In the 2019 Calendar Year

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As provided by Chuck Langerman, noted South Jersey sports historian
and a graduate of Cheltenham High (Montgomery County, Pa.)

Chuck's email . . .

2018 Calendar Year

SEPT. 19
  Pictured here is Cory Booker, a 1987 graduate of Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan in Bergen County, New Jersey. Cory, currently the junior Democratic United States Senator from New Jersey, is not your typical candidate for President of the United States. Cory, a tight end/defensive back was not just an All-League, All-Northern Jersey, and All-State football player. In fact, he was a member of the first-team "USA Today" All-USA 1986 high school football team. Joining him in the defensive secondary on the All-USA team was Louis Riddick from Pennridge High School in Bucks County. Riddick is now an on-air talent for ESPN after a seven-year career in the NFL. On the offense, the 1986 "USA Today" first-team featured running backs Emmitt Smith from Escambia High in Pensacola, Florida and Ricky Watters from Bishop McDevitt High in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Cory matriculated at Stanford University where he played tight end, made the All-Pacific-10 Academic team, and was elected senior class president. Cory won a Rhodes Scholarship and studied abroad at the University of Oxford before attending Yale Law School.

SEPT. 16
  On Saturday in the fourth quarter of Camden High's 42-41 wild victory over Cedar Creek, Malachi Melton (pictured here) of Cedar Creek, a University of Purdue commit, caught four touchdown receptions in the fourth quarter of the game to tie the state record for TD  receiving receptions in a quarter. He equaled the mark of Pemberton High's Corey Reeder who caught four touchdown receptions in the second quarter of a 40-0 win over Burlington Township in 2009. Reeder went on to Villanova University where he played defensive back. At the time, Reeder's performance was tied with the national record for TD receptions in a quarter before Daijuan Stewart of West St. Mary High in California caught five touchdown passes in the first quarter of a game in 2011 to establish a new national standard.

SEPT. 11

  Eighteen years ago on September 11, 2001, former West Deptford High School and Fordham University fullback Nick Brandemarti (pictured here) went to work just like any other day on the 89th floor of 2 World Trade Center, but he never returned home, losing his life in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. In 1996, Nick set the individual game school rushing record at West Deptford with 340 yards against Gateway High. That record still stands today.  On the 18th anniversary of the terrorist attacks, please take a moment to pause and remember Nick and the other men, women, and children who lost their lives in the September 11 attacks.  "MAY THEY ALL REST IN PEACE!"

  Former Cheltenham High School and University of Maryland basketball star Laura Harper (pictured here) has been appointed  the next Head Coach of the Monteverde Academy women's basketball program in Monteverde, Florida. Laura is the daughter of Haviland "Biff" Harper, the former Central High boys' basketball coach and chairman of the school's math department. Haviland, a 6-7 forward at both Central High and George Washington University racked up 17 double-doubles in his career at GW from 1972 to 1976, scoring 1,050 points and grabbing 547 rebounds. His daughter Laura is the all-time leading scorer, boys or girls in Cheltenham High history with 2,009 career points. At Cheltenham, Laura was All-Area, All-State, and an All-American selection. She matriculated at the University of Maryland where she led the Terrapins to the 2006 NCAA Women's Division I Basketball championship with a 78-75 victory over Duke. She was named MVP of the Final Four. After graduating Maryland, Laura went on to play professionally in the WNBA and overseas. Following her pro career, Coach Harper embarked on a successful coaching career where she served as an assistant coach at Loyola University of Maryland, High Point University, George Washington University, and most recently the University of Florida. Monteverde Academy is an international independent college prep school for grades Pre-K3 through post-graduate studies. Their high school boys' basketball program is always among the best in the USA. In fact, their two most famous basketball alumni are current Philadelphia 76ers Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.

AUG. 25
  Miller Bugliari 
(pictured here), the 84-year old boys' soccer coach at the Pingry School in Martinsville, New Jersey, has just started his 60th season at the helm. Miller, a 1952 graduate of Pingry, took over the program in 1960. In that time, he has won five state titles, 25 Somerset County Tournament championships, and is a seven-time winner of New Jersey Coach of the Year. His career record entering season No. 60 is 860-12-75. He's the all-time winningest boys' soccer coach in state history. Thousands of players---including high school All-Americans, Division I stars and future professionals---have come through Miller Bugliari's program over the last six decades. In fact, his grandson, Will Bugliari, who committed to Colgate over the summer, is playing for his grandfather one last time this fall.

AUG. 23
Forty-seven years ago on Friday, February 18,1972, Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School edged Springfield (Montco), 65-63, in "eight overtimes" (boxscore here) to win the Suburban One boys' basketball championship in a game played at Abington High School. The eight overtimes is still a Pennsylvania schoolboy record. The national record is "13 overtimes" in a 1964 game played between North Carolina high schools, Angier and Marner's Boone.

