It’s safe to say that Nick Siniscalchi has always been around sports.
The Hoboken native’s parents, Guy and Stacy, have been very supportive of Nick, who is set to become an eighth grader at Hoboken Catholic Academy.
But 13-year-old Nick has also had a head start in the sports world, because his grandfather is legendary football coach Ed Stinson, the long-time grid mentor at Hoboken High School who is currently beginning his second year heading the program at St. Anthony.
However, Nick is a basketball and baseball player, so there’s no hope of him ever playing for his famous grandfather.
Nick has another aspiration – to eventually become a sports broadcaster.
“I love sports and I love broadcasting,” said Siniscalchi, who is a fan of the Yankees in baseball, the Dallas Cowboys in football, the Miami Heat in basketball and the Rangers in hockey. “I’m a big sports fan.”
Guy Siniscalchi learned about the Bruce Beck and Ian Eagle Sports Broadcasting Camp, which is held annually on the campus of Montclair State University and was interested, despite the fact that the majority of students at the week-long camp are much older.
“I said, ‘Sure, I’ll do it,” Nick Siniscalchi said. “I wasn’t intimidated at all.”
The camp, run by Beck, the NBC-TV Channel 4 sports anchor, and Eagle, who is one of the hardest working play-by-play announcers in the nation, doing pro football and basketball and college basketball, gives youngsters ages 13-to-18 a chance to learn the ins and outs of sports broadcasting long before they enroll in college.
Siniscalchi wanted to get a head start at becoming a sports broadcaster, so he enrolled in the Beck-Eagle Sports Broadcasting Camp, which just completed its 14th season.
“I was very excited,” Siniscalchi said.
“We get so many good kids who come through the program,” said Eagle, who is the voice of the New Jersey Nets on the YES Network, but also announces NFL games and college basketball games for CBS. “As the years go by, it becomes more and more gratifying with the kids we get. You see how kids view the business and they’re all aware. They’ve all been alerted to it. It’s pretty amazing.”
Beck thought that the 60 or so aspiring sportscasters comprised the best group they ever had at the camp, which features a chance to broadcast a Somerset Patriots game, the chance to meet and greet other sportscasters like the multi-faceted Kenny Albert, Ken Daneyko and Tina Cervasio of the MSG Network, Kevin Burkhardt of SNY and FOX Sports and Evan Roberts of WFAN Radio, not to mention the opportunity to learn about the field from the best in the business.
“We had an extremely talented group,” said Beck, who welcomed students from all over the country this year. “Because of the Internet, people look up ‘Broadcasting camp’ and we come up. So we’re attracting kids from all over. Parents are willing to send their kids anywhere these days for camp. The Internet has made the country smaller.”
Beck liked what Siniscalchi had to offer.
“He was very enthusiastic and quick-witted,” Beck said of Siniscalchi. “He volunteered to do a lot. We’re just happy to give them their first real opportunity. They are getting exposed to it at a young age. They’re so far ahead of where I was at that age.”
“It is rewarding, but it is demanding,” Eagle said.
Siniscalchi said that he was happy to meet Albert, who is the radio voice of his favorite hockey team. Siniscalchi got the chance to speak with Albert and had his picture taken with him.
“It was pretty cool,” Siniscalchi said. “I also got the chance to interview Sparky Lyle at the Somerset Patriots game.”
Siniscalchi even knew who Lyle was without missing a beat, despite the fact that he hasn’t played baseball in almost 30 years.
“He was the 1977 Cy Young Award winner with the Yankees,” Siniscalchi said of Lyle.
Siniscalchi thoroughly enjoyed his week.
“I learned a lot,” Siniscalchi said. “I will take what Ian and Bruce taught us and put that to practice. I had a great time and I definitely want to go back next year.”
That’s all anyone can ask from a summer camp…
Secaucus girls’ basketball standout Andie Lennon has made her college choice official. She’s headed to Caldwell College in the fall of 2015.
“I really enjoyed the school,” said Lennon, the point guard and Hudson Reporter All-Area honoree last winter. “The coaches are all great and they showed so much interest in me. I’m also really familiar with the school.”
Lennon’s older sister, Elyse, was a volleyball player at Caldwell in recent years.
“Other schools that were interested in me were like five hours away,” Lennon said. “I didn’t want to go too far away and not give my Mom and Dad a chance to see me play.”
Lennon is happy that her decision has been made, that she has secured a full scholarship to college and that she can concentrate on being a high school senior.
“I do feel like a lot of stuff has been lifted off my shoulders,” Lennon said. “I can just play my game and not worry about having to prove people wrong. A lot of people doubted me, saying that I was too small to play in college. I’m just going to prove everyone wrong from now on, proving that my heart is bigger than my size.”
Lennon said that she spent the AAU season this summer working on her shooting range to get ready for the upcoming season and then college. It’s safe to say that she’s the first Secaucus basketball player to secure a college scholarship.
“That’s pretty impressive,” Lennon said. “For such a small school like Secaucus, I guess it proves that anyone can do it.”…
Speaking of Secaucus, former athletic director and long-time track coach Stan Fryczynski fell a few votes short in winning the Brooks Inspirational Coach of the Year, but he did get a trip to Seattle as being a finalist. We’ll have more on Fryczynski’s journey next week…
The annual Weehawken Open golf tournament to benefit the Weehawken Volunteer First Aid Squad last week at the Wild Turkey Golf Club was a huge success, according to organizer Carnig Nersessian. More than 70 golfers participated. The winning foursome included Numargo Vasquez, Emily Vasquez, Robert Hennigar and Steven Bastion and the closest to the pin winner was Erika Zucconi….—Jim Hague
Jim Hague can be reached at OGSMAR@aol.com.