Mid. North bowlers on a roll this season

first_img The Middletown High School North boys bowling team currently owns a 16-6 mark — good enough for first place in the Shore Conference’s Class B North division. Coach John Oxley’s Lions are coming off a strong week that included sweeps of Shore Regional and Long Branch. The strong showings came on the heels of similar performances against Monmouth Regional and Christian Brothers Academy; in the latter match, Middletown North rolled a season-high 1,188 team game. Meanwhile, the Lions’ per-game average, which hovered in the mid-900s early in the campaign, has risen to more than 1,000 pins, and Oxley is hoping to add another 100 pins to that average by tournament time. The Lions are poised to head into the third round of conference matches — all teams in B North play each other three times during the regular season. CBA, Middletown South, Monmouth Regional, Shore Regional and Long Branch round out the conference. Oxley’s team also picked up a tournament championship during the holiday break by winning the Keyport-hosted Red Raider Classic at Airport Lanes in Hazlet. Jay Silver has been Middletown North’s top keggler. The junior leads the team with a 210 average and his calm demeanor and consistency have impressed Oxley, who is in his first season at the Lions’ helm. Four-year veteran Jeff Onorato has also helped to pace the Lions’ attack. Onorato averages 207.5 pins and has several 600-plus series to his credit, with a high game of 279. Jesse Stanton, another veteran, is averaging just above 200 pins, as is lefty Cory Widmaier. The two seniors serve as co-captains, and Oxley praised their leadership ability. Cory Diehl is the Lions’ fifth starter. The fast-improving sophomore averages 195 pins and has a 250-pin game to his credit. Ian Grant, a senior, and Nick Windle, a freshman, have also seen some playing time for the Lions. “We’ve been getting better at picking up our spares, and that’s been a big plus,” the coach said. “I keep stressing how important it is to pick up the easy spares. They just have to keep their concentration and not get frustrated that they didn’t get a strike. If we hit those spares, we’ll stay in the 1,000-pin range, and that, in turn, puts pressure on our opposition if it’s close in the 10th frame.” Oxley cited his team’s 1,188 game against CBA as a prime example. Among Middletown North’s five bowlers there were just two open frames. “You’re always going to have your 7/10 splits, but the difference between winning and losing is often your other spares,” Oxley said. “It’s all about maximizing your pin count. BY WARREN RAPPLEYEA Staff Writer last_img read more

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Jr. Titans 14U Girls capture silver at USA Hockey Nationals

first_imgA stellar season for the New Jersey Junior Titans Girls 14U ice hockey team concluded with a silver medalwinning performance at the USA Hockey Tier II National Championships in Amherst, N.Y., on April 6. The girls strung together five wins in the tournament before falling in the finals to Massachusetts’ Assabet Valley, 5-1.The Junior Titans, who are coached by Matt Kiernan, opened the nationals with victories in all three of their pool play games. They defeated the Lady Vipers of Florida, 10-0, on April 2; the Kensington Valley Ravens from Michigan, 6-5, on April 3; and New York’s Amherst Knights, 8-0, on April 4.The girls moved into the playoff rounds, with two games on April 5. They went into overtime during a quarterfinals matchup against the Connecticut Polar Bears. The Junior Titans took the lead early in the third period with two goals to overcome a 2-1 deficit, but Connecticut knotted the score at 3-3 with about 90 seconds left in regulation. Jesse DeVito netted her fourth goal of the game 3:45 into the extra session to send New Jersey into the semifinals.There, they faced off against the Pittsburgh Predators and advanced to the championship game with a 3-1 victory behind a strong defensive effort, led by a 21-save effort from goaltender Karoline Winzer. The Junior Titans could not get going in the finals against Assabet Valley, closing out the tournament in second place after falling behind 4-0 through two periods and lighting the lamp just once on a power play goal by Rebecca Foggia early in the third.“I thought it was an unbelievable run. We just ran out of gas on the final day,” said George Haviland, the Junior Titans owner and director of hockey and an assistant coach with the Girls 14U team. “On the championship day, it was our third game in less than 20 hours. No excuses; the girls’ legs were weary. But we played against a four-line team that was fresh. “[Finishing] second out of 197 teams around the country is an amazing accomplishment for our girls club in only our third year,” he continued. As they did during the whole season, the Junior Titans relied on the scoring of a first line of Brianna Haviland, Foggia and De- Vito, as well as solid goaltending from Winzer. Foggia was the top goalscorer (12) and point-getter (19) in the tournament, and she also had seven assists. DeVito was the second leading scorer with 16 points, while Haviland was first in assists (eight) and third in points (15). Winzer went 5-1 at the nationals, and she finished with a 2.30 goals against average, .885 save percentage and two shutouts. The Juniors Titans made it to the nationals by capturing the Atlantic District championship on March 9 in Aston, Pa. They also won the Mid-Atlantic Women’s Hockey Association (MAWHA) 14U Ruggerio Division and the MAWHA 14U regular season championships.“There is a certain standard that the Titans expect, and the girls have reached it,” Haviland said.Haviland said that the Junior Titans hired Olivia Mucha as women’s hockey director in order to continue the growth of the girls program. Mucha is a graduate of Princeton University, where she was a fouryear varsity player for the NCAA Division I school. Mucha was also a prep school player and a member of the USA Hockey under-18 program.“Now our program will have a full-time director to set the bar high,” Haviland said.The members of the 14U Girls team are Ally Freeman, Tea Ferrara, Callie Haytaian, Martha Dzieniszewska, Caitlyn Keenan, Claire Caroli, Isabelle Engel, Molly O’Mara, Nicole Suboya, Foggia, Haviland, DeVito and Winzer.Kiernan was assisted behind the bench by Haviland and Pete Haytaian.Girls interested in playing ice hockey at any age or level can contact Haviland for more information at havs11@aol.com. By NEIL BORENSTEIN Staff Writer last_img read more

