TASTY TIDBITS
Former SDA star Smith makes sudden impact at NJCU
Accolades for Roberts; All-Star soccer; Hagueini’s final stand
Dec 08, 2013 | 2300 views | 0 0 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend | print
TOUGH KNIGHT – Former St. Dominic Academy standout Bria Smith has made a sudden impact as a freshman at New Jersey City University, winning three straight NJAC Rookie of the Week honors. (Photo courtesy of Larry Levanti and NJCU Athletic Communications)
TOUGH KNIGHT – Former St. Dominic Academy standout Bria Smith has made a sudden impact as a freshman at New Jersey City University, winning three straight NJAC Rookie of the Week honors. (Photo courtesy of Larry Levanti and NJCU Athletic Communications)
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It’s safe to say that former St. Dominic Academy basketball standout Bria Smith is making her presence felt at New Jersey City University right away.

Smith, a freshman forward with the Gothic Knights, has started off her collegiate career like gangbusters, earning the Rookie of the Week honors in the New Jersey Athletic Conference for three straight weeks.

Smith earned the NJAC’s top rookie for scoring 17 points and hauling down 16 rebounds in a loss to Rutgers-Newark last week. Smith, a three-time Hudson Reporter All-Area honoree during her career at SDA, is averaging 12.2 points and 10.4 rebounds per game thus far.

Smith became the first NJCU women’s basketball player to earn NJAC Rookie of the Week three straight times since another former Hudson County high school standout, Angela Fitzgerald of Marist, turned the trick for NJCU back in 2007.

Needless to say, Smith, who had 11 points and 10 rebounds in a win over Rowan on Wednesday night, is off to a rousing start in her college career.

Another former Hudson Reporter All-Area player, Ashley Vazquez, formerly of Marist, had 16 points and 12 rebounds to pace the Gothic Knights in the win over Rowan. It’s not readily known when the last time NJCU’s women’s basketball team won at Rowan…

Former St. Anthony standout Jasmine Brandon is off to a sensational start at The College of New Rochelle in New York.

Brandon, a sophomore center, scored a school-record 45 points to go along with 17 rebounds to earn the Most Valuable Player of the Dr. Betty Shabazz Tournament, won by the Blue Angels over Yeshiva.

Brandon also had 23 points in a win over the College at Old Westbury, the Blue Angels’ first win over Old Westbury since 1999.

The College of New Rochelle’s 6-1 start is the program’s best since 1984.

For her efforts, Brandon was selected as the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (HVIAC) and Association of Division IIII Independents (AD3I) as the Player of the Week…

More on the college awards trail: Former St. Peter’s Prep standout and current St. Joseph’s University star Ronald Roberts was named the Atlantic 10 Co-Player of the Week last week, the second time that Roberts has been honored by the A-10.

Roberts, who was named to the Old Spice Classic All-Tournament team, averaged 20 points and seven rebounds per game in three games in Orlando last week. Roberts shared the award with Treveon Graham of Virginia Commonwealth.

Roberts, now a senior, also scored the 1,000th point of his career at St. Joseph’s, becoming the 51st Hawk player to ever reach the milestone. Roberts currently leads the Hawks in scoring at 18.5 points per game….

Speaking of former St. Joseph’s University college basketball standouts, former SJU star Angela Zampella has returned to her Hoboken roots and she’s now the physical education director at the Boys’ and Girls’ Club of Hudson County-Hoboken Clubhouse facility. Zampella had a long professional career in Italy. It’s always good to see one of the local stars come back and give back to the community…

The Hudson County Track Coaches Association recently named their All-County cross country teams for 2013. Among the girls honors on First Team were Brittany Gibson and Eileen Flood of McNair Academic, Emily Mernar and Camille Bertholon of St. Dominic and Roshni Patel of Secaucus.

Among the boys’ first team honorees are Jimmy Sause, Dan Apicella, David DeLeon, Fritz Heinrich and Brandon Parrado of St. Peter’s Prep, along with Jhonathan Matamoros and Rafael Hernandez of Memorial…

The high school soccer season may have been over for close to a month for most local teams, but a handful of locals will get to extend their careers by a day Sunday when they take part of the annual New Jersey Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association’s All-Star Classic at Scotch Plains High School.

The locals, all playing for the North 1 All-Stars, will face the Central All-Stars at 2 p.m. The locals selected include Rob Cordeiro and Juan Gomez of St. Peter’s Prep, Brandon Cruz and Oscar Nunez of Memorial, Diego Fernandez of Union City and Ryan Sprague of Bayonne. Albert De Los Reyes of Memorial was chosen as one of the North 1 coaches….

Al Naszimento, Sr. passed away last week. He was 90 years old and left a legacy of greatness in his sons, long-time football coaches Al and Bruce, and his grandson, current Weehawken head coach and athletic director Zach.

Mr. Naszimento was a fixture at Emerson, St. Peter’s Prep and Secaucus football games over the years and offered a ton of support to his grandson when he began his head coaching career a few years ago. He was a good athletic man who raised a good athletic family. He will be sorely missed…

It’s the final installment of the Great Hagueini’s pigskin prognostications and the old wide one has never been better than this season, correctly picking all four of the sectional semifinal games to go a ridiculously hot 14-for-14 in this year’s selections.

Can Hagueini run the table? Here goes. And remember, don’t use the selections for any wagering purposes unless it’s for a pastrami on rye (with mustard, of course) and a bottle of grape soda with your Uncle Looie.

St. Peter’s Prep vs. Paramus Catholic, Non-Public Group 4 title game, MetLife Stadium: It’s a rematch of last year’s semifinal game where the Paladins trounced the Marauders, 21-0, thanks to a dominating rushing day from Michigan-bound All-American Jabrill Peppers. If Paramus Catholic gives the ball to Peppers 25 times, they are going to be tough to beat. Paramus Catholic 28, St. Peter’s Prep 21.

Hoboken vs. Shabazz, North Jersey Section 2, Group I title game, Kean University:
It’s been a great run by the Red Wings to get back to the state championship game, but they’re a little banged up and Shabazz is big, strong and physical up front. Hate to go against the locals, but…Shabazz 35, Hoboken 14.

Hate to say it, but no state championships this year locally. Now, on to basketball…-Jim Hague

Jim Hague can be reached at OGSMAR@aol.com.

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