|Bishop Ahr’s Sean Kudelka puts up a layup attempt over a couple Middlesex defenders in the Trojans GMC Blue Division regular season finale on February 10th. Kudelka and the Trojans will be playing under a new head coach next season.|
Shaking Things Up at GMC Hoops
Over the past several days, you may have noticed some changes at GMC Hoops. There is a new look to both the home page and the blog. Frankly, this has been long overdue. The overall look of the site has been the same since November 2000. The design was a step up from the initial design of the site used when it was launched in June 2000, but as the years passed, it fell behind the times.
GMC Hoops has had several good pieces over the past several years. The history and info sections, blog, photo album, YouTube page, and social media have been bright spots, but not everybody was using those sections to get to the site. In addition, some parts have become outdated. Articles on games, which used to have a section all to their own, are now posted in the blog. I needed to develop something that will tie all of that together, a GMC Hoops Hub.
The GMC Hoops Hub is the home page, which is being reconstructed with WordPress and its related components. Some quick tips. If you notice, there are icons at the top right of the page for Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, email, and RSS. The Twitter icon will link you to the GMC Hoops Twitter feed. The Facebook icon will connect you to the GMC Hoops Facebook page. The YouTube icon will link you to the GMC Hoops YouTube channel. The email icon will allow you to send me an message, and the RSS icon will allow you to connect to the GMC Hoops News Feed, which you could add to the News App on iPhone.
There may be a couple more icons added to that group as well. Meanwhile, the main navigation bar beneath the logo is similar to the original in terms to the links to GMC History, GMC Honors, GMC Info, and Blog, but there are new ones in Video and Photos. More items will be added to that navigation bar including one for this column in the coming months. You can follow tweets from the GMC Hoops Twitter feed on the right side of the home page. A really nice feature that has been added is the content slider in the middle of the screen.
The slider is going to be your vehicle to articles you want to read. It still needs a little work, but for now, you can click on any of the photos in the slides, and that will take you to a specific article in the blog for either the GMC Hoops Awards and the Kean Spring League. The blog was also updated to a new version, and has a new look with random photos at the top of the page as well as the list of recent posts on the home page. If you are trying to access a GMC Hoops Awards article that had been posted previously on Twitter, and you encounter something different, you may want to go directly to http://www.gmchoops.com/blog, and search for it in the home page there.
I have tested the new design on my laptop, iPad mini, and iPhone, and it looks good, particularly on the laptop and iPad. Here is a tip: If you are using a tablet, you may want to hold the iPad horizontally, to get the best view of everything on the newly designed site.
2016 GMC Hoops Awards
After several years on hiatus, the GMC Hoops Awards have returned. Since the end of March, I have been posting articles periodically. We have covered a number of topics, and once I have it all completed, I will post a full page with links to all the articles for special honors as well as the award teams. There has been a good deal posted already with photos, links to video and tweets with video clips. To see what I have posted already, click on the GMC Hoops Awards link under topics on the right side of the blog page.
2016 Kean Spring League
A couple weeks ago, play started in the 2016 Kean Spring League at Kean University’s Harwood Arena. Twelve teams from six different conferences are participating. The lone team representing the GMC in this league is Sayreville, which is playing in the league for the third year in a row. The Bombers have already played three games, and are 1-2 following a loss to Verona on Wednesday night. Sayreville opened the season with a win over Roselle, but has since lost two in a row. To see the Bombers in action, and read the article on their game versus Verona, click on the Sayreville Hoops link under Topics on the right side of the blog.
O’Keefe Steps Down at Bishop Ahr
Long time Bishop Ahr boys basketball head coach, Dennis O’Keefe, stepped down earlier this spring after coaching at the school for 24 seasons. O’Keefe took over BGA prior to the 1992-93 season after Bill Leahy, who coached the Trojans to its last MCT/GMCT crown in 1991-92, stepped down to take the head coaching position at Woodbridge. O’Keefe guided Ahr to at least a share of five straight GMC Blue titles from 2008-12.
In addition, Ahr reached the GMCT Elite Eight four times over a five year span from 2007-11. BGA also reached the quarterfinals in O’Keefe’s first year in 1993. The highlight of that period was an appearance in the 2011 GMCT Semifinals. Led by the likes of Dillon Salva, Rashad Kilgore, Roger Kilgore, Pat Widdoss, and Ryan Blakely, those Trojans finished 16-7 after losing to Piscataway in the 2011 GMCT Final Four (53-46), and Bishop Eustace in the opening round of the 2011 Non-Public A South State Playoffs (70-65).
After Bishop Ahr finished below .500 for the first time in 12 years with a 10-12 record, O’Keefe returned for one more season in 2015-16, and finished third in the GMC Blue while compiling an 11-10 mark. With those 11 wins this year, O’Keefe managed to get his 400th career victory. The milestone win was a 56-42 victory over Timothy Christian at TCS on February 24th. O’Keefe’s final career record, which included a stint at the now defunct Bayley-Ellard in Morris County was 400-378. He finished with a 271-251 mark at Bishop Ahr.
Replacing O’Keefe at the helm is Darius Griffin Jr., who played for him at BGA from 2006-10. Griffin, who originally attended Howard University, eventually ended up at the College of New Jersey. Griffin, who teaches Ahr as well as coaches football, has big plans for the future of Trojans boys basketball. In addition to the changes in the BGA Boys Hoops program, there was a changing of the guard in the BGA Girls program as well. Kevin Harper, who coached at the school for 27th years, and is just a few wins shy of 600 for his career, was informed a few weeks ago, that he will not return as coach next year.