Classroom Excellence Honored at Academic All-Shore Football Breakfast
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights.