Christine Barrett SA,e-Pro, SFR, Notary

RE/MAX Tri County

609-587-9300 x1316

Direct: 609-270-6368

Cell 609-468-8202

Fax 609-249-1918


Hamilton Physical Therapy Services


5 locations in Mercer County

Pullen's Garage
3060 Quakerbridge Rd.
Hamilton, NJ


Princeton Tennis Program
Affordable tennis for all
ages & levels since 1954

Ed Riley, Sales Manager
Davis Acura
2051 East Lincoln Highway 
Langhorne Pa.
215-943-7000 x 1301 

Jack DeStefano
Equipment XChange LLC
309 Columbia Road
Hammonton, NJ 08037


Rich Fisher on

at Fish4Scores
Sterling Title Agency LLC
2662 Nottingham Way
Hamilton, NJ 08619
Jeanne DeStefano - Owner
Thomas DeStefano - Owner

Mercer Digital Printing
Programs, Business Cards,
NCR Forms, Trifolds, Pads
Perfect Bound Books


Mike Gola: 609-947-4612


Check out "Pugs' Page"
as James Pugliese chases
a Major League dream

Joe Sensi
Nottingham Insurance Agency
Group Health Insurance
Personal Life Insurance
Hamilton NJ 0890
609-587-1600, x 116

Xerographic Document Solutions, Inc.
Bob & Rich Weise, Owners
117 North Gold Drive
Robbinsville, NJ 08691


Game Time Performance
670 Route 33
Hamilton NJ 08619
Visit us on Facebook

 Michael  Gerstnicker
Team Gersh: A Professional
Real Estate Team
Berkshire Hathaway
609-890-3300 x259 (O)
609-306-3772 (cell) 
Allied Vision Services
1004 Washington Blvd.
Robbinsville, NJ


Route 130 Car Wash 
& Express Lube
 Car wash/oil change
770 Route 130 South
Hamilton Twp., NJ 08610

Dennis Maffezzoli
Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Michael J. Larkin,

Individual & Business
Tax Returns


Fornaro Francioso LLC

2277 Highway 33

Hamilton, N.J.




Gino Formaroli Fan Club
President: Joe Fink
Vice President: John Wagner
Statastician: Donna Formaroli
Founder: Charlie Manuel



 Bob Smith's

Soccer Academy

153 West Manor Way

Robbinsville, NJ

Jo Jo's Tavern

2677 Nottingham Way

Mercerville, NJ



Hopewell Valley
Community Bank
7 branches in 6 towns
Member FDIC

Mercer Oaks Catering
Jim Hines, President
Princeton Jct., NJ



Malone Photography
Mary Malone, President
Specializing in sports action
Click here for website

The Legendary Friday Afternoon Club
Route 156, Yardville, NJ
Charles "Shane" Pesce; President
Jack "I Gotta Go" Dunn


John Blaine Sports Photo
Specializing in
Hamilton Twp.
Special Events
$125/6 months
$225/1 year

ComputerEyes, Inc.
Bruno J Martillotti
Expert advice-reasonable rates


Hamilton A's Baseball
Where all the area's
stars come to play!

Taylor Applications, LLC
Affordable Website Design,
Hosting, & Maintenance

$125 for 6 months
$225 for 1 year

ZavSays, LLC

Designer of websites,

logos and print 

Dennis Symons Jr.  Photography


Custom Senior

$125 for 6 months
$225 for 1 year


$125 for 6 months
$225 for 1 year

$125 for 6 months
$225 for 1 year
$125 for 6 months
$225 for 1 year





Proudly covering Hamilton Township sports since 2009

Hun School senior James Albanese, who hails from Mercerville, signs his national letter of intent Wednesday to dive with the University of Massachussetts next year. Flanking James, from the left, are Hun Athletic Director Kathy Quirk, father Richard Albanese, and mother Suzanne Albanese.

Grace Gaskill fired four of the Hamilton 10U Blues 12 shutout innings as the Hurricanes won the Marlton Tournament this past weekend.
HGSA Travel Round-Up
12U Blue, 14Us wins tourneys; 10U Blue earns PONY bid

Recreation softball gets underway on opening weekend

Little League
Click here for highlights from a very busy weekend


The Nottingham freshman baseball team was all smiles after winning its season opener againt Kearney in the Hamilton West Freshman Tournament Saturday.
Apr. 13 Hamilton West Freshman Baseball Tournament
Nottingham opens with all-around win over Kearney

Steinert's Steph Miranda fires a shot past Ewing's DD Jones during the Spartans 10-9 win over the visiting Blue Devils Monday (Photo by Tim Larsen).
Apr. 14 Girls Lacrosse
Steinert holds off Ewing rally; Hamilton tops Lawrence

Apr. 14 Boys Lacrosse
Novak scores four more but Hornets fall to Pennington

Cody Astbury fired a three-hitter and fanned eight in pitching Hamilton to a 7-4 win over Pennington Monday. It was the first win of the season for the Hornets ace (Photo by Donna "The Trooper" Brihn).
Apr. 14 Baseball
Hornets give Astbury a win; Steinert falls at Notre Dame

It was a tough day in Florida for Nottingham, but Brittany Kelly had both RBIs in the Northstars loss to East Hamilton, Tennessee (Photo by Wes "The Media Mogul" Kirkpatrick).
Apr. 14 Softball
Stars lose opener in Disney World; ND tops Steinert

Former Nottingham football player Zack Mesday (wearing Temple shirt) spent the past year at The Canterbury School in Connecticut, and it paid off in a spot on Temple's roster next year. At the left is Zack's dad Ken, while on the right is mom Sue and brother Joe. Standing (from left) are freshman coach Zach Campbell, head coach Jon Adams, superintendant James Parla, principal Mike Giambelluca, defensive coordinator Frank Gatto and defensive assistant Milo McGuire (Photo by Wes "The Media Mogul" Kirkpatrick).
Apr. 14 College Football
Former Northstar Mesday will play for Temple next year

Texas Roadhouse hostess Daniela Bossi presents Hamilton's Carlee Smith with her gift card while the sophomore track & field athlete displays her complimentary t-shirt after being named the Roadhouse Athlete of the Week (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos at
Apr. 13 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Smith making a case for Hamilton Airlines boarding pass

Two more Nottingham seniors made their football futures official last week. Above, Nick "Mr. President" DeMarie joins the University of Pennsylvania sprint football program. He is flanked on the left by is mentor Bill Bamberger and father Bob DeMarie, while on the right is mom Cecelia DeMarie. Standing (from left) are Athletic Director Dee "The Wizard" Taylor, Jon "Big Dawg" Adams, Principal Mike Giambelluca, defensive coordinator Frank "The Godfather" Gatto and defensive coach Milo McGuire. Below, Clayton Sary decides on attending Jireh Prep Academy in Matthews, NC. He is flanked on left by Taylor, and on the right by McGuire and Giambelluca. In the rear are Adams and Gatto (Photos by Wes "The Media Mogul" Kirkpatrick).  

Hamilton Township players made up nearly half of the Hibernian Senior 11 soccer team that was honored at the Hibos Sunday night. The honorees are (from left) Steinert's Darah "Dwags" Wagner, Nottingham's Dana Davies, Hamilton's Danielle Schneck, Steinert's Kristina Ragolia and West's Sammi "The Tiki Queen" Barlow (Photo by Rick "The Voice of the Northstars" Taylor).

After the HGSA players paid their respect to Trenton Thunder Mascot Boomer before gathering around the microphone to sing the National Anthem during Saturday's Opening Day Ceremonies at the HGSA complex. Click here for four pages of photos from the event (Photos by Ken Weingartner).
The Darryl Hardee plane takes off over the high jump at Saturday's Mercer Relays, as Hamilton Airlines pilots Hardee and Tyree Adams won the event easily (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos at
Apr. 12 Mercer County Relays
West, Stars boys prep for big dual meet with big efforts
Township girls put on a nice show in the javelin

The bottom of the order lifted Hamilton's softball team to the top of heap Saturday as (from left) Stephanie Turner, Hayley Fletcher, Tracey Mraw, Ashley Gordon and Erica Gerstnicker combined for a two-run second inning that gave the Hornets an impressive 2-1 win over Delaware Valley. This picture is also to prove that Turner is not really a villain from Buffy The Vampire Slayer, as Friday's photo seemed to indicate (Photo by Rich Fisher).
Apr. 12 Softball
Hornets get big win over DelVal; Steinert snaps skid

Apr. 12 Baseball
Cranford scores four in seventh for win over Spartans

Nottingham's Alexis Santiago (3) and Alex Episcopo (22) have their eye on Hamilton's John Novak, who opened Friday's game with four of the Hornets first six goals. But the Stars paid a little too much attention to the junior, allowing Mike Carbone to score the game-winner in an 8-7 thriller (Photo by Wes "The Media Mogul" Kirkpatrick).
Apr. 11 Boys Lacrosse
West tops Stars in a classic; Spartans rout Lawrence

Anthony Francioso gets ready to unleash a pitch against Lawrence during his standout varsity debut on Friday. The sophomore carried a no-hitter into the sixth and allowed just one hit over six innings (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos at
Apr. 11 Baseball
Francioso lifts Spartans; Hornets roll; Northstars lose 

Hamilton's Stephanie Turner had an eye-opening performance in Princeton today as she latched onto a 4-for-5 day at the plate with a double, two triples and two RBI as the Hornets won their first of the season (Photo by Dennis Symons Jr./purchase photos at
Apr. 11 Softball
Ruppert optimistic after Spartan loss; Hornets win first

Joe Fink, shown coaching for Trenton High during a soccer game at Steinert last fall, becomes the first Bicentennial Class of '76 graduate to be inducted as an individual to the Steinert Athletic Hall of Fame (Photo by Mary Malone).
Apr. 10 Steinert Athletic Hall of Fame
Joe Fink: a soccer teammate's dream for '75 Spartans
12 more individuals, two teams will also be inducted

Like any good goalie should, Steinert's Dylan "The Rising" Phoenix stands her ground against a Lawrence breakaway during the Spartans win on Thursday. Phoenix helped win the game but lost an Edible Arrangement in the process (Photo by T.L. Squidney).
Apr. 10 Girls Lacrosse
Emcee Kissling paces Spartan win; West drops tight one

Apr. 10 Little League
Yardville Supply Bernie's and A+ are all winners

Apr. 9-10 JV Lacrosse
Steinert girls top Lawrence; West boys edged by Delran

With home plate umpire Eric "Breakfast Club" Hamilton having a slightly better view of the play than coach Danielle Wilson down at third base, Kristin "Z" Hallam slides home with what proved to be the winning run in Nottingham's win at Hightstown Thursday. Catcher Holly Bridgman tries to make the tag (Photo by Wes "The Media Mogul" Kirkpatrick).
Apr. 10 Softball
Northstars snap losing streak with victory at Hightstown

Apr. 10 Baseball
Gloves betray Nottingham in loss to Hopewell Valley

Hamilton's Mercedes Mendoza-Dye heads for a first-place finish in the 400 meters against Notre Dame and Robbinsville during the Hornet girls' first dual meet victory in several years (Photo by Jim Jenkins).
Apr. 9 Track & Field
West girls finally taste victory; boys win one, lose one

Steinert's Conner Braddock gets past a Nottingham defender during Wednesday's Klockner Road battle won by the Spartans. Braddock got three more goals as he continues to excel in his freshman season (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos at 
Apr. 9 Boys Lacrosse
Three Spartan hat tricks sink Stars; West falls to Delran

Steinert's Steve Loney allowed just four hits and one run with seven strikeouts in six innings, but was only the second best pitcher in Wednesday's game as Ewing ace Paul Sparano pitched the Blue Devils to a 1-0 victory (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos at
Apr. 9 Baseball
Ewing hands Spartans first loss; West wins; Stars fall

Apr. 8-9 Golf
Steinert wins one, loses one; Nottingham dropped

Nottingham rightfielder Jen Hallam puts away a first-inning fly ball during Wednesday's game at Allentown (Photo by Wes "The Media Mogul" Kirkpatrick).
Apr. 9 Softball
Late rally sinks Steinert; Stars fall; Hamilton zipped

Apr. 5-6 College Baseball
Steinert grads Locklear, Geraci aid weekend victories

Steinert Emma Meiczinger heads down the stretch to her first high school dual meet victory as the sophomore won the 1600 against Lawrence today. Right behind is teammate Justine Zola, as the Spartans swept the 1600 and 3200, with Emma also taking second in the 3200 (Photo by John Blaine/purchse photos at
Apr. 8 Track & Field

Steinert girls look good in loss; newbies excel for boys

Johnson's four firsts power Stars boys to two victories

Colon excels but Nottingham girls lose two close ones

Apr. 8 Golf
Hamilton defeats (we're really not kidding) Princeton!!