AUG. 14

  Below is the write-up on Eastern Regional that will appear in the 28th annual issue of the "South Jersey High School Football Preview Magazine" when it hits the newsstands. . . .

  EASTERN: The Vikings went from 5-5 to 6-3 and again made the playoffs, but now the challenge is to take the next step. And it won’t be easy since the Vikings graduated seven first-team all-Royal players. Still, Eastern should be competitive and can’t be discounted as division contender. Sr. TE-LB Mike Wall (6-3, 190) contributed 15 tackles and 2 TFL and saw action on both sides of the ball. Sr. RB-DB Mike Suarez (5-11, 190) rushed for 762 yards (6.3 avg.) and 8 TDs. He was a second-team all-Royal choice on offense. Sr. LB Mo Howard(5-11, 190) is a third-year starter. He had 21 tackles. Jr. WR Jordan Diaz (5-8, 160) had 32 receptions for 275 yards and 2 TDs. He was a second-team all-Royal choice. Jr. WR Justin Moore (5-9, 160) had 7 receptions for 51 yards. Other veterans include Sr. OG-DE Teddy Oseio (6-3, 230) and Jr. RB-LB Amiel Davis (6-0, 195). Returning letter winners include Sr. OL Brendan Veit (5-11, 220), Jr. DB Tavion Corbett Collier (5-11, 180) and Sr. DB Kouve Kerrin (5-11, 185). Among newcomers are TE-LB Kamari Weaver (6-2, 190), LB Vernon Boyd (5-10, 190), Sr. DB Ethan Trauger (6-0, 165), Fr. ATH. Solomon Cummings (5-7, 150), Fr. OL-DL Josh Hayes (6-2, 220), Jr. OL-DL Ronald White (6-2, 230) and Sr. OL-DL Rob Meekus (6-2, 260). Replacing all-conference QB Andrew Heck, will be the main challenge. QB candidates include Jr. Connor Stafford and So. Tru Styles. Despite all the losses to graduation, the history under coach John Doherty (pictured here) is to remain competitive so the Vikings will challenge for the division, but won’t be a favorite.

AUG. 13
  Eastern Regional football players Mike Suarez and Jordan Diaz (pictured here) have been selected to the West Jersey Football League Royal Division Preseason Golden 11 by the 2019 "South Jersey High School Football Preview Magazine." Suarez, a 5-11, 190-pound running back/defensive back, rushed for 762 yards and 8 TDs last season. He was a second-team all-Royal selection on offense. Diaz, a 5-8, 165-pound junior wide receiver, had 32 receptions for 275 yards. He was a second-team all-Royal choice. The 28th annual "South Jersey High School Football Preview Magazine" will be out on the Wawa newsstands shortly.

AUG. 3

  As a high school field hockey player, 2010 
Eastern Regional High School graduate Kelsey Mitchell (click here) was named the New Jersey Player of the Year in 2009by the "Newark Star-Ledger". A two-time first team all-state selection, Mitchell scored 69 times as a senior to tie the state record for goals in a season. She finished her career with 171 goals, a then state-record, and was part of four state Group IV championship teams. She played collegiately at the University of Iowa, and is now entering her third year as the head coach of the Ocean City High School field hockey team. Kelsey, a Business Teacher at Ocean City, has a two-year record of 33-12-1 with a 5-2 mark in NJSIAA tournament games.


  As an 
Eastern Regional sophomore kicker in 2013, Todd Spirt (click here) established school records with 52 PATs and 70 kicking points. After his junior season, Spirt's family moved to Dresher, Pennsylvania, and Todd enrolled at Upper Dublin High School in Fort Washington. At Upper Dublin, he helped the Cardinals win the PIAA District 1 4A title in 2015 with a 46-21 victory over perennial southeastern football power North Penn. Todd matriculated atMuhlenberg College in Allentown where he enters his senior season having already set school records for points by a freshman kicker in a season (77 points), points by a kicker in a game (18 points-tied), and PATs made in a season (53 points). For the 2019 season, with Todd Spirt handling the kicking chores, and former Penn Charter quarterback Michael Hnatkowsky running the offense, the Mules are ranked preseason No. 14 nationally in Division III  by "Street & Smith's" and 8th by "Lindy's."


  Pictured here is 1976 Marlboro High School (New Jersey) graduate and CBS broadcaster Jim Nantz. Nantz is one of the most recognizable voices in sports as CBS' top NFL play-by-play announcer who also calls the NCAA basketball tournament and the Masters Golf Tournament. Jim grew up in the Colts Neck section of Monmouth County, spending hours playing basketball and golf which were his two favorite sports. At Marlboro High School, he captained both the basketball and golf teams. Upon graduating Marlboro in 1976, Jim matriculated at the University of Houston where he made the golf team as a walk-on. His roommate  at the University of Houston was a golfer from Seattle, Washington named Fred Couples. Nantz, the aspiring broadcaster, and Couples, who dreamed of someday competing on the professional golf tour, used to practice in their dorm room the crowning of the Masters Golf Tournament champion which is known as the "green jacket presentation ceremony."  Fast forward 15 years.  On April 12, 1992, Fred Couples won the Masters at Augusta, Georgia, his first and only major golf championship title, shooting 13-under par, two strokes ahead of 1976 champion Raymond Floyd. A surreal scene made for Hollywood took place in the historical Butler Cabin after the completion of the Masters. Jim Nantz interviewed his good friend and former college roommate Fred Couples just the way they practiced and perfected it 15 years ago in the University of Houston dormitory. After Couples tried on the Masters green jacket, Nantz commented, "It's a perfect fit, Fred!"