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Teams gain experience at Maroon and White camp

first_imgBy MATTHEW ROCCO Correspondent St. John Vianney High School’s Zoe Pero, left, looks for some space to take a shot while being defended by Red Bank Catholic High School’s Jennifer Bagnell. The rival teams were playing on July 30 at the Maroon and White Team Basketball Camp held at Red Bank Regional High School. STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER ERIC SUCAR The Shore’s top girls basketball teams showcased their talents at the Maroon and White Team Camp last week, getting a head start on the new season while playing in front of college recruiters.The three-day camp at Red Bank Regional High School featured St. John Vianney High School, Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, Holmdel High School, Middletown High School North, Red Bank Catholic High School and others, with each team playing two games a day. Malcolm X Shabazz High School, last season’s NJSIAA Tournament of Champions winner, also participated.The Maroon and White Team Camp had something for everyone. Coaches got an early look at their teams and Shore Conference competitors, while players got time on the court as recruiting season shifts into high gear. The event received NCAA certification two years ago.“They work extremely hard, even in the spring,” St. John Vianney head coach Dawn Karpell said, as some of the Lancers played 30-35 games in July. “That’s when a lot of their scholarships get earned. For a lot of kids, their junior year is a big year for recruiting.”St. John Vianney played in the Maroon and White camp after making a trip to Maryland for five games. In the span of a week, the Lancers squeezed in 11 games.“The recruiting schedule in July is crazy,” Karpell said. “Needless to say, they’ve been playing a lot of basketball.”Karpell said playing rival Shore Conference schools in the summer is a valuable opportunity. Nine returning letter winners were on the court for St. John Vianney in Red Bank. Junior Kelly Campbell, who will be a key part of the 2014-15 team, arrived in time for the camp’s final day of play after attending the Nike Nationals in South Carolina.So far this summer, the Lancers have shown improvement since last season ended in March, Karpell said.“That has us excited for the season,” she added.George Sourlis, the head coach at Rumson Fair Haven, said he was “very happy” with the way his Bulldogs played at the Maroon and White camp, although it’s tough to draw any conclusions since most teams are still experimenting on the court.“You don’t get the full picture, but you certainly get a clearer picture,” Sourlis said. Rumson-Fair Haven, which will have plenty of veteran experience on its roster — led by seniors Sam Sabino and Grace Stant — is working on playing at a faster pace than last season. Sourlis said that while “it’s unfair to expect them to be there at this point,” Rumson-Fair Haven has some work to do before it reaches the same level as the “upper-echelon” of the Shore Conference.“We need to be more disciplined on defense,” he said.Sourlis also said James Young, his counterpart at Red Bank Regional, did a great job organizing the Maroon and White Team Camp, which just completed its sixth year.“It gives the girls a chance to play in front of colleges and gives us coaches a chance to see them play in a game setting,” Sourlis said.last_img read more

