Local karate students excel at regional event Students trained at Tiger Schulmann’s Karate Center in Middletown had a chance to show their skills recently, and they didn’t disappoint. Several students walked away with medals after competing at the Challenge of Champions event on June 10 and 11 at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus. The challenge brought together more than 5,000 martial arts students of all ages to participate in a severe test of expertise before a sold-out crowd. The students’ instructor, Sensei Jason Hoffman, said that by being involved in the event, the students are forced to concentrate on using their skills to the best of their ability. “The purpose of the Challenge of Champions is to encourage our students to utilize their skills to the maximum, providing a more demanding situation than everyday karate classes,” he said. “Our students are able to observe and interact with other styles of martial arts while building confidence and ability.” The areas of competition include wood breaking, kata, kumite and full contact karate. During the wood-breaking competition, more than 500 students competed while spectators observed other events going on simultaneously. Of the Tiger Schulmann students who participated, Kristofer Basmagy took third place in the 7 and under intermediate division, Dexter Perez took third in the 12-14 boys’ intermediate division, and Nach Restrepo took second in the men’s advanced middleweight division. More than 700 students participated in the kata competition, which tests the students’ abilities, and preciseness of martial arts forms. Winners from Tiger Schulmann included Tina Agnelo, third place, women’s black belt division; Denise Cerbone, fifth place, women’s black belt division; Courtney Butch, third place, 10-12 girls’ black belt division; Jen Butch, fourth place, 13-14 black belt division; Kevin Grewen, fourth place, 13-14 green and red division; Peter Hetzler, second place, 7 and under green division; Laura Occhipinti, sixth place, 10-12 girls’ red division; Jack Viverito, first place, 15-17 blue and yellow division; and Emily Watson, fifth place, 15-17 black belt division. More than 900 students competed in the fast-paced kumite competition, which includes freestyle sparring. Winners from Tiger Schulmann included Tom McGrath, first place, senior men’s intermediate heavyweight division; Scott Cardelfe, third place, senior men’s intermediate heavyweight division; and Nach Restrepo, third place, senior men’s intermediate middleweight division. The Challenge of Champions was introduced in 1996 and has quickly become the largest tournament of its kind in the area with well over 1,500 competitors. The next event is scheduled for December at the Meadowlands, and the students of Tiger Schulmann’s Karate Center are already gearing up for it. By Doug mckenzie
BY MATTHEW ROCCO Correspondent Middletown High School South’s girls soccer team posted a signature victory against defending division champion Freehold Township on Sept. 12.Sophomore defender Deanna Rotella moved the ball past midfield before sending it to junior midfielder Kate Spence, who found the back of the net with only two minutes left in the second overtime period. Spence’s goal secured a 3-2 win over a Freehold Township team that led the Shore Conference’s Class A North Division last season and was favored to repeat this year.Midfielders Christine Despirito (senior) and Ashley Pankey (junior) also scored for Middletown South.Middletown South opened the season on Sept. 8 with a 4-2 victory over Howell. On Saturday (Sept. 17), the Eagles shut out rival Middletown North, 4-0. Junior midfielder Bridget Skinner had a goal, and junior goalie Lauren Van Exter made four saves.Skinner also scored twice Monday to lead the Eagles (4-0) over Manalapan, 2-1, for their fourth consecutive win to start the season . “We are getting a little more balance in our scoring,” said co-head coach Tara Ernst, noting that Skinner was the primary scorer last season. “We are working on things like corner-kick plays and changing up our formation.” The Eagles returned most of their starters from the 2010 season, and the experience is paying off for Middletown South.“They are used to playing with each other,” Ernst said.But with more experience comes greater expectations. Middletown South earned the opportunity to play in the postseason last year, making the second rounds of both the Shore Conference andNJSIAA tournaments. It was a step in the right direction for the program.“We got playoff experience last year, and we’ve made it one of our goals to go further this year,” Ernst said.After two seasons as head coach, Ernst is coaching alongside Kristen Haar this season. Haar served as Middletown South’s head coach for 14 years before Ernst, who played under Haar from 1997 to 2001, took over.“I’m happy to be with Haar this season. She’s still very intense, and I think, now that we are colleagues, I understand why she made the decisions she did when she was my coach,” Ernst said.The Eagles were scheduled to face off against Freehold Township again on Wednesday, Sept. 21. Middletown South will play Marlboro and Middletown North next week.