Nine years ago in 2010, the Neumann-Goretti boys' basketball team edged Chartiers Valley High School, 65-63, in the 3A championship game held at the Bryce Jordan Center in State College. Carl Arrigale's Saints got double-doubles from Tony Chennault (18 points, 12 rebounds) and Danny Stewart (17 points, 12 rebounds). Guard T.J. McConnell had 32 points and 12 rebounds for Chartiers Valley High who was coached by his father, Tim McConnellFAST FORWARD NINE YEARS.  T.J. McConnell is now playing for the Philadelphia 76ers, and his father Tim has Chartiers Valley back in the title game, BUT this time around he is coaching the girls not the boys. After accumulating  552 victories (22 wins a year) as the boys' coach, Tim McConnell (pictured here) started coaching the girls this season, and they are undefeated at (29-0). On Saturday at Hershey, his Chartiers Valley girls will play Archbishop Carroll, at the Giant Center in Hershey for the girls' PIAA Class 5A title.

  Pictured here with his prize pupil Kyrie Irving is New Jersey high school basketball coaching legend Sandy Pyonin. Sandy is probably the most accomplished  basketball coach in New Jersey that you may never have heard of. If he looks familiar, you probably have seen him coaching his AAU team, The Roadrunners, at the Albert C. Donofrio Tournament in Conshohocken. A longtime teacher and coach, Sandy Pyonin is a renowned basketball guru who has touched the lives of countless New Jersey athletes over the course of his almost 50-year coaching career at Golda Academy, a private Jewish day high school in West Orange, New Jersey. At Golda Academy (formerly known as Solomon Schechter Day School), Sandy has won 837 games, making him  the fourth winningest coach in state high school history. His high school team Golda Academy does not receive much publicity, because they are not an NJSIAA school, but his AAU team, The Roadrunners, is known nationwide, especially to college coaches. Sandy has coached the New Jersey Roadrunners for over 40 years. They are a traveling squad made up of top high school players from around the Garden State. His AAU teams have won three national championships and 70 state titles, while sending more than 300 players to Division I college basketball programs. Sandy has personally trained more than 30 players who have gone on to professional careers in the NBA.  Some of his former students, who have reached the NBA, include: Kyrie Irving, Alaa Abdelnaby, Edgar Jones, Randy Foye, Al Harrington, Earl Clark, Alex Bradley, Mike Brown, Rafael Addison, Terry Dehere, Derrick Alston, Chris Gatling, Bobby Hurley, Jr., Tim Perry, David Rivers, Luther Wright, and Jay Williams just to name a few.

  Occasionally a high school player basketball player will commit  to a college after his freshman year, but it is very rare. Even rarer is a player who verbally commits to a college after his ninth-grade year when he didn't even play on his high school hoops team.  Such is the case with South Philadelphia playground legend  amd Miami Heat shooting guard Dion Waiters. As a freshman, Waiters attended Bartram High School and South Philadelphia High School, but did not play basketball at either school. Waiters committed to Syracuse University during the summer after his freshman year despite not having played a minute of high school ball. For his sophomore season, Waiters played at the South Kent School, a private boarding school for boys in Connecticut which lists Denver Nuggets guard Isaiah Thomas as one of its alumni. Dion then transferred to Life Center Academy in Burlington City, New Jersey where he played his junior and senior seasons. At Life Center, he played in 24 career games, averaging 20.2ppg. For those who didn't get to see Dion play in high school, here is a highlight video during his senior campaign at Life Center Academy.

  Pictured here is former Frankford High School and St. Joseph's University basketball star Carlin Warley. Carlin is the only known former City Leagues player to score over 1,000 points at two different  high schools. According to, Carlin scored 1,071 points at Frankford High School and 1,287 points at Phil-Mont Christian High School for a total of 2,358 points. Warley is in excellent company. Only one player in the rich history of New Jersey basketball has scored 1,000 points at two different schools. That would be former NBA Rookie of the Year and six-time NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving. Kyrie totaled 2,080 career points, scoring over 1,000 points at both Montclair Kimberley High and Elizabeth St. Patrick's.