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Chelsea snatch late victory, Arsenal and City win

first_imgJohn Terry grabbed a stoppage-time winner as leaders Chelsea showed their Premier League title mettle by snatching a 1-0 victory over Everton on Saturday having looked set to suffer another damaging blow.The Chelsea captain strained every sinew to get a faint touch to a Frank Lampard free kick in the 93rd minute and keep his team a point clear of Arsenal who thrashed Sunderland 4-1 and three ahead of Manchester City who beat Stoke City 1-0.After drawing their last league game against West Bromwich Albion and suffering a chastening FA Cup defeat to rivals Manchester City, Jose Mourinho’s side were looking for a morale-boosting return to form.Yet they looked sluggish for most of the match and after finally sparking into life they came up against a stubborn Everton rearguard that only crumbled deep into added time.West Brom’s Matej Vydra snatched an 86th-minute equaliser to earn a 1-1 draw against Fulham, denying the London club a win that would have moved them off the foot of the table.Fulham stay a point behind Cardiff City whose sorry season hit a new low after a 4-0 home defeat by Hull City.Hull are now six points clear of trouble and one point behind West Ham United who continued their recent resurgence with a 3-1 win over Southampton.last_img read more

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‘Tsirion stands are safe’ says municipality

first_imgBy George PsyllidesLIMASSOL’S Tsirion stadium was structurally sound, the town’s municipality said on Wednesday, censuring those who “scare mongered” causing unnecessary distress.The municipality said its civil engineer, along with the experts hired by the stadium’s authorities from the office of Themos Demetriou and Associates, visited Tsirion on Tuesday, following a recent announcement by the island’s technical chamber ETEK concerning the state of the spectator stands.“Both the report, and the public statements of the office, emphasise beyond any doubt that there is no question regarding the stadium’s structural adequacy,” a statement from the municipality said.It had been determined during the visit, that the parts of the stand displaying some deterioration where located at the lower tier, which was exposed to rain.The cause of the deterioration was water accumulation combined with salt, the municipality said.It added that engineers suggested repairs as part of maintenance work and further improvement to various structures in a bid to extend its lifespan by ten years without significant interventions.The municipality said repairs were already underway and were scheduled to be completed by April 25.The information had been given to parliament recently and statements were made to the media, it added.The municipality said it was taken aback by the emergence of the matter at a moment that coincides with the end of the football championship.“We disagree and censure those who scare monger and cause unnecessary distress through reckless statements, without knowing the substance and details of the case,” the municipality said.Earlier this week, the Cyprus Football Federation banned spectators from games until it had received assurances that the stadium was safe.The decision came at a critical point in the Cyprus league as title favourites AEL and contenders Apollon, which both play in the Tsirion, enter the final stretch, with seven games remaining.The next game at Tsirion is scheduled for next Wednesday, April 23.last_img read more

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Argentina to unleash attacking riches on Bosnia

first_imgBy Zoran MilosavljevicArgentina embark on an expected breeze through World Cup Group F on Sunday against a talented if inexperienced Bosnia side playing in the finals for the first time.The sides meet at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro where Lionel Messi’s side, boasting one of the world’s best attacks, will be hoping to return for the final on July 13 in search of their nation’s third world title.Messi scored his 38th Argentina goal in last week’s warmup win over Slovenia, opponents chosen specifically with Bosnia in mind.The Argentina captain will see it as a good omen as he looks to break a World Cup scoring hoodoo dating back to his 2006 debut in Germany and a goalless 2010 finals in South Africa.Messi appears in good shape and mood going into the tournament after a mixed season with hamstring problems and fewer goals than usual with a mere three for Argentina compared with the 13 he notched between June 2012 and June 2013.Argentina, who beat Bosnia 2-0 in a November friendly without Messi thanks to two Sergio Aguero goals, have an average defence compared with to their attacking riches but midfielder Fernando Gago said the key to success would be balance and playing as an 11-man unit.“We know that in the final quarter few teams can play at the speed of Angel (Di Maria), Kun (Aguero), Leo (Messi) The precision they have at such speed marks the difference,” Gago told reporters.“From my position I have to help them to ensure they get clean ball and give balance to the rear, you can’t cut the team (in half),” he told the sports daily Ole.“You need the 11 to attack and the 11 to defend The forwards have to have high precision and sometimes withdraw to break out in quick counters.”DZEKO ROLEStriker Gonzalo Higuain, the other member of Argentina’s “Fab Four” strike force, played the first half of Thursday’s practice for the reserves in a role coach Alejandro Sabella expects Bosnia danger man Edin Dzeko to play.With Higuain having recovered from a left ankle problem, Argentina should be at full strength against Bosnia in a group which also contains Nigeria and Iran.Bosnia coach Safet Susic, known for his penchant for attacking football, is likely to deploy a more conservative formation against Argentina with top scorer Dzeko as the lone striker operating in front of a five-man midfield.Having qualified for their first major tournament as an independent nation, Bosnia could not have asked for a tougher first appearance on the biggest stage.“We are up against the group favourites and a team whose ambition is to go all the way but nonetheless, we have high hopes of getting something from this game and going through to the last 16,” Susic said.The magnitude of the task has left Susic pondering how to use versatile midfielder Muhamed Besic, whose designated role was to man-mark Messi.Susuc hinted he was prepared to make a tactical U-turn.“It’s a dilemma but I now think it would be counterproductive to sacrifice a player of Besic’s fitness and ability just to man-mark Messi although he would be ideal for that role,” he said.“Messi will probably enjoy plenty of freedom but we need to have someone near him every time he gets the ball.”last_img read more

