Leaving It All on the Field [PODCAST]
The season is over for the 2012 Atlantic City Vikings football team, but only after giving their undefeated opponent all they could handle.
A.C.'s state title campaign came to an abrupt halt against top-ranked Williamstown, only eight days after securing their first Thanksgiving victory over Holy Spirit in eight years. Their 20-12 defeat at the hands of the Braves also ended a season-high five-game winning streak for the Vikings, who have every reason to hold their heads high heading into the offseason.
97.3 ESPN-FM's Mike Gill was a part of the broadcast team for the game in Gloucester County. He joined us on the South Jersey Sports Report to recap a game that went down to the final moments, and explains why it "just wasn't Atlantic City's night". He also reveals which local high school football team may be one to watch out for, even if no one's talking about them.
While the Vikings took Williamstown down to the wire, it still may not have been the best playoff game of the night. Press of Atlantic City sports reporter Jason Mazda was on the sidelines for a wild, back-and-forth contest in Camden County, and offers his thoughts on how the winner can take down the Braves in the South Jersey Group V Finals.
And all eyes are on Egg Harbor City for a Group II playoff showdown. The Cedar Creek Pirates will only have to wait nine days to avenge the only blemish on their record, as a talented Willingboro team comes to town with title aspirations of their own. South Jersey Hall of Fame sports writer Tom Williams breaks down the matchup, including what local fans don't know about the Chimeras, and what the Pirates can do to keep their high-powered scoring offense rolling.
As we turn the calendar page to the final month of 2012, it's nearly time to transition from the gridiron to the hardwood.
One local coach has the highest of goals for his team in the new year, even after becoming the winniest coach in New Jersey college basketball history. Stockton mens coach Gerry Matthews now stands alone after securing his 515th victory earlier in the season. What's more important to the legendary general? That his Ospreys are still undefeated, only a handful of games into the young season.
Coach Matthews joined us on the South Jersey Sports Report to offer his feelings on the record, and why winning one day at a time is more important than career milestones. He also explains why the people in the program have given him a reason to stay at Stockton, and what makes New Jersey's athletes some of the most special in the nation.
And one Mainland alum had a smile on his face after his former team edged out Egg Harbor Township on Thanksgiving morning. Former quarterback, and current William & Mary's standout, Brent Caprio reflects on the victory, and why "Mustangs Pride" means more now than it ever has for a close-knit community. We also asked the Somers Point native about some of his favorite high school memories, what factors went into his college decision, and what's next after this season.
Listen to this week's show:
Jason Mazda, Press of Atlantic City sports reporter
Gerry Matthews, Stockton men's head basketball coach
Brent Caprio, former Mainland Mustangs quarterback
Mike Gill, 97.3 ESPN-FM personality
Tom Williams, South Jersey Hall of Fame sports reporter
We’d also like to congratulate the South Jersey Athlete(s) of the Week:
Dayshawn Reynolds, Football, Atlantic City
Jim Cooper, Football, Mainland
Reynolds: The senior wide receiver was instrumental in Atlantic City’s fifth consecutive win. Reynolds reeled in eight receptions, including two first-half touchdown catches at Holy Spirit, helping the Vikings secure a 13-7 victory.
Cooper: The senior kicker made history in his final high school game. The University of Temple commit converted three second-half field goals to become New Jersey’s all-time leader in field goals made (31).
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.