The Matawan-Aberdeen Terriers are seeking a few 12-and-under travel baseball players for the fall 2011 and spring 2012 seasons to complete their roster. The Terriers will complete their travel season by competing in a weeklong tournament at Cooperstown Dream Park, New York, home of the Baseball Hall of Fame, in August 2012.All players must 12 years of age or younger as ofApril 30, 2012, to be eligible.If interested, contact Bob Kakoleski at 201-320-6255 for tryout information. B.Y.A.A. fall recreation soccer registration is open for its co-ed league (ages 4-16). Residents from Middletown and surrounding towns are welcome.Games are held at the Bayview Elementary School soccer fields, 300 Leonardville Road in the Belford section of Middletown.For additional information and the link to register online, go to http://www.eteamz.com/ BYAASoccerMiddletown/.Registration will also be accepted 7-9 p.m. Aug. 25 at the Middletown Township Public Library, 55 New Monmouth Road.The season starts Sept. 10. M.Y.A.A. (Middletown) basketball is holding tryouts for boys and girls traveling teams through Sept. 19. For more information, call Scott at 732- 687-5528 or go to the website www.leaguelineup.com/myaabball/. Fast Break Basketball still has space available in the girls divisions grades two through 12. Fast Break Basketball is dedicated to teaching the fundamental skills of basketball and creating a fun and safe environment for all who participate. It is supported by the East Brunswick Division of Parks and Recreation. Interested players may visit www.fastbreakbasketball.org and download the registration form. Details: 732-432-0048. Listed among Active.com’s 11 Running Events To Do in 2011 is the Atlantic City Marathon, which will be held on Oct. 16 at 8 a.m. This is the 53rd running of the marathon. There will also be a halfmarathon, 10K and 5K runs, and more. A new route has runners competing on theAtlantic City boardwalk and traversing a course that highlights the Atlantic Ocean, the back bay and everything in between.This year a two-day Atlantic City Marathon Sports and Fitness Expo has been added at Bally’s Atlantic City on Oct. 14 from 1-7 p.m. and Oct. 15 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.Details: Visit www.acmarathon.org.
By WAYNE WITKOWSKI Correspondent Make a mistake against Middletown High School South’s unbeaten football team and you’ll pay for it. Middletown High School North paid dearly Nov. 20 in the NJSIAA North Jersey, Section II, Group IV semifinal.Four Middletown North turnovers eventually resulted in touchdowns by No. 1- ranked Middletown South — three of them by Cole Rogers, who totaled foul on the night — as the Eagles won the first playoff game between the two teams, 41-14, before a packed home crowd of 4,500.“We have a goal on the defense of forcing turnovers — I think 40 for the season — and we’ve met that goal,” defensive back Dylan Rogers said. “I was only thinking about being back to the state championship and not thinking much about playing these guys.”Middletown South will make its first trip to the state championships at 7 p.m. Dec. 5 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford against the defending champion, Phillipsburg High School, which won, 28-13, over Colonia High School in the other semifinal.Last December, Middletown South lost to Jackson Memorial High School, 21-18, in the Central Jersey, Group IV final after driving to Jackson Memorial’s 10-yard line and throwing an incomplete pass on fourth down in the closing seconds.Phillipsburg (9-1) has not lost since its second game of the season.Middletown South and Middletown North meet again in their traditional Thanksgiving morning game, and it is important for both teams: The Shore Conference A North Division championship is at stake. Middletown South (10-0 overall) is 5-0 in the division. Middletown North, which fell to 7-3 overall, is 4-1 in the division. A Middletown North victory would put the teams into a two-way tie for the title.“We know they’re going to do some things we haven’t seen, some gimmick plays. They usually do in that game,” said Rogers, who rushed for 201 of Middletown South’s 274 rushing yards in the semifinals.“I could’ve gone left or right running the ball the holes were so big. The line controlled the game.”Even quarterback Matt Mosquera was able to stay comfortable in the pocket, completing 10 of 11 passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns without needing to scramble much behind the blocking of tackles Tom Lopez and Bob Burke, guards Mike Wilson and Adam Markmann and center Joe Rutkowski. They’ve been instrumental in the Eagles’ 418-66 scoring edge.“From an offensive standpoint, we did what we wanted to do,” said Middletown South coach Steve Antonucci, whose team is looking to win its first state title since 2006.At the end of the first half, Mosquera completed a pivotal 5-yard touchdown pass to Tom Coffey, who caught the ball in the back of the end zone and did a great balancing act to keep his feet inbounds. It gave Middletown South a 20-0 lead at halftime.