Sports Shorts The Hazlet Recreation Football Camp, run by Bob Generelli, will be held July 12-15 from 8:30-11:30 a.m. at Raritan High School, Hazlet. The cost is $90 for ages 6-15. Contact Hazlet Recreation at (732) 739-0653 for more information. The Middletown Indians swept a doubleheader from the Essex Royals on June 26 in Verona. The wins gave the Indians a three-game win streak and improved their record to 5-4 in the U.S. Men’s Over-40 Baseball League. In the first game, Middletown, managed by Charlie Hentgartner, won 4-3 and was led by the strong pitching of Bob Samarco, who pitched eight strong innings. Bruce Strow came on to close the game out for the Indians in the ninth. The Indians offense was led by catcher John Polis, who went 3-for-4 with one RBI and threw out three runners trying to steal. In the second game, the Indians came back from an early 4-0 deficit to win 9-7. Mike Coreless pitched a complete-game victory and Polis again led the offensive charge going 3-for-4 with two RBIs while catching three more runners attempting to steal. With the sweep, the Indians moved into second place in the league’s Southern division. The Indians play next on July 11 when they host the N.J. Pilots in a doubleheader at Middletown North’s Rich Veth field. More information about the Middletown Indians and the USOTBL can be found at http://www.usotb.com. The Holmdel Stallions U10 boys MOSA Premier travel soccer team is looking for players for the 2004-05 season. Players must have been born after July 31, 1994. There are no residency requirements. Call (732)219-5067 for additional information. Two local budding track and field stars have qualified for the Nationals at the Junior Olympic Games, to be held July 27-Aug. 7 in Des Moines, Iowa. Kaylee Bythell, 11, and Kendall Baldwin, 9, both of Hazlet, have qualified in the multi-event and long jump. Bythell qualified in the Midget division (born in 1992), while Baldwin qualified in the Bantam division (born in 1994). Both girls are students at Raritan Valley Elementary School. The Hazlet United girls soccer team is seeking current high school sophomores and juniors to fill out its roster. The United is coached by an active woman’s college soccer coach, and plays in the MAPS and GSSL leagues. The emphasis is on College Showcase tournaments. They train year-round. Contact Mike at (732) 972-2675 or email@example.com, or coach Phil Fluhr at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
BY GEORGE ALBANO Staff Writer BY GEORGE ALBANOStaff Writer CHRIS KELLY staff Monmouth Beach’s Dustin Fleischer, 15, does some pad work with his father and trainer, Phil, at the Long Branch Boxing Club gym on Saturday. At first glance, Dustin Fleischer’s impressive boxing career would lead some to say he’s getting better with age. But then you have to quickly remind yourself that this standout amateur from Monmouth Beach is still only 15 years old. Fifteen years old! The truth is, Fleischer, a sophomore at Shore Regional High School, is indeed getting better with age. In fact, he’s already accomplished more in the ring at his young age than some amateurs do in their entire careers. Fleischer first took up the sport as a 9-year-old, and by the time he was 10 he won his first junior tournament, capturing the Northern Region championship in the 70-pound weight class. And his stock in the ring has continued to rise ever since, eventually earning a spot on the USA Junior Boxing Team. As good as he’s been, though, Fleischer’s promising career recently took a major step forward when he finished runner-up in the 125-pound division at the 2005 National Silver Glove Championships in Missouri. With it came the No. 2 ranking in the country in his weight class, a big jump from his previous best ranking of No. 8. The road to Missouri began in New Jersey in late December when Fleischer, nicknamed “Razor Sharp,” captured the state championship. He then advanced to the regional championships in Oneonta, N.Y., in January and won that, besting a field that included state champions from New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Maine. Fleischer and his father/trainer, Phil Fleischer, then drove out to Independence, Mo., just outside of Kansas City, two weeks ago for the nationals, which brought together the eight regional champions from all over the country. Keep in mind Fleischer had been down this road before. Last year, fighting at 112 pounds, he also won the state and regional tournaments, but lost in the first round of the national tourney