Donovan Griffins Relive Memories of the Gepper
Steve Gepp was a Hall of Fame basketball coach for some three decades at St. Joseph’s High School which later became Monsignor Donovan and of course is now Donovan Catholic. During his tenure the Griffins had many outstanding teams and under the colorful Gepp won their share of championships.
But the true testament of what he meant to the school and his players is the annual Golf With the Gepper which was held Thursday at Eagle Ridge Golf Club. Sponsored by the Griffin Basketball Association about 80 golfers took part in an event that supports not only the boys and girls hoops programs but provides scholarships to graduating seniors.
As much as anything it’s a Gepper lovefest as former players reunite with their old coach and share stories that have likely been exaggerated over the years. For the second straight year I was the MC of the post-golf dinner and what was most impressive is that most of the members of Gepp’s 1970 championship team were in attendance, including Kevin Billerman who would later play at Duke and is one of the greatest athletes in Shore Conference history.
Among others from that team who waxed poetic with their old coach were Tom Westen, Jay Ramirez, Ernie Morelli, Bob Callow and Jeff Lee.
Congrats to Donovan Catholic coach Mike Kearney, Ray and Dawn Marzarella, Vic Suskevich and the other volunteers for once again putting on a nice event.
Earlier in the day I was at Monmouth University for the Hawks football media day. It was just the third day of practice but Hawks coach Kevin Callahan seems very upbeat about prospects for the season which begins at Lehigh in just three weeks.
While the team was practicing work was underway nearby on what will be a big football stadium upgrade and overhaul. For that reason Monmouth only has three home games this fall, the last of which is on October 29th as the following week the bulk of the work will begin.
In a related note 2015 Monmouth graduate and former Manasquan High School star Neal Sterling caught 3 passes for 32 yards for the Jaguars in last night’s pre-season opener against the Jets at MetLife Stadium. Sterling is one of three ex-Hawks currently in NFL training camps as wide receiver Chris Hogan is with the Patriots and rookie tight end Hakeem Valles with the Arizona Cardinals.