South Amboy Native Takes Helm of Guvs Boys Program
SOUTH AMBOY, NJ—Among the several coaching changes in the Greater Middlesex Conference during this past off-season was the one that occurred in South Amboy. After John Zammit, a member of the only South Amboy boys basketball team to win a GMC division title in 2007-08, stepped down earlier this year, Wiater was selected to replace him.
Prior to that, Wiater served on Zammit’s coaching staff along with another South Amboy legend, Joe Charmello for the past several years. In high school, Wiater attended Cardinal McCarrick, where he played on the Eagles freshmen team that finished 2nd in the GMC Blue Division to a Bishop Ahr squad led by Billy Rooney, Mike Williamson, and Kevin Uszenski during the 2004-05 season.
The 2004-05 Freshmen Eagles ended up being the 5th seed in that year’s tournament, but were upset in the Round of 16 by 12th seeded South Brunswick, which consisted of the likes of Arman Wilson, Sean Lease, and Troy Confessore. Those Freshmen Vikings then knocked off 4th seeded Edison in the Quarterfinals, and reached the Championship game before losing to 2nd seeded J.F. Kennedy led by the likes of Chris Galadyk, Jelani Davis, and Jameel Seymour.
Before his arrival at McCarrick, Wiater first made a splash with South Amboy hoops standout, Mark Simko on the McCarrick Blue Devils in the 2004 Raritan Bay Summer League at South Amboy High School. The Cardiac Kids of those McCarrick Blue Devils were one of the big storylines of the summer at that Raritan Bay Summer League, which was the first one to be covered by GMC Hoops. It would be a start to a great partnership with the likes of Tom Reilly and Gary Lange, which continues to this day with the upcoming Friends of South Amboy Benefit Showcase.
Last year, South Amboy was only 2-20 including a 2-12 mark in divisional play after going 6-18 including a 5-9 mark in the GMC Gold in 2016-17. Under Zammit, the Guvs enjoyed perhaps their best season in 2015-16, which was his 2nd season at the helm. South Amboy only finished 11-15 overall, but went 10-7 in divisional play, and gave neighborhood foe, Sayreville a scare before Ryan O’Leary, who transferred over to Bomber Country from South Amboy, scored at the buzzer to give the Bombers a heart stopping, 59-57 victory in the 4th annual Friends of South Amboy Benefit Showcase.
The close loss to Sayreville was perhaps Zammit’s finest hour as the Guvs boys basketball coach after he boldly predicted to GMC Hoops before the game that his small school squad could hang with Sayreville, and give the Bombers all that they could handle. During Zammit’s first season in Guvland, South Amboy went 12-15 while finishing 8-8 in Gold Division play. Wiater inherits a veteran group from Zammit though, and they have nowhere to go but up this year.
Led by the likes of Kyle Gasiewski, who is a standout in both basketball and baseball, and has been one of the top three point shooters in the GMC over the past two seasons, the 2018-19 Guvs also have Louie Martinez, the cousin of former St. Joseph’s and Cardinal McCarrick standout, Marques Townes, who plays for the Loyola Chicago team that reached the NCAA Final Four a year ago, and former Sayreville and St. Joseph’s standout, Xavier Townes, who now plays NCAA Division 3 hoops at Rutgers-Newark.
In addition, this year’s South Amboy team is expected to have Steven Pena, Steve McLaughlin, John McCleery, and Aidan Pelkey returning. The Guvs open their season on Saturday, December 15th against Gold Division rival, Piscataway Tech, which is coached by Lenny Reyes, who coached the Guvs for several seasons and led South Amboy to the GMCT Elite Eight in 2014 as the tourney’s 24th seed. This game is scheduled to start at 4:00 PM, and will be the second game of a quadrupleheader at the 2018 Friends of South Amboy Benefit Showcase.
GMC Hoops plans to cover the 2018 Friends of South Amboy Benefit Showcase in its entirety. You can follow all of the action on the GMC Hoops Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/GMCHoops, or on twitter @gmchoops.