Sport Shorts

The following are the results of the Nick "the Quick" Werkman All-American Basketball clinic’s July 3 shooting competition at the McAuliffe School in Jackson.

In the girls’ Hot Shot competition, Erin Brown came in first with 45 points, followed by Robin Czapkowski (25 points), Alexis Liquori (20 points), Emily Novak (18 points) and Jessica Kwiecinski (16 points).

In the girls’ foul-shooting competition, Kwiecinski took first, shooting 10-10, followed by Novak (9-10), Czapkowski (8-10), Liquori (7-10) and Brown (6-10).

The three-point shot winners were Czapkowski and Kwiecinski, who both shot three-for-three. Czapkowski was the clinic MVP.

At the Nick "the Quick" Werkman All-American Action Clinic held at the McAuliffe School, Jackson, C.J. Lopez was the boys’ Hot Shot winner, while Nick Gonzalez was tops in foul shooting.

Lopez scored 69 points in winning the Hot Shot competition. It was 12 more than runner-up Jon Luhrs (59) had. Erin Brown (45), Matt Ferro (40) and Gonzalez (26) rounded out the top five. Gonzalez was perfect from the free-throw stripe in wining that event. He went 10-10. Lopez was second, knocking down 9-10. Nike Burgay converted 8-10 to take third while Nick Kwiecinski (7-10) was fourth. Matt Ferns and Luhrs tied for fifth on 6-10 shooting. Ryan Moncrief captured the three-point shooting title (2-3). Ferro was named the camp’s Most Valuable Player.

Hearon stellar in net in All-Shore lacrosse game Jackson goalie makes her final high school lacrosse game count

Staff Writer

By mike white

Hearon stellar in net in All-Shore lacrosse game
Jackson goalie makes her final high school lacrosse game count

JACKSON — Jackson High School senior Rachel Hearon made her final appearance in a scholastic lacrosse game one to remember.

Hearon, who anchored the Jaguars’ defense from her goalie position this past season to lead Jackson to a 22-1 mark, which included a Shore Conference championship and a trip to the state finals, made 16 saves to lead Ocean County to a 15-9 victory over Monmouth County in the annual Shore Conference All-Star Lacrosse game Friday night at Jackson High School. It was a vintage performance from yet another Jackson player who made an impact on the Shore Conference lacrosse scene.

"It was nice for her to get a win in her final high school game," said Jackson coach Lori Johnson, who coached the Ocean County All Stars "She played very well in goal. She faced a lot of tough shots and made a number of good saves."

Hearon played the entire game in net. Johnson said the Jackson senior was quite relaxed.

"I think she was really enjoying herself out there," Johnson said. "There wasn’t any real pressure to win. She just wanted to put forth a solid effort in her final high school game."

Hearon wasn’t supposed to be the lone representative from Jackson High School playing in the event. Caitlyn Dragon, who led the Shore Conference in scoring the last two years, Ashley Schrauder, Allison Pingitore and Jacqui Iannone, were all on the roster.

Dragon, Schrauder and Iannone all were vacationing in Cancun, Mexico. Unfortunately, the trio tried unsuccessfully to change their returning flight in time to make the game. Pingitore had a previous commitment and could not attend.

"It’s too bad that I didn’t get one last chance to coach those players in a high school game," Johnson said. "But things come up in life. I understand, but I wish they could have been there. It was a lot of fun."

Ocean County darted out to a 11-4 halftime lead behind the scoring of Jody Homiek and Megan Sweeney.

"We scored a lot of goals early and gave ourselves a nice cushion," Johnson said.

Sweeney, of Monsignor Donovan High School, finished with a game-high five goals and one assist. Toms River South’s Homiek tallied four times and added two assists.

"They both played very well," Johnson said. "Right from the outset our offense seemed to click. We moved the ball around well. Our passing and shot selection was good."

Wall Stadium community mourning the loss of a legend Ray Gastelu suffers fatal heart attack prior to Saturday night’s races

Staff Writer

By tim morris

Wall Stadium community mourning the loss of a legend
Ray Gastelu suffers fatal heart attack prior to Saturday night’s races

Stock car racing took a backseat Saturday night as drivers and fans mourned the loss of Wall Stadium champion Ray Gastelu.

