Monmouth Rangers win Garden State League title

first_imgThe Monmouth Rangers shut out the Monmouth Falcons 6-0 on Sept. 8 in the Monmouth County Garden State Baseball League playoff final at Laird Field in Colts Neck. Their fourth victory without a loss in the playoffs gave the Rangers the undisputed state championship crown for the league, which began its season in May. The Garden State League, run by commissioner Ed DeFrancesco, is a competitive, unlimited age league that includes participants who have played college and professional baseball, as well as some of the area’s top high school players. The Rangers’ well-balanced roster included members who graduated or are still playing at several Monmouth and Ocean County high schools. Ace pitcher Rich Colangelo (Raritan High School and Kean College), whose experience includes pitching in the Division III College World Series, started and won all four playoff games for the Rangers, including two shutouts. A potent hitter, Colangelo tied with Jeff Karpel (Fairleigh Dickinson University) for the team lead in home runs with five. Karpel, currently the jayvee baseball coach at Rumson-Fair Haven High School, led the team in hitting with a .575 average and played centerfield. The other Ranger outfielders were Paul Carlet (Ramapo College), P.J. Kapsales (Holmdel High School) and Dave Orroyo (Middletown North and Fairleigh Dickinson). Colangelo led a deep pitching staff that included Don Adams (Toms River South) and Bryan Malko (Minnesota Twins New Britain AA team and the Newark Bears). Both Adams and Malko provided outstanding relief pitching throughout the playoffs, and were quality starting pitchers throughout the season. Malko, who was recovering from arm surgery, left the Rangers after the first playoff victory to sign with the Newark Bears, where he is resuming his professional career, and boasted a team-leading 2.63 earned run average in 11 appearances after joining the Bears. He was also the Rangers’ clean-up hitter. Additional pitching support for the Rangers was provided by Paul Carlet, Matt Miller (Middletown South), Jason Long (Mater Dei), James Bello (Middletown North) and Kapsales. The pitching staff was handled by catchers Brett Thayler (Rumson-Fair Haven) and Brendan Ferris, with Thayler catching all the playoff victories. The team was rounded out with a strong infield, which included Miller, Jason Long, Bello, Travis Evernham (Brookdale Community College), Tom Long (Ramapo) and Mike Rovira (Neptune High School), Bello led the team in hits with 31, followed by Carlet with 30. The team’s manager, Dave Long, had a solid all-around team and was pleased with the team’s success in the postseason. “We were a well-balanced and deep team, offensively, defensively and with our pitching,” he said. “Also, we had a great mix of young high school players who provided energy and enthusiasm, while when combined with experienced college and pro players, resulted in a tough team to beat. It was a great experience for everyone, but I think the high school players benefitted greatly from the level of competition of the opposing teams, plus the high level of play of their teammates.last_img read more

Sport Shorts

first_imgSport Shorts The Husky Soccer Association will be sponsoring its seventh annual summer soccer camp Aug. 4-8. Sessions available are half-day, full-day, goalkeepers and team training camps. The camp is designed for ages 6-17. A Tiny Touches camp for ages 4-6 is also available. The instructors are Scottish F.F. licensed and former players and coaches. The camp will be conducted by Essential Soccer and will be held at Matawan Regional High School. For more information, call Art Perri at (732) 566-0154 or e-mail huskysport@aol. com. The phone number for Essential Soccer is (302) 622-8975; or e-mail essentialsoccer@aol.cm. The Aberdeen-Matawan Lightning girls U11 travel soccer team is moving to 11-a-side from 8-a-side, and has roster spots to fill. Non-residents are welcome. To be eligible, your birth date must be after July 31,1992. For more information, contact Marc Naparstek at (732) 583-1526.last_img read more

