Sport Shorts On Aug. 23, the Monmouth County Park System has planned a Coach-Smart Soccer Clinic at Dorbrook Park in Colts Neck. Area adults are invited to learn how to become better coaches. Topics covered include age-appropriate drills and games through instruction, demonstration and participation. Discover ways for players to have fun while improving their positioning, dribbling, passing and shooting skills. The cost of the program is $20 per person, and preregistration is required. For more information, or to register, call the park system at (732) 842-4000. For persons with hearing impairment, the TDD machine number is (732) 219-9484. The Hazlet Youth Athletic League will hold wrestling registrations for its recreation program for children in grades 1-8. Registration will take place at Raritan High School on Sept. 10 (7-9 p.m.), Sept. 13 (10 a.m. to noon) and Sept. 25 (7-10 p.m.). Proof of age and residency (driver’s license not accepted) is required for all new registrants in the program. Registration fees are $75 for one child, $125 for two children, and $150 for three or more children. A $100 refundable work/equipment deposit is required. Call (732) 264-3060, ext. 5, for more information. The Hazlet Youth Athletic League will hold registration for its in-town basketball program for boys ages 7-17 and girls ages 7-15, as well as traveling teams (Mid-Monmouth 11-and-under and 13-and-under, and Monmouth Youth, boys 8, 9, 10 and 12 and girls 9-and-under). Birthday cutoff for the recreation program is Aug. 31. Birthday cutoff for Mid-Monmouth and Monmouth Youth is Aug. 1. Registration will take place at Raritan High School on Sept. 10 (7-9 p.m.), Sept. 13 (10 a.m. to noon) and Sept. 25 (7-9 p.m.). Proof of age and residency (driver’s license not accepted) is required for all new registrants in the program. Registration fees are $60 for one child, $85 for two children, and $110 for three or more children. A $50 refundable work/equipment deposit is required. Call (732) 264-3060, ext. 5, for more information. The Hazlet Hawks, an U13 boys’ travel soccer team, is looking for two dedicated players for the upcoming fall season. The team plays in the Premier flight of the Mid-New Jersey League, and receives professional training from an A licensed coach. Boys born between Aug. 1, 1990, and July 31, 1991, are eligible; residency is not required. For more information, call (732) 495-4790. Interested in playing indoor competitive volleyball (September to May)? The Matawan-Aberdeen Recreation Volleyball League coordinates two co-ed community leagues which play at the Matawan Avenue Middle School in Cliffwood on Tuesdays (6-10 p.m.). Tryouts will be held from 6:30-9 p.m. at the school gym on Sept. 9 for the B1 (intermediate/advanced) league, and on Sept. 16 for the B2 (novice/intermediate) league. Space is limited. For details about the leagues and tryouts and to register, visit the Web site www.njvb.com/clubs/hovb/ or contact Michael Mills at firstname.lastname@example.org. The St. Catherine AA is holding its first annual recreation basketball league. This league will be a team league for boys from grades 5-8. There will be two divisions (fifth and sixth grade, and seventh and eighth grade). It will be run indoors for eight games, and playoffs will run from Sept. 6 through Oct. 12. Individual registration will be accepted on a best efforts basis to find the children open space on a team. Registration fee is $450 per team and $55 per player. For more information, call Steve at (732) 787-9589, or Jim at (212) 908-9856 (day) and (732) 495-4758 (night). The Monmouth County Coastal Cruise is coming to Long Branch on Sept. 6; it will benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation. The three-distance (16 miles, 31 miles and 62.5 miles) bike tour was started by Ilene Winters and John Sokolowski. Sokolowski lost his brother to cancer in 2000, and Ilene’s mother is currently battling stage 4 ovarian cancer. The ride starts and ends at Seven Presidents Park in Long Branch. Breakfast and lunch will be provided for the riders, as well as snacks and water along the route. Entry fee is $25 and riders must raise additional funds to ride ($25 for the 16-miler, $50 for the 31-miler, and $100 for the 62.5-miler). Registration deadline is Aug. 25. Those interested in participating in the event can pick up registration forms at The Peddler in Long Branch or by calling Winters at (732) 263-0444 or e-mailing her at email@example.com.
