Alyssa M. Davis

Journalism

Location icon United States of America

Sports Reporter with the Home News Tribune/Courier News - mycentraljersey.com. Sports Editor for The Tower - the independent voice of Kean University

Portfolio
MY CENTRAL JERSEY
Perth Amboy cheerleading 'Sparkles' with new inclusion team

Perth Amboy High School's cheerleading team already had spirit, but this season they have Sparkles. Head coach Vanessa Buron blazed a trail and took the necessary steps to complete the process of transforming her squad into, what she calls, an inclusion team. "We include both students with and without disabilities," the Perth Amboy High School Cheerleading website reads.

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
Sydney McLaughlin's off to Rio - after summer reading

SCOTCH PLAINS - In slightly more than a whisper, Sydney McLaughlin began her opening remarks. She paused. "Can everybody hear me?" McLaughlin said into the microphone at Union Catholic High School before returning to her speech in a more audible tone. It's hard to believe that such a successful athlete, one who placed third in the U.S.

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
Colonia swimmer perseveres to compete despite paralysis

While every other swimmer kept loose on their respective starting blocks, Alim Memon waited for the race to begin from a rail in the water. He had wheeled himself to the edge of the pool and shimmied himself out of his wheelchair to get in position for the 50 freestyle.

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
Hometown hero Malcolm Jenkins brings NFL talents to Piscataway

For the past four years young football players have clamored for a chance to work out alongside and to meet National Football League professionals; Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins delivers that and so much more to them.

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
NYCFC's Allen worked hard to make it big

Robert James "RJ" Allen, defenseman for New York City Football Club, is the quintessential example of how hard work and dedication can make dreams come true. As a young athlete at St.

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
Softball: South Plainfield's Don Panzarella earns win No. 700

SOUTH PLAINFIELD - Third time's the charm. After a 19-game winning streak and 699 career victories notched for South Plainfield coach Don Panzarella, the Tigers fell twice to delay their skipper from reaching an impressive milestone that just two others in state history can boast.

The Tower
05/08/2015
Controversy for upcoming School of Architecture

With the Michael Graves School of Architecture just months from holding its first classes, there is debate among faculty and administration about the need for the program. Kean announced the additional program this past October and plans to open classes in Fall 2015.

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
South Plainfield blows out Hopewell Valley in finals

SOUTH PLAINFIELD - Fourteen-consecutive wins, undefeated in the state, nine straight Morris Knolls tournament titles, eight straight Greater Middlesex Conference tournament titles and on Friday night, the South Plainfield wrestling team added one more impressive stat to its 2015-2016 season.

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
Verma a secret spark for Bridgewater-Raritan volleyball

Every team has a secret weapon; for the Bridgewater-Raritan High School boys volleyball team it is the contagious enthusiasm of senior Neel Verma, who has been the spark that has helped drive the Panthers to a 35-1 record.

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
Edison claims King of the Limb trophy, tops J.P. Stevens

EDISON - Four seems to be James Stewart's lucky number. Edison High School's junior running back, who sports the number four on his jersey, scored four of the five Eagle touchdowns leading his team to a 35-21 victory over J.P. Stevens in the annual King of the Limb Thanksgiving Day game on Thursday morning.

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
SOFTBALL: Updated GMC Tournament Results, Schedules

Related: GMCT Preliminary round softball roundup Tuesday, May 10 at higher seed No. 25 Perth Amboy at No. 24 East Brunswick Tech No. 28 Woodbridge Academy at No. 21 Mother Seton No. 29 New Brunswick at No. 20 South River No. 30 Timothy Christian at No. 19 Wardlaw-Hartridge No.

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
Swimming: Bridgewater-Raritan stifles rivals to win title

SKILLMAN - The Bridgewater-Raritan boys swim team blew its competition out of the water on Monday, posting 242 points, 21 better than second-place Montgomery, in the Skyland Conference Championship at Montgomery High School. The meet was postponed from its originally scheduled date on Saturday due to a power outage at Montgomery.