“I was watching my back foot to make sure it was inbounds,” Coffey said, as he set up his own touchdown with a 36-yard reception to midfield earlier in the drive.Things got worse for Middletown North, which had deferred receiving the opening kickoff when it won the opening coin toss so it could get the ball at the start of the second half. The team fumbled the ball away on the kick return to Middletown South’s Rob Hulse. Spencer Pereless, who caught five passes for 86 yards and a touchdown, pulled in a 19-yard pass, and Cole Rogers scored on the next play from 2 yards out to make it a seemingly secure 27-0 lead.“I thought it could be a tighter battle than this,” Middletown North coach Steve Bush said. “We moved the ball, but we did not finish drives.” Quarterback Don Glenn completed 23 of 31 passes for 264 yards for Middletown North but was intercepted three times, twice setting up Middletown South scoring drives.The Lions, who came up empty on a 13-play drive to Middletown South’s 14- yard line before giving up the ball on downs in the second quarter, could have lost their heart when it got to 27-0. But they kept their determination and scored two touchdowns in short order to pull to 27-14. Middletown North halfback Chad Freshnock, who got 78 yards on 22 carries, leaped over the line of scrimmage from 2 yards out into the end zone to cap a 15-play, 80-yard drive. Nick Kish recovered an onside kick, and Glenn hooked up with Matt Harrison on a deep touchdown pass on the next play covering 45 yards with 4:25 left in the third quarter.The Eagles answered five plays later, as Rogers broke off a 37-yard touchdown run. He scored his final touchdown on a 5-yard run with 9:34 left in the game, capping a 63- yard drive that began with a Maxx Imsho interception. Rogers had a pair of 17-yard runs in the drive.
By Mike Collett-WhiteAttention at the Winter Olympics turned on Tuesday to the eagerly awaited men’s ice hockey competition even before a puck had been shot in anger, as host team Russia and heavyweights Canada and the United States paraded before the world’s media.For many fans the Winter Games do not properly begin until the puck drops on the men’s ice hockey rink, and that happens on Wednesday at the gleaming new Bolshoy Ice Dome and Shayba Arena on Russia’s Black Sea Coast.On day four of the February 7-23 Olympics, most of the action was up in the nearby Caucasus Mountains, where mild temperatures were causing increasing concern about poor snow conditions.The final training session for Wednesday’s women’s downhill was cancelled due to the conditions, and ahead of the Nordic Combined competition on the same day American Bill Demong said of the snow: “It’s not even slushy, it’s just mushy.“No matter how many chemicals they use I anticipate the snow will get beaten down during the course of the race and I think it will be very tough,” he told reporters.Temperatures are expected to rise to at least 15C (59 Fahrenheit) later this week.US skier Bode Miller has blamed the weather for wrecking his hopes of glory in Sunday’s downhill, and he fears the mild conditions may scupper his bid to successfully defend his super combined title, saying softer snow favours slalom technicians.Despite the gripes, competition went ahead on Tuesday and American snowboarder Shaun White, one of the best known faces in winter sport, will be vying to retain his halfpipe title.The women ski jumpers compete in the Olympics for the first time after a long campaign to be included.The first of eight medals to be decided on Tuesday went to teenager Dara Howell of Canada in the inaugural women’s freestyle skiing slopestyle.Several skiers crashed out spectacularly, including Howell’s compatriot and favourite Kaya Turski, who did not qualify, and fellow Canadian Yuki Tsubota, who appeared to suffer a serious injury on her second run of the final.The result strengthened Canada’s place at the top of the overall medals’ table with four golds, while Russia linger in sixth position with one gold, two silver and three bronze medals.The hosts are desperate to improve on their woeful performance at the last Winter Olympics in Vancouver four years ago, when just three gold medals left them 11th in the table.When the figure skating team won gold in Sochi on Sunday there was a surge of excitement across the country and internationally. That would be nothing compared to the euphoria a men’s ice hockey gold would bring.If there is one country where the sport matters as much as in Canada, it is Russia, and more than 100 journalists and 40 television cameras were there for the men’s media conference.“I participated in four Olympic Games and I don’t remember such an interest in ice hockey players,” former goaltending great Vladislav Tretyak, now president of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation, told reporters.In a show of unity, and underlining the sport’s importance, the entire ice hockey team showed up to face the media.