At the MAACFL media day, LaSalle new football coach Archie Stalcup was asked about the progress of two local players, namely Jersey City's Pat Farrell, a linebacker out of St. Peter's Prep, and former Hoboken High standout lineman James Gilbarty, who also plays linebacker for the Explorers.
"Pat Farrell did a tremendous job for us last year as a freshman," Stalcup said. "And he's enjoyable to be around. He's very intense and I'd rather have that problem with my players. I feel he's going to be a good player for us. He was well coached in high school and has a passion to play the game. I'm very excited about him."
Stalcup likes Gilbarty's dedication to the game and his versatility.
"A few years ago, in a game against Iona, we had to play James at tight end and he severely broke his leg," Stalcup said. "You could see how upset he was that he had to come out of the game. He walked all the way to the bus with a broken leg. I will never forget that."
Added Stalcup, "We will find a way to get him on the field this season. His leadership is important to us."
Stalcup is also impressed with Gilbarty's presence on campus.
"He's very involved with the school's Young Men's Republicans," Stalcup said. "James will leave LaSalle with a mark. He got so involved in the college environment. Both are great kids and are very important people for us."
Farrell and Gilbarty will come with the Explorers to Jersey City to face St. Peter's on Sept. 21 at 8 p.m...
Another local player gracing a roster in the MAACFL is Marist College's sophomore fullback Michael Gerbasio of Secaucus. Gerbasio comes to play locally as well with the Red Foxes, who face St. Peter's in Jersey City on Oct. 19 at 7 p.m...
Although the New Jersey Nets are excited to have acquired Dikembe Mutombo in a trade last week, there is a sense of sadness, especially locally, that the trade came at the expense of Keith Van Horn, who had an up-and-down career with the Nets and never fulfilled expectations.
While Van Horn was never the All-Star he was believed to be, he certainly was a big-time All-Star in the community, especially with youngsters and his involvement with the NBA's Reading is Fundamental program.
Van Horn was readily seen at Hudson County schools over the years, reading to youngsters and expressing the importance of education. In the last year alone, Van Horn appeared at grammar schools in West New York and Guttenberg, thrilling the youngsters with his presence.
For that reason, losing a staple of the community is a big blow to the Nets, especially when it was an identifiable, likeable player like Keith Van Horn...
From the "Where Are They Now?" files: Former Hudson Catholic standout baseball and hockey player Norman MacLean is now a player agent for professional baseball players, with Houston Astros shortstop Julio Lugo among his first clients. MacLean and Lugo have been friends since their days playing for the Brooklyn Youth Service baseball team... -- Jim Hague