Keyport facing one last hurdle in run at third title Red Raiders set to face South River in Saturday’s Group I final The Keyport High School football team will put its perfect record on the line Saturday when it lines up to defend its title against South River in the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group I championship game. Keyport returns to the title game for its third straight season. Last fall, the Red Raiders defeated South River for the CJ Group I crown. Keyport has been firing on all cylinders since the season began, and Coach Mike Ciccotelli said his team is healthy heading into the championship tilt. The Red Raiders are coming off a 46-0 Thanksgiving Day victory over Holmdel in a game that saw quarterback Rich Cline hook up with Dezmin Laing for two touchdown passes and Jamie Gutridge run for two more TDs. Gutridge ended the morning with 142 yards, while his backfield mate, freshman Ken Cattouse, ran for another 138 yards. In the CJ Group I semifinal game, Keyport downed a surprisingly resilient Colts Neck team, 23-8. Gutridge ran for 100 yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead the victory. Cattouse also scored. Ciccotelli acknowledged that his team has plenty of offensive weapons with Cline, Gutridge and Cattouse in the backfield, and the dangerous Laing at split end. The speedy wideout scored four touchdowns in the Red Raiders’ regular season triumph over Point Pleasant Borough, three on passes from Cline, the other on an 82-yard kickoff return. On the other side, Steve Cline is a dependable pass-catcher. “I’ve never lived or died by stats,” the veteran coach said. “We’ve got a lot of impressive statistics, but they don’t mean anything when the game starts. You have to go out there and play, and prove yourself all over again.” Ciccotelli noted that the onus will be on his defensive unit to contain South River’s potent offense. The Rams (8-2) downed Dunellen, 28-0, in the CJ Group I semifinal game behind a 138-yard effort by Zack Earvin that resulted in two touchdowns. South River’s defense kept the Destroyers at bay all afternoon, allowing just 23 total yards. The Red Raiders’ defense, under the tutelage of defensive coordinator Ed Riscavage, also knows how to bottle up an opponent. The line — Shawn Poling and Chris Kopf are the ends, with John Dowling and Adam Ries at tackles — has been dominating, and with the likes of Ben Markus, Gutridge and Cline at linebacker, Keyport has plenty of speed. “Our defense has been great,” Ciccotelli said. “And we’re going to need another big game from them against South River. That’s a very talented team and we’ll need to be at our best. The key for us will be to contain them and let our offense go to work.” South River is a team which has been improving with each game and has saved its best football for the end of the season. The offense, particularly Earvin, has kicked it into high gear in a series of big victories over the past few weeks, and will look to keep its momentum when it invades Keyport this weekend. But the Red Raiders know what they’re up against, and will be prepared to give Cic-cotelli his first undefeated season. Game time is 1 p.m. Staff Writer By Warren Rappleyea
Wins gold in the shotput at NACAC Championships By tim morrisStaff Writer Wins gold in the shot put at NACAC Championships By tim morris Staff Writer Jon Kalnas’ brilliant throwing season took on an added touch of gold at the Powerade North America, Central America and Caribbean (NACAC) Under-25 Track and Field Championship in San Antonio, Texas. Competing in a United States uniform at an international meet for the first time, the Monmouth University All-American won the shot put with a throw of 61-4 1/4 (18.70 meters). That mark was reached on his sixth and final throw. A 59-9 (18.2) earlier in the competition enabled him to overtake teammate Chris Adams (who took the silver medal with a 58-1 (17.70)) and move into first. That mark would have been good enough to win it. Kalnas had earned his spot on the US Team by finishing eighth at the USA Track and Field Championships with a toss of 63-4 3/4. Hawks’ head coach Joe Compagni said the competition was good for Kalnas. “It was an awesome experience for Jon to be able to compete in a Team USA uniform, something I hope he can do more of in the future,” he pointed out. “To be able to win an international meet like this makes it even more special. It was a tremendous achievement for him and a great thing for the school.” Monmouth throwing coach Mark Gottdenker was impressed that after a very long competitive season that began in January with the indoor season, Kalnas was able to be remain in winning form for the NACAC Championships. “Jon has been competing at a very high level since early this year and this is a great way to end the season,” said Gottdenker. “He’s excited about the future. He knows he has a unique opportunity in the next couple of years. This whetted his appetite.” Kalnas is the first ex-Monmouth athlete to represent the United States in an international amateur event since Christie Pearce, who is still a member of the US women’s soccer team. Gottdenker, who was in San Antonio with Kalnas, saw what the