“It is a team sport and it’s up to the entire team to get the gold so that is why we are here together,” said Tretyak.The heavyweight American and Canadian teams had their first practice on Monday, but attention was already turning to Saturday’s mouth-watering clash between the United States and Russia.That game will bring back memories of the ‘Miracle on Ice’ at Lake Placid in 1980 when a US team made up of amateur and college players, stunned the dominant Soviets, who had won five of the previous six Olympic ice hockey gold medals.Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has staked his personal and political prestige on staging a successful Games, would dearly love a home victory in that game.The Sochi Games have cost an estimated $51 billion, which would make it the most expensive Olympics ever, although that figure has been questioned and would include long term infrastructure projects in the region.The buildup to the Games was overshadowed by threats of militant violence, an international outcry over a contentious “anti-gay propaganda” law and allegations of widespread corruption and profligacy.Once they got underway that hostility quickly evaporated, although a militant Islamist group urged followers to pray for an earthquake in Sochi during the Olympics to avenge Muslims who died there fighting “Russian infidels”.The appeal was made by a local branch of the Caucasus Emirate, a group which is waging an insurgency for an Islamist state in Russia’s North Caucasus and called on supporters last year to attack the Games.“All who are able to read this letter can supplicate that the Almighty destroys the land in Sochi with an earthquake, and makes the infidels ‘drunk of water’ before Hell and drown in a flood!,” said the appeal posted online on Monday.On a more positive note, the International Olympic Committee lifted a ban on the Indian Olympic Association, which was suspended when a corruption-tainted official was voted in as secretary general in 2012.
By Terry DaleyEngland scored seven tries in an emphatic 52-11 victory over Italy on Saturday but their hopes of winning the Six Nations championship still depend on Ireland losing or drawing with France later in the day.England, hoping to cancel out Ireland’s 49-point advantage, looked to be chasing a big score from the start and led 24-6 at halftime after two tries from Mike Brown, named man of the match for the third time in the tournament, and one for Owen Farrell, who again was faultless with eight out of eight kicks at goal.Jack Nowell, with his first international try, Mako Vunipola and replacement centre Manu Tuilagi, in his first appearance for England in a year, crossed after the break as England looked on course for the huge win they needed to give them a chance of the title even in the case of an Irish victory in Paris.However, an interception score by Leonardo Sarto after 68 minutes took the wind out of their sails, before captain Chris Robshaw finished on a high by claiming England’s seventh at the death.Having scraped three narrow wins on their last three visits to Rome, it was another hugely impressive performance by Stuart Lancaster’s team, who have eight points from four wins following an opening-game defeat in Paris.LANCASTER PROUD“We scored some great tries and came here and scored 50, not many teams do that,” Lancaster told the BBC.“I’m proud of the boys. We were not quite in our shape in the first half, there were some errors but we have a great squad developing and I am very proud.“Overall we take the bigger picture – the Scotland, Ireland and Wales performances and I don’t think many teams will come here and win like this.”Robshaw added: “Plus-50 points is what we wanted to do, it’s just a shame we conceded that try. Now we just have to sit and wait.“We were focused, ready and came here with the objective of getting 50. We left a few opportunities out there but that’s one for another day. Unfortunately we conceded. If we hadn’t we’d have been in a good position.”Ireland, with a points difference of +81, and France (+3) each have six points going into their game in Paris (1700GMT).Any Irish win will give them the title and a fitting farewell for retiring centre Brian O’Driscoll. France need a 70-point win to top the table, while a third successive draw in the fixture would leave England top for only the second time since 2003.Italy end the championship with five defeats for the first time since 2009, while Wales play Scotland in Cardiff (14.45) in Saturday’s other game.BRILLIANT OFFLOADAfter a penalty each England scored their first try in the 13th minute after their first extended period of possession.After sucking in Italy’s robust defence the ball was worked left, where a brilliant offload from Luther Burrell allowed Brown to burst past Italy’s backs.Burrell almost let the hosts in for a score when his poor pass was fumbled by Nowell, and it was only a superb last-ditch tackle on Sarto from Farrell