Gastelu, 43, of Jackson died of natural causes after suffering a heart attack while driving during a practice session for Saturday night’s main event. The popular driver had begun the evening driving his familiar No. 69 during Pro Stock qualifying. He was forced to park his car due to mechanical trouble. He borrowed a fellow competitor’s car for the main event and was practicing in that car when he suffered the heart attack.

Rescue workers said that, in their opinion, Gastelu probably realized there was something wrong because he left the practice session early and drove off the track. He stopped the race car on a ramp leading to the pit area. Witnesses reported that rescue workers were on the scene almost instantly and Gastelu was removed to a waiting ambulance within minutes. He was transported to Jersey Shore Medical Center, Neptune, where he was pronounced dead.

The popular Gastelu, who worked in the satellite communications field, won the first of his 49 career wins at Wall Stadium in November 1988. His final win came earlier in the 2001 season.

He has both the most winning seasons and the most consecutive winning seasons in the Pro Stock record books at 14. He was a six-time Pro Stock champion at the shore speedway.

Always the first to volunteer for charity car shows promoted by the speedway, Gastelu was popular within the racing community — among fellow drivers and fans to whom he was accessible. He was the first to the track for a Saturday night race and the last to leave.

Gastelu is survived by his wife, Debbie, and brother, Greg.

Greg Gastelu tried to win one for his brother Saturday night after returning from the hospital.

Freehold’s Harry Reed won the 30-lap Modified feature with Tim Arre of Toms River grabbing the runner-up position in a photo from Manahawkin’s Dave Michel. Points leader Jimmy Blewett finished fourth to maintain his lead. Jamie Tomaino Jr., also of Howell, was fifth.

Farmingdale’s Jim Vogt won the Pro Stock 25-lap main event as all the drivers took part with a heavy heart. Current points leader Rob Williams, also from Farmingdale, was second. Freehold’s Chaz Okerson was third, followed in fourth and fifth place by Toms River’s Charlie Kremmer III and George Andretta of Neptune.

Defending Street Stock champion Larry Thompson of Parlin picked up his first checkered flag of the year, capturing the 20-lap main event in his division. Ron Frees of Brick and Farmingdale’s John McCormack were second and third at the line.

Freehold’s Brian Worth collected his second career win, the Truck Series, beating Marlboro’s Tim Buckley to the line in the 20-lap feature.

Glenn Logan Jr. won the 20-lap Legend Cars feature, and Mike Tidaback, the 25-lap Three-Quarter Midgets main event.

This Saturday night the focus will be on the Modifieds and the Independence 76-lap feature.

The Pro Stocks, Street Stocks, Truck Series and Legend Cars will all race over their regular distances as the track celebrates Independence Day. Racing will begin with the first qualifying session at 5 p.m.

At East Windsor Speedway Saturday night, Kenny Brightbill of Sinking Spring, Pa., won the 25-lap Modified feature with veteran Doug Hoffman coming in second, and Allentown’s Mark Bitner, third. It was Brightbill’s second win of the season.

John Dixon (Sportsman) and Rob Ormsbree (Street Stock) were the other feature winners at the half-mile dirt oval.

Brightbill’s bid for back-to-back wins last weekend was stopped on Saturday night at New Egypt Speedway when Frenchtown’s Billy Pauch nipped Brightbill, who was closing fast, in the 40-lap Modified headliner.

Rocco Infante of Cream Ridge was third.

Pauch picked up his fifth win of the NES campaign.


JERRY WOLKOWITZ Jackson’s Daria Ferro keeps control of the ball during the Sixth Annual Peter Burroughs All-Star Games in Neptune last week. Ferro’s Ocean squad fell to their counterparts from Monmouth County, 4-0, while the Ocean County boys team upended Monmouth 5-3.JERRY WOLKOWITZ Jackson’s Daria Ferro keeps control of the ball during the Sixth Annual Peter Burroughs All-Star Games in Neptune last week. Ferro’s Ocean squad fell to their counterparts from Monmouth County, 4-0, while the Ocean County boys team upended Monmouth 5-3.

