VIDEO & PHOTOS: Lakewood Piners go up against Manchester in Home Opener of Challenger Football

Today, more than 60 students, staff, friends and siblings participated in the home opener of the Challenger League sporting event at the Lakewood Middle School’s soccer field.

The Lakewood school’s team played Manchester for an hour of flag football.

Challenger League is a sports program that is specifically geared to students who are classified, and is open to any Lakewood resident student. This year, the Lakewood Team has more students participating than ever before.

“All the participants had a great time with the students, in part, generalizing what they learn in the classroom in the “real world’ by engaging, for example, in appropriate socialization, interacting with peers in an unstructured setting, and even math skills when adding up the points both teams earned,” says Board Attorney Michael Inzelbuch.

Lakewood Challenger Coaches are Lakewood graduate, Oscar Orellana – who now serves as a Guidance Counselor at the Lakewood High School, and Nick Karsko, who serves a Physical Education (gym) Teacher at Spruce Street School. Both Oscar and Nick have served the students at Lakewood schools with pride for more than 25 years collectively.

Board attorney Michael I Inzelbuch, Esq was present and treated the students and parents to donuts from Bagel Nosh.

Inzelbuch says he was surprised by several of the parents from the Manchester team when they came up to him and introduced themselves as parents of students he had previously successfully represented more than seven years ago against the Manchester Board of Education, seeking additional services.

Lakewood Supervisor Dr. Sherise Anderson (and her children), as well as Child Study Team Social Worker Laura Bell (and her children) enjoyed the day too and interacted with the more than 15 parents/guardians who attended.

Lakewood Coach and Gym Gene Drumright also stopped by to help the kids out.

Superintendent Laura Winters congratulated the students via phone, as she was preparing for her son’s wedding in Pennsylvania later today.

Lakewood seniors (12th graders) Adrianna Acevedo and Julian Zingler took pictures and videos. Both of these seniors are enrolled in the Lakewood TV Production classes at Lakewood High School, where there are three levels, and about 80 High School students participating. The program is led by Mr. Nick Taylor, who has been with the district since 2012 and teaches the six classes of TV productions, and is also a Lakewood Piners Football Assistant Coach.

One parent of a Lakewood student told TLS, “Wow, It looks like Lakewood public kids are back on the map!”

(The next game is Sunday, September 24, with Barnegat schools visiting with their students. The game will take place at the soccer field on Somerset Avenue behind the Middle School. For more information, contact Coach Oscar or Nick at Lakewood schools, 732-364-2400, or [email protected] and/or [email protected].)


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