EATONTOWN — Football linemen will take their turn in the spotlight on March 3. That’s when the Rotary Clubs of Monmouth County present the 33rd annual Vince Lombardi Awards Dinner at the Sheraton Hotel, Eatontown. This is the one night that linemen, who usually perform in anonymity, get to shine. The Lombardi Award, named for the legendary Green Bay Packers coach, honors the outstanding scholastic linemen who best exemplify the traditions and ideals of Lombardi. In choosing the players who are selected for the Block of Granite trophy, coaches and their staff consider the following: discipline, courage, endurance, desire, ability and performance. Dave Jennings, former NFL punter for the New York Giants and Jets and current football analyst, will serve as the master of ceremonies. Lombardi, who led the Packers to five NFL championships including the first two Super Bowls in the 1960s, first gained fame as a member of the 1936 Fordham University offensive line that was nicknamed the Seven Blocks of Granite. The trophy that the county’s linemen receive is symbolic of that line on which Lombardi played right guard. The 2005 Vince Lombardi Outstanding Lineman Award winners are: Thomas Carpenter, Colts Neck; David Owens, Freehold Borough; Andrew Miller, Freehold Township; Kevin Waldron, Holmdel; Matthew Hehner, Howell; Nick Johnson, Keyport; Manny Navarro, Long Branch; Jordan Andrews, Manalapan; Jared Blumetti, Marlboro; Daniel Robinson, Matawan; Steven Sansone, Middletown North; Thomas Nicoles, Middletown South; Michael Dooney, Monmouth Regional; Joseph Siciliano, Ocean Township; Matthew Dempsey, Raritan; Mario Fragale, Red Bank Catholic; Gene Kaskiw, Red Bank Regional; Alex LaMagdelaine, Rumson-Fair Haven; Brian Wrubel. Shore Regional; and Glen Geraghty, St. John Vianney. Other awards to be presented include Coach of the Year, Team of the Year and the John Tuggle Award. Funds raised from the dinner will aid in the fight against cancer (Lombardi died of cancer in 1970), support the 64 health and human service agencies the United Way of Monmouth County assists and will also aid in supporting the Rotary’s Haiti Project. Cost for the evening, which includes reception, silent and live auctions, raffles, dinner and the awards program, is $50 per person. For reservations or additional information, call the United Way of Monmouth County at (732) 938-5988.
Top: Matawan High School’s Dylan Spadaccini is up and over the bar on his way to winning the NJSIAA Meet of Champions pole vault championship on Saturday at the Bennett Indoor Complex in Toms River. Spadaccini raised his personal best to 14-6 in winning the state championship. Above: Christian Brothers Academy distance star Mike Mazzaccaro finished second in the 3,200 meters. The Colts senior finishes his 9:17.30 effort. PHOTOS BY ERIC SUCAR staff
Surfers from all over the world are coming to the Jersey Shore for the Foster’s Belmar Pro event, which will run from Thursday through Sunday, Sept. 15-18. In addition to the excitement for the thousands of fans who will descend on Belmar’s 17th Avenue Beach for the action, fans around the world will be able to watch the Foster’s Belmar Pro, the Fins Junior Pro, the Hannah Pro and the Monster Energy Longboard Pro on a live webcast, courtesy of TheSurfersview.com, a wellknown surf report/forecast website. The recently relaunched website, www.Belmarpro.com, featuring the live webcast, will bring a new dynamic to the Belmar Pro, elevating the visibility of the athletes, the sponsors, the sport, and the town of Belmar like never before. “The heat sheets for the Belmar Pro have filled up faster this summer than they ever have with talent from around the globe,” said event director Don Tarrant, owner of Eastern Lines, in a press release. “We are all very excited about the live webcast coming to the Belmar Pro this year. If the waves turn out to be anything like last year, the whole world will get to see how fantastic the waves are here in New Jersey.”The Foster’s Belmar Pro is an incredible opportunity for local surf stars to take on top talent in their own backyard. New Jersey surfers to watch will be Sam Hammer, Dean Randazzo, Andrew Gesler, Randy Townsend, Rob Kelly, P.J. Raia, Zach Humphreys, Pat Schmidt, and Belmar local and Eastern Lines team rider Brendan Buckley.For registration and more information on the Belmar Pro, visit www.belmarpro.com, Facebook.com/Belmarpro or contact Don Tarrant at Eastern Lines, 732-681-6405.
The Middletown South Do Damage Baseball and Do Damage Softball camps that take place in July are taking registration for youngsters ages 6-15.Do Damage Baseball Camp has two segments from 9 a.m. to noon on July 8-11 and on July 15-18 under Middletown High School South baseball coach Ryan Spillane and his staff.The Do Damage Softball Camp takes place from 9 a.m. to noon on July 8-11 under Middletown South softball coach Tom Erbig and his staff.Current and former players now competing in college are on both staffs, which will teach the fundamentals of the respective sports.For more information, visit the programs’ websites at dodamagebaseballcamp.com and dodamagesoftballcamp.com.
