SJV girls will be among state BY WARREN RAPPLEYEAStaff Writer BY WARREN RAPPLEYEA Staff Writer PHOTOS BY FARRAH MAFFAI staff St. John Vianney’s Courtney Calderone (above) and Shantel Brown are among the key returners for this year’s Lady Lancers as they look to make another run at numerous championships. An experienced but youthful St. John Vianney High School girls basketball team began trying to pick up where it left off a year ago when it opened the season Friday night at Middletown South. The Lady Lancers went 21-6 a year ago, winning the NJSIAA Parochial A South and Parochial A tournaments before finally bowing to Shabazz in the Tournament of Champions. Three starters return for SJV: juniors Shantel Brown and Colleen Light, as well as sophomore Courtney Calderone. All are multi-faceted players. Brown, who plays the point, averaged 11 points, five assists and five rebounds last season. Light contributed four points and three boards, and Calderone averaged 10 points and nine caroms. SJV will be without the graduated Shannon Coyle and Jaime Komar, who averaged 15 and eight points, respectively. Coach Bob Ward expects several players to help replace those points, including sophomore forward Kristine Perez, who averaged six points and five boards off the bench a year ago. In addition, sophomore Jessica Nimbley, who played well in nine games last season before suffering a broken hand, returns. Ward noted that junior forward Kat Gooch can also put the ball in the hoop. Other members of the team include seniors Meghan Coleman and Melanie Ondrejik, both guards, and Christine Repoli, a forward; junior guard Christine Walczak; sophomore guard Laura Aniello and forward Kaitlin Weldon; and freshmen Alisa Apo, a guard, and Kayla Killian, a center. “I think overall we’re a little deeper and more experienced this season,” said Ward, in his second-year at the Lady Lancers’ helm. “I’m looking for some of our younger players to step up as the season moves along.” As usual, SJV’s schedule includes nonconference games against well-regarded teams such as Shabazz, Christ the King and St. John Villa of Staten Island. Following the Middletown South game, the Lady Lancers compete in the Lady Knight Tournament at Marist High School in Bayonne beginning next Friday.
BY DOUG McKENZIEStaff Writer CHRIS KELLY staff Matawan’s Andy Denardo tries to control Holmdel’s Pat Murray during their 140-pound consolation bout at the District 21 Tournament in Manalapan on Saturday. MIDDLETOWN — The Ocean Township Spartans have faced more than their share of adversity this season. From injuries to illness, the Spartans have suffered one obstacle after another this winter — a season in which they were predicted to emerge as the Shore’s top team and one of the elite squads in the state. But despite some disappointing losses this year, Ocean remained the team to beat in last weekend’s District 22 tournament at Middletown South, and proved it on the mats with a convincing team championship, outscoring second-place Christian Brothers Academy, 212-182. The Spartans were led by six individual champions, and will send seven grapplers into this week’s Region VI tournament at the Ritacco Center in Toms River. That tournament got under way last night with preliminary-round match-ups and will continue on Friday. Leading the way for the Spartans was sophomore Mike Berardesco, who won the 103-pound title with a dominating 17-1 technical fall over CBA’s Dave Cioffi. That win was followed by Zac Coulas’ pin of Keansburg’s Adam Boyle in the 112-pound weight class in 1:08. After freshman J.P. Palandrano dropped his 119-pound title match to defending champion T.J. Mitchell of Raritan, 21-8, Dan Lopes was the next Spartan wrestler to take to the mats, cruising to a 130-pound title with an 8-4 win over Raritan’s Bill Voutsinas. Andrew Van Dyk then claimed the 135-pound title with a 10-4 win over Raritan’s Dave Seidenbeg, before Joey Falco made it four out of five for Ocean with a 6-3 win over CBA senior Dave Chirichello at 145. Senior Gaetjens Lezin dropped his 152-pound title to CBA’s Anthony DeLeo, 6-2, before Kyle Kiss became the fifth champion for the Spartans, beating CBA’s Anthony Chirichello, 15-4, in the 171-pound final. CBA actually had a slight lead over Ocean (101.5-98.5) entering Saturday’s action, but could not match the Spartans’ success in the late rounds. The Colts did crown four individual champions in DeLeo, Mike Beshada (125), Ollie Ferraro (189) and Chris Finley (160). Beshada’s 8-7 win over Monmouth Regional’s Kyle Christiansen was one of the more exciting matches of the day, as the Colt recorded a takedown with just two seconds remaining in the bout to steal the win. Meanwhile, Ferraro beat Keansburg’s Sean Yeneic with a pin at the 3:05 mark of their bout, while Finley beat Raritan’s Kevin Gilgannon, 6-2, in their 160-pound final. The four Colt champions will advance to Friday’s Region action, while six other CBA wrestlers — Cioffi, Dave Chirichello, Anthony Chirichello, Charles Favia (third at 119), John