to finish eighth. This time, however, he knew what to expect and promised himself he’d be ready. “I definitely felt more comfortable this time,” Fleischer said. “I also think I matured physically as well being more mentally matured. I was more prepared.” It showed in the ring, too, as Fleischer scored a three-round decision over Oscar Soto of Minnesota in his first-round match. Then, the next day in the semifinals, Fleischer faced local favorite DeMarco McGrady of St. Louis, and he knocked him down in the first round with a vicious left hook right before the bell. McGrady survived the count and the next two rounds, but Fleischer pounded out a one-sided decision. “Winning those two matches was an improvement from last year,” Fleischer laughed. He nearly made it three wins. The victory advanced Fleischer to the national finals the following day where he met Michael Herrara of Phoenix. The two went toe-to-toe, trading punches in three action-packed rounds before Herrara was awarded a close decision. “Some people there said it was the best fight of the night,” Phil Fleischer, a former fighter himself, said. “They called it one of the closest and best fights in the final.” Even Fleischer, showing a maturity beyond his years, took the loss in stride. “The guy I fought in the final was more of a brawler, and I was more of a boxer,” he explained. “But even though I lost, I look at it as another learning experience. I’ve got to hold my head up and look forward to another opponent.” That next opponent should be coming up next month when the national boxing team from Ireland comes here to face the USA Junior Boxing Team. “They have a kid over there who’s won 40 straight fights,” the elder Fleischer pointed out. “He fights at 132 pounds, and Dustin is going to move up in weight just for this fight. He’s willing to challenge a fighter a weight class above his.” “This kid is supposed to be pretty good,” Dustin added. “But I know, with all the training I do and all the hard work I’ve put in and sacrifices I’ve made, I know I can beat him. He may have some weight on me, but everyone says I hit heavier than my weight.” Part of Fleischer’s vigorous training regiment includes waking up at 5:30 every morning and putting in a hard two-mile run on the quiet roads of Monmouth Beach before he heads to school. Then, after school, he trains five or six days a week, usually taking only Sunday off. Fleischer’s training program, however, underwent a drastic change recently. He had been training at the Long Branch PAL boxing club under the tutelage of trainer John Durkin. But when Durkin moved back to England to train fighters there, the gym in Long Branch closed. They hope to re-open sometime soon — as soon as they find someone to run it — but as of now, it has temporarily ceased operation. That, of course, left Fleischer in a bind. “It was hard,” admitted Fleischer, who used to travel over an hour to train in Newark when he lived in Tewksbury, N.J., where he grew up. When his family moved to Monmouth Beach, the Long Branch PAL boxing club was only 10 minutes up the road. “That was the first gym I really liked and I was attached to,” he added. “I had a lot of friends at that gym.” Without a regular gym to train at, Fleischer trained in his makeshift gym at home under the watchful eye of his father. Phil Fleischer, 46, was a former middleweight boxer known as “Difficult Phil” back when he fought as an amateur and pro in the late 1970s. Naturally, he was his son’s trainer when he first started out, but as Dustin got older, and better, the older Fleischer thought it was best if he took a step back and let someone else train him. That’s where Durkin came in. But when Durkin left, Fleischer resumed training his son at home. “I also traveled to different gyms for sparring sessions,” Dustin noted. His dad eventually hooked up with Ron Carter, an old boxing friend who trains amateurs and pros at The Brick PAL in Bricktown. “Right now, Ron is kind of assisting me,” Phil Fleischer said. “But eventually I want Ron to take over. I want to be his second.” “I’m happy with Ron training me and I know he will eventually be more of my head trainer,” Dustin said. “But I’m glad my father is there, too. I always like having him close by.” The Fleischer Family’s passion for boxing has even rubbed off on Dustin’s 11-year-old sister, Meaghan, who enjoyed watching her older brother so much she asked her father to start taking her to the gym. “She likes it, too,” Dustin said. “My father and I train her a little when