Farewell South Jersey athletes, coaches, parents, fellow writers and others who have made my five years, five months of covering sports full-time in the area a memorable and enriching experience.
After today, I no longer will be a staff writer for The Inquirer. It's time for me to move on. I have a project that will keep me busy for a year or more and it will occupy most of my time.
The rest of the time? You might see my by-line like this: By Bill Iezzi, For The Inquirer. I'd like that. Hope you do, too.
Mentioned: Burlington County Institute of Technology | Clearview Regional High School | Rancocas Valley Regional High School | Deptford Township High School | Camden Catholic High School | Lenape High School | Glassboro High School | Holy Cross High School | Cherry Hill High School East | Burlington County Institute of Technology | Cinnaminson High School | Haddon Township High School | Gloucester City Jr-Sr High School | Lower Cape May Regional High School | Cherry Hill High School West | Pitman High School | Camden County Technical Schools | Haddonfield Memorial High School | Moorestown High School | Cherokee High School | Mainland Regional High School | Kingsway Regional High School | Shawnee High School | Audubon Jr./Sr. High School | Pennsauken High School | Absegami | Atlantic City | Bishop Eustace | Bordentown | Bridgeton | Buena | Burlington City | Burlington Township | Camden | Cape May Tech | Clayton | Collingswood | Cumberland | Delran | Delsea | Eastern | Egg Harbor Township | Florence | Gateway | Gloucester | Gloucester Catholic | Gloucester Christian | Gloucester County Tech | Haddon Heights | Hammonton | Highland | Holy Spirit | Lindenwold | Maple Shade | Mercer Christian | Middle Township | Millville | Moorestown Friends | Northern Burlington | Oakcrest | Ocean City | Our Lady of Mercy | Palmyra | Paulsboro | Peddie School | Pemberton | Pennington | Penns Grove | Pennsauken Tech | Pennsville | Pleasantville | Riverside | Salem | Schalick | Seneca | St. Augustine | St. Joseph | Sterling | Timber Creek | Triton | Vineland | West Deptford | Wildwood | Wildwood Catholic | Williamstown | Willingboro | Winslow Township | Woodbury | Woodrow Wilson | Woodstown | Overbrook (NJ) | Sacred Heart NJ | Washington Twp.
If the Haddon Heights boys' soccer team can win its next six games, it will have given head coach Jeff Eppright a significant accomplishment: 300 victories in a carreer that spans 24 years.
The Garnets are 2-1-1 and in their last game they defeated arch rival Haddonfield, 2-0, a confidence builder.
If they are able to run the table against West Deptford, Overbrook, Audubon, Collingswood, Sterling and Highland, Eppright will have his milestone on Oct. 10 at Haddon Heights. - Bill Iezzi
The LaMaina twins, Krista and Shawna, enabled unranked Collingswood to upset host West Deptford, 2-1, on Tuesday in a Colonial Conference Liberty Division field hockey game.
Krista LaMaina gave Collingswood a 1-0 lead with 17 minutes, 50 seconds remaining in the second half, only to see Sydney Ponto tie it up about 3 minutes later.
But Shawna came to the rescue when she scored with 7:29 left in overtime. The victory also allowed Collingswood to slip into the final spot in The Inquirer's Top 10. - Bill Iezzi
The Haddonfield boys' soccer program won its 600th game Thursday when the Bulldogs beat Audubon, 8-1.
Johnny Alemi, Abby Bah, Stephen Noll, Jared Novak, Luke Pease and P.K. Schlitt each scored a goal and Alex Johnston tallied two.
"The program's numbers speak for themselves," Haddonfield athletic director Lefty Banos said. "It can be considered as one of the most successful programs in South Jersey history.
The threat of rain, which has been causing upheaval with area softball schedules, has pushed up the times that at least two softball tournaments will start on Saturday.
The Rancocas Valley Elite Softball Tournament will start the two semifinal games between RV and Audubon and Gloucester and Buena at 9 a.m. The championship game will follow.
The Moorestown Softball Tournament also starts at 9 a.m. with Moorestowen playing Haddonfield on the varsity field and Cherry Hill East taking on Collingswood on the JV field.
For those of you who wondered whether Collingswood should have been ranked ahead of West Deptford in The Inquirer's Top 10, check out the score of their Friday night match.
No. 7 West Deptford defeated the host Panthers 34-21.
Collingswood coach Dechlin Moody told me before the match that a couple of his wrestlers were out with knee injuries: senior Steve Shields at 130 and sophomore Donte Lewis at 119.
Since Collingswood upset No. 4 Camden Catholic, 36-28, on Feb. 2, wrestling fans want to know if the the Panthers are for real.
Their first test is on Feb. 4 when they host No. 7 West Deptford at 7 p.m. Collingswood is ranked No. 9 by The Inquirer and could meet West Deptford again in the South Jersey Group 2 team tournament.
However, Delsea might have something to say about that. Seeded No. 1 in the tourney, Delsea defeated Collingswood, 39-27 way back on Dec. 31.
Collingswood's center midfielder, Beth LaBar, a senior, took a stick to the head 17 minutes, 15 seconds into the action with visiting Holy Spirit Tuesday afternoon.
A Holy Spirit player accidentally struck LaBar about an inch-and-a-half above the right eye on a back swing. LaBar was taken to Cooper Hospital, where the latest word was that she was about to receive stitches and was waiting to see a plastic surgeon.
Collingswood coach Val Dayton said LaBar had shown no signs of a concussion. If doctors rule that there was no concussion, LaBar can play provided that she receives medical clearance, Dayton said.
Ameer Richardson ran for 241 yards and four touchdowns to lead Collingswood to a 28-0 victory over Overbrook Saturday in a Colonial Conference Liberty Division game.
Richardson, a 5-11, 175-pound senior, scored on runs of 43, 35, 4 and 1 yards. He had 202 yards and three TDs in the first half.
"All credit the O-line," Richardson said aftter Collingswood went to 1-0 on the season.
Tyrone Mann-Barnes scored 25 points as Collingswood beat Haddon Heights, 64-44, tonight in the South Jersey Group 2 title game.
Mann-Barnes made five three-pointers, including four in the second quarter. His outside shooting fueled a 25-8 surge in the second quarter for Collingswood.
It was the second title in three years for Collingswood (26-3).