Long Branch football starts 2021 with a win over SJV

September 10, 2021
By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr
Bressett Stadium at Long Branch High School was filled with spectators on Friday night as the Green Wave kicked off their 2021 football season. Their opponents, the Lancers of St. John Vianney High School. For Dan George it also marked the start to his last season as the head coach of the Wave.

George, who enters his 29th season as a head coach, 22 of them leading the Green Wave, was like a maestro on the sidelines. He oversees a talented group of coaches with Terrence King overseeing the running backs, Chad King is the defensive coordinator, Shawn Brown and Gary Beddooe have the linebackers, Kris Parker covers the wide receivers, Greg Penta is the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach, and Ben Woolley coaches the offensive line and is also the offensive coordinator. Assisting on the varsity level are Jamil Pitts, head freshman coach, Devron Clark freshman offensive coordinator and Ryan Burgess, who is the freshman defensive line coach.

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Pacing the sidelines wearing a headset listening to his coaches, George is more like a proud father on the sidelines. Most of his staff had played for him while attending Long Branch High School and are very familiar with his style and system. George will of course override any decision that he feels is not appropriate for the situation, and he is also the only coach who talks with officials during the game. He is not afraid to let them know if they blew a call.

During the game, officials made two no-calls on very questionable defensive plays by the Lancers. George made sure to point out that they missed two calls which killed the Green Wave drive at that time.

John Guire Supplies

Friday night the first quarter of the Lancers at the Green Wave was scoreless. Both teams looked a bit tight. It was the second game of the season for St. John Vianney, who had lost 14-6 to Manalapan on September 3.

However, with 7:57 left to go in the first half, Christian Rodriguez the 5’10” senior quarterback for the Wave, threw a 47-yard bullet to sophomore wide receiver Zaheem Brown for the first score of the game.

A few minutes later Rodriguez directed an offensive drive using passing and running with Michael Hall, and Sekou Kamau. With 1:18 left in the half Long Branch had a six-yard touchdown called back on a holding penalty. The very next play also resulted in a penalty and now Long Branch was back on the Lancers 27-yard line.

Rodriguez fired another perfect pass, this time the catch was made by Kamau who ran untouched for a 27-yard touchdown. The extra point was good and the Wave were up 14-0 with 1:06 left in the first half.

The third quarter was all St. John Vianney as they used up nearly all of the 12 minutes pounding the ball towards the Long Branch end zone. They advanced to the Green Wave two-yard line, but the Long Branch defense held.

With 2:55 left in the third quarter, Long Branch took their first offensive possession of the second half on their own two-yard line. However, they fumbled the ball and the Lancers recovered for their only score of the game.

Long Branch took the 14-7 win and the team celebrated as they deserved the victory. Long Branch has always had a history of tall talented receivers, fast running backs and linebackers who love to hit. This 2021 Green Wave squad is very reminiscent of those championship teams of the past.

Last season was one that many Long Branch fans, players and coaches are happy is in the past. Green Wave went 1-6 in 2020, they were 4-7 in 2019, had a magical 2018 finishing 12-1 and winning one of the first NJSIAA Bowl Games, were 9-3 in 2017 and 2-8 in 2016.

St. John Vianney finished 5-4 last year, 4-5 in 2019 and the 2018 season were 5-5. Their best two season over the past five years was 2016 and 2017 when they finished 10-1. Their head coach, Mike Alberque, is in his second season. Catholic high schools have the ability to recruit players whereas public schools must use players within their district boundaries.

For decades Red Bank Catholic has been the top program in the area in regards to pulling in talent, and this season is no different as Mater Dei Prep had to close its football program since many players transferred to other religious schools. St. John Vianney is also nettling the recruitment issues and have to develop game plans based on their current pool of players, and over the past five years they have struggled.

Please click the photos for captions.

Additional photos can be viewed at www.Facebook.com/TheLinkSports

Gopal, Houghtaling, and Downey Make Joint Statement on 20th Anniversary of September 11th Attacks

OCEAN – As today marks the 20th anniversary since the tragic attacks on September 11th, 2001, Senator Vin Gopal and Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey are offering the following statement:

“Today, we mark 20 years since the most harrowing day of our lifetimes, one that will live in infamy,” said Gopal, Houghtaling, and Downey. “We all remember that day in our own personal ways. Some of us lost family members, and many of us lost friends on that tragic morning. We will never forget the 2,996 lives lost that day, including 750 New Jersey residents. And we are forever indebted to the first responders and law enforcement officials who committed heroic acts of bravery to save countless lives.”

“We have worked for the past 20 years to rebuild and ensure that an act of terrorism like what happened on 9/11 never happens again. We ask you to join us today in taking a moment to reflect on this somber anniversary and say a prayer for the victims’ families and loved ones, many of who were never able to see their children grow up.”