Apr. 8 Baseball
Spartans rout WWPS, gear for Ewing's Sparano

Apr. 8 Softball
Hamilton West falls to Robbinsville

Texas Roadhouse hostess Ginny Flagiello presents Kyle Muller with his complimenatry gift card while the Steinert sophomore displays his T-shirt for being named the Fish4scores/Texas Roadhouse Athlete of the Week (Photo by Rich Fisher).
Apr. 6 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Muller's first varsity start proves Giallella's instincts right

Flanked by godfrather Angel Boden, godbrother Christian Boden and mother Ileana Leon at the left, and sister Ariana Leon and father Alexie Leon on the right, Nottingham's Alexis Santiago makes it official he will be going to King's College in Wilkes Barre, Pa., for football and academics next year. Standing from left ot right are guidance counseler Jon Schwartz, lacrosse coach Jerry "Crab Fries" Lynch, football coach Jon "Big Dawg" Adams, brother Lorenzo Leon and Principal Mike Giambelluca (Photo by Wes "The Media Mogul" Kirkpatrick).


The Steinert High School Athletic Hall of Fame 2014 Scholarship recipients, seated from left, are: Stephanie Miranda, Brendan Harshman, Chris Scordo, Patrick Harchik and Rachael Peters; Sstanding in the photo in front of Steinert's Hall of Fame case are (from left) Principal Frank Ingargiola, teachers and Hall of Fame Scholarship Committee members Mike "The Voice" Hastings and Ron "Hand Me Down" Yacyk, and Athletic Director Steve Gazdek. The 9th Annual HOF Dinner  is scheduled for Apr. 12 at The Stone Terrace in Hamilton. Check Fish4scores later this week for story on the inductees. Anyone interested in attending the dinner should contact Lisa Gentilella at or (609) 731-3258 or Mary Ann Tarr at immediately. A 5 p.m. cocktail hour is followed by a 6:30 dinner and tickets are $55.

March 19 Football
Proposed new lighted field at Y met with mixed reviews
The pro: Township coaches feel facility would fill void for players
The con: Residents furious over how their way of life will suffer


While Steinert's Brandon Cray displays his t-shirt, Texas Roadhouse hostesses Carly Wood (left) and Amanda Bencivengo present the Spartan with his complementary gift card for being named the Roadhouse Athlete of the Week (Photo by Rich Fisher).
Mar. 16 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
By placing in states, Cray in rare air for Steinert wrestling

In what has become an every-three-month exercise, Nottingham sophomore Grace Dwyer displays her Fish4scores t-shirt while Texas Roadhouse hostess Carly Wood presents Grace with her much-coveted complementary gift after the Amazingly Hungry One was named Roadhouse Athlete of the Week. Carly also made Fish4scores history as the first presenter with the same name as a former AOW winner, as then-Steinert freshman Carly Wood won the award in May, 2010. C'mon, you know that's impressive! (Photo by Rich Fisher)

Mar. 9 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Dwyer 'steaks' her claim to third place at Meet of Champs


   Spartans take the nation by storm!
The Steinert cheerleaders proudly display their championship banner and trophy they earned by taking first place in the Large Varsity Level 4 at the 2014 All-Star Cheer and Dance Nationals at the ESPN Wild World of Sports complex in Orlando, Fla. (Click for more pictures).

Texas Roadhouse hostesses Ashley Aneses(left) and Sinaia Lamkin (right) present gift cards to the last two Roadhouse Athletes of the Week as Hamilton West's Claudia Olsen and Steinert's River Ullrich display their complimentary T-shirts (Photo by Rich Fisher).
Feb. 23/Mar. 2 Fish4scores/Texas Roadhouse Athletes of the Week
In his final chance for the gold, Ullrich nails district title
Olsen wastes little time high jumping into an MOC berth

Sporting the same Orange & Black colors of the Cincinnati Bengals that he used to wear while playing for Hamilton West, Bengals linebacker Jayson DiManche gave the students at Wilson Elementary School a thrill on Monday when he was the honorary "Principal of the Day."  DiManche thoroughly enjoyed his day in the big seat, posting on Facebook "A big thank you to Principal Panfili and the whole Wilson Elementary school staff for letting me run around the halls all day! It was such a great experience and I enjoyed being around all of the students, teachers and parents, I can't wait to be back!" There is no word yet whether the Bengals have offered Principal Barbara Panfili the opportunity to be Linebacker of the Day next training camp, but we here at Fish4scores highly recommend it. Afterall, fair is fair! (Photo by Nick Sakowski).

During a rare snowy day in Hamilton, Texas Roadhouse server Pam Schwarz presents Nottingham's Raychel Waltz with her gift card while Raychel displays her compliminatry t-shirt after being named the Roadhouse Athlete of the Week (Photo by Rich Fisher).
Feb. 16 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
With no team around her, Waltz still best bowler in state

Ten years after signing with the Baltimore Orioles, Hamilton West grad Jim Hoey has decided to retire from professional baseball in order to pursue a career in web development.
Feb. 17 Professional Baseball
Hamilton grad Hoey makes tough decision to hang it up
Click here for Jim Hoey's official retirement statement


Nottingham senior Raychel Waltz displays the trophy she earned Wednesday for winning the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions Bowling title at Carolier Lanes in North Brunswick. Raychel is the first girl from Mercer County to ever win the championship (Photo by Kristin Dunham).
Feb. 12 Tournament of Champions Bowling
Nottingham's Raychel Waltz the Queen of New Jersey!
Updated with comments from Raychel and coach Dunham


Steinert's Maddie Horner displays her complimentary t-shirt while fellow Spartan and Texas Roadhouse hostess Angelique "Tree/Gaga" Wysock presents Maddie with her gift card for being named the Roadhouse Athlete of the Week (Photo by Rich Fisher).
Feb. 9 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Horner shines on biggest stages of high school season


It was an All-West/All Neighborhood presentation for this week's Roadhouse Athlete of Week, as Hamilton's Griffin Hutton displays his shirt while his neighbor and Hornet soccer star Stephanie Turner presents Griff with his gift card (Photo by by Rich Fisher).
Feb. 2 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Versatile Hutton wins four races in four different events

Kloc and West claim the championship in Fish Bowl II
  Where the Super Bowl collides with Fish4scores







Click here for coaches picks and team tie-breakers


Nottingham senior Tevin "No Look" Williams displays his Fish4scores shirt while Texas Roadhouse hostess Lexi Seeds (left) presents Tevin with his gift card for being named the Roadhouse Athlete of the Week. At the right is former Northstar basketball scorekeeper Jess Fremgen, who No Look insisted be in the photo since she fudged the book to make his scoring average higher last year. Just Kidding! (Photo by Rich Fisher)
Jan. 19 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week

There's no comparison when discussing Tevin Williams

Steinert's Michael Remboski displays his complimenatry T-shirt while Texas Roadhouse waitress Jessica Tober presents Michael with his gift card and vaunted strength and conditioning coach Troy Flood looks on as Remboski is honored as the Roadhouse Athlete of the Week (Photo by Rich Fisher).
Jan. 12 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Remboski never gets rusty no longer how long he sits out

Hamilton West senior Courtney "XO" Adams displays her Fish4scores shirt while being presented with a gift card from Texas Roadhouse hostess Angelique "Tree/GaGa" Wysock after Adams was named the Roadhouse Athlete of the Week (Photo by Rich Fisher).
Jan. 5 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Adams offensive explosion has West on winning streak

Standing next to a replica of the Fish4scores shirt he will receive, Hamilton's Dan Garcia accepts his gift card from server Jessica Tober after being named the Roadhouse Athlete of the Week (Photo by Rich Fisher). 
Dec. 29 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Son of the People a real son of a gun for Hamilton hoops

Steinert's Jared Nixon displays his Fish4scores shirt while hostess Angelique "GaGa/Tree" Wysock presents the sophomore with his gift card after Jared was named the Roadhouse Athlete of the Week (Photo by Rich Fisher).
Dec. 22 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Nixon tallies 11 points in Steinert 3-game unbeaten streak

Steinert's Maggie Herbert displays her Fish4scores shirt while being presented her Texas Roadhouse gift card from executive beverage director Kirsten "Kit" Tellefsen after the senior swimmer was named the Roadhouse Athlete of the Week (Photo by Rich Fisher).
Dec. 8 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Herbert goes 8-for-8 in her opening races of swim season

Nottingham senior Jameel Bailey displays his Fish4scores t-shirt while Texas Roadhouse server Erin Shields presents Jameel with his gift card after he was named the Roadhouse Athlete of the Week (Photo by Rich Fisher)
Dec. 1 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Bailey ends Stars' career with bushel full of TD catches

It was only a matter of time before Grace Dwyer got an entourage. As a reward for being the Roadhouse Athlete of the Week, the Nottingham sophomore is presented her t-shirt and Texas Roadhouse gift card by Girl Scout Troop 70330, who took a tour of the restaurant and put together baskets for the needy before giving Grace her swag in the freezing cold (Photo by Rich Fisher). 
Nov. 24 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Stars' Dwyer makes huge improvement in Group III time

The Nottingham High cheerleaders not only cheer for a state champion, they are champs in their own right as they tell whose number one after winning last Sunday's CVC Cheerleading Classic's Small Division title.
Nov. 17 CVC Cheerleading Classic
Steinert takes overall title; Stars also win; West second

Nottingham quarterback Stephen Adams (left) and tight end David Colon (right) display their complimentary Fish4scores shirts while Texas Roadhouse hostess Cara Bacon presents them with a gift card for being named the Roadhouse Co-Athletes of the Week (Photo by Rich Fisher).
Nov. 17 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Adams and Colon were TD terrors in Stars win over HoVal

In a reverse foreshadowing of Thansgiving morning, Steinert and Hamilton linemen actually work together as former Spartan Mike Garafola (right) presents Hamilton West's Sha'an Johnson with his gift card while Johnson displays his complementary t-shirt after being named Roadhouse Athlete of the Week (Photo by Rich Fisher).
Nov. 3 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Veteran Johnson the leader of Hamilton's offensive line

Hamilton West graduate Jayson DiManche is making positive strides with the Cincinnati Bengals during his rookie season, and was awarded his first NFL game ball in last Sunday's win over the Jets (Photo by
Nov. 2 Q&A With Cincinnati Bengals Jayson DiManche
West grad not letting himself get overwhelmed by NFL

Angelique "Ga Ga" Wysock shows off her Fish4scores shirt while be presented with her Texas Roadhouse gift card from her favorite boss, Norm Patten, and server Erin Shields, after "The Tree" was named Roadhouse Athlete of the Week (Photo by Rich Fisher).
Oct. 27 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Wyosck coming up big for Steinert as games get bigger

Nottingham field hockey goalie Amanda Muziani displays her Fish4scores t-shirt while receiving her gift card from Texas Roadhouse server Kirsten "Kit" Tellefsen after Muziani was named the Roadhouse Athlete of the Week (Photo by Rich Fisher).
Oct. 20 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Nottingham's Muziani thrives on being busy in the goal

