News, notes and items of interest from the long South Jersey football season, which began when St. Augustine took the field vs. Malvern Prep under an orange sky on the night of Sept. 2 and ends next weekend with championship games at Rowan University and Kean University:
Its official name was the Southeast Rec Center. Everybody in Bridgeton called it the "Tin Can." That's where Charlie Kates got his start in basketball, a gangly kid with athletic ability but little direction, and little expectation that his life would stretch far beyond the chained-link fences that surrounded those asphalt courts.
Phil Anastasia is an award-winning sports columnist for The Inquirer. His work has been cited by the Associated Press Sports Editors and the New Jersey Press Association, and his 2011 column on the tragedy at Mainland Regional High School won first place in the New Jersey Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
Anastasia has written sports in the Philadelphia area since 1980, serving as a Philadelphia Eagles beat writer as well as a sports columnist and sports editor at the Courier-Post in Cherry Hill, N.J. before joining The Inquirer.