Lakewood’s Carroll getting ready for Division I football All-State defensive lineman to play in Governors Bowl tonight

Staff Writer

By mike white

Lakewood’s Carroll getting ready for Division I football
All-State defensive
lineman to play in Governors Bowl tonight

Thomas Carroll had a big year playing for the Lakewood High School football team. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound defensive lineman/tight-end led the Piners to an overall record of 8-2, including an appearance in the state playoffs. Unfortunately, Lakewood’s season ended with a loss to Egg Harbor Township High School in the first round.

While the rest of Thomas’ teammates hung up their spikes, the work had just begun for one of the best defensive players in the state. Thomas has been working on an intense weight-lifting and running program since the end of the high school season. He is preparing himself for the rigors of college football. Thomas is scheduled to attend the University of Miami in the fall on scholarship.

But before he leaves for South Florida in August for preseason practice, Thomas still has a couple of performances left in New Jersey. Thomas will take part in the annual New York-New Jersey Governors Bowl football game July 5 at Rutgers.

The game pits the top 50 senior players from New York against the top 50 senior players from New Jersey. Thomas will also play in the annual All Shore game, which pits the top players from Monmouth County against the top players from Ocean County. That contest is slated for July 20.

Nick Eremita, who coached Thomas at Lakewood High School the past couple of years, says the Piners’ defensive standout was one of the best players in the state this past season.

"This is really an honor for him to be picked to play in this game," Eremita said. "Only the top players from both states get selected. It says a lot about what he has accomplished while playing at Lakewood High School. It’s not too often that a school gets to send a player to a game of this caliber."

Players reported for practice last Sunday. Coaches had just five days to bring both teams together.

"The funny thing is, a lot of these kids playing in this game were rivals during the regular high school season," Eremita said. "There was a meeting about a month ago where all the players got a chance to meet each other. Now they will all come together as a team for the same cause."

Eremita thinks Thomas’ decision to attend Miami is a good one. It is one of the top football programs in the country. Whether or not Thomas fits into the Hurricanes’ plans right away depends on how well Thomas plays when he gets there.

"There is no doubt he is an outstanding player," Eremita said. "But playing at the college level is a different ball game. He knows that. He’s got to get there and work hard. If it is not in Miami’s plan to start him right away, they can always red shirt him as a freshman and he can come back to play the following season. Again, that all depends on who they have in his position and on how well he plays and develops."

Thomas ended his final season of high school football with 18 sacks. Miami is hoping he brings that same knack for tackling the quarterback to their team.

"He had a tremendous year for us," Eremita said. "And most of the time he was being double- and triple-teamed. Opposing offenses had a tendency to run plays to the opposite side of where he was playing. And he still was able to put up great numbers."

Eremita said Thomas is diligent in maintaining the workout schedule the Miami coaching staff created for him. Thomas alternates between resistance training and cardiovascular workouts at least five days a week.

"He knows that he needs to show up down there in tremendous shape," Eremita said. "He’s been working really hard on the program. He needs to send them updates on the progress he’s been making."

Eremita said he notices a change since Thomas began the strict regimen. And he believes there is a bunch of potential that has yet to be tapped.

"He’s definitely bulked up a bit since he’s been working the program," Eremita said. "He’s put some muscle on — there is no question about that. He’s got a big frame. He can get much stronger than he already is. He has tremendous growth potential, both physically and as a football player. The coaches down at Miami recognize that."

Sport Shorts

The N.J. Chapter of Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) will hold its fifth annual run on July 21 in South Belmar. The race starts at Bar Anticipation, 703 16th Ave., at 10 a.m. Preregistration will take place at Bar Anticipation on July 20 from 7-9 p.m. Registration/T-shirt pickup at Bar Anticipation the day of the race begins at 8:30 a.m. Preregistration fee is $17, day-of-the-race fee is $20. Race fee includes a T-shirt and free post-race barbecue. Non-runners can attend the barbecue for $10. For more information, call CCFA-NJ at (732) 786-9960, or e-mail

The Jackson Thunder boys U14 MOSA travel soccer team is seeking dedicated players. Tryouts will be held on July 14 from 10 a.m. to noon at the justice complex. Open to boys born after Aug. 1, 1987. Residency isn’t required. Call (732) 367-3689 or (732) 928-4745 for more information.

