A Morning Of Football
The football season is still months away but you would not have known that if you were at the Sheraton in Eatontown Sunday where some 300 attended a brunch with a dual purpose.
This was the first time the two events were combined and indications are that it was a huge success with most of the honored players on hand as well as many of their parents. Quite a few showed up at the last minute and while it was tight everyone got in and got to eat although Manchester coach Gerard O’Donnell and I decided to opt out of the long lines and just drink coffee and talk football.
Football talk was clearly the focus of the event with Monmouth University coach Kevin Callahan serving as guest speaker. Academic All-Shore honors were awarded to no more than two seniors from each of the 42 schools that make up the Shore Conference and each received a plaque for their performance in the classroom and on the football field. Later the players selected to participate in the 35th annual game matching Monmouth County All-Stars against those from Ocean County were introduced. Head coaches for the game are Rob Davis of Barnegat and Manalapan’s Ed Gurrieri.
The Shore Football Coaches Foundation should be applauded for their efforts as both the organizers of the game and architects of the Academic honors. Most of their work comes in what is supposed to be the off-season and their time to take it easy but like most coaches it’s now a 12-month job in which you get paid for only about four months. Special praise should go to Dom Lepore of Neptune who did much of the work on yesterday’s agenda along with help from Mark Costantino of Shore who served as Master of Ceremonies.
However many coaches were involved and on hand yesterday as they truly work hard on behalf of their players and others to promote and recognize football at the shore. I had the pleasure to speak at yesterday’s brunch as our Shore Sports Network will broadcast the All-Shore game this July which will be the last time the participates will be able to represent their high schools before moving on to college.
Photos courtesy Dave Thorne Photography
2012 Gridiron Classic Roster
Source: All Shore Media
Mater Dei Prep
Red Bank Catholic
St. John Vianney
Toms River East
Toms River South