Eagles bid for two titles

first_img As the week began, the Middletown South High School softball team remained in pursuit of two championships. The Eagles were still alive in the NJSIAA Group III state tournament and were scheduled to play Delsea on June 2 at New Egypt High School, Plumsted. A win over Delsea would send the Eagles into the Group III championship game. The Eagles were also bidding to win the Shore Conference Tournament championship. Middletown South was scheduled to play Red Bank Catholic High School for the tournament crown on June 3 at Wall High School. Both of those games were played after press time for this issue of the Independent. Prior to the conference tournament championship game, the Eagles and the Caseys had played twice in 2009. Middletown South won a regular season game at home and RBC defeated the Eagles in the championship of the Monmouth County Tournament. The Eagles (25-3) earned a bye in the first round of the Shore Conference Tournament and then defeated Central Regional in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals played May 31, the Eagles defeated Toms River East, 6-1. Liza Kuhn had another strong game on the mound for the Eagles, getting out of a firstinning jam with just one run scoring. Coach Tom Erbig’s team got on the board in the fourth inning after catcher Amanda Galanti singled and centerfielder Jackie Bates connected for a tworun homer. Amanda Yamaguchi increased the lead to 3-1 with an RBI single later in the inning. Middletown South cushioned its lead in the fifth when Sam Penk blasted a solo homer and Bates connected for a second two-run shot. “The girls are truly playing as a team,” Erbig said before this week’s action began. “When someone makes an error, someone else picks them up. And Liza (Kuhn) has been a great pitcher for us. She perseveres and gets the job done. Her ability to pitch her way out of trouble has been invaluable to our team.” On May 30, Middletown South won its second straight NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III crown with a 1-0 win over Wall. The teams battled through eight scoreless innings, with Kuhn and Wall’s Ani Sasala dueling on the mound. The Eagles finally broke through in the bottom of the ninth when sophomore Julia Kuhn drew a walk to lead off the inning. Bates followed with a single and K.D. Rohlander stepped to the plate. The senior first baseman attempted to sacrifice the runners over, but missed. However, the ball got past the Crimson Knights’ catcher and the runners moved up to second and third. With two strikes on her, Rohlander dribbled a slow grounder to short and Julia Kuhn beat the thrown home to give Middletown South the state sectional title. “Before that pitch I told Julia not to go unless the ball got through the infield or was hit slowly to the right side,” Erbig said. “It was a situation where instinct took over. She took off as soon as the ball was hit. It was a great play.” It also marked the second straight year that Julia Kuhn scored the winning run in the Central Jersey Group III championship game. She also scored the lone run in the Eagles’ 1-0 triumph over Kingsway in 2008. Against Wall in the state sectional final, the Eagles’ defense was solid, highlighted by an unusual double play in the second inning. With a runner on second and no one out, third baseman Julia Kuhn snared a bunt attempt in the air to retire the batter and threw to Bates, who snuck in behind the runner at second from her position in centerfield and completed the double play. BY WARREN RAPPLEYEA Staff Writer last_img read more