The Oceanport Pirates defeated the West Long Branch Mud Dogs 9-0 last week to win the EMSA Junior League Baseball Championship. The Pirates, who completed their season with an 11-1 record, relied on strong pitching and timely hitting in the championship game. They are coached by Gordan Elam.

Georgian Court College, Lakewood, will be conducting two weeks of girls basketball camp this summer. Camps held July 16-20 will be for girls entering grades 4-8, and July 23-27 will be for girls entering grades 8-11. The camps will run from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. and cost $175 per camper. Contact the Georgian Court College athletic department for a camp brochure at (732) 364-2200, ext. 683.

The Jackson Summer Classic will be held the week of July 21-29, and will feature between 60-75 basketball teams from throughout the area. For more information, cal John Panella at (732) 928-0398.

Moving group championships should be good for the fans

Staff Writer

By tim morris

Both Scott Goodale and Mads Madsen agree that moving the state group wrestling championships to a main location next February is a good idea.

Goodale, who coaches Jackson High School, and Madsen, the head coach over at Lakewood High School, like the new agreement the NJSIAA has inked with the Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton recently to act as host site for next year’s group wrestling championships.

"I know that the state has been trying to move the group championships to a host site for a while," Goodale said. "I think moving it out to Trenton is a good change. It’s centrally located, and the seating capacity is good. Now you will have the best teams in the state of New Jersey in one arena wrestling at the same time.

"It’s really a great thing for wrestling fans. Now, people will get a chance to see a certain wrestler or team compete that they may not otherwise have seen."

Sectional championships are scheduled for Feb. 12 and 14. State championships are slated for Feb. 16

Under the old system, each group championship was held at pre-determined host sites around the state. Now all six group championships (four public school and two parochial) will be held at the same site — the Sovereign Bank Arena.

Having one site host all the group championships is a breath of fresh air, many Shore Conference coaches say. It eliminates one school having an advantage over another by competing and hosting the event.

"It certainly will take away the home gym advantage," Madsen said. "I think it promotes fairness to the group championships. Now teams won’t be wrestling in their own gym."

Madsen agreed that students, parents and hard-core wrestling fans benefit most from the change.

"The fact that fans will get to see all the schools at the same time is the biggest plus," Madsen said.

Another change being introduced is wiping out consolation matches. By eliminating matches between the third and fourth places, wrestlers won’t be putting any extra wear and tear on their bodies.

"I think doing away with consolation matches is a good idea," Goodale said. "There’s no need for extra matches at that time of the year. If the match doesn’t mean anything, why have them wrestle? A wrestler can save that energy for matches he may have to compete in later on in the season."

A tentative schedule has been put in place. The format is for two public schools to have their semifinal matches at the same time on four mats early in the day. The other two public schools would follow with their semifinal matches.

Later that afternoon, the finals of the public and parochial schools would be held. It would be a long day of wrestling, but one that would allow fans the opportunity to see the top athletes and teams in the state.

"This is just great for the real wrestling fans," Goodale said. "That’s who is coming out to see the group championships. It is good for the sport to have it at a single site."

Individual state championships will be held in Atlantic City in March 2002. For the last two years, the Meadowlands hosted the event. Plans are to host the championships at the newly refurbished Atlantic City Convention Center.

"The Meadowlands was a top-notch site to host the individual state championships," Madsen said. "I haven’t seen the new site in Atlantic City, but I guess it must be pretty nice if they are switching the event down there."

Touati, Gallo beat the heat and field to win FARC 5Ks

Fred Touati and Lindsey Gallo beat the searing heat and their fellow runners in Week Two of the Freehold Area Running Club’s Summer Race Series at Battlefield State Park, Manalapan.

The 43-year-old Touati, who lives in Manalapan, was the overall winner, stepping off an 18:20 on the 3.1-mile course that is run within the confines of the park. He beat Bill Hageman, the 50-59 age group winner, who clocked 18:49.

Gallo, the former Howell High School state champion who is just off her freshman year at the University of Michigan, was in a very familiar position, first place, posting a 20:16 as the overall winner of the women’s division.

Howell’s Ben Ottmer finished first in the racewalking competition for the second straight week with a 32:58.