Texas Roadhouse girls Madison Slaboda (left) and Becca Butter present Ian Williams with his gift card while the Hamilton West junior football player displays his T-shirt after being named the Roadhouse Athlete of the Week for the week of Oct. 5-11 (Photo by Rich Fisher).
Oct. 13 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Burning passion for football is what makes Williams run

With Texas Roadhouse servers Jessica Villalva (left) and Kirsten "Kit" Tellefsen presenting his gift card, Nottingham senior Saquan Hampton displays his Fish4scores t-shirt after being named the Roadhouse Athlete of the Week (Photo by Rich Fisher).
Oct. 6 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Hampton's play gives Stars football two wins in six days


Nottingham cross country runner Larry Velasquez displays his shirt while accepting his gift card from Texas Roadhouse servers Sinaia Lamkin (left) and Lexi Seeds after being named the Roadhouse Athlete of the Week. Larry made sure to wear his t-shirt supporting injured Stars football player Josh Lajeunesse, which states "#DoitFor2".  (Photo by Rich Fisher).  
Sep. 29 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Cross country newcomer Velasquez making an impact 

Nottingham sophomore tennis player Angelina Sferra accepts her gift card from server Madison Slaboda while displaying her t-shirt after winning the Roadhouse Athlete of The Week award (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos at
Sep. 22 Fish4scores/Texas Roadhouse Athlete of the Week

Sferra's emergence at singles boosts Stars' tennis team 

Steinert's Darah "Dwags" Wagner displays her Fish4scores shirt and is presented her Texas Roadhouse gift card by server  (and Wagner's former art class classmate) Dina Guerieri along with Roadhouse owner Norm Patten as Wagner became the school year's first Roadhouse Athlete of the Week (Photo by Rich Fisher).
Sep. 15 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Steinert starts out 3-0 as Wagner scores in every game

Hamilton West's Jayson DiManche thought he did enough to make the Bengals roster, but wasn't counting on anything until coach Marvin Lewis called on Saturday with the good news (Photo courtesy
Sep 2 NFL Football

DiManche talks about making the Cincinnati Bengals

With HBO's "Hard Knocks" filming his every move Saturday, Hamilton West grad Jayson DiManche (54) got the good news from Bengals coach Marvin Lewis that he is an NFL player (Photo courtesy of 
Sep. 1 NFL Football
Hamilton West grad DiManche now a Cincinnati Bengal

Hamilton Township resident Sean Reese watches his majestic drive for Team New Jersey during Saturday's Special Olympics of North American Softball Invitational Tournament at Mercer County Park. Several Hamiltonians played and coached in the event, which featured 24 teams from across the nation (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos at Click here for more photos

Hamilton Township's James Albanese soars through the air during the 18-year-old diving  competition at the AAU Junior Olympics in San Antonio. Albanese made a strong showing in Texas.
Township's Albanese looks good in Junior Olympics

The Hamilton Aquatics Club sent 17 swimmers to the recent YMCA Long Course Nationals in Atlanta, including (front row, from left) Lizzy Demoine, Lisa Mazukewicz, Sarah Lattime, Hailey Thayer; (middle row) Chelsea Ackerson, Maria Nitti, Annie Menninger, Ian Dixon-Anderson, head coach Sue Welsh, Zach Mabin, coach Dave Tees, Maggie Herbert; (back row) Maddie Horner, Jake Torres, Mark Dawes, Adam Druckman, Teddy Slahetka, Matt Tees, and Steven Walsh.
YMCA Long Course Summer Nationals
Hamilton Aquatics Club sends a whopping 17 to nationals

The winning foursome at this year's Al Doan Jr. Memorial Golf Outing at Old York Country Club were (from left) of Tom Boesch, Mike "Father of Bullet Head” Braender, George Joo and Kurt Amburgey. The group shot a blistering 13 under par (Photo by Wes "The Media Mogul" Kirkpatrick).
Al Doan Jr. Memorial Golf Outing
Record turnout and new champion highlight a nice day

Hamilton West graduate Jayson DiManche (54) takes the field for preseason warm-ups with the Bengals prior to Thursday night's ESPN game at Atlanta. DiManche a linebacker, is trying to make Cincinnati after signing as a free agent out of Southern Illinois and had a quarterback sack in his first game (Photo by Morgan Pietrow).
Aug. 9 NFL
Bengals' website calls West's DiManche 'interesting case'

The best of Hamilton Township's "good sports" were out in force at Mercer Oaks Tuesday night at the Colonial Valley Conference Sportsmanship Award Banquet. The honorees from the three township schools were (from left) Lindsey Diamond, Kelly Tohill, Trevor "Rev Trev" Jones, Luke Westerberg, PJ "Chill" Wiegartner, Ron "Yack" Yacyk, Mackenzie Ewell, Imani Alston and Lauren Kelly.

Texas Roadhouse server Madison Slaboda, who is not this blurry in real life but suffered the incompetence of the photographer, presents a gift card to Nottingham's Jermaine Griffith who displays his complementary t-shirt after winning the Roadhouse Athlete of the Week (Photo by Rich Fisher).
June 2 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Griffith showed heart with four CJIII firsts in frigid weather

Steinert's Jess Giordano displays her t-shirt while receiving her complementary gift card from Texas Roadhouse hostess Jennifer Eckley after the Spartan was named the Roadhouse Athlete of the Week (Photo by Rich Fisher).
May 26 Fish4scoresTexas Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Giordano is throwing goose eggs and helping offense

Texas Roadhouse server Alex Denisco presents a gift card to Texas Roadhouse Server/Nottingham javelin thrower Sara "Puffy" Eggert as Sara is the Roadhouse Athlete of the Week (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos at
May 19 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Eggert meets her goal of repeating as MCT javelin champ

As is our Mother's Day tradition, we ask that the mom of the Roadhouse Athlete of the Week present the gift card, which is why Kathy "Mrs. Z"  Hallam is graciously handing her daughter Kristin "Z" her reward while the Z Meister displays her complementary t-shirt. Making it a full family affair is big sister Jen (left), who Z credits for making her first year at Nottingham go smooth (Photo by Rich Fisher).
May 12 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Hallam's all-around play helps Stars run win streak to nine

Hamilton West's Dave "Oz" Osnato displays his Fish4scores t-shirt while being presented with his Texas Roadhouse gift card by server Kiersten Tellefsen after the senior catcher was named the Roadhouse Athlete of the Week (Photo by Rich Fisher).
May 5 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Osnato's hit record no surprise to former West teammate

Texas Roadhouse server Julie Swift presents Steinert's Mani Kissling with her gift card while Mani wears her complementary t-shirt after being named the Roadhouse Athlete of the Week (Photo by Rich Fisher).
Apr. 28 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Lax latecomer Kissling a potent Steinert scoring threat 
If this photo looks familiar, it was taken this past winter as Kiersten Tellefsen presents Erin Septer with her gift card as Septer displays her Fish4scores shirt for being Roadhouse Athlete of the Week. Well Erin, is Athlete of the Week again this week (for lacrosse, not basketball), but she was away for the weekend and unavailable for a photo, so enjoy the re-run (Photo by John Blaine).
Apr. 21 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Septer's desire to get better in lacrosse paid off 100 ways

Nottingham's Jon Pope displays his Fish4scores t-shirt while be presented his gift card from do-it-all server Kiersten Tellefsen after being named the Roadhouse Athlete of the Week (Photo by Mary "The Renowned One" Malone).

Apr. 14 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Pope's scoring binge helps Stars to week of wins

Wearing his new Fish4scores t-shirt, Steinert outfielder Eddie Ashley accepts his Texas Roadhouse gift card from hostess Jenna Scales after the senior was named the Roadhouse Athlete of the Week (Photo by Rich Fisher).
Apr. 7 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Ashley starts season with hot bat and game-saving glove

Nick Cecala, shown during a dual-meet loss to Steinert's Nick Beers earlier this season, turned the tables to beat Beers for the 126-pound District 25 championship last Saturday, earning him the Roadhouse Athlete of the Week (Photo by Ken Weingartner). 
Mar. 3 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Cecala is carrying the Hamilton West banner with pride

Texas Roadhouse's Nikolette Lichtman (left) prsents a gift card to Steinert's Kaitlyn Wolfsgruber, who displays her compementary t-shirt after being named the Fish4scores/Texas Roadhouse Athlete of the Week (Photo by Rich Fisher).
Feb. 24 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Hot-scoring Wolfsgruber has another double-figure week

Nottingham's Grace Dwyer displays her t-shirt while receiving a gift card from Texas Roadhouse Marketing Director Caitlin Flynn after Grace was named the Roadhouse Athlete of the Week for the second time this school year (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos at
Feb. 17 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Dwyer adds two more sectional crowns to her trophy case

Zach Mabin displays his record-setting third Fish4scores T-shirt while Texas Roadhouse server Jessica Villalva presents Zach with his gift card after the Steinert senior was named the Fish4scores/Texas Roadhouse Athlete of the Week (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos at                                                                                             Feb. 10 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week  Mabin ends his Mercer County career in perfect fashion

Hamilton's Erin Septer displays her t-shirt while being presented with her gift card from Texas Roadhouse barmaid Kiersten Tellefesen after the senior was named the Roadhouse Athlete of the Week (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos at
Feb. 3 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Septer's scoring
outburst helps West to two straight wins
Where the Super Bowl collides with Fish4scores
Nicole Kasian, the first lady of Steinert football, has laid claims to the inaugural Fish Bowl 1 title by predicting the Super Bowl winner and the exact 34-31 score. Nicole is the individual winner while her school also claimed the team  title, making it a clean sweep in Spartan Land.

Kasian Fish Bowl I winner;Steinert  takes team title
(Revision. . .Nottingham incorrectly posted as winner earlier)








Click to see how your high school's participants
made their Super Bowl XLVII selections

Nottingham's Matt MacNeal displays his Fish4scores t-shirt while manager Kate Ott presents the senior hockey player with his gift card after Matt was named the Roadhouse Athlete of the Week (Photo by Ken Weingartner).
Jan. 27 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Veteran MacNeal makes an impact in Northstars first win

Nottingham basketball player Darnell Alford displays his Fish4scores t-shirt while being presented his gift cards from Texas Roadhouse's Carly Setaro (left) and Samantha "Let's Go Flyers!" Berry (Photo by Rich Fisher).
Jan. 20 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Stars basketball rolling as all-around Alford makes impact

Steinert wrestler Jon Bussi displays his complimentary t-shirt while Texas Roadhouse server Jena Scales presents Jon with his gift card for being named the Roadhouse Athlete of the week (Photo by Rich Fisher).
Jan. 13 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Bussi works quickly no matter what the weight class

Steinert's Jacob Kosowski is the man in the middle of it all after receiving his t-shirt and Texas Roadhouse gift card for being named the Roadhouse Athlete of the Week. Presenting Jacob with his bounty are (from left) Sarah Thomas, Jackie Turner, Chrissy Martini and Angelique "Texas Gaga" Wysock (Photo by Rich Fisher).
Dec. 30 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Kosowski steps up to keep Spartans Hornet streak alive

Hamilton West's Courtney Adams displays her Fish4scores t-shirt while Texas Roadhouse server Allison Olcott presents Adams with her gift certificate after being named Roadhouse Athlete of the Week (Photo by Rich Fisher).
Dec. 23 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Adams moves inside and does job for West girls hoops

The Nottingham football team's five captains were honored for their championship leadership as the Roadhouse Athletes of the Week. Presenting the gift cards are Texas Roadhouse hostess Alexandra Denisco (kneeling) and servers Maeve Nielsen (left) and Caitlin Cusato. The honorees are Aaron Levinson (kneeling) and (from left) Devin Thompson, Zach Mesday, Jake Andrejcik and McGovern Gabriel (Photo by Rich Fisher).
Dec. 16 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Stars football team went as far as captains could lead it