Pictured here on the left is 1955 Cheltenham High School graduate Nate Dickerson after he became the first and only Cheltenham High baseball player to sign a contract with the hometown Philadelphia Phillies. On the right is Phillies ace scout John "Jocko" Collins who tracked down Dickerson and signed him at a Cheltenham High graduation party at 1 o'clock in the morning. Collins is known for finding and signing, among many others, pitcher Dallas Green, who managed the Phillies to the 1980 World Series championship. Believe it or not, Collins, who graduated from St. Joseph's Prep in 1927 where he captained the baseball and basketball teams, coached basketball at North Catholic, Salesianum, St. Thomas More, and the Prep. At Cheltenham, Dickerson was a four-star athlete, competing in football, basketball, baseball, and track and field. He played five years in the Philadelphia Phillies Minor League system from 1955-1959. Despite hitting 75 homers and batting .313, the 6-foot-3, 215-pound first baseman never made it up to the Major Leagues.
UPDATE from Ted Silary . . .
  It was long believed that Charles/Chuck/Charley Randall, a product of Glassboro High, in South Jersey, was the first black to play in the Phillies farm system. He made his debut on June 21, 1955, as Bradford (Pa.) beat Olean (N.Y.), 12-10, in the PONY League. He went 3-for-4 (all singles) with one RBI on a bases-loaded walk. He batted 7th and played LF. The story in the Elmira (N.Y.) Advertiser said Randall was the first Negro to play for Bradford, which had been part of the PONY league since 1939. . . . Now for Nate Dickerson. He made his debut one day earlier! On June 20, 1955, Pulaski (Va.) beat Bristol (Tenn.), 9-4, in the first game of an Appalachian League doubleheader. Nate went 1-for-2 with no RBI. he batted 6th and played 1B. A full boxscore was published for that first game in the Kingsport (Tenn.) Times, but for for the second game. There was no mention of Nate in the recap . . .
Ted Washington, a product of Camden (N.J.) High, had been the first black player to sign with the Phillies. That happened on Sept. 17, 1952, and the team's intention, according to stories, was to have him play in 1953 for the Phillies' farm team in Granby, Quebec, Canada, in the Provincial League. Also according to reports, he soon thereafter entered the Army. There is no evidence that Washington ever played in the minors. Before signing with the Phillies, he'd played with the Philadelphia Stars of the Negro League.


  Former Cheltenham High School and University of Pennsylvania basketball star Craig Littlepage (pictured here) has recently retired after serving 16 years as the University of Virginia's athletic director. Craig, the most accomplished boys' basketball player in Cheltenham High hoop history, stepped down as athletic director and transitioned into a role in the university president's office. His official title now is Special Adviser to the President of the University of Virginia and Director of Athletics Emeritus. Craig was the first African-American athletic director in Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) history, and under his tenure Virginia won 13 national championships and 76 ACC titles, the latter leading the conference. At Cheltenham, "Page" was the first boy or girl basketball player to score over 1,000 career points. During his junior year, he led the Panthers to a 26-0 record, before losing to Laurel Highlands, 63-56, in overtime in the Class 4A title game before 13,000 fans at the Pittsburgh Civic Center. Craig earned his bachelor of science degree in economics from the Wharton School of business and Finance at the University of Pennsylvania in 1973.

  Last night, Moorestown High School upended Wall Township High, 64-44, in a NJSIAA Group 3 state semifinal and advanced to Sunday's state championship game at Rutgers. The last time that Moorestown won a state semifinal and made it to the NJSIAA state final was 58 years ago in 1961. That season, Moorestown coached by the late, legendary Pete Monska (pictured here), defeated Lakewood, 68-55, in a NJSIAA Group II semifinal at the now defunct Camden Convention Hall before an estimated 3,000 fans. Ben Still led the Quakers with 27 points against Lakewood. In the state final in 1961, Moorestown lost to powerful Roselle High School, 86-64.  Moorestown head coach Pete Monska was a Philadelphia native and a 1944 graduate of Northeast High School, where he gained fame as the goalie of the first city high school soccer team to go undefeated. From 1958-1961, Monska was the one most responsible for making Moorestown the center of the south Jersey basketball universe during the glory days of hoops in South Jersey. From 1958 to 1961, he coached Moorestown to four straight state finals, winning state Group 3 titles in 1958 and 1959. From 1958 to 1960, the Quakers won 51 straight games under Monska. In those golden years of Moorestown hoops, the Quakers featured future NFL Hall of Famer Dave Robinson, Leroy Peacock, and high-scoring Ed Douglas who once scored a then state-record 84 points in a game against Hamilton High School.

  On Tuesday, Camden Catholic defeated Paul VI, 40-34, to win the South Jersey Non-Public A championship for the second year in a row. All told, the Crawfords -- Jim, Matt, and Kevin -- (pictured here) have now combined for 11 South Jersey sectional titles. Father Jim Crawford won seven at Camden Catholic, while Matt has two at Camden Catholic and current Eastern head coach Kevin Crawford won two while at Pitman High School. Jim's father, also Jim Crawford, was also a basketball coach, coaching for 40 years at Christ the King grammar school in Haddonfield. Jim played for him before matriculating at Bishop Eustace in 1965.


