Back To The Gridiron
The events of the last two weeks have had a huge impact on the local sports scene with the status of many NJSIAA Tournament and Championship events up in the air.
Last weekend’s High School Football schedule was postponed to this weekend with the start of the football playoffs delayed a week. The extra time was not a luxury as many teams had difficulty getting players together, some of whom were displaced by Hurricane Sandy and are still without power.
Practice facilities were often unavailable with schools closed and grass fields were under water and later snow. Throw in the fact that many teams were helping out with relief efforts in their communities and clearly this is not a typical final weekend before the highly-anticipated playoffs get underway.
Despite all that the whistle will blow around the shore beginning tonight with a host of teams trying to fight their way into the state playoffs or improve their position. The weekend schedule features the 41st matchup known as the “Civil War” as Toms River South hosts Toms River North tomorrow afternoon at Deitweiler Stadium. The Mariners have owned this rivalry of late with the Indians having last beaten their cross-town rivals in 2001.
However while both teams come in with 4-3 records South the team on a roll, having won 3 in-a-row while North has limped down the stretch and lost 2 straight.
Most of the Friday night games have been moved with the exception of Red Bank at Barnegat which is set for tonight. The Bengals are playoff-bound and a win tonight would pretty much assure them a first-round game at home and save a bus trip. The Toms River East at Southern game has been moved to Saturday at 1pm in Manahawkin and in a sign of unity and sportsmanship the Rams have agreed to split gate proceeds with the visitors from East with the money to be used to aid relief efforts for their respective programs.
Undefeated and Class A South champion Lacey is at Brick Memorial Saturday at 1pm and proceeds will go towards the American Red Cross. The Brick at Jackson Memorial game is now tentatively scheduled for Saturday night…also under the lights tomorrow will be Jackson Liberty at Monsignor Donovan. A victory by the Griffins and they clinch outright ownership of the Class B South title and our Shore Sports Network will broadcast the 6:30pm game on 1160 and 1310AM. Mon Don will also use the game as a fundraiser for hurricane relief. Point Boro is at Lakewood Saturday with both teams looking to secure playoff position and in a game moved to Sunday afternoon Central will host Manchester.
Undefeated Point Pleasant Beach has a bye this weekend…the Garnett Gulls have been heavily involved in helping their community following the hurricane.