The men’s age group winners were: Under 15, 1. Tom Riley, North Brunswick (19:00), 2. Eric Johnson, Freehold (20:46), 3. Richard Roman, Morganville (23:22); 15-19, 1. Chris Reed, Freehold (20:02), John Sladewski, Marlboro (20:31), 3. Brett Brothwell, Middletown (20:53); 20-29, 1. Eric Fernstrom, Monmouth Junction (18:52), 2. Tom Brieva, Manalapan (20:20), 3. Mike Anthony (21:543), 30-39, Jeff Meltzer, Freehold (20:56), 2. Mark Moore, East Windsor (21:41), 3. Richard Bloom, Manalapan (21:49); 40-44, 1. Bill Winterbottom, Jackson (19:18), 2. Kerwin Lanz, Farmingdale (20:02), 3. Joe Sladewski, Marlboro (21:04); 45-49, 1. Robert Schwartz, Manalapan (20:26), 2. Fran Bell, Jobstown (23:16), 3. Jim Jensen (24:57); 50-59, 1. Hageman; 2. Marty Slutzky, Edison (23:00), 3. Tony Beach, Cranbury (23:11); 60-69, 1. Ralph Garfield, Manalapan (22:28), 2. Gordie Knocsol, Woodbridge (24:26); and 70+, 1. Jim Robbins, Eatontown (31:35).

The women’s age group winners were Under 15, 1. Elizabeth Buchalski, Freehold (22:18), 2. Laura Saffer, Manalapan (24:01), 3. Kelly Knox, Freehold (25:02); 15-19, 1. Nicole McDonald, Marlboro (25:35), 2. Melissa Polakos, Marlboro (26:23), 3. Danielle McDonald, Marlboro (35:17); 20-29, 1. Tina Strauss, Toms River (21:30), 2. Kristen Riviere, Millstone (22:20), 3. Kelly Korz, Freehold (22:25); 30-39, 1. Deb Lurie, Morganville (22:59), 2. Larissa Chomyts, Tinton Falls (24:43), 3. Dorothy Peterson, Manalapan (25:12); 40-49, 1. Laurie Salberg, Manalapan (24:17), 2. Pat Coyne, Freehold (25:12), 3. Lynn Brennessel, Freehold (26:47); and 50+, 1. Shirley Sullivan, Jackson (27:19), 2. Kathy Kennedy, Freehold (28:27), 3. Rosalie Lidzbarski, Monroe (29:53).

The 5K Summer Race Series will take a one-week hiatus because of the July Fourth holiday and continue July 11 at the Battlefield State Park. The 5K goes off at 6:50 p.m. The series will continue Wednesday evenings through Aug. 8.

For more information on the Summer Series or other FARC events, call (732) 431-2627.

Young Tornadoes getting better with experience

Staff Writer

By mike white

Tom Kaps jokes that he inherited the job as coach of the Jackson Tornadoes, a girls under-16 travel soccer team. Two years ago, the Tornadoes coach needed to resign. Kaps was hand-picked to be the new leader of the Tornadoes.

"He sort of volunteered me for the position when he left," Kaps said with a smile. "We have a great bunch of girls to work with. I’ve been having a very good time with it. We try to teach the girls the fundamentals of the sport and to get them ready for high school level play. But if they’re not having fun, there’s no point. So we make sure the kids are having a good time."

The Tornadoes are currently competing in the Manasquan High School Monday Night Soccer League at the Sea Girt Armory. The Tornadoes played the St. Rose White team to a 1-1 tie this past Monday night. Considering St. Rose is in first place in the division, Kaps praised the effort of his team.

"They are the best team in the league, and we played them very tough," said Kaps, a Jackson resident for the last 11 years. "We went ahead early in the game, and then, our defense was able to limit them to just one goal. I was happy with the outcome."

Jackson took a 1-0 lead when Victoria Kaps, one of the coach’s four daughters, scored on a pass from teammate Erin Coffey in the opening minute of the contest. Victoria Kaps booted a left-footed shot past the St. Rose goalkeeper after taking a cross from Coffey.

