State champions were crowned while the football playoffs kicked off during a robust weekend in New Jersey sports.
The stars were shining, so have a look at who emerged and who excelled over this eventful weekend.
The NJSIAA football sectional playoffs were launched this past weekend …
Here is a look at some stars who shined on the football fields across the area.
Is there a more explosive offensive weapon in New Jersey than Ashante Worthy?
Not only has he been the guide to Freehold High School’s six-game winning streak — his team started 0-3 — but he was instrumental in establishing state history Nov. 12.
The quarterback ran for an astounding eight touchdowns and passed for two touchdowns in steering Freehold to a 69-56 shootout victory over Pennsauken High School in the first round of the Central Jersey, Group IV playoffs.
He also exploded for 465 yards on the ground to set a Shore Conference record. The previous best was 425 by Manalapan’s John Sieczkowski in 2011.
The total points (125) shattered the previous record for points in a state playoff game (119), which was rung up on Nov. 19, 2010. That previous record was set when Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan outscored Paramus High School, 63-56.
Howell High School quarterback Eddie Morales was on target when he completed 19 of his 30 passes for 269 yards and three touchdowns in his team’s 29-27 victory over host Vineland High School in the opening round of the South Jersey, Group V playoffs Nov. 11.
Manalapan High School improved to 10-0 in a robust fashion when the Braves dominated visiting New Brunswick High School, 49-0, in Central Jersey, Group V Nov. 11. Naim Mayfield fueled that assault for Manalapan with his 247 yards rushing and three touchdowns.
On the soccer field …
The Christian Brothers Academy (CBA) boys’ soccer team emerged as the Non-Public A state champion when it edged Seton Hall Preparatory School, 1-0, in the title game Nov. 13 at Kean University in Union.
The lone goal of the game was produced by Matt Thorsheim, who connected in the 73rd minute. His goal came off a pass from Matt Mawson.
CBA punched a ticket to the Non-Public A finals when the Colts eliminated St. Augustine Preparatory School, 5-0, Nov. 10 behind Patrick Kollman’s two goals.
On the cross-country paths …
A photo finish was used at Holmdel Park to determine the winner of the Group III state boys’ cross-country championships Nov. 12.
Elliot Gindi of Ocean Township High School and Millburn High School’s Matt Grossman each crossed the finish line in first at a time of 15:27.
But video revealed that Gindi was the winner, by a nose. The time of 15:27 that they both were clocked in was 10th all-time at Holmdel Park.
Also coming home first at Holmdel Park was Old Bridge High School’s Rey Rivera, who crossed in a time of 15:47 to win the Group IV state title.
Patrick Walsh of South Amboy High School claimed the Group I state title in the boys’ cross-country race when he came home in a time of 16:26.
Into the gyms …
The state gymnastics season came to an end, and with it, local gymnasts dominated the results.
Nicolette DiPrisco and her Red Bank Catholic High School team both left as state champions.
At Montgomery High School Nov. 12, DiPrisco scored a 38.6 to capture the all-around individual state championship.
Two days earlier, she helped steer Red Bank Catholic to the state team championship when she finished second in the all-around and first in the beam. Red Bank Catholic ended with 111.90 points to win the state title. Colts Neck High School placed second with 111.85 points.
In other state individual events, Shannon Gregory of J.P. Stevens High School won the balance beam with a score of 9.8, Jacie Van de Zilver of Jackson Memorial High School claimed the vault with a score of 9.8 and Howell’s Monica Servidio was crowned the champion of the uneven bars with a score of 9.65.