Last week, Rutgers head football coach Terry Shea announced his resignation after five miserable seasons at the helm in Piscataway. Shea will depart at the end of the season, but plans are already being made to replace him.
On the day that Shea stepped down, we took a poll of some of the more formidable coaches throughout the state, including North Bergen's Vince Ascolese and Hoboken's Ed Stinson, to get their feel on where the state university should go to find a replacement. Both insisted that the new coach should have some New Jersey recruiting roots and perhaps just some New Jersey roots period.
Ascolese recommended University of Miami defensive coordinator Greg Schiano, a native of Wyckoff, for the position. Stinson believes current Syracuse assistant George DeLeone would be perfect for the job. DeLeone is a former Rutgers assistant who has been in charge of Syracuse's recruiting in New Jersey for the past decade.
There's another name that should receive consideration, someone whose roots are in Jersey City.
New Mexico State head coach Tony Samuel, who played at Lincoln and then went on to play and coach at Nebraska before moving on to New Mexico State a few years ago, would also be a logical choice for the job.
Samuel has been a recruiter for ages, knows the New Jersey players and the coaches and has the head coaching experience necessary for the position. Maybe Rutgers should inquire into how happy Samuel is in New Mexico...
Congrats to both St. Dominic and Memorial for winning the team titles at the Hudson County Track Coaches Association cross-country championships last weekend. Memorial bounced back from a sub-par performance at the state sectionals to flex their muscles in their own backyard. William Canon, who has been rock steady all season, added the HCTCA title to his HCIAA and NJSIAA North Jersey Section 1, Group IV titles, winning in 16:24. Anderson Tejada ran right behind Canon for a second straight week.
St. Dominic, paced by Danielle Biondo's first place finish, captured the team title over Memorial...
Is anyone anxiously awaiting the Snyder-Demarest and Dickinson-West Milford consolation round games this weekend like I am? Please, how much sense does it make for Dickinson to drive 90 minutes to play a game on Saturday that means absolutely nothing? These consolation games are for the birds...
In case anyone was wondering about the column picture of yours truly that has appeared next to the Scoreboard for the last two weeks: the picture shows Hudson County's biggest Mets fan donning a Yankees hat and wearing Yankees stickers on my face as part of losing a World Series wager to another local sportswriter who will remain nameless.
Our editor here at the Hudson Reporter newspaper group, Caren Lissner, said upon viewing the picture, "You look like you want to throw up." Believe me. When that hat went on my head, I wanted to.
So Yankees fans, enjoy the picture and one last laugh for one more week, because it goes bye-bye this week. Forever...
OK, it's time for that mammoth soothsayer, that rotund predictor of things to come, the Great Hagueini, to break out the magic wand, turban and crystal ball, and peek into the future, because it's state football playoff time.
Here's this week's selections, which cannot be wagered on for real money, unless it's for a ham sandwich with your Uncle Louie.
Secaucus at Saddle Brook: As much as I adore the Patriots' coaching staff of Charlie Voorhees and assistant Bruce Naszimento, Secaucus struggled to beat Becton and Wood-Ridge this year, while Saddle Brook has knocked off state powers like Glen Rock and Passaic Tech. Sorry, guys. Saddle Brook, 35-12.
Weehawken at New Milford: Although New Milford has the state's leading scorer in Jay Healy, the first-timer Indians have a ton of weapons like Nadyr Albri, Fernando Fuentes and Peter Martinez. We're going for the upset here. Weehawken, 19-14.
Ramsey at Hoboken: Be real. If I pick against Hoboken anytime soon, Mayor Anthony Russo will call me a Republican instead of simply calling me a racist. Hoboken 35-6.
North Bergen at Teaneck: North Bergen has suffered two one-sided losses in a row, while Teaneck is coming off two resounding wins over playoff teams, one over Bergen Catholic. Ernie Williams will be the best player on the field for the Highwaymen. And how can you pick against a team with a nickname like that? Teaneck, 21-12.
Emerson at Bayonne: I believe it's next to impossible for one of two evenly matched teams to win both games in two consecutive weeks. Home field plays a factor here. Bayonne, 18-12.
St. Peter's Prep at Notre Dame of Trenton: How sad would it be if the Marauders traveled all that way and came home empty. The Marauders, winners of six straight, have been playing better of late, especially offensively. Just a hunch. St. Peter's, 21-13.
One last prediction: Hudson Catholic defeats Emerson to win the HCIAA soccer championship this weekend, 2-0. Finally, there will be a soccer champ and not this silly co-champ baloney...