The Tornadoes made the 1-0 lead stand up for the rest of the first half. St. Rose evened the score at 1-all midway through the second half. Jackson owns a record of 0-2-3 so far in the summer league.

"We’ve been having a little bit of a problem scoring goals," Kaps admitted. "But as the girls continue to play together, they will get better."

Goalie Kelly Accasano made 12 saves.

The summer league is for high school players. Jackson is loaded with a lot of younger girls who are playing against opponents two to three years older. Facing older, more experienced players will only make the girls better, Kaps said.

"We think this is a good experience for them," he said. "They are playing against girls who are bigger, stronger and have excellent skills. We can only get better from playing up."

Coffey, a forward, is the team’s leading scorer in the summer league with six goals. Coffey gets offensive support from Victoria Kaps, Leyna Rasmussen and Jen O’Connor.

Defensively, the Tornadoes have a number of talented players. Goalie Jacqui Town anchors a defense that includes Laura Farrell, Bryanna Johnson, Kristy Lyn Karis, Lori Lutz, and Erica Kaps, the coach’s other daughter on the team.

Other team members who have made key contributions so far this season include Kelly Hopkins, Ronnie Pepe, Marissa Pingitore, Christina Wessels, Corrine Pingitore and Chelsa Michaels.

Tom Kaps cited the help of assistant coaches Kevin Coffey and Joe Pingitore as crucial to the success of the team.

Jackson recently competed in a couple of local tournaments. Three weeks ago, the Tornadoes finished with a pair of ties and a loss in the Fort Dix Tournament. In the Ocean County Township Tournament, Jackson recorded one tie and two losses.

"The kids are getting good experience that will prepare them for the high school season," Tom Kaps said. "This team is going to get better and better as the season progresses."

Sport Shorts

The Ocean County Parks and Recreation Department will be conducting golf lessons for children at Ocean County Park, Route 88, Lakewood. The lessons are for children ages 10-15. The fee is $20 for four lessons. All small children must have junior clubs; the park will not provide them. The first session will be on Fridays, July 6 through 27 from 9-10:30 a.m., program No. 213192-1A; or 10:30-11:30 a.m., program No. 21392. The second session will be Fridays, Aug. 3 through 24 from 9:30-10:30 a.m., program No. 213192-2A; or 10:30-11:30 a.m., program No. 21392-2B. Advanced paid registration is required. For application and registration information call 1-877-OC-PARKS (1-877-627-2757).

The Ocean County Parks and Recreation Department is conducting a tennis clinic for adults at the Ocean County Park, Route 88, Lakewood. The clinic will be held July 9, 10, and 11 (rain date July 12) from 6-8 p.m. The course will serve as an introduction to the sport, teaching fundamentals. The fee is $20 per person. Advanced paid registration is required for this program. The program is No. 213494-1A. For application and registration information call 1-877-OC-PARKS (1-877-627-2757).

The Ocean County Department of Parks and Recreation will be conducting a future track Olympians program for children ages 5 through 9. The program will be held on Wednesdays, July 11-Aug. 1. The class will be held at the Ocean County Park Tennis Complex, Lakewood, and will run from 9:30-10:30 a.m. This program is designed to teach children various track and field events, including sprints, hurdles, dashes, a softball throw and a standing long jump. The fee is $12 per child. Advanced paid registration is required for this program. For application and registration information call 1-877-OC-PARKS (1-877-627-2757).

The Ocean County Department of Parks and Recreation is conducting an advanced hoops clinic for children ages 8-12. Supervised play will allow children to enjoy basketball while learning the proper techniques and strategies. Children will be divided into age groups and are required to bring their own basketball. This program will be held at Patriots County Park, Jackson, on Mondays, July 23-Aug. 13, the program is No. 213032-3C. The clinic will be 2:30-3:30 p.m. The fee is $12 per child. Advanced paid registration is required for this program. For application and registration information call 1-877-OC-PARKS (1-877-627-2757).

Georgian Court College, Lakewood, will be conducting two weeks of girls basketball camp this summer. July 16-20 will be for girls entering grades 4-8 and July 23-27 will be for girls entering grades 8-11. The camp will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and costs $175 per camper. Contact Georgian Court College athletic department for a camp brochure at (732) 364-2200, ext. 683.