Rutgers University’s move into the Big Ten Conference is helping keep area athletes in state.Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School’s Jason Bryan, who captured the NJSIAA Meet of Champions (MOC) state title in the shot put in June, pointed out that Rutgers’ membership in the Big Ten was the reason he chose to be a member of the Scarlet Knights. He wants to compete against the nation’s best, and the Big Ten will give that to him. His high school personal bests were 62-9 in the shot put and 165-8 in the discus. (He finished eighth in the MOC.)Bryan heads an impressive group of area track and field athletes who will be members of Rutgers’ inaugural Big Ten season in cross-country and indoor and outdoor track and field.For the women, the class includes Old Bridge High School’s Oksana Sokolova; Middletown High School South’s Brianna Haspel; Middletown High School North’s Alexandra Juzwiak; Red Bank Catholic (RBC) High School’s Megan Coakley; and Notre Dame High School’s Sabrina Alexander, who lives in Millstone. For the men, there is South Brunswick High School’s Morgan Murray and Matthew Tamasi; Bishop George Ahr High School’s Trent Brinkofski; and Union Catholic Regional High School’s Jordan Jimerson, who is from Edison.Sokolova is a multi-event performer who was the Group IV state champion in the high jump (5-8). She can compete in the heptathlon/ pentathlon for the Scarlet Knights.Juzwiak was all-state in cross-country last fall, while Haspel was a member of the Middletown South 4×800-meter relay team that won a state title in 2013.Coakley was a key member of RBC’s powerful cross-country teams. She helped the Caseys win the Non-Public A state title last fall. Alexander is a top hurdler. Sprinter Jimerson has great range, ranking in the state everywhere from 55 to 400 meters, His 400 personal best is 47.60. He won group state titles in the 55, 100, 200 and 400. He was a member of Union Catholic’s 4×400 and 4×200 national championship relay teams.Murray brings a personal best of 1:50.62 in the 800. He won the Group IV title at 800.Tamasi and Brinkofski are middle-distance and distance runners, respectively.Murray and Tamasi are among the group of four freshmen on the men’s cross-country team. Sam Habib, a sophomore from Old Bridge, is also on the team.The cross-country season begins on Sept. 6 with the Fordham Fiasco and Follies at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, N.Y. On Sept. 20, the Scarlet Knights will run in the Monmouth Invitational at Holmdel Park.The Big Ten Championships are on Nov. 2 at Iowa City, Iowa.
Liverpool scored a stunning 3-2 win over Queens Park Rangers with four of the five goals coming in the last seven minutes of their Premier League match at Loftus Road on Sunday.Liverpool needed the help of two own goals for the win that lifted them to fifth in the table and left QPR bottom after a mesmerising finale with Liverpool’s winning goal coming in the fifth minute of added time after Steven Caulker scored an own goal with virtually the last kick of the game.Richard Dunne scored the first own goal to put Liverpool 1-0 ahead in the 67th minute before Eduardo Vargas equalised for QPR after 87 minutes.Liverpool went 2-1 ahead with 15 seconds of normal time remaining when Philippe Coutino scored with a curling shot that took a deflection before Vargas headed Rangers level at 2-2 in the second minute of stoppage time.One final Liverpool counter-attack in the 95th minute ended with Caulker putting through his own goal to give Liverpool all three points.
Argentina produced their best performance of the Copa America so far to crush Paraguay 6-1 on Tuesday and set up a classic final against hosts Chile.Angel di Maria scored twice and Marcos Rojo, Javier Pastore, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain also found the net in a brilliant display orchestrated by an inspired Lionel Messi.Argentina had scored only four goals in their four previous matches but Messi said it was not because the team had not been playing well.“We talked about that just before the match and we said it was just chance that we hadn’t scored more because we’ve been playing well,” Messi said.“Today all the goals came at once.”Gerardo Martino’s side took the lead after 15 minutes when Messi swung a free kick in from the left, Rojo failed to connect cleanly with his first touch but swept the ball home from close range with his second.Argentina doubled their lead 12 minutes later and again Messi was the provider, threading an inch-perfect pass through the Paraguayan defence for Pastore to run on to. His powerful low shot gave goalkeeper Justo Villar no chance.Things went from bad to worse for Paraguay when both their strikers, Derliz Gonzalez and Roque Santa Cruz, limped off injured.Santa Cruz’s replacement, Lucas Barrios, gave them hope with a goal just before the break but in the second half Argentina were unstoppable.Minutes into the second half Pastore burst through midfield and fed Di Maria, who buried a left-foot shot into the bottom corner of the net.Six minutes later Messi destroyed the Paraguayan defence with a mazy run to set up Pastore. His shot was parried by Villar but Di Maria was on hand to slot home the rebound.On 80 minutes Di Maria turned provider, crossing from the left for Aguero to head home, and minutes later Higuain came off the bench to score a sixth.Argentina will face Chile at Santiago’s national stadium on Saturday.
