Today 10:28 AM
NJ Advance Media staff photos
Two players and two coaches will be representing New Jersey in the ninth annual Boys High School All-American Game in Orlando, Florida on Dec. 7.
The two players were first team All-Staters Aidan Dunphy of Seton Hall Prep and Pranav Jha of Pingry. The two coaches are David Donovan from Delbarton and Shane Snyder from Washington Township.
Dunphy, a senior midfielder, is committed to Johns Hopkins and led Seton Hall Prep to the Essex County Tournament, SEC American Division and Non-Public A championships. He had eight goals and a team-high 15 assists. It finished ranked No. 2 in the NJ.com Top 20, No. 14 in the TopDrawerSoccer Fab 50 and No. 19 in the USA Today/United Soccer Coaches Super 25.
“It’s fulfilling to earn this honor and be able to represent Seton Hall Prep on a national level,” Dunphy said. “I’m proud of my accomplishments but I couldn’t do it without the help of my teammates here at Seton Hall Prep.”
Jha, a senior defender, excels all over the field for Pingry. He spent most of his time at outside back but could be found wherever his squad needed him. The Georgetown recruit had seven goals and five assists as he led Pingry to the North Jersey, Non-Public A and Somerset County Tournament finals. Pingry finished ranked No. 7 in the NJ.com Top 20.
Donovan just finished his 28th year as head coach. He led the Green Wave to their 12th county championship under Donovan’s leadership. He has guided Delbarton to 13 sectional titles and nine state titles - five in the last eight years. Delbarton finished ranked No. 8 in the NJ.com Top 20.
Snyder has been coaching for 17 years. During that stretch, Washington Township has won three state championships in 2014, 2015 and 2018. Township has also won three South Jersey Coaches Tournament titles in 2017, 2014 and 2013. It finished the year ranked 47th in the state.
Richard Greco covers boys soccer for NJ.com and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Richard_V_Greco. Find NJ.com on Facebook.
As English football braced itself for the entrance of overheated bookshop Amazon into the Premier League’s broadcast milieu, there was one question on everybody’s lips. Not the tax one. Or the one about data. Or working conditions.
No, we all wanted to know: Where are they going to put the scoreboard?
After all, BT Sport, who were the last lot to try and elbow their way into Sky’s territory, had broken convention and common sense by putting the score in the bottom left. Sure, sometimes it got in the way of seeing important parts of the pitch. But it was fresh. It was daring. It said: we are here to do things differently.
Amazon chose not to do anything so overtly daring — smack in the middle! dodging from corner to corner as play switches! no scoreboard at all! — and stuck to the tried and tested top left. But they couldn’t resist a little finesse, a minor inversion. Instead of Liverpool 5-2 Everton, we got 5 Liverpool Everton 2, the team names split by the Premier League lion and Amazon’s trademark arrow-smile.
Beyond that, Amazon’s broadcast was thumpingly, almost sarcastically, safe. Familiar names with familiar voices, in neutral television studios, asking the usual questions and receiving the usual answers. At least it was nice to once again hear Jim Rosenthal, a veteran of British sport broadcasting who has covered almost everything. His voice is guaranteed to inspire Proustian tingles in anybody over the age of 30.
On the other hand, Tim Sherwood made the world a smaller place, when he told everybody that Watford would be fine because some of the squad are proper men, and also English:
The broadcast’s familiarity emphasised something interesting about football broadcasting in general: the almost total irrelevance of the wrapping.
Perhaps irrelevance isn’t quite the right word; there are people who will tune in to Monday Night Football early to watch Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher analyse terrible defending and exchange clever banter. “Manchester United!” says one. “Liverpool!” says the other. The audience gets the joke, and smiles happily. It’s unknowable how many people would tune in if there wasn’t a game afterwards, although you could probably take a good guess.
Perhaps “interchangeability” is a better word. Or “fungibility,” if you’re feeling fancy. Slot a pundit in here, take another one away there. Shake up the goal show here, hire James Richardson there. This is not to denigrate the quality of a lot of the work being done by various channels around their live games. BT Sport, in particular, have made some excellent documentaries, but that doesn’t drive subscriptions.
And since the allocation system for Premier League broadcasting is such that nobody has the same game, the idea of choice is limited to “subscribe and watch” or “don’t subscribe and don’t watch.” A million Rosenthals or a million Sherwoods won’t make a difference.
No, the truly interesting thing about Amazon’s big week wasn’t who sat on the punditry couches. It was more structural. It was the option to switch between games according to preference and prejudice. Not a fan of Spurs or Manchester United? Or, perhaps, just bored of Jose Mourinho? Both entirely understandable positions. Why not watch Chelsea-Villa, or Leicester-Watford, or whichever other game you like?