we’re at the gym. She’s going to be the next Laila Ali.” She certainly has a good role model to follow right in her house. And even though The Brick PAL is a good 40 minutes away, Dustin doesn’t seem to mind. “Before I started training at Long Branch, I used to travel an hour and a half to train,” he said. “So this is not bad.” Meanwhile, he continues to hone his skills as he chases his ultimate dream: Making the 2008 U.S. Olympic Boxing Team and going to the Summer Games in China. With that in mind, the more experience Dustin gets against international competition, the better his chances. Last year, Fleischer traveled with the USA team to England and, despite being the youngest of 11 boxers on the team, he was one of only four Americans to win that night, scoring a unanimous decision in the opening bout at 112 pounds. Next month’s match against Ireland will only further help him. “At the last Olympics , the American boxers didn’t do too well,” Phil Fleischer said. “A lot of people felt our boxers didn’t have a lot of international experience. So, for Dustin to fight over in England and against Ireland next month is a feather on his résumé. “And, Dustin has said that since Ireland is coming here to fight, he’s willing to go to Ireland in August and box him in his country.” Of course, trying to make the Olympic team doesn’t come without sacrifices. And for Dustin Fleischer, there’s been many. Besides the training and traveling, he’s had to give up taking part in certain school activities, including other sports. Growing up, Dustin played baseball and wrestled, as well as studying karate. Once he took up boxing, however, there wasn’t time for much else. “He’s made some pretty big sacrifices,” his father said. “He wrestled quite a few years and loved it, and he loved karate too. He would be proud to represent his school, but he knows if he’s going to make it to the Olympics, he had to sacrifice playing team sports.” “It’s hard,” Dustin agreed. “I really want to represent my school, but to get where I want to be I have to make sacrifices. I know I definitely have to train hard, and I’ll do everything I have to do to get there. In this sport, you have to get a step up.” But Dustin recently found out that sometimes even he has to take a step back from the sport he loves so much. Last week, he lost his grandfather, Frank Spaulding, who was also one of his biggest fans. “A couple of weeks before he passed away, I had sent him a tape of one of my fights,” Dustin, who attended the funeral in Long Island on Tuesday, said. “He even called to tell me how impressed he was. We were always talking boxing. He would always tell me to throw my jab more. “I know he’s going to be on mind the next time I get in the ring. Just thinking of him will give me even more motivation.” Sounds like Dustin Fleischer’s stock in the ring is about to go up again.
BY WARREN RAPPLEYEA Staff Writer The Jersey Shore Golden Grand Prix series of road races came to a close on Labor Day with the Pier Village 5K in Long Branch.Dersce Deriboba of Ethiopia outdueled fellow countrymen Genna Tuffa to win by two seconds with a time of 14:45.5 on a relatively cool day. Buzunesh Deba, another Ethiopian, won the women’s race in 16:46 for her second Jersey Shore Golden Grand Prix victory. Deba also won the Belmar Five Johnny Cobb Memorial Run in July.Noel Brock of Toms River took second in the women’s division with a time of 17:08. Brock won the women’s division of the Golden Grand Prix thanks to her victories in the Spring Lake Five, the George Sheehan Classic and the Asbury Park 5K. Brock also finished second in Belmar.Luciano Oliveira of Long Branch finished ninth overall and ends the summer on top of the Grand Prix standings in the men’s division.Race director Phil Hinck said that cooler conditions helped runners as they ran the out and back course near the beach. In all, 778 runners finished the race, which has grown steadily from the 250 or so runners who participated in the first Pier Village 5K five years ago.Hinck noted that more than 18,000 runners participated in at least one Golden Grand Prix event, with about 9,000 of those running the Spring Lake 5. More than 200 runners completed all five Golden Grand Prix events.”We were pretty lucky this year because we had good weather for all five races,” he said. “Hopefully, that will continue next year.”Hinck said he and his team of countless volunteers are already beginning preliminary preparations for the 2009 Grand Prix series, which kicks off May 23, 2009.