that saved England’s blushes.Orquera closed the gap with a second penalty in the 23rd minute but flyhalf Farrell extended the away side’s lead to 17-6 just after the half hour with a neat try under the posts.Brown gave England hope they could overturn the massive points gap to Ireland a minute before the break, scoring his second after a lovely passing move.The start of the second half was as scrappy as the first, and it took England 12 minutes to get more points on the board when Nowell nipped in after good work at a scrum deep in Italy’s 22.Two tries in six minutes from Vunipola and Tuilagi made it 45-6 but a try gifted to Sarto extinguished England’s chances of overtaking Ireland 12 minutes before the end, a minute after Tuilagi’s touchdown.Robshaw ended the match on a positive note in added time when he took George Ford’s pass to score.
By Brian HomewoodFIFA’s executive committee has voted to allow publication of former ethics investigator Michael Garcia’s investigation into the bidding process for the 2018/2022 World Cups, president Sepp Blatter said in a statement yesterday.Football’s governing body had been under increasing pressure to publish a redacted version of Garcia’s report to help shed light on what happened during the turbulent process for the tournaments awarded to Russia and Qatar respectively.In the statement FIFA said it had asked the Adjudicatory Chamber of the Independent Ethics Committee to publish the report in “an appropriate form” once ongoing procedures against individuals are concluded.“I am pleased they have agreed. It has been a long process to arrive at this point and I understand the views of those who have been critical,” Blatter said.“We have always been determined that the truth should be known. That is, after all, why we set up an independent Ethics Committee with an investigatory chamber that has all necessary means to undertake investigations on its own initiative.”The decision followed a presentation by Domenico Scala, head of FIFA’s audit and compliance committee and one of only six people to have seen the report.Garcia, who said himself that the report should be published, spent 18 months investigating allegations of corruption in the bidding process, during which he interviewed 75 witnesses.In November, FIFA’s ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert issued a 42-page summary based on Garcia’s report which identified cases of “inappropriate conduct” in a number of the bids but said there was not enough evidence to justify re-opening the bidding process.In Friday’s statement, Blatter reiterated that the bidding process for the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups would not be re-opened.“We will not revisit the 2018 and 2022 vote and a report by independent, external legal experts commissioned by Mr. Scala supports the view that there are no legal grounds to revoke the Executive Committee’s decision on the award of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups,” he said.Garcia, who immediately appealed against the summary of his investigation, saying it contained misrepresentations, resigned on Wednesday, one day after a FIFA tribunal ruled his application to be inadmissable.FIFA had previously said it could not publics the 430-page report for legal reasons.
By Toby DavisTottenham Hotspur’s Michel Vorm is set to retain his place in goal for their Capital One Cup semi-final second leg with Sheffield United on Wednesday (9.45pm)despite his howler in their FA Cup exit on Saturday.Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino gave Vorm his full backing ahead of the last-four clash after his mistake gifted Leicester City a surprise 2-1 away win in the FA Cup.The Dutchman let a tame effort from Jeffrey Schlupp squirm past him and into the net in the 90th minute.“This is football. He made two big saves against Leicester. His attitude is fantastic and nothing has changed. In one action he conceded a goal,” Pochettino told reporters.“He made a mistake. Every player can make a mistake, we must give him support and confidence.“I think it should be normal to play Michel. This is football. All games are important. He had a good performance (against Leicester).”Tottenham lead 1-0 after the first leg at White Hart Lane but will hope to improve on their tame home performance against the third tier side.“I think the pressure is the same as it was in the home game,” Pochettino said.“We want to get to the final. But after the first leg we need to be careful. Though we need to play freely. We need to score.“We need to be 100 per cent focused. Our fans expect us to arrive in the final at Wembley. But we need to play better than Sheffield, show more energy than Sheffield and try to fight.“For me we need to go there thinking it is 0-0. I believe we will need to score. We have to forget about the first leg and show the mentality to win.“When I speak about being more aggressive it is in the right way. We need to fight to get on the ball and instil our game.”
