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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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