Senator Vin Gopal, Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling, and Assemblywoman Joann Downey are running for re-election to serve the 11th Legislative District, which covers 18 municipalities within Monmouth County.

Housing Units To Be Renamed & Preparing for Bucky James

By Neil Schulman

Long Branch - Councilman Bill Dangler announced that on Sept. 15, there will be a ceremony to rename a group of housing units managed by the Long Branch Housing Authority.

Woodrow WIlson Commons will be renamed the Congressman John R. Lewis Commons.

Wilson is one of the seven U.S. Presidents who spent their summers in Long Branch. But in recent years, his racist attitudes while in office, such as increasing segregation of the federal government, have made people question if he should be honored by having buildings named after him. Last year, Monmouth University changed the name of the Wilson Hall to The Great Hall at Shadowlawn.

Lewis was a Congressman and Civil Rights leader.

Preparing for Bucky James

Earlier this year, the city and Housing Authority reached an agreement. Long Branch would take control of the Bucky James Community Center, in exchange for land to build more affordable housing.

Because Bucky James is owned by the authority, it must comply with regulations by the Department of Housing and Urban Development  (HUD), and that limits the uses for residents who don’t live in authority buildings.

At the moment, Long Branch is waiting for HUD to approve the sale, but officials want to be ready when they can take control of things.  Pallone said once the sale is approved, it might be possible for Long Branch to begin managing things before the paperwork is completed.

Officials are putting together a committee to discuss what services Long Branch might offer through the center.

“We will already have some idea of how we want to go,” Dangler said, so Long Branch can hit the ground running.

“Let’s get started. I agree 100 percent,” Pallone said.

Digital tech helps city connect

By Neil Schulman

Long Branch — The City of Long Branch’s website, www.longbranch.org, and its technological infrastructure, has made it easier than ever for officials to connect with residents.

Council President Dr. Anita Voogt’s favorite feature is the ability to sign up for a newsletter, overseen by Danna Kawut,which keeps her up to date on all the special events and activities planned in the city.

“She does her e-blast every week,” Voogt said. “It’s very helpful to me, and I would imagine, it’s very helpful to the 2,000 people signed up” to receive it.

At the Sept. 9 Long Branch Council workshop, Will Bahamonde, Director of IT for the city, outlined some of the changes made to the website recently and how they affect residents.

Since Mayor John Pallone’s administration took over in 2018, both the regular and workshop council meetings have been live streamed on YouTube. The Long Branch YouTube page also has videos spotlighting employees and features of Long Branch, and since 2020 has been posting videos related to Covid 19.

Close to 250 videos have been produced.

It’s not just YouTube features that have helped fight Covid. The city used its infrastructure to set up a Covid 19 vaccination hotline, which helped 9,000 people sign up for shots in the city, Bahamonde said.

Several technologies are making things easier for residents. Long Branch has installed credit card terminals, and made it possible to pay for some services online. “Several hundred thousand dollars worth of payment have been processed with our new system,” Bahamonde said.

There has been plenty of work done on the website, both visible to residents and behind the scenes. A new dashboard feature lets residents see the latest news. When Bahamonde spoke, it had recently added announcements about the dredging at Lake Takanassee that was about to begin and the upcoming 9/11 remembrance ceremonies.

In addition, this site has made it easier for residents to report concerns to the city, and for people to access accident reports online.

The city’s staff has received more training on cybersecurity, and it’s proving effective, Bahamonde said.

“Our analytics show we’re becoming less prone to phishing with this program,” Bahamonde said. Phishing is when hackers try to trick you into giving them access to a system, often by disguising a virus as an important looking document or website link.

Expect more changes by the end of the year, he said. “We’re working on some very big updates.”

Pallone Includes $2.86 Billion in Funding for the 9/11 World Trade Center Health Program in Build Back Better Act

On Eve of the 20th Anniversary of the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks, Pallone Announces Funding to Address a Projected Funding Shortfall for the World Trade Center Health Program

Washington, DC – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) today announced that he is including $2.86 billion for the 9/11 World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program in the Energy and Commerce Committee’s portion of the Build Back Better Act, which will be marked up next week. The Program provides no-cost medical monitoring and treatment for certified WTC-related health conditions to those directly affected by the 9/11 attacks in New York, the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

While the program has been extended by Congress until 2090, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that this vital program will face a projected funding shortfall starting in 2025. The legislation will address this shortfall and provide stability for the more than 110,000 individuals who depend on the program. This funding will also cover the 10 percent that New York City currently pays for this program.

“As we prepare to remember the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on our country, we must renew our commitment to never forget the sacrifices first responders made on that day and the survivors who continue to endure the physical and emotional trauma. This funding is essential to ensuring that we fulfill our obligation to the individuals who require medical care,” Pallone said. “We can never fully repay the debt of gratitude we owe to responders and survivors, but we can make sure that we do all we can to make sure they have access to the medical care they rightfully deserve. We will never forget the sacrifices they have made in service to our nation.”

