COLUMN: Thanks to those who made live coverage of high school football possible

By TOM WILLIAMS

Another exciting high school football season has ended for the teams at Cape-Atlantic League schools.

CAL teams won four division championships in the West Jersey Football League and, for the 33rd straight season, a football team at a CAL school won an NJSIAA championship. This year Cedar Creek and Holy Spirit brought home the trophies, making it 54 titles in those 33 seasons since 1986 and 63 total playoff championships since the tournaments began in 1975.

The 2019 season also brought fans great individual performances by Jada Byers, Lou Barrios, Patrick Smith, Keon Henry, Isaiah Raikes, Solomon DeShields and many more.

If those fans couldn’t always get to the game, they had a chance to listen to action live on area radio and frequently watch live video streams of the action. People like Mike Gill at 97.3-ESPN, Jim Quinn at Quinn Broadcasting, Dean Michalski at SJ Sports Talk, Efrain Muniz of WMVB Radio and Bob Maschio at Coastal Broadcasting made those live broadcasts possible. There is little doubt that CAL football teams get more overall live coverage during the season than any other league in the state.

The athletics directors and coaches provide access and information. They should all be thanked, especially Steve Normane, Geoff Haines, Mike Gatley, Don Robbins, Stephen Townsend, Mike Lamb, Kevin Smith, Chuck Smith, A.J. Russo, Chris Sacco, Tim Watson, Dave LaGamba, Mike Rizzo, Pete Lancetta, Mike McGhee, Frank Riggitano, Mike Pellegrino, Frank Fucetola, Anne Marie Mercado and Dennis Scuderi Jr.

Naturally, those broadcasts and streams would not be very much without the people who actually provide the coverage. For streaming that includes Matt Ulmer, Bill Shallcross, Charles Hope and the crews supplied by Ari Bluestein.

For live radio it means Gill, Tony Blum, Brian Cunniff, Mike Frankel, Josh Hennig, Matt Howe, Mark Hunter, Sam Jenkins, Nick Kosko, George McNally, Mike O’Brien, Steve Parker, Bud Rinck, Harry Sachs, Jim Schafer, Buddy Tarbotton and Rich Van Noord.

But all of the work of those talented and dedicated people would have gone for naught without the people who sponsor these games.

This year’s coverage was made possible all or in part by many people. There was Dave Talarico at Schoppy’s, Tom Finan and the Holy Spirit Fathers Club, Jay Gillian of Wonderland Pier, George and Mike Brestle at Calvi Electric, Dennis Foreman at St. Augustine Prep, Jonathan Diego at the Diego Law Firm, Phil Brunozzi at Annata Wine Bar, Becky Juzwiak at Johnson’s Popcorn and Paul Giunta at Shore Hardware.

Also Tony and Janet Galante at Piccini, Riley Gunnels at Signal Graphics, Karen Mahar at the Ocean City Free Public Library, Al Sacco at Sack O’ Subs, the Cumberland County Improvement Authority, Bill Gordon Pro Day, George and Nick Karayiannis at Dino’s Diner and Brian Coggins at Car Caress.

Thank these people, when you see them, because the support they provide makes the live coverage of high school football possible. There were actually many more who played a role but there is not enough space to list them all.

All of this coverage makes the high school football experience better. Most of the streams are archived online so that players, coaches, fans and college coaches can watch them at any time. And the live coverage, on radio and online, gives the games the excitement and significance they deserve.

Because of all these people – and others, football was a big success.

Basketball coverage begins next week.

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