Hamilton West senior Sofi Walter (left) and junior Maddie Uram (right) display their t-shirts while Texas Roadhouse hostess Katie Hayton presents the swimmers with their gift cards for being named the Dec. 8 Texas Roadhouse/ Athletes of the Week (Photo by Rich Fisher).
Dec. 8 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Captains Uram and Walter help lead Hornets to big win

Proving that it pays to play in pain, Nottingham's Josh Lajuenesse has a trio of beauties presenting him with his shirt and gift certificate as this week's Roadhouse Athlete of the Week. Making the presentations are Roadhouse servers/hostesses (from left) Amanda Accardi, Katie Hayton and Jena Scales. Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos at
Dec. 2 Fish4Scores/Texas Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Stars' Lajuenesse learns to shoulder his responsibilities

Dec. 2 Life of a Student-Athlete: Jeff Mattonelli
Turning the tables: 'Reporter Jeff' gets to interview Fish

Hamilton YMCA basketball stars Ryan and Robbie Patterson present Ruben Desane with his Texas Roadhouse gift certificate while the Hamilton West senior displays his t-shirt after being named the Roadhouse Athlete of the Week (Photo by Rich Fisher).
Nov. 25 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Memorable finish for Desane and Hamilton football team

Former Hamilton West soccer standout Jackie Turner presents Nottingham's Alexis Santiago with his gift card while Alexis displays his t-shirt after winning the Roadhouse Athlete of the Week (Photo by Rich Fisher).
Nov. 18 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Santiago's hard work pays off in increased role this year

Life of a Student-Athlete: Jeff Mattonelli
Jeff talks playoffs, Spirit Week and (sadly) Dolphins

Life of a Student-Athlete: Michael John
Mike reflects on career, Christmas shopping and more

Hamilton West senior midfielder Colleen Murphy (right) is still coming to grips with the end of her high school soccer career (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos at
Life of a Student-Athlete: Colleen Murphy
Murph reflects on the end of her Hornet soccer career

A couple of happy Halloween kitties celebrate Mark McKenzie's accomplishments as Texas Roadhouse servers Monica Bishop (left) and Kirsten Tellefsen present the Hamilton West senior with his t-shirt and gift certificate for being the Fish4scores/Texas Roadhouse Athlete of the Week (Photo by Ken Weingartner).
Nov. 4 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
McKenzie did it all in helping Hamilton West to huge win

Life of a Student-Athlete: Colleen Murphy
Our favorite girl Murph talks about our least favorite girl

Hamilton's Loran Wyrough (right) is presented with her Fish4Scores t-shirt and Texas Roadhouse gift card from servers Logan Good and Brielle Harris after Wyrough was named the Roadhouse of the Week (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos at

Oct. 28 Fish4Scores/Texas Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Wyrough a scoring machine since returning from injury

Dana Davies displays her Fish4scores t-shirt while Texas Roadhouse hostess Kara Edwards presents Dana with her complimentary gift card after the Nottingham High junior was named the Roadhouse Athlete of the Week (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos at
Oct. 21 Fish4scores/Texas Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Davies back to back explosions have Stars streaking


Nottingham's Grace Dwyer displays her complimentary t-shirt while being presented with her Texas Roadhouse gift card from hostess Lexi Seeds after the Northstar freshman was named the Roadhouse Athlete of the Week (Photo by John Blaine/purchase photos at
Oct. 14 Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Nottingham's Dwyer has quickly run on to the XC scene

Steinert senior football players Jeff Mattonelli (left) and Vanel Dossus show off their t-shirts while Angelique "Texas Ga Ga" Wysock presents them with gift cards after the duo was named the Roadhouse Athlete of the Week (Photo By Ken Weingartner).
Oct. 7 Fish4Scores/Texas Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Dossous, Mattonelli a two-pronged attack for Steinert

After eight successful seasons as the Steinert girls basketball coach -- in which he was tied with Reggie Murray as the CVC's best dresser -- Bryan Rogers announced he is stepping down from the position on Monday afternoon (Photo by Ken Weingartner).
Oct. 1 Girls Basketball

Rogers calls it quits after eight years as Steinert coach

Nottingham linebacker/tight end Zach Mesday is presented his gift certifacate from Texas Roadhouse's Becca Butler and his complimentary T-Shirt from Amanda Bencivengo after the Northstar was named the Roadhouse Athlete of the Week (Photo by Ken Weingartner).
Sep. 30 Fish4Scores/Texas Roadhouse Athlete of the Week

Mesday does a little bit of everything in Stars big victory

The Life of a Student-Athlete: Colleen Murphy

Murph talks nicknames, house chores, Ms. Bryce, etc.  

Hamilton West senior Ryan Meckel (left) and junior Austin Jenkins (right) display their Texas Roadhouse gift cards while Roadhouse hostess Angelique "Texas Ga Ga" Wysock (a Spartan between two Hornets!) shows off the Fish4scores shirt they are receiving after being named the Roadhouse Athletes of the Week award (Photo by Ken Weingartner).
Sep. 22 Fish4scores/Texas Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Meckel, Jenkins breathe new life into West cross country

Adrianna Boucher (center) accepts her Texas Roadhouse gift card and Fish4Scores t-shirt from Texas Roadhouse Sales and Texas Roadhouse Service Manager Marcie Maveekhoven and owner Norm Patten after being named the school year's first Fish4Scores/Texas Roadhouse Athlete of the Week (Photo by John Blaine) 
Sep. 16 Fish4Scores/Texas Roadhouse Athlete of the Week
Boucher's clutch goals spark Steinert's fast soccer start

Texas Roadhouse the new Athlete of the Week sponsor

The Rossi brothers (from left) -- Nicholas, Christopher, Peter III, and Daniel -- spent a happy Christmas at the Salt Creek Grill in 2009, but one year later Daniel committed suicide on Dec. 23. The Rossi family continues to remember Daniel with fund-raising events for Steinert athletics while also pointing out the warning signs of suicide (Photo courtesy of Peter Rossi Jr.). 
Daniel's suicide spurs on Rossi family to help others
Click for info on the Daniel Rossi Memorial Scholarship Fund's Golf Outing

"Irish" Mike Walsh has given his last fist bump as a head coach as his promotion to Nottingham High vice-principal means he had to give up his varsity coaching jobs in cross country, boys basketball and softball (Photo by Ken Weingartner).
Aug. 28 "Irish" Mike Walsh
Walsh gives up three coaching positions to become VP


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(Also known as
Rich Fisher's blog)

April 12
The right man won
The script is too good to be true.
        The man who sticks by his wife as she battles breast cancer, the man who has always been a class act and a true famly man, wins the Masters.
        The guy who was so utterly scummy to his wife didn't. 
        There's nothing more to write. It was just great.
       Wait, there is one more thing.
      I used to be indifferent toward the man who apparently invented golf (and re-invented the libido), other than hating the way broadcasters gushed over him. But after his utter dirt bag behavior and these well-crafted, spin doctor apologies, and that completely disgraceful Nike commercial with his late father's voice-over, I hope he never wins again.
      And now, he probably won't. It's one thing to put the shame and humiliation of sexual indisgression behind you. But when you're snubbed by a high-powered media outlet like Fish4Scores, which captures an audience all the way from Bromley to Groveville. . .well, you've pretty much had it. 
April 5
A banner day for
Eagles PR machine
 The Donovan McNabb trade is already successful for the Eagles.
            For the past two years, Joe Banner has despised the Phillies for stealing the Eagles thunder. He seems to have a problem with fans wanting to follow a team that actually wins championships rather than comes close.
            But the timing of this trade could not have come at a better time for Eagles public relations.
All winter long the Philadelphia fans have salivated at Roy Halladay’s first start in a Phillies uniform. On a normal day, the morning sportscasts would be blaring about Halliday’s debut.
Instead, it’s been shoved beneath a mountain of McNabb. Not sure if that was part of the plan – probably not – but it’s obviously a tremendous piece of good timing for the Eagles.
            Now, when the actual NFL games start, it will be a little different.
            This trade has shocked the world, if only because McNabb has gone to a team that will play Philly twice a year. And that will, indeed, be interesting.
            If anything, McNabb has shown a penchant for coming up short in games that mean a lot. Can you even imagine him coming into Philadelphia, a place where his relationship has been nothing short of bizarre considering the love and hate he gets from there.
            Will he show the fans they were wrong and have a huge game? Or will he choke it up as has been his custom.
            Time will tell.
            But I have to imagine that right now, Joe Banner is sitting in his office quite smug. The team that he hates, maybe as much as the Cowboys themselves, has been completely knocked from the public eye in Philadelphia, in what should be a major Phillies moment. 
            Oh, and by the way, the NCAA championship game is tonight.
      Click here for past blogs.




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(Also known as
Rich Fisher's blog)

Mar. 12 2014

Inverso praises

Bradley entry

in to U.S. Soccer

Hall of Fame
      Mar. 12:
A little less than two weeks ago, former Princeton University player and head coach Bob Bradley, who went on to international fame as U.S. and Egyptian National team coach, was inducted into the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame.

      Hamilton Township native Charlie Inverso, now head coach at Rider University, coached under Bradley at Princeton and is a close friend with the North Jersey product. Inverso was kind enough to provide his thoughts on Bradley’s induction, and what he means to soccer in general.   
     Bob Bradley’s induction is a pretty fitting tribute to a man who has won a Major League Soccer title, took the United States to a Confederations Cup final and, in 2010, advanced the US to the second round of the World Cup.

     But this recognition of Bob is about more than tangible accomplishments.   Bradley’s passion for the game, his undying interest in the growth of the sport in this country and the lives of people that he touched along the way make him a no brainer choice.

      I am fortunate to have called Bob my good friend for the past 30 years. I first met him when he became Princeton University’s head coach in 1984. I had been an assistant at the university for four years previously and when Bradley replaced Bill Muse he decided to retain me on his staff as the JV coach and goalkeeper coach.

        The only thing he said to me was “Everyone told me that you are in it for all the right reasons and that’s enough for me.’ So began my friendship with one of the most influential coach’s that the US has ever had.

        Bradley, easily one of the smartest men that I know, could have been a success in law, politics, medicine…you name it.  But his heart was firmly entrenched in teaching, watching, talking and living soccer 24 hours a day.

       He tried six months of working in sales for Proctor and Gamble but that experiment was about as big of a disaster as if Fish4scores founder Rich Fisher tried to become a Chippendale dancer. God put BB on this earth to coach soccer players and make other soccer coaches better.

      Sometimes I cringe when I think about how much money Bob could have made running soccer camps or overcharging kids for individual lessons. But soccer was NEVER about money to him. It was always about the game, the people he met along the way and forming relationships.

       He was more content to drive all over New Jersey with the legendary Manny Schellscheidt in their matching beat-up Volkswagen’s to conduct a non-paying clinic for youth coaches then he was beefing up his bank account. For the longest time, people couldn’t figure him out.

       Why would a guy with a Princeton degree work for free six nights a week coaching 12 year olds; setting up pick-up games wherever he and Manfred could find nice grass; or driving his 8 year old son from suburban DC to Penn State so that Michael could get in a competitive 5-aside?

       Because he was in it for “all the right reasons."

       One trait of a successful person is being a risk taker. For otherwise conservative people, Bob and his wife Lyndsay are definitely risk takers. Bob left a comfortable job at Princeton to become an assistant in the then fledgling MLS.

      Even after his team DC United won the MLS championship people still told him he was crazy. Crazy enough to take an expansion Chicago Fire team and win the MLS Cup Championship and crazy enough to allow his then-16 year old son to skip college to sign with MLS and play on his squad with the Metrostars.

       He was unfazed, despite not being the top choice to coach the US National team, and led America to a Gold Cup Championship. There were victories over several world powers, including No. 1 ranked Spain, as the U.S. advanced to the second round of the World Cup.