LONDON, Feb 10 (Reuters) – Jose Mourinho has told friends and associates that he will replace Louis van Gaal as Manchester United manager at the end of the season, according to reports in several British newspapers on Wednesday.The Daily Mail, Daily Star, Daily Mirror and Daily Telegraph all quoted an unnamed source close to the 53-year-old Portuguese as saying his installation at Old Trafford was a “done deal”.The former Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Porto coach was sacked by Chelsea in December but said in an interview last week that he would soon be back in management, preferably in England.Van Gaal, who has another year left on his contract after this season, has had to deal with constant speculation about his position after United made a stuttering start to the season.The Dutchman said on Sunday he thought reports of negotiations between United and Mourinho were an invention of the media.
THE Cyprus Dragon Boat Association (CYDBA) is very pleased to announce the departure of the national team to the European Championships held in Rome.This is the first time a team of amateur athletes has represented Cyprus in the sport of Dragon Boating.There are now 250 members of the Cyprus Dragon Boat association and it could be said that it is the fastest growing sport in Cyprus.The 29 athletes will compete over three days of highly competitive racing against 18 countries in the 2k endurance race as well as the the 500 and 200 metres.The Cyprus team was selected through three basic tests all under professional scrutiny. The water test is made up of a single paddler accompanied with helm and a partner to weight balance the boat .They had to paddle a standard boat (weighing 250 kilos) over 100 metres for the best time. The athletes then had to test how many bench presses could be completed in one minute. After a ten minute rest they tested how many pull ups on the bar could be achieved in one minute.45 people entered the evaluation contest but only 29 made the criteria and have now experienced intense training to crystallise synchronization techniques and raise their standard of physical fitness to a competitive level.The team has been fully funded by the CYDBA through events, challenges, fundraising and very welcome sponsor donations. All sponsors believe in a sense of corporate social responsibility and the development of sport for all in Cyprus.The team has enjoyed the professional support of sports dietitian Stephanie Piper, sports phycologist Eleanor Tanou and full-time team manager Ivan Savic. This support has added a new dimension to training.The uniform and racing kit was designed by the award-winning Limassol based designer Natalie Mailaili. The design was chosen against three other designers via a Facebook vote.“I feel so very proud to represent my country and wear this uniform, it’ the chance of a lifetime,” said team member Simon Hill.
German Nico Rosberg eased to victory in a chaotic Belgian Formula One Grand Prix on Sunday.The Mercedes driver crossed the line 14.1 seconds ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.World championship leader Lewis Hamilton, starting on the back row of the grid after taking a 55-place engine-related grid penalty, clawed his way back up the field to finish third.Rosberg’s sixth win of the season cut team mate Hamilton’s lead in the standings to nine points with eight races remaining.The race was briefly halted in the early stages after a massive crash for Renault’s Kevin Magnussen.The Dane was taken to hospital for routine checks after suffering a cut to his left ankle in the high-speed crash.The Dane lost control of his car as he crested the fast uphill sweep of the Eau Rouge corner and slammed violently into the barriers.Magnussen, who had started 12th, got out of the car on his own but was limping slightly. He underwent checks at the medical centre before being taken to hospital.“He is fully conscious and responsive,” Renault said in a statement.“He has a small cut to the left ankle and has been escorted to a nearby hospital for further routine checks.”Magnussen’s crash prompted a temporary halt to the race as marshals worked to repair tyre barriers damaged in the impact.Driver and Constructor Standings after the Formula One Belgian Grand Prix Drivers Points 1. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 2322. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 2233. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull 1514. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari 1285. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1246. Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Red Bull 1157. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams 628. Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India 589. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India 4510. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams 3911. Fernando Alonso (Spain) McLaren 3012. Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain) Toro Rosso 3013. Romain Grosjean (France) Haas 2814. Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Toro Rosso 2315. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1716. Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) Renault 617. Pascal Wehrlein (Germany) Manor 118. Stoffel Vandoorne (Belgium) McLaren 119. Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Haas 020. Jolyon Palmer (Britain) Renault 021. Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Sauber 022. Felipe Nasr (Brazil) Sauber 023. Rio Haryanto (Indonesia) Manor 024. Esteban Ocon (France) Manor 0 Constructors Points 1. Mercedes 4552. Red Bull – TAG Heuer 2743. Ferrari 2524. Force India – Mercedes 1035. Williams-Mercedes 1016. McLaren 487. Toro Rosso – Ferrari 458. Haas – Ferrari 289. Renault 610. Manor – Mercedes 111. Sauber – Ferrari 0