South Jersey Sports

Fish report: The bay (like school year) is right around the corner

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Written by Robin Scott Thursday, August 21, 2014 04:18 pm

fish1 Robin Scott/Debbie Ivker of Margate fishing behind her house. Not bad going out into one's back yard to catch dinner. The race to the bay is on. Families woke up and realized that children return to school in two weeks, leaving little time to explore the side of Absecon Island opposite the beach.

Whole teams of families can be seen paddling Beach Thorofare in kayaks, paddle boards, and drift fishing for the abundance of August.

Croakers, flounder and small blues provide the entertainment with a variety of baits to lure them in.

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Pleasantville's Parker to coach Stockton women

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Written by Staff Reports Thursday, August 21, 2014 12:30 pm

newparker Ashley Parker Pleasantville native Ashley Parker has been named head women’s cross country coach and assistant track and field coach at Richard Stockton College.

Parker spent six years on the coaching staff at Pleasantville High School, serving as girls cross country coach, girls outdoor track coach, and assistant indoor track coach.

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Szczur could have taken different path

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, August 21, 2014 12:27 pm

On a Saturday in early November in 2006, the Lower Cape May Regional High School football team was clinging to a five-point lead over Buena in a game it needed to win in order to secure its first-ever home state playoff game.

Matt Szczur, also the team’s quarterback, stood 12 yards behind center in punt formation at about his own 25-yard line to await the snap on a fourth-and-7 play. Less than two minutes were on the clock.

It was no surprise that Buena had 10 men on the line of scrimmage, hoping for a chance to block the punt.

The Chiefs, however, never got the chance. Szczur took the snap, jumped forward to avoid the first rusher, then took off to the right sideline for about a 20-yard game that sealed his team’s 24-19 victory.

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Szczur had magical baseball moments at LCM

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, August 21, 2014 12:25 pm

Chuck Dougherty, the head coach of the Middle Township High School baseball team, remembers the game as if it were yesterday, even though it occurred more than eight years ago.

His team was ahead by a run or two late in the game over Lower Cape May, with Caper Tiger junior star Matt Szczur about to come to the plate with two runners on.

There was a discussion between Dougherty and pitching coach Steve Regan about whether to issue Szczur an intentional walk. Middle just so happened to have Scott DeCecco, a sophomore at the time who later pitched at Division I South Carolina Upstate and is now in the Seattle Mariners system, on the mound.

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Phil Martelli to guest host on local radio

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, August 21, 2014 12:23 pm

For as long as he’s been the men’s basketball coach at St. Joseph’s University, Phil Martelli has been media savvy, making numerous appearances on radio and television shows throughout the Delaware Valley.

On Friday, he’ll do that for two hours right here in Cape May County.

Martelli, who led St. Joseph’s to the Atlantic 10 Tournament championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament last year, will serve as a guest host of the Mark & Mark in the Morning Show on 98.7 “The Coast” WCZT-FM on Friday from 7 to 9 a.m. One of the regular hosts of the show, Mark Hunter, is on vacation this week and the other host, Mark Thompson, and 98.7 FM news director Denis Brown have been co-hosting this week’s show with a different guest each day.

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Local resident a winner at Tri the Wildwoods

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, August 21, 2014 12:21 pm

Court House resident Kristen Donohue was the top female finisher at the Tri the Wildwoods NORTH WILDWOOD – When the Tri the Wildwoods triathlon and accompanying races were first held, the event seemed to experience foul weather – or at least whipping ocean currents – almost every year.

But Saturday’s 11th annual running continued a more recent trend of near-perfect conditions for the athletes, with a warm and calm ocean and seasonably cool air temperatures with no rain in sight welcoming the participants.

An area resident was one of the big winners of this year’s triathlon, as 46-year-old Cape May Court House resident Kristen Donohue emerged as the top female finisher, posting a time of 1 hour, 5 minutes, 23.2 seconds.

Max Fennell, 27, of King of Prussia, Pa., was the overall winner in 57:23.9. He was the only triathlon competitor to finish the course in less than an hour.

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2014 CAL football schedule

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Written by Staff Reports Wednesday, August 20, 2014 01:58 pm

CAL football season gets started Sept. 5-6

Creekmitchell Matt Strabuk/Cedar Creek wide receiver Ahmir Mitchell, one of the most highly recruited players in South Jersey, hurdles a Pleasantville defender in a CAL game last year. A new season of Cape-Atlantic League high school football gets underway the weekend of Sept. 5-6 with non-conference games involving Holy Spirit and Cedar Creek. Here's the complete schedule:

Friday Sept. 5

Holy Spirit at Malvern Prep (PA), 7 p.m.

Saturday Sept. 6

Cedar Grove at Cedar Creek, 1

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Margate wins 20th ACBL title on Goodwin’s walk-off hit

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Written by Bill LeConey Wednesday, August 20, 2014 12:07 am

fitzgerald0819 Bill LeConey/Margate's Eric Fitzgerald takes a cut at a Billy Jackson pitch during Game 5 of the ACBL championship series against Hammonton. Fitzgerald, of Northfield, helped Margate wins its third straight ACBL title and 20th all-time. MARGATE – The 2014 Atlantic County Baseball League season ended Tuesday like so many had ended before: with the Margate Hurricanes celebrating a championship.

