In sports there is much made of the advantage of playing at home whether it be home field, home court or home ice.  So I find it interesting that the Toronto Raptors won their first NBA championship by winning three of their four games at Oracle Arena in Oakland while the St. Louis Blues captured their first Stanley Cup thanks to three road wins at TD Garden in Boston.

We are less than four weeks away from the 42nd Annual Shore Sports Network All-Shore Gridiron Classic with the Ocean and Monmouth County teams holding organizational meetings this week.  The game matches over 100 soon-to-be high school graduates and is the longest running all-star football game in New Jersey.

This year’s classic will be played at Long Branch High School on Thursday, July 11th and the head coaches are Brick’s Len Zdanowicz and Jerry Schulte of Rumson-Fair Haven.  Details of this week’s team gatherings are available at shoresportsnetwork.com.

Jersey Mike’s provided subs to the players and coaches and special thanks to Mark at the Toms River location in the Kohl’s Shopping Center and Billy from the Jersey Mike’s at 175 Monmouth Road in West Long Branch.

The Shore Conference Lacrosse Coaches Association senior and youth all-star games will be played tonight at Donovan Catholic High School featuring a host of present high school standouts and ones hoping to follow in their footsteps.  Presented by Dynamic Sports Event Marketing & Management in a partnership with the Shore Sports Network, the 8th grade youth game is set for 6pm with the high school seniors to take the field at 8pm.

Among those participating will be record-breaking attackman Canyon Birch of Manasquan who is headed to Penn State and Lacey’s Dylan Vitale who was second in the shore with 75 goals.  Rosters and more can be found at shoresportsnetwork.com.

The Police and Fire Dispatchers of Toms River FMBA Local #483 presented annual scholarships this week to three seniors from the Toms River Regional School District. Receiving the awards in a ceremony at the Toms River Police Department were John Green Jr. and Bernie Garcia-Aquirre from Toms River High School North and Nicole Lange from TR South.

The group holds a golf outing every October to raise the money for the scholarships.