The Monmouth Maniacs 12U girls fastpitch softball team is seeking several dedicated players for spring/summer season. Telephone Jim at (732) 446-6919 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Web site http://eteamz.active.com/monmouthmaniacs for additional information. The Holmdel Stallions girls U11 team battled to a 2-1 win over Monmouth Coast Riptide to complete an undefeated season of 10-0. The girls have now won two consecutive league championships and hope to continue their success as they advance next season. The girls have worked hard and put all their individual talents together and played as a team. The Stallions team, coached by Ralph Morelli and Dean von Essen, are Michelle Kellerman, Sarah Fryefield, Stephanie Morelli, Tessa Lamarche, Jessica Chesebrough, Amands Hal, Maria D’Agostino, Jaclyn Campis, Teresa Spalliero, Sabrina D’Agostino, Alexa Goldstein, Alison Lieu, Sara Mansuri, Spencer Bartlett, Rupa Gill, Leah von Essen and Keri Lee. The Central Jersey Tornado 10U softball team is looking for a few quality players to join this newly forming team. All position welcome. The team will be trained by high school coaches, former players and the coach of the 1999 10U PONY national champions. Winter workouts will begin in December. For more information, or to arrange a tryout, contact Steve at (732) 577-6876 or e-mail email@example.com.
BY WARREN RAPPLEYEA Staff Writer Thanks to a disciplined style of play and solid goaltending, the Middletown High School North ice hockey team reclaimed the Mayor’s Cup with a 2-0 success over rival Middletown South before a packed house at the Gold Coast Arena in Wall. Joe Dickinson and Shawn Fountain scored a goal apiece, and senior goaltender Chris Brown turned aside 27 shots to post the shutout. Brown’s standout performance earned him the Most Valuable Player trophy for the game. North’s checking line of Dickinson, Fountain and Dan Kroeper, who picked up an assist on Dickinson’s goal, had a particularly strong game. Coach Neil Leone’s Lions entered the game with a 5-4-2 mark, while Middletown South came in at 7-2-2, including wins against RBC, Brick Memorial and Monsignor Donovan. North’s wins included successes against Brick, Old Bridge and West Windsor Plainsboro. At the opening face-off, Middletown North came out strong, dominating the first two shifts, in the much-anticipated annual game. The Lions steadied themselves and settled down about three minutes in. “Middletown South is a very talented team and we just wanted to weather the storm,” Leone explained. “We figured if we could get through the first 10 minutes so we could stay within striking distance, we’d be able to find way to get a few goals.” An Eagles power play midway through the period resulted in five shots on goal and South seemed to regain momentum. The Lions rallied late and Eagles netminder Chris Marsillo stopped three shots in one flurry with two minutes remaining. North continued to press and with 58 seconds remaining South’s Brett Johnson was sent to the penalty box. Leone’s charges opened the second period on the carry-over power play and immediately took control — at one time owning a 9-0 advantage in shots for the period. The Lions finally broke the ice 2:09 into the period when Dickinson deflected a Chris Lupo point shot into Marsillo’s pads and beat the South goalie to the rebound to tuck a backhander under the cross bar. Seven minutes later, Fountain scored from the far right-wing circle to double North’s lead. “I just came down the wing and I didn’t see anyone with me so I kind of threw the puck at the net and it went in,” Fountain said. Leone credited Fountain for making a head’s up play. “Their goalie [Marsillo] is one of the best in the Shore and before the game we talked about getting the puck to the net because you never know what may happen. That’s just what Shawn [Fountain] did.” With 2:36 remaining in the period, Fountain was whistled for tripping and South went on the power play. Brown made six saves while the Eagles had the man advantage, including a beauty on Johnson who made an end-to-end rush. A late Eagles penalty to Matt Johnson gave the Lions a power play at the start of the third, which South successfully killed. Afterward, Brett Johnson tried valiantly to get his team on the board, but Brown stoned the Eagles forward twice. Brown also made a big stop on Justin Horowitz with six minutes remaining. Brown had good help from his defense throughout as Rob Locke, Chris Lupo (two assists), Frank Rodriguez and freshman James Felice all played well on the blue line. “This was a huge win for us because Middletown South is such a good team,” Leone said. “Before this game, people could say we have five wins but that we really hadn’t beaten any of the top teams. This gives us legitimacy.” The coach is hoping that the momentum carries over into what will be a busy week for the Lions. Tuesday they were set to face off at RBC (5-5-2) and will visit Sparta (10-2) at Skylands Ice World Saturday at 6 p.m in Stockholm before returning to Gold Coast Arena to meet Toms River East (2-7) on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Middletown South, meanwhile, was set to return to action against Freehold Township (8- 2-4) on Tuesday and will play St. John Vianney (2-5-2) at Gold Coast Arena Sunday at 4:15 p.m.