  Pictured here on the far right with Philadelphia Phillies team president Andy MacPhail and general manager Matt Klentak is 1973 Haverford School graduate John S. Middleton, the managing partner and principal owner of the Philadelphia Phillies. John Middleton is in the Haverford School Athletic Hall of Fame for good reason. He earned seven varsity letters at Haverford. Two were in football as an offensive lineman, for which he received All Inter-Ac Honorable Mention in 1972. Four of his varsity letters were in wrestling, in which he was team captain in 1973 of the National Prep School champions, posted an overall record of 89-9, was in the 200 Point Club (253 points), was Episcopal Invitational Wrestling Tournament champion in 1970, placed second at National Preps in 1971, 1972, and 1973 and was PAPSIT Most Valuable Wrestler in 1977. He also received a varsity letter in lacrosse at midfield. John matriculated at Amherst College where he received four varsity letters in wrestling. In 1977, he was team captain and was named the team's Most Valuable Wrestler. He graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College in 1977 with a bachelor's degree in economics and then attended Harvard Business School, graduating in 1979 with an MBA.


  Former Washington Township High School standout heavyweight wrestler Chris Pallies passed away on Monday at the age of 61. Chris, a 1974 graduate of Washington Township, was a NJSIAA regional wrestling champion in both 1973 and 1974 and finished third in the state in 1974. Chris was better known by his stage name of King Kong Bundy (pictured here) when he wrestled professionally in the WWE. His most memorable professional match was a steel cage match against Hulk Hogan for the WWE title in the main event of WrestleMania 2 in 1986. Bundy is also known for his acting roles, most notably playing the brother of Peggy Bundy on the television sitcom Married With Children. He also had a role in the the 1988 Richard Pryor film Moving as an ex-con.

  Pictured here is 1972 Overbrook High School (Philadelphia) graduate Darrell White, the head girls' coach at Westampton Tech in Burlington County. For the first time in school history, they will be playing in a basketball sectional final when they travel to play host Colts Neck High School in the Central Jersey Group 3 championship tonight at 5:30 PM.
**Colts Neck was the No. 1 seed. Westampton pulled off the upset, by 55-44.**

FEB. 14
  Pictured here with head coach Rob Sweeney is Camden Tech's Damon Jones who scored 60 points Tuesday night and reached the 1,000-point career plateau in Tech's 100-93 victory over Camden Academy Charter.  Damon netted 10 three-pointers and had 28 points in the first quarter. He was two shy of the school record of 62 set by Kenny Layne on January 30, 1992. That same night, Jay White of sister school Pennsauken Tech went for a school-record 53 points in a 106-75 triumph over Clayton High. Amazingly, two players from the same school district combined for 113 points on the same night.

FEB. 2
Several years ago, I was working the basketball clock for a girls' basketball game at the school where I taught math for 30 years. I started talking to one of the female referees. She told me she was originally from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Remembering that former University of Pennsylvania and Detroit Pistons Hall of Fame basketball coach Chuck Daly (pictured here) got his start coaching at Punxsutawney High School, I asked her if she knew coach Daly. The ref told me that Mr. Daly was her Civics teacher in high school, and she was in his classroom when the announcement of President John F.  Kennedy being assassinated came over the loudspeaker system. She related that Mr. Daly and several of the students in the room broke down crying when they heard the news. I also asked her if Groundhog Day (February 2) and "Punxsutawney Phil" the groundhog were really that big of a deal in her hometown? She looked at me square in the face and said, "My name is Phyllis. I was named after the groundhog."

JAN. 31
Right below is the bio of Barry Jackson, the current coach of  Eastern Regional's champion, record-breaking girls' shuttle hurdles relay team, when he was inducted into the South Jersey Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2005. Barry has been a very successful girls' and boys' track coach at several schools. He also played football at Franklin Township High School where he competed against future NFL stars Joe Theismann and Drew Pearson who both played at South River High School.

Barry W. Jackson (Class of 2005)
ew Jersey Wrestling Officials Association

A 1968 graduate of Franklin Township High School in Somerset County where he was a three-year participant in football, wrestling and track, Jackson was a district champion and regional place winner as a senior before going on to Montclair State University. While in college Jackson assisted a year at Barringer High School in Newark and then the 1973 Montclair State graduate was an assistant at Franklin from 1972-78.  Jackson was an assistant at Willingboro 1978-83, an assistant at Scotch Plains-Fanwood a year and then was head coach at Edgewood 1986-91 where he compiled a 62-38-1 record. Jackson had several district champions and regional place winners and coached Damien Baylock to fourth in the state at 189 pounds (a year later, as Damien Covington, he won the state title while competing for Overbrook). Jackson, a former Coach of the Year recipient, also officiated at the varsity level over 20 years at the district, regional and state level. He was a recipient of the SJWCOA Outstanding Official Award in 1992 and received a state officialís award for contributions to wrestling in 1996. He also has officiated on the international level (Freestyle and Greco-Roman) for 18 years and became a pro Freestyle wrestling official. At the time of his induction he was still teaching at Winslow Township High School in Camden County where he also was a very successful girlsí track coach.

