A belated welcome back to those who may not be with me during the summer because their schedule changes with schools closed. Teachers, bus drivers, school support staff and of course parents, it’s good to have you back and I hope you had a good recess (do they still call it that?).

Some random notes and thoughts:

Kirk Nieuwenhuis #9 of the New York Mets celebrates with Yoenis Cespedes #52 and Curtis Granderson #3 after an 8-7 victory against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park (Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
  • I was watching the Mets last night in bed and struggling to stay awake so when they fell behind 7-1 it was easy to close my eyes and forget the game. Big mistake. I wake up this morning and see they rallied for an 8-7 victory and have a six-game lead on Washington in the NL East with 24 games left to play.  Looks very good but I do remember 2007 when they had a 7-game lead on the Phillies with 17 games left to play and lost the division title.
We read and hear about stories on a fairly regular basis that make us wonder why they call them student-athletes when too often the student part is a joke.
That’s why I love the ones about those who excel in the classroom and on their field of play.  In the case of Gianni Ghione his field is actually a wrestling mat and the Brick Memorial junior is coming off a sophomore season in which he finished 2nd in the state in the 113 pound weight class.
Brick Memorial sophomore Gianni Ghione pins Hunterdon Central sophomore Peter Nace at 113 pounds during the Mustangs’ 53-15 win in the 2015 NJSIAA Group V Final. (Photo by Ray Richardson).

Tuesday he announced plans to attend Princeton University where he’ll wrestle and pursue his real dream: a career on Wall Street.  Ghione of course still has to go through the admission process but he appears well on his way to Jadwin Gym once his high school career is complete.

  • The high school football season ramps up this coming weekend with a schedule of 20 games featuring teams from the Shore Conference.  The Jersey Mike’s Game of the Week returns Friday when we christen the new press box at Detweiler Stadium where Toms River South will host Donovan Catholic on the Shore Sports Network’s 1160 & 1310AM.  Before that though it’s the season debut of “The Thursday Night Football Show” tomorrow night during a live broadcast at the Water Street Grill from 7-8:30.  Ed Sarluca, Matt Harmon and Bob Badders will join me on 1160/1310AM and our special guests will be Griffins coach Dan Duddy and running back David Calderon.
  • Check out Matt Manley’s story on Toms River South soccer coach Ed Liebe on shoresportsnetwork.com.  Liebe suffered a heart attack last month and this season is switching roles with assistant Ron Laycock.