Random thoughts and notes on a Monday morning:

It was quite a weekend for the members of Toms River PBA 137 at Harrah’s in Atlantic City.  At the annual New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association Valor Awards they were honored as the local PBA of the year.

In addition Toms River PBA members Frank Bopp and Mark DeGrandis received Gold Medal of Valor Awards, the highest honor given by the state association.

The two now retired officers were previously honored by the Toms River Police Department and awarded the Medal of Valor for their handling of a dangerous incident.

Officer Frank Bopp and Mark DeGrandis receiving the Gold Medal of Valor Award (Photo provided)

Rumson-Fair Haven and Long Branch won state sectional football championships over the weekend which is certainly nothing new, especially for Rumson.  The Bulldogs beat previously undefeated Somerville 42-35 Sunday to claim the Central Jersey Group 3 title, their fifth sectional crown in the last six years.

On Friday night Long Branch edged Brick 21-14 to make it back-to-back Central Jersey Group 4 championships.  Both Shore Conference schools will now play “bowl games” against South Jersey opponents on Saturday, December 1st at MetLife Stadium.  Rumson plays Woodrow Wilson at 1pm while Long Branch faces Shawnee at 7pm.

It was almost back-to-back NASCAR driving championships for Southern Regional High School Hall of Famer Martin Truex Jr.  However he was passed with 12 laps remaining by Joey Logano who went on to win the title in the season-ending race in Homestead, Florida and Truex had to settle for second place after winning it all a year ago.

When Penn State first played at Rutgers as members of the Big Ten in 2014 it was an awful experience for those of us who are Nittany Lions football fans.  We were treated poorly before, during and after the game. It was ugly.

It was much better in 2016 and this past Saturday it was like a love-fest with Rutgers and Penn State fans tailgating together.  I guess that’s what happens when you play at noon and the home team has only won one game but it made for an enjoyable experience.  Well done Scarlet Knights fans.