The one thing that’s been missing in the first 13 seasons of Lakewood BlueClaws baseball is a local player.  With all the good high school and college players that have come out of the shore area you would think one would end up with the Phillies organization and spend a season at FirstEnergy Park. 

Brian Peterson (Townsquare Media NJ)

However this week has provided a noteworthy first: the first Ocean County resident in uniform on the field during a series between the BlueClaws and the Hagerstown Suns.  You won’t find him on the roster of either Class A team but last night you would have found him spending most of his time right around first base and I would guess tonight he’ll be behind home plate.

Brian Peterson is a 2005 graduate of Manchester Township High School and this is his first season as an umpire in the South Atlantic League.  Peterson graduated from Montclair State University with a degree in Physical Education and concentration in adult fitness but he chose to pursue his passion and attended the Harry Wendelstedt Umpire School in 2011 and followed that up by attending The Umpire School in 2012 in Vero Beach, Florida.

That led to his first pro job as Brian spent last summer in the New York-Penn League where he was selected to work the All-Star game.  Now he’s moved up a level to Class A but it’s not exactly a luxurious lifestyle.  He and his umpire partner Scott Costello will spend more than 5 months on the road between Lakewood and Augusta, Georgia.

Brian Peterson (back turned) at home plate (Lakewood BlueClaws)

They will have only 12 scheduled days off until after Labor Day and won’t necessarily be staying in 5-star hotels or eating steak with their modest per diem.  As for the salary...well they’ll earn in the neighborhood of $2000-$2400 per month but as the saying goes “they’re not in it for the money.”  What Brian Peterson is in it for is the love of baseball and being involved in the game and maybe, just maybe one day we’ll see him behind home plate at Yankee Stadium or CitiField.

For now he’s happy to be home for a few days and will come back to Lakewood in early July.

The Ocean County College women’s basketball team beat out the University of Oklahoma, Purdue and Cal State Fullerton earlier this week.  The Vikings program was honored by Russell Athletic and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association as the recipient of the 2nd annual “Together We R” Team Award.

Dana Kovich with her Coach Of The Year award (Facebook)

The award was presented to head coach Dana Kovich Monday night in New Orleans as part of the WBCA Awards Show and in conjunction with the Women’s Final Four.  The award honors programs that have overcome adversity and more to succeed and in the case of OCC it was dealing with the circumstances of Hurricane Sandy.