BY NEIL BORENSTEIN Staff Writer The 2012 baseball season was Raritan High School’s most successful in eight years. The Rockets secured their first state sectional championship since 2004 by winning the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group II tournament, and they did so in the final year under the program’s winningest coach, T.J. O’Donnell.New head coach Jeff Struble, who served as an assistant last spring under O’Donnell, understands the challenges of taking over a team that now plays with higher expectations.“Coach [O’Donnell] was very successful. He’s a great guy, and I put it on myself to try and fill his shoes,” said Struble, who also has two years of experience as an assistant with Jackson Memorial High School. “Obviously, as a competitor, I want to be better than him. [The transition] was a little tough to begin, but things are going [smoothly] now. The kids are practicing hard and working hard with a jump start into the season.”Raritan has a 2-1 record heading into play this week, following fairly different experiences throughout the first three contests of the season.In the season opener against Holmdel High School on April 1, the Rockets received clutch hitting from senior left fielder John Dressler in the bottom of the seventh inning, as he singled home senior first basemen Paul Coldonato to win the game, 5-4.“Looking back, it was great, and it was a good growing game,” Struble said. “We really dealt with the situation in that game, where we were on the fence a bit and kept fighting and kept battling.”Senior Rob Ronan, who is Raritan’s ace, pitched 4 2/3 innings and struck out six batters, while Bruce Strickland earned the victory in relief.Raritan poured on the offense in its next game against Manasquan High School on April 3. Senior shortstop Nick Pasquenza led the offense in a 10-7 victory with a 3-3 day at the plate, scoring two runs and bringing in three more. He also stole two bases. Strickland, who got his second win in as many games on the mound, was 2-3 at the plate with a couple of doubles and RBIs. Ronan was also 2-3 with one RBI.Unfortunately for the Rockets, that offensive charge did not carry over to its next game on April 5 against Monmouth Regional High School, which shut them out, 9-0.“[Monmouth] was a very good team, [which was] fundamentally sound and executed well. We didn’t execute as well,” Struble said. “It was a good learning lesson for us, and I’m happy it happened early in the season.”Raritan faced perhaps an even tougher challenge on April 9 when it met up with Red Bank Catholic (RBC) High School, which moved into the Shore Conference A Central Division this season after capturing two straight division championships as a member of Class B North. The Caseys (3- 1) outscored their opponents 31-1 throughout the first three games this season, but they are coming off a 3-0 loss to Randolph High School. “I am getting [the players] to believe that we belong on the same field as a team like that,” Struble said regarding his preparation for the game against RBC. “I remind these kids, in between the lines, we’re going to be tough and hard to beat. If we compete to the last pitch and the last out to the best of our potential, we’re going to have a chance to win.“We have to have a faceless opponent. We just have to play our game.”That game includes getting the most from the team’s hitters and pitchers.Ronan leads the charge on the mound as Raritan’s ace. The team depends on the lefthander for his pitching and leadership.“It’s been awesome having Rob, especially as a first-year coach,” Struble said of Ronan, who also plays in the outfield. “He’s a great leader. He’s very reserved, but he carries himself well on the field.“[The team] is confident in him and believes in him, and he’s confident in himself. Rob had a tough start against Monmouth, but my confidence in him is still through the roof. He’s a huge part of our success this year, as he was last year as a junior.”At the plate, Raritan depends on its seniors to lead the way.“We have a core group of seniors and some new seniors that were playing [junior varsity] last year,” Struble said.Pasquenza leads the team with five RBIs and is batting .600. The starter at shortstop is also “one of the fastest stars I’ve seen as a coach,” according to Struble.Strickland, a junior who plays third base when not on the mound, leads the team with a .667 batting average and three doubles. Dom Guide starts at second base and is hitting .500 with a triple and three RBIs. Dressler has a .445 batting average, five hits and two RBIs.Coldonato, who is a member of the basketball team at Raritan and played outfield with the junior varsity team last season, is a starter at first base at the varsity level this spring.“When I first got the job as coach, I asked Paul if he’d want to play first base,” Struble said. “He’s very tall and athletic, and he was happy for that move. He’s improved every day at that position.”Catcher C.J. Pulcine is an important element to Raritan’s defense.“Behind the plate, he’s a great catcher,” the coach said. “He has a great arm and is a huge asset to our defensive philosophy and strategy. He’s like another coach on the field.”Junior James Wines starts in center field and gets some playing time at catcher.The Rockets will also look for contributions off the bench from juniors Kristian Hernandez (designated hitter/first base), Alex Prucowski (outfield/catcher), and Joe Eckel (outfield/pitcher), sophomore Tom Pulcine (second base/designated hitter) and freshman John Guccione (shortstop/pitcher).Following the game against RBC, the Rockets were scheduled to host Ocean Township High School on April 10 before visiting Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School on April 11. They remain on the road against Middletown High School South on Saturday, April 13 and return home on Wednesday, April 17 for a contest against St. John Vianney High School.
A battle-scarred Rafa Nadal admitted he got lucky as he moved into the semi-finals of the Australian Open on Wednesday with a 3-6 7-6 (3) 7-6 (7) 6-2 win over Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov.Dimitrov had three set points in the third that would have given him a two sets to one lead, but world number one Nadal hit back to take the tiebreaker 9-7 before easing through the fourth to book his place in the last four.“I got lucky,” Nadal said in a courtside interview, referring to the third set, when Dimitrov had set point at 6-5 on the Nadal serve and then another two in the tiebreak.A shanked return cost him the first one and he missed an easy forehand on the second before Nadal cut off the third with an angled volley.The Spaniard, who missed last year’s event through injury, then broke early in the fourth set to lead 2-0 and maintained his advantage to seal victory, leaving Dimitrov fighting back the tears.“It was a great atmosphere, a great afternoon and I hope you enjoyed it, but I suffered a lot,” Nadal told the crowd.Dimitrov, seeded 22nd, broke Nadal in the second game of the match and raced to a 5-2 lead, holding on to win it 6-3 with some attractive shot-making.Nadal hit back to win the second set and led by a break in the third before Dimitrov rallied, earning himself a set point chance at 6-5, only to see it slide away as the Spaniard prevailed in a tight tiebreaker.Nadal, who could become only the second man in the open era to win all four grand slam titles at least twice, had treatment for blisters on his left hand and admitted he was in discomfort throughout.“Especially with the serve,” he said. “The rest of the things are more or less fine but I feel like on the serve I can (drop) the racket.“It’s fine, I am going to try to keep improving it tomorrow. The blister is much better but if I am not playing with that protection it is much worse.”The 22-year-old Dimitrov was appearing in his first grand slam quarter-final and Nadal said he believed the Bulgarian would be a threat at every tournament from now on.“He has everything to become a great champion,” he said. “There are a lot of similarities with Roger (Federer), his style. If he is able to keep playing this way, with normal progression, he will be very tough.”
Newcastle United recorded their fourth successive Premier League win with a 2-0 victory at West Bromwich Albion and Tottenham Hotspur’s home misery continued in a 2-1 loss to Stoke City on Sunday.Sunderland and Everton exchanged second-half goals in a 1-1 draw at the Stadium of Light.After a dismal start to the season, goals from Ayoze Perez and Fabricio Coloccini ensured Newcastle’s recent resurgence under their previously beleaguered manager Alan Pardew continued at the Hawthorns.Perez scored his third goal in three games with a sublime backheel from a Daryl Janmaat cross to put the visitors ahead on the stroke of halftime.Netherlands right back Janmaat then crossed for defender Coloccini to double Newcastle’s lead after 62 minutes with a close-range header.Newcastle are now seventh in the table on 16 points from 11 games, a remarkable turnaround for a team who did not record a win until last month.Tottenham’s fourth home defeat in six league games once again followed a Europa League match on Thursday.Having won at Asteras Tripolis three days ago, the rigours of juggling continental and domestic competition again proved too much for the north London side against a Stoke side who had previously one just once on the road this season.Former Barcelona forward Bojan Krkic scored his first Premier League goal with a brilliant solo effort to give Stoke the lead at White Hart Lane after six minutes.Things went from bad to worse for Mauricio Pochettino’s side when Jonathan Walters tapped in Mame Diouf’s pass 12 minutes before the interval.Spurs desperately tried to mount a comeback in the second half and Nacer Chadli’s powerful drive made it 2-1 with 13 minutes left but it was too little too late for the hosts.The defeat piled more pressure on Pochettino with Spurs 12th in the table on 14 points from 11 games. Stoke climbed to ninth with 15 points.A Leighton Baines penalty 13 minutes from time earned Everton a draw at Sunderland after Seb Larsson had give the hosts the lead.
