The column that wonders how one man can make Code Blue what it is today in Cumberland County and a whole group of intelligent people can’t put a dent in a city park plan even after $5.4 million — count it all in hundreds — $5.4 million was poured into making the park new again after the 2011 flood.
By Jack Hummel
Radio: 92.1 FM WVLT Saturdays noon to 2 p.m.
U.S. Army: RA13815980
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John Fuqua, a community activist who has at times wondered if all the king’s horses and all the king’s men could pave the way for Bridgeton’s youth again will join us on 92.1 FM Saturday at noon, joined by anybody else we scheduled earlier because everybody fits on our show or they wouldn’t be invited.
Erik Cagle’s addition to the North-West Cumberland Softball All Stars going to the World Series in Kirkland, Washington …
“Schalick’s own Gracie Meyer was on that World Series team.”
— Erik Cagle,
sports editor, author, hall of fame founder and Pittsgrove wit
So it was really the United Nations Softball All Stars.
Jane Uhland has always made a lot of sense, and now she’s commenting on how ice cream sales would make out around the zoo …
“Cart was there a few weekends, some busy, some not.
“Bottom line was not worth the time and money to be there. Most days just made enough to pay the fee to be there and that was with only family working for no pay.
“Cart was parked just inside the zoo. Lots of people would just want water, but the machine in the zoo was out of order.”
— Jane Uhland
On the photo at the top of the column …
“That’s even BEFORE Puffer League at the YMCA!”
— Tony Tarsitano,
Can you imagine what Tony looks like now since no one can remember the YMCA in Bridgeton, now the Marino Center and previously the Bridgeton Armory?
You know that mustache as gray as John Daddario’s!
“Was that picture taken at the Millville coach’s office for one of your memorable interviews with Tony Surace in 1975?”
— Ed Andrews
What memorable interviews?
Tony Surace stole Ralph Esquilin from Bridgeton, a little known fact about the power back who complemented speedster Calvin Murray in 1975 and made legendary Brick coach Howdy Doody’s bowtie twirl.
A look back 41 years later …
Dec. 2, 2016
Just like the Thunderbolts of today, the 1975 football team went into its sectional title game as an underdog. That didn’t stop them from making history.
The Millville High School football team defeated Brick Township 22-12 on its home turf of Wheaton Field, completing a perfect 11-0 season with a South Jersey Group 4 championship.
“Talking about Toms River North it kinda reminded me of Brick Township,” Tony Surace, head coach of Millville at the time, said. “North has won 21 in a row, (Brick Township) had won 47 in a row. So we were the decided underdog going into that game even though we were 10-0.”
The Thunderbolts weren’t worried about their opponent’s streak of wins, or the size of the Dragons’ squad. They had a mission to accomplish and they were going to do it together.
“The best part was when we unloaded a block away from the stadium and we marched in like Roman soldiers in a legion formation,” Jim McCormick, who was a tight end, linebacker and punter for the ’75 squad, added. “We came up through the goal posts and everybody went crazy.”
The memories from that 1975 classic still stand strong in the minds of all of the players and coaches. Every failure and triumph can be recalled like the game happened yesterday.
“I remember we were down here and they had a little set of stands where the Brick fans were,” Andres said. “I remember throwing the ball and I was hit. I never saw it, but then I heard the crowd screaming. I said, ‘Alright, something good must have happened.’ I got up and (Jim) caught the ball and got us out of that position.”
“You talk about another big play was a defensive play,” assistant coach Ed Andrews added. “Brick was headed towards the scoreboard end zone on fourth-and-1. Jimmy somehow just read the play. He just shot through.”
“Four-yard loss,” McCormick chimed. “We got the ball and they were inside the five. That was in the second half.”
“We were balanced (too). We ran to the right and we ran to the left. We threw the ball in that last game more than we threw all year,” McCormick joked.
“(The option run is) a great play. The only way you can stop it is by killing the quarterback,” Andres added. “That’s what Brick Township did. That’s why at the end of the game, the coach went up to me because he could not believe the punishment I took all game long … I was beat up.”
The defenses of both teams were punishing up front and determined to wear you down. Against the Dragons, Millville had to be ready as soon as they got on the field since Brick was starting their drives on the ball.
It wasn’t a problem for the Bolts. They were prepared well and it allowed the players on the field to make the correct calls and more importantly, the big plays.
“When we saw them we had to just go right out and talk about audibles,” Lamb said. “One of the things about this team was, and I guess every team could be that way, was that we loved to play the game. We could do things from a dead sleep.”
“We were good with the fundamentals, our techniques and reading our keys,” added lineman Anthony “Bubba” Green. “You go back and think about all of the things we did from the very first game all the way to today. I just go back and think about how we played for each other.”
— Matt Silva
Dec. 9, 2013
Who else wants to see Millville football sideline shots from the days when we were young, Mary Corson?
There’s Tony Surace losing his cool over a referee’s call.
There’s Bob Hogan’s defense pitching five shutouts in a row.
There’s the Thunderbolt running back being brought down inches from the goal line on the last play of a nail-biting loss to Holy Spirit.
There’s Dave Sharpless crushing everything in his linebacker path.
There’s Ronnie Lamb picking off one pass after another.
There’s big John Sorantino daring anybody to run at his little buddy, Kurt Hess.
There’s Air Felice.
There’s Ralph Esquilin making Bridgeton wonder why he left town.
And Calvin Murray on his way to Ohio State.
You want obscure memories?
Nobody remembers the Tri-City Baseball All Stars coached by Mike Darr and Dave Cossaboon that set the town of Parsippany on its ear and missed going to a World Series by one game.
Who remembers Millville pitcher Cowboy Wallace and one of the Romaniks?
We had Bridgeton, Millville and Woodstown players who spent the week at a camp in the woods while playing in a state tournament.
Cossaboon dealt cards every night.
Tri-City mowed down the opposition, but finally lost two games in the finals to Iron Area with the help of a bearded pitcher who threw junk so slow, great hitters with good bat speed couldn’t touch it.
We commuted every day from Bridgeton because there were no computers back then.
That was before 1975.
All we remember is playing in Millville near the Maurice River and the mosquitoes in the grass made it impossible to watch a game standing still.
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