impact was. “He was pretty excited about it,” he remarked. “He’s represented his high school, New Jersey and Monmouth at championship meets before, and now this was his first opportunity to be a part of Team USA. “What that uniform represented was all the work he’s put in over the years,” he added. The NACAC was the latest triumph in a season of firsts for Kalnas, who earned All-American honors twice in 2002 to bring his total number of All-American honors for his career to three. Kalnas began his record-setting assault indoors, where he won the Millrose Games and Northeast Conference championships. He placed fifth at the NCAA Division I Championships with a school-record throw and earned All-American recognition. Outdoors, the records kept falling as he won at the Penn Relays, the Northeast Conference and IC4A meets. He was fourth at the NCAA Division I Championships with an outdoor school record 63-8 1/4. He was again tabbed an All-American. Kalnas followed up his final collegiate season at Monmouth with his appearance at the National Championships in Palo Alto, Calif. His eighth place in the meet that featured a veritable who’s who in American throwing, including the likes of Adam Nelson, Jon Godina and Kevin Toth, allowed Kalnas to prove he belonged with the elite. That finish was good enough to put him on Team USA for the NACAC Under-25 Championships, where he couldn’t have made a more golden debut.
Brick native enjoysstellar freshman season Brick native enjoys stellar freshman season BY WAYNE WITKOWSKI Staff Writer Brick’s Rob Hine was a welcomed addition to the Brookdale baseball team this spring. Rob Hine hoped to get some playing opportunities for Brookdale Community College’s young, nationally ranked baseball team. The freshman shortstop, who played last spring for Brick Township, did not think he would be an everyday player. “I played every inning during the season,” said Hine. “I never got moved from when we started with seven shortstops, with some of the others moving to different positions.” In fact, Hine made second team for the Garden State Athletic Conference and second team for Region XIX. Batting sixth in the order, Hine admitted he “hit better than I thought. I expected to go down (in batting average) a little from high school.” But Hine says he felt he adapted quickly, which he credits in part to playing last summer in a college league in Brooklyn. “That helped me a lot,” said Hine. And playing on a high school team that qualified last season for all three tournaments — Ocean County, Shore Conference and NJSIAA — gave him a taste of the pressure he would experience at Brookdale. The team finished 28-8 after winning its first 15 games and then faded a little despite the strong pitching. Ranked No. 6 in the nation, Brookdale won the GSAC, but then lost its opening Region XIX series at Mercer County College in a stunning upset to Lackawanna of Scranton, Pa. Lackawanna scored two runs in the ninth inning to pull out the final game of the best-of-three series, 6-4. Lackawanna (19-17) opened the series with a 6-3 victory before the Jersey Blues knotted it, 10-2. Hine sounded frustrated recalling that early exit from the postseason. Hine batted .365 with four doubles, three triples and 25 RBIs. He struck out nine times and walked seven times. Defensively, he had a .909 fielding percentage with 25 put outs, 32 assists and five errors. If hitting is contagious, Hine was happy to be playing on what he considers “a pretty good hitting team. The difference from high school is the pitchers hit more spots, going inside and then trying to throw strikes on the outside, which is not what I want to hit. I never saw a hard slider until I came to Brookdale and you’d usually see a mid-80s (80 mph) fastball in high school, but pitchers here can get it in the 90s. I knew there was a big difference in speed because I had talked to guys who have played at Brookdale about it.” And it’s not only at the plate where the players develop quick reactions, but on the bases and also in the field. Quickness on defense is essential; because players are more dedicated to weight training in college and their strength, and the zip of the aluminum alloy bat makes the ball take off sharply. Hine did a great job of keeping the ball in front of him to make the tough plays. Hine, whose brother Chris also plays shortstop as a sophomore on the Brick Township team, started off at second base before being moved in his junior year with the Green Dragons. “He has a solid glove and excellent size for a shortstop at 6 feet 1 inch,” said Brick Township coach Tom Webber of the move. “And he has excellent range and a great cannon for an arm to really fire that ball over.” BY WAYNE WITKOWSKIStaff Writer
Chris Sole, a junior at Manhattan College, continued his string of soaring high jumps at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational held at the New York City Armory on Saturday. Sole tied for fifth in the men’s high jump clearing 2.06 meters (6-9). It was the best result by any Jasper at the meet. Earlier this year, the Middletown South High School grad won the Metropolitan Championship and attained the qualifying standard for the IC4A Championships.