Raritan High School pitcher Sam Strickland delivers a pitch to a Freehold Borough batter during the April 2 game that was part of the Getting a Leg Up on Cancer Softball Tournament at Manalapan High School. The tournament raised money to help Jackson Liberty softball coach Laura Borrelli offset the cost of medical expenses. Raritan got its season off to a good start with a 13-3 victory. ERIC SUCAR staff
The waiting is over. Months of work at the speedway have been completed and hours of fine-tuning in area racecar shops are nearing an end, all in preparation for the start of the 2013 Saturday night professional stock car racing season at Wall Stadium Speedway on April 27.Modified, Sportsman, Limited Late Model, Legend Cars, Factory Stock and 4- Cylinder racers will all be on the agenda.The current schedule for the season opener will see the competitor pit area open at 11:30 a.m., with a paid testing session for competitors running from 12-2:30 p.m. The regular afternoon practice session will follow from 2:30-4 p.m., while spectator seating will open at 4 p.m. Fans entering the grandstands between 4-5:30 p.m. will enjoy a $2 discount.The “On Track Party” will set up after practice and run from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Racing action on the third mile-paved oval will begin at 5:45 p.m., with qualifying events to be followed by feature race action for all six divisions tentatively set for 7 p.m.The Modifieds will lead the way in a 40- lap main event, while the Sportsman cars, Limited Late Models, Factory Stocks and the INEX Legend Cars will all battle in 25-lappers. Perhaps the biggest field of cars expected on opening night and all season will be in the 4-Cylinder division. All main events will offer points toward the season-long driving titles in each division.Although defending Modified champion Anthony Sesely of Matawan plans to race on a limited schedule, there will be plenty of competition for opening night glory and the season-long title. Shaun Carrig of Little Falls, brothers-in-law Chas Okerson and Steven Reed, both of Freehold, Modified rookie Andrew Krause of Holmdel, Adam LaCicero of Lavallette, Sportsman champion Eric Mauriello of Howell and lady racer Shawna Ingraham of Brick are just a few of the area’s standout Modified drivers expected to go for the win and the season-long driving title.The speedway’s Sportsman division is also creating a lot of interest for the new season. While 2012 champion Mauriello has moved to the Modified division, standouts Robert Sutphin of Brick, Kevin Davison of Howell, brothers Zack and Trevor Alspach of Willingboro, Andrew Krause of Holmdel and former champion Kevin Eyres of Colts Neck will be among those offering plenty of competition for the opening night win and 2013 crown.Wall Stadium Speedway is located on Route 34 in Wall Township, just one mile north of Garden State Parkway exit 98 and Interstate 195 exit 35B. More information can be obtained by visiting wallspeedwayracing.com. The speedway hotline number is 732-681-6400 and email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
By WAYNE WITKOWSKI Correspondent Hannah Wisialko, left, and her Middletown High School South teammates had every reason to be smiling at the end of the softball season. The Eagles captured the NJSIAA Group III state title June 5, defeating Sparta, 8-1, in the finals at Kean University, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER ERIC SUCAR Middletown High School South’s softball team avoided the drama of its previous two games when Julia Blarr belted a two-run homer in the first inning that set the tone as the Eagles won the NJSIAA Group III championship, 8-1, over Sparta High School at Kean University.Coming off a 1-0 loss to Middletown High School North for the Shore Conference Tournament championship in which Riley Kernan held Middletown South to two hits and had a walk-off single in the eighth inning, Middletown South prevailed for the state title over the same Sparta team that denied the Eagles in their last championship game appearance in 2011. That Sparta loss ended a string of back-to-back state titles in 2009 and 2010. Middletown North had won its first Shore Conference Tournament title since 1974 on June 4 and ended Middletown South’s 15- game winning streak. Both Middletown teams had met in 1984 for the Shore Conference Tournament title, with Middletown South winning that game after going into the showdown 7-7 in Shore Conference Tournament finals, having won its last title in 1996.But the Eagles bounced back a day later, as Maddie McMahon, who established herself as Middletown South’s ace down the stretch after sharing the mound duties through much of the season, pitched a fivehitter and bolstered her own effort with a run-scoring single in the fourth inning. Alex Corrigan followed with a two-run double that capped the scoring.Middletown South ended its 28-5 season with its fifth state championship for coach Tom Erbig, who got his 700th career victory earlier this season. His 714 victories are seven behind the all-time state record.It was a glorious follow-up to the school’s girls basketball team also winning the Group III state championship in the winter.This game did not have the drama of the June 4 game or the 3-1 state