JAN. 26
  Pictured here is Mainland Regional High School swimmer Destin Lasco.  Destin is one of the most accomplished high school athletes in New Jersey that you probably have never heard of unless you follow scholastic swimming. Lasco, only a junior, is a two-time "Newark Star-Ledger" Swimmer of the Year. Even though his high school career is only a little more than half over, Destin, in my opinion, is the greatest male high school swimmer in state history. Lasco is one of the top athletes in New Jersey history regardless of sport. He's now arguably  the top high school swimmer in the USA. Yes, a swimming phenom in cold, windy, and snowy New Jersey. He led Mainland High to state titles as a freshman and sophomore. Earlier this month, Lasco won the 100-meter backstroke at the Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Fiji. Lasco, 17, broke the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA) public school 200-meter freestyle record in 1 minute, 51.15 seconds. The resident of Linwood, New Jersey now owns five of the eight (NISCA) individual public-school meters records, plus all three relays. He's even shattered some of the youth age records of Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all-time. Destin committed last week to the University of California and plans to major in business or biology.

JAN. 22
Pictured here is 6-5, 321-pound Los Angeles Rams reserve offensive lineman Jamil Demby.  Jamil stands alone as the only Philadelphia area (southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey) product in this season's Super Bowl match-up of the Rams vs. the New England Patriots. Demby, a 2014 graduate of Vineland High School in Cumberland County, New Jersey, started playing football at the age of seven in the Vineland Midget football League. Jamil starred at the University of Maine and was selected in Round 6, Pick 18 (no. 192 overall) in the 2018 NFL Draft.

JAN. 21
  Today there are a lot of high school boys' basketball games scheduled in the Philadelphia area and on the cable channel ESPNU, but more importantly January 21, 2019 is the 33rd anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day which was observed for the first time on Monday, January 20, 1986. Fifty-five years ago on April 15, 1964, civil rights leader Dr. King (pictured here), who had just appeared that January on the cover of "Time" magazine visited Cheltenham High School. As part of the Cheltenham Township Adult School's "Five Star Forum," Dr. King spoke about race relations to a sold out standing-room-only crowd in the Cheltenham High auditorium. The speech was very moving, inspirational, and similar to his "I Have A Dream" epic speech. Dr. King was paid $1,000 plus transportation costs for the speech according to the contract (pictured here)  between him and the Cheltenham Township Adult School.

JAN. 17

  Pictured here is former Cheltenham High School teacher, United States Army World War II veteran, and Frankford High and Temple University football legend Mr. Joseph "Indian Joe" Nejman. Joe attended Frankford High School where he was a high school football star, leading Frankford to a 13-0 victory over West Catholic in the 1940 City football Championship before close to 40,000 fans at Franklin Field. Joe matriculated at Temple University, becoming the starting quarterback on the 1942 football team. After his sophomore year, he decided to take a break form school and football, enlisting in the US Army to serve his country during World War II. After serving honorably in Africa and Europe for close to three years, he returned to Temple to quarterback the 1946 and 1947 Temple football teams. "Indian Joe" was team captain, Most Valuable Player, and a College All-American. Mr. Nejman would go on to work in the Social Studies and Physical Education Departments at Cheltenham High School for 34 years as a teacher, coach, and mentor to many students before retiring in 1985. Joe coached football at Olney High School, Germantown Academy, Roxborough High School, Cheltenham High, and ultimately as the backfield coach at Temple University and scout for the San Francisco 49ers. He also coached Olney High School to their first baseball city championship in 1951. He  was the founder of Camp Anglewood, a day camp in Elkins Park which celebrated its 66th year this past summer. Mr. Nejman passed away on July 13, 2012 at the age of 91. Joe and his wife "Nicky" were married for 63 years.

JAN. 16

  Former Rancocas Valley football coach Bill Gordon started coaching at R.V. in Mount Holly in 1953 and became one of the most successful football coaches in South Jersey history, guiding the Red Devils to seven championships and two unbeaten seasons. Gordon compiled a 151-105-16 record over a 30-year career as coach of the Red Devils when he retired in 1982. Coach Gordon had many star players including Irving Fryar, Ron Gassert, Al Harris, and Franco Harris, all of whom played in the NFL. Franco Harris, in my opinion, is the most accomplished former New Jersey high school football player in state history with four Super Bowl rings.  Before coaching at Rancocas Valley, Bill Gordon was the head coach at Manasquan High School, located in Monmouth County at the Central Jersey shore. At Manasquan, Gordon recruited a former freshmen football player named Jack Nicholson (Manasquan High "Class of 1954") to be his student manager. Nicholson, a self-described "class clown," was also the student manager for the basketball team until he got himself in trouble.  Nicholson avenged the beating of a basketball teammate by sneaking into the opponent's locker room and attacking it with a Louisville slugger. He was banned from Manasquan sports after that incident, and began to get involved with the school's plays and musicals. Had Nicholson (pictured here at a Lakers' game) been less adroit at breaking and entering that day, we may never had known one of the most remarkable acting talents this country has ever produced.