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
Indoor Track: Gov. Livingston, South Plainfield win at Group II Relays

TOMS RIVER - Leah and Lauren Saifi of Governor Livingston High School placed first and third respectively in the pole vault to earn the top spot for their team at the NJSIAA Group II Relay Championships on Saturday evening at the Bennett Center. The Saifi sisters tied the meet record at 21-00.

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
Charleson leads Ridge ice hockey to victory over St. Joseph

WOODBRIDGE - Both the St. Joseph and Ridge High School ice hockey teams skated into Wednesday night's matchup with one loss and undefeated records in their respective conferences, but only one team could glide away victorious. Ridge, currently atop the Skyland Conference, outscored St. Joseph, the No.

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
Woodbridge bowlers roll perfect games

The Woodbridge High School boys bowling team is on a roll Not only do the Barrons boast an 8-4-1 record, but two of their bowlers, freshman James Stoveken and junior Kyle Bilawsky, managed perfect, 300 pin games within weeks of one another.

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
Field Hockey: East Brunswick tops Piscataway

EAST BRUNSWICK Cloudless skies and a temperature of 80 degrees set the stage as the East Brunswick High School field hockey team hosted Piscataway, but even in perfect conditions only one squad could walk away victorious. East Brunswick managed to outscore its Greater Middlesex Conference and North 2 Group IV rival 1-0 Thursday afternoon.

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
Bridgewater-Raritan volleyball gets past Westfield

BRIDGEWATER For the Bridgewater-Raritan girls volleyball team, confidence is key. The Panthers proved that sentiment when they disposed of Westfield in straight-sets, 25-12, 25-19, to win their first game of the season on Tuesday. It was clear from the opening point that the Panthers possessed more composure and the numbers complimented their on-court presence.

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
Bishop Ahr volleyball tops Edison in straight sets

EDISON Trojans in motion will remain in motion unless acted upon by an outside force, at least according to Newton's First Law. Momentum was the name of the game as the Bishop Ahr girls volleyball team edged Edison in straight sets, 25-18, 25-21, at home on Wednesday night.

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
Mother Seton volleyball rallies to beat JFK

CLARK In true underdog fashion the Mother Seton High School volleyball team managed a come-from-behind victory against Greater Middlesex Conference rival John F. Kennedy in straight sets, 25-21, 25-16, at home on Tuesday night. "(Monday) we beat a team (Woodbridge) that was undefeated in the GMC and today we beat another team that was undefeated in the GMC," Setters head coach Tom Moran said.

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
Quick learning by newcomers key to Eagles' quest

South Hunterdon would love a repeat of last season's 9-3 record, Mid-State 38 Valley title and berth in the Central Group I final. "We hope to go out with the intent of just playing well," said coach Toby Jefferis.

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
Perth Amboy football team has brains and brawn

With Perth Amboy High School's unique study hall program going into it's third year, its football team is starting to reap the benefits and its athletes are looking forward to brighter futures. In the past it was common for the Panthers to lose up to 10 players due to academic ineligibility.

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
Westfield girls cross country under new management

After nearly three and a half decades under head coach Thom Hornish, the Westfield girls cross country team passed the mantle to long-time assistant coach Jen Buccino. Hornish, who retired in 2014, passed away on Aug. 29 at the age of 65 after battling cancer.

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
'Be The Best' golf outing benefits Old Bridge football

Alumni of Madison Township, Cedar Ridge, Madison Central and Old Bridge high schools are invited to attend the 12th annual Be The Best golf outing which will be held at Pebble Creek Golf Club in Colts Neck on Friday, July 17.

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
From Snapple Bowl QB to supporter: Autoland's Michael Maffucci Jr.

For Autoland's Michael Maffucci Jr., thoughts of Snapple Bowl XXII, which will be held at Kean University on July 16 at 7 p.m., brought back fond memories and fostered a sense of pride. In the 2002 Snapple Bowl, Maffucci Jr. was the starting quarterback for the Middlesex County squad.

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
J.P. Stevens looking to stay on top after successful 2014

Coming off a record-breaking season in 2014, the J.P. Stevens girls cross country team is training to remain strong Greater Middlesex Conference contenders. Last October, head coach David Allen led his team to a feat never before achieved in the school's cross country history, girls or boys.

