Bombers look to rebound from Buc Classic defeat

SAYREVILLE WAR MEMORIAL

By WARREN RAPPLEYEA
Correspondent

Sayreville War Memorial High School’s boys’ basketball team got out of the gate with four straight victories to open the season before finally dropping a game to Ranney School at the Albert E. Martin Buc Classic in Red Bank Dec. 28.

Hampered by foul trouble, the Bombers fell to Ranney, 71-59, despite 22 points from Ryan O’Leary and 14 from Hendersen Mautes, both junior guards. Following the loss, Sayreville was set to meet Central Regional High School Dec. 30 in the consolation game.

Coach John Wojcik was looking for a quick start to help build confidence this winter after the Bombers went 12-14 a year ago. “We got what we wanted with a 4-0 start, now I want to see how we bounce back from a loss,” the Bombers’ coach said. “We can take a lot of positives out of the Ranney game; overall, we want to be aggressive. Still, we had our chances. It didn’t help that we didn’t have a good night from the foul line.”

Sayreville, which has only three seniors on its roster, has proved to be a handful for its opponents. The blue and gray got off and running with a comfortable 54-33 victory against Edison High School on opening night Dec. 18. Sayreville controlled the action from start to finish, as Mautes scored 18 points, including four 3-pointers, to lead the offense. Big man Jahsim Floyd added seven points and 10 rebounds, and Ryan O’Leary provided 14 points.

On Dec. 19, Sayreville played in the Friends of South Amboy benefit to raise funds for former South Amboy Fire Chief Kenneth Walczak, who is battling an illness. The Bombers went up against the host school in an exciting game that went Sayreville’s way, 59-57, when O’Leary nailed a jump shot with time running out.

Wojcik’s team jumped to a 21-12 firstquarter lead, but the Governors gradually clawed their way back into the game. O’Leary, who transferred from South Amboy, led all scorers with 32 points, including four 3-pointers.

The blue and gray had another close game against Colonia High School Dec. 22. Sayreville outscored the Patriots, 17-13, over the final eight minutes to come away with a 48-45 victory. Floyd came up big, pumping in 21 points and hauling in 10 caroms for the Bombers. O’Leary added 16 points and made an impressive steal late in the contest to seal the victory.

In the opener of the Buc Classic Dec. 27, O’Leary again led the way, scoring 21 points and adding seven steals as the Bombers got off to a 16-4 start and never looked back against Shore Regional High School. The final score was 46-24.

Wojcik noted the emergence of O’Leary and Mautes as scoring threats and the continued development of Floyd have all played key roles in his team’s success. The coach also credited sophomore point guard Derek Astarita.

“Derek’s been a catalyst for us,” Wojcik said. “He doesn’t score a lot of points, but he sets the tone with his hustle, effort and defense.”

In addition, the Bombers are expecting 6-foot-4 Jayson DeMild to join the lineup in the coming weeks. The junior forward is recovering from an injury he suffered during the football season.

“Our guys have shown that they can adapt,” Wojcik said. “We played some tough scrimmages [against Rahway High School, South Brunswick High School, William L. Dickinson High School and Hamilton High School West], and those were valuable learning experiences. Now, we’ll see how they bounce back to a loss. It’s all part of the process, and they have to learn to do it.”

Mission Belief is NJ’s Horse of the Year

Trotting filly Mission Brief has been named the winner of the Secretary of Agriculture’s Trophy as New Jersey Standardbred of the Year for 2015.

Also selected New Jersey Sire Stakes Horse of the Year, Mission Brief will be honored Jan. 24 at the 59th Annual New Jersey Breeders Awards Luncheon at 1 p.m. at O’Connor’s Restaurant (formerly Charley’s Other Brother) in Eastampton.

Voted the nation’s 2-Year-Old Trotting Filly of the Year in 2014, she also won the Dan Patch Award as 3-Year-Old Trotting Filly of the Year in 2015.

The daughter of Muscle Hill-Southwind Serena wrapped up her 3-year-old campaign with 10 wins and three seconds in 14 starts, banking more than $1 million toward a career total of $1,599,587 for the ownership of the Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, J&T Silva Stables and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. The Ron Burke trainee was regularly driven by Yannick Gingras.

