One of the best all-around athletes that Hudson County has ever produced is returning home as a coach.
Jersey City native Crystal Vargas, who made headlines several years ago when she became the first female in Hudson County history to play varsity baseball during her days at Marist High School, has been hired as the new assistant softball coach at New Jersey City University.
Vargas, now 23, first came to our attention as a youngster, when she was the ace pitcher for the Jersey City Rockets baseball team, coached by her father, Glenn. At the time, Crystal was the best pitcher on a boys' baseball team, taking on all comers.
Her dream was to play high school varsity baseball. And she did that, playing for Marist in the spring of 1999. Also a fine soccer player and bowler, Vargas then concentrated her efforts on softball, became a two-time Hudson Reporter All-Area honoree, and earned a scholarship to Rutgers University, where she became the school's most prolific home run hitter.
Vargas still plays competitive softball for both the Puerto Rican National Team, as well as the New York Raiders in the Women's Major Fast Pitch League. But she will concentrate her efforts on coaching in the future. "I feel honored to coach under Bridgette Quimpo [NJCU's head softball coach]," Vargas said. "I have played with her and I'm very familiar with her coaching philosophy and work ethic as a player. I know I am going to learn a lot. I hope to gain a lot of knowledge from her coaching experiences, and eventually become a head coach myself."
Vargas is also an accomplished musician, playing the bongos and drums for such recording artists as Wyclef Jean and Lauryn Hill.
Some of her recent performances are currently posted on YouTube, including a performance with artist Chocolatt.
It's good to see that a great kid like Crystal Vargas, who served as an inspiration to a lot of young ladies in the area, is now getting a chance to spread that influence on others as a coach...
Speaking of NJCU, former Gothic Knight quarterback Darren Miller is now a published author.
Miller, the son of former NJCU and St. Peter's College head football coach Roy Miller and who played quarterback at St. Peter's Prep, has been a successful journalist in North Carolina for the last few years.
Miller has now penned a book, entitled "Consider the Source: A Critical Guide to 100 Prominent News and Information Sites on the Web," that he wrote with Dr. James Broderick, an associate professor at NJCU.
The two authors will hold an autograph session Wednesday, Aug. 1 at the Clifton Commons Barnes and Noble, beginning at 7:30 p.m.
The book provides a guide to the best and worst web-based news and information sites and has reviews of more than 100 different websites...
Hoboken baseball and basketball coach Buddy Matthews had an interesting journey to San Francisco to see the recent All-Star Game and Home Run Derby.
During the Home Run Derby, Matthews was seated in the bleachers in left-center field. As the final round wound down between eventual champion Vladimir Guerrero and runner-up Alex Rios of the Toronto Blue Jays, Rios hit a blast that was headed right in Matthews' general direction.
Just like the quick-thinking fielder he once was during his younger days, Matthews put up his glove and lo and behold, Rios' drive plopped right into the coach's glove. It was an outstanding catch that was highlighted on ESPN several times after the original airing.
So if Matthews ever needs to prove to his players that he can indeed catch the ball, it's right there on videotape. Nice catch and nice memory...
Former Union Hill standout lineman and current Rutgers' starting tackle Pedro Sosa has been selected as a pre-season All-American by several different organizations. Sosa is already drawing interest from pro scouts for next year's NFL Draft and has been a hot product for aspiring agents who want to secure Sosa's services.... - Jim Hague