Joe Schifilliti had a summer most 12-year olds only dream about last year as a member of the Toms River Little League All-Stars who captured the New Jersey State Championship and advanced to the Mid-Atlantic Regional before losing a heartbreaker to Delaware in the semifinals. 

Joe Schifilliti (Schifilliti Family)

Primarily a 3rd baseman and pitcher Schifilliti was among the 13 players who gave Toms River and Ocean County a team to root for as they came within a couple of wins of making it to Williamsport, Pennsylvania for the Little League World Series.

A student at Toms River Intermediate North baseball will once again take center stage for Schifilitti this summer although it won’t be in Bayville, New Jersey or Bristol, Connecticut but rather the Dominican Republic.  Joe has been selected to play for the Under 13 USA-LABC National team and will represent the United States in the Latin American Baseball Classic.  He was among those selected earlier this month following Northeast National trials at the Central Jersey Baseball Academy in Jackson which drew more than 400 prospects.

Before traveling to the Dominican Republic in August Schifilitti will head to Seattle, Washington for a week where he will train and get to know his teammates.  The Latin American Baseball Classic has been running for more than 25 years and the USA-LABC national team will be coached by former major league players, current college coaches and nationally acclaimed baseball coaches.

Joe Schifilliti (Schifilliti Family)

Only those who follow girl’s high school basketball closely will know what I mean when I say Manasquan’s Marina Mabrey is the present-day version of Christian Laettner.  Her high school career ended in rather spectacular fashion Monday night when she scored 36 points to lead the Warriors past shore rival St. Rose 59-55 in the title game of the Tournament of Champions in Trenton.

As usual Mabrey was at her best when it counted the most…scoring 17 of her points in the 4th quarter, including Squan’s final 12 as they won their second TOC crown in four years.  Next stop for Marina is South Bend, Indiana where she’ll join sister Michaela, who has helped Notre Dame reach the regional semifinals of the NCAA Tournament.

Meanwhile the Notre Dame men have reached the Sweet 16 and their roster includes freshman Matt Farrell, a former Point Pleasant Beach standout who has played in 15 games this season but yet to see action in the NCAA Tournament.