• Ocean City Gazette

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    The team qualified to go to the National Scholastic Surfing Association’s National Interscholastic Championship in Dana Point, Calif. June 14 – 16.

  • Regional

    A dolphin takes a breath while swimming off Ocean City Saturday with several others. Federal officials fear a deadly illness could be coming back north with the returning animals, although the hope is that the disease will peter out this spring. (photo by Bill Barlow)With warming temperatures, the snowbirds are returning from Florida.

    That goes for wildlife as well as human cold-averse residents. On platforms along the marshes and back bays, ospreys are choosing their nesting sites, and over the weekend, just past the wetsuited surfers in the 40-something degree water in Ocean City’s north end, a pod of dolphins made…

  • Upper Township Gazette

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    Last year, the event brought more than 260 cyclists. Participants could also compete in a duathlon.

  • Upper Township Gazette

     SEA ISLE CITY – The county fire marshal and the county prosecutor Monday continued their investigation into a fire that destroyed three beachfront condominiums last week, drawing firefighters from 14 South Jersey towns.

    The investigation could be complete by Thursday.

  • Summer Magazines

    bayfest SOMERS POINT – Bayfest will occupy 14 blocks along Bay Avenue with music, food, crafters and family activities 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, April 26, rain or shine.

    Somers Point is expecting more than 30,000 people to flock to Bay Avenue this year for four live bands, 38 food vendors and more than 120 crafters, as well as 15 children’s activities.

  • Weather

    For the thousands of bikers who have waited all winter for the 2014 Wildwood Spring Bike Rally to finally arrive, here is the weather to expect when you drop a kickstand on Saturday and Sunday in front of the Bolero in Wildwood:/Jen MarraFor the thousands of bikers who have waited all winter for the 2014 Wildwood Spring Bike Rally to finally arrive, here is the weather you can expect when you drop a kickstand Saturday and Sunday in front of the Bolero in Wildwood:

Legendary Wildwood basketball coach passes

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A nor’easter made Friday a rather dark and gloomy day in the Wildwoods. It only got darker and gloomier as news of the passing of a legendary local basketball coach spread through the community.

Bernie McCracken, the head coach of multiple championship boys basketball teams at Wildwood High School, passed away in Florida due to complications from pneumonia, according to several people in the Wildwoods community.

Although he hadn’t been on a bench since the early 1980s, Mr. McCracken is still regarded as one of the top basketball coaches in Cape-Atlantic League history. He coached the Warriors to five Cape-Atlantic League championships, four South Jersey titles and one state championship over two different stints as head coach. He was first the Warrior head coach from the early 1960s to the early 1970s before returning to the bench from the late 1970s to the early 1980s.

Mr. McCracken, a longtime highly respected mathematics teacher at Wildwood, also served as an assistant coach under Ray Lynch for three South Jersey champion and one state champion Warrior basketball teams in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Known as a staunch disciplinarian and creative tactician, Mr. McCracken was head coach at Wildwood for a total of 16 seasons. He is one of only two boys basketball coaches in CAL history, along with Ocean City’s Dixie Howell, with at least 250 career wins and less than 100 career losses. McCracken’s teams went 256-88 during his career, his win total still 12th best in CAL history.

While Mr. McCracken most recently resided in Lakeland, Fla., he often returned to the area and attended a handful of Wildwood High School basketball and baseball games each season in recent years to watch his grandsons, Jared and Tyler DeGroff and Zak Barrett, compete. Tyler DeGroff and Barrett both graduated from Wildwood last June. Barrett finished his basketball career with more than 1,000 career points.

(See this week’s editions of the Leader and Gazettes for more coverage of this story.)


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