     (Current Princeton U. coach) Jim Barlow and I were in his office in Los Angeles two days after he was fired by US Soccer. We saw his pain, frustration and emptiness and we wondered what would be his next stop. Would it be back to the MLS or maybe college?

       Well, faster than you can say Land of Pharoahs, BB was back coaching. This time it would be the unenviable task of leading the Egyptian National team.   The stories of how Bradley, through soccer, united this country of political unrest and became a national celebrity in this venerable country became known world-wide.

       Still, for a guy who is a risk taker you cannot find a more conservative, throw back kind of man. He is as throw back as Vince Lombardi and Bart Starr.

        In an era when it is more fashionable for coaches to win over fans and media by being witty and charming, he thrives on being honest and often times blunt. He is one of the few guys I know who not only looks you right in the eye when talking but pauses and thinks before he opens his mouth.

        More importantly, he is actually interested in what you have to say. Someone has described a conversation with him as “when you talk to Bob he makes you feel like you are the only person in the room”. And while many who know him well have said after a talk with Bradley you realize “how little you know about the game of soccer”, you always finish a conversation with him feeling better about yourself.

      I have witnessed him talk at length to hundreds of people, most of whom could do nothing to advance his career, but merely wanted to pick his brain and learn more about soccer. I can only imagine how many hours and how many missed meals his lovely wife Lyndsay has accumulated while waiting for her highly-in-demand husband.

       Somewhere along the way he found the time to develop the most important player on the US National team over the past four years, his son Michael.

      Michael, who already ranks as one of the top five players ever produced in the US learned everything he knows from the guy who was also the best man in his wedding, Throwback Bob. And while the family has had to endure countless barbs of nepotism from ignorant fans, Michael has put all of that ridiculous rhetoric to bed by becoming the player the US national team can least afford to lose.

      Did I say that friendship and relationships are important to him? In June of 2009, our family celebrated a once in a lifetime moment as our son CJ was selected to light the torch at the Special Olympics.

       I sent out an email to family and close friends detailing the events of that memorable night.
      The first response I got was from Bob Bradley. He was in South Africa preparing for the Confederations Cup which is a selection of the best national teams and Cup winners in the world.

        He was en route to practice to prepare the United States to take on No. 1 Spain.
        In typical Bradley style, while using an outdated Blackberry he did not just punch in “COOL”. He proceeded to type out two paragraphs on that annoying hand held devise about how proud my wife Lynne and I should be of our son.   
       There was nothing written about him and what he was doing because, to put it simply, Bob gets it and he gets people. That is why he is a great coach.

        Bob is currently in Norway in his new role in another ground breaking capacity. He is the coach of Stade and the first American to coach in a foreign first division league. There is no doubt he is already making a difference and has brought excitement to the small first division club.

      My sincerest congratulations go out to Bob for being named to the National Soccer Hall of Fame. You’re in it for all the right reasons.
     But we already knew that.

Feb. 28, 2014

You’re a good man,

Gary Bushelli

     Feb. 28: Well here’s a nice story I’m happy to share.

    Not quite as nice as me winning the million dollar lottery, but hey it, I’ll share it anyway.

     After Thursday night’s CVC basketball banquet, Hightstown Athletic Director Gary Bushelli was driving out of the Mercer Oaks parking lot when he saw an Oaks employee walking out to Village Road in the freezing cold. And when I tell you it was freezing cold, I’m probably understating it.

      Bushelli stopped and asked the guy why he was walking. He said he had to go catch his bus home. Bushelli asked where the bus stop was and he told him it was at Quakerbridge Mall.

      We’re talking what would be at least a 45-minute walk, maybe more, in bitter freezing cold, just to catch a bus. Bushelli asked the guy where he lived, the guy told him, and Bushelli put him in his car and took him home.

       Despite the fact that made Bushelli late for our post-banquet gathering, I could not have been more impressed by that act of generosity. All I ever really want to do is bust Bush’s chops. I love the guy but praising him is not in my DNA.

      But Bush Man, you deserve all the credit in the world. That’s as generous and as nice it gets. Well done!

             * * *

     As nice as that story was, here’s one at the other end of the spectrum.

     Hamilton West senior Claudia Olsen, who never got to compete in winter track until this year when the township re-instated it, promptly qualified for the Meet of Champions in her first season ever doing high jump.

      So what happens? She returns from a class trip to Key Largo and at practice Thursday she broke her wrist in two spots and also broke her elbow.

      “I landed on the mat with my arm behind my back, and when I came down I heard it crack and break,” Olsen said.

     That folks, is absolutely brutal and pretty damn sad.

     Good luck Claudia. Get better for spring track quickly!

          * * *

      Speaking of the CVC basketball banquet. . .kudos to Jay “D-2” Malloy. The third-year Hamilton West boys’ coach was named the Coach of the Year and there probably wasn’t a person there who disagreed with it.

      However, Malloy needs to work on his speech technique a bit. He walked up, grabbed his plaque and turned around and walked back. The presenter yelled “Don’t you want to say anything?” He was nearly back to his table and yelled “Thanks!” . . .then five seconds later said “I owe it all to my players.”

      For folks who wanted the night to move along quickly, you couldn’t have gotten a better speech (Right, Courtney Adams? Lol) .

            * * *

      To Lauren Kelly, Kristin Jacobs and Erin Wolverton, I must say, I don’t care who didn’t show up! It was awesome hanging with you guys at the post-banquet!

            * * *
       Also at the CVC banquet – GQ Award of the Night goes to Tevin “No Look” Williams who was styling with his red shirt and white bow tie.

            * * *

        Congrats to former Princeton University player and coach Bob Bradley for being inducted into the US Soccer Hall of Fame. Bob is a unique guy who is fascinating to talk to. His take on things is always thoughtful and unique, be it soccer or life in general.

        Bradley comes from an extremely successful family, as his brother Scott played in the Major Leagues and now coaches Princeton, and his other brother Michael is a nationally renowned sports writer.

       I met their dad a few years ago while he was watching grandson Kevin Bradley play baseball for Hopewell, and you would have never known he had such talented offspring.

       It’s great to see humbleness still exists, and this honor for Bob is well deserved.

            * * *

       I really need to thank Angela LaBelle for her help in tweet updates this year.

      First off, I thank all the hoop parents who helped me out – the Adams, the Kellys, Frank “52-49” Bennett. I seriously appreciate it. I know it’s a pain in the neck watching your kid play and then saying “Oh cripe, I gotta send Fish a text.”

       And yet you did it and I soooo thank you for it, and I know all the Fish4scores twitter followers appreciate it. You are the unsung heroes.

        But Angela gets the “extra mile” award. Ang texted me the updates of the Steinert boys games, and about 75 percent of the time they went down to the wire or into overtime.

       Ang didn’t just update the final score. She would send updates every timeout during the closing minutes, including things like “Plunkett jumper ties it” or something like that. I wrote actual stories off what she sent.

      It was great stuff Mrs. LaBelle. I guess we need to thank Frank as well, for leaving you alone to do your "job." I’m just glad Chris is a freshman. No good deed goes unpunished my friend! You’re stuck for three more years!

      However, as far as post-banquet gatherings go, the LaBelles and Garcias dropped the ball. They are now on double-secret probation unless they show up at Texas Roadhouse on one Athlete of the Week Sunday and keep me company!

          * * *

      I say this every year and I will say it again. The Colonial Valley Conference is blessed to have Jimmy Hines running the show at Mercer Oaks.

      The former Notre Dame soccer standout not only provides reasonable prices for athletic banquets, he and his staff put on an outstanding event. There are never any glitches, everything runs exactly according to plan and the food is always good.

     Keep up the great work Jimmy. You are the best!

           * * *

      While I’m thanking people, I just want to acknowledge outgoing Steinert girls’ soccer coach Aimee Turnbull for being such an easy person to deal with over the years. Whether Steinert won or lost, played good or played bad, Aimee was always cooperative and pleasant in post-game interviews.

       Evidently she is the same way as a guidance counselor, as several parents praised Aimee on Facebook for her work with their kids.

       So thanks Aimee, and enjoy your time with the family!

             * * *

     Is Derek Jeter retiring? No one seems to be reporting on it at all, except to ad nauseum. I want to puke it’s so over the top.

             * * *

     NFL Combines.

     People live for them.

     What am I missing here?

              * * *

    Creighton-Wichita State NCAA championship game? Cool!

             * * *

       Speaking of the NCAA, I have reached the point where I may literally flip a coin for every pick in my pool and see how that works out. Can’t be any worse than usual.
       Maybe that will be my strategy for Warren Bufffet's pool. Use a quarter to make a billion. 


Feb 14, 2014

Johnny Football

sure can make

things interesting

       Feb. 14: I don’t think it was a good idea for Johnny Manziel to say what you are about to read.

     But I love what he said.

     Read it first and then I’ll explain. It’s the Texas A&M quarterback talking to two Texas newspaper reporters about his home-state Houston Texans, and what it would mean for them to not make Manziel the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft. He went on to add what would happen if Jacksonville took him with the No. 3 pick.

      “It would be the worst decision they’ve ever made,” Manziel said, while talking to reporters from the Houston Chronicle and Fort-Worth Star Telegram. “I’d be in the same division playing against them twice a year (with Jacksonville). Sorry, but you just turned that chip on my shoulder from a Frito into a Dorito.

      “I want them to say absolutely, without a doubt, with 100 percent certainty, that I’m who they want. I want everybody from the janitor at Reliant Stadium to the front office executive assistant all the way up to (owner) Bob McNair to say, ‘This kid is 100 percent, can’t miss. This is who we want being the face of our program. We want the Texas kid staying in Texas and leading the Texans.’”


      A 20-year-old pretty much calling out a team that has watched closely since childhood.

      The kneejerk reaction is “Who does he think he is? Who is this punk, who has never taken a snap in the NFL, to tell a team to take him? To make threats in such bold predictions?”

     Who indeed?

     Obviously, a kid whose confidence is even higher than I ever suspected. And I always suspected it was pretty high.

      First off, I love that “Frito into Dorito” line. Wish I had used that in a story at some point in my life, but never did. Not sure if he made it up. But I like it.

       Now, consider how boring Roger Goodell wants all his minions to be. It’s the one aspect of his own life he doesn’t feel the need to corner the market on. He wants everyone to be dull like him.

       Now consider you have a kid like this shooting his mouth off in a very, very pointed way before he even gets to the league. He could drive Goodell nuts! And that, I like. Goodell might mute him and make him boring, but I’ll take my chances.

       This is quite a gamble by Manziel, of course. These words will likely dog him into draft day and beyond. He has put himself out there for severe humiliation. In that same interview he went on to say he wanted to become the first rookie quarterback to win a Super Bowl.

       Every bad throw he makes, every bad game he has, those words will haunt him. Then again, every big game he has, announcers will remind us “He’s a confident young man, as we all know from what he said before the draft.”

        Linebackers who sack him will repeat those words as he lays smooshed on the ground beneath him. Richard Sherman. . . .oh God, what would Richard Sherman say?

        This could make Johnny Football a major joke in the annals of football. Or it could make him the next Joe Namath and then some.

      Either way, I love it! It’s refreshing to see someone talk this boldly about himself. He makes me think I really want him to do what he says.

       Others disagree, of course. Children should be seen and not heard. Yeah, right. The last time that happened Beaver and Wally were saving up for their first baseball gloves.

       Young guys have said similar things before, but man, when you actually bring up the janitor at Reliant Stadium, that’s just darn good stuff!

             * * * *

        When Richard Nixon lied about a break-in it was bad but it didn’t affect me personally. When Bill Clinton lied about Monica Lewinsky, it was tacky, but my life went on as usual.

       One had to resign, the other was impeached.

