MANAHAWKIN – When you mention volleyball to most Jersey Shore residents it conjures up the thought of ultra-tan men and women romping through the sand on a sunny, 85-degree humid day on the beach in Belmar.Since the AVP professional volleyball tour made its first stop in New Jersey in the early 1980’s, beach volleyball has skyrocketed in popularity, not only as a spectator sport, but as a perfect way to stay in shape and have some fun with hundreds of leagues springing up, up-and-down the Jersey Shore.Volleyball’s origins date back as far as 1895 when a Holyoke, Massachusetts YMCA physical education director, William G. Morgan, combined the game of tennis and handball and called it Mintonette. After an observer, Alfred Halstead, noticed the volleying nature of the game, the game quickly became known as volleyball.The history of Olympic volleyball traces back to the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, where volleyball was played as part of an American sports demonstration event. The competition was a success and ultimately it began to be considered for official inclusion and was officially included in the 1964 Summer Olympics. Beach volleyball was added to the Olympic program at the 1996 Summer Olympics with only two players per team.In the fall of 1999, Southern Regional and Long Branch High School started the first girls’ volleyball programs in Shore Conference history with Colts Neck adding a team two years later.Southern Regional boys head coach, Eric Maxwell, followed suit and in the spring of 2000 formed the first boys’ volleyball program in the Shore Conference.“My sister-in-law Cathy Maxwell had started the girls program at Southern and I had just started teaching there,” Maxwell said. “I was in the right place at the right time. The athletic director was considering starting a boys program and asked me what I thought. I had been involved in the sport my whole life so of course I thought it was a great idea.”Now, 16 seasons later, Eric Maxwell is still the head coach at Southern and the Rams (37-2) are the No. 1 ranked team in New Jersey after winning their second consecutive NJSIAA State Championship in 2014 and fourth title in six years.In 2002, Christian Brothers Academy, Colts Neck and Long Branch added boys programs giving birth to Shore Conference boys’ volleyball. The four teams would play each other twice a season, adding additional games out of the area if they could find them, but usually played around ten games a season.It stayed that way until 2005, when Marlboro and Manchester High Schools joined, then in 2007 Howell, Monsignor Donovan, Barnegat, and the three Toms River Schools (North, South and East) were added and the Shore Conference was split into the A North division and the A South division.In 2009, the 12 member schools held the first official Shore Conference Boys Volleyball Tournament pitting Southern Regional against CBA. Southern beat CBA in the inaugural match and the two teams have faced each other in the final every year since with the Rams taking all six titles.Since the 2009 season, an additional 10 teams, including Lacey Township and Pinelands in Class A South and Neptune and Freehold in Class A North have been added along with Central Regional, Wall Township, St. Rose, Red Bank Catholic, Saint John Vianney and Keyport in the newly formed Class A Central.The success of Southern Regional’s volleyball program has drawn a lot of attention to Shore Conference volleyball and because of this you can expect to see additional growth coming out of the Shore in the next couple of years.— By Mike Ready
The Female U18 BC Cup is the first stage in the formation of Team BC which will participate at the 2015 Canada Winter Games in Prince George. The top players selected from the U18 BC Cup advance to the U18 Provincial Camp in Lake Cowichan May 16 – 19. Dawson, McAuley and Huisman are part of the Kootenay Wildcats Female Hockey team.A former Nelsonite, Emma Hare, who now lives in Winfield and played last season with Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy in Kelowna, was also selected to the U18 BC Cup.The opening two days of the U18 BC Cup consist of practices, team building and fitness testing. The remainder of the weekend will consist of games where players are evaluated on their performance. BC Hockey’s Female Under 18 level is the third and final stage of the High Performance Program.It is an opportunity for the top players in the Province to train and compete at an elite level and is meant to introduce players to the beginning of the Hockey Canada Program of Excellence. A handful of local female hockey players have been invited to the 2014 Female U18 BC Cup in Salmon Arm from April 23 – 27.Nelson’s Merissa Dawson along with Stephanie McAuley of Trail and Kimberley Huisman of Fernie were invited to the jamboree format event, featuring four teams.
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 20, 2017)–With first time starter Tavasco Road winning Friday’s eighth and final race, Santa Anita’s popular Single Ticket Jackpot Pick Six, with a total pool of $299,497 was hit. One lucky winning ticket was thus worth $272,515. There were 34 consolation tickets that each paid $260.40.The winning ticket was purchased through Elite Turf Club’s Maryland-based hub for an as-yet undetermined amount.With sunny skies forecast, Santa Anita will offer fans a nine-race card on Saturday, with the Grade II, $200,000 Santa Monica Stakes highlighting the program. For scratches, track condition updates, late changes and complete morning line information, fans are encouraged to visit santaanita.com.First post time is at 12:30 p.m., admission gates will open at 10:30 a.m.