Pallone has been a longtime advocate for first responders and survivors of the attacks on September 11, 2001. He negotiated House passage of the bipartisan James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 that was signed into law in 2011 and that established the World Trade Center Health Program and the Nationwide Provider Network. The bill also established the World Trade Center Program clinic at Rutgers’ Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences Institute (EOHSI) in Piscataway that has treated thousands of first responders and survivors. As Ranking Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Pallone helped secure reauthorization of the bill in 2015. As Chairman, Pallone fought for and secured an increase in enrollment numbers for the World Trade Center Health Program after the Department of Health and Human Services notified Congress that the program had reached 80 percent of capacity in 2019.

Fun at the Monmouth Beach Fireman’s Fair

A little drizzle never hurt anyone, especially those who decided to ignore the weather and head on down to the Monmouth Beach Fair on Ocean Ave.There were no lack of workers with teachers, firemen, Ladies Auxiliary and so many volunteers working to keep kids and families happy and the fair running smoothly.

People were trying their luck at the usual games taking aim with water pistols, spinning prize wheels and testing their aim by tossing balls to win a prize. And there was even more fun to be had on the rides.

The fair will be going on Fri.,  Sat. and Sunday. The weather is supposed to be beautiful every day.

See The Link News Facebook page for a fair video

Free Program to Quit Smoking or Vaping

If you’ve been thinking of quitting smoking or vaping, there’s no time like the present
Grupos de Apoyo de Habla Hispana para La Recuperación de la Nicotina y El Tabaco

On average, people are four times more likely to quit smoking or vaping when participating in a structured program than attempting to quit on their own. It’s important to have a plan, and some help.

The RWJBarnabas Health Institute for Prevention and Recovery offers FREE tobacco and nicotine treatment services, which include working with a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist and free nicotine replacement therapies including patches, gum and lozenges (no insurance required).

Our Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialists continue to provide services while practicing safe social distancing. Treatment sessions are currently being conducted via phone and web, with virtual group/individual counseling and delivery of nicotine replacement therapies via mail.

Grupos de Apoyo de Habla Hispana para La Recuperación de la Nicotina y El Tabaco

El Instituto RWJBarnabas Health para la Prevención y la Recuperación está ofreciendo nuevas reuniones de grupos de apoyo para los residentes de habla hispana de Nueva Jersey que buscan ayuda para dejar el tabaco y / o el uso de cigarrillos electrónicos. Los grupos son facilitados por especialistas en tratamiento capacitados y bilingües, y son gratuitos.
Nuestros servicios de recuperación de nicotina y tabaco son administrados por profesionales certificados que proveen tratamiento bajo las pautas de servicio de salud pública. Este es un programa GRATUITO, incluyendo terapias gratis de reemplazo de nicotina, como parches de nicotina, chicles y pastillas (no se requiere seguro).
Contáctenos hoy para aprender más:
(833) 795-QUIT
rwjbh.org/nicotinerecovery.        Click on photo for more info


LB Library provider of Google Career Certificate Scholarships

The Long Branch Free Public Library is Excited to Be a Provider of Google Career Certificate Scholarships
The Long Branch Free Public Library is excited to announce that we have partnered with Google to bring our patrons a new opportunity – 150 scholarships for the new Google Career Certificate program.  These certificates offer short, profession-specific credentials that can be completed within 3-6 months.
Want to become a Data Analyst or a UX (User Experience) Designer? How about a Project Manager or IT Support? Designed by Google, this self-paced, 100% online training program can prepare you for careers in these high-growth, in-demand fields.

There are over 1.2 million job openings in these fields and the demand is growing. Google Career Certificates can provide a fast-track pathway to these well-paying jobs.  Prior experience or a college degree is unnecessary to complete this flexible, online job training.  Studying at your own pace, generally under 10 hours a week, you can earn a professional, industry-recognized career certificate to enhance your resume while learning from Google experts and professionals working in your chosen field. Just put the skills, passion, and ambition you already have to work to prep for a new career in under six months, or learn new skills to advance within your current workplace.

Once you graduate from the Google Career Certificate program, you can connect directly with the program’s employer consortium of over 130 top U.S. employers including Infosys, Delioitte, and  Google.

Google is distributing scholarships through a number of nonprofits, including libraries, workforce development boards and community organizations like Merit America, Goodwill, and Generation USA. The Long Branch Free Public Library is proud to be included among the groups now accepting scholarship applications.
Please visit grow.google/certificates to explore what the program has to offer and read detailed course descriptions. To apply for a scholarship, please visit:   https://bit.ly/3iWAFHb

For more information, please contact Kate Angelo at 732-222-3900, Ext. 2300, or email Kangelo@longbranchlib.org.

Main Library, 328 Broadway, Long Branch, NJ

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