      Barack Obama has lied about Obamacare. I know, because I’m being forced to switch to it and I am discovering I won’t have the same doctor or specialists I’ve had for years. That’s just the tip of what’s wrong.

      Now I am affected, in a very adverse way.

     This isn’t funny. It’s sad and scary.

     Not just for me, but for a whole lot of patients and people in the medical profession. One billing woman told me as I was trying to figure it all out “they are trying to dictate where people go for their health care.” I’m not going into specifics because you probably don’t care. But this all came to light today so I’m in a venting mood. For those of you in my situation, you know of what I speak and can relate.

       All I know is, when someone lies like this guy has, I hope he gets punished like the other two did. Only more severely, because now we are affected.

              * * * *
      After last week’s blog on the Beatles, our good buddy Bird “Farkas” Fink has requested an Ants reunion. OK Bird, I’ll see if I can get the lads together! Pretty sure the air guitars and drums still work.

             * * * *
      Ever since NCAA pools came into vogue, I always said if there were such things as time machines and I was given one trip in either direction, I’d get in on March 1 and set it for April 7 of that same year.

       I would then get out, check the internet and fill in the first perfect NCAA pool in world history. Folks scoffed at that, saying that was small-change thinking and that I should look at the stock market and clean up.

       My feeling was, I’d make a fortune in all the talk shows I would go on, explaining how I did this. I would lie about how I did it of course. Not only that, people would just think you were cool.  

      Well now, if I do it. I’ll get a billion dollars! That’s what Warren Buffet is offering to anyone who fills out a perfect NCAA pool. So I would get the billion, plus whatever I made on talk shows. Hell, I could actually own a talk show at that point.
       But there are no time machines, and I’m pretty sure despite the added incentive of a billion dollars, I’ll probably come up a little short of perfect again this year.

        Which is why I kind of laugh at Mr. Buffet’s offer. I forget what they call the actual number, but the odds are a 1 followed by 17 zeros-to-1 that this can be done. At the track, 17-to-1 odds are a long shot. This is a marathon-shot.

       I respect and admire Mr. Buffet, but what the hell! I can be a big man too. I’m offering 2 billion dollars to anyone who fills out the first perfect NCAA pool in history!

       Can I make good on that payment? Of course not.

       But I’m pretty sure that’s one offer that will never have to be paid out, until Mr. Spock actually becomes a college basketball fan.

Feb, 9, 2014



    Feb. 9: Forgive the trip down memory lane, but after watching the Grammy Beatles special tonight I just have to get it out of my system.

     Yes, I saw them on Ed Sullivan that first night, in a little living room in a little Cape Cod house on Andrea Lane in Mercerville.
      I was freaking out, so was my mom, and my World War II veteran dad just didn't get it. 

      The next day I sprinted to Mercerville School to share the experience with my classmates about what we all saw. We were freaking out, buzzing like maniacs. Our teacher Mrs. Arndt had to tell us to be quiet like, a million times.

      We were only in first grade and I still remember it vividly. It’s like the clearest memory I have that young (except for getting spanked). That’s a powerful presence.

       A year later, me and my pals – all of second grade now – decided we were going to form a group called The Ants. Clever huh? The extent of our musical ability was that we put on Beatles albums and did air guitar and air drums before anybody else.

      Shockingly, the Beatles lasted a bit longer than The Ants.

       Not only could we not conquer America, we couldn’t even conquer Regina Avenue.

     The Beatles, however, will last forever.

     They could have very easily been a one-year fad, or craze, like so many others have been. Come over to the U.S., cause a sensation with their songs about love and holding hands, and then just pop up on oldies stations – “Oh yeah, they were that band with the long hair that went ‘wooooh’!”

     But they matured, their music matured and they have written some of the greatest songs of all time beyond the realm of rock music. Their time as a group lasted through my time in elementary school.

      That’s only six years.

      Six years!

      And an impact that has lasted for 50.

     By the time I got to Nottingham Junior High, Jimmy Hendryx, Janis Joplin, the Doors and Three Dog Night were the main bands. And we liked them.

      But The Beatles never got out of our system. Ever. And after watching the special tonight, I’m feeling pretty good that we’re not alone.

     It blows my mind that young kids love this band that hasn’t played together in 44 years. It shouldn’t but it does, because none of us ever want to like the music of earlier generations. We want to like OUR music and to heck with what came before.

      To me and my pals from Mercerville School – Greg Edwards, Bob and Jack DeStefano, to name a few -- the Beatles will always be our music because it was the only thing we knew growing up other than nursery rhymes and, of course, the Monkees and Rolling Stones.

       We like other music as well, but we kind of feel a pride that so many generations after us still love The Beatles. It’s like, we feel they are ours because we had the good fortune of being on the ground floor of our lives when they were on the ground floor of becoming a dynasty.

       A lot of adults thought The Beatles would come and go back in the 1960s. They never dreamed that 50 years later a phenomenal special would be shown celebrating their arrival in America.

       That right there tells you how special they are. To my knowledge, there hasn’t been a two-and-a-half hour anniversary special for Beethoven or Mozart; Sinatra or Crosby; Elvis or Chuck Berry. But there they were, people who weren’t even born during the first Ed Sullivan appearance, performing Beatles songs with pride.

       And when Ringo was singing his solos, I loved watching Paul McCartney sitting in the crowd, singing along as if he was just some schlub who bought a ticket to watch the show.

       Friends and I were texting back and forth all night, getting more sentimental and more amazed each 15 minutes at how good this show was.

      It made me want to get up and write this blog right away.

      And damn if I don’t feel like running to Mercerville School tomorrow and talking to everybody about the show.

      Fifty years later, some things never change.


Feb. 2 2014

Let’s all have

a super duper

Groundhog Day!

        Feb. 2: So it’s finally here. Thank God!

       Groundhog Day!

       How I love this day!

       Wait, what’s that? There is something else going on today? A football game, you say?

      Gee, how did that slip past me? I really hadn’t seen or read anything about it.

     Well, maybe just a snippet or two. . . every minute. . . of every day. . . on every channel. 

      I am always weary of the Super Bowl hype any year, but with it being in New Jersey it is even more insane. Every Philly and New York station is on overload, looking in any nook and cranny for a unique story.

      Granted, some of them aren’t bad. But there’s too many! Toooooo manyyyyy!!!

      Sorry, had to freak out there for a second.

     And then, of course, there are the usual national media outlets and their carnival.

         As my Facebook friends now know, NFL Network hit rock bottom last week when it provided coverage of the Seahawks plane coming into the hangar at Newark Airport. The plane had come to rest, and they started analyzing who would get off the plane first, which door would open first, the front or the back?

        At that point, I hit the clicker, screaming, and started watching the story of ghost trying to flip his house while eating different foods on the Biography Channel.

      And for those folks – i.e., Jerry “The Beachboy” Laird and Rich Fornaro – who accused me of watching it, let me set the record straight – I was flipping through, I stopped on NFL Network just to see what was on. I saw the plane, I heard them start to talk about who would get off first and quickly moved on. Couldn’t have been on there for more than 45 seconds before I left in horror.

        Fish rules state: In the world of channel surfers, there must be at least one minute between clicks before being accused of “watching.”

          * * * *

       Speaking of Groundhog Day, I plan on being very funny watching the game today. Every time they show an instant replay, I am going to refer to the movie by going “Hey, this already happened. . . we must be in Groundhog Day!”

       Feel free to do that at your Super Bowl party. . . and let me know how stupid people think you are.

            * * * *

       One of the biggest laughs I got this week was reading a list of things for people to do during Super Bowl week.

        One of them was selling a ticket for $12.50 for folks to come sit in the stands at Media Day and watch the events unfold.

        Basically, you’re paying to watch reporters interview people, while being unable to hear what was being said.

       I can beat that.

       Give me five bucks, and you can watch me interview Jason “The Rock” Marasco a Nottingham wrestling match, and you can listen to what’s being said. For a Rossi’s Burger, you can sit in on my exciting conversation with Steinert swim coach Jen Smith. The price of a Jo Jo’s bar pie will grant you audience as I chat with Hamilton boys hoop coach Jay “D-2” Malloy.

        Hey, that beats $12.50 any day! And my questions are even more dumb so you get to laugh at me!

              * * * *

        Richard Sherman is a polarizing figure. Count me as one of the people who like him. Sorry, but when listening to his interviews I find him well spoken and interesting. Man should not be condemned by one rant alone.

       I know, I know. He talks a lot of trash. But for the past two weeks, you would have think his Erin Andrews “interview” is the only thing he’s ever done.

            * * * *

       So all the talk about the cold, snowy weather and look at it. It’s beautiful.

       Then again, Roger Goodell would have suspended Mother Nature for one whole year without pay if it snowed.

      I’m pretty sure the guy thinks he is that powerful.

            * * * *

      Of course I am in a block pool where the score of the game means more than anything else. People ask me who I’m rooting for and I say 7 and 3.

      There are some guys out there pretty smug about their numbers, thinking they got it made.

      I have just one word for them – safety.

      The scourge of all “great” numbers.

          * * * *

       Is there a bigger supporter of Hamilton Township athletics than Minister Margie Greco? Her kids go to Steinert, but I see her at nearly every basketball game I am at, supporting all the township teams and players.

        Good for you Margie! All towns need people like you!

           * * * *

       Five more weeks til March Madness, but I think it started on the first day of February when a bundle of Top 10 teams got knocked off. Bring it on baby!

     Oh no. Did I just sound like Dick Vitale? Yikes!

            * * * *

       And finally, The Baroness busted The Daredevil.

      For those who read last week’s blog, you know I alluded to Nottingham girls basketball coach Lauren “The Daredevil” Kelly abusing me for wearing a Steinert green colored sweatshirt to Nottingham.

      So, who shows up at the Nottingham-Lawrence game with a green shirt on? None other than Ms. Kelly.

      At first, I didn’t notice (because I notice nothing. If I ever had to describe a crime suspect to a sketch artist, the guy would never be caught).

     However, my thanks go out to Tina “The Baroness” Raba for shouting out at halftime “Hey Fish, did you yell at her for the shirt she’s wearing!”

    It was then I noticed, and yes, she was abused.

    Well done Baroness, well done!

Jan. 24, 2014

Every street

needs a Bruno

     Jan. 24: It’s my first blog of the year, but I’m not wishing anyone Happy New Year. That ship sails after the first week of January. By then, the year already feels old.
     Or I do.
     Sometimes it's hard to tell.


           * * * *

        In case you missed it this week, it snowed in Hamilton Township.

       And once again, my next door neighbor came through in a big way.

       This is a salute to Bruno, the best neighbor anyone could ever have. Hopefully, everyone has a Bruno on their street.

       His full name is Bruno Martilotti. Some of you may know him as the Saturday night bartender at Ivy Tavern, some may know him as “Ray” on the over-50 soccer field, others may know him as the dad of Hamilton West grads Jared and Alyssa, and Mercerville School students may know him as Mrs. Martilotti’s husband.

        When the blizzard hit, Bruno was out with his snow blower. He did not only my walk and my driveway, as he always does, but he did the neighbor next to me, then went over and did the guy across the street. He does it all the time, without fail, with a smile on his face.
       And when you don't have a beer to offer him, he gives you one of his own! Now that's class!

      He’s not just a winter guy though. He lends me his lawnmower, helps me with my countless computer problems (Fish4scores would be gone without him), invites me over for Christmas and, plain is simple, is just a really good guy and has a really good family.
      One of the reasons I bring this up now is he has also been a Seattle Seahawks fan since their inception in 1976! He has an original wool cap in his garage that was purchased when Jim Zorn and Steve Largent were the team's big stars.

      So I just want to say thanks to my buddy for his never-ending help, and hope that the rest of you all have a Bruno on your street as well.