Menafra (third at 130) and Greg Dube (third at 215) — needed wins last night to advance to Friday’s action. Raritan sent eight grapplers into the region tourney, led by Mitchell and District 22 heavyweight champion Jeff King. The senior needed double overtime to post a 2-1 win in the final. Freshman Dan Seidenberg made his District 22 debut a memorable one by claiming the 140-pound title with a hard-fought 5-3 overtime win over Monmouth’s Anthony Bongarzone. The three district champs, along with Voutsinas, Dave Seidenberg, Gilgannon, freshman Cody Moone (third at 112) and sophomore Bob Kolb (third at 145), will look to extend their seasons this week as well. Host Middletown South finished in fifth place (70) in the team standings, highlighted by Andrew Poulson’s impressive win over defending 215-pound champ Derek Maldonado of Keyport, who was 26-0 coming into the bout. Poulson, who was a member of the state’s top football team of the last two years at South, took control of this bout from the start, powering his way to an 11-1 lead after the first period. The lead grew to 16-5 in the second before he put the Red Raider to the mat and recorded a pin at the 5:20 mark. South also got a solid finish from Kyle Worsley, who took third at 171 to advance to last night’s action. The only other local grapplers to advance to the Region VI tourney were Middletown North sophomore Robert DiMaiolo, who bounced back from a semifinal loss to Berardesco to post a 9-8 win over Raritan’s Greg Alexander in their consolation bout, and his teammate, junior Mike Shope, who won his 160-pound consolation match, 4-3, to advance. In District 21, held at Manalapan High School, a pair of local grapplers advanced to regions — Matawan’s Vic Mabin and Holmdel’s Pat Murray. Mabin, a junior, rebounded from a loss in the 130-pound semifinals to post a 7-4 win over Freehold’s Miguel Arroyo in their consolation bout, while Murray, a senior 140-pounder, won his consolation bout, 4-3 over Matawan’s Andrew Denardo. Jackson took its domination of District 21 to a new level Saturday as all 14 of their wrestlers advanced to the finals. They held a dual meet against the District and won. The Jaguars rolled up 291 points on the way to their ninth straight championship and crowned eight individual champions. “It’s a great way to cap being the No. 1 team,” said Goodale. “They want to be remembered as the school’s best team.” BY DOUG McKENZIE Staff Writer Slew of local grapplers advance to this week
Discus-thrower Hodge headed to Penn Relays Matawan Matawan High School seniors Dylan Spadaccini andAndre Hodge were eagerly awaiting word this week to see if they qualified for the Penn Relays (April 28-30). They would learn that only one would make it.Spadaccini is the odds-on favorite to win the pole vault outdoors after winning it in the NJSIAA indoors Meet of Champions. Hodge lodged a solid bid in the discus when he threw 167-7, the second farthest in school history, though short of the standard held by Tyrone Garland, in a dual meet on April 6. He also this season has thrown the shot put 52-10, just a couple of inches shy of his personal best last season.“They’re pretty selective, so you don’t know. They only pick what they think is the best,” coach Sam Turner said of qualifying for the Penn Relays.“Just to go, to be accepted, is an honor,” said Spadaccini, who has been recruited strongly of late by East Carolina along with Rhode Island, Rider, Monmouth and East Stroudsburg University continuing their big push.But Turner was shocked late on March 11 when he opened up the website to learn that Hodge became the fourth Penn Relays individual qualifier in school history, and first in the discus. Garland was a two-time qualifier in the shot put. Spadaccini had hoped to join former Matawan polevaulter Tim Evans, who qualified for Penns in 1994.“This is incredible,” said Turner. “Two kids he beat in the Meet of Champions [indoors] made it and he didn’t. I’m stunned. I don’t know what to say. We can put in an appeal, but rarely does anything come out of it. I’m happy for Hodge, but I really had no doubt that Spadaccini had the numbers to get in.”Instead, Hodge will begin pointing toward thePenn Relays in two weeks and Spadaccini will look farther down the road to getting back in the MOC outdoors.Spadaccini played an integral role with sophomore Justin Love in sparking the Huskies to winning the small schools division in the HuskiesInvitational Relays on April 9, and he also helped them win the season-opening Rocket Relays atRaritan High two weekends ago. Love is part of a young lineup that Turner said will figure in the team’s bid to excel in the NJSIAA meets. They hope to crank it up again in the Holmdel Relays on April 16.Turner sounded encouraged when talking about his team.“I am,” Turner said. “I think we have a lot of potential to be pretty good. We’re coming along. I thought we did well in ourmeet. We’re young and inexperienced but we got a lot of great performances.”