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Foreign imports continue to dominate transfer market in Cyprus

first_imgBy Andreas VouDESPITE having the highest number of foreign players in Europe last season, Cypriot football clubs are showing no signs of changing their ways with the great majority of new signings this summer having come from abroad.CIES Football Observatory’s annual demographic study for 2013 revealed that 64% of players in the Cypriot first division were foreign, the most of any other European league. This approach from the local football clubs has, over time, led to a devastating effect on nearly all aspects of Cypriot football, at both club and international level yet the island’s teams continue to add fuel to the fire.The transfer window for Cypriot football clubs only re-opened on July 1 but most have already completed a number of signings ahead of the new season.Five out of the 12 first division clubs have made over 10 transfers this summer. Doxa have made the most with 19, of which 17 are overseas players. Omonia have recruited 17, Salamina 15, while Ermis and Ethnikos Achna have made 10 apiece, of which over 75% are foreign.League champions APOEL are the ones setting the best example for the time being, with the signings of three Cypriot players including Giorgos Efrem from Omonia, and just one foreign import.It is deeply concerning that not even two weeks have passed since the opening of the transfer window yet a whopping 108 transfers have been completed by the 12 first division clubs. Just 25 of those signings have been Cypriot players meaning that 76.85% of all new recruits this summer are from abroad, far exceeding the league’s already sky-high average of 64%.But this is not down to simple mismanagement, it is a deliberate ploy. The Cypriot first division has been infiltrated and is now controlled by third-party companies and corrupt agents with the cooperation of leading figures within the football clubs. Their profit depends on a high turnover of players. It’s therefore little surprise that the Cypriot league also comes first for highest transfer frequency in Europe with an average of 14 transfers per club each season, and players switching teams every 1.8 years on average.The financial crisis cannot be used as an excuse either. Sure, it damaged the financial stability of most clubs but, if anything, the crisis was an opportunity for the teams to start from scratch, to invest in academies which would produce local players and create a sustainable system.Until not long ago, the Cypriot national football team, while never threatening to qualify for a major tournament, would prove a decent challenge for plenty of visiting nations in competitive matches. However, due to local players not being given the opportunities and experience at club level, the pool of Cypriots to choose from has decreased as has the quality. This has been reflected in the results which have seen the national team amass just four victories in the last five years.Unfortunately, however, as long as the system allows the clubs and transfer brokers to remain unregulated, the problem will continue. Clubs will continue to sweep deeper problems under the carpet while the select few reap the short-term benefits.The only measure brought in to try to change things has been the reduction on the limit of permitted foreign players per 25-man squad, to 15 from last year’s 17. However, it doesn’t seem to be making much of a difference.last_img read more

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Ronaldo hits out at ‘small time’ Iceland in Euro draw

first_imgPortugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo has criticised Iceland’s ‘small mentality’ while saying they were fortunate to earn a 1-1 draw against his team in their European Championship Group F opener in St Etienne on Tuesday.Winger Birkir Bjarnason cancelled out Nani’s first-half opener for Portugal in Iceland’s maiden appearance at a major tournament but Ronaldo, who equalled Luis Figo’s record of 127 caps for his country, was dismissive of his opponent’s tactics.“Iceland didn’t try anything. They were just defend, defend, defend and playing on the counter-attack. It was a lucky night for them,” Ronaldo told reporters in France.“We should have three points but we are okay. I thought they’d won the Euros the way they celebrated at the end.“It was unbelievable. When they don’t try to play and just defend, defend, defend, this in my opinion shows a small mentality and they are not going to do anything in the competition.”Portugal next face Austria in Paris on Saturday and conclude their group stage campaign against Hungary in Lyon four days later.last_img read more

