Every week this season, Shore Conference football fans will have their chance to vote for the Orthopaedic Institute of Central Jersey/Shore Sports Network Football Player of the Week on our website.

The Week 10/NJSIAA semifinals Player of the Week winner is Red Bank Catholic senior linebacker/fullback Steve Cmielewski, who led the Caseys’ defense and also scored a touchdown in a 27-0 victory over Pope John in the Non-Public Group 3 semifinals.

RBC’s defense recorded its second shutout of the season by blanking the Lions and Cmielewski led the way with 14 total tackles, two sacks and three quarterback hurries. He also had a 7-yard touchdown run that gave the Caseys a 13-0 lead.

Red Bank Catholic is ranked No. 1 in the Shore Sports Network Top 10 and is the lone undefeated team (9-0) in the conference heading into the championship games. Cmielewski has been an integral component of RBC’s success on both sides of the ball, especially as a linebacker for a defense that has allowed just 10 points per game this season. Cmielewski missed basically his entire junior year after being injured in the first game of 2017 and his return has clearly made a huge difference.

The Caseys are now in their first state final since winning Non-Public Group 3 in 2014 and will take on Mater Dei Prep in a highly-anticipated game on Saturday, Nov. 24 at MetLife Stadium. The Seraphs (10-1) are the No. 2 team in the Shore and are coming off a 28-23 win over defending champion DePaul in the semifinals. The last time two Shore Conference teams squared off in a Non-Public state championship game was 1980.

Cmielewski was the runaway winner of this week’s poll with nearly 60 percent of all votes cast.

 

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