High-SchoolNew-Jersey: Seton Hall Prep

N.J. Week 8 POWERADE baseball rankings: Upsets galore

May, 30, 2012
After games on Saturday, May 26

This past week was unkind to a number of ranked teams and strong contenders for the state title. Jackson, Westfield, Ramapo, Washington Township, Middlesex, Wall, Millville, Notre Dame and Montclair all saw their seasons come to a stunning end, while Sayreville needed extra innings to survive its matchup with Phillipsburg.

Don Bosco Prep held on to the top spot after cruising to a second straight Bergen County Tournament title, which pushed them to No. 39 in the POWERADE FAB 50.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey) 21-3 (1)
Ironmen shut out Paramus 9-0 to secure their second straight Bergen County Tournament title. Next up: Pope John.

2. Seton Hall Prep (West Orange) 22-3 (3)
Pirates lost to Nutley. Will open play in state tournament against Bergen Catholic.

3. Gloucester Catholic 21-4 (4)
Rams beat Kingsway, Holy Spirit and Buena to enter state playoff matchup against Holy Cross on five-game win streak.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New Jersey baseball rankings

N.J. Week 7 POWERADE baseball rankings

May, 22, 2012
After games on Saturday, May 19

The playoffs get underway this week, so throw out the regular season records and even the playoff seeds. One game can make or break a team's season at this point.

Don Bosco Prep, the No. 40 team in the POWERADE FAB 50, enters as the favorite in the Non-Public A bracket, but the Ironmen must get by the likes of Seton Hall Prep and Gloucester Catholic. Likewise, the Group 4 tournament is loaded with contenders Jackson, Steinert and Washington Township.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) 19-3 (1)
Closed out regular season with 10-1 win against River Dell and enter Non-Public, North A tournament as No. 2 seed.

2. Jackson 21-2 (3)
Won four games last week, entering the Group 4 Central bracket as No. 2 seed and a strong contender to win state title.

3. Seton Hall Prep (West Orange) 22-2 (5)
Pirates rolled to four wins last week and snagged top seed in Non-Public, North A tourney.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New Jersey baseball rankings.

N.J. Week 5 POWERADE baseball rankings

May, 8, 2012
After games on Saturday May 5

The playoffs aren't quite here yet, but Garden State baseball fans got a glimpse of what the postseason could bring when Gloucester Catholic and Don Bosco Prep faced off last week. It appeared the top-ranked Rams were on their way to victory, but Joe Purritano erased the deficit by belting a three-run homer in the 10th inning for a 5-3 Don Bosco win.

The victory shoots the Ironmen to the top spot in the state and No. 44 slot in the POWERADE FAB 50. Gloucester Catholic remains in the national rankings at No. 50.

Just as impressive is the recent play of Rob Kaminsky. The St. Joseph (Mont.) has now thrown three no-hitters this season, the last being his gem in which he struck out 16 batters during a 5-0 win against Paramus last week.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey) 16-3 (4)
Ironmen jump back up to No. 1 and into the FAB 50 by knocking off Gloucester Catholic 5-3, thanks to Joe Purittano's three-run blast in the 10th. Another test looms this week in Poly Prep (N.Y.).

2. Gloucester Catholic 14-3 (1)
Rams fell to Don Bosco in extra innings and will certainly seek revenge should they meet again in the Non-Public A championship.

3. Seton Hall Prep (West Orange) 16-1 (3)
Secured victories against Columbia (13-1) and West Orange (11-2), pushing their win streak to 16 games.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New Jersey baseball rankings.

N.J. Week 4 POWERADE baseball rankings

May, 2, 2012
After games on Saturday, April 28

Going undefeated is far from an easy task in baseball, so it's no surprise (or no reason to panic) that contenders like St. Joseph (Mont.) and Red Bank Catholic took "Ls" this past week. The key is hitting their right stride in the conference tournaments, which begin this week, before the real postseason starts.

One big matchup to look forward to this week comes Sunday, when No. 1 Gloucester Catholic, ranked 27th in the POWERADE FAB 50, takes on No. 4 Don Bosco Prep in what could very well be a preview of the Non-Public A championship.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's ranking in parentheses):

1. Gloucester Catholic 13-2 (1)
After an idle week, the Rams have a date with No. 4 Don Bosco Prep in a potential preview of the Non-Public A title game.

2. Jackson 13-1 (7)
Went undefeated in four games last week to emerge as the top Group 4 team as conference tournament play begins.