The Golden Gloves competition is the goal for all aspiring young boxers. The first step that they take toward the New Jersey Golden Gloves championships begins on Feb. 28 at Christian Brothers Academy (CBA) in Lincroft, where the Alumni Fathers Club of CBA will host a New Jersey Golden Gloves Tournament in the McKay Gymnasium.The first bout is scheduled for 7 p.m., with doors and the snack bar opening at 5 p.m.Student admission is $10 with ID. General admission is $20, with ringside seats at $35 each. VIP tickets, which include parking, entry, dinner, open bar and a ringside table for eight, are $75. Tickets are available online at www.cbalincroftnj.com.Fans will get to see some of the top amateur boxers in the state on Feb. 28 as they look to advance in state competition.The boxing card will feature both Junior Golden Gloves (ages 9-16) and Senior Golden Gloves (17-34) bouts in a number of weight classes. Depending on the age group, matches will consist of three, three-minute rounds or three, two-minute rounds. Brackets include Open Class, Novice and Sub-Novice.The CBA tournament is the first of 10 scheduled competitions leading up to the state finals. Dan Doyle, president of New Jersey Golden Gloves, noted that the turnout at these local stops has been “excellent.”Middletown PAL will host a tournament on March 14.Doyle noted that the talent level has improved every year.“The skill level of the boxers has increased with the assistance of coaches who have gone through our coaching program,” he said. “The boxers thrive on the crowd’s reaction.” New Jersey Golden Gloves has been active since 1938. The National Golden Gloves dates back to 1934.Golden Gloves graduates include champions Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler, Thomas “Hitman” Hearns and Oscar De La Hoya. They all started their boxing careers in Golden Gloves.To find out more about New Jersey Golden Gloves, go to www.njgoldengloves.com.CBA Alumni Fathers Club was founded by John McNamara and Gerry Ward.The focus of the club is to keep the spirit of the academy alive among the alumni dads, develop new fundraising events, give the alumni and their dads an opportunity to enjoy alumni fatherson events, and continue to enjoy the legacy of CBA, according to the club’s press release.
By Iacovos ConstantinouAEL were 4-1 winners of the big weekend game against Anorthosis, while ten-man Omonia defeated Ermis.Doxa recorded their first league win of the season away to Ethnikos Achnas and AEK had to wait until the very last minute to bag all three points against Ayia Napa. At the ‘behind closed doors’ Tsirion stadium, AEL took the lead through Danielzinhio on the half hour mark in an otherwise cagey first half where defences were very much in control. Polish striker Gigiewitz doubled the score for the Limassol team just after the break when the ball rebounded off his chest and into the net.Anorthosis managed to hit back early through Iacovenko but Edmar restored AEL’s two-goal lead and Stavrou completed the score late on.The final score-line flattered the home side but Anorthosis coach Andre Paous made no excuses saying: “We controlled the game for long periods but what counts in football is to score and in this area AEL were much superior.”Omonia had to play all but the first 15 minutes of their game against Ermis Aradippou with ten players after their keeper Moreira was red carded for handling outside his box.However Omonia put in a gutsy performance and their numerical disadvantage was never exposed by their opponents.Omonia took the lead through Pote, who has now scored five of his team’s seven goals, with the winner coming from Fofana nine minutes from the end. Moran had levelled for Ermis just before the break.Lowly Doxa Katokopias pulled off the shock of the round recording their first league win of the season against high-flying Ethnikos Achnas.It was a spirited performance by Doxa who had their keeper Gomes in excellent form, keeping Ethnikos’ strikers at bay. Their goals came from Ramos and veteran Portuguese midfielder Ricardo Fernandez.Ethnikos had equalised briefly through Pinto. Ayia Napa were just a few seconds away from causing the second weekend upset but a Boljevic strike deep into injury time gave all three points to AEK Larnaca.Ayia Napa had taken the lead early in the first half through Markoski but Colautti netted the equaliser on the stroke of half-time.In the second half AEK dominated play and created a host of goal-scoring opportunities but had to wait until the 90th minute to claim all three points.Leaders APOEL and Apollonas complete this week’s fixtures on Monday night with tricky away ties against Othellos Athienou (18.30) and Nea Salamina (20.00) respectively.Champions APOEL were in action on Monday night, when they continued their impressive start to the season with a very late 2-1 away win over Othellos Athienou. Second-placed Apollon meanwhile suffered a shock 4-0 defeat at Nea Salamina.
Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheets for Mercedes in both practice sessions of the Australian Grand Prix on Friday but the waterlogged conditions put a dampener on Formula One’s season opener.With intermittent showers blighting the day, the teams head into the race weekend short of set-up work and lacking valuable data on their tyres, meaning qualifying could be a lottery.Hamilton, bidding for a third successive title with Mercedes, posted a lap of one minute 29.725 seconds in the opening session, over four-tenths of a second quicker than Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat.But the Briton could manage only 1:38.841 in the rain-delayed second, with the track too greasy to go anywhere near full throttle.He was nearly half a second faster than Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, with Ferrari’s former world champion Kimi Raikkonen third quickest in the second session.Hamilton’s team-mate Nico Rosberg, who won the final three races of last season, had a day to forget.After posting the sixth fastest lap in the opening session, he skidded at turn six in the later practice and damaged his front wing in a collision with the barrier.The German rolled slowly around the track for a few moments before being called to stop, as Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff glared at a television screen in the garage.Red Bull had a better day, with Kvyat’s Australian team-mate Daniel Ricciardo third behind the Russian in the initial run and fourth-quickest in the later session.Four-time champion Sebastian Vettel, tipped to threaten Hamilton’s ambitions of a fourth title overall, was eighth quickest in the second session after failing to post a time in the first as gusty winds buffeted the street circuit.His team-mate Raikkonen locked up and skidded at a turn in FP1 to post one of the slowest times of the session.Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz struggled with a reliability problem early and was unable to post a lap time in the early session but returned to record the fifth fastest in FP2.Seven drivers, including both Williams drivers Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, did not trouble the timers in FP2, with teams seeing little value in testing the car in the wet.New team Haas, the first US-owned F1 outfit in 30 years, had a cautious debut with French driver Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez posting slow times in both sessions.
Former champions England survived a dramatic batting collapse to beat Afghanistan by 15 runs in a World Twenty20 Group One match on Wednesday and boost their semi-final hopes with a second successive victory.In a potential banana-skin match against the Afghans, Eoin Morgan’s team were in dire straits at 57-6 halfway through their innings before a half-century stand between Moeen Ali (41 not out) and David Willey (20 not out) lifted them to a 142-7.The 2010 winners looked more convincing with the ball, however, restricting Afghanistan to 127-9 to consign the associate team to their third consecutive defeat in the tournament.With their second win in three group matches, England are second in the standings behind West Indies, who have won both their opening matches and enjoy a superior net run-rate.Moeen, who also claimed a wicket, was adjudged man-of-the-match.Morgan was left to rue his decision to bat after three wickets fell in off-spinner Mohammad Nabi’s first over, including that of the England captain for nought.Jason Roy’s dismissal in the third over meant England did not get a 50-plus opening stand for the 16th consecutive Twenty20 International but bigger shocks awaited them.Nabi (2-17) effected three dismissals in one over and held a brilliant catch to completely unhinge England’s vaunted batting order which had chased down a massive 230 to win a thriller against South Africa in their last game.The 31-year-old caught James Vince (22) off his own bowling and castled Morgan for a golden duck.Nabi did not get a hat-trick as his lbw appeal against Ben Stokes was turned down but the Afghan spinner ran out talismanic Englishman Joe Root after an almighty mix-up.Nabi also dived to his left to scoop up a stunning catch to send back Jos Buttler and England had lost their top order soon after they reached 50 in the eighth over.Moeen and Willey came up with some lusty hits towards the end to plunder 57 runs in 5.3 overs and lift their side to a respectable score.Afghanistan made a poor start with the bat when Willey’s double strike reduced them to 13-3 inside three overs.In between regularly tumbling wickets, the Afghan batsmen struck a few boundaries and Shafiqullah Shafaq blasted a belligerent 35 not but his team could get only eight of the 24 runs they needed from the final over bowled by Stokes.
