Sports

Columbia Cougars Prep for Start of Football Season With Scrimmage

September 7, 2013 at 8:42 PM

MAPLEWOOD, N.J. -- Columbia High football looks to get back on track this year after a disappointing 4-6 record last season. A scrimmage Friday night gave fans a closer look at the team and its key players.

The Cougars’ offensive attack will be led by junior quarterback Jimmy Martinez, a first-year starter. Martinez will mainly be taking snaps from the shotgun formation and has the size and athleticism to effectively run the read-option offense. He has cemented his place as the starter and has the support of head coach Dave Curtin and the rest of the coaching staff.

The running back position will be by committee and has no clear-cut starter. The Cougar wide receiving corps, anchored by 6-foot-1 junior C.J. Ibezim, has height and ability. Look for the bulk of the scoring to come from Martinez, whether it be his rushing attack or firing passes to his towering receivers.

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On the defensive side of the ball, the Cougars use a base 4-3 defense. Defensive coordinator Lees Blanc likes to utilize the blitz and will often have eight, or even nine, men in the box. Don’t expect the Cougars to shut anyone down offensively this year. Defense is probably where the team will struggle. Expect them to give up a lot of points this year, especially when facing talented running backs.

The Cougars appeared rusty at their Friday night scrimmage at Underhill Sports Complex against Warren Hills. Depth could potentially become an issue as several of the backups struggled immensely.

When asked after the game how he feels about the upcoming season, Curtin was reluctant but reassuring. “We’re close to ready,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of work to still do in the next few days”

Curtin added that he was proud of his team’s performance in the third quarter, in which they held Warren Hills scoreless and scored on a Martinez touchdown throw. “If we play the way we did here in the third quarter, we can hang with anybody,” he said. “You just gotta capture that.”

Curtin’s Cougars open their season on the road against the Kearny High Kardinals at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

The reporter is a student participating in hyperlocal journalism partnership between The Alternative Press and Seton Hall University's Department of Communication & The Arts.

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SOMA

South Orange Police Blotter - Home Burglary and Attempted Burglary on Same Day Reported

January 14, 2017

South Orange Police Blotter as of January 14

Burglary - A Duffield Dr. resident reported that sometime between 8:45 a.m. and 11 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 11, actor(s) unknown entered her residence and removed several items, including silver candle stick holders. The Detective Bureau is investigating the incident.

Attempted Burglary - A Harding Dr. resident reported that sometime ...

Maplewood Police Blotter - Two Thefts Reported

January 4 - Motor Vehicle Theft; At approximately 7:30 p.m., a vehicle left running in the driveway of an Orchard Rd. home was stolen.

January 5 - Theft; Sometime during the daytime hours, a Christmas light projector was stolen from the front yard of a home on the 700 block of Prospect St.

Temporary Ice Rink Installed in South Orange's Meadowland Park

January 15, 2017

The following is from the South Orange Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs

South Orange Village has installed a temporary ice rink in Meadowland Park for the winter months inside the tennis court area adjacent to the Baird.

The rink is open to South Orange residents with a current Recreation Department Membership I.D. and their guests. The guest fee is $5 per person per day.

Pedestrian Tunnel at Maplewood Train Station To Be Closed on Monday, Jan. 16

MAPLEWOOD, NJ  - On Monday, Jan. 16, access to the NJ Transit southern pedestrian tunnel (the tunnel closest to Baker St.) will be closed, according to an email from the Township of Maplewood.

The email states that the closure is because "the developer of the Clarus will be making the connection to the storm water system."

As Monday is Dr. Martin Luther King, ...

South Orange Public Library Activities - Jan. 13 to Jan. 18

The Library will be closed on Monday, Jan. 16, to honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Library will be having a Day of Service on Monday from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and volunteers, teen-agers and older, are invited to come help paint the walls of the Library Meeting Room. RSVPs are not necessary but appreciated via email ...

