Those “Fantastic Flotown Flashes” powered their way into round two of the NJSIAA central jersey group 1 football playoffs with a 41-20 thrashing of the Middlesex Blue Jays.
Led by Joey “Mack Truck” Foga and LaDarius “El-Dee” McNeil, the flashes “ground & pound smash mouth” style was to much for the “Jays” to handle as each one scored 3 touchdowns. “The Truck” got things started early with a sensational 34 yard TD run after an interception by D-Back "Dangerous Davon Williams ended the Jays first possession.
Foga rushed for 156 yards, 101 of which came in the first half. Foga scored his second touchdown of the game on a 1-yard run late in the second quarter. That capped a drive in which he broke free for a 24-yard gain early on.
The Flashes Fans were sent into a brief tizzy as “The Truck” had to leave the game due to a leg injury late in the second quarter, but were relieved with his return at the start of the second half in which he scored on a 60-yard carry to put the Flashes up 21-14. During his absence in the second quarter, the offense went to Flotowns lesser known (secret weapons) running backs LaDairus “El-Dee” McNeil and “Dangerous” Davon Williams.
“El-Dee” scored his first TD mid way into the third quarter, McNeil carried for a 13-yard gain, then a 3-yard TD run. Just before the end of the third quarter, he scurried 54 yards for a touchdown to make the score 35-14. And with just under seven minutes to play,”El-Dee scored his third TD on a 5-yard run to cap the Flotown scoring.
Now as everyone (who know football) knows, running backs can’t run without a line so I have to give a BIG shout-out to the “O” line led by Tommy “Big-UN” Hass and “Jack Hammer” Jaylen Lewis. GREAT job by all
After the “Truck’s” first score, the “Jay’s” responded with two quick scores to take a 14-7 lead. Their ground game looked like more than our “D” would be able to handle but a few changes by that defensive wizard Coach Lombardo, the “Jays” would not score again until it didn’t matter (late in the fourth quarter).
The Flashes “D” forced six turnovers (three interceptions and three fumble recoveries) to stymie just about every Middlesex offensive threat. And when they weren’t forcing turnovers, they were flying to the ball and gang tackling runners for either short gains or losses. Led by defensive captain Mike “Hutch” Hutchison and defensive back Vincent “Tall Man” Wade (two picks) the Flashes “D” proved to be up to the task as everyone seemed to come up with a great play at some time in the game. Of special note was Joey “Lil Jay” Lee, Jordan “Stump” Wright and Shelton Sainvill.
Warren “Dead-on” Dubell; complete kicking game
Cameron “Tough Guy” Phillips; quarterback
All those who filled in when injured players had to come out of the game. Great job, we didn’t skip abeat with them in there
A town turns out to remember the courageous effort of one of their own. Colin Padderatz was only five years old when The Almighty saw fit to call him home. Little Colin fought hard, but try as he might he could not over come the will of God. You see, no one knows why such a young soul who brought so much happiness to his family has such a short time in this world. But "no soul came die except by Gods will" and if God will it then who is there that can avert ,or over come His will. We will all miss Colin and perhaps we will never understand why God took him at such a young age. But maybe we can find some comfort in the fact that, since God did take him, then he is surely with God. Who is there among us that would not want to be with God? Certainly being with God is better than being with anyone else. Those that are with God are not dead for he is the ever-living (Eternal). (Our physical) life and (our physical) death are the two halves of the cycle of eternity, once completed we return to our Eternal Creator. May the peace and blessings of God be upon Colin. Tonight we released the balloons in his memory, symbolic of his going into heaven, and we believe that. Some of the balloons got stuck in a tree and didn't rise into heaven with the rest, perhaps that is symbolic of the memory that we have that will always remain with us.
MARK YOUR CALENDERS- FRIDAY JULY 12TH, DANNY MONTAGANO, WILL BE PERFORMING AT Debbie's Snack Shop.
AT 7:30 PM. IF YOU HAVENT HEARD HIM, THIS IS YOUR CHANCE FOR A NIGHT OF ENJOYMENT TO HEAR THIS ONE MAN BAND.
A TALENTED MUSICIAN! HE PLAYS A VARIETY OF MUSIC!
The Florence FOP Lodge 210 has a great fund raiser June 15th 630- 11, to benefit Cancer Society & FOP. This will be held Main Street. Roebling, old firehouse. Catered by Villa Mannino's. Beer & Vine set ups for BYOB. Featuring three comedy acts plus a DJ. Headlining will be The funny Joe Conklin comedian, who also has a show every week at club 360 in Parcs Casino. Tickets are $45 each or $35.00 for mezzanine seating. Show your support for our community and come out for some fun! For more info please contact one of Florence's finest.
At the beginning of the season they set three goals; to win the Freedom Division, to win the BCSL Tournament and to win the Central Jersey Group 1 Championship (a trifacta as it is known in racing circles). To accomplish this they had to complete a series of trifactas; beat three different teams three time in one season (Holy Cross, Burlington City and New Egypt) mission accomplished. Play and win three important games in three days; (semi final round of the CJ-1 playoffs, championship round of the BCSL tournament and the championship round of the CJ-1 playoffs), mission accomplished. And did it with only three seniors on the team.