“Actually, I’m very impressed with these guys,” said Spadaccini. “The young kids are stepping up to a high potential.” And he said he is learning to deal with the pressure that comes with high expectations of him in the pole vault. “There’s definitely a lot of pressure on me now,” Spadaccini said. “I know what I can do. They expect me to be a good competitor.”Although he reached 13-6 in the pole vault in Matawan, Spadaccini felt he “did not have too much of a good day, but I got the job done.”Unlike the end of indoor season, when he only had to concentrate on the pole vault, Spadaccini has had to tap into his versatility in the 3×400 intermediate hurdles with Solomon Simpkins and John Alston and with both teammates and Love in the shuttle hurdles. He also runs in the sprint medley with Love, freshman Berend Malin and senior Albert Masonius.The thing I like is how three of our relays have dropped times,” said Turner, referring to the sprint medley, 4×800 and distance medley. Dan Wills, a freshman, runs leadoff in the 4×800 and distance medley and is joined in the 4×800 by Malin and juniors Hakan Yuksul and Evan Mandragona. The DM includes senior Steve Caldwell, Yuksul and Masonius.Love and junior Connor Nappi, in his first year on the team, have performed well in the long jump relay. They were second in the Matawan meet with a combined jump of 76-0. Alston and Simpkins have done well in the long jump relay and were second inMatawan.That depth will be needed next month in the big weekend meets. BY WAYNE WITKOWSKI Correspondent
By Amlan ChakrabortyRafa Nadal has withdrawn from the inaugural International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) but the organisers pulled off a coup on Monday by naming Swiss maestro Roger Federer as replacement for the injured Spaniard.Fourteen times grand slam winner Nadal dealt a big blow to the fledgling tournament by pulling out of the Indian franchise citing ‘health problems’.“When you are talking of profile as high as Rafa Nadal, there was probably only one name that could have helped ease the pain and for us fortunately Roger was available and we made it happen,” IPTL founder Mahesh Bhupathi told reporters.“Rafa has been hurt since Wimbledon, he has not played any tennis. So obviously there was a risk there, in the format we have neither party wanted to take a chance.Nadal, who has a 23-10 head-to-head lead against Federer, missed the US Open last month after failing to recover from a right wrist injury he sustained in practice.“I am very disappointed to announce that I will not be part of the first edition of the IPTL,” Nadal, 28, said in a statement from the organisers.“I was looking forward to representing Indian Aces and playing in front of fans in New Delhi in the exciting new League.“I wish the team the very best and hope to be back next year.”Getting Federer on board was all the more satisfying for the organisers as the Swiss great, the winner of a record 17 grand slam titles, had initially appeared apprehensive of the league.“Earlier on, when I was talking to the players a year and half ago, Roger was expecting his set of twins. I don’t think he could be making too many commitments at that point,” Bhupathi, the Indian doubles specialist, added.“Obviously now he is very sure about his schedule and we are very happy to have him play for India.”Federer joins retired American Pete Sampras, winner of 14 grand slam titles, in the Indian franchise of the four-team event, scheduled to be played from Nov. 28 to Dec. 13.“I’m really looking forward to making my first trip to New Delhi and playing for the Micromax Indian aces,” Federer said in a recorded message.Philippines, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates are home to the other teams and will each host a leg of the competition, styled on cricket’s Indian Premier League and offering $1 million prize money.Men’s world number one Novak Djokovic, his women’s counterpart Serena Williams, Andy Murray, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and former women’s top-ranked players Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic and Caroline Wozniacki have also confirmed their participation.The teams will compete in men’s and women’s singles, men’s and mixed doubles and a men’s legends singles with one set per match, and no advantage scoring.Speaking on the tournament’s viability, Bhupathi said he expected the franchisees in India and Philippines to break even earlier, maybe in the next two or three years.“Each team is going to be different. I think India and Manila will probably break even before Dubai and Singapore because these are the markets where these kind of stars have not been seen before.“Singapore and Dubai are mature markets. Singapore has WTA Championship there and Dubai has Dubai Open.”IPTL chief operating officer Eric Gottschalk said the league might feature a fifth Asian franchise next year.“We are trying to add one more team next year and possibly the maximum we can have is eight teams by maybe 2017-18,” he added.The Delhi leg of the IPTL is scheduled from Dec 6-8.
