Championship Saturday [PODCAST]
High school football's biggest Saturday is here.
Three local teams, Cedar Creek, St. Joe's and Holy Spirit, will all take the field this weekend for a shot at a state sectional title. You can catch each and every one of those games live on 97.3 ESPN-FM, or stream video right here on 973espn.com.
Here's Saturday's triple-header lineup:
1pm: South Jersey Group II Final, Cedar Creek vs. West Deptford, at Rowan University.
4pm: St. Joe’s Wildcats (9-1) vs. St. Mary of Rutherford (11-0), for the state Non-Public I title at The College of New Jersey.
7pm: Holy Spirit goes for their third straight state title as the Spartans (7-4) take on Immaculata (10-1) for the state Non-Public II title at The College of New Jersey.
One of the men set to make the call at Rowan University is 97.3 ESPN-FM's own, Mike Gill. He joined the South Jersey Sports Report to break down the game he'll broadcast between Cedar Creek and West Deptford, including why this is the season the Pirates have been preparing for since their debut and what it'll take for them to knock off the defending Group II champions.
The broadcast legend who's pulling double duty on "Championship Saturday' is none other than Tom Williams. He'll be up in the pressbox at the College of New Jersey for live coverage of St. Joe's vs. St. Mary of Rutherford, and cap the evening off with the call of Holy Spirit vs. Immaculata.
We found out some of the keys to each game, including what Cedar Creek can do against a talented, three-headed rushing attack. He also reveals which team he thinks has a better chance of earning a victory at Lions Stadium in Ewing.
While Championship Saturday wraps up local football until next fall, it also means the beginning of another exciting high school basketball season. (Don't forget to join Tyler Donohue each and every Thursday night for the best high school basketball coverage, only on 97.3 ESPN-FM).
One local coach who has his sights set on another state title is Atlantic City's Gene Allen. The Vikings head man led his 2012 squad on an improbable and dramatic run through the postseason, culminating with his second championship banner in less than a decade.
Coach Allen spoke to us about the preparations being made right now inside the gym at Atlantic City High School, and offered his expectations in bringing home back-to-back state titles. He also explains what effect the Vikings deep playoff run in football will have on his team, and which players could be South Jersey standouts in 2013.
Some of the best high school players and teams will be on a display in an upcoming charity event at a local high school. Eric Cassidy, organizer of the Jimmy V Foundation Showcase, explains what fans can expect at the first annual event, and how he's hoping to raise money for cancer research through basketball.
Basketball isn't the only high school sport heating up during the winter season. One local swimming program is continuing their proud tradition of excellence this year, keeping an amazing undefeated streak alive. We spoke with T.J. Merighi of the St. Augustine Hermits swim team about keeping their run going, and found out what his coach is doing to keep this group as hungry as ever.
We'd also like to thank former Eagles great and broadcaster Mike Quick, Oakcrest Falcons head baseball coach Sean Olsen, and Mike Carney, manager of the Wal-Mart superstore in Mays Landing. We'd like to thank them for their time and participation in a wonderful community event, the P.A.L. Shop with a Cop.
Listen to this week's show:
Mike Gill, 97.3 ESPN-FM personality
Gene Allen, Atlantic City Vikings head basketball coach
Mike Quick, Former Philadelphia Eagles great & member of Eagles broadcast team
Eric Cassidy, Jimmy V Foundation Showcase organizer
Sean Olson, Oakcrest Falcons head baseball coach
T.J. Merighi, St. Augustine Hermits swim team member
Tom Williams, South Jersey Hall of Fame sports reporter
Mike Carney, Local Wal-Mart manager & organizer of the P.A.L. Shop with a Cop event
We’d also like to congratulate the South Jersey Athlete(s) of the Week:
Cody Sampson, Football, St. Joe
Amber Glenn, Swimming, Atlantic City
A.J. Dawson, Football, Holy Spirit
Sampson: Helped the Wildcats reach another Non-Public state title game with three touchdowns in semifinal victory. Sampson scored a pair of rushing touchdowns and also recovered a fumble in the end zone on defense.
Glenn: Broke teammate Colleen Callahan’s school record in the 400-meter freestyle swim (4:29.89) in a season-opening victory over Holy Spirit. She was also a member of the Vikings 200 medley relay team.
Dawson: Scored two touchdowns in the first quarter of the Spartans semifinal matchup against Pingry. Dawson rushed for a touchdown and returned an interception for a touchdown to set the stage for a third straight Holy Spirit trip to the state finals.
It’s all right here, on The South Jersey Sports Report. Listen every Saturday, 9-11 a.m. on 97.3 ESPN-FM or 973espn.com
Follow Tyler Donohue on Twitter @SouthJerzSports.