3. Seton Hall Prep 14-1 (8)
Pirates are rolling behind the consistent pitching of Mike Sheppard III (36 strikeouts) and Bobby Morgenroth (4-0, 1.84 ERA). Mike's dad and the Pirates coach, Mike Sheppard Jr., celebrated his 600th career victory Monday after the Pirates beat Bloomfield 12-2.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New Jersey baseball rankings.

Wayne Hills and Wayne Valley renew rivalry in Week 3 NJ football

September, 23, 2011
About this time last year, Passaic County rivals Wayne Hills and Wayne Valley each brought 2-0 records into their annual clash with Wayne Hills as the favorite. But the Patriots got a scare, falling behind 10-7 early before clawing back for a 21-6 victory. Some weeks later, the two met again and the Patriots again took care of business, winning 48-0 en route to the North 1, Group 3 sectional championship.

All of that is certainly not lost on either team as they face off in similar circumstances tonight. Wayne Valley is seeking revenge while No. 4 Wayne Hills is looking to continue its dominance. The Indians will lean on the home crowd as well as tailbacks Alesandro Trani and Anthony Lanberg, but their defense will be key. Patriots wideout Andrew Monahan scored three times one quarter last week and leads an offense that's outscored opponents 72-7 in two games.
My pick: Wayne Hills 31, Wayne Valley 17

No. 8 Montclair (2-0) at Seton Hall Prep (1-1)
The Pirates' task against Montclair is simple: Stop Khalif Herbin. If only that were easier done than said. The dual-threat back has already scored eleven touchdowns and topped 500 yards rushing during the Mounties' quick start. Plus, on defense All-State lineman Julian Pinnix-Odrick will be pursuing Pirates QB Sean Maguire. No small task, but if anything the Pirates can try to match the Mounties on the scoreboard.
My pick: Montclair 35, Seton Hall Prep 24

Linden (0-1) at Elizabeth (2-0)
The Tigers have had a week to regroup after falling to a strong Hunterdon Central squad in the opener. Running back Ruhann Peele makes Linden a threat to score on almost every play, but Elizabeth will have some say in that. After losing by 29 points to the Tigers last season, Elizabeth looks like a formidable opponent, led by quarterback P.J. Walker (660 passing yards, seven TDs). Plus, the Minutemen are fresh off a win against the very squad that beat Linden, which is why I think this year's contest will have a happier ending for Elizabeth.
My pick: Elizabeth 24, Linden 17

Timber Creek (2-0) at Moorestown (2-0)
In two wins this season, Moorestown has displayed a balanced attack. Quarterback Andrew Lisa has looked solid (450 yards, four scores, no picks), tailback Delaney Wallace has reached the end zone four times and five players have caught at least two passes this year. But that all will be tested against a Timber Creek defense that features highly touted LB Quanzell Lambert as well as lineman Greg Webb. This one should go down to the wire, but I think Timber Creek's defense makes the difference.
My pick: Timber Creek 17, Moorestown 14

Brandon Parker covers New Jersey for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Stock is rising for Lambert, Carroo

August, 24, 2011
Each week, we'll take a deeper look into our All-State football team to see whose stock is rising and falling based on recent performance and news. I know some of you are wondering, how can you have a stock watch when football hasn't officially started? Easy. Every football fan knows that the season never truly ends.

UP — Quanzell Lambert, LB, Timber Creek
Between an impressive showing at Gridiron Kings this past summer and the relative silence concerning his hot recruitment, Lambert has shifted many eyes toward his upcoming senior season. The linebacker has a nose for the ball, racking up 188 tackles and eight sacks as a junior through aggressive play. Expect more big play from Lambert in the future.

DOWN — Sean Maguire, QB, Seton Hall Prep
Through no fault of his own, Maguire sees his stock take a dip. In June, the Pirates quarterback committed to Florida State, joining what's become one of the nation's top recruiting class. Yet, earlier this month, Hueytown's (Ala.) Jameis Winston, the Elite 11 co-MVP and nation's No. 1 QB in the ESPNU 150, also pledged to the Seminoles. As a result, the pressure is on for Maguire to show his worth this season. Fortunately for him, with record-setting tailback Kevin Monangai graduated, Maguire has the green light to put up big numbers in the Pirates' offense.

UP — Leonte Carroo, WR, Don Bosco Prep
Earlier this month, Carroo pledged to Rutgers, bringing great joy to those across the Garden State. Now with his college commitment out of the way, Carroo can focus on what's expected to be a big season for he and the Ironmen. Granted, the road to a sixth straight championship won't be easy, with the POWERADE FAB 50's fifth-ranked team in Mission Viejo (Calif.) coming to town Sept. 10. But Carroo looks ready to improve upon a junior campaign that included 45 catches for 1,005 yards and 14 scores.

Brandon Parker covers New Jersey for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.