Upcoming Events

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Tue, January 17, 7:30 AM

Apa Hotel Woodbridge, Iselin

ACG Breakfast Meeting January 17, 2017

Business & Finance Food & Drink

Tue, January 17, 10:30 AM

Walsh Gallery at Seton Hall University, South Orange

Learning to Fly

Arts & Entertainment

Wed, January 18, 10:30 AM

Walsh Gallery at Seton Hall University, South Orange

Learning to Fly

Arts & Entertainment

Thu, January 19, 10:30 AM

Walsh Gallery at Seton Hall University, South Orange

Learning to Fly

Arts & Entertainment

Women's March on Washington: Why, and Why Now

January 11, 2017

As Donald Trump’s inauguration draws near, a number of groups are planning various events and rallies – perhaps most notably, the Women’s March on Washington. I have read a number of opinion pieces and spoken to many people about the March, and several questions and criticisms seem to consistently arise. I would like to address two of the major themes.

(Q) The election is ...

Planning for Maplewood Village's Growth

In a few days, the Maplewood Planning Board will continue hearing an application to allow inclusion of a new restaurant in the Clarus Maplewood development. The restaurant is planned to be 4,000 square feet with seating for 150 or more at peak hours. The application brings to the fore both the excitement and challenges of improving commercial space in Maplewood Village.

Two significant related ...

Should You Wait Until Spring to Buy?

Should You Wait until Spring to Buy?

People love to talk about the Spring market, but should you wait until Spring to buy a home? For South Orange and Maplewood, the Spring market usually starts in late February. Here are the pros and cons.

Pros to Waiting:

Better selection. There are usually a greater number of homes available for sale in the Spring as opposed to other times ...

Nutley's Summer Farmers' Market has Openings for Farmers and Food Crafters

January 16, 2017

NUTLEY, NJ -  Greenutley and the Nutley Farmers' Market have open market slots for farmers and food crafters from across the Garden State. The Nutley Farmers' Market operates June through October, but the planning is taking place now. 

This market is the only Sunday market in Essex County, and is the only Sunday Farmers' Market in a 15 mile radius of town. It is ...

Just Pups of East Hanover Caught Smuggling Dogs into Store

January 13, 2017

EAST HANOVER, NJ- Just Pups located on Route 10 in East Hanover was recently caught illegally importing their dogs from Texas without the required medical paperwork on each puppy.

On the night of January 2, the East Hanover Police Department responded to a tip called into the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals that Just Pups owner, Vincent LoSacco, was smuggling ...

Standoff with Police in Westfield Ends Peacefully

WESTFIELD, NJ — A woman who police said had barricaded herself in her home with a loaded gun was taken into custody peacefully Thursday night after a standoff with police that shut down the 900 block of Grandview Avenue.

The incident began at about 9 p.m. when police responded to a call to check on the welfare of a resident, Westfield Police Chief David Wayman said at the ...

Road Trip! As New Brunswick Changes, the Corner Tavern Remains

January 4, 2017

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Vinnie Inzano has tended bar at the Corner Tavern since 1976, when his father bought the watering hole. He’ll probably continue tending bar there until it either closes or, only slightly less imaginable, a catastrophe wipes New Brunswick off the map.

At the intersection of Easton Avenue and Somerset Street, the Corner Tavern has welcomed travelers from the train ...

SOMA Dems to Hold First Meeting on Jan. 18 at Ricalton's Village Tavern

January 17, 2017

SOMA Dems, a newly formed South Orange/Maplewood-based group focused on grassroots activism on behalf of important issues and electing progressive political candidates, will hold its initial organizing meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 18 at 7:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at Ricalton’s Village Tavern, 19 Valley Street in South Orange.

The purpose of the meeting will be to both ...

Roaring 20s New Year's Celebration Held at Village Apartments of the Jewish Federation in South Orange

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - Residents of the Village Apartments of the Jewish Federation in South Orange stepped back in time at a Roaring 20s-themed New Year's party on December 29. Residents and guests sported period attire while dining on delicious food and enjoying dance music of the era, with entertainment by the Joel Zelnick Duo.

Located at 110 Vose Avenue in South Orange, the rental ...

Teen Dies In First Fatal Shooting of the Year In Essex County; Three Others Hospitalized

NEWARK, NJ – Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray and Newark Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose announced on Jan. 15 that the Newark Police Department and the Essex County Prosecutor's Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force are investigating a shooting in which four people were shot, one fatally.

Kevin Barber, 16, of Newark sustained a fatal gunshot wound on Jan.