semifinal victory over Delsea Regional High School that went 10 innings.Blarr said she wasn’t thinking in terms of belting a home run to Kean University’s spacious outfield, but she hit a two-strike delivery over the high left center field fence.Nicki Curran’s RBI double made it 3-0 in the third, and Ally Massa pushed the lead to 5-0 with a two-run double in the third. Sparta answered with a run-scoring triple in the top of the fourth inning before Middletown South answered with its three runs in its half of the inning to seal the victory.As for Middletown North’s Shore Conference Tournament victory that ended its season 23-6, it squandered three different threats with two runners aboard until the eighth inning when Christine Gebhardt led off the rally with a single and moved into scoring position on a grounder by Kayla Gallo. Kernan then delivered the biggest hit of her career for the Lions.It was a fitting ending for a team that coach Mark Rosner said thrived in big games this season. It was the second victory in three games this season against Middletown South, which finished ahead of the Lions for the Shore Conference B South Division championship. Middletown North won the division the two previous seasons.
By Julien PretotChris Froome crossed the Champs Elysees finish line arm in arm with his beaming team mates on Sunday to win the 100th Tour de France and hand Britain a second successive triumph in cycling’s biggest race.In three weeks of racing, the Kenyan-born rider dominated in the mountains and time trials and fought off the inevitable innuendo that has long accompanied an event tainted by a string of doping scandals.Froome was untroubled on the 21st and final stage, a 133.5-km ride from Versailles which ended in an evening sprint giving German Marcel Kittel his fourth stage win as the sun set on Paris.The Briton led Colombia’s Nairo Quintana by four minutes and 20 seconds in the overall standings, with Spain’s Joaquim Rodriguez third, a further 44 seconds back.“This is one yellow jersey that will stand the test of time,” Froome said in his podium speech, in a reference to the many doping scandals the sport has struggled with.Froome is the first Tour champion to be crowned since Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven titles for doping and some of the 28-year-old’s performances in the 2013 race were inevitably greeted with suspicion.“I’m glad I’ve had to face those questions – after all the revelations of the last year. I’m glad that’s been channelled towards me,” Froome told ITV television.“I’ve been able to deal with it. Cycling has changed – the peloton is standing together.”Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford, anticipating the scepticism around the Tour in the wake of the Armstrong scandal, said: “When you think about the future of cycling, you see that it is in good hands with Chris.“He is an outstanding man. I have no doubt on his victory. We are in a transition period with all these young riders who have not lived the doping era.”Froome follows on from compatriot and team mate Bradley Wiggins, who sat out of this year’s race for health reasons.He built his success on awe-inspiring attacks in the mountain climbs as well as his time-trialing ability. It quickly became clear that his rivals would have to fight for the other podium positions.“Crossing the line with the guys brought tears to my eyes. I expected it to be big but this is something else,” Froome said.“I think it is going to take a while to really sink in. This has been a spectacular race.”“What a great team,” Australian Richie Porte, Froome’s lieutenant, told reporters. “The Tour is always special, we saw it last year with Brad. It was probably harder this year, it’s incredible.”In keeping with Tour tradition, Froome sipped champagne with Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford and sports director Nicolas Portal as the peloton left the Chateau de Versailles in the late afternoon at a leisurely pace.Quintana claimed both the polka-dot best climber’s jersey and the white jersey for the best young rider.Rodriguez, who lit a cigar shortly after the start, became the second rider to finish on the podium on all the grand Tours (France, Spain, Italy) without actually winning one.Alberto Contador, the 2007 and 2009 champion, finished fourth after cracking on Saturday’s penultimate stage.The Spaniard, however, had his moment on the podium on the Champs Elysees as he won the team classification with Saxo-Tinkoff.France’s Christophe Riblon, who won the spectacular l’Alpe d’Huez mountain stage, was named the most aggressive rider in the race.Peter Sagan of Slovakia, retained the green jersey for the points classification and had dyed his hair and goatee beard to match it.Kittel came out on top in a three-way sprint finish to the line, edging ahead of compatriot Andre Greipel and Britain’sMark Cavendish who was looking for his fifth straight final-stage win.“Once again thanks to my team mates, it’s a collective effort,” said Kittel.Cavendish conceded he was beaten by a stronger rider.“Kittel was faster. I did 1,500 watts and usually when I do 1,500 watts I win by a few bike lengths,” he said.Lieuwe Westra became the first rider to abandon the Tour on the Champs Elysees since 1977.