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A former executive committee member of football’s global governing body FIFA told a U.S. judge in November 2013 that he took bribes in connection with the 1998 and 2010 World Cups, among other major events.Charles ‘Chuck’ Blazer, a U.S. citizen who spent two decades as one of the world’s most powerful football officials, secretly pleaded guilty to 10 criminal counts in New York as part of an agreement with U.S. prosecutors, according to a partially redacted transcript of the hearing released on Wednesday.Blazer admitted: “During my association with FIFA and CONCACAF, among other things I and others agreed that I or a co-conspirator would commit at least two acts of racketeering activity.“I agreed with others in or around 1992 to facilitate the acceptance of a bribe in conjunction with the selection of the host nation for the 1998 World Cup.“I and others on the FIFA executive committee agreed to accept bribes in conjunction with the selection of South Africa as the host nation for the 2010 World Cup.”According to U.S. officials, Blazer’s cooperation helped build a sprawling corruption case that has led to charges against top FIFA figures and helped prompt the resignation on Tuesday of long-time president Sepp Blatter.In addition to serving as an executive committee member from 1997 to 2013, Blazer was also the general secretary of CONCACAF, football’s governing body in North and Central America and in the Caribbean, from 1990 to 2011.
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By Nick MulvenneyNick Kyrgios has accused Olympic great Dawn Fraser of being a “blatant racist” after the former champion swimmer said tennis players should “go back to where their parents came from” if they did not set a better example to Australian youth.Kyrgios was the subject of a barrage of criticism back home for his on-court antics when he was beaten by Richard Gasquet at Wimbledon on Tuesday.The 20-year-old was accused of giving up, or ‘tanking’, in one game, received a warning for an audible obscenity and conducted a running debate with the umpire throughout the match.Fraser, who has been one of Australia’s best known sporting figures since she won the 100 metres freestyle at three successive Olympic Games from 1956, was invited to comment on his behaviour on a popular morning TV show.“It’s absolutely disgusting. I am so shocked to think that he went out there to play and he tanked, he did all that tanking, that’s terrible,” the 77-year-old said.“They should be setting a better example for the younger generation of this country, a great country of ours.“If they don’t like it, go back to where their fathers or their parents came from. We don’t need them here in this country if they act like that.”Kyrgios responded by linking to a video of Fraser’s comment on his Facebook page.“Throwing a racket, brat. Debating the rules, disrespectful. Frustrated when competing, spoilt. Showing emotion, arrogant.”“Blatant racist, Australian legend.”Attempts by Reuters to contact Fraser by telephone and email were not immediately successful but she later denied being a racist.“I’m not a racist person, if you take it that way then I’m sorry that you take it that way, but I’m not racist at all,” she told the Canberra Times.“I said, ‘If they don’t want to be Australians then maybe they should go back to the country where their parents come from’. That’s not being racist.“I said they were not good Australians by behaving the way they are on court. Do you think they are? He’s just bad mannered. He’s just a bad sport.”Kyrgios’ Wimbledon exit came a couple of days after Bernard Tomic was dumped from Australia’s Davis Cup team for launching a tirade at Tennis Australia officials in the wake of his third round exit at the All England Club.Kyrgios, who was born and raised in Australia’s capital Canberra, has Greek and Malaysian-born parents.Tomic was born in Germany but moved to Queensland when he was three with his Yugoslavia-born parents.At the time of the last census in 2011, 43.1 per cent of Australians had one or more parent born outside the country.Ironically, Fraser was something of an anti-authoritarian figure in her heyday.A 10-year ban for various misdemeanours during the 1964 Tokyo Games, including taking a flag from outside the Japanese emperor’s palace, scuppered her hopes of winning a fourth straight Olympic title in Mexico in 1968.