As a model, Amazon have ignored the Sky/BT broadcasting structure that is descended from the original Match of the Day and The Big Match idea, in which television chooses a few games per round and then spreads them over a couple of days. Instead all the games go out, and everybody gets to silo themselves off as they please. Then after we’ve enjoyed our teams doing their things, we all come together for the second half of the 20.30 kick off.
Clearly, this is quite handy for fans who feel underrepresented by Sky’s and BT’s choices. And there’s an interesting question to be answered here: do English football fans want to watch their own teams, or the big games? Sure, Mourinho’s return to Old Trafford may be where the narrative was, but does that trump an actual vested interest?
While this is presumably all quite familiar to anybody who picks and chooses their NFL streams, for me, as a viewer used to the Big Match principle, it’s a slightly odd sensation. Televised Premier League football is already an atomised experience, but it generally comes with the knowledge that others elsewhere are watching the same thing.
Everybody will understand your joke on Twitter; everybody will have made a better one. The second screens are unified by the first; so are the conversations after the fact. But Amazon’s pick-and-choose offering fragments the audience. “Watch a game last night?”
It, of course, fits quite nicely into Amazon’s ongoing project to know you better than you know yourself. Not just as a “Premier League fan,” but a “Watford fan”. Or even better: “Watford fan that switches over to Old Trafford after half an hour if things are going badly, then hops on to Merseyside once the goals start flying in there, then switches back to Watford for the last ten minutes just on the off-chance. Then orders Alexa to play ‘sad playlist.’”
Perhaps this fractured broadcast landscape is the future. We can probably safely assume that if they could, the biggest clubs would break free of the Premier League’s collective bargaining and make their own giant piles of money. Amazon are already in our living rooms on telephones and smart TVs. And they are already pottering around clubs, making documentaries and shaking hands. They seem an obvious partner.
And by partner, we mean that they seem to be exactly the kind of dystopian megacorp that could underwrite The Premier League 2.0, The European Super League, and any other appalling contortion of the already appallingly contorted world of football you can imagine, all in exchange for a better look inside your head. And we haven’t even begun to think about the effects of broader streaming on such incidental matters as people actually going to the game.
But on the other hand, it was nice to hear Jim Rosenthal again. And having the highlights right there was useful. And hey, didn’t realise the X-Files was on here. Just one episode then. Just the one.
Zach Ailara, North Hunterdon, senior
Major force behind the Lions’ drive to the Skyland Conference Raritan Division championship (5-0). As a midfielder, one of North’s leading scorers with seven goals and an assist.
Matt Cox, North Hunterdon, senior
Defender spearheaded the Lions effort toward allowing a county-low 17 goals this season. The Cox-directed defense allowed one goal or less 13 times with eight shutouts.
Gerry Endersen, Voorhees, senior
Midfielder, team captain and three-year starter scored eight goals - including three game winners - and 10 assists, and kept the Vikings in games with a young cast around him.
Michael Gonzalez, Delaware Valley, senior
The Terriers’ center back directed a defense which led the county with nine shutouts, and allowed the third fewest goals in school history (25), making it the second stingiest side in the county.
Brady Mullins, Hunterdon Central, senior
Center midfielder and team captain fueled the Red Devils’ drive to their second Group 2 state final in four years. With the Red Devils attack funneling through Mullins, a county-best 18 players scored while he contributed six goals and two assists.
Jack Parente, Hunterdon Central, senior
Clutch performer who chalked up a team high eight goals as well as three assists for an 18-win Red Devils squad. The forward/midfielder led Central to an 18-win season and the Group 4 state final.
Conlan Paventi, South Hunterdon, senior
Paventi’s single season school-record 45 goals led the state, and he finished with a school-record 79 goals, more than twice the previous record. The St. John’s commit helped resurrect the South program to 17 wins, another school record, the team’s second Skyland Conference Mountain Division title in three years, and the team’s first ever Central Jersey, Group 1 final.
Colby Raymond, Delaware Valley, senior
The dynamic forward’s return to the Del Val side propelled the Terriers to championship game appearances in the Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex Tournament and Central Jersey, Group 2 tournament. He scored 38 goals, second in the county, with 17 assists, and his 92 points are a team record.
Michael Reinhart, Delaware Valley, senior
The center midfielder scored seven goals and added nine assists for the Terriers, which notched a school-record 18 wins and reached the Central Jersey Group 2 final for the first time.
Chris Romano, South Hunterdon, senior
The Eagles’ record holder for assists in a season (17) and career (28) was a stout defender for a team which notched a school-record 17 wins. He spearheaded the defensive attack which led to a school-record eight shutouts, second best in the county.
Ralph Russo, Hunterdon Central, junior
Center back was a key figure in the Red Devils defense which notched shutouts in three H/W/S games, and permitted just one goal in six state tournament games, including a shutout of the No. 1 team (Clifton), a team which had not been shut out all season. Russo also contributed seven goals and four assists.