VfL Wolfsburg reached the Champions League last 16 and dealt a knockout blow to Manchester United with a 3-2 victory on Tuesday that secured top spot in Group B and condemned their opponents to the Europa League.United had taken an early lead in Germany when Anthony Martial expertly sidefooted home after 10 minutes, but Brazilian centre back Naldo drew the Germans level with a precise volley and Portuguese midfielder Vieirinha swept home to make it 2-1.United were set to reach the next round when an own goal by Josuha Guilavogui levelled the scores at 2-2 with eight minutes left but Naldo grabbed his second and left the visitors needing PSV Eindhoven to lose at home to CSKA to reach the next round.For a brief moment late in the second half it looked like United would get their wish, but PSV rallied to level and then snatch a 2-1 win that left them second in the standings on 10 points, two ahead of United and two behind Wolfsburg.Other scoresManchester City 4Borussia 2PSG 2Shakhtar Donetsk 0Real Madrid 8Malmo 0PSV 2CSKA Moscow 1Benfica 1Atletico Madrid 2Galatasaray 1Astana 1Sevilla 1Juventus 0
Zinedine Zidane had few equals as a player but heading into his first Champions League final as a coach, he admits that unlike Atletico Madrid counterpart Diego Simeone he still has much to learn.The former France playmaker, who was promoted from Real’s reserve team to replace Rafa Benitez in January, steered the side to a runners-up finish in La Liga and Saturday’s final in Milan.Real have won 21 out of 26 games under Zidane and lost two, scoring 71 goals and giving away 18.Simeone led Atletico to their second Champions League final in three years.“He has everything that a coach needs but above all, he knows his team and his players well, which is the most important thing,” Zidane told a news conference on Tuesday.“I have a lot to learn but my enthusiasm to learn is tremendous. This will make me improve. I still have a long journey to be an important coach.”Saturday cannot come soon enough for Zidane, who could become the seventh man to win the European Cup as a player and a coach.His spectacular volley in the final in Glasgow in 2002 gave Real their ninth European title and they claimed a record 10th crown in 2014.“I’m excited and happy,” the 43-year-old said. “I am looking forward to the final, to take advantage of this opportunity.“I know how lucky I am to have the chance to be in a final with this club.”Zidane was assistant to Real coach Carlo Ancelotti when Los Blancos beat Atletico 4-1 in extra time in the final two years ago today.“When it comes to finals, I only know what it feels like as a player and as an assistant,” he said. “I will experience it now as coach with calmness, determination and patience.”Zidane played five seasons for Real and knew when he took over in January he knew exactly what was expected of him.“The pressure is always there,” he said. “It’s part of the work and I like it. I have been a player and I had pressure but I have more as a coach. Failure would be not to give our all.”Real failed to beat Atletico in La Liga this season, losing 1-0 at home and drawing 1-1 at the Vicente Calderon stadium,“It’s going to be a difficult match,” Zidane said. “I don’t think holding possession will be good enough. Atletico are a complete team.”