The Lady Flashes remain the only undefeated softball team in the entire state at 24-0 (best record in school history) with yesterdays 4-1 win over arch rival New Egypt (CJ-1 Champs the last four years). With a freshman and a sophomore pitcher on the mound and only two (starting) seniors on the field the goals seemed far fetched to many. But not to the ladies. Playing with determination, dedication and team work, they over came every obstacle they met and surprised everyone (except themselves) in accomplishing all three of their goals.
Beating New Egypt three times in one season has to be the highlight of the season, the Flashes had gone five years without beating the five time CJ-1 champions at all, losing to them three times last year. Not only did they beat them, they also broke New Egypt's two straight BCSL Tournament Championship wins along with their five year reign as the Central Jersey Group 1 champions.
“It feels great,” said Goodspeed, one of the seniors, and the glue of the "outfield three" that has played nearly flawless ball all season. The "super centerfielder", a first team all county selection said: “I’m just really proud that we kept our cool the whole game. New Egypt has always been a big rival for us forever — in every sport.” But perhaps none bigger than on the diamond. New Egypt had breezed through the first three rounds, outscoring opponents, 35-1, (Florence was outscoring opponents, 21-0) but the Flashes cooled the (previously) hot hitting Warriors with their stingy team defense backing up their good pitching just as they had done in the first two meetings. At the same time the Flashes bats and superior base running skills heated up and put the pressure on the visitors. Junior Kaitlyn Poretti and freshman Lacy Olaff"s singled in the third inning got things started, Kaitlyn Poretti, the cleanup hitter, smacked a run-scoring single that plated Goodspeed, and Olaff helped her own cause after junior catcher Rachel LeVach walked, with an RBI knock. The Flashes tacked on two more in the fourth, and again, Poretti (who also had another great game at shortstop) was at the center of it. The shortstop’s two-out bloop fell just in front of New Egypt's sliding centerfielder, allowing Gina Bruno to score. After Rachel LeVach reached on an error to load the bases, New Egypt's pitcher hit Olaff in the head to force across the fourth Florence run. Poretti was 3 for 4 with a double and 2 RBI's at the plate and a vacuum cleaner in the hole, sweeping up every ball coming her way. Junior second baseman Ashlee Ricciardi (who is errorless this year) went 1 for 3 and scored twice and Goodspeed went 2 for 3 and also scored a run. Base running has been a key factor in the offense. "There are too many seasons we played them three times and they (beat us three times),” Flashes coach George Chwastyk said. “It’s nice to come in and beat them for that third time.” Freshman Pitcher Lacey Olaff allowed 1 run on three hits while striking out 3 and walking six to earn her 13th straight victory
“They don’t have many true superstars, but there’s not an out in that lineup,” said Warriors coach Kevin English, whose team left the bases loaded twice and stranded 10 runners. “Every one of those kids can hit. Every one of those kids can get on base. Every one of those kids knows their role and they execute their game plan. What does it equate to? 24-0 and the only undefeated team in New Jersey. I mean, heck, obviously they’re doing something right.”
Florence — already the BCSL Freedom Division and Burlington County Scholastic League Tournament champions — can add a state title to its season with two more wins, beginning Tuesday when it meets South Jersey champ Haddon Heights at Rancocas Valley
A state title would be nice, too. “We succeeded in our goals, and fortunately, we’ve gone undefeated the whole time,” Goodspeed said. Should they succeed in winning the next two games they will reach a new milestone; they will be the first team other than football (12 game season) to go undefeated in a season in the history of the school. They already have the best softball record in school history, exceeding the 2007 State Champions 23-1 record by 1 game.
This is a TEAM of players, they pick each other up. They encourage each other, they don't dwell on the mistakes (when there made), they stand together as a team (not stars & players). It is often said: "there is no "I" in TEAM, but why do they have an "MVP"? The letters VP are not in TEAM either. Each player on the this TEAM is an "VP"
The road to the championship runs through Florence. As the spring softball season draws to an end the cream of the crop rises to the top, Florence, the number one seed in both the BCSL Tournament and the Central Jersey Group 1 playoffs took another step towards both trophies in the Florence High School Trophy Case. Freshman pitcher Lacey Olaff tossed a doozie of a no hitter, striking out six and walking just one as the Lady Flashes downed the Lady Blue Devils 4-0 in the quarterfinals of the Central Jersey Group 1 playoffs. The combination of Olaff's pitching and the Flashes fielding totally frustrated the Blue Devils. Lacey walked a batter in the first inning and after that settled in and pitched seven strong innings of nearly flawless ball. When she did allow a City player to hit the ball the Florence defense was right there backing her up. Three great catches by Anna Reed at third base, Ashlee Ricciardi at second base and the phenomenal Megan Goodspeed in center field were the highlights of the game and kept the Blue Devils from gaining any momentum, especially when they made some pretty spectacular plays themselves.