Super Seahawks walking in a winter wonderland

first_imgThe National Football League took a gamble when it went against convention and decided to stage the Super Bowl at an outdoor stadium in New Jersey during the winter but it proved a great success.Especially for the Seattle Seahawks on Super Sunday.A week after snowfall in the greater New York metropolitan area brought concerns that the Super Bowldate could be in jeopardy, a spring-like wave of weather arrived, putting more than 82,000 fans at MetLife Stadium into a party mood.By the end of the game, it was the Seahawks’ turn to celebrate under a sky full of green and blue confetti marking their 43-8 trouncing of the Denver Broncos.Seattle proved that defense still rules in the Big Game as they embarrassed the usually high-scoring Broncos to win their first NFL championship in franchise history.The top-ranked Seattle defense shut down the top-rated Broncos offense and record-setting quarter back Peyton Manning, creating four turnovers and transforming what was expected to be a nail-biter into a Super Bowl XLVIII rout.Five previous times the NFL’s top-rated defense had faced the league’s number one offense, and the defenders led 4-1 in those encounters.Seattle and their “Legion of Boom” defensive secondary, fast-covering linebackers and determined pass rushers, upheld the tradition on an unseasonably mild night in the first outdoor venue in a winter-weather location.AMAZING TEAM“This is an amazing team,” said Seahawks coach  Pete Carroll at the Lombardi Trophy presentation on the MetLife Stadium field. “These guys would not take anything but winning this ballgame.”Seattle turned two interceptions into second-quarter touchdowns for a 22-0 lead at the intermission, the second coming on a 69-yard interception return by linebacker Malcolm Smith, who received the Most Valuable Player award.“It’s just a tremendous feeling,” said Smith, who also secured Seattle’s NFC title-clinching victory over San Francisco by intercepting a last-gasp pass that was tipped by his team mate Richard Sherman.Defensive end Cliff Avril jarred Manning as he was throwing on the play and Smith corralled the floating pass in the middle of the field and took off for the end zone.“Man, it’s incredible,” said Smith. “It’s the way our defense is set up. We just run to the ball. I’m just the one today. It happens all the time like this. It feels great.”The Seahawks, who led the NFL in creating turnovers, also recovered two fumbles in the lopsided contest that gave them a first Super Bowl crown in their 37-season history.OMINOUS BEGINNINGThe comprehensive victory was kick-started just 12 seconds into the contest with a two-point safety on a bad snap over Manning’s head into the end zone on Denver’s first play for the quickest Super Bowl tally ever.After Denver’s second half kickoff, Percy Harvin also took 12 seconds to score, racing 87 yards into the end zone to confirm the romp was on in taking Seattle’s lead to 29-0.Second-year quarterback Russell Wilson, leading the second youngest team ever to play in a SuperBowl, took the spotlight from five-time NFL Most Valuable Player Manning by completing 18-of-25 passes for 206 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.“We believed that we could get here,” Wilson said. “At the beginning of the season I told our guys, ‘Hey, why not us?’“We had the talent. We had the coaching. We have the best fans in the National Football League. We wanted to win it all.”Manning, who set NFL records for most touchdown passes and yards passing in a single season, was throttled in the first quarter as Seattle put their stamp on the game by playing Denver receivers tight and registering crunching hits when they did catch the ball.“We knew they were fast. It was still a matter of us doing our jobs better and we didn’t do that tonight,” said Manning, who failed to win a second Super Bowl ring and saw his career postseason record fall to 11-12.“I think we played a great football team. We needed to play really well in order to win and we didn’t come anywhere close to that.”Seattle out-gained Denver 148 yards to 11 in the first quarter but only led 8-0. When they stepped up their pass-rushing pressure on Manning, the Seahawks harassed him into the interceptions that helped break the game open.With the Broncos desperately far behind, Manning took to the air in a futile attempt to make it a contest, and in the end set a Super Bowl record with 34 completions, while receiver Demaryius Thomas set a record for most receptions with 13.“It was a combination of coverage and pressure as it always is in pass defense,” Denver coach John Fox said about the Broncos’ difficulty in getting their pass attack going.“There is a reason why they were the number one team in defense during the season. Give them credit.”last_img read more

Omonia host Apollon in crunch clash in Cyprus

first_imgBy Iacovos ConstantinouJust three rounds remain before the Cyprus playoffs with the top three teams, Apollon, APOEL and Omonia all facing each other over the next three weeks in crucial matches that may go a long way in deciding the championship.This week’s top-of-the-table clash is between Omonia and Apollon at the GSP stadium in Nicosia on Sunday. More than 14,000 fans are expected to turn up for the game where a win for the home side will see them enter the championship race for good as they will be just four points off the top. The GSP is not a happy hunting ground for Apollonas as in the past 16 meetings against Omonia they only managed to beat them twice. However the most recent win was just 13 months ago.Omonia’s coach Kaiafas has no injury concerns and will be fielding his strongest eleven while Andone will be without his suspended captain Argentinian Gaston Sangoy for yet another game.APOEL take on last-but-one Doxa Katokopias at the Makarion stadium and anything other than a win will be considered a major upset for the champions. However Doxa managed to leave with a point when the two teams met back in November.Yet again APOEL will be without a number of key players (Aloneftis, Manduce, Carlao, Vinicius) but they should have Tomas de Vincenti back in their line-up after he served his one-match suspension. Doxa will be without the suspended Paolo Jorge and Ernesto Calderon.Nea Salamina have slipped perilously close to the relegation zone and need the points against AEK Larnaca. They will be without their recent signing Grigalasvili while AEK’s coach cannot count on Englezou and Mitides.Anorthosis travel to Achna to face Ethnikos without the injured Avraam and Ende.Anorthosis have lost just once in 14 meetings against Ethnikos and will be favourites for yet another win.Othellos Athienou are at home to Ermis Aradippou with the visitor’s new coach Mitchell van der Gaag hoping for his first win that will allow Ermis to hang on to the coveted sixth position for yet another week.Othellos are battling to stay in the top-flight and will prove to be a tough opponent in a game that can go either way.The only team capable of leapfrogging Ermis into sixth place is AEL who have a seemingly easy task against bottom of the table Ayia Napa.Saturday, February 14th: Doxa Katokopias v APOEL (17.00), Ethnikos Achnas v Anorthosis & Nea Salamina v AEK (18.00)Sunday, February 15th: Omonia v Apollon (16.00), Othellos Athienou v Ermis Aradippou & AEL v Ayia Napa (17.00)last_img read more

