruiting news on New Jersey high school athletes.
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
Hun’s Gabe Craven – Navy LAX Commit
Gabe Craven has logged over 200 saves and allowed just 155 goals during his two season at Hun. Last year Craven had 8 saves in the Prep A Championship Game to lead the Raiders to the title and a 12-3 record. He will continue his lacrosse career at the United States Naval Academy. Watch his junior season highlights now: Thank you to Princeton Orthopaedic Associates for sponsoring our Hun coverage.
Lawrenceville’s Olivia Koch – Princeton LAX Commit
During her three years at Lawrenceville, Olivia Koch has racked up 126 goals, won 85 ground balls and has helped lead Big Red to a Mercer County Tournament title in each of those seasons. In the 2019 MCT Final, Koch found net six times, tying a career and season high. She will remain a familiar name in Mercer County as she heads to Princeton University in the Fall. Check out her Junior year highlights and her six goal performance against Princeton below: Thank you to Princeton Orthopaedic Associates for sponsoring our Lawrenceville coverage.
Baseball’s Back? Last Dance Tournament Hopes to Play in July
St. Joe’s Metuchen baseball coach Mike Murray, Jr. has led the New Jersey high school baseball community with a proposed NCAA baseball style tournament in July that will give varsity baseball teams a chance to play a meaningful tournament The coronavirus dashed the spring sports season across New Jersey, but the Garden State’s high school baseball community has rallied to give the 2020 diamond teams a chance to play for something meaningful as restrictions are slowly being lifted to return to sports this summer. St. Joe-Metuchen baseball coach Mike Murray, Jr. is leading the way to a “Last Dance” Tournament. The NCAA Baseball style tournament would feature four-team “pods” allowing round robin play throughout the state. Winners of the first round would then go on to single elimination play throughout July. JSZ’s Rich Chrampanis talked with the Falcons head coach about the progress of this event: The tournament is open to any New Jersey high school baseball varsity team. The deadline for teams to enter is June 12. Click on this LINK for coaches to enter their team into the Last Dance Tournament Proposed Dates for Last Dance Tournament July 7-9: Pool Play (three games for every team in four team “pod” July 14-16: Round of 16 and Quarterfinals July 21-22: Semifinals July 23: Championship Game The Tournament would not be an official NJSIAA event but sanctioned by the United States Specialty Sport Association. The NJSIAA does not allow teams to wear school-issued uniforms during summer play and would need to allow coaches to interact with players in July. There are 90 teams that have already expressed interest in playing and Jersey Sports Zone will keep you updated as the tournament continues to come together.
Hun’s Trevor Deubner – UNC LAX commit
Trevor Deubner has built up an impressive career at Hun with 71 career goals and 92 assists. Deubner found net 28 times in 2019 to lead the Raiders to a 12-3 record and a Prep A Championship. He will continue his lacrosse career at the University of North Carolina. Watch his junior season highlights now: Thank you to Princeton Orthopaedic Associates for sponsoring our Hun coverage.
Hunterdon Central’s Jack Aimone – Rutgers LAX commit
Hunterdon Central’s Jack Aimone was a key component in Red Devil’s success in 2019. Aimone had 48 goals and 34 assists, including a five goal performance against Westfield to help lead HC to a North Group 4 Championship. The 2020 graduate will continue his lacrosse career locally as he plans to suit up for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights next year. Watch his Junior year highlight reel below:
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.
Oak Knoll’s Keelin Schlageter – Notre Dame LAX commit
Keelin Schlageter of Oak Knoll is one of New Jersey’s and the nation’s top girls lacrosse recruits. Schlageter, committed to the University of Notre Dame, had 52 goals and 88 draw controls for the Royals in her junior season, bringing her career totals to 93 and 114. Watch her highlight reel below:
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:
Allentown’s Justin Marcario fights back against cancer
Justin Marcario missed last baseball season after he was diagnosed with Leukemia. The Junior looked forward to getting back on the diamond, however due to the Covid-19 pandemic it will be a two year wait before Marcario puts on an Allentown uniform again. JSZ’s Nery Rodriguez speaks with Justin, his mother and Coach Brian Nice on how he is remaining optimistic during this unfortunate circumstance: Thank you to Princeton Orthopaedic Associates for sponsoring our Allentown coverage.
Shore Conference football players play JSZ Jeopardy
JSZ’s trivia showdown features high school sports, pop culture and New Jersey questions. Who has the bragging rights between Red Bank Regional’s Jack Chamberlain and Kyle Weisman taking on RBC’s Charlie Gordinier Jersey Sports Zone continues to tell stories during the coronavirus and posting highlight reels from our archives. While we wait to return to shooting highlights, we will continue to engage our audience in unique ways. JSZ Jeopardy makes it debut with questions for high school athletes and coaches custom made for the JSZ universe. Our first episode features Red Bank Regional quarterback Jack Chamberlain, RBR linebacker Kyle Weisman and RBC linebacker Charlie Gordinier. Watch the episode that features a dramatic ending to a great trivia contest! Do you want to play JSZ Jeopardy? Contact us on social media or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). We’ll write up some questions based on your sport/region!
Jacob Perez-Eli Commits to Iowa State
Jacob Perez-Eli compiled 136 wins during an outstanding career at Paulsboro. Perez-Eli made deep runs at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City twice, wrestling at 138 pounds. He finished second in the state during his junior season, and fifth in the state to cap off his senior campaign. Perez-Eli announced his college decision on Monday, committing to Iowa State. Watch video of Jacob Perez-Eli in action for the Paulsboro Red Raiders here:
TaQuan Woodley Commits to Penn State
TaQuan Woodley was a monster in the middle for Camden last season. The 6-foot-7 forward shut opposing big men down, and helped lead The High to the South Jersey Group 2 championship before the coronavirus pandemic ended the season prematurely. Woodley announced his college decision on Monday night, committing to Penn State. Watch Woodley’s junior year highlights here:
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:
Don Bosco’s Myles Ruth Commits to Monmouth
Don Bosco’s Myles Ruth had his home of New Jersey in mind when making the biggest decision of his life. Ruth, a Class of 2020 point guard, announced Saturday evening he was verbally committing to play at Monmouth University. The wait is over. I would like to announce I am 110% committed to @MonmouthBBall pic.twitter.com/qNC3j2Jbqj— Myles Ruth (@mylesruth21) May 9, 2020 Ruth was one of Bergen County’s best players in New Jersey’s 2019-2020 campaign. He averaged 13 points, 4.7 assists and 2.8 steals for the Ironmen during his senior season while leading Don Bosco to a 19-8 record. Ruth spoke with JSZ’s Jay Cook hours after the announcement and broke down his decision with us. 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!
