It is not easy coming back after a four-day weekend which was wonderful for several reasons including no alarm clock for four straight days!  When you work early-morning hours in radio that it itself is a real bonus.

I had a nice break, spent quality time with my family, ate more than enough, watched plenty of football, took a long boardwalk stroll the day after Thanksgiving and even got to the gym a couple of times. I did everything but holiday shopping which I’m sure some of you did a lot of.

It was certainly a great holiday weekend for a couple of former local high school athletes:

Richie Lewis
Richie Lewis (TrackWrestling)

At this time last year Kenny Pickett’s high school football career had just ended as his Ocean Township team finished what was a disappointing 5-5 season.  Pickett, a highly-recruited quarterback would graduate early from high school in December which allowed him to enroll at the University of Pittsburgh the following month.

He started the fall listed 3rd or 4th  on the Panthers depth chart and was likely headed for a red-shirt season but injuries changed that and two weeks ago nearly led Pitt to an upset at Virginia Tech.  That performance earned him his first college start last Friday against then #2 ranked Miami and the Oakhurst native made the most of it by passing and rushing for over 250 yards and scoring two touchdowns in a stunning upset of the Hurricanes.

By the way, Pickett was never offered a scholarship by Rutgers.

There is very good news for a member of the Scarlet Knights wrestling team as Toms River’s Richie Lewis captured a gold medal in the U23 World Freestyle Wrestling Championships in Poland Sunday.

Lewis, competing overseas for the first time, won all 5 of his matches at 154 pounds and beat a wrestler from India 3-1 in the finals.  A former standout at Toms River East, Lewis defeated some of the top wrestlers in the US to earn a spot on the team and seems to be peaking as he now turns his attention to his senior season at Rutgers.

He is ranked 7th in the nation at 157 pounds and part of an outstanding group under the direction of head coach Scott Goodale of Toms River.