Undefeated in her New Jersey Sires Stakes competition, including the $100,000 final at the Meadowlands, she also won the $307,040 Elegantimage at Mohawk Raceway, the $185,000 Zweig at Vernon Downs, the $187,400 Matron at Dover Downs, the $144,000 Continental Victory at the Meadowlands and the $174,000 Money Maker at The Meadows. She made a bid to best the boys in the $1 million Hambletonian at the Meadowlands, winning her elimination but finishing second to Pinkman in the $1 million final Aug. 8.

Bred by Steve H. Stewart, Black Creek Farm and Andrea Lea Racing Stables Inc., she sold for $150,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale.

At 2 years old, she won both the Merrie Annabelle and Breeders Crown, for nine wins in 13 starts and earnings just shy of $600,000.

She collected 150 of 156 votes for freshman honors in 2014 and 118 of 136 votes for 2015 divisional honors.

Her 1:50.3 mark still stands as the fastest mile by a 2-year-old trotter, male or female, and she lowered her personal best to 1:50.2 Nov. 12 on the five-eighths mile track at Dover Downs in the Matron Final.

Her sire, Muscle Hill, was the 2009 New Jersey Standardbred of the Year.

Tickets for the luncheon cost $40 per person and may be purchased from the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Division of Markets & Development, Horse Industry, PO Box 330, Trenton, NJ 08625.

For further information, email Lynn.Mathews@ag.state.nj.us or call 609-984-4389.

SPORT SHORTS

The Edison Wizards Lacrosse Club is announcing registration for two boys teams: for grades 5-6 and grades 7-8.

Players will learn to play lacrosse from experienced coaches and players. The cost of registration is $100. Players are required to supply their own equipment. Practice will be twice a week starting early March 2016. Games will be played on Friday nights and Saturdays.

Please visit www.wizardslax.com for information regarding registration. Call 732-710-0310 for further information.

Central Jersey RedLegs will hold tryouts for the 11U 2016 spring and summer baseball season. Winter workouts start the first week of January. Indoor tournaments, league play and multiple travel tournaments will be played.

Home fields are located in Michael Tighe Park, Freehold Township.

Contact Coach Tom at tfigliolino@aol.com for details.

Monroe Township Baseball Association spring recreational baseball registration is open for all children ages 4-15. Register your little leaguer before Jan. 15 to avoid a price increase. Full uniform is included, and the season starts in April.

For more information, visit www.monroebaseball.com.

REAL ESTATE BRIEFS

Jack Waters, regional vice president of Weichert, Realtors, announced that the Old Bridge office was recognized for outstanding performance in November. The office led the region, which is comprised of locations throughout Middlesex County, in new home dollar volume, resale listings, resale revenue units and resale dollar volume. Additionally, sales associates John Horvath and Ranbir Singh of the Old Bridge office were recognized for their exceptional industry success. As top producers in November, Horvath led the region in resale revenue units and resale dollar volume, while Singh was recognized for new home dollar volume. They can be reached at Weichert’s Old Bridge office at 1394 Route 9 south, or call 732- 525-1550 for more information.

Jack Waters, regional vice president of Weichert, Realtors, announced that the Edison office was recognized for outstanding performance in November. The office led the region, which is comprised of locations throughout Middlesex County, for resales. In addition, sales associate Francis “Frank” Connor of the Edison office was recognized for his exceptional industry success. Connor led the region for resales in the month of November. He can be reached in Weichert’s Edison office at 123 Lincoln Highway, or call 732-494- 6800 for more information.

Jack Waters, regional vice president of Weichert, Realtors, announced that sales associate Donna Warters of the East Brunswick office was recognized for her exceptional success during the month of November. Warters led the region, which is comprised of offices throughout Middlesex County, for resale listings. She can be reached in Weichert’s East Brunswick office at 431 Route 18 south, or call 732- 254-1700 for more information.

