Cape May County Gazette Leader Sports

Upper resident part of national champ soccer team

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Written by Brian Cunniff Tuesday, July 29, 2014 10:21 am

kyle millar KYLE MILLAR A few years ago, Kyle Millar played well for his AC Diablos club soccer team during a summer tournament at St. Augustine Prep. That sparked an invitation to compete as a guest player for a team in Washington Township.

It eventually led to Millar becoming a national champion.

Millar, a resident of Upper Township and a rising senior at Ocean City High School, was a key contributor as the Washington Township United Lightning won the U-17 national club soccer championship earlier this month.

The national championship capped an amazing season for Washington Township, which had previously won the Colonial League title, the New Jersey Youth Soccer State Cup and the New Jersey Club State Cup. The victory in the club state cup qualified the team for the national championship tournament, which was held July 18-21 in Greensboro, N.C.

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Upper baseball team wins state title

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Written by Tom Williams Tuesday, July 29, 2014 09:20 am

Upper's Ben Hoag makes solid contact during the state title game Those Upper Township 9- and 10-year-old baseball players have done it. They won the New Jersey State Championship.

Upper Township swept through the state tournament for their age group, beating Ridgewood American, 8-2, in South Hackensack for the championship.

The Upper Township team is headed to Cranston, R.I., this weekend for the Eastern Region Tournament. They will play the New York state champion at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. They are also scheduled to play Maryland at 10:30 on Sunday morning, Pennsylvania on Monday morning at 11 a.m. and then have two days off before playing Delaware on Aug. 7 at 11 a.m.

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Ocean City-Upper Township team falls short

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Written by Tom Williams Tuesday, July 29, 2014 12:19 am

Joe Gallagher Joe Gallagher

The Ocean City-Upper Township Little Leaguers can claim to be the second best team in New Jersey. But they were just inches from being the best.

On Monday night, Toms River center fielder John Giordano made a diving catch for the final out of the state championship game with the bases loaded with OC-UT players to end a 7-6 Toms River victory.

It was the seventh time in the last 20 years that a Toms River team has won the state championship. But, had that ball off the bat of Eric Greenling dropped in, OC-UT would almost surely have taken the lead.

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Harvey Cedars lifeguard wins Point Challenge

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Written by Brian Cunniff Monday, July 28, 2014 10:10 pm

CAPE MAY POINT – Jenna Parker is a former professional triathlete but the Harvey Cedars lifeguard had a little trouble with one of the legs of the Cape May Point Women’s Lifeguard Challenge triathlon-type event.

“This is only my second year on the paddleboard,” Parker said.

But the 30-year-old Harvey Cedars lifeguard did extremely well in the beach run and ocean swim portions of the race and came away as the winner Monday evening in her first time in the event, which includes a 1.3-mile, soft-sand beach run; three-quarter-mile paddleboard; and half-mile swim.

Parker led after the run, fell to fourth following the paddleboard but rallied in the swim to win the challenge in 27 minutes, 49 seconds. Parker edged Ocean City lifeguard Lexi Santer by six seconds. Parker and Santer were almost neck and neck as they swam to the beach but Parker caught a wave to surge ahead for good.

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Margate wins balanced Hoffman race

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Written by Brian Cunniff Saturday, July 26, 2014 10:36 am

WILDWOOD – There was no dominant beach patrol at the four-event Dutch Hoffman Memorial Lifeguard Championships Friday evening.

The competition saw first-place finishers from different beach patrols for each event and left most fans wondering which patrol emerged as the team champion at the close of the competition.

The contest was so balanced that Margate won despite garnering only a pair of second-place finishes.

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Rehabbing Pennington signs with Red Sox

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, July 23, 2014 01:44 pm

Josh Pennington now has a fully reconstructed elbow ligament in his right arm. He’s also now armed with a professional baseball contract.

Pennington, a 29th-round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox in June and recent graduate of Lower Cape May Regional High School, officially signed a contract with the organization on Friday. He has been working out at the team’s spring training facility in Ft. Myers, Fla., since earlier this month.

Pennington tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow in mid April while warming up prior to a scheduled start during the Caper Tigers’ trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C. But with a fastball that consistently sat into the low 90s prior to his injury, Pennington was still an attractive enough prospect for the Red Sox to take a chance on him in the later rounds of the draft.

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Wildwood High grad lands Division I coaching job

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Written by Brian Cunniff Tuesday, July 22, 2014 05:03 pm

MATT SCHIFF Matt Schiff’s basketball experiences at Rutgers University have led him all the way to the West Coast for his first full-time coaching job.

Schiff, a native of Wildwood Crest and a 2009 graduate of Wildwood High School, has been named assistant coach/director of basketball operations for the women’s basketball program at Division I University of California, Santa Barbara.

