Manley's Blog

10 in ’10

Posted in Uncategorized by mattmanley on November 30, 2009

It’s not too early to look ahead to 2010 is it?

One of the questions heading into 2009 was could the rest of the Shore Conference gain any ground on the Class A North powerhouses and while I think most people would agree that A North wasn’t quite as far ahead of the rest of the Conference, the SCT showed that Class A North is still the top division by a comfortable margin.

Heading into 2010 however, I’m seeing a full-fledged comeback for the rest of the Shore Conference. Toms River South’s state title and Toms River North’s sectional title in A North’s bracket was the beginning of a Toms River takeover of the Shore Conference and Class A North’s most junior-heavy team is moving out of the division. Before we take a look at a premature top 10 for 2010, let’s look at the new divisions.

Class A North: Same group minus Colts Neck, which might have been the preseason favorite to win the division if the Cougars came back. If Thomsen is back, CBA is still the favorite, but this will be a wild year with six teams – Middletown South looks like it might take a step back in talent next year – that have legitimate shots to win it.

Class A Central: Red Bank Catholic and Manasquan are out, Red Bank Regional and Rumson-Fair Haven are in, which makes A Central a tad weaker next year. Holmdel is the best returning group, but the competition won’t be as strong as it was this year with Raritan graduating most of its team and Manasquan leaving for Class C Central.

Class A South: Brick and Lacey leave for Class B South. This will be the Toms River division, with the three TR schools taking the top three spots. Southern will stay in the mix while Jackson gets back in the hunt as well.

Class B North: Wall and Red Bank are gone, Colts Neck and Red Bank Catholic join the party. Overall, the division is probably a little better off in talent in the short term with the shuffle, but losing Wall makes this division a little less interesting. Colts Neck should win it with no problem, but keep an eye on RBC, Monmouth and of course, defending champion Freehold.

Class B Central: Same division minus Rumson. Losing Rumson depletes a division that was already light on competition for St. Rose and Shore. Both schools graduate a lot, but they should still be the two best teams by a very wide margin.

Class B South: Jackson Liberty, Point Boro, Monsignor Donovan and Lakewood are gone, Brick and Lacey come in. B South got more of a makeover than any of the established divisions and I can’t quite tell if the division is better or not. Brick and Lacey should be good teams, but Donovan and Point Boro were probably the better duo of teams last year. Central should be the favorite, but this is a hard division to figure right now.

Class C Central: The Shore Conference’s newest division includes Wall, Manasquan, Point Boro, Monsignor Donovan, Lakewood, and Jackson Liberty. Manasquan and Monsignor Donovan lose a lot to graduation, Point Boro should be good again, Lakewood will be slightly better and Jackson Liberty will be much better. All that being said, Wall might not lose in this division next year.

So, what will the top 10 look like, assuming every team brings back all the players it can (read: Thomsen at CBA and Davis at Holmdel)?

1. Holmdel – Loaded roster of seniors, but will I have the stones to officially rank them preseason No. 1 next fall?
2. Toms River South – State champs return a strong senior class.
3. Toms River North – Mariners return 10 position players with significant experience; will need to find a goalie.
4. CBA – Colts will be a very junior heavy team with Thomsen and Thorsheim the list.
5. Colts Neck – This might be a conservative ranking; Cougars return excellent senior class.
6. Howell – Riccio is a big loss, but it’s the only loss.
7. Marlboro – The nine senior starters at the end of the year is misleading; plenty of returning talent to make another run.
8. Toms River East – Junior-heavy team next year, but they won this year with a sophomore-heavy team.
9. Freehold Township – Next year is when we’ll find out how deep the talent in the Pats program runs.
10. Wall – James Walsh leads a strong core of seniors for the Crimson Knights.

Watch out for: Middletown North, St. John Vianney, Central, Southern, Jackson Memorial

Yes, folks, 2010 will be a down year for Class A North…and they still have four teams in the top 10.


2 Responses

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  1. joe said, on December 1, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    matt manley has an obsession for holmdel soccer.

  2. jwa said, on December 13, 2009 at 2:27 am


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