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:
BREAKING: NJ Schools Closed for Remainder of School Year
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyday life for New Jerseyans over the last eight weeks. It’s now forced state officials to close schools across the state for the remainder of the 2019-2020 year, shutting the door on any high school sports season this spring. #BREAKING: ALL SCHOOLS WILL REMAIN CLOSED for in-person instruction for the remainder of the school year – to protect the health of our children, our educators, and their families.Guided by safety and science, this is the best course of action. pic.twitter.com/PI5xFxPlVZ— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) May 4, 2020 “We reached this conclusion based on the guidance from our public health experts and with a single goal in mind of the safety and well-being of our children, educators, administrators and staff,” Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday. This comes after New Jersey reached 126,744 positive COVID-19 cases and 7,871 confirmed deaths as of Sunday. Only New York has more cases and deaths than New Jersey. The decision is a proverbial dagger for high school athletes and parents alike who hoped to see the Class of 2020 seniors off with at least some semblance of a spring season. Murphy said the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association supported his decision to close schools and shut down all high school sports for the 2019-2020 year. “The NJSIAA medical board has concluded that due to a lack of testing, viable treatments and a vaccine, that spring sports were not a viable option,” Murphy said. “I know the NJSIAA took no pleasure in reaching that conclusion and frankly neither do I in stating it.” Last month, Gov. Phil Murphy sounded optimistic when discussing a potential spring sports season, saying schools could potentially reopen “if we keep pulling and working together.” The NJSIAA also laid out groundwork in April for a shortened season if schools did reopen. That plan is effectively moot now. However, Murphy’s tone was different Monday. His call to close schools for the remainder of the year came just days after Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the same for New York schools. Here’s the NJSIAA statement regarding the cancellation of spring sports: NJSIAA STATEMENT ON SPRING SPORTS May 4, 2020 “Following today’s announcement by Governor Murphy, the NJSIAA has officially canceled New Jersey’s 2020 high school spring sports season. This decision was not made lightly and we are disappointed for the thousands of New Jersey student-athletes who will be unable to compete this spring. While we remained hopeful to the end, and left open every possibility, competition simply is not feasible given the circumstances. “The last few weeks have been heartbreaking on many levels, from the tragic loss of life, to thousands battling the virus, to millions who have suffered emotional and economic loss. It’s been a harrowing time for everyone, and we know our student-athletes are extremely disappointed. That said, these unfortunate circumstances may have put an intriguing challenge in the path of our young people. As New Jersey’s own Vince Lombardi once said, “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up. “ We’re confident all our kids will get back up and stand tall. “The NJSIAA will continue developing plans for the potential restarting of scholastic sports during the fall season. Additional information related both to the summer recess and fall will be shared at a later date.”
Marianna Papazoglou Commits to Penn
Marianna Papazoglou averaged 17.5 points per game for Wildwood Catholic last season, and has scored over 1,500 points in her Crusaders career so far. The junior announced her commitment to the University of Pennsylvania on Sunday night, where she’ll play Ivy League hoops for the Quakers. beyond blessed❤️💙 pic.twitter.com/mNkkLKYgE5— Marianna (@marianna_2219) May 4, 2020 Watch Papazoglou’s 2020 JSZ All-Zone profile 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!
JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight: Cedar Creek’s Luke Vaks
Coronavirus has brought the world to a screeching halt at the moment, and that includes high school sports in the Garden State. JSZ is spotlighting prominent senior athletes who are waiting and hoping to take the field again this spring. Our mission is to tell their stories, and share how they’re trying to stay ready, both physically and mentally. Today’s JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight features Cedar Creek baseball standout Luke Vaks. JSZ’s Mike Frankel recently caught up with the Old Dominion University commit: JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight is brought to you in part by Cooper University Health Care.
Schiano talks virtual coaching, NJ toughness during COVID-19
Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano talked with Jersey Sports Zone about how the Scarlet Knights are staying connected virtually with his team and New Jersey’s high school football coaches. The last time Jersey Sports Zone talked with head coach Greg Schiano was at the JSZ football banquet in Woodbridge. Shortly after he spoke to NJ’s top high school football players, Rutgers began garnering commitments from their 2021 recruiting class that has been ranked in the top 20 nationally. Schiano was not able to see his team in live action with spring football canceled but is still working with his team virtually to get them ready for whenever the college football season resumes. JSZ’s Rich Chrampanis talked the timetable for football’s return, the connection with Rutgers staff and New Jersey high school football and much more:
JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight: Haddonfield’s Alex Kadar
Coronavirus has brought the world to a screeching halt at the moment, and that includes high school sports in the Garden State. JSZ is spotlighting prominent senior athletes who are waiting and hoping to take the field again this spring. Our mission is to tell their stories, and share how they’re trying to stay ready, both physically and mentally. Today’s JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight features Haddonfield baseball standout Alex Kadar. JSZ’s Mike Frankel recently caught up with Kadar: JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight is brought to you in part by NJM Insurance.
JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight: Southern’s Cade Johnson
Coronavirus has brought the world to a screeching halt at the moment, and that includes high school sports in the Garden State. JSZ is spotlighting prominent senior athletes who are waiting and hoping to take the field again this spring. Our mission is to tell their stories, and share how they’re trying to stay ready, both physically and mentally. Southern Regional senior Cade Johnson has 88 career goals and is still holding out hope that he’ll get a chance to play with the Rams and reach the 100 goal mark. Johnson isn’t the only person in his house anxious to play with younger sister Rylee on the Rams girls lacrosse team that is coached by mom Lori. Cade is set to play college lacrosse at Chestnut Hill but hopes he gets to put the Southern uniform on one more time. JSZ’s Rich Chrampanis talks with Cade in our JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight series: Deborah Heart and Lung Center is devoted to better Cardiac health offering a range of services & treatments. Deborah has seven locations including Manahawkin, home of Southern Regional
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!
Zarique Nutter Announces College Choice
The coronavirus pandemic has impacted New Jerseyans in nearly all aspects of their lives. Go ahead and add college recruiting to that list. The Patrick School’s Zarique Nutter, a 6’5 wing and JSZ All-Zone team member this season, announced Monday evening his verbal commitment to join St. Peter’s University. A huge senior season put him square on the national recruiting map. Nutter picked up offers from Nebraska, Maryland, TCU, George Mason and New Mexico this winter yet wasn’t able to visit any of those schools after the coronavirus pandemic closed all high school and college athletics. However, the Newark native earned the chance to play close to home in Jersey City next winter for Shaheen Holloway, the reigning MAAC Coach of the Year and former St. Pat’s All-American. JSZ’s Jay Cook has the story: Watch Zarique Nutter’s JSZ Highlight Reel Here! Nutter was one of five players from The Patrick School selected to our 2020 JSZ All-Zone team, honoring the top 50 high school basketball players in New Jersey. Here’s his senior season highlight reel: 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!
