Some random notes and thoughts on this Veteran’s Day in which we honor all of those who have and are serving in the armed services. 

Ocean County Veteran's Day parade (Jason Allentoff, Townsquare Media NJ)

First proclaimed in 1919 by President Woodrow Wilson it also marks the end of World War 1 and is a federal holiday although some banks and the Stock Market are open.  It appears most schools will be open and hopefully will use the day to highlight the service of some many.

The annual Ocean County Veterans Day Parade steps off at 9:30 this morning and follows pretty much the same route as the Halloween Parade through downtown Toms River and ends with a ceremony outside Toms River Town Hall on Washington Street,

More than half of the Shore Conference schools that play football have qualified for the NJSIAA Playoffs with the official brackets to be released at noon today.

It appears that 25 shore schools have earned their way into the watered-down tournament which in some 8-team brackets will contain teams with losing records. However one of those 25 teams has opted out as St. John Vianney will not participate even though they qualified 7th in Non-Public Group III.  The Lancers are 3-5 and have adopted a policy for all sports whereby they will not participate in a tournament unless they have at least a .500 record.

Matt Gudzak, Jerry Caporale and Toms River East welcome Southern on Saturday as the Raiders make a bid to secure a playoff spot in South Jersey Group IV. (Photo by Cliff Lavelle)

Since the NJSIAA was made aware of this in advance there is no penalty and it’s nice to see a school that believes that post-season tournament berths should be earned.   Manalapan, Brick, Rumson, Manasquan and Shore all appear to have earned top seeds in their respective sectionals.

The Green Dragons Central Jersey Group 4 bracket will include Middletown South, Neptune and Middletown North while in South Jersey Group 3 Manasquan is in an 8-team sectional along with Wall, Central and Barnegat.  To get a look at the unofficial matchups you can visit

My wife and I took a walk on the Seaside Heights boardwalk yesterday morning and it’s still staggering to see the amount of work that needs to be done from Superstorm Sandy more than a year ago, never mind the fire that basically destroyed most of the south end into Seaside Park.  Still hard to imagine that you could get two once-in-a-lifetime events in less than a year.