Carlo Siracusa, regional vice president of Weichert, Realtors, announced that sales associate Thomas Connors of the Holmdel office was recognized for his exceptional industry success during the month of November. Connors led the region, which is comprised of locations throughout Ocean and Monmouth counties, in resale dollar volume. He can be reached in Weichert’s Holmdel office located at 43 E. Main St., or call 732-946- 9400 for more information.

Working toward a pin

 SCOTT FRIEDMAN SCOTT FRIEDMAN Old Bridge High School’s T.J. Angstadt, top, won his 145-pound match against Donovan Catholic’s Shane Harrigfeld by pin at the Ice Breaker Wrestling Tournament held at Old Bridge Dec. 19. Angstadt went on to place fourth in his weight division.

Veteran wrestlers expected to lead way for Bombers

By WARREN RAPPLEYEA
Correspondent

With several key athletes back from a team that went 16-3 and won the Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) White Division championship, Sayreville War Memorial High School wrestling coach Marcus Ivy is confident his team will have another solid season.

The Bombers’ lineup will once again feature heavyweight Anthony Porcaro, who is coming off his third straight championship at the annual Neptune Classic. The senior turned in a 37-3 record a year ago, while also winning the GMC, District 20 and Region V crowns for the second year in a row.

“Anthony’s clearly our leader, and he’s focused on having an even better season,” Ivy said. “He’s a phenomenal wrestler.” Frank Roman, at 113 pounds, has also emerged as a leader. After going 22-15 a year ago, Ivy noted that the senior began running in addition to lifting weights. Roman is in top shape and is poised for a strong season after grabbing second place in his weight class at Neptune.

Another senior, 182-pound Tyler Lewis, is coming off an 18-12 showing. At 145 pounds, Ivy is expecting Dylan Tailefer to add to the 12 wins he picked up last winter. Junior Kyle Wavro moves up to 170 pounds after holding his own at 160 pounds as a sophomore, and sophomore Brandon Alicea moves to 126 pounds after gaining valuable experience at 103 pounds, where he was 10-13.

“We’re counting on our returnees to put up good numbers because we have a lot of young wrestlers this year,” Ivy said. “Even when they lose, I want them to lose well. Every point counts.”

A welcome addition to the lineup is 152- pound junior Sam Thomas, who sat out the last two seasons after doing well in middle school. Josh Garrett, who missed last year with a shoulder injury, has nailed down the 160-pound spot.

The Blue and Gray will prominently feature several freshmen, including Trevor Mastorio and Alec Coelho, both of whom finished at 2-2 in the Neptune Classic. Mastorio is competing at 120 pounds, while Coelho takes to the mats as a 132-pounder. Fellow freshman Scott Mish hits the mat at 103 pounds, and Vito Dorio is the 138- pounder.

“We’re still filling out a few of our lineup spots,” Ivy said. “We’re going to be much younger this year, but these new wrestlers are all very talented and polished. It’s hard to believe some of them are freshmen.

“That being said, they still have to adjust to varsity competition and not be afraid to win. They’re going to be wrestling against guys who are a lot better than them — on paper. They can’t let that get in the way. They have to go out and wrestle to win. It’s all part of the adjustment.”

Sayreville was slated to open its dualmeet schedule against Hamilton High School West Dec. 23. The Bombers will compete in a tournament in Roselle Park Dec. 28 and have a quad match at South Brunswick High School Jan. 2 that also includes Seton Hall Preparatory School and West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South.

Young Old Bridge bowlers look to keep improving

By WARREN RAPPLEYEA
Correspondent

Old Bridge High School’s youthful boys’ bowling team has shown much promise this season, and coach Ed Bucior is looking for his team to continue to improve over the second half of the campaign.

A year ago, Old Bridge posted an 11-4- 1 ledger, but the team lost several seniors, including its top two players — Dan Barracato and Joseph Corrao — to graduation.

This time around, the Knights are 3-5, scoring victories over North Brunswick Township High School, J.P. Stevens High School and Piscataway Township High School. Old Bridge also performed well in losses to Edison High School, Sayreville War Memorial High School, Woodbridge High School and South Brunswick High School. “This is kind of a rebuilding year, but our guys have competed against every team we’ve played against so far,” Bucior said. “We have a lot of younger bowlers, and I’m pretty happy with their performance. They’ve been a little inconsistent, which is to be expected, but they’re getting better and better. If we keep getting better, I think we can make our mark in the postseason.”

Sophomore Gerard Chidichimo is the team’s top scorer with a 190 average, including a team-high 648 series against Sayreville. Despite a slow start, junior Doug Titmas is right behind, having raised his average to 188 pins — five behind last year — with a high series of 577 against Sayreville. Bucior expects Titmas’s average to continue to rise and approach the 200-pin mark by the end of the season.

Phil Sanfilipo provides the Knights with senior leadership to go along with a 181-pin average. He rolled a 612 series in a loss to East Brunswick High School. Anthony Faria, another senior, averages about 145 pins.

Sophomore Peter Mattson is hovering around the 175-pin range following a strong freshman year. Mattson tossed a seasonhigh 230 game against North Brunswick. Bucior also calls upon another sophomore, Kevin Malone, who has averaged 143 pins over 15 games. Freshman Jason Young has impressed as well with a high series of 544 pins to his credit.

“Getting a little more consistency will be the key for us,” the coach said. “We have the talent to win more matches. It’s just a matter of consistency and when you have that, you get more confidence.”

Meanwhile, Old Bridge’s girls team has struggled this season. The Lady Knights are 1-7 with the lone win coming against J.P. Stevens. Bucior noted that both sophomore Steph Sanders and freshman Haven Traverzo have shown promise. Sanders is averaging 153 pins and has a high series of 502 pins. Traverzo averages about 130 pins. Seniors Gabby Navallo and Margaret Damico also average around the 130-pin mark.

“We have a lot of younger girls that I’m working in and out of the lineup,” Bucior said. “The goal right now is to keep getting better, hopefully win a few matches and be in a position to be more competitive next year.”

Ginsburg, Fusco win Freehold driver, trainer championships

It was all in the family when Vincent Ginsburg captured top driver honors and Vincent Fusco Jr. was the leading trainer when the 109-date Freehold Raceway meet concluded Dec. 12.

Ginsburg is Fusco’s nephew.

In the driver standings, Ginsburg posted 154 wins from 875 starters for earnings of $573,914. Finishing second was Eric Abbatiello with 148 wins and $586,070, while Stephen Smith topped the earnings list with $632,072 and his 133 wins placed third. Rounding out the top five were James Marshall III with 123 wins and Joseph Bongiorno with 78.

Fusco led the way in the trainer standings with 72 wins and $223,271 in earnings. The top five also included Nick Surick with 49 wins, John Urbanski with 40, Kelvin Harrison with 26 and Robert Bongiorno, 25.

The 2016 meet opens Jan. 1, with qualifiers in the morning at 9:30 and the first pari-mutuel race at 12:30 p.m.

Entries for the opening day card will close at 9 a.m. Dec. 29, while the box for qualifiers will close at 10 a.m. Dec. 31.

“I am looking forward to the 2016 racing season,” Freehold’s Director of Racing and Racing Secretary Karen Fagliarone said in a prepared statement. “We have the Standardbred Development Fund for 2-yearolds scheduled in the fall next year, and I am optimistic that we will offer fuller fields. “Our stakes schedule also includes the New Jersey Sire Stakes – Green Acres, the Dexter Cup, the Lady Suffolk, the Charles and Helen Smith Trots, the Lou Babic Paces, the Harold and Marion Dancer Trots and a late closer, which will be scheduled sometime in September.”

Live racing will take place on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays plus three Mondays: Jan. 18, Feb. 15 and Sept. 5.

“Our draw schedule will remain the same with the exception of Martin Luther King Day,” Fagliarone said. “We are hopeful that we can get together a race to honor Martin Luther King Day. I have reached out to Montrell and George Teague, and they have both expressed interest. The race will be held the prior week, though, to accommodate their schedule.”

Southwind Farms is top NJ breeder

Southwind Farms in Pennington has been selected as the New Jersey Breeder of the Year for 2015, the Breeders Committee of the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey (SBOANJ) announced.