RFH senior runs virtual marathon for NJ health care workers
Rumson-Fair Haven senior Bobby Hoye ran 26.2 miles on a treadmill in his room to raise money for Jersey Shore health care workers. Watch a special JSZ feature that tells the story of two friends coming together to turn a negative situation into one that shows the spirit and resolve of New Jersey’s high school athletes Bobby Hoye had big plans for the end of his senior year at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School. The captain of the track team was excited to see what the Bulldogs could accomplish in the Shore Conference and beyond. On April 26, Bobby was supposed to run in the New Jersey Marathon before the coronavirus canceled the event along with everything else. At a time when everything is being taken away from New Jersey high school’s senior class, Bobby decided to turn a negative into an inspirational positive. On the same day he was supposed to run the New Jersey marathon, Bobby decided his first marathon would not be delayed. Hoye ran 26.2 miles in his bedroom on a treadmill and using the virtual marathon to raise money for Jersey Shore health care workers. With Bobby occupied on the treadmill, Peyton Ming was able to handle a livestream of the entire run and encouraging his friend the entire way. At 5 hours and 21 minutes, Hoye crossed the virtual finish line and raised over $5000 for Jersey Shore University Medical Center’s COVID-19 Relief Fund. Watch JSZ’s story on how two friends were able to show how social distancing and a deadly virus can’t stop a community from coming together: You can still support Bobby Hoye’s Virtual Marathon Fundraiser Even though the race is over, you can still donate to Bobby’s cause. If you want to donate to help reach the goal of $10,000 for Jersey Shore University Medical Center’s COVID-19 Relief Fund please click HERE Thanks to ACI Medical & Dental School for supporting JSZ”s coverage of Rumson-Fair Haven and allowing us to tell great stories from the Bulldogs. 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!
JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight: Michael Baginski & Nate Goranson
Coronavirus has brought the world to a screeching halt at the moment, and that includes high school sports in the Garden State. JSZ is spotlighting prominent senior athletes who are waiting and hoping to take the field again this spring. Our mission is to tell their stories, and share how they’re trying to stay ready, both physically and mentally. Today’s JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight features Millville baseball standouts Michael Baginski and Nate Goranson. JSZ’s Mike Frankel has their story: JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight is brought to you in part by NJM Insurance.
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
Five-Star PG Olivia Miles Commits to Notre Dame
Blair Academy’s Olivia Miles has been hailed as a generational talent in women’s basketball. She’s a five-star recruit, the No. 1 point guard in the Class of 2021 and a member of Team USA. Now she’s committed to play at Notre Dame. Miles’ decision to join the Fighting Irish comes two days after Hall of Fame coach Muffet McGraw announced her retirement from coaching. Niele Ivey, a national champion point guard for Notre Dame and a former assistant coach with the Memphis Grizzlies, kicked off his first recruiting cycle with a commitment from arguably the top player in America. Just hours after announcing her commitment, Miles talks to JSZ’s Jay Cook about her recruitment, why Notre Dame was the place for her and personal expectations for herself and her future teammates in South Bend. Watch the full feature story here: Watch Olivia Miles’ Junior Year JSZ Highlight Reel: Sponsor Shoutout! JSZ is able to continue covering New Jersey high school athletics thanks in part to loyal sponsors. Thanks to Rothman Orthopaedics for continuing to support high school sports in the Garden State.
Allentown pitcher Matt Bethea set for Seton Hall in 2021
Allentown right hander Matt Bethea made quite the impression on college scouts during his sophomore year. Bethea racked up 26 strikeouts while allowing only four earned runs, 22 hits and 14 walks. The 6’2, 180 pound Seton Hall commit is one of the state’s top talents in the Class of 2021. JSZ was there for his 13 K performance vs. Holy Cross Prep: Thank you to Princeton Orthopaedic Associates for sponsoring our Allentown coverage.
JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight: Noam Levy-Smith
Coronavirus has brought the world to a screeching halt at the moment, and that includes high school sports in the Garden State. JSZ is spotlighting prominent senior athletes who are waiting and hoping to take the field again this spring. Our mission is to tell their stories, and share how they’re trying to stay ready, both physically and mentally. Today’s JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight features Ocean City lacrosse standout Noam Levy-Smith. JSZ’s Mike Frankel has the story: JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight is brought to you in part by Cooper University Health Care.
Four D1 athletes talk about virtual training
Reach Your Potential Training doesn’t have any athletes in the gym, but they are still working with the Jersey Shore’s best athletes in a creative way. JSZ and owner Bobby Smith talks with four Division I athletes about how they are handling this trying time Reach Your Potential Training in Tinton Falls works with some of the Jersey Shore’s top athletes to give them the extra edge in competition. When RYPT was forced to close its doors during the coronavirus, Bobby Smith and his team were able to quickly turn their workouts virtual. Four Shore seniors who signed Division I letters of intent joined Coach Bobby and JSZ to talk about the challenges of working out during a pandemic. Jack Chamberlain, Red Bank Regional QB (Monmouth University) Wendie Fisher, Monmouth Regional soccer (Lehigh University) Tommy Johnson, Manasquan soccer (Villanova University) Shannon Tringola, Red Bank Catholic field hockey (Drexel University) Reach Your Potential Training has been a long time sponsor of Jersey Sports Zone. Thanks to RYPT for supporting high school athletes all around Monmouth and Ocean County. Visit igotrypt.com to learn more about what they are doing to give athletes an extra edge!
Moorestown’s Robert Damerjian Commits to Rutgers
Robert Damerjian made the most of his limited time on the wrestling mat last season. The Moorestown senior missed most of the year with a thumb injury, but returned in time to lead the Quakers to a South Jersey Group 4 final appearance. Damerjian then went on to win the District 26 title (Most Outstanding Wrestler) and the Region 7 title, before finishing fourth in the state at 220 pounds. On Thursday, Damerjian announced he’s committing to wrestle at Rutgers University. next chapter📖. #bookunwritten✍️ #theChop🪓 #bleedred💉 #bloodsweattearsgotmehere pic.twitter.com/JAFtltsbgW— Robert Damerjian 🇦🇲 (@DamerjianRobert) April 23, 2020 Watch highlights of Damerjian’s 2020 season debut. He earned a 17-6 major decision in Moorestown’s South Jersey Group 4 semifinal victory over Highland. Coverage of Moorestown is brought to you by NJM Insurance.
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.
Cherokee’s Alexa Therien Commits to Boston U
Alexa Therien was the most dominant player on one of South Jersey’s best teams last season. The junior averaged 15 points and nine rebounds per game for Cherokee, leading the Chiefs to the South Jersey Group 4 championship. Cherokee’s season was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Therien still has plenty of hoops ahead of her. She committed to Division I Boston University on Wednesday. SEE YA IN BOSTON📍 #Committed @TerrierWBB pic.twitter.com/zKSBZENX5M— Alexa Therien (@alexatherienn) April 22, 2020 Check out Therien’s JSZ All-Zone highlight reel:
JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight: Ryan Lasko
Jackson Memorial baseball was projected to have one of their best years in program history prior to the start of the 2020 season. However, due to the Covid 19 Pandemic, Rutgers University commit Ryan Lasko is one of four Division I recruits on a team that now waits in limbo as the virus delays and threatens the likelihood of any play on the diamond. JSZ’s Nery Rodriguez sits down with the Big Ten bound senior: Thank you to Louro Chiropractic Center for sponsoring our Jackson Memorial coverage.