JAN. 12

  Pictured here is former high school basketball star Keith Kirkwood, a 2013 graduate of Neptune High School in the central shore area of New Jersey. During his junior season, Kirkwood , a future nominee for the 2013 McDonald's All-America Boys High School Basketball Team, led Neptune's basketball team to the Group III state finals, averaging 17 points and 15 rebounds during the team's state title run. Keith Kirkwood dreamed of being the next Stephen Curry. He had multiple scholarship offers and intended to go to Davidson where he planned to become the next 6-foot-3 guard to lead the school to the big stage. College hoops stardom and the NBA were a reasonable dream for Keith. He starred on an AAU team alongside Karl Anthony-Towns, DeAndre' Bembry, and Malachi Richardson, all of whom now play in the NBA. After his junior year, scholarships started pouring in. Ivy League schools were interested in the National Honor Society member. So, instead of letting his dreams into focus, Kirkwood decided to try something new and become a multi-sport athlete. For fun and something new, he went out for the football team his senior season. It was the first time Keith ever played organized football. Kirkwood responded by catching 33 passes for 737 yards and was named to the All-Shore Conference Football team. The rest is history! He earned a football scholarship to the University of Hawaii before transferring to Temple University where he had a stellar career playing wide receiver. Tomorrow, Keith Kirkwood, the young man from the Jersey Shore who went out for football for fun his senior year in high school for the first time, will line up as wide receiver for the New Orleans Saints when they play the Philadelphia Eagles in Sunday's Divisional Playoff game.

JAN. 11
Where Is He Now . . . ?
  Tito Nanni (pictured here) was one of the top athletes in the Inter-Ac League during the decade of the seventies. The 1978 Chestnut Hill Academy graduate played football, basketball, and baseball and was the captain and MVP in each sport. Tito was an All-City selection in football, All-Inter-Ac in basketball, and All-American in baseball. He once hit four home runs in a game against Penn Charter. In 1978, Tito was the first round sixth pick of the Seattle Mariners. After his professional baseball career was over, he earned a B.S. in Business/Managerial Economics from the University of Utah. He is now an Operations Manager for UPS Freight in Salt Lake City, Utah.

JAN. 3

  One from Philadelphia. One from the Philly suburbs, and one from South Jersey.  Three former high school basketball guards will be linked forever as the only prep players in Philadelphia-area history to score 100 or more  points in a 32-minute high school basketball game. They are Bristol High School's Pete Cimino, (pictured here) Dobbins Tech's Linda "Hawkeye" Page, and Dajuan "The Messiah" Wagner from Camden High School.

  On January 22, 1960, 6-foot-2 shooting guard Pete Cimino, who would later be signed as a baseball pitcher out of high school by the Washington Senators, poured in 114 points as Bristol beat visiting Palisades High, 134-86. Cimino shot 44-of-78 from the field and 26-of-29 from the foul line. Pete had 20 in the first quarter followed by quarters of 24, 32, and 38 points. Cimino pitched in the Major Leagues from 1965 to 1968 with the Minnesota Twins and the California Angels
  Linda "Hawkeye" Page, a 5-foot-11 scoring machine from Dobbins Tech, burned the nets for 100 points on February 15, 1981. She made 41 field goals and 18 free throws in her team's 131-38 victory over Mastbaum. Entering the game, Page needed 37 points to reach the 2,000-point plateau for her career and earned that milestone midway through the second period. For the game, she was 41-of-58 from the field and 18-of-21 from the foul line. On that February day, the late Linda Page broke the Public League individual game scoring record of 90 points established by Overbrook's  Wilt Chamberlain in 1955. . . . Ted covered that game in person and I've asked him to post the story. It's below.
  Dajuan "The Messiah" Wagner scored his 100 points in a 157-67 blowout of visiting Camden County Tech on January 16, 2001. Wagner made 32 two-point field goals, ten three-pointers, and six foul shots to hit the century mark. His quarter scores were 25 in the first, 21 in the second, 26 in the third, and 28 in the final stanza. On that January afternoon he broke both the state and Camden High record of 94 points set in 1992 Greg Barr.

Feb 14, 1981


Dr. Tony Coma, the coach, decided to change his mind, then a star named

Linda proceeded to rewrite the most noteworthy page in this city's book of

schoolperson basketball records.

Remember the days when Wilt Chamberlain, who scored 90 points against

Roxborough in February of 1955, held the record for most points scored in a


Well, they ended yesterday with 4:04 remaining in the fourth quarter of a

Public League game between Jules Mastbaum Tech and host Murrell Dobbins Tech.