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Grieving Croatia ready to seal last-16 berth

first_imgRocked by a second family bereavement in three days, Croatia will be determined to seal a last-16 berth when they meet the Czech Republic in their Euro 2016 Group D clash on Friday, defender Domagoj Vida said.Following the death of captain Darijo Srna’s father on Sunday during Croatia’s 1-0 win over Turkey, the team’s media officer Tomislav Pacak said goalkeeping coach Marijan Mrmic’s father had also died during Tuesday night.Srna, accompanied by coach Ante Cacic, went to his father’s funeral on Monday and returned to the team’s Deauville base camp in northern France ready to face the Czechs.Vida, a tough-tackling centre back personifying Croatia’s willpower in the face of adversity, said the team would go the extra mile for their skipper and Mrmic, who travelled home early on Wednesday.“We all mourn when someone here suffers a loss because we are one big family,” Vida told a news conference on Wednesday.“We will be galvanised to play for our captain and put him straight back on the rails. He is a great character and I am totally convinced he will be at his best on Friday.”“If we perform like we did against Turkey and show the same fighting spirit we should come out on top, although the Czechs are tougher opposition.“I don’t think they will throw caution to the wind despite being under more pressure than us (after their opening 1-0 defeat by holders Spain). They are more likely to sit back and rely on fast breaks because that’s their style.”However, the Czechs must come up with a bolder approach, having conceded a late goal against the Spaniards after working hard to contain the champions.Striker Tomas Necid, who cut a lonely figure up front, said he hoped coach Pavel Vrba would field a more adventurous formation to haul them back into the race for a knockout stage berth.“We haven’t discussed the tactics yet but I expect a more attacking set-up because only a win will do,” Necid told reporters at the team’s Tours base in western France.“Croatia already have three points in the bag and if we are to advance, we simply have to win this game.“They have top quality in midfield with Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic giving them attacking power but we will be ready.”last_img read more

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Arnie’s Army salutes Palmer one last time

first_imgArnie’s Army was out in force one more time on Thursday, storming the first tee at the U.S. Masters in a final salute to Arnold Palmer, their fallen leader.There have been many tributes since the man known as ‘The King’ passed away at the age of 87 last September but none could match the emotional connection Palmer had with Augusta National and the Masters – a tournament the swashbuckling golfer made important and won four times.The year’s first major got off to a sombre and poignant start as thousands of golf fans wearing commemorative buttons confirming their membership in Arnie’s Army stood at attention during a moment of silence broken only by the sound of a chilly wind rustling through the trees.Augusta National chairman Billy Payne addressed the massive gallery, telling them it was a morning of unbearable sadness. Golf icons Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player then struck the opening ceremonial tee shots without their long time friend and rival at their side.“Welcome to the 2017 Masters. It is a wonderful but, in one respect, a difficult day,” said Payne. “For the first time in many many decades someone is obviously missing from the first tee.“The almost unbearable sadness that we all feel by the passing of Arnold Palmer is only surpassed by the love and affection for him.”Before Nicklaus, a six-time Masters champion, hit his shot the Golden Bear looked to the heavens and waved his cap into the leaden skies in a clear salute to Palmer, whose Masters Green Jacket was draped over a white lawn chair to the side of the first tee.After Player, who played in a record 52 Masters, sent his tee shot right Nicklaus stepped up and crushed his straight down the heart of the fairway, drawing a huge cheer signaling the 81st Masters was officially under way.Later, Nicklaus and Player, both wearing Arnie’s Army badges on the lapels of their Green Jackets, held court and paid homage to Palmer, a gentleman, fierce competitor and friend who made the Masters into one of sports great events.“So Arnold came along (and) television was getting started. It was a time that the popularity of the game was really stimulated by Arnold,” said Nicklaus.“It was a time when the Masters was just sort of getting its feet wet with what’s going on in the golfing world. Arnold was sort of the guy that made that popular and took the Masters from being a tournament to being one of the four biggest events in golf,” Nicklaus went on.“I think it was Arnold who took it to that. So my feeling was that, yes, the Masters made Arnold in many ways because of his wins but the other way around, I think Arnold made the Masters. Arnold put the Masters on the map and with his rise and his popularity, the Masters rose the same,” he said.“I think they were both very good for each other.”last_img read more

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