TPS Star Noah Farrakhan Commits to ECU
After a four year high school career that made him into one of the country’s top guards, Noah Farrakhan has announced his commitment to play for Eastern Carolina University. Farrakhan averaged 7.1 points and 2.4 assists per game during his senior season at The Patrick School after transferring back home to the Garden State from IMG Academy. The highlight of his senior season was a team-high 17 point performance to lift the Celtics to the Union County Tournament championship over longtime rival Roselle Catholic. Watch Farrakhan’s JSZ Senior Year Highlight Reel HERE Farrakhan is the first player from The Patrick School’s lineup this season to announce his college plans. He had D-I offers from over 17 universities and chose ECU over Penn State, New Mexico, Florida, Maryland and Ohio State, among others. Adam Zagoria broke the news of Farrakhan’s commitment first. A native of Newark, Farrakhan came back to play alongside a star-studded lineup with players like Jonathan Kuminga, Adama Sanogo and Zarique Nutter. The Patrick School finished 20-7 and reached the Non-Public B North semifinals before falling to Roselle Catholic on March 7. Eastern Carolina went 11-20 this season playing in the American Athletic Conference and was seeded 11th in the 2020 Air Force Reserve American Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Championship tournament.
JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight: CJ Kirst
Coronavirus has brought the world to a screeching halt at the moment, and that includes high school sports in the Garden State. JSZ is spotlighting prominent senior athletes who are waiting and hoping to take the field again this spring. Our mission is to tell their stories, and share how they’re trying to stay ready, both physically and mentally. Today’s JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight features Delbarton star goal scorer CJ Kirst. JSZ’s Jay Cook spoke with the Cornell commit: Sponsor Shoutout Jersey Sports Zone’s coverage of Delbarton is brought to you by NJM Insurance.
JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight: Jack Zenkert
Coronavirus has brought the world to a screeching halt at the moment, and that includes high school sports in the Garden State. JSZ is spotlighting prominent senior athletes who are waiting and hoping to take the field again this spring. Our mission is to tell their stories, and share how they’re trying to stay ready, both physically and mentally. JSZ’s Senior Spotlight series continues as we talk to outstanding spring athletes from around the state. We visit with RBC football and lacrosse standout Jack Zenkert There’s a lot of athletes who are doing their best to be patient and hoping that there are high school games to play in June. Everyone in the area is anxious to return and at the head of the list are high school senior spring athletes. Red Bank Catholic’s Jack Zenkert is the top returning scorer in the Shore Conference after a 66 goal junior year. The senior is hoping that he’ll get to take the field in his senior year. Watch JSZ’s Spring Senior Spotlight on the Caseys two-sport standout: Jersey Sports Zone’s coverage of Red Bank Catholic is brought to you by the Jersey Shore Institute of Health and Wellness
Wildwood Catholic on a Crusade to Save the School
The coronavirus pandemic cost the Wildwood Catholic boys basketball team a chance to play for a state championship last month. Now the future of all Crusader athletics is in doubt, after the Diocese of Camden announced the school will be closing at the end of June. The Wildwood Catholic community is now fundraising, as the Crusaders fight to keep their school open. JSZ’s Mike Frankel has the story: South Jersey coverage is brought to you in part by NJM Insurance.
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.
JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight: Jordan Johnson
Coronavirus has brought the world to a screeching halt at the moment, and that includes high school sports in the Garden State. JSZ is spotlighting prominent senior athletes who are waiting and hoping to take the field again this spring. Our mission is to tell their stories, and share how they’re trying to stay ready, both physically and mentally. JSZ’s Senior Spotlight series continues as we talk to outstanding spring athletes from around the state. We visit with Rumson-Fair Haven lacrosse standout Jordan Johnson Jordan Johnson knows that the best case scenario for her senior season is a shortened season with no state championships, but the Rumson-Fair Haven girls lacrosse midfielder/attack knows there’s still plenty to play for. RFH has won seven straight Shore Conference championships and has not lost a league game in that span. It’s still possible to for RFH to get to eight straight SCT titles. Johnson talks about that along with how the NCAA lacrosse season being canceled is effecting her future at the University of Colorado in our JSZ Senior Spotlight: RFH has been one of the state’s top girls lacrosse programs year in and year out. Six Rumson seniors are committed to play college lacrosse including Johnson at Colorado and three juniors have already committed to Division I programs. The Bulldogs went 21-3 last year reaching the sectional finals and winning the Shore Conference Tournament for a seventh straight year: 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!
St. Joseph (Hammonton), Wildwood Catholic to Close at the End of the School Year
The Diocese of Camden and the Office of Catholic Schools has informed officials at both St. Joseph (Hammonton) and Wildwood Catholic that those schools will be closing at the end of this academic school year. Both schools feature a number of high-profile athletic programs. The St. Joseph football team has won 27 state championships, and reached the Non-Public Group 2 final last season. The Wildwood Catholic boys basketball team won the Non-Public B South title last month before the coronavirus pandemic ended the season prematurely. Wildwood Catholic boys basketball head coach Dave DeWeese provided a brief statement to JSZ: “We are all devastated regarding this very sad news. We are all shocked and just trying to process it right now. The Wildwood Catholic Family is grieving.” Longtime St. Joseph assistant football coach Ricky Mauriello told JSZ: “It’s an emotional time, especially for our kids. We take a lot of pride in representing St. Joseph. We were taken aback and surprised about the news. We’re trying to take it in stride, circle the wagons, and look toward a Plan B.” This is a developing story. Much more to come. Here’s a look at memorable games for both programs from this past season:
Blair’s Darius heads out west, commits to UCLA
JSZ All-Zone guard Dominique Darius has made some big recruiting news Thursday night with her commitment to the UCLA Bruins. Watch her JSZ highlight reel now! One of the high profile recruits in the class of 2021 is off the board. Blair Academy junior Dominique Darius has given a verbal commitment to the UCLA Bruins. Darius joined forces with Olivia Miles to form one of the best duos in the country. Darius is the #35 overall recruit in the class of 2021 and reached the 1000 point plateau in her junior season. Her coach Quint Clarke says she is always the first to practice and last to leave and she is dedicated to being the best player she can be. She made her announcement on social media: #GoBruins 🐻💙💛 @UCLAWBB pic.twitter.com/LPyVIqoqxm— Dominique x Darius🌹 (@dommdarius) April 17, 2020 Darius was named to JSZ’s All-Zone team over the last two years. Watch her junior highlights:
Murphy Has High Hopes for Potential NJ Spring Sports Season
Weeks after New Jersey schools closed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a decision from Gov. Phil Murphy (D) today brought hope to student-athletes in the Garden State for a potential spring sports season in 2020. Murphy announced Thursday afternoon at his daily press conference that all schools in New Jersey would stay closed until at least Friday, May 15. “We cannot be guided by emotion,” Murphy said. “We need to be guided by the facts on the ground — science and public health — take us. That means it will not be safe to reopen our schools, or start sports back up, for at least another four weeks.” That decision leaves the door open for student-athletes in New Jersey to play out a shortened season. Six days ago, the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association laid out a contingency plan for a spring sports season with the potential for “modified state championships” played all the way up until June 30. “The return-to-school date and related public health guidelines will continue to determine the viability of a spring sports season,” the NJSIAA said after Murphy’s announcement. “As noted, NJSIAA is committed to doing whatever is possible to provide New Jersey’s student-athletes with some type of spring season. We have models in place that allow for competition starting as late as May 25, but given the late start date, tournament play may not be viable. Our commitment to conclude the spring season, no later than June 30 stands. As the governor noted, we remain hopeful.” Murphy initially ordered schools be closed on March 18 in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, the virus caused from this strain of coronavirus. As of April 16, New Jersey has confirmed 75,317 positive cases and 3,518 deaths from COVID-19. There are over 2 million confirmed cases worldwide. The winter sports season was affected by the coronavirus pandemic, as well. There was no group championship tournament or a Tournament of Champions in either boys or girls basketball this past season. “It’s hard, but if we all keep pulling and working together, I hope that it will put me in a position in a months time, to make a different announcement,” Murphy said. “There is no doubt we are saving lives and we must maintain the course.” Stay tuned with Jersey Sports Zone for all the latest updates on how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting high school athletics in New Jersey, as well as features and highlight reels on student-athletes.
