West Long Branch: A good sized crowd of 200 came out to watch the WLB Spartans from Frank Antonides School play the Dolphins from Monmouth Beach in regular season boys and girls games hosted at Shore Regional High. The game was special to all in meaning and purpose.
It was the Third Annual FC5 Basketball Game in memory of Frank S. Caltabilota, Jr., the West Long Branch and past Shore Regional athlete who was lost in the January 2000 Rutgers University Boland Residence Hall fire.
Proceeds and donations from the game will be dedicated to the scholarship fund established in Frank’s name. He was remembered by Coach Nick Camarrano as a young man whose caring for others, his dedication to his team mates, and spirit of friendship lives in the memories of all who knew him.
The halftime ceremony for was presenting to an athlete from each team’s basketball players an award for Sportsmanship. “It is recognition of “Frankie’s spirit among us,” Camarrano said. Recipients were Liam Garrigal, Spartans and Justin Costell, Dolphins, and for the girls Amanda Halper Spartans and Darby Campbell, Dolphins.
The games were both hard fought contests. The Dolphins took the girls game by a score of 22-7, with experience the significant difference. The Spartans had only one returning player, and MB’s more seasoned girls team’s eperience shone through
For the boys, the game was a steady pursuit of an early-game lead that helped the Spartan team hold out for a strong 32-20 victory. The fast moving action kept fans on the edge of their seats even as the score board might have influenced them otherwise.
For those wondering about the FC 5 on the warm-up shirts, the 5 was Frankie’s uniform number. It was a tribute to both Frank's spirit and memory.