Don’t know if you watched over the weekend but the first U.S. gold medal at the Winter Olympics was won by 17-year old snowboarder Red Gerard.  I knew he reminded me of someone but it took be some time to realize who and then it came to me.

Gerard is Jeff Spicoli the character played by Sean Penn in the 1982 classic, “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.”  Spicoli was a surfer and not a snowboarder and of course they have little in common but I just can’t help but put the two together in my mind.

The Howell High School wrestling team will finish as the top ranked public school in the state after dominating Shore Conference rival Southern in the Group 5 finals Sunday at the RWJBarnabas Health Arena on the campus of Toms River North.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High movie poster
Fast Times at Ridgemont High movie poster (Amazon)

It’s the second straight championship for the Rebels who were the only shore school to prevail as Raritan and Long Branch both lost in the group finals Sunday while Point Boro and Point Beach dropped their semifinal matches earlier in the day.  Those four, along with Southern and Howell did win sectional titles on Friday which in itself is quite an accomplishment.

Ocean County’s smallest high school has big shoes to fill as John Wagner has stepped down after seven seasons as the head football coach at Point Beach.  A Hall-of-Fame coach when he arrived at the Beach Wagner guided the Garnett Gulls to a 51-26 record and their first-ever state sectional title in 2013.

A retired teacher from Middlesex County, he has been serving as the interim athletic director at Point Beach and will do so through the end of the school year.

The Shore Conference Basketball Tournament begins this week with the Ranney boys and St. John Vianney girls the top seeds in very crowded fields.  Ranney is followed by defending champion Mater Dei Prep, Rumson and Neptune in the field of 27 while the top-heavy girls division finds Manasquan second, Red Bank Catholic third and defending champion St. Rose fourth among the 24 teams.  Seeds pairings and brackets are available at

Here’s wishing a very happy 32nd birthday today to the newest member of the New York Mets: Todd Frazier!






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