Senior Spotlight: Allie Bridgman
Coronavirus has brought the world to a screeching halt at the moment, and that includes high school sports in the Garden State. JSZ is spotlighting prominent senior athletes who are waiting and hoping to take the field again this spring. Our mission is to tell their stories, and share how they’re trying to stay ready, both physically and mentally. Allie Bridgman helped lead Hightstown to its first ever Group 4 State Championship in 2019, she finished with a .485 batting average, 52 RBI’s and 233 strikeouts. JSZ’s Nery Rodriguez sat down with the Fairfield University commit: Thank you to Princeton Orthopaedic Associates for sponsoring our Hightstown coverage.
JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight: Katie Walsh
The Coronavirus pandemic has brought the world to a screeching halt at the moment, and that includes high school sports in the Garden State. JSZ is spotlighting prominent senior athletes who are waiting and hoping to take the field again this spring. Our mission is to tell their stories, and share how they’re trying to stay ready, both physically and mentally. Today’s JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight features Camden Catholic girls lacrosse standout Katie Walsh. JSZ’s James Mooney recently spoke with the Fairleigh Dickinson University commit: JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight is brought to you in part by NJM Insurance.
JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight: Karina Gaskins
Coronavirus has brought the world to a screeching halt at the moment, and that includes high school sports in the Garden State. JSZ is spotlighting prominent senior athletes who are waiting and hoping to take the field again this spring. Our mission is to tell their stories, and share how they’re trying to stay ready, both physically and mentally. Today’s JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight features Donovan Catholic star Karina Gaskins. JSZ’s Jay Cook spoke with the University of Virginia commit: Sponsor Shoutout! JSZ’s coverage of the Shore Conference is brought to you by ACI Medical & Dental School.
JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight: Jess Ingram
Coronavirus has brought the world to a screeching halt at the moment, and that includes high school sports in the Garden State. JSZ is spotlighting prominent senior athletes who are waiting and hoping to take the field again this spring. Our mission is to tell their stories, and share how they’re trying to stay ready, both physically and mentally. Today’s JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight features Mainland softball standout Jess Ingram. JSZ’s Mike Frankel recently spoke with the Holy Family University commit: JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight is brought to you in part by NJM Insurance.
Saint Rose guard commits to Lafayette
Abby Antognoli has been a fixture in the Saint Rose girls basketball machine over the last three years. The point guard has given a verbal commitment to play in the Patriot League. Watch her JSZ highlight reel now! Saint Rose point guard Abby Antognoli has given a verbal commitment to play Division I basketball at Lafayette. Antognoli averaged 10.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.4 steals a game in her junior season for a Purple Roses team that went 22-8. Abby has been a key contributor for one of New Jersey’s most powerful girls basketball programs over the last three years. She made her commitment official on Saturday via social media: 120% COMMITTED🐆🏀 pic.twitter.com/8LXGyVPrWk— Abby Antognoli (@abby_antognoli) April 11, 2020 Watch Jersey Sports Zone’s highlight reel of the Purple Roses guard:
TRN’s Spence Commits to Robert Morris
A JSZ All-Zoner from the class of 2020 has found his college home. Watch the highlight reel of Toms River North guard Jakari Spence now! Toms River North guard Jakari Spence has given a verbal commitment to play Division I basketball at Robert Morris University. Spence averaged 21 points and six assists per game for a Mariners team that reached the Shore Conference championship game. The guard topped 30 points five times and delivered a triple-double against New Brunswick. Spence helped TRN to a 24-5 record and joins a Robert Morris team that won the Northeast Conference Tournament and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament before March Madness was canceled due to the coronavirus. Watch JSZ’s full highlight reel of Spence in action from his final high school season:
JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight: Glassboro’s Noah Putney
Coronavirus has brought the world to a screeching halt at the moment, and that includes high school sports in the Garden State. JSZ is spotlighting prominent senior athletes who are waiting and hoping to take the field again this spring. Our mission is to tell their stories, and share how they’re trying to stay ready, both physically and mentally. Today’s JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight features Glassboro baseball standout Noah Putney. JSZ’s Mike Frankel recently spoke with the Caldwell University commit: JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight is brought to you in part by Cooper University Health Care.
NJSIAA Leaves Door Open on Spring Sports Season
It’s been nearly a month since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down life as we know it not only in New Jersey, but across the country, too. New Jersey high school sports has been put on the back burner in the past weeks as New Jerseyans battle to flatten the curve. The basketball season concluded prematurely without Group championships or a Tournament of Champions. The spring sports season was also indefinitely put on hold after Gov. Phil Murphy ordered all schools in-state to close. Today, the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) published clear guidelines on “if, and when, a return to (spring) athletics is permitted.” “Along with our leagues and conferences, the NJSIAA has determined and communicated with member schools that if competitive events are possible, they will conclude no later than June 30,” the state athletic association said in a statement Friday. “Various models have been established based on potential return dates that range from mid-May to the end of that month, and leagues and conferences will be given substantial scheduling flexibility.” Here’s a breakdown of the NJSIAA’s plan: June 30 is the absolute latest date that the spring sports season will be extended to.Student-athletes in every sport, except for golf, must practice six days with one rest day. After the first three day, student-athletes can participate in scrimmages that will count as practice days.If athletics resume prior to May 25, the NJSIAA will run “modified sectional tournaments” in late June. Teams that do or don’t qualify for a sectional tournament can continue to play up until June 30.If athletics resume after Memorial Day, May 25, there will be no sectional tournaments. However, leagues and conferences will still be allowed to play games up until that June 30 cutoff date. The NJSIAA’s plan could potentially be moot. Gov. Phil Murphy has not given a concrete answer as to whether or not New Jersey schools will reopen this spring. Yesterday, Pennsylvania’s state athletic association cancelled the spring sports season in its entirety. “The return-to-school date and related public health guidelines will continue to determine the viability of a spring sports season,” the NJSIAA said. “As noted, the NJSIAA is committed to doing whatever is possible to provide New Jersey’s student-athletes with some type of spring season. Stay tuned with Jersey Sports Zone for any and all updates about a potential spring sports season, as well as features and highlight reels on some of the top athletes in the state.
JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight: Seton Hall Prep’s Connell Kumar
Coronavirus has brought the world to a screeching halt at the moment, and that includes high school sports in the Garden State. JSZ is spotlighting prominent senior athletes who are waiting and hoping to take the field again this spring. Our mission is to tell their stories, and share how they’re trying to stay ready, both physically and mentally. Today’s JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight features Seton Hall Prep scoring sensation Connell Kumar. JSZ’s Jay Cook spoke with the University of Virginia commit: Sponsor Shoutout! Jersey Sports Zone’s coverage of all Seton Hall Prep athletics is brought to you by “One on One with Steve Adubato.”
Lance Ware wins 2020 JSZ Mister Hoop Zone
The Camden High standout and University of Kentucky commit earns JSZ’s boys basketball player of the year honor. Watch his feature and acceptance speech along with highlight reels of our five Mister Hoop Zone Finalists. Lance Ware was the leader of a Camden team that went 29-1, finished on top of New Jersey basketball polls and was recognized in national polls as well. The future Kentucky Wildcat won the balloting of statewide coaches and media over a stellar podium that featured Jonathan Kuminga (Patrick School), Taj Thweatt (Wildwood Catholic), Trey Patterson (Rutgers Prep) and Cliff Omoruyi (Roselle Catholic). JSZ’s Mike Frankel profiles Ware’s outstanding high school career, and Lance has an acceptance speech below: JSZ Mr. Hoop Zone Balloting Thanks to the coaches and statewide media who casted their vote for JSZ’s Mr. Hoop Zone. 3 points for a first-place vote, 2 points for a 2nd, and 1 point for 3rd: Name High School 1st 2nd 3rd Total Lance WareCamden23139104 Taj ThweattWildwood Catholic11171077 Cliff OmoruyiRoselle Catholic119859 Jonathan KumingaPatrick School451335 Trey PattersonRutgers Prep37730 Coaches: Cameron Bell, Egg Harbor Twp., Grant Sporny, Williamstown, Gene Allen, Atlantic City, Paul Rodio, St. Augustine Prep, Mike Jones, Millville, John Bruno, Ocean City, Dan Williams, Mainland, Dan Russo, Vineland, Matt Bloom, Rutgers Prep, Billy Armstrong, Bergen Catholic, Anthony Tavares, Newark East Side, Ben Gamble, Marist, Justin Salton, Watchung Hills, Kevin Diverio, Don Bosco Prep, Dave Boff, Roselle Catholic, Todd Powers, Gloucester Catholic, John Rosser, Overbrook, Mike Puorro, Barnegat, Matt Wolf, Lenape, Kevin McQuade, Jackson Memorial, Phil Collichio, Elizabeth, Chris Chavannes, Patrick School, Paddy McNamara, Haddon Township, RJ Conley, Lindenwold, Richard Bolds, Timber Creek, Michael Doherty, St. Joe-Montvale, Chris Raba, Nottingham, Dom DeMeo, Hightstown, Mike Antenucci, Jackson Liberty, Mike Clemente, Central Regional, Anthony Drejaj, Linden, Mike Nausedas, Marlboro, Anthony Melesurgo, Bound Brook, Bloomfield, Hightstown, Roselle Park, Perth Amboy Media: Kevin Minnick, NJ.com, Mike McGarry, Press of Atlantic City, Tom Williams, Prime Events, Richard Greco, NJ.com, Mike Kinney, NJ.com, Dave’s Joint, Adam Zagoria, NY Times/Forbes/NJ.com, Jersey Sports Zone staff Watch Highlight Reels of JSZ’s Five Mr. Hoop Zone Finalists
Kylee Watson wins 2020 JSZ Miss Hoop Zone
The McDonald’s All-American and Oregon Duck wins JSZ’s girls basketball player of the year. Watch JSZ’s feature and see highlight reels from our five finalists! Mainland’s Kylee Watson has been named Jersey Sports Zone’s Miss Hoop Zone for 2020. The McDonald’s All-American won the award based on balloting from statewide coaches and media. The University of Oregon signee headlined a podium that features commits to Florida, North Carolina, West Virginia and one of the top sophomores in the country. JSZ’s Mike Frankel profiles Watson’s high school journey along with an acceptance speech by JSZ’s third Miss Hoop Zone winner: JSZ Miss Hoop Zone Balloting Thanks to the coaches and statewide media who casted their vote for JSZ’s Miss Hoop Zone. 3 points for a first place vote, 2 points for a 2nd, and 1 point for 3rd: Name High School 1st 2nd 3rd Total Kylee WatsonMainland2351190 Destiny AdamsManchester Twp.919671 Madison St. RoseSaint John Vianney10101464 Brynn FarrellSaint Rose510944 Giana Hernandez-BouldenTrenton Catholic24822 Coaches: Mark Knapp – Gill St. Bernard’s, Dawn Karpell – Saint John Vianney, Bob Fusik – Trenton Catholic, Tammy Nicolini – Barnegat, Lisa Kukoda – Manasquan, Pete Vincent – Hudson Catholic, Audrey Taylor – Franklin, Steve Silver – Immaculate Heart Academy, Steve DiPatri – Wildwood Catholic, Scott Meile – Oakcrest, Teresa Cunniff – Wildwood, Rob Briles – Delsea, Paul Baruffi – Ocean City, Rachel Goodale – Jackson Memorial, Kristen Przybylski – Eastern, Liz McKeon – Westfield, James Turner – Bayonne, Meg McGeehan – Warren Hills, Sandy Gordon – Ramapo, Ron Powell – Cherokee, Alaina Hearon – Jackson Liberty, Dave Callahan – Rumson-Fair Haven, Matt Melesurgo – Somerville, Dave Beauchemin – Manchester Township, Mary Beth Chambers – Saint Rose, Glenn Jansen –Donovan Catholic, James Martinos – Notre Dame, Brian Dillon – Morris Hills, David Drew – Point Pleasant Boro, Bound Brook, Audubon, Winslow, Monroe, Bishop Eustace, Paterson Eastside, Spotswood, Paramus Catholic, Colonia, Tenafly, Media: Danny LoGuidice – Asbury Park Press, Brian Deakyne – NJ.com, GThing Basketball, Jersey Sports Zone staff Watch Highlight Reels of JSZ’s Five Miss Hoop Zone Finalists
Meet the 2020 JSZ All-Zone Boys Basketball Team
Jersey Sports Zone has highlights of the top boys basketball players in New Jersey as we present our 2020 JSZ All-Zone boys basketball team While the coronavirus has stopped us from our annual banquet honoring the top boys and girls basketball players in the state, that doesn’t stop us from celebrating the accomplishments of New Jersey’s top players. Saturday and Sunday we will share our highlight videos from the 2020 JSZ All-Zone boys basketball teams and coming up on Tuesday we will have highlight reels of our 2020 JSZ Mr. Hoop Zone Finalists and announce our player of the year. NameSchoolName SchoolName School Quadry AdamsSt. Thomas AquinasZach MartiniGill St. Bernard's Gianmarco ArlettiHoly Cross Tahjay MooreNew Brunswick James AndersonMiddletown SouthZarique NutterPatrick School Denver AnglinGill St. Bernard'sDemetrius PaynterTimber Creek Mark ArmstrongSt. Peter's PrepJayden PierreElizabeth Adetokunbo BakareSt. Benedict's PrepMoses PierreIrvington Zion BetheaMontclair ImmaculateJordan PriceElizabeth Jaylen BlakesBlair AcademyAlex RatnerMarlboro Mikey BresslerWatchung HilsWill RichardsonBergen Catholic Jerome BrewerCamdenBen RoyManasquan Julian BrownBergen CatholicMyles RuthDon Bosco Prep Stephen ByardAtlantic CityAdama SanogoPatrick School Tazir Cantey LindenwoldDerek SimpsonLenape Justiin CarboneSouth BrunswickWill SoucieGill St. Bernard's Noah FarrakhanPatrick SchoolJakari SpenceToms River North Corey Floyd, Jr.Roselle CatholicDevin Strickland South Brunswick Nico GaletteRutgers PrepManny TohaMarist Alex GalvanManasquanDJ WagnerCamden Sean HansenRamseyDJ WatkinsElizabeth Noah HarrisRutgers PrepJamir WatkinsTrenton Catholic Zach HicksCamden CatholicJahlil WhiteWildwood Catholic Ryan Hillier West MorrisCJ WilcherRoselle Catholic Jacob HoppingWildwood CatholicNazir WilliamsSt. Joe-Montvale Micah Johnson, Jr.Newark East SideDJ WoodburyBurlington City Samson JohnsonPatrick SchoolTaQuan WoodleyCamden Niels LaneRoselle CatholicMatt ZonaBergen Catholic 2020 JSZ Mister Hoop Zone Finalists JSZ will post highlight videos of our five finalists on Tuesday as well as a feature story and acceptance speech from the winner.