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Ocean City-Upper Township team made Little League history

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Written by Tom Williams Tuesday, July 22, 2014 12:41 pm

Brian Furey was the winning pitcher in the Section 4 championship game Brian Furey was the winning pitcher in the Section 4 championship game The combined Ocean City-Upper Township team added another Little League championship to its resume and, in the process, accomplished something never achieved by a Cape May County team.

OC-UT defeated Haddonfield, 7-4, in North Vineland to win the Section 4 championship and improve its Little League tournament record to 8-0. It marked the first time a Cape May County team had won the section title and advanced to the state tournament.

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Extraordinary comeback by double cancer survivor

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Written by Brian Cunniff Tuesday, July 22, 2014 08:51 am

Giovanna Imbesi with boyfriend and cancer survivor Bob Garbutt following the Upper Township bay race STRATHMERE – Last December was a cold month for Bob Garbutt, and not just because the first of what was a long winter chill for all of us was settling into the region. It was during that time that he began the first of eight rounds of chemotherapy for an aggressive form of lymphoma, even more aggressive than the first bout of a related kind of cancer he beat about a decade ago.

Then in March, he underwent a stem cell transplant.

So to see Garbutt competing in the Upper Township Six-Mile Bay Row Monday evening behind the Deauville Inn, well, it was nothing short of extraordinary.

Garbutt, rowing with his girlfriend, Giovanna Imbesi, crossed the finish line in second place among mixed doubles crews and 27th overall out of 42 boats. They – and more specifically Garbutt – however, were the real winners of the race.

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Garbutt, Kosten cruise at bay race

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Written by Brian Cunniff Tuesday, July 22, 2014 08:48 am

Dylan Kosten (left) and Matt Garbutt of the OCBP won the 2014 Upper Township bay race Dylan Kosten (left) and Matt Garbutt of the OCBP won the 2014 Upper Township bay race STRATHMERE – Competitors in the Upper Township Six-Mile Bay Row have often called the event nothing more than a long, grueling doubles row.

The nearly all-out-sprint mode of the race has often made for some exciting, close finishes, with the top boats often within a few seconds of one another at the finish line.

The 2014 race was an exception, though, as Matt Garbutt and Dylan Kosten ran away with victory Monday evening. The Ocean City Beach Patrol crew finished in 1 hour, 14 minutes, 3 seconds to win comfortably, beating the next-closest boat by a whopping 47 seconds.

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Former Phillie in Wildwood later this week

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Written by Brian Cunniff Monday, July 21, 2014 01:57 pm

LENNY DYKSTRA LENNY DYKSTRA Former Philadelphia Phillie and three-time all-star Lenny Dykstra is scheduled to appear in Wildwood on Friday, July 25.

Dykstra will take part in a fund-raiser for the Wildwood High School baseball team at the Waves Restaurant at Oak and New Jersey avenues from noon to 1 p.m. Dykstra will sign autographs at $20 per signing per item. Fans must bring their own items to sign.

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New athletics director at WHS

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, July 17, 2014 09:34 am

Phil Schaffer Wildwood High School has a new athletics director.

As expected, Phil Schaffer, who had been a teacher and the head boys basketball coach at Cedar Creek High School, was approved for the position at Wednesday evening’s regular meeting of the school district’s board of education.

Schaffer replaces Christel Pond, who left the position after four years earlier this summer. Pond is the new principal at the Glenwood Avenue Elementary School in Wildwood.

Schaffer had coached the Pirate boys basketball team to a 31-45 record in three seasons.

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Storm halts SuperAthalon race

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, July 17, 2014 09:31 am

CAPE MAY – Past race history has shown that the early leader of the Cape May SuperAthalon almost never wins.

But on Tuesday, it would have been impossible for him to lose.

Stone Harbor’s Gregg Donnelly was declared the champion of the event after the first leg of the run-row-swim race when race officials suspended the race at the end of the 2.2-mile run due to stormy weather conditions that saw lightning flash in the southern sky. The ensuing 1 ½-mile row and quarter-mile swim were not held.

2014 Cape May SuperAthalon With storm clouds on the horizon, athletes begin the Cape May SuperAthalon It proved to be a sound decision, as the skies opened with heavy rains only seconds after the final athlete finished the run, followed by numerous rounds of violent thunder and rapid lightning.

“I feel bad for the athletes but we didn’t have any other choice but to end the race,” Cape May Beach Patrol chief Harry “Buzz” Mogck said.

With storms in the forecast, Mogck was asked about the decision to begin the race in the first place. The competition was set for a 6 p.m. start, but was begun a few minutes early in hopes of beating the approaching storm.

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WCHS golf standout chooses college

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, July 17, 2014 09:27 am

Blake Vogdes, BLAKE VOGDES Blake Vogdes, a rising senior at Wildwood Catholic High School, will play his college golf at Temple University.

Vogdes made a verbal commitment to accept athletic scholarship money from the Division I school during a recent unofficial visit to its main campus in North Philadelphia.

Vogdes chose Temple over Rutgers, Florida Atlantic, Florida Gulf Coast and Penn State, among others.

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