Excellence in the classroom took center stage on Sunday when the 2017 Academic All-Shore Team was honored at the annual Shore Football Coaches Foundation breakfast inside the Versailles Ballroom at Ramada Hotel and Suites in Toms River.

Eighty Shore Conference football players were presented with plaques in recognition of their achievements both on the field and in the classroom and, along with their families, were treated to breakfast and a trio of guest speakers from the collegiate level. The Shore Conference divisional coaches of the year as selected by the coaches were also honored.

Shore Sports Network director Kevin Williams once again served as the Master of Ceremonies for the event, which included remarks from Temple assistant coach Ed Foley, Rutgers assistant coach Toby Neinas and Monmouth University head coach Kevin Callahan.

Foley, who is the assistant head coach-offense, special teams coordinator and tight ends coach for the Owls, spoke to the group of student-athletes and praised their academic success. He closed his remarks by emphasizing the importance of “remembering where you came from and giving back to your community”. A native of Cherry Hill, Foley is also the brother of former NFL quarterback Glenn Foley.

Neinas is in his third season at Rutgers where he works with the outside linebackers and specialists and is also the Shore area recruiter for the Scarlet Knights. Neinas spoke about remembering how parents and mentors have helped along the way. Another major point of his address was how “few lessons are learned from game’s won but many lessons are taken from defeat”. Neinas closed with remarks about taking a leadership role and making choices that help better the sport.

Callahan, the only head coach in the history of Monmouth University’s football program, also made leadership the focus of his speech. He spoke of former Shore Conference football players who played or are currently playing for the Hawks – Brick Memorial’s Mike Basile, Colts Neck’s Ryan Wetzel, Rumson-Fair Haven’s Peter Righi, Donovan Catholic’s Vinnie Grasso, Freehold Township’s Manny Maragoto – who were also honored for their academic excellence during their high school careers.

“Those are guys just like the ones who are sitting in this room today,” Callahan said.  “They were all on the same page and didn’t let anything interfere with what they wanted to accomplish. They focused on what they wanted to achieve today.”

He used Basile as an example of a combination of talent and leadership skills. Basile is one of Monmouth’s all-time greats and is hopeful of being selected in the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft. He is Monmouth’s career leader in tackles, a four-time All-Conference selection and the first Hawks player to earn First-Team AP All-America honors.

“Stick to your values and don’t compromise,” Callahan said. “You all have the tools to be great leaders. Are you willing to use those tools to achieve great things?”

The following players were selected to the Academic All-Shore team. Congratulations to all the honorees.

Barnegat: Brandon Andrews

Brick Memorial: Tyler Gonzalez, Grant McKelvey

Brick: Dan Venezia, Dylan Rankin

Colts Neck: Derek Victor, John Prus

Central: Lino DelGiudice, Blake Horgan

Donovan Catholic: Jack Hadley, Salvatore DiSalvo

Freehold: Matthew DaSilva, Kenneth Tomkovich

Freehold Township: Eric Quartey, Rich Norton

Holmdel: Johnny Christian, Johnny O’Beirne

Howell: Ryan Mazik, Mark Welsh

Jackson Liberty: Daniel Lignelli, Nicholas Johnson

Jackson Memorial: A.J. Tolmachewich, Joe Hurle

Keansburg: Danny Vital, Justin Alessi

Keyport: Jay Hanson

Lacey: Nick Mirandi, Stephen Carrano

Lakewood: Jean-Paul Rodriguez, Myles Jackson

Long Branch: T.J. Fosque, Kyle Smith

Manalapan: Chris Maksimik, David Gelb

Manasquan: Tommy Antonucci, Brian Rogers

Manchester: Joseph Pender, Nick Nuccio

Marlboro: Kyle Moore, Raheem Bolden

Matawan: John Kemp, Royce Tucker

Middletown North: Connor Welsh, Anthony Canova

Middletown South: Aidan McCann, Leo Alessi

Monmouth: Ricky Voss, Devon Johnson

Neptune: Elijah Owens, Chase Fairbanks

Ocean: Andrew Worthington, Ryan Jenks

Pinelands: Chris Lewis, Zack Ackerman

Point Beach: John Nista, Johnny Langeveld

Point Boro: Tanner Gordon, Trevor McNamara

Raritan: Vincenzo DiCarlo, Matthew Godkin

Red Bank Catholic: Zack Bair, Logan Whelan

Red Bank: Kevin Weisman, Nick Arnone

Rumson-Fair Haven: Wyatt Feinberg, Matthew Drastal

Shore: Matt Altomare, Jake Altomare

St. John Vianney: Zyaire Sterling, Michael DePede

Southern: Noah Rogers, John Dolphin

Toms River East: Jack Goodall, Peter Wilenta

Toms River South: Nicholas Florio, Evan Raichle

Toms River North: Bill Dowd, Daryn Blackwell

Wall: Eddie Scott, Brady McNally


Managing editor Bob Badders can be reached at bob.badders@townsquaremedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights.


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