England’s coaching team are being investigated by World Rugby for an alleged breach of the “match-day communications protocol” during their World Cup defeat by Australia on Saturday, the governing body said on Monday.“World Rugby is investigating an alleged breach by the England coaching team of the match-day communications protocol between match officials and team members or union officials during the Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool A match between England and Australia at Twickenham on 3 October,” World Rugby said in a statement.“The protocol prohibits certain conduct on match days including coaches approaching match officials during a match or at halftime during a match.”Stuart Lancaster’s team became the first former World Cup winners to go out in the pool stage after a 33-13 defeat by the Wallabies left them unable to reach the knockout stage.
The historic move will increase the number of sports being contested at the Games from 17 to 18 for the first time, making use of what have been described as some of the best beaches in the world at the Australian venue. An agreement was struck between the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), the Queensland Government, the Australian Commonwealth Games Association (ACGA) and Gold Coast 2018 to pave the way for beach volleyball’s inclusion. Two 12 team tournaments will be contested, one each for men and women, with two players per team. A qualification system will be developed in collaboration with the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) and will be finalised by July. “The CGF executive board is delighted to approve the inclusion of beach volleyball in the sports program of the XXI Commonwealth Games, which will allow nations to compete in more sports, engage and inspire spectators, broadcasters and commercial partners, and create a spectacular sporting showcase for the Gold Coast, Queensland and Australia on the world stage,” said CGF President Louise Martin. “This innovative, collaborative initiative, undertaken and initiated by the Gold Coast 2018 delivery partners with support from the CGF, is a fantastic example of the collective ambitions set out in the CGF’s Transformation 2022 strategic plan and we look forward to experiencing beach volleyball for the first time ever at a Commonwealth Games.” Beach volleyball is expected to be a stand-out sport at this year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro due to the famous Copacabana venue, and the sport could be similarly iconic in Gold Coast. In February 2014, Gold Coast 2018 had announced that no additional sports would be added to the program but that position has now clearly changed. “This announcement is a great outcome that will only add to what is already an exciting program,” Gold Coast 2018 chairman Nigel Chamier said. “The people of the Gold Coast, Queensland and Australia can expect amazing venues, incredible sport and a lifetime of memories.” A location for the beach volleyball will now be “scouted” with a pleasing on the eye venue, which also has enough room for the necessary infrastructure required.“The Gold Coast has some of the best beaches in the world, which is why we have campaigned strongly to the Commonwealth Games Federation to include beach volleyball as part of the sporting program in 2018,” said Queensland’s Commonwealth Games Minister Stirling Hinchcliffe. ACGA president Sam Coffa added: “Beach volleyball is a perfect addition to the 2018 program.“We know it’s popular throughout the Commonwealth, particularly with our neighbours in the Pacific.” The other sports in Gold Coast will be athletics, aquatics, badminton, basketball, boxing, cycling, gymnastics, hockey, lawn bowls, netball, rugby sevens, shooting, squash, table tennis, triathlon, weightlifting and wrestling. An integrated para-sports schedule will be announced later this month. The Games are due to take place between April 4 and 15. The news was welcomed by Volleyball England. Zara Dampney, who played for Great Britain at the London 2012 Olympic Games, said the news would inspire more youngsters to take up the sport. “It is wonderful news for beach volleyball players and for our current international athletes it is so important have something to aim for,” she said. “Having a major multisport event as a focus point will really help with motivation. “That’s why we put the effort in day in, day out.”