Benitez to leave Napoli amid Real speculation (Updated)

first_imgNapoli coach Rafa Benitez has announced he is leaving after two years with the Serie A club amid widespread expectation he is poised to replace the sacked Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid.Spaniard Benitez, 55, who had a stint in Real’s youth set-up in the 1990s, made the announcement at a news conference on Thursday with Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis.As the club had made clear on Wednesday, Benitez declined to answer questions about his future, saying he had taken the decision to leave after Sunday’s final Serie A match of the campaign at home to Lazio “for family reasons”.“I want to thank the president, the club and all the fans because after two years my experience here at Napoli is coming to an end,” Madrid-born Benitez said.Spanish media have made the former Liverpool, Inter Milan and Chelsea coach the favourite to replace Ancelotti, who was fired by Real on Monday after a season without major silverware.Benitez has had mixed fortunes during his stint with Napoli and if he does join Real he will be taking on one of the most challenging coaching jobs in club soccer.Italian Ancelotti was dismissed a year after he ended 12 years of Champions League failure and led Real to a record-extending 10th European crown, as well as a King’s Cup triumph.Napoli won the Coppa Italia last term and finished third in Serie A but have been unable to use that as a platform for greater success.They started this campaign by losing a Champions League qualifier to Athletic Bilbao and missed out on the lucrative group stage.Beaten in the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia and Europa League, they are fourth in Serie A and need to beat third-placed Lazio to earn a place in next season’s Champions League playoff round.“On Sunday we have an extremely important match and I want to end my two years with a win,” Benitez said. “My focus is solely on the Lazio game.”De Laurentiis gave no word on who might take over from Benitez, saying only that they would be named “soon”last_img read more

South Africa beat Argentina to finish third at World Cup

first_imgBy Julian LindenSOUTH African winger Bryan Habana and flyhalf Handre Pollard fell just short in their bids for individual records despite helping the Springboks to a 24-13 win over Argentina in the bronze medal playoff at the Olympic Stadium on Friday.Habana, who needed one touchdown to set a new outright record for the most tries by a player in World Cups, failed to get over the line in what was almost certainly his last tournament appearance and after being replaced 12 minutes from time, remains tied with New Zealander Jonah Lomu on 15.Pollard booted four penalties and one conversion to finish with 14 points in the match, taking his total points tally for the tournament to 93, four behind the Argentine flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez who replied with a drop goal, a penalty and a last-minute conversion to remain as the leading pointscorer.The Springboks, whose coach Heyneke Meyer had described the third-place playoff as akin to kissing your sister, dominated the game from the outset, finishing with two tries in the match between the two beaten semi-finalists.“Of course we would have loved to be playing tomorrow for the World Cup. Today we knew it would be tough tonight, we have a lot of respect for Argentina and a bronze medal is better than fourth place,” said Matfield, after his 127th and final appearance.“It’s been a fantastic career and I’m just happy we won the game tonight.”Both teams signalled their intention to run the ball from the outset but were unable to generate much genuine intensity after the disappointment of missing out on the final.The Springboks, beaten 20-18 by New Zealand, were rewarded with an early try to winger JP Pietersen, his fifth of the tournament, after spurning the chance for a penalty goal when the Pumas scrumhalf Tomas Cubelli was sinbinned for slowing down the play.Pollard landed the conversion from the touchline and added three more penalties as the Springboks went to the break leading 16-0.Sanchez opened Argentina’s account just after the re-start with a long-range drop goal but South Africa hit straight back with Habana throwing the last pass to Eben Etzebeth for the big lock to slide over.Habana, one of six survivors from the Springboks team that won the 2007 World Cup, had his chances to score, failing to ground a kick in goal then knocking on with the line wide open, but was unable to add to his tally of 15 tries, leaving him level with former New Zealand colossus Jonah Lomu.Sanchez and Pollard traded penalties before the Pumas, who probed all night without ever really looking like breaking through, got a late reward for their efforts when Juan Pablo Orlandi was driven over right in the final move of the match.Attention now turns to Saturday’s final at Twickenham when holders New Zealand take on Australia.last_img read more

