New coaches association’s first Senior All-Star Games at ‘The Nation’

By Bob Behre | May 31, 2023

The NJ High School Baseball Coaches Association gets its first public test on June 12.

The new association of high school baseball coaches in the Garden State will put forth the 45th Annual — and the new association’s first — Senior All-Star Games at Diamond Nation in Flemington.

The games are set for 7 p.m. on Monday, June 12. The festivities will begin with a photo session at 5 p.m., followed by an awards ceremony that begins at approximately 6 p.m.

As has been the case the past 44 years, four 25-man teams will be assembled from geographic areas of the state; Northwest, Northeast, Central and South. This year, the South plays the Northwest team on Diamond Nation’s Field 1 and the Central team tangles with the Northeast squad on Field 3. Rosters are below.

Diamond Nation has been the home of the Senior All-Star game since 2012 and several of the men who’ve coached in those games are the very same gentlemen who’ve quickly pulled together this new association of like-minded baseball men.

Once they learned the NJSIAA would no longer be directly involved with the Annual Senior All-Star Game, after 44 years as the event’s Godmother, highly respected coaches like St. Peter’s Prep’s Pat LaGuerre, Chris Roof (Gov. Livingston), Joe Sorce (Belleville), Brian Chapman (Millburn), Vinnie Abene (Edison), Jeff Falzarano (Bernards), Bill Gore (Gloucester Catholic) and Brian Muirhead (Columbia), to name a few, sprung into action.

“The first thing was to make sure there was a Senior All-Star game,” said Gov. Livingston coach Roof, always a mover and shaker among the coaches. “Also, the association gives the baseball coaches a voice in terms of working with NJSIAA on issues that affect us. We’ve already had some great conversations with Colleen (Maguire, the NJSIAA executive director).”

Joe Sorce has been given the assignment of leading the charge with the Senior All-Star Game. The association’s executive committee includes Laguerre, Falzarano, Gore, Muirhead, Abene, Somerville’s Chris Banos, Chapman, West Morris assistant Jim McDermott, Roof, Mike Rooney (Don Bosco Prep), Sorce and Sam Tropiano (Bishop Eustace).

“There’s a ton of coaches involved and there are a couple guys from the old All-Star committee,” said Roof. Indeed, the machinations of the All-Star Game on Monday will likely appear quite similar since the many of the same coaches have simply taken the directorial reins.

St. Peter’s Prep coach Pat Laguerre has been named the NJHSCA president.

The much-respected LaGuerre, who picked up career victory No. 400 this spring, has been named the president of the association.

“The All-Star Game is what brought us all together,” said LaGuerre. “Saving the All-Star Game was paramount. It’s a tradition we couldn’t lose. The NJSIAA has been extremely helpful throughout that process.”

And bringing this impressive group of coaches together also triggered discussions on other matters that affect the high school game in New Jersey.

“We started to brainstorm and decided what better time to put an association together and discuss the things affecting our sport,” said LaGuerre. “We want to improve input from our membership and form a bond with the NJSIAA for the betterment of our young ball players.”

For coaches who haven’t attended the Senior All-Star Games, the event has that bonding effect on the participants, players and coaches alike, and that’s where the coaches association intends to be – together.

“We believe with unity comes strength and we want to partner with the NJSIAA to come up with things that improve the sport and make it better for our players,” says LaGuerre.

LaGuerre attended the Senior All-Star Games for the first time in 2022 when he had three players in the game and also watched as his late mentor, Hudson County legend Ed Ford, was honored for his contributions. “Being involved last year made me realize how important the All-Star Game was to a lot of people,” said LaGuerre. “I was blown away by how well it was run, the level of play and the admiration the ball players had for one another.”

It would seem the new coaches association has a great building block in the All-Star Game.

“It’s very important for all high school coaches to be part of the association,” says Roof. “The biggest thing is they will be getting a seat at the table with our association. It’s a chance to voice their ideas and make sure they get a vote in what is decided. It’s important for us to be united and part of something.”

LaGuerre has always been one to bring people together, whether it’s his own players or his colleagues in the sport.

“We have to do what’s best for the sport,” he says. “We need to put our own personal agendas aside. The most important thing is to have a strong dialogue. Post-pandemic, we’ve seen that with the NJSIAA. They’ve been great. If we put our heads together it will only improve the sport.”


NJHSCA Man of the Year: Frank Malta, Jackson/A.L. Johnson


Hall of Fame: Jerry Battaglini, Newark Central/Columbia/Newark East Side

Service: Jim McDermott, Mount Olive/West Morris Central


Hall of Fame: Tony Ferrainolo, Memorial (W.N.Y.)

Service: Mickey Hunt, Ramapo


Hall of Fame: Parker Snare, North Hunterdon

Service: William Bills, Timothy Christian


Service: Larry Litwin, Umpire/South Jersey Baseball Coaches Association

Service: Keith Williams, Rutgers Camden/Maple Shade

The state coaches have formed an association.