By Graham WoodArsenal will put one of the best Champions League records on the line when they face Olympiakos Piraeus in a showdown for second spot in Group F on Wednesday (9,45pm).As well as competing in the tournament for the 18th season in a row, the London club have qualified for the second stage in each of the past 15 campaigns.That run is in jeopardy, not so much due to a 5-1 hammering at group winners Bayern Munich but because Arsenal were beaten in their opening two games including a shock 3-2 defeat at home to Olympiakos.Now they must reverse that scoreline or improve on it to preserve their proud record under Arsene Wenger who will be missing seven players including Alexis Sanchez, Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere.Wenger was particularly pleased with Saturday’s 3-1 win at home to Sunderland, a victory that lifted Arsenal to second place in the Premier League.“For our confidence it was vital,” the French coach told reporters. “I was very nervous because I knew it was a very important game for our season.“It is better to prepare for the (Olympiakos) game knowing we have won. The one positive thing is we know exactly what to do.“Most of the time when we have been to Olympiakos we have not had a lot to do because we had already qualified. This time it is the opposite,” added Wenger.It is Arsenal’s fourth visit in seven seasons and each time the game has come on Matchday Six.DEFINING MOMENTFor Olympiakos the match is being billed by local media as a defining moment in a breakthrough year for Portuguese coach Marco Silva.The 38-year-old has led the Greeks to 12 successive Super League victories since the season kicked off as they chase a host of club records.Silva has also won widespread praise for the European performances.Greece midfielder Kostas Fortounis, one of the outstanding players for Olympiakos this season, is relishing the game with Arsenal.“This is a showdown, no doubt about it, out of which only one team can claim qualification to the next stage,” he said after the 4-3 win at Panthrakikos at the weekend, a result that gave them a 10-point lead at the top of the Super League.Olympiakos are relatively injury-free but Silva must decide whether to include fit-again Argentine midfielder Esteban Cambiasso in place of Luka Milivojevic or Pajtim Kasami.Brown Ideye, who spent last season at West Bromwich Albion, will come back into the attack after being rested at the weekend.
Jamaican Olympic sprint relay gold medallist Nesta Carter has returned an anti-doping violation for the banned stimulant Methylhexanamine after the re-testing of 454 samples from the 2008 Beijing Games, two sources familiar with the case have told Reuters.The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said traces of Methylhexanamine were discovered in Carter’s “A” sample, part of a batch of 454 from the 2008 Games that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) ordered to be re-tested.Carter could face sanctions only if his “B” sample also tests positive for the substance.Reuters has not seen the laboratory results.Neither Carter, who won gold in the 4×100 metres relay with Jamaican team mates Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell and Michael Frater in Beijing, nor his agent replied to repeated requests for comment.Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) president Michael Fennell declined to comment. Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association president Warren Blake told Reuters his organisation had not been notified of any rule violation.Methylhexanamine has been on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code prohibited list since 2004, although it was reclassified on the 2011 list as a “specified substance”.WADA defines specified substances as those that are more susceptible to a “credible, non-doping explanation”.Sold as a nasal decongestant in the United States until 1983, Methylhexanamine has been used more recently as an ingredient in dietary supplements.REVISITING SAMPLESThe IOC programme of revisiting samples is aimed at using developments in testing techniques to expose traces of drugs that were undetectable in 2008 or 2012.Doping cases are usually handled by the relevant national federations and national anti-doping agencies but the IOC has decided that any arising from the re-tests will be dealt with directly by them.“We want to keep dopers away from the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro. This is why we are acting swiftly now,” IOC president Thomas Bach said last week when announcing the re-testing of 265 samples from the London Olympics.“I have already appointed a disciplinary commission, which has the full power to take all decisions on behalf of the IOC.”First-leg relay specialist Carter has been a vital member of Jamaica’s dominant 4x100m squad, helping the Caribbean island win gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games and the 2011, 2013 and 2015 world championships.The 30-year-old has not run this season, citing a foot injury, but is expected to race in the next few weeks ahead of Jamaica’s Olympic trials from June 30 to July 3.Historically, the sanction for the use of Methylhexanamine has been a suspension of six months to a year and the loss of results from the period concerned.PUBLIC WARNINGSanctions for use of a stimulant can range from a public warning upwards.Although his relay team mates are not accused of doping, it is possible that the IOC could strip them of their gold medals if Carter’s B-sample tests positive.For instance, all members of the victorious American 4x400m relay squad at the 2000 Sydney Olympics were subsequently stripped of their medals after Antonio Pettigrew admitted a doping offence.However, when American Marion Jones was stripped of her two relay medals from the Sydney Games for doping offences, her team mates kept theirs after an appeal to the Court of Arbitration of Sport.IOC spokesman Mark Adams said discussions over what to do with the medals won by any dope cheats exposed by the re-testing were ongoing.“It is still being worked out,” he said. “What we want to do, and are trying to do, is target athletes who have positive results and stop them from competing in Rio.”The IOC said last month that more than 30 athletes from six different sports had tested positive in the re-testing of 2008 samples and that it had launched disciplinary action against the as yet unidentified athletes from 12 countries.Twenty-three more positives were found following a re-test of 265 samples from the 2012 Olympics, the IOC said last week.Russia has said 14 of its athletes from the 2008 Olympics had tested positive for banned substances and eight more from the 2012 Games.Russia’s athletics team has been suspended from international competition following a 2015 WADA commission report that accused the country of state-sponsored doping.The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which suspended Russia, will vote on June 17 over whether to reinstate the sporting superpower’s athletics team and allow it to compete in Rio.The Rio de Janeiro Olympics take place from Aug. 5-21.