It will be the Patriots and Falcons meeting in Super Bowl 51 on February 5th in Houston after both teams cruised to victory in conference championship games on Sunday.

New England will be making a record 9th appearance in the Super Bowl and looking for their fifth championship against an Atlanta team that lost its only Super Bowl trip in 1999.  The Patriots open as 3 point favorites in a game that features quarterbacks Tom Brady and Matt Ryan coming off huge performances yesterday.

Chris Hogan picked the right time to turn in the best performance of his NFL career as the former Ramapo High School player caught 9 passes for 180 yards and 2 touchdowns in New England’s AFC title game victory. The 180 yards was more than he had in his one and only season of playing college football which he did for Monmouth University in the fall of 2010.

Hogan went to Penn State on a lacrosse scholarship and played that sport for three years before using his final year of eligibility to switch sports and play for Kevin Callahan and the Hawks.

Congratulations to Point Pleasant Borough basketball coach Kevin Hynes on collecting his 300th victory with the Panthers which came Friday against longtime rival Lakewood.  The milestone victory in Hynes’ 21st season at Point Boro also keeps them within a game of Class B South-leading Donovan Catholic.

Another milestone worth saluting came Sunday when Rutgers wrestling Coach Scott Goodale collected his 150th duel match victory as the Scarlet Knights pinned Purdue.  The former Jackson Memorial coach and current Toms River resident is 150-52-1 in his ten years at Rutgers.

Happy retirement wishes to Ed Graichen who on Friday ended a long career in education when he spent his last day as a guidance counselor at Donovan Catholic High School.  It was his second retirement as Graichen previously had retired as the Guidance Director at Toms River High School South only to jump back in working with students when an opportunity came at Donovan where he spent his final years.

Immediate plans for the “Gator” include some traveling and following his beloved Seton Hall Pirates basketball team.


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