United and Yokomo in for tight tussle

first_imgThe A division game to watch will be at 3pm when the two top teams on the ladder, United Brothers who are leading the points ladder will go up against the third placing Yokomo.In the B division two top junior teams United Brothers and Yokomo who are leading the ladder in first and second placings respectively will go on head to head at 1pm today to fight for points as Brothers will try to increase their lead  while Yokomo will vie to catch up with points.In the A division, Gazelle will take on Yokomo, Bears will play  Defence, PNG Power will clash with  Wolves , United Brothers will  meet  Yokomo and Manta Rays  take on  Brown Eagles.In the B divisions; Gazelle will take on Yokomo, Defence will clash with Gazelle, Bears will go up against Defence, PNG Power challenges Wolves, Manta Rays and Brown Eagles and United Brothers will clash with Yokomo.Despite the hot day in the city, the big swingers, hitters and runners will fight for points to their team as the round 2 draws on the action of the men’s games.last_img read more

Dawanincura thanks everyone involved in delivering Pacific Games

first_imgDawanincura said this at the PNGOC’s Annual General Assembly held last Saturday at the Gateway Hotel in Port Moresby.“The Pacific Games goes down in history as the most phenomenal sporting success we have enjoyed as a country, and Team PNG,” said Dawanincura.Dawanincura also acknowledged the bid committee and the presentation team who were involved in promoting PNG as a potential host and putting in the bid to host the Games.He also made special mention thanking the Government for its unprecedented support, including corporate sponsors and the PNG Sports Foundation.“Papua New Guinea would not have achieved the results in 2015 without the investment by government,” said Dawanincura.The president’s remarks were also echoed by secretary general for the PNGOC, Auvita Rapilla.“As secretary general, I feel extremely proud and privileged to have led the PNGOC during this historic period. It was through the joint endeavours of a myriad of people and organisations that the years of tireless effort and hard work resulted in the most successful games ever,” said Rapilla.last_img read more

FIFA Legend: Dedication and determination is key

first_imgOne of the cornerstones of the England team for the best part of a decade, Scott is only the seventh player to earn 100 England caps and is currently England’s second most capped player (both male and female).She is in the country promoting Women’s Football and the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Papua New Guinea 2016 by visiting schools and communities.“Have confidence in yourself. Have the courage to stand up and speak up. Don’t wait for anyone else. Stand up and take ownership of your lives.“Yes I had bad days in my career too, but always turn that negative into a positive, “said Scott.Scott, who was joined by the PNG U-20 women’s team today encouraged the POMIS girls to chase their dreams.“The PNG U-20 women were very inspiring during the World Cup. They showed so much determination in their game. “Having talent is not enough; you must have dedication and determination. You with the PNG U-20 team are all role models. Carry on this message to women everywhere. You are all in charge of your own journeys in life,” said Scott.Scott has competed at the U19 and U21 levels for England, including the FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship 2002 in Canada. For the senior team, Scott has played at the 2005, 2009 and 2013 editions of the UEFA Women’s Championship, winning a silver medal. She also participated at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2007, 2011 and 2015 and was named in the FIFA All-Star team after Germany 2011. She won the bronze medal at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada in 2015.last_img read more

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