            * * * *

      Congratulations go out to  Steinert grad Matt Maher, who graduates from Bridgewater College in Virginia this May and has already secured a high school coaching job.
       Matt has landed the head JV coach's job at Turner Ashby High School in Virginia. It's a program that has sent numerous players off to play Division I baseball.
       Good luck Matt!

            * * * * 


     So just for the heck of it I went on Stub Hub to check out Super Bowl tickets. Afterall, it is in my own backyard.
       OK, so if I read this right, they start at a mere $1,781 and the highest seat is $801,170!!!!
       I guess I'm not surprised that they go for that high. What does surprise me is, when it's $801,000, why the heck do you need to add that $170? I mean really, what is that all about?

           * * * *
      I am hearing so many horror stories about costs at the Super Bowl I'm not even going to go into them all. I'm just scared that somehow the NFL will be able to charge we, the people, for the privelege of living in the same state as the game is being played.
     If that happens, keep saying it's in New York!

            * * * *

    Well, now that the Phillies have brought back Bobby Abreu, it leads me to just one conclusion.
    The reason they fired Gary Matthews as an announcer, is that they're hoping to coax him back as a player. Unless of course they can get Greg Luzinski out of that Barbecue pit in right field and put him back in the outfield.
      In a way, this is almost perfect. The Phillies blossomed as a team once they got rid of Abreu, as everyone said he was a bad presence in the club house. It's now come full circle. The great run is over, so bring back Bobby as a reminder of what it was like before it started.


          * * * *

   I swear, people get more upset with a guy yelling into a microphone after an NFC championship game, than they do with people who commit real crimes. We really need to get a life.
    Or in the words of Richard Sherman "GET A LIFE PEOPLE!!!!!"

             * * * *

    Coming this week: Fish Bowl II.

            * * * *

    We have had a new generation of people texting to help out with tweets this winter who need to be recognized. They include Angela LaBelle, Rick Taylor (who isn't new, but does it a lot more this year), Lori and Chris Kelly and Cindy and Tom Adams.

     Thanks gang!

        * * * *
     And finally, when will I learn?
     Thursday night I covered basketball games at Hamilton and Nottingham. I was wearing a green GAK hoodie that former Hibos soccer czar Tom Bayless was nice enough to give me.
     I keep forgetting, no matter what the green stands for, it is frowned upon outside of Steinert.
     As I walk up to the scorer's table, PA announcer Tom Hoglen said "Yeah you can get the lineups, even though you came here with that green on."
    I then scurried over to Nottingham (well, I didn't actually scurry, but it sounds very writer-like to write that) to cover the boys game. As I'm sitting there, girls coach Lauren Kelly walks by, says hi, then walks back. "By the way, you got a lot of nerve wearing that green in here."

     Hoglen, well, that's one thing. I can live with that. But when a woman who jumps out of airplanes says something to me, then I get scared!    

Dec. 24, 2013

God bless you

Ernie White, for

aiding great cause
and providing a
great time for all

        Dec. 24: I have been an Ernie White fan forever, back when he played at the long defunct Casey Jones on Route 130 every Monday night with his band Wind.

       But my thoughts on the guy have gone from thinking he’s a fun entertainer, to outright respect for what he has done with his Christmas Show.

         White hit another home run this past Sunday night in Hamilton Township with his 14th Annual Christmas Show at Princeton Gardens or Angeloni’s or Cedar Gardens or whatever they call that place. It was only the second show I saw, but long-time attendees said it was his best yet.

      It would be hard to argue.

     And the beauty of it, is that it benefited the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK).

      For those who don’t know the concept, Ernie brings a bunch of local musicians together to jam the night away for four hours; either playing Christmas songs, or turning other songs into Christmas songs. The guest stars include everything from teens to old guys. This year, Nottingham music teacher Meg Hanson even made an appearance and knocked ‘em dead.

     And Ernie took it one step further this time. With about 40 minutes to go, he brought out a surprise guest -- the legendary Richie Sambora -- to play his guitar and sing a little back-up.

     Suddenly, I felt like all those lucky people who have been there when Bruce comes up on stage unannounced. A room that was already electric, went into overdrive as the former Bon Jovi member and Woodbridge native did his thing just dressed in a baseball cap, jeans and a t-shirt.

        Everyone has their own opinion, but I put the guy as one of the top 5 Jersey rock legends, right up there with Springsteen, Clarence Clemens and Jon Bon Jovi.

         And what was so cool is, you could just see he was having as much fun jamming on Route 33 in front of a few hundred people as he does in an outdoor stadium in front of 60,000 people.

        I’ve noticed that about musicians. When the music is in their blood, it doesn’t matter what the environment is, they just love playing.
        Plus, it’s a Jersey thing. Some of our biggest stars never seem to get too impressed with themselves, probably because Jersey won’t let them. No matter how big you get, you're still one of us. lol

       Anyway, what made the whole night extra special, as usual, is that they weren’t doing it for their wallet, they were doing it for a good cause.  
      And that takes a special person. It’s not easy to pull something like that together, and it’s even tougher to bring in a guy like Richie Sambora.
         But Ernie White did it again. Better than ever.
      Tiny Tim said “God bless us, everyone.”

       I say God Bless you, Ernie White, and all the people you got to help a good cause on Sunday. 
* * * *

        In last week’s blog, I mentioned that former Steinert soccer player Harold “Bird” Fink bore a striking resemblance to Christmas Story bully Scut Farkus.
      Tomorrow, for our Christmas Day celebration, I will provide definitive proof of this theory as I run a photo of young Bird next to a photo of Scut.
       You can be the judge, but I already have assurance from Bird’s young son Justin that my assessment is correct.

            * * * *
      Just want to thank Mark Sacco for informing me that WMMR’s Pierre Robert gave a shout-out to Fish4scores on his workforce blocks this Tuesday. I sent Pierre an email request on Monday and he got it out on Tuesday.
       Like an idiot, I missed, but Mark filled me in.

    It was a good week for me and Rock ‘N Roll!             * * * *

      Don’t want to make this too long today because I know everyone has a lot to do. I just want to thank everyone for their support again this year and wish you all a very, very Merry Christmas.
     For now, I am off to join the Christmas Eve Club at Wildflowers for the Greatest Three Hours of the Year.

      We also give money to TASK. . .but somehow I don’t think Richie Sambora will be stopping in to see us. Oh well.

     Merry Christmas everybody!!!


Dec. 16 2013

These Hallmark

Christmas movies

are the worst!

      Dec. 16: In the early part of December, I tried to hold off from watching my usual traditional Christmas favorites (Rudolph, Miracle On 34th Street, Christmas Carol, Grinch, Christmas Vacation, etc., etc.) to give these current movies a shot. The 13 new ones that are on Hallmark, along with some others on Lifetime and ABC Family and channels like that.

      And maaan, do they stink!

     Especially the ones on Hallmark.

     Every single one is the same plot. OK, let’s say 90 percent of them are the same. They try to alter them by putting different actors in there.
But they all have the same elements – a single mom, a handsome guy who is attracted to the single mom, and a villain who is usually the boss of the single mom at work (usually a department store), or the mayor of the town (often her ex-husband), or something lame like that.
       Then there’s always a sort of colleague for the handsome guy. . . a flunky who is always wise cracking about his failures but is always there to help him. And the single mom always has a best friend who is there to support her through her troubles and is always talking about losing weight.
      The single mom's friend is always cute, but never quite as good looking as the single mom.

      So with the cast set, the movies all play out the same way.

      The single mom repels the handsome man, saying he is a very nice guy but she just can’t be in a relationship now because she has too much to worry about with her job that she might lose because of her horrible boss.
       The handsome man, however, has a way of helping her out by doing something to bring down her boss or the mean mayor.
The single mom’s kids and her best friend , who have always liked the handsome man from the start, point out all the good things he is doing and – surprise! – she finally falls in love with the handsome man. They all gather around the tree on Christmas Eve and sing and eat and oh how wonderful it all is.

        Now, what about the other 10 percent that aren’t like this?

       Well, they all have to do with Santa Claus having a problem with some elf, or trying to prove to somebody he really is Santa Claus.

        This is why the classics, are the classics.
Because they are classic.   
      Not clones.
          * * * *      
       My Top 10 list of Christmas movies:

       1) It’s a Wonderful Life (also my favorite movie of all time, just ahead of Godfather. What’s wrong with that picture?

       2) A Christmas Carol (with Alistair Sim. No imitations accepted).

       3) Chevy Chase Christmas Vacation (I watch it with my head sewn to the carpet in honor of Cousin Eddie’s arrival).

        4) A Christmas Story (For anyone who knows Harold “Bird” Fink. . .he and the bully Scut Farkas were separated at birth).

       5) White Christmas (What can I say. I still think Bing is cool. But that maid should have been shot, according to myself and Bird Fink’s wife Denise).

       6) Home Alone (but moving up. Gotta love Joe Pesci).

       7) Miracle on 34th Street (Kind of gets you in the spirit by starting on Thanksgiving).

        8) Scrooged (Cool concept).

         9) Scrooge (Musical version of Christmas Carol which I originally saw in Radio City Music Hall when it first came out. Sentimental reasons I suppose).

       10) Holiday Inn (Again, Bing is cool, and so is Fred Astaire).

       Now, I will say, I have not seen Elf, Bad Santa or any of the Tim Allen Santa Claus movies, and I hear that Elf is awesome. So I’m not disliking those movies. . .I just haven’t seen them yet.

      Why am I explaining myself? You don’t really care.
           * * * *

       My top 10 list of Christmas Specials

      1) Charlie Brown (which has been No. 1 since I could first figure out how to turn a channel).

      2) Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol (which they never show anymore, but it’s awesome).

    3) Rudolph (No one can hate Rudolph).
4) Little Drummer Boy (The serious side of Christmas!).

    5) How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the cartoon, not Jim Carrey).
6) The Year Without Santa Claus (the always classic Heat Miser/Snow Miser song).

     7) Saturday Night Live Christmas (some are good, some are bad, but collectively, awesome).
8) Frosty (Jimmy Durante’s greatest role!).

    9) Santa Claus is Coming to Town (Fred Astaire again. . .as a mailman!).
That’s about it. I think I only like nine.

           * * * *

        December snow means that the Philly and New York evening news shows can take a break from covering Christmas shopping, and roar into their non-stop coverage of the weather. I’m convinced if it ever snows on Election Day, we’ll never know who the new president is until three days later.

     “We’ll try and keep you updated on the race in Ohio folks, but right now let’s go to our team out in Upper Darby and see how the roads are there. . . "

           * * * *

      How long until we see a seasonal reality show where they plant hidden cameras in malls and show the ugly side of Christmas shopping?
       Or has their already been one that I don't know about?

          * * * *

      I love these commercials encouraging us to buy a car for someone for Christmas. Who are these people who buy cars for people for Christmas?
     If you are one of them, please be my friend.
           * * * *
      And finally, just saw on Facebook that Nottingham High linebacker Nick DeMarie just got accepted to the University of Pennsylvania.
     Way to go Mr. President! Good start to your political career in the Ivy League.
     Yale=Bush & Bush, Princeton=Wilson, Harvard=JFK, Columbia=Obama Penn=DeMarie?
      Hey if Steinert can have a Supreme Court Justice Nottingham can have a U.S. President!


Dec. 8 2013

Thank you,
Mark Gola!


How cheap can

the NJSIAA get?)

     Dec. 8: The NJSIAA put in a fifth group in football to make more playoff money, and in the process they are looking to build on that by making even more money.

     Oh wait. They will tell us they put in a fifth group to give more student-athletes a playoff opportunity.
      Uh huh.
Anyway, since the playoffs started oh so many years ago, members of the media were given rosters or programs to help aid us in figuring who the players were that we were reporting on. Makes sense, right?
       Heck, for a while the price of a ticket even provided free programs to the spectators.

      Not anymore.
      As I walked into Lions Stadium Saturday night for the Hopewell-Lawrence game, I was informed by the yellow jacketed folks selling programs, in no uncertain terms, that “we were told we are not supposed to give any programs to reporters. Go up to the press box and they should have something up there.”

