Welcome to the GMC Hoops Notebook section on the Raritan Bay Summer League. This is a new feature that we are presenting here on our web site in response to all the team camps and summer leagues that are being run. This is an opportunity to give all you folks out there an idea about what's going on with the league, notable people behind the league, and our thoughts on it as well.
GMC HOOPS NOTEBOOK: JUNE 5, 2009--RARITAN BAY SUMMER LEAGUE
For the sixth consecutive summer, GMC Hoops is covering the Raritan Bay Summer League. In preparing to work on this notebook, I came across an old notebook from the 2004 Raritan Bay Summer League, and saw the list of names that played in the league such as Mark Simko, Larry Lenahan, Steve Poltrictzky, Brandon Hall, Ron Lordi, Kevin Uszenski, and so many others. Back then, there were only two divisions in the league, and far fewer teams. Now, there are four divisions with 27 teams. Although the league doesn't have as many teams as it did a year ago (30 teams), it has still grown by leaps and bounds. The league's co-directors, Tom Reilly and Gary Lange, give a lot of credit to this site, but you can't forget about the hard work that both these gentlemen have put into the league.
Speaking of Reilly and Lange, they've always done a great job in putting the league together, scheduling the games, and trying to make each game as competitive as possible. Now, that does not always work out well since there are still some blowouts here and there, but overall, this year's league has been very competitive with only six out of 21 games decided by more than 16 points. On top of that, they have always provided great hospitality and cooperation during each of my visits. They always offer refreshments, and have me sit at the scorer's table so that I know everything that is going on in the game. In addition, the two league co-directors have always been helpful in getting me information on the game. Now, there was a bit of controversy over the Hot Dog Machine, and the World Famous Lange Dogs, but unfortunately, due to the lack of demand, and the current economic downturn, Gary Lange will be taking off his chef's hat this summer. Perhaps he could order out to Harbor Lights for some Pizza or something.
Over the past several years, the league has expanded to have teams in both the 3rd and 4th Grade, and 5th and 6th Grade Divisions. This year, there are four squads in the lowest age group (3rd and 4th Grade), and six in the 5th and 6th Grade Division. While there is a bit more separation between the teams at the 3rd and 4th Grade level, there looks to be a great deal of competition at the 5th and 6th Grade level. By far the most interesting and active division is the 7th and 8th Grade Division with 11 teams. So far, all but one of the teams have played at least one game after the first two weeks of play. There are three teams that are undefeated at 2-0 while four more squads are 1-1, and another is 1-2. See the breakdown by looking at the standings page, and the second week analysis. Meanwhile, the High School Division has barely gotten started, but has already shown signs of being very competitive and exciting.
After having ten teams in the league last year, there are only six in the league this summer. So far, three have only played games since the High School Spring Sports season has not concluded yet, and teams want to have coaches that have worked during the regular season run their squads during the summer. Nevertheless, all three contests have been decided by five points or less. In addition, the rivalry between the neighborhood rivals Parlin Pride and Sayreville Stars has provided some more interest in the league during its early days. Right now, the Parlin Pride is undefeated at 2-0, Monsignor Farrell is 1-0, and the Sayreville Stars are 0-3. Speaking of Monsignor Farrell, the Lions found out about the Raritan Bay Summer League through this web site according to Tom Reilly, and they have already made an impression on the league with their play. Competing in the Staten Island Division of the New York Catholic League, Monsignor Farrell opened their varsity campaign with a victory, and then lost 19 straight to finish the year. So, the Lions are hoping their time at Raritan Bay this summer will help rebuild the program from the ground up.
So far this summer, GMC Hoops has made it out to South Amboy Middle/High School for six of the first seven days of the league, and seen a total of eleven contests out of the 23 that have been played overall to this point. The site will continue to try and cover as much of this league as possible. As other leagues and team camps begin, GMC Hoops will be spending less time here, but we'll try to make it out to Raritan Bay every so often to cover the action there, particularly from the High School Division.
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