They ended in a flash, too, as Linda Page , a 5-11 guard, leaped from the

right side to follow a missed foul shot by Lisa Gilliam for her 91st and 92nd


Better still, with 48 seconds remaining, Page was hacked on a baseline drive

and walked to the foul line. Swish. Swish. One hundred points.

Team-wise, the stats of note were Dobbins 131, Mastbaum 37. Page-wise, the

stats of note included 41-for-58 shooting from the field, 18-for-21 from the

line, 19 rebounds, 5 assists, 7 steals and 6 three-point plays.

" I wanted to break Wilt's record and I'm glad I broke Wilt's record,

" said Page, who is expected to announce her college decision in early March,

choosing from among North Carolina State, St. Joseph's, Louisiana Tech,

Tennessee and Old Dominion. " I'm also glad it's over with. Like always, I

couldn't have done it without help from my teammates and coach. "

ESPECIALLY THE COACH. It was totally Coma's idea to take another crack at

Chamberlain's record.

One month back, after Page had scored 87 points against hapless Roxborough,

Doctor Tone promised that " this is the last assault" and " nothing will be

done on purpose from now on in. "

Even before yesterday's game, he indicated that a film crew from Channel 10

had been invited merely to " capture the hoopla surrounding Linda's 2,000th

career point. "

However, Coma let his emotions take control because several people had

opened their enraged mouths a little too wide.

" I received all kinds of adverse criticism when Linda scored 87 points,

" Coma said, with disgust. " It came from unnamed people, mostly those in

skirts. When that happened, I couldn't wait to turn her loose again.

" The people who criticized me didn't realize that Linda made our league

known throughout the country , not to mention her and our school. They

failed to see the forest for the trees.

" Linda Page is a one-in-a-million player. She's a Wilt Chamberlain to the

girls game. I don't care what people think about me. I was fried by the likes

of Sports Illustrated and Frank Dolson (while coaching the men's team at

Cornell). But I do care about Linda Page . I want people to know: she's a

great, great player. "

PAGE REACHED 37 points and the 2,000 mark on a breakaway layup (pass from

Freda Harris) with 4:51 remaining in the second quarter. Her quarter-by-

quarter scoring breakdown was 27-26-27-20.

Before anyone gets bent out of shape again, this was one of the cleanest

massacres in basketball history. Dobbins never pressed full- court and the

starters, except for Page, played no more than half the game. There was no

taunting, basket hanging or matador imitations on defense, either.

Coma partially informed Mastbaum Coach Jay Kuvik what was planned beforehand

- the assault on 2,000, not 100 - and Kuvik (" I had an idea she'd go crazy

against us" ) graciously made no waves when the game was stopped so Linda

could pose for pictures with her coach, principal Ed Magliocco and a

specially-painted ball to commemorate the occasion.

Oddly enough, the officials (Ralph Mappone, Barbara Ransom) also helped by

giving Page an even shake. In her 87-point game, bumps and little chops were

often ignored as the refs seemed to figure, " Ah, she'll get her points

anyway. She doesn't need our elp. "

Page tied Chamberlain's record with 5:01 remaining as she dribbled behind

her back and nailed a 10-foot jumper. After breaking the record on the follow

and sticking three more jumpers, raising her total to 98, Page passed to

Danita Gilliam for a would- be three-point play.

HOWEVER, THE foul shot kicked off to the right side and Linda missed a

follow and a subsequent jumper - only the second time all game she'd flubbed

back-to-back shots.

The successful free throws helped her ease into the three-digit club five

seconds later.

" I enjoyed this game more than the other one (Roxborough)," Linda said.

" Why? I was making more of my shots.

" Really, this wasn't planned. It just started as the day to hit 2,000. But

I got 37 pretty quick and I knew by the half that I had to be close to 50. We

could see that the record was within reach. "

" When Linda had scored 53 at the half, all systems were go," Coma said. " I

told the girls that Linda needed only 38 more to break Wilt's record and that

I was sure they'd all like to someday say there were proud to play in a

really special game. "

With that, as the players broke their huddle, they bellowed the following

cheer: " Break Wilt's Record!! "

Through 12 league games, Page owns a scoring average of 53.4 and her overall

average (17 games) is 49.2. Wilt's senior-season average in Public League play

was 47.2.

DON'T LOOK NOW, but Linda (2,063) also has a chance to top Chamberlain's

career scoring mark of 2,252. The Mustangs could play as many as seven more

games if they win the league championship.

On Wednesday, however, they were topped by perennial powerhouse University

City as Page suffered a rare bad game.

" As soon as that game was over, I was so upset, I wanted to play another

one right away," Linda said. " Today, I took it out on Mastbaum. No, I don't

have anything against Mastbaum. I don't have anything against any of the

teams we play. "

Some teams, however, are treated worse than others by the scoring machine

with numbers on her belt like 46 (twice), 51, 53, 55, 61 (twice), 87 and 100.

Yes. One hundred.

Wilt would never believe it.