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
Pressure is on as Hillsborough looks to repeat success

Only seven points separated the top two teams at the 2014 NJSIAA girls cross country Meet of Champions, where Hillsborough was happy to walk away as number two, and this season the Raiders hope to make it just as far, if not farther.

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
A football camp with heart honors former Rutgers lineman

A heart attack may have claimed the life of Scott Patkochis, but it hasn't prevented others from keeping alive the former Rutgers University and North Hunterdon offensive lineman's spirit by continuing his work of giving back to the community.

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
Bridgewater-Raritan field hockey shuts down Hillsborough

BRIDGEWATER Both teams walked onto the field with only one loss on Monday, but it was the Bridgewater-Raritan field hockey team that prowled off adding one more to its win column. Both Kelly Watson and Lauren Giordano had a multiple-point game to help the Panthers to their fourth shutout victory of the season as they out-scored Skyland Conference and North 2 Group IV rival Hillsborough 7-0.

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
Piscataway High players show skill during North-South Classic

Is it something in the Piscataway water or does head coach Dan Higgins have a gift for developing all-star talent? To continue with its elite legacy, Piscataway High School churned out two great football players this year in offensive lineman Charles Mitchell and defensive end Elorm Lumor.

TAPinto
03/15/2015
Aldene School Students Perform for the Board of Education

ROSELLE PARK, NJ - Six Aldene School students showcased their individual talents at last night's Board of Education meeting. The students were chosen based on their performances in Aldene's Talent Show, which took place in the beginning of February. Among the acts was a comedy routine courtesy of third-grader, Cooper Crawford.

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
Bridgewater-Raritan's Blair is the Courier News Boys Volleyball Player of the Year

After a fairytale season in which he lead his team through 31 consecutive wins, including the Tournament of Champions title, Bridgewater-Raritan's setter BJ Blair has one more thing to boast about: He is the Courier News Boys Volleyball Player of the Year. "It feels awesome," Blair said on winning the award.

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
Girls golf: Eager and East Brunswick win at the GMC Golf Tournament

South Plainfield High School senior Nicole Eager won the individual title at the Greater Middlesex Conference Girls Golf Tournament on Thursday at Concordia Golf Club, while East Brunswick High School took the team title. Eager shot a 1-over-par 36, which was her personal best.

The Tower
04/11/2015
Designed to inspire

A facade of windows outlines the Green Lane Building. By Alyssa Davis From the ceiling to the chairs, and everything in-between, the fifth floor of Kean's Green Lane building, which houses the Robert Busch School of Design (RBSD), was thoughtfully planned to foster student creativity.

The Tower
02/21/2015
A Strong Start: Men's Volleyball

By Alyssa Davis The Men's volleyball team The Kean University men's volleyball team won all four of their matches on opening weekend at the Kean Winter Classic to start the 2015 season with an undefeated, 4-0 record. In their first match at the Classic, the Cougars went toe-to-toe with Elmira College.

The Tower
02/24/2015
The Worst of the Worst in the Film Industry

By Alyssa Davis The Academy Awards is a highly anticipated, star-studded ceremony celebrating cinematic achievements. The Razzies is, well - the opposite. Since 1980, the Golden Raspberry Awards has celebrated the anti-achievements of the film industry. Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas took home the most Razzies this year, winning in the Worst Picture, Worst Actor, Worst Screenplay and Worst Screen Combo categories.

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
06/02/2015
Bridgewater-Raritan volleyball knocks off Fair Lawn in TOC semis

It was momentum that got the Bridgewater-Raritan boys volleyball team to this game and it was momentum that fueled its win. Bridgewater-Raritan managed to overcome a tough opponent in Fair Lawn in the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions semifinals on Tuesday night at South Brunswick High School in a match that was decided in three sets (27-25, 25-20, 25-21).

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
Candlelight vigil to be held for Sayreville's Matthew Welna

A candlelight vigil will be held to honor the late Matthew M. Welna at Sayreville War Memorial High School on Friday, May 15 from 7-10 p.m. Welna, a former varsity soccer player at Sayreville High School and graduate of Rider University, passed away on March 20 after being struck by a dump truck.