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:
Destiny Adams commits to North Carolina Tar Heels
One of Jersey Sports Zone’s Miss Hoop Zone finalists has made her college choice! Watch the highlight reel of the newest University of North Carolina Tar Heel One of New Jersey’s top girls in the class of 2021 is ACC bound. Destiny Adams committed to the University of North Carolina on Friday night. The 6-foot-3 Manchester Township forward averaged 18 points and 11.7 rebounds a game in her junior season. Adams won a Shore Conference title and a state championship in her sophomore season and helped the Hawks win a sectional championship this year before the season came to a halt due to the coronavirus. Adams made her announcement on social media: UNC WBB ‘25👣💙 @uncwbb pic.twitter.com/aqJgZMkMZj— Destiny Adams (@destinyyadamss) April 3, 2020 Watch Jersey Sports Zone’s highlight reel of Destiny from her junior season: Destiny is one of five finalists for JSZ’s Miss Hoop Zone, given to the top girls basketball player in New Jersey.
Meet the 2020 JSZ All-Zone Girls Basketball Team
Jersey Sports Zone has highlights of the top girls basketball players in New Jersey as we present our 2020 JSZ All-Zone girls basketball team While the coronavirus has stopped us from our annual banquet honoring the top boys and girls basketball players in the state, that doesn’t stop us from celebrating the accomplishments of New Jersey’s top players. Thursday and Friday we will share our highlight videos from the 2020 JSZ All-Zone girls basketball teams and coming up on Monday we will have highlight reels of our 2020 JSZ Miss Hoop Zone Finalists and announce our player of the year. NameSchoolName SchoolNameSchool Lauren AchterRamapoRachel KuhlOld Bridge Makayla AndrewsSaint RoseAlly LandauGolda Och A'Nyah BarkerIHAOlivia MilesBlair Academy Emma BosletSt. Thomas AquinasAnna MorrisIHA Macy BrackettNeptunePaige MortonOak Knoll Zoe Brooks Trenton CatholicOlivia MullinsRutgers Prep Saniyah CaldwellSaddle River DayMariana PapazoglouWildwood Catholic Nyasia ClarkWoodburyJustine PissottRed Bank Catholic Taylor CrystianRed Bank RegionalErika PorterNotre Dame Maniya CustisTrenton CatholicKelsey RansomSt. Thomas Aquinas Christina DalceRutgers PrepKemari ReynoldsManchester Twp. Dominique DariusBlair AcademyKayla RichardsonMiddletown South Abbey FentonOcean CityBella RunyanMoorestown Friends Makoye DiawaraBayonneSophia SabinoRed Bank Catholic Anyssa FieldsLong BranchKeona SchenckFranklin Camryn FoltzColts NeckMadison SchillerRamapo Abigeal GaborePaul VIKira SidesMiddle Township Katie HerilhyMiddle TownshipPaige SlavenRumson-Fair Haven Katie HillSaint John VianneyBella SteidleClearview Brooke HollawellManasquanAlexa TherienCherokee Ciani Redd-HowardAtlantic CityChloe TeterRed Bank Regional Jordan JanowskiSaddle River DayCaileigh WalshGill St. Bernard's Emily JohnsWashington TownshipEmma WaxMontville Zanai JonesHudson CatholicKennedy WilburnCherokee Kristina DonzaJackson Memorial 2020 JSZ Miss Hoop Zone Finalists JSZ will post highlight videos of our five finalists on Monday as well as a feature story and acceptance speech from the winner.
Shore’s Al DeSantis Commits to Rutgers Wrestling
The Rutgers University wrestling program puts a premium on recruiting top Garden State talent and keeping those wrestlers in state. The Scarlet Knights added another recruit to their Class of 2020 group with Shore Regional’s Al DeSantis signed on to join the program. DeSantis finished his high school career with a seventh-place finish at 138 pounds after setting new records as the single-season wins leader and all-time career wins record for the Blue Devils. DeSantis joined JSZ’s Jay Cook for a virtual interview to discuss his commitment to Rutgers and a stellar high school career in West Long Branch.