Defending champion Serena Williams stuttered to a low-key and error-strewn 6-2 6-4 first-round victory over Swiss qualifier Amra Sadikovic on Tuesday.Looking ill-at-ease, as though her quest for an elusive 22nd grand slam title was weighing heavily on her shoulders, Williams struggled with her serve and sprayed balls wide on both sides of the court. She served three double faults in the fifth game of the first set.It was Williams’ first match since she lost the French Open final to Garbine Muguruza this month and the American should have had few problems against Macedonian-born Sadikovic, ranked 148th in the world and with little main tour experience.By turns urging herself on and telling herself off, Williams eventually secured match point when her opponent just missed a lob and sealed victory after challenging a wrong call when her shot landed on the far baseline.
Championship side Birmingham City appointed former Tottenham Hotspur boss Harry Redknapp as manager until the end of the season, as a replacement for Gianfranco Zola.Redknapp, who at 70 becomes the oldest manager in English football, guided Tottenham to Champions League qualification in the 2009-10 season.His last foray into management was a two-match spell in charge of the Jordan national team in March last year.“I got fed up sitting around doing nothing. I will come and live up here until the end of the season,” Redknapp told TalkSPORT on Tuesday.“If I can keep them up then we can sit down and talk about going forward.”Former Italy international Zola resigned after a 2-0 home defeat to Burton Albion that left Birmingham three points off the relegation zone.They are in 20th position and play Aston Villa on Sunday.
Batting first in their round 3 match at the SACA Premier match, the Barramundis were bowled out for 200, which was their lowest score of the tournament.Lega Siaka (41), Hiri Hiri (33), Vani Vagi Morea (20) and Jack Vare (20) all made contributions with the bat without making any big scores while Turley picked up three wickets for the Mavericks.In reply the Mavericks got off to a shaky start, with Barramundis applying constant pressure with the ball.Miller (50) and Keath (47) steadied the innings for the Mavericks to help them to victory despite losing seven wickets on the way.Mahuru Dai and Alei Nao picked up two wickets each for the Barramundis while three other bowlers picked up a wicket each.The Digicel PNG Barramundis take on the Eastern Edge in their round 4 match today, before flying out to Alice Springs for the second leg of the SACA Premier League.Photo: The Barras celebrate the capture of a wicket yesterday.
Saturday’s third round at Royal Port Moresby Golf Club was the hottest day of the week so far making Beaufils round of 5-under 67 all that more impressive.“I don’t know if I handled the heat, I felt pretty flat on the back-9,” said Beaufils, who struggled through the stifling hot day.“I said to my playing partner Dan (Nisbet) on 10 I’m not sooking, I’m just not feeling good. I made some great saves and just hung in there. I was just thinking about breathing and concentrating on everything but the shot and then just committing. That is what got me there in the end.”Beaufils started the day three shots behind the leaders on 5-under par, he fired 5-under the card in his final hive hole to hold a comfortable three shot buffer heading in to the final round.“I’m very happy with the finish there, it’s probably the best finish I’ve ever had. Adding the heat to it and how I was feeling, it was easily the best finish I’ve ever had to a round of golf.”Here in the field as a tournament invite and with no status on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia, Beaufils said he’s given no thought to possibly securing a spot to play through to the end of 2018.“To be honest the only thought on my mind is just how I’m going to hydrate and cool down, it’s just too hot to think about anything else,” Beaufils added.The lead changed hands several times in a day where the where top spot was shared by up to six players at one point.Four Professional are tied 2nd on 7-under par; Queenslander’s Brett Rankin, Tim Hart and Cory Crawford as well as New South Welshman Adam Stephens.Mitch Brown (NSW) shot 5-under 67 to be tied 6th with Josh Younger (VIC), Daniel Nisbet (QLD), Anthony Quayle (QLD), Damien Jordan (QLD) and James Marchesani (VIC).The final round of the SP Brewery PNG Open tees off at 9:45am AEST with the final group of Ray Beaufils, Brett Rankin and Adam Stephens on course at 11:15am AEST.The SP Brewery Papua New Guinea Golf Open will be played from 4-7 May at Royal Port Moresby Golf Club in Royal Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea with the field vying for a prize purse of AU$142,000.The winner will receive Official World Golf Ranking Points and become fully exempt on to the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia for the remainder of this season plus a further season.Photo credit: PGA of Australia.