Ecstatic Wales coach Chris Coleman praised his “soldiers” after a shock 3-1 win over Belgium at Euro 2016 took the country to their first major tournament semi-final, and said they could match anyone if they were not afraid to fail.“I know my team are good enough to perform against anybody. We defended like soldiers, our performance was fantastic,” Coleman said. “The whole experience is unchartered.”The stunning victory against a side ranked second in the world was the greatest result in Welsh soccer history and will embolden the players when they meet Portugal next Wednesday to fight for a place in the final.“I think you dream about nights like this, and you never know whether you’ll be lucky enough to live them,” Coleman said.He added that he had been quietly confident Wales could spring an upset and they deserved the win.“I said before we kicked the ball today, we are not here to enjoy it, we are here to compete,” he said.“The big challenge is not the opposition it is ourselves. It’s not worrying about giving our best and failing.”Second-half goals from Hal Robson-Kanu and Sam Vokes sealed Wales’ triumph after captain Ashley Williams’ first-half header cancelled out an early strike from Radja Nainggolan.“We were underdogs to even qualify but knew the quality in our group,” said man-of the-match Robson-Kanu. “The performance today is a credit to everyone.“We kept to our game plan. We’ve got world-class players – we can be as solid as a rock defensively. With those two combined we stand a good chance.”SUPERB GOALRobson-Kanu’s superb goal came afer he left three Belgium players for dead with a ‘Cruyff’ turn and calmly stroke the ball home to put Wales 2-1 ahead in the 55th minute.Former England international Gary Lineker, in his role as a BBC presenter, called Wales’ victory “one of the greatest performances in the history of British football”.The Welsh fans, who had flocked across the Channel or made their way from other points in France, egged their team on from the start with a mighty choral display.Although this was almost a home game for the Belgians, whose border is five miles from Stadium Pierre-Mauroy in Lille, the only voices to be heard were Welsh, from “Land of my Fathers” to “Men of Harlech” and, their inevitable anthem of Euro 2016, “Please Don’t Send Me home”.On a sour note for Wales, though, they will be without inspirational midfielder Aaron Ramsey in their semi-final in Lyon on Wednesday after he picked up a booking that has ruled him out of the match.“I’m gutted for Aaron. He’s been one of the best players of the tournament,” Coleman said.The London Times special sports section had a full-page picture of Robson-Kanu celebrating his goal with the headline “Hal-lelujah”, while The Sun’s banner read: “Kanu believe it!Greatest ever win!”.Eight days after Britain voted to leave the European Union, Prime Minister David Cameron offered his congratulations to Wales for their Euro 2016 heroics.“Amazing performance, amazing result. Passion & pride shown by Wales team & fans are incredible to watch. Bring on Portugal!” Cameron said on Twitter.
Leaders Chelsea have over-performed this season to stay ahead of their better-prepared London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League title race, manager Antonio Conte has said.Chelsea are favourites to win the title and can extend their lead over second-placed Tottenham, who failed to rein in Leicester City last season, to seven points with three games left if they beat Middlesbrough at Stamford Bridge on Monday.“In this season, if Chelsea had not performed in this way, Tottenham would win the title without difficulty,” Conte told British media.“Only this great season (from us) is pushing them to fight and, maybe, to win or not to win the title.”Conte said that Tottenham had a better foundation for this season as their manager Mauricio Pochettino had developed the squad over the past three years.“I think that Tottenham have an advantage, if you compare Tottenham to Chelsea,” Conte said.“Tottenham last season fought to win the title and Chelsea finished 10th. You can see our transfer market and Tottenham’s transfer market.“This is my first season. (Mauricio) Pochettino has been working there for three years and has changed a lot of players and is working very well.”Conte said that teams in England had to work harder than those on the continent to get results and this had a knock-on effect in their performances in European and international competitions.“This league is very difficult. It’s strong. It’s totally different to the Italian or Spanish leagues,” Conte added.“Every single game you must fight a lot and, I think, also for this reason it’s not easy to arrive at the end of a European competition.“Also for the national team, it’s very difficult to try and do very well in the World Cup or the Euros because you arrive at the end of the season and the players are tired.”