Rahway’s Clark Staying: Scotch Plains Going And Class Of 2008 Moving On

By Jim Whelan

After some rethinking Rahway’s Earl Clark decided to withdraw his name from the NBA Draft. The third year of college basketball will give benefit both the Louisville Cardinals and Clark.

Unlike Clark, who was eligible to return to college for another year, fellow Union County resident Derrick Caractor was ruled ineligible by the University of Louisville. Caractor is forced either to transfer to another school or to remain eligible for the NBA Draft.

Clark’s head coach at Rahway, Chris Remley, was a little reluctant in supporting Clark’s decision to go turn pro after only two years. He said, “I think he may need three years (at the college level) and I hope he would return to school to finish his degree.”

Doherty Stepping Down

After bringing a state championship home to Scotch Plains for the first time in more than 48 years, Coach Dan Doherty decided to step down as the Raiders head coach after eight years at the post. Doherty, who teaches math in the Scotch Plains district, knew the Raiders were going to be good going into this season. They were, led by senior guard Bryan Dougher, the school’s all-time leading scorer. Doherty made his announcement at the annual Scotch Plains Fanwood High School awards dinner.

Doherty starred at Clark’s Johnson Regional where he played for legendary Coach Steve Petruzelli, who now coaches Governor Livingston. Doherty coached as an assistant his alma mater then went on to Rahway High School. Doherty landed his first head coaching job at Union Catholic 10 years ago before taking the job at Scotch Plains. Doherty said he is “not burnt out yet, but the year-round schedule started to be a grind.”

The 2008 season will always be a memorable one, but there could have been a dynasty in Scotch Plains. Lance Thomas (Duke), Derrick Caractor (Louisville), and Ashton Gibbs (Pittsburgh) all could have been enrolled at the Union County school, but decided to go elsewhere. Top assistant Ben Martinez is the leading candidate to replace Doherty.

County Players Moving On

Desmond Wade (Linden) University of Houston

Quintrell Thomas (St. Pat’s) University of Kansas

Bryan Dougher (Scotch Plains) Stony Brook

Travis Taylor (Union) Monmouth

Mark Zabel (Scotch Plains) Cabrini College

Thomas Goubadia (Union) Harcum Junior College

Ronnie Sawyer (Apex) Academy Prep

Dan Boucher (New Providence) College of New Jersey

Will Fleneroy (Elizabeth) Union County College

Simon Smith (Cranford) Stevens Tech

Chris Kehoe (Summit) Connecticut College

Matt Henn (Roselle Catholic) Stevens Tech

William Dallis Ricks (Brearley) New Jersey City University

Jermel Jenkins (St. Pat’s) Iona

Shaun Blackmon (Plainfield) Bloomfield

Anthony McCoy (Elizabeth) William Paterson

2009 Coaching Vacancies

Head Coach- Hillside High School

2 JV coaches and 2 freshmen coaches at St.Mary’s of Elizabeth

Jim Whelan can be reached at njhoops@hotmail.com

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