Vikings Welcome Bulls-eye, Set Sights on Another State Title
What do back-to-back Group IV State Championships get you heading into a brand new high school basketball season?
When you're head coach Gene Allen and the Atlantic City Vikings, the answer is a collective bulls-eye from every other team scattered across South Jersey and beyond.
"I don't want to be measured in December. I want to be measured in February," - Gene Allen, Atlantic City Vikings head coach
The celebration from last year's title run ended long ago, and while the hard work began well before December, this weekend is a big one for both the Vikings and Cape-Atlantic League basketball.
It's the Ocean City P.B.A. Tip-off Weekend showcase, featuring six top-ranked South Jersey programs all inside the same gym. Those Vikings will be there, taking center stage during Saturday night's main event against Wildwood Catholic; hear that contest when it's broadcasted live on 97.3 ESPN-FM starting at 7 p.m.
Here's our interview with Atlantic City Vikings head basketball coach Gene Allen
Also on the court during the Ocean City P.B.A. Tip-off Weekend event: the Holy Spirit boys, St. Augustine Prep boys, Pleasantville boys, Pemberton boys, Millville girls and Middle Township girls basketball teams.
Here’s a preview of some of the other interviews from this week’s edition of the South Jersey Sports Report:
- Wildwood Catholic will have its hands full on Saturday night when they meet those Atlantic City Vikings in an early season showdown. We asked the Crusaders' leading returning scorer about this weekend's big challenge, and how far Wildwood Catholic can go this season
- Steve DiPatri coached a girls basketball team into the postseason during its final year of existence. This season he's coaching a little further south, taking over a different team that could be just as dangerous in 2014. We spoke with the new Wildwood Catholic girls basketball coach on what's changed, and why he's hoping the results on the court remain the same
- Press of Atlantic City sports reporter Mike McGarry goes around the Cape-Atlantic League, and reveals some of the conference's top players, teams and coaches
- Courier-Post sports writer Kevin Minnick previews the best high school basketball teams in the Olympic Conference, including the debut of a new coach at a traditional power
- Press of Atlantic City sports reporter John O'Kane looks ahead to what could be a very big season for several Cape-Atlantic League wrestlers
Listen to this week's show:
John O'Kane, Press of Atlantic City sports reporter
Kevin Minnick, Courier-Post sports reporter
Steve DiPatri, Wildwood Catholic girls head basketball coach
Eddie McWade, Wildwood Catholic Crusaders senior forward
Mike Gill, 97.3 ESPN-FM personality & play-by-play broadcaster for Ocean City P.B.A. Tip-off Weekend
Mike McGarry, Press of Atlantic City sports reporter
We’d also like to congratulate the South Jersey Athlete of the Week:
Swimming, Mainland Regional
He prevailed in a pair of individual events, setting the school record in 100-freestyle competition. He also competed in a 400-freestyle relay win. Mainland won the meet 103-67 over Egg Harbor Township.
It’s all right here, on The South Jersey Sports Report. Listen every Saturday, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on 97.3 ESPN-FM or 973espn.com, and catch the expanded edition every Thursday night from 6-7 p.m.
Follow Tyler Donohue on Twitter @TDsTake