Eastern Guard Edwards Rated S. Jersey's Best

Posted: August 28, 1988

It's no suprise that, after a summer of competing among the best players in the nation, Eastern High's 5-11 point guard Mike Edwards is rated the top Division I college recruit in South Jersey.

That ranking comes courtesy of Steve Keller, New Jersey editor of the highly respected Mid Atlantic Sports News and Recruiting Service.

Keller says that Edwards is "the only high Division I senior prospect in South Jersey."

Last year the flashy point guard averaged 27.6 points and 8.9 assists in gaining first-team Inquirer all-South Jersey honors.

During the summer he acquitted himself well at the Nike Camp in Princeton, where the country's top seniors and a select few juniors and sophomores were invited. Edwards was among the quickest players in the camp.

Keller says the rest of the players in South Jersey, at this stage, are considered low- to mid-Division I prospects. His rating of the top South Jersey seniors in order, with their projected positions in college are:

1. Mike Edwards, 5-11 point guard, Eastern.

2. Brendan Connor, 6-1 point guard, Wildwood.

3. Waldeck Paxton, 6-7 power forward, Burlington.

4. Dexter Parker, 6-7 power forward, Middle Township.

5. Troy Jackson, 6-3 point guard, Burlington Township.

6. Alonzo Spellman, 6-6 power forward, Rancocas Valley.

7. Aaron Burt, 6-2 shooting guard, Camden.

8. Fred Williams, 6-2 point guard, Camden.

Rancocas Valley's Spellman is also listed by many high school football recruiting services as one of the state's and country's defensive linemen.

Keller also named 12 other South Jersey players with the potential to become Division I prospects before the end of the year. The players, listed in alphabetical order are:

Rich Brokenbaugh, 6-3 guard, Penns Grove; Glenn Foley, 6-3 guard Cherry Hill East; Lonnell Ford, 6-4 swingman, Atlantic City; Darnell Forman, 6-5 forward, Camden; Jeff Haddock, 5-11 guard, Willingboro; Derrick Malbon, 6-5 forward, Willingboro; Rob Preziosi, 6-3 guard, Haddon Township; Quinton Price, 6-3 forward, Atlantic City; Chris Stoll, 6-4 guard, Holy Spirit; Matt Stewart, 6-7 forward, Haddon Heights; Kevin Wise, 6-4 guard, Middle Township; John Yezzi, 6-4 guard, Eastern.

Keller says that it is a lean year for major Division I prospects - not only in South Jersey, but statewide.

"The talent in South Jersey is like the rest of the state and country," said Keller. "There are good point guards, but after that there is very little. There is not a legitimate (college projected Division I) center in the state of New Jersey."

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High school football fanatics looking for a potential No. 1 team in South Jersey may want to point toward Holy Spirit. The Spartans will return a veteran lineup, led by quarterback Al Mallen, a third-team Inquirer all-South Jersey selection last season as a junior.

Other teams that should contend for the No. 1 position are Pennsauken, Cherokee, Cherry Hill East and Bishop Eustace.

And, of course, there will probably be a surprise team surfacing as one of the elite in South Jersey. Last year that club was Washington Township, which was selected by many experts to finish fourth in its five-team conference.

Washington Township ended with a 10-1 record, won the South Jersey Group 4 title, and earned the No. 1 position in the final Inquirer South Jersey ratings.

The Minutemen will be led this season by Gene Cologno, a 5-foot-11, 180- pound senior, who could be one of South Jersey's premier linebackers.

Ed Heisman, who was fired from his soccer coaching position in June by the Cherry Hill school board, has been in demand among area colleges.

During the past month he was offered assistant soccer coaching positions at both Widener University and Rutgers-Camden. Heisman was also asked by a prominent member of the South Jersey referees organization about being a soccer official.

For now, he says that he will take a year off and then reassess his position. "I'll have to see how much I miss being out of the game and then I will decide whether to return to coaching," Heisman said.

Despite being selected New Jersey soccer coach of the year this past season, he was fired by the school board for "being insensitive to the students."

One interesting note is that Heisman has been offered and has signed a contract to continue his assistant coaching position on the Cherry Hill East baseball team.

Dan McGuire, one of South Jersey's brightest soccer players, has transferred from Pennsauken to Philadelphia's Archbishop Ryan. McGuire, a sophomore, was a member of the the U.S. National Under-16 team, which toured Europe this summer. He will be competing on a Ryan team that has won five consecutive Philadelphia Catholic League championships.

Rumor Mill: Could Dion Jackson, one of the state's top sophomores, be headed for perennial basketball power Camden High?

The 6-7 Jackson is the nephew of former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Kenny Jackson. He reportedly is moving to South Jersey after starring as a freshman at South River High in Middlesex County and was seen recently visiting Camden and talking to some of the players.

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