Pat Goodwin's RBI single in the seventh inning brought home pinch-runner Ed Carlton with the winning run in a 2-1 victory over Hammonton that gave Margate its third straight ACBL title, eighth in the last 10 years and 20th overall spanning 37 years.

It also earned longtime manager Yogi Hiltner a well-deserved ice-bucket shower after the game.

“This could be the sweetest one,” Hiltner said, “because we play so well against each other, and it’s just classy on both sides. A walk-off hit in a five-game series makes it extra special.”

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Mejia brothers blast Hammonton past Margate, force Game 5

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Written by Bill LeConey Tuesday, August 19, 2014 12:13 am

juanjrmejia Bill LeConey/Junior Mejia, left, and brother Juan after Monday's Game 4 of the ACBL finals. HAMMONTON – These are the moments, the big-game opportunities, that prompted the Mejia brothers of Ventnor, Junior and Juan, to migrate west this summer for baseball.

They certainly made the most of those opportunities on Monday night.

Juan Mejia hit a walk-off grand slam in the eighth inning to give Hammonton a 7-3 victory over Margate and a force a decisive Game 5 in the Atlantic County Baseball League Championship Series.

Game 5 will be played 7 p.m. Tuesday at Margate’s Jerome Avenue Field.

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Cubs to call up Matt Szczur

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Written by Brian Cunniff Saturday, August 16, 2014 05:33 pm

MATT SZCZUR Matt Szczur is expected to be in a Chicago Cubs uniform at Citi Field tomorrow.

The 2007 Lower Cape May Regional graduate will be called up from Triple A Iowa to join the Chicago Cubs in time for Sunday afternoon’s game at the New York Mets, according to multiple reports on Twitter.

Szczur, 25, an outfielder, was hitting .261 with 30 stolen bases, 52 runs scored and an OPS of .626 at Triple A Iowa through Friday. He was not in the lineup for Iowa’s home game on Saturday against Salt Lake.

Szczur’s promotion to the Cubs will become official when the team sends pitcher Dan Straily back to the minors after this evening’s start, according to CSN Chicago.

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Briefs, signups: Tryouts this Sunday for Maniacs softball

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Written by Staff Reports Friday, August 15, 2014 04:16 pm

maniacslogo South Jersey Maniacs South Jersey Maniacs softball will be holding tryouts for their established 12U team and a new 10U team on Sunday, Aug. 17 at 9 a.m. at Oakcrest High School in Hamilton Township. The Maniacs are looking for 2-3 competitive softball players that are serious about the sport. The Maniacs program offers excellent training both during the season and in the off season. For more information on the teams or to register for the tryout, contact 12U Vince Flukey 609-226-8110, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or 10U Cheri Colbert 609-517-9513, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . If you are unable to attend either date contact us for additional options. Website http://HTOsports.com/SJMANIACS.

Send your notices for signups, registrations, fundraisers and other events to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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Fishing Report: Throwdown on the reef

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Written by Robin Scott Friday, August 15, 2014 03:47 pm

fish1 Robin Scott/ David London of Margate throws down the dock challenge with his two at nearly six pounds and limit of flounder. Too many fish, not enough hands! Reefs and wrecks, weed lines and rubble.

No bay angler should be intimidated by such terms, according to David London of Margate. He traveled to the Atlantic City Reef with his 26-foot mako powered by 500 horsepower worth of outboards, then charged over to the Great Egg Reef where his brother Steve described the bite as “out of control.”

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Stellar performance by Downey propels Margate in ACBL finals

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Written by Bill LeConey Friday, August 15, 2014 12:26 pm

downey Bill LeConey/Margate's Jason Downey delivers a pitch against Hammonton in Game 3 of the ACBL Championship Series. MARGATE – Jason Downey says he is happy with his decision to spend the summer playing baseball at the South Jersey shore.

His Margate Hurricanes teammates are equally happy with that decision.

Downey pitched a complete game, two-hit shutout Thursday night at Jerome Avenue Field, leading Margate to a 3-0 win over Hammonton in Game 3 of the Atlantic County Baseball League Championship Series.

The all-important victory gave defending champion Margate a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series. The Hurricanes will go for their 20th ACBL championship when the series resumes 7 p.m. Monday at Hammonton Lake Park.

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Gill takes place among lifeguard greats

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, August 13, 2014 12:06 pm

OCEAN CITY – Kevin Gill has finished in first place in a lot of swim races over the past couple of years on the lifeguard competition circuit. But he’s always aw-shucks humble after doing so.

But despite all that humility, Gill can’t shy away from all the accolades he’s received.

The latest came via his performance at the most important lifeguard race of the summer. The 17-year-old rising senior at Ocean City High School beat a field full of Division I college-level athletes to earn the half-mile ocean swim victory in the South Jersey Lifeguard Championships Friday evening at the 34th Street Beach.

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