     Well, they didn’t.

     No one from the NJSIAA had anything for anyone up there. It became obvious that the state governing athletic body expected reporters to fork over $5 for the privilege of doing our jobs.

      Needless to say, folks were livid. I suggested we all write our stories saying “Number 12 completed a pass to number 80 and was tackled by number 33.”
I mean, how freakin’ cheap can you get when you don’t even want to help the people who are promoting your product? I didn’t even care about a program. Just make copies of the rosters and leave them in the press box.
      All I can say to that is, thank you, Mark Gola.

      This blog is only half about a whiney sportswriter not getting his way. Waah! The other half is to compliment Mr. Gola, who went out of his way to help out.

      As great as Mark was as an athlete at Hopewell Valley High and Rider University, he’s even better as The College of New Jersey’s Sports Information Director. I personally feel he is one of the top SIDs in the state at any level.

      He’s professional, he responds to requests in record time and does anything humanly possible to help a writer in need. He’s also the brother of HoVal soccer coach Ed “The Ice Cream Man” Gola, but has yet to procure me a free cone with sprinkles, so he has that working against him.

      Anyway, there was Mark, hanging out in the press box in no real official capacity other than to make sure everyone had a seat. He heard the griping (mostly from me) about no rosters, and immediately obtained a copy of both teams rosters from The Times’ Joe Zedalis, who brought his own.
Mark went back to his office to make copies of them, only to find his copier wasn’t working. Thus, on a cold night not conducive to walking around campus, he made his way over to another building to make the copies before taking the long trek back to the press box.

      He didn’t have to do it. He just did it because he’s a good guy and a guy who looks out for the writers, even if they aren’t covering TCNJ.
So thanks Mark Gola.
      And thank you, NJSIAA. . .for nuthin.

           * * * *

      Speaking of Hopewell football, what an amazing story. A school at which the parents worked hard against a lot of opposition to get football into the athletic program, has come up with a state sectional title in its 10th season.

     What’s impressive is, this was the first time HoVal ever got to playoffs so they very easily could have been happy with that. But they wanted it all and they got it.
And, as the smallest of all consolation prizes, even though Nottingham can’t say it won the state championship again this year, it can say it was the only team to defeat the CJ Group III champion.

      I don’t know if that stands for anything good, or just frustrates the Stars even more because they were moved from Group III to Group IV.
           * * * *

      The Steinert girls swim team looks interesting and fun this year. The Spartans have some major studettes in Maggie Herbert, Hailey Thayer, Maddie Horner and Chelsea Ackerson. How that translates into dual meet victories remains to be seen, as depth is always a key.       
         But this is a team built for big-meet success and the Hornet Relays should be fun to watch between the Spartans and a strong-looking Lawrence squad.

            * * * *

        Although they didn’t play a part in the outcome, two former Steinert players re-united on the football field Saturday in a game of tremendous importance. And it was two days shy of the two-year anniversary of their epic state final game against Neptune.

      No. 15 ranked University of New Hampshire defeated No. 8 Maine, 41-27, in a NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision second-round playoff game. Adam Riese is a redshirt freshman quarterback on New Hampshire, while his former favorite target, Jordan Dunn, is a redshirt freshman receiver on Maine.

     While Riese did not play, Dunn got into the game but did not have any touches.
Riese, who is playing behind two juniors and two sophomores, has played in four games this season and completed his only pass for one yard, while rushing three times for 15 yards.

          New Hampshire plays Southeastern Louisiana in a quarterfinal game Saturday.
Dunn finished the season with eight catches for 93 yards (11.6 per catch) and one touchdown.

        Both players have three years of eligibility remaining, so here’s wishing them good luck and more playing time in the future.

              * * * *
        How weird is this off-season for the Yankees. They sign Ellsbury, Beltran and McCann but lose Cano and Granderson. And seven years for Ellsbury? He’s already injured a lot, his legs are his strength and how fast will they be in a few years?

         However, as a Phillies fan whose team’s motto seems to be “Be Bold! Be Old!”, I will say the path they have taken really bums me out.
The core group of Rollins, Utley, Howard, and Ruiz must no doubt be considered the greatest Phillies team of all time. And this is coming from a guy who grew up in the Schmidt-Bowa-Boone-Rose-Carlton era, so it takes a lot for me to say that.

        But the numbers say these guys are it. And it’s going to be sad to watch this once exciting group of stars just kind of wither away as old, injury-plagued guys the Phils have kept around to extend that link to the glory days.
         I just hope it doesn’t diminish what they did at their peak, because it was special. And I cringe at the thought of them finishing their careers playing at a half filled Citizens Bank Park in front of apathetic fans that once roared at their every move.

        That’s why I was happy for Shane Victorino, who was as much a part of the Phils’ success as anyone. It was great to see him have a big moment on a big stage with the Red Sox.
        I wouldn’t even mind seeing that happen with Utley or Howard. Go to a team that can win. Go out on top.
But I fear we’re just going to watch them all get older and less productive together.
      I hope I'm wrong. I usually am. I'm worried I might be right this time.

            * * * *
Auburn and Florida State. Interesting match-up for the BCS title. But how I would have loved to have seen Missouri top Auburn and come out of nowhere to play for the crown.

     Not to mention, former Hamilton West cheerleader Carol Carter Ahl (Carol Severin in high school) is a Mizzou graduate, so in support of her, I adopted Missouri as my team. Oh well. We still have a bowl game!
Speaking of. . . .as was pointed out last week, Rutgers has made its bowl and will play one of college football’s most historic teams (Notre Dame) in Yankee Stadium, by virtue of beating six teams with a combined win total of less than 20. And it will make money for sure, as ND is always a draw in the Metropolitan area and it’s playing Rutgers in its own backyard.

        Let’s hear it for the bowl system! It serves up cold leftovers and still turns a profit for the NCAA.
And I’ll bet you they’ll give rosters to reporters covering the game!

            * * * *
Belated Happy Birthday wishes to Hamilton West Vice-Principal and psychotic Flyers fan Brian Smith.

           * * * *
I wonder how those Andy Reid press conferences are these days after three straight Chiefs losses.

           * * * *
      It's been 33 years to the day John Lennon was shot and killed. Still seems like it just happened.
     Guys like him and Elvis crammed more in 40 years than some of us could experience in 200. You just wonder what they would have done with 40 more.
           * * * *
Why is Division I basketball in New Jersey so dreary? It’s pretty bad when FDU can go from 1-6 to beating Rutgers and Seton Hall.

     I haven’t seen interest in Jersey college hoops so low in years and it’s a shame when you have some of the top high school programs in the nation in your own backyard.
* * * *
       Have a good week folks, and don’t worry abou
t Christmas shopping yet. Plenty of time!


Dec. 1 2013

In the middle of

of a magical day

of college football,

there was Rutgers
Dec. 1:
A 12-hour stretch on Saturday showed all that is right with college football. We were treated to extremely meaningful games that went from good (Missouri-Texas A&M), to great (Michigan-Ohio State), to “OK, where’s the camera? I know I’m being Punk’d.” (Alabama-Auburn).

In the middle of it all, symbolizing a lot that is wrong, was our beloved home state team.
       First, the good.

       I don’t know if I ever saw Facebook and Twitter explode with comments about a game so quickly as they did after Alabama-Auburn. I thought I’d never see a college football game shock me with its ending as much as when Boston College’s Doug Flutie stunned Miami with his incredible touchdown pass with no time left in the early 1980s.
       Boy was I wrong.
      As I sat there watching Chris Davis run 109 yards with a missed field goal, my mouth dropped open as if I was watching a UFO land in my backyard while being told I won the gazillion dollar lottery at the same time Jerry Jones was calling to see if I could let a few of the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders stay at my house for a couple months.

       As he ran and ran, the disbelief just grew and grew.

       Five seconds earlier, I was texting my buddy Maff in Florida while they were reviewing the final running play and, after they finally put the one second back on the clock, I texted “They went through all of that just so we can watch a missed field goal.”
       Maff agreed. And we were right. . . sort of.
        We did watch a missed field goal. But it wasn’t “just” a missed field goal. It produced the new “greatest finish” in sports in many people’s minds.

       It was magic.
      And then there was Rutgers.
     The Knights’ game wasn’t magic, but you did kind of wished it would disappear.

       This is not really a direct shot at RU (why pile on?) as much as it is of – as I have called it here before - - the most hypocritical, cash-crazed organization in the nation, the NCAA.
       You know their philosophy. On one hand it’s all about the student-athletes. But on the hand that actually works, it’s: More bowls! More bowls! More money! More money! Horrible games! Horrible games! REALLY horrible games!

       Maybe the best example of the glutton of absolutely worthless bowl games we will see over the next month can be provided by examining the Scarlet Knights’ situation.
        After Saturday’s dismal loss to a Connecticut team that was 1-9, Rutgers dropped to 5-6.
       And yet, if they defeat 2-9 South Florida at home this Saturday – and after the UConn game, we certainly can’t guarantee that – they will be 6-6 and earn a bowl bid.
       Just what did they do to earn that bowl bid?

     They will have defeated six teams with a combined record of 17-54.
      I’ll say it slower. Seven….teen….and fiiiifty….four.

       Are you freakin’ kiddin’ me?

      Isn’t a bowl game supposed to reward a team for having a good season? Are you going to tell me finishing .500 by beating six teams with losing records that add up to 17-54 is a good season?

      Of course it isn’t.
      But bowl games aren’t really all about rewarding good teams. They are about rewarding the NCAA. The oh so sanctimonious NCAA and their student-athletes who they care so much about.
       Why do I bring this up?

       Because, as much as the corporate BS, dishonesty and greed makes you want to just lose interest, you get a day like Saturday.
       It was a day where watching talented athletes produce magical moments from noon to midnight makes us realize once again that at its truest essence, sports really can provide us with beautiful, wonderful, memorable experiences.


            * * * *
        Speaking of Saturday, one of my favorite things after the Auburn-Alabama game was watching and listening to the polar-opposite reactions from both sides.
         CBS, as usual, played the local radio broadcasts of the game-winning TD. The Auburn guys were going nuts in such a raw, unbridled manner, while you could hear the complete disbelief in the ‘Bama announcer’s voice, as if he didn’t really want to tell everyone what was happening.
        And then, ESPN got ahold of some clips of young Auburn fans going nuts watching the return in their houses, while also getting a shot of Alabama fans watching the same thing in a dorm room.  
        Kinda neat.

             * * * *

           Nottingham sophomore Grace Dwyer is going to the NIKE Nationals. That’s big-time stuff folks.

         The Nationals! That’s like, New Mexico, and Idaho, and Montana and California and Maine and, well, you get the picture. You’ve had geography.
          So anyway, what does Grace do on arguably the biggest day of her running career? Puts the following post on Facebook:
           “Just wanted to thank my cross country team for always being there for were always there to cheer me on and make me laugh. So many memories!!! You all are the best!!!”

          She’s right.
          It could be very easy for those teammates to get jealous of Grace for all that she has attained. But they have taken the right approach. They are happy for what she has done, excited for what she will do, and want to be there for her.
        They have exhibited great class.

        And so has Grace with that Facebook post.
              * * * *

         Ice hockey will have a revamped look in Hamilton Township this winter.

         Steinert has a new coach in Bob Weiss, who is familiar to township fans after serving five years as Nottingham’s head coach.
         The merger between Hamilton and Nottingham hasn’t really been a merger as much as Nottingham borrowing a few Hornets. Of the 28 guys on the team – now being coached by John Russo – 25 are from Nottingham and three are from West.

              * * * *

I don’t like when Thanksgiving is this late.
        You usually feel like you have a cushion between that holiday and December, which is when you start to get into Christmas planning mode. But Thanksgiving was Thursday and today is December.