Meet the 2020 JSZ All-Zone Hockey Team
Jersey Sports Zone honors the top high school hockey players in New Jersey. We have selected the top players in the Garden State – take a look at the entire list and watch highlight videos of every single player. JSZ’s All-Zone Hockey Team The COVID-19 virus prevented JSZ from honoring the top players in New Jersey at the Prudential Center but we still have highlights videos to honor the best high school hockey players in New Jersey. GoaliesDefensemanForwardsForwardsAward Winner Gavin Einfeldt, RandolphJake Antonucci, Bergen CatholicEvan Brown, CBAJason Player, Gloucester CatholicJohn Donohoe, CBA - 2020 JSZ Player of the Year Lucas Podvey, MontclairZach D'Andrea, Jackson LibertyMatt Balzarotti, RidgeTom Pryymak, Summit Nikita Pryymak, SummitAnthony Dowd, ManasquanTyler Botta, RamseyJake Puskar, Summit Demitri Forand, Middletown SouthSam Catalano, Rumson-Fair HavenJustin Rauch, St. Joe-Montvale Will Fortescue, Don Bosco PrepBen Conrod, DeblartonRocco Salvato Princeton Colin Grable, CBAKyle Contessa, CBAAlex Scimeca, Saint Augustine Prep Tim O'Connell, Seton Hall PrepTy Ebeling, RidgeConnor Sedlak, Don Bosco Prep Chris Pelosi, Gloucester CatholicMatt Franzoni, ManasquanGreg Spitznagel, Summit Michael Rubin, Don Bosco PrepSean Grant, Saint RoseNick Stoebling, Bergen Catholic Michael Sofia, RandolphJustin Hughes, Saint Joe-MontvaleAidan Trainor, Princeton Seth Kaplan, Morristown-BeardDom Troisi, Saint John Vianney Jason Kwestel, Morris KnollsGleb Veremyev, Monroe Tommy Matthews, Morristown-BeardZach Wagnon, CBA Connor Milliken, Gloucester CatholicJason Wolff, Hillsborough Aram Minnetian, Bergen CatholicJT Zangara, Randolph CBA goalie John Donohoe named JSZ Hockey Player of the Year 2020 was a year to remember for Christian Brothers Academy. The Colts ran the table from the beginning of the postseason to the end, scoring wins in the Gordon Cup and the Non-Public State Championship. The man at the center of it all was goaltender John Donohoe. The sophomore transfer from Pennsylvania had a .928 save percentage and made seven shutouts against the likes of Bergen Catholic, Delbarton and Don Bosco Prep. He is JSZ’s 2020 Player of the Year. Watch JSZ’s feature on Donohoe HERE:
JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight: Shawnee’s Chris Lyons
Coronavirus has brought the world to a screeching halt at the moment, and that includes high school sports in the Garden State. JSZ is spotlighting prominent senior athletes who are waiting and hoping to take the field again this spring. Our mission is to tell their stories, and share how they’re trying to stay ready, both physically and mentally. Today’s JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight features Shawnee lacrosse standout Chris Lyons. JSZ’s Mike Frankel recently spoke with the Yale commit: JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight is brought to you in part by Cooper University Health Care.
JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight: Moorestown’s Shane Knobloch
Coronavirus has brought the world to a screeching halt at the moment, and that includes high school sports in the Garden State. JSZ is spotlighting prominent senior athletes who are waiting and hoping to take the field again this spring. Our mission is to tell their stories, and share how they’re trying to stay ready, both physically and mentally. Today’s JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight features Moorestown lacrosse standout Shake Knobloch. JSZ’s Mike Frankel recently spoke with the Rutgers commit: JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight is brought to you in part by NJM Insurance.
Vote now for JSZ Basketball Clutch Play of the Year!
We wrap up our winter sports salute with buzzer-beaters, half-court shots and some creative plays on the hardwood. The voting is open so check out our nominees and cast your vote! We want to thank our loyal audience for spending this quarantine watching all the great plays captured by our cameras during the winter sports season. We wrap up our winter Plays of the Year with the JSZ Basketball Clutch Play. We’ve got buzzer-beaters, half-court shots and some non-dunks that caught our eye. The polls are open NOW through Tuesday at 3:00 pm. Watch our clutch plays and cast your vote now! Take Our Poll JSZ’s Clutch Play of the Year is brought to you by Cooper University Health Care
RC’s Cliff Omoruyi Staying Home, Commits to Rutgers
Rutgers basketball had a resurgence in 2020 and put together one of the best years in program history. The Scarlet Knight took that momentum onto the recruiting trail and landed one of the biggest prospects to ever walk into the RAC — literally. Roselle Catholic center Cliff Omoruyi, who was recently named New Jersey’s Gatorade Player of the Year, took to social media Sunday afternoon to announce his commitment to play for head coach Steve Pikiell at Rutgers University. 120% committed pic.twitter.com/UB4EpiZ3fX— Bigcliff77 (@wizcliff77) March 29, 2020 Watch Cliff Omoruyi’s JSZ Highlight Reel HERE Omoruyi is a 6-11, 230-pound nightmare in the paint. Anyone who saw the Lions play over the last two seasons caught a glimpse of what college coaches fell in love with. Omoruyi was a threat to jam home a vicious dunk on any possession and was the most dominant defensive player in the Garden State. He averaged 14.5 points, 11.8 rebounds and 5.6 blocks during a senior season that cemented him as a Top 50 nationally ranked player in the country. Known around the state as “Big Cliff,” he received major Power 5 interest leading into his senior season. Omoruyi chose Rutgers over programs like Auburn, Arizona State, Kentucky, Memphis, NC State, UConn and Miami. Omoruyi is a finalist for Jersey Sports Zone’s Mr. Hoop Zone Player of the Year and it the latest New Jersey talent to stay home and play at Rutgers. Former Gill St. Bernard’s star Paul Mulcahy and Ron Harper Jr., a product from Don Bosco Prep, both saw major minutes this season at the RAC. Roselle Catholic head coach Dave Boff has produced numerous high recruits like Isaiah Briscoe, Naz Reid and Kahlil Whitney in recent years, yet Omoruyi is the first player in school to win the state Gatorade Player of the Year. ** Stay tuned with JerseySportsZone.com in the coming months for the latest recruiting news on top athletes from the Garden State. **
Vote now for the JSZ Hockey Save of the Year!
We haven’t forgotten about the goalies. JSZ brings you 10 amazing stops captured by our cameras. Cast your vote now to see who gets the JSZ Hockey Save of the Year We spent the last week having fun with a tournament-style 32 bracket of JSZ’s top hockey goals. Now it’s time to give the goalies some love. We went through all of our games and picked out the best saves captured by Jersey Sports Zone cameras. The polls are open NOW and will close on Monday at 3:00 pm. Watch the ten nominees and cast your vote for JSZ Hockey Save of the Year: Take Our Poll 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!
JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight: St. Augustine’s Kenny Levari
Coronavirus has brought the world to a screeching halt at the moment, and that includes high school sports in the Garden State. JSZ is launching a series to spotlight prominent senior athletes who are waiting and hoping to take the field again this spring. The mission is to tell their stories, and share how they’re trying to stay ready, both physically and mentally. We lead off with St. Augustine baseball standout Kenny Levari. JSZ’s Mike Frankel recently spoke with the Old Dominion University commit: JSZ Spring Senior Spotlight is brought to you in part by Cooper University Health Care.
Vote now for JSZ Hockey Goal of the Year championship round!
Thanks to all the great hockey fans for voting all week. After 32 goals, we’re down to the final two. Vote now for Jake Puskar vs. JT Zangara to see who wins the JSZ Goal of the Year! It all comes down to the final two! Summit’s Jake Puskar takes on Randolph’s JT Zangara in a battle of two-state champions. Puskar’s between the legs goal came in the Union County final. Zangara’s goal was part of his hat trick in the state finals at the Prudential Center. The polls are open through Saturday at 6:00 pm. Watch both goals below and cast your vote! JSZ Hockey Goals of the Year FINAL: Jake Puskar, Summit vs. JT Zangara, Randolph Take Our Poll In case you missed it, check out all 32 goals of the year nominees captured by JSZ cameras: Jersey Sports Zone’s Hockey Goal of the Year is brought to you by NJM Insurance