As good as Lacey was in the circle, so she was at the plate, going 2 for 3 with a double and 3 RBI's. The Flashes pounded out 9 hits with Ashlee going 2 for 4 and Megan, Rachel LeVach Kaitlyn Poretti, Erica Bruno and Tatum Marshall each getting a hit. Erica had the other RBI and Megan, Brielle Emry, and Erica each had a stolen base.
Next up for the Flashes; Tuesday @ Florence the semi finals of the CJ-1 against South Hunterdon and then Wednesday @ Bordentown versus Northern Burlington for the BCSL Tournament title
She stands just about 5'-4" tall, rather demure, not at all overly athletic looking. She's not a very threatening figure of a young lady by any stretch of the word. She's not a power hitter she may never hit a home run. But, put her on base, or in centerfield and watch her go to work. Megan "Meg" Goodspeed is a beast when it comes to defending her territory. She roams the outfield from left-Center to right-center, from deep center to the edge of the grass making spectacular run saving play after play. Sliding, diving, falling catches. Making rifle shot throws to the infield, whatever it takes to get the job done.
" I like going after the ball" said Megan when I asked her about the catches she made in the last two games, each one spectacular sliding catches after charging in from deep center field. " I prefer to play deep and keep the ball in front of me (not let it get over my head) and rely on my speed to cover the distance. And cover it she does. Her speed, agility and remarkable sense of timing is an asset not only in the outfield but at the plate and on base as well. Hitting from the nine spot she is very adept at bunting as well as slapping and when she gets on base, watch out. A skilled base runner, Meg uses a combination of speed, daring and fearlessness to get to the next base. She will slide head first, feet first, hook slide or dive to get to the next base. A first Team a All County selection, and headed for West Cherter University (where she will play softball), she is about as good as it gets at her position and a good deal of the credit for the Lady Flashes being undefeated is due to her abilities in the field and on the bases.
Meg makes a sliding catch to preserve the no-hitter against Burlington City in the quarter finals of the CJ-1 playoffs
Being undefeated is great, but the pressure it puts on a team is much greater. Each game, no matter who the opponent is, is a threat. Each one wants to be the one who "broke your winning streak". Yesterday the Lady Flashes faced the bottom seed in the NJSIAA playoffs, as expected, they won. The game didn't get much press coverage, after all we are undefeated and the number one seed. Hmmm, a quick check of the scoreboard will show just how many upsets there were in the playoffs yesterday. The number 4 seed lost to the number 13 seed 2-1, the number 5 seed loss to the 12 seed 14 - 1 (10 run rule), the number7 seed lost to the number 10 seed 8-2, the number the number 6 seed lost to the number 11 seed 14-4 (10 run rule). The number 3 seed survived the number14 seed 2-0. The age old adage: "any given team, on any given day" tells us that no matter how good you are, it can happen and the best way to prevent it is to stay in CHAMPIONSHIP form. Yesterday our girls were in that form, jumping on Shore Regional from the very beginning and not letting up even when we substituted after the game was well in hand and the mercy rule was in effect our reserve players kept the opponent scoreless.
Anna Reed pitched a two hit shutout walking three and striking out 5 in the 5 inning mercy rule shortened game as the Lady Flashes (20-0) won their Central Jersey Group 1 playoff opener 13-0.
Gina Bruno was 2 for 4 (two doubles) with 1 RBI and scored two runs. Kaitlyn Poretti had two RBIs and also doubled twice, Erica Bruno went 2 for 3 with 1 RBI, stretched a bunt into a triple with her speed and a throwing error and scored a run, Meg Goodspeed was 1 for 2 , also a terror on the bases with a steal, an RBI and 2 runs scored. All in all the Lady Flashes banged out 11 hits, stole 3 bases and played errorless ball showing that CHAMPIONSHIP form that is necessary to keep a winning streak alive, even when the opponent is "supposed to lose". The next opponent is City (for the third time). You know how hard it is to beat a team three times in the same season? Stay in CHAMPIONSHIP form Ladies and good luck.
reserve shortstop Kaci Ullman snags a short fly ball to rob a Shore batter of a hit and preserve the shutout
Gina Bruno holding Student of the Year plaque
The girls soccer team won their first Freedom Division title this year. The girls softball team, beat New Egypt (twice) for the first time in 5 years, won the Freedom Division and are undefeated.
Gina Bruno affectionately called "Gee" when she's at bat played a big part in all of it, especially the second win over rival New Egypt. A member of both teams, the senior spends quite a lot of her time practicing and playing the two sports she loves but she still manages to excel in academics. Her hard work and dedication was rewarded last week when she was chosen by the Bordentown Elks as the Student of the year. It's a challenge for student to maintain passing grades when playing just one sport to do it playing more than one is an achievement, to excel in both is totally AWESOME! and shows the quality of education available at the school and their "Commitment to Excellence" Congratulations "Gee"