Among the Southwind standouts of 2015 was Southwind Frank, the likely divisional champion among the 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings.

Southwind Farms will receive the presentation on Jan. 24 at the 59th Annual New Jersey Breeders Awards Luncheon at 1 p.m. at O’Connor’s Restaurant (formerly Charley’s Other Brother) in Eastampton.

Southwind Frank, a son of Muscle Hill – Flawless Lindy, won 11 of 12 starts in 2015, earning $786,419 for the partnership of Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Our Horse Cents Stables and J&T Silva Stables LLC. A $100,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase, he was trained by Ron Burke and driven in most of his starts by Yannick Gingras.

Beginning with the $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Final July 17 at the Meadowlands, he strung together 10 straight victories, including the $349,850 Peter Haughton Memorial at the Meadowlands, the $283,480 William Wellwood Final at Mohawk and the $600,000 Breeders Crown Final at Woodbine.

His record of 1:52.2 was taken Oct. 8, winning an International Stallion Stakes at Lexington’s Red Mile.

“Receiving this award is bittersweet,” said Laura Young, Southwind’s general manager, in a prepared statement. “It is wonderful we are being recognized as the top breeder in New Jersey, but on the other hand there are not many of us left. At Southwind Farms, we choose to fly under the radar. Sometimes being silent is louder than loud. We have always produced top quality racehorses from our facility. We average 75 percent 2-year-old starter and 85 percent 3- year-old starter stats, which is pretty impressive for any breeding farm. This does not go unrecognized by owners and trainers.

“There are many things that set Southwind Farms apart from other breeding facilities in New Jersey. Many of these things have assured our survival through tough times. We continue to keep everything we possibly can in-house. We make our own hay and straw, and we outsource very little on the facility. Southwind has also found many other ways to ensure revenue flow to keep us going, such as managing stallions [Muscle Hill, Sportswriter and El Titan] from afar.”

This is the second Breeders Award for Southwind Farms. Founded by Connie and Allen Skolnick in 1986, the farm features 235 acres near the Village of Pennington. Both Skolnicks passed away in 2013, and the farm is currently owned by their son, Barry.

Tickets for the luncheon cost $40 per person and may be purchased from the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Division of Markets & Development, Horse Industry, PO Box 330, Trenton, NJ 08625.

Paying steady with unsteady income

Lenders put increased scrutiny on borrowers with fluctuating incomes

Fifth-grade math skills come in handy when you’re home shopping. Lenders usually don’t want to see a monthly mortgage payment — plus all other regularly occurring debts — exceed more than about 36 to 43 percent of a borrower’s gross monthly income.

No matter how adept they are converting ratios into percentages, however, many mortgage seekers will find this equation difficult because they can’t pin down a monthly income number.

A recent study by J.P. Morgan Chase Institute, a nonprofit arm of the banking firm, found that 41 percent of individuals experience monthly income fluctuations of more than 30 percent.

Irregular work schedules and other changes in employment patterns cause pay variability, posing a budget problem.

Indeed, the JPMCI report reads: “Individuals need to appreciate the degree to which income and consumption are volatile, and to prepare for the possibility that they might — unexpectedly or outside of their control — experience a negative swing in income.”

Income swings concern mortgage lenders, who will apply added scrutiny to loan applicants with variable pay stubs.

But “fluctuating income is not usually a problem as long as we can document why it is fluctuating and establish a history that makes sense,” notes Neil Caron, vice president at Freedom Mortgage Corp. in South Windsor, Conn.

An income history helps put monthly fluctuations in context. For instance, a server at a high-end restaurant who’s been on the job five years but whose annual income dropped 10 percent last year may be required to submit a letter of explanation, says Caron. And, if income has declined for two years, the lender will use the lower figure.

A consistent annual pattern of monthly fluctuations gives lenders comfort.

Still, lenders are “looking for borrowers they can trust,” notes Grace Currid, senior vice president, HomeBridge Financial Services in New York. Trust is demonstrated with a good credit score, which comes from paying bills promptly.

— Marilyn Kennedy Melia
© CTW Features