Heavyweight Showdown [PODCAST]
When the high school sports schedules were released last year, it's likely that basketball fans had this weekend circled on their calendars.
Three local Cape-Atlantic League squads are all in action, along with one of the best boys basketball teams in the entire state. The Atlantic City Vikings remain undefeated 11 games into their 2013 campaign, but that could all change after a 120-mile trip up to a "house of horrors" in Jersey City.
The Friars of St. Anthony, winners of 27 State Championships and 76 consecutive victories, welcome Gene Allen's bunch in a battle of the unbeatens. South Jersey Hall of Fame sports reporter Tom Williams explains how Atlantic City can knock off New Jersey's perennial "goliath", and why, regardless of the outcome, it's a "no-lose situation" for the Vikings.
The second battle on the weekend card will unfold in a gym a little closer than Hudson County. The St. Augustine Hermits will make the trip east to Absecon for a conference matchup with the Spartans of Holy Spirit. It could be a tale of two teams heading in different directions though, with the Hermits on a roll and the Spartans struggling in their last three C.A.L. games. We asked Tom where Holy Spirit will finish at the end of the season, what this weekend's game means for St. Augustine, and how it could affect the overall seeding in the playoffs.
Courier-Post high school sports reporter Kevin Minnick also joined us to explain why Holy Spirit's on the ropes, and what they can do to turn their slump around. Listen in to find out which Cape May County team is once again in the state title conversation, and which games Kevin already is looking forward to in the upcoming Cape-Olympic Challenge.
They made a deep playoff run in 2012, but ultimately came up just short in their quest for a conference title. The Middle Township boys basketball team is making noise once again, but one familiar foe still stands in their way. Find out from the Panthers themselves how they match up with Atlantic City, and what they say will be different if they square off down the road.
While January always means the best in winter sports, it's also an exciting time for college football recruiters. Sam Hellman, Fox Sports Recruiting Analyst, explains why National Signing Day feels just a little different in 2013, and offers the latest reports on some of South Jersey's most notable and highly-recruited athletes.
One of those recruits has already made his college choice known, and despite a tough senior season, will take the field in Happy Valley this fall. Oakcrest senior Brandon Bell tells us what stands out about his future school, the campus and the community, and what he can bring to Penn State in 2013.
Listen to this week's show:
Kevin Minnick, Courier Post high school sports beat reporter
Middle Township High School boys basketball team
Sam Hellman, FOX Sports recruiting analyst
Brandon Bell, Oakcrest senior and Penn State recruit
Tom Williams, South Jersey Hall of Fame sports reporter
We’d also like to congratulate the South Jersey Athlete of the Week:
The Chiefs 132-pound standout helped his team secure another CAL victory and put a stranglehold on the National Conference’s top spot. Ward, a three-time district and region champ, pinned his Lower Cape May counterpart on the way to a 40-26 Buena win.
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 @TDsTake