Is this a sign of great things to come?
A year ago, St. Patrick's of Elizabeth used its strong showing in the AND1 National Summer Basketball Tournament as a steppingstone toward eventually capturing the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions crown.
Well, if history is going to repeat itself, then local fans can start making preparations for a T of C run next March by the fabulous Friars of St. Anthony.
That's because the Friars pulled off the unthinkable last weekend, winning the prestigious national title by defeating Booker T. Washington High School of Memphis, Tenn. in the title game, 72-60.
Without question, the tournament became the coming out party for three Friars, namely Otis Campbell, Derrick Mercer and Barney Anderson, all three who have now become major college prospects by their solid performances.
Campbell had 21 points in the title game and was named the tourney's Most Valuable Player. His stock as a prospect is skyrocketing, almost very similar to the attention Terry Dehere received right before his senior year.
Mercer scored 12 points in the title game and Anderson added 11.
Marcus Williams, who has been a three-year starter with the Friars and seems ready to step forward to make this team his own, scored 18 points in the championship game.
It was also good to see Ahmad Mosby back in the Friar mix. Mosby, who had several big games a year ago, was dismissed from the team in the middle of last season by coach Bob Hurley for disciplinary reasons. Mosby has apparently paid his penance and has made a triumphant return, which makes the Friars even more formidable in the future.
Make no bones about it. Despite the fact that Anderson remains their only true inside presence at 6-5, the Friars will utilize the speed and quickness of their plethora of talented guards to go a long way in the 2003-04 campaign. That was proven with the recent summer performance...
The two New Jersey high school football All-Star games, namely the Governor's Bowl, pitting the New Jersey All-Stars against a team from New York, and the Coaches Association's North-South game, will both be played on the same day this year, July 12, at Rutgers Stadium.
Organizers from both games have determined to turn the day into a football festival, with the North-South game slated for a 1 p.m. kickoff and the Governor's Bowl set to begin at 5 p.m.
Three local players will grave the Governor's Bowl, namely Ira "I-Train" Guilford of Hoboken, bound for Ohio State in the fall, Union Hill's Pedro Sosa, who will play at Rutgers, and North Bergen's Bobby Lane, who will play at the University of Albany.
There was a nasty rumor being floated about the area that St. Peter's Prep's Joe Dailey was left off the Governor's Bowl roster on purpose, but it's not true, because Dailey is already attending classes at the University of Nebraska and is getting ready to play for the Cornhuskers in the fall. Dailey was expected to be a member of the Governor's Bowl roster.
Local products Quadir Ladson of Hoboken, Manauris Arias of Emerson and Pat O'Keefe of St. Peter's Prep will represent the area in the North-South game...
Congratulations to the first two female members of the Jersey City Fire Department, namely Maureen Nally-Nagel and Connie Zappella, who ironically both have track and field backgrounds. Nally was a standout runner at St. Dominic Academy and St. Peter's College during her competitive days and has recently been a coach at SPC. She is also the wife of SDA coach and athletic director John Nagel.
Zappella was a standout shot putter during her tenure at McNair Academic and was a state North Jersey Section 1, Group I champion during the outdoor season...
Congratulations to Jersey City native Alberto Vasquez, who signed a professional contract with the New Jersey Jackals this week. Vasquez, the former Hudson Catholic and Rutgers catcher, was signed as a free agent and will begin play with the team this weekend....
When the upcoming soccer game for the Italian Super Cup between world soccer powers A.C. Milan and Juventus was moved to Giants Stadium, to be played Sunday, Aug. 3, we figured that the man who puts these pages together each week, namely talented graphic artist Pat Spina, was going to be overjoyed. After all, Spina is definitely the biggest Italian soccer fan in Hudson County.
However, I was quickly informed that Spina is a big fan of Inter Milan, not A.C. Milan. In fact, Spina hates the two teams that will participate in the game. It's sort of like a Giants fan trying to watch the Jets play the Cowboys in the Super Bowl. Spina vows to stay far away from Giants Stadium that day.
Now that I know the difference, I don't blame him... -- Jim Hague