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
J.P. Stevens' Mackiewicz is the Home News Tribune Boys Volleyball Player of the Year

It isn't just his 6-foot-8 frame that makes Kyle Mackiewicz menacing on the volleyball court, but also his superb athleticism and knowledge of the sport. A junior middle-blocker for the J.P. Stevens High School boys volleyball team, Mackiewicz is an offensive asset for the Hawks using his size and talent to get as many kills and blocks as possible.

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
Monroe's Gillies is the Home News Tribune Boys Lacrosse Player of the Year

Hard work, dedication, commitment and constant focus on his game have translated into a divisional championship and being named team captain for Monroe High School boys lacrosse attack Sean Gillies. These traits also have earned him the title of Home News Tribune Boys Lacrosse Player of the Year.

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
Ridge's Ku is the Courier News Girls Golfer of the Year

As the saying goes practice makes perfect, and that couldn't be more evident than in the case of Anina Ku. A member of the undefeated and Tournament of Champions winner Ridge High School girls golf team, Ku's hours of hard-work and practice combined with her love of the game earned her the title of Courier News Girls Golfer of the Year.

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
East Brunswick's Marchalik captures NJSIAA singles title

It was a storybook ending to an already perfect season as East Brunswick's Joshua Marchalik added the No. 1 Singles Champion to his previously impressive résumé. Marchalik, who is undefeated, beat Millburn's Tyler Schick in the NJSIAA boys tennis singles tournament in straight-sets, 6-1, 6-2, on Thursday afternoon at the Garden State Tennis Center.

The Tower
03/12/2015
Women's basketball season comes to a close

2014-2015 Women's basketball team By Alyssa Davis In the final game of the Women's Basketball season, the Cougars fell to New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) rival, The College of New Jersey, to finish the season with a 12-13 record. Kean started the 2014-2015 season strong scoring a season-high, 90-points and securing a 49-point win against Simmons College in their first contest.

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
Monroe students team with Wounded Warriors Project for Armed Forces Appreciation Day

The last Monday of May is commonly celebrated as part of a long weekend full of beach trips and barbeques, but Monroe Township High School is holding an event to commemorate the true reason for Memorial Day. The Armed Forces Appreciation Day event will be held in the school's football stadium on May 22 from 9:30 a.m.

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
Old Bridge boys volleyball opens tournament with a win over J.P. Stevens

Third-seeded Old Bridge made quick work of 14th-seeded J.P. Stevens in Tuesday's opening round of the NJSIAA Central boys volleyball tournament, dispatching of the Hawks in straight sets. The Knights advanced to Thursday's quarterfinals, where they will host sixth-seeded Hillsborough, a straight-sets winner over North Brunswick.

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
St. Joseph advances to Central Jersey boys volleyball final

The energy in the gym took on a life of its own as third-seeded Old Bridge and second-seeded St. Joseph met in the NJSIAA Central Jersey boys volleyball semifinals Wednesday. The match was decided in three sets, and the Falcons ultimately took the win. The teams met three times prior in 2015.

MY CENTRAL JERSEY
Montgomery doubles team victorious in NJSIAA finals

Montogomery's Zach Anderson and Nikhil Pancha started the NJSIAA Tournament hoping to finish well, but they never expected to be the boys tennis doubles champions. The Montgomery duo knocked off Newark Academy's Ben Hyatt and Noah Sellinger, 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-3), in the final round of the doubles tournament Thursday afternoon at Garden State Tennis Center.

The Tower
03/10/2015
The new four-letter word: SNOW

By Alyssa Davis Poor driving conditions, potholes and flooding are common things to be concerned about when it comes to snow and cold weather, but Kean University's spring sports teams have other reasons to be worried.

The Tower
04/11/2015
Michael Graves, namesake of the School of Architecture, dies

By Alyssa Davis Renowned architect Michael Graves, the namesake of Kean's forthcoming architecture program, died on March 12 at the age of 80. Graves designed office buildings, resorts, retail stores, hospitals, monuments and university buildings, according to the New York Times.

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