There is no doubt that for a high school football player earning a spot on an All-State, All-Shore of All-Division team is both a goal and honor.

It means they stood out among others and not only their coaches but opposing ones and others recognized they are among the very best.

More than four months after the most recent high school football season ended the Shore Football Coaches Foundation honored a group of 80 seniors, many of whom were selected for one or more of the all-star teams I just mentioned.  However these 80 not only contributed to their team on the field but just as importantly shined as individuals in the classroom.

I had the pleasure to once again serve as Master of Ceremonies for the Academic All Shore breakfast held yesterday morning at the Ramada Inn of Toms River.

The honored group of soon-to-be graduates along with many parents and other family members heard from Monmouth University head coach Kevin Callahan along with Rutgers assistant coach Toby Neinas and Temple assistant Ed Foley who saluted them for their success on and off the field.

Callahan spoke about how many of his top players at Monmouth this past season were past recipients of Academic All Shore awards, including Brick Memorial’s Mike Basile who concluded one of the greatest careers in Hawks history and will either be drafted or signed as a free agent by an NFL team within the next week.

All of the honored student-athletes received plaques for their efforts and also saluted were the Shore Football Coaches Association Coaches of the Year.  On hand to accept their awards were Luke Sinkhorn (Howell), Justin Fumando (Central Regional), Dan George (Long Branch), John Wagner (Point Beach) and Matt Cilento (Point Boro).   Larry Nikola (Monmouth Regional), Jeff Rainess (Holmdel) and Walt Currie (Brick Memorial) were other winners of the award from their coaching peers.

The Shore Football Coaches Foundation should be praised for emphasizing the student part of student-athlete because that will likely determine the future success of the 80 young men honored Sunday.



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