Alex Kranzler, Old Tappan

Ayden Alexander, Pope John

Kyle Rogers, Clifton

Delvison Reyes, Paterson Eastside

Brant Vicini, St. Joseph (Mont.)

Anthony Marano, DePaul Catholic

Jonathan Gilligan, Passaic Tech

Aidan Vargas, Teaneck

Chris Valencia, Bayonne


Aidan Paradine, Bayonne

Jace Gilligan, Passaic Tech

Aiden Bagliano, Bergen Catholic


Allen Hernandez, Don Bosco Prep

Matt Corwin, St. Peter’s Prep

Matt Freda, High Point

Zack Novokawski, Pascack Valley

Chris Villavicencio, Ferris

Derek Lazier, Vernon

Eric Becker, Don Bosco Prep

Zack Selfon, Mahwah


Julian Rondon, St. Joseph (Mont.)

Anthony Pallone, Ramsey

Braden Connors, Bergen Catholic

Garrett Wolf, DePaul Catholic

James Hinspter, Don Bosco Prep

Coaching staff: Pat LaGuerre, St. Peter’s Prep, Nick Urbanovich, Westwood, Wilmer Mendez, St. Peter’s Prep, Ryan Ellis, High Point, Robert Nutile, Passaic Tech.



Noah Baird, Hunterdon Central

Connor Byrne, Ridge

Alex D’Ambrosio, Marlboro

John Goodes, Rumson-Fair Haven

Zachary Konstantinovsky, North Brunswick

Marcello Mastroianni, Ranney School

Jimmy Mulvaney, St. Joseph (Met.)

Ben Schild, Middletown South


Brendan Buecker, Notre Dame

Martin Howell, Watchung Hills

Kyle McSorley, Old Bridge


Brendan Callahan, Ridge

Gabe Cavazzoni, Wall

Casey Cumiskey, Spotswood

Ty Kobylakiewicz, Woodbridge

Reece Moroney, Rumson-Fair Haven

Frank Scrivanec, Red Bank  Catholic

Diego Tavarez, Ranney School

Zack Wendell, Gill St. Bernards


Cristian Bernardini, Manalapan

Robbie Carvelli, St. Joseph (Met.)

Brett Patten, Manasquan

Alex Stanyek, Red Bank Catholic


Jake Pope, Steinert

Mike Villani, Old Bridge

Coaching staff: Vinnie Abene, Edison, Chris Banos, Somerville, Brian Giallella, Steinert, Buddy Hausman, Red Bank Catholic, Corey Kent, Voorhees.



Tanner Nolan, Gloucester Catholic

Tyler Bell, Central Regional

Ethan Bloomfield, Jackson Liberty

Jackson Logar, Shawnee

Jack Kirchner, Bishop Eustace

Doug King, Paulsboro

Nate DeCristopfaro, Haddon Twp.

Pete Dempster, Glassboro

Anthony Mehmet, Jackson Memorial


Damon Suriani, Gloucester Catholic

Joe Nolan, Brick Memorial


Charlier Meglio, Jackson Memorial

Dom Masino, Central Regional

Evan Brown, Cherokee

Vinnie Davis, Highland

Raf Rodgers, Bishop Eustace

Chris Ruggierei, Gloucester

Nick O’Brien, Shawnee

Ryley Betts, Buena


R.J. Mustaro, Gloucester Catholic

Gavin Degnan, Donovan Catholic

Robert Carfagno, Highland

Luke Hinkle, Paulsboro

Kevin Stewart, Burlington Twp.

Joe Sheeran, Mainland

Coaching staff: Greg Himes, Overbrook, Eric Newell, Haddon Heights, Corey Haaman, Donovan Catholic, Jerry Fuilio, Central Regional, Jay Groeschel, Brick Twp.



Steven Echavarria, Millburn

Sean Woodruff, Cranford

Griffin Seibel, Glen Ridge

Anthony Anzaldi, Montclair

Dan Ciprian, Linden

John Schmidt, Gov. Livingston

Joe Sabbath, Pequannock

Joe Lopinto, Hanover Park

Jack Kopera, Jefferson


John Rolli, West Morris Central

Myles Seid, Livingston


Spencer Nicely, Summit

Jack Amirata, Montclair Kimberley

Jackson Gulbin, Johnson

Ty Fredo, Caldwell

Shea Grady, Cranford

Jake Depetris, Parsippany

Kevin Hager, Delbarton

Ryan Jaros, Cranford

Toby Smith, Hanover Park


Alex Wilson, Millburn

A.J. Davis, Elizabeth

Griffin Mills, Delbarton

Nick Shuhet, Mountain Lakes

Ian Kaiser, Montville

Coaching staff: Joe Sorce, Belleville, Chris Roof, Gov. Livingston, Jason Kalish, Jefferson, Ralph Pacifico, Montclair Kimberley.

Share With A Friend:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *