County titles will be on the line Saturday night when Red Bank Regional High School hosts the 2001 Monmouth County Indoor Track and Field Championships. The first major individual test of the indoor season comes early this year, but the major contenders have already stated their cases. The team title should be another stroll through the gym for Christian Brothers Academy in the boys’ competition. In scoring a perfect score 80 points (eight wins in eight relays) in capturing the Monmouth County Relay title last month, the Colts displayed their top to bottom balance in sprinting, hurdling, distance running and high jumping. Host Red Bank Regional figures to give the Colts their severest test. They will be relying on the versatility of its athletes to score points in a number of events. On the girls’ side, Middletown South, Red Bank Regional and Red Bank Catholic will vie for the top honors. South’s Eagles may have the most depth of the contenders, but the host Bucs have the most talent in the Trotters, twins Amanda and Katy, and Sarah, who score a bundle of points in the distance events. The highlight of the meet will be in the girls’ distance events from 800 meters up to 3,200. Some of the finest distance running talent in the state resides in this county, and Saturday everyone will be going head to head for the first time. The versatility of the Trotters makes them a threat to win the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 races. At the Merli Invitation back in December, Katy won the 800, Amanda the 1,600 and Sarah, the 3,200. They will however be severely tested Saturday by cross country stars Julie Ullmeyer of Shore Regional and Christy Planer of Rumson-Fair Haven, along with Holmdel’s Christina Vullo (coming back from an ankle injury that cut her cross country season short). Amanda Trotter defeated Ullmeyer, the Shore’s top freshman, in their first-ever meeting over 1,600 meters in the Small School division at the Merli, running a 5:16.51 that day. Amanda has since run a 5:11 mile in winning the Seton Hall Invitational. Sarah won the 3,000 at the invitational, and Katy was runner-up in the 800. RFH’s Planer will be making her indoor debut and that will shake things up. Planer has run 5:12 for the 1,600 outdoors. She has been anxiously awaiting her return to competition and will probably run the 1,600. From the Freehold District, Jen Gaffey (winner of the 3,200 in the Large School division at the Merli) and Diana Diercksen are distance contenders, as are Lauren Dike, Nicole Lombardy and Tara Froehlich of Middletown South and RBC’s Julia Barker and Mary McCudden. There is no Walton Kingsbery for the boys this year leaving the distances races wide open. From CBA there is Tom Falvey, Nat Glackin and Trevor Rozier Byrd. Colts Neck has Israel Payan, Jorge Ventura and Jesus Salinas and Howell has Mike Cerchia and Matt Forys. Host Red Bank has Greg Langley and Jon Crook (Merli winners at 3,200 and 800 meters respectively). RBR’s Travis Keany won the Merli 1,600 Small School division. A highly competitive race for the 1,600-meter relay looms among the three contenders, South (county relay winner), RBR and RBC. In the field, Middletown South’s Katie Pachuta is separating herself from the field. She threw 40-5 1/2 in winning the Seton Hall Invitational. It was her first mark ever over 40 feet. After Saturday’s championship, attention will again turn towards relays. On Jan. 14 the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association’s State Relays begin with Groups IV and I. Groups III and II will run on Jan. 21. The State Relays will be held at Princeton University. Staff Writer By tim morris
The Hazlet Youth Athletic League will be holding basketball registrations for its in-town recreation program for boys ages 7-17, girls ages 7-15 and traveling teams (Mid-Monmouth, 11U and 13U; and Monmouth Youth, boys 8 and 9 and girls 9U). Birthday cutoff for rec programs is August 13. Birthday cutoff for Mid-Monmouth and Monmouth Youth is Aug. 1. Registration will take place at Raritan High School Sept. 12 from 7-9 p.m., Sept. 15 from 10 a.m. to noon, and Sept. 20 from 7-9 p.m. Proof of age and residency are required for all new registrants in the program. Registration fees are $60 for one child, $85 for two children, and $105 for three or more. A $50 refundable work deposit is required. Call (732) 264-3060 ext. 5 for more information. The HYAL is also holding wrestling registrations for its rec program for children in grades one through eight. Registration will take place at Raritan High School Sept. 12 from 7-9 p.m., Sept. 15 from 10 a.m.-noon, and Sept. 20 from 7-9 p.m. Proof of age and residency are required for all new registrants in the program. Registration fees are $75 for one child, $125 for two children, and $150 for three or more. A $100 refundable work/equipment deposit is required. Call (732) 264-3060 ext. 5 for more information.
CHRIS KELLY Rumson-Fair Haven’s Zach Diaco has his shot blocked by Middletown South goalie Dan Johnson during the second period of the Eagles’ 4-3 win at the Red Bank Armory on Jan. 9.
BY TIM MORRIS Staff Writer When you’ve won your conference title four straight years, and nine of the last 10, it’s easy to take a championship for granted. But don’t tell that to Bo Scannapieco and the Brookdale Community College women’s softball team. Yes, they won the Garden State Athletic Conference championship for the fourth year in a row, but it was hardly a forgone conclusion. “This one was one of the toughest,” Scannapieco said. “What made it really rewarding is that at times we struggled. “We had more ‘had to win’ games this year than in the past,” he added. “We accomplished what we set out to do at this point.” The next point is the Region XIX Tournament that began last weekend. As the GSAC champions and No. 1 seed, Brookdale had a bye and begins defense of its Region title Friday at Gloucester Community College in Camden. Brookdale wrapped up its ninth GSAC crown in the last 10 years on April 27 when the Blues swept a double-header in Randolph from Morris behind the pitching of Cherise Maltais and Elyse Papaianni, 9-0 and 12-1. In the first game, Maltais tossed her ninth shutout of the season (tying Papaianni for team-high honors) on a two-hitter. She fanned seven and walked just one as her record advanced to 13-4. A seven-run sixth inning broke this game open. A two-RBI triple off the bat of Leah Minnick sparked the seven-run outburst that extended Brookdale’s 2-0 lead to 9-0. Amanda Meatto was 2-for-4 and scored twice. In the nightcap, Papaianni improved to 17-2, throwing a three-hitter. Christine Lewis was 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles. She drove in three runs. Minnick was 4-for-4 with three RBIs. For the day, Minnick was 6-for-8 with a double, triple and five RBIs. The pitching gems, along with the 21 runs scored, were further testaments to Brookdale’s balance this spring. The Blues have been clicking on all cylinders. “For teams to be good every phase has to work,” noted Scannapieco. And Brookdale is that good. The pitching has been there all year with Papaianni and Maltais throwing one sparkling game after another. They’ve combined for 30 wins and 18 shutouts. Papaianni has an earned run average of 0.675, which ranks her third in the country, and Maltais is ninth (1.141). Scannapieco has not been surprised by the success they’ve enjoyed. “I’ve watched them grow and mature into college pitchers,” he pointed out. “They’ve been very consistent. What they’ve shown from day one is that they can find a way to get outs when they don’t have their ‘A’ stuff.” When Scannapieco has chosen to give one a rest, Meatto has been more than adequate. She’s 6-0 with a 1.089 ERA. What Scannapieco likes the most about his pitching rotation on the eve of the Region tournament is that it is battle tested. Because the Blues did not run away and hide from everyone this year, Papaianni and Maltais pitched in a lot of must-win games. They may both be freshmen, but they’ve proven to their coach that they can come up with the goods when it is needed.The defense has been supporting the pitching staff all year. Although there have been some lapses in the last week, Scannapieco is confident that once the players get some time off to recharge their batteries prior to the Region tournament, the defense will be as sure-handed as ever. Offensively, the Blues have been turning little things into big run production. “There has been some inconsistency, but we scored when we had to,” Scannapieco said. “We’re bunting more than we have and we’re moving people up,” he added. When the runners have been in scoring position, Minnick has come through more often than not. She leads the nation by lights years in RBIs with 74. She is the co-leader in home runs with five and is batting .438. Deidre Trujilo (53 runs scored, .405 average), Nicole Carrol (40 runs, 20 RBIs, .315), Minnick and Meatto (64 hits, .436) have also been stellar at the plate. Others who have had an impact include Lewis (28 RBIs, .371), Maltais (.391) and Heather Meyers (21 RBIs). What was most impressive about Brookdale’s drive to the GSAC title was the schedule. Because of early-season rainouts, the Blues went through a stretch of play with 21 games in 11 consecutive days. They went 19-2 through that difficult stretch, wrapping up the conference title in the process. “It’s the toughest stretch we’ve had here,” Scannapieco said. “You’ve got to give credit to the players, they came through. It was pretty incredible.” One of those wins was a 2-0 victory over the nation’s No. 1 team, Anne Arundel, in Lincroft on April 25. “That’s the kind of game you have to win along the way in a tournament,” Scannapieco said. “You have to give yourself a chance to win. Elyse pitched a brilliant game and we hit the ball hard. We didn’t get a lot out of it, but we swung the bats well. They made some good plays on defense.” With that win at home, Brookdale moved up to No. 2 in the national rankings behind the College of DuPaige (Ill.). Host Gloucester (23-12) is the No. 2 seed for this weekend’s tournament (Friday and Saturday). According to Scannapieco, the Region keeps getting better each year. “The Region is more balanced this year,” Scannapieco said. Sussex (25-8), Gloucester, Ocean, Middlesex and Camden are all capable of winning games and leaving Gloucester with the title if things go their way. Gloucester remains Scannapieco’s biggest concern. First, the Roadrunners are home, and secondly, the Roadrunners have the memory of having lost to the Jersey Blues the last two years and five times since 1996 fresh in their minds. They would like to extract some revenge at home this weekend, where the Blues are not very popular. On top of that, the Roadrunners are a pretty good team. “Gloucester is more of a sophomore team,” Scannapieco said. “They have tougher at-bats than the other teams. They are hard to strike out. They put the ball in play and make you play defense.” Because the Region tournament was on the road this year, Scannapieco covered all bases. “Playing on the road makes it more difficult,” he explained. “I wanted to get tough road games to get us ready. I think we’re getting better. We’re maturing.” Could the win over then No. 1 Anne Arundel be a sign that the Blues could win a national title this year? “You never know,” said Scannapieco, who led Brookdale to the national championship in 2002. “You always have to give yourself a chance. “If we can come through the Region we’ll certainly be a threat,” he added. “It’s [Region XIX] certainly a good test.” The Region XIX champion advances to the junior college national championships May 20-22 in Joliet, Ill. BY TIM MORRISStaff Writer
BY MATTHEW ROCCO Correspondent St. John Vianney High School’s softball team kicked off the postseason tournament slate with a title, winning the Monmouth County Tournament (MCT) championship for a fourth consecutive season.Amanda Durham went 4-4 with an RBI triple in the fourth inning, while pitcher Katie Beriont struck out seven on her way to a onehit shutout in the 8-0 win over Wall High School in the Red Division finals on May 18.Helena Coppola had a run-scoring double, and Jackie Gallagher reached base four times. Claire Stefanelli’s two-run single in the sixth put the finishing touches on the victory that gave Beriont her 19th win of the season.The county title is another in a long line of accomplishments for St. John Vianney, but head coach Kim Lombardi said this team is a bit different compared to past seasons.“You don’t always expect who will hit. It’s not always the same kids scoring runs. It’s really one through nine,” Lombardi said.While Beriont has continued to be dominant on the mound, she can’t always strike out seven, as Lombardi put it.That’s where the defense comes in.“Katie is always in control, but the defense is playing very well behind her. We’re playing exceptional defense,” the head coach said.With the county tournament over, the Lancers are eyeing equally successful runs in the Shore Conference and NJSIAA after coming within one win last year of taking home titles in each tournament. In 2012, Wall outlasted St. John Vianney, 8-7, in the Shore Conference title game. The Lancers lost, 3-0, in the Non-Public A championship against Immaculate Heart Academy.St. John Vianney (21-1), the top seed, had a first-round bye in the conference tournament and will play Jackson Memorial High School on May 25.The Lancers also have a bye in the opening round of the state tournament. St. John Vianney, which is in the Non-Public South A bracket, will play the winner of a May 23 game between Red Bank Catholic High School and Pingry School in a second-round matchup scheduled for May 28.Lombardi said her team, which has been in tough spots before, has proven it can play at a high level.On May 13, St. John Vianney and Morris Knolls High School squared off in a battle between two of the top teams in the state. Beriont held the opponent to four hits over seven innings, while Gallagher drove in the deciding run on a sacrifice fly in the sixth, as the Lancers edged out a 2-0 win.The Lancers have played in big games, including those in the MCT, and that experience could prove beneficial as the matchups get tougher.“The teams will be disciplined and well coached,” she said of the competition in the state tournament. “If the girls play the way they’re capable of, I can see us having success.”
With Monmouth Park’s leading rider Paco Lopez up, Flay Mignon wins the $60,000 Jersey Juvenile at Monmouth Park on Oct. 5. Monmouth closed its 2013 meeting on Oct. 6, with attendance and handle all up over 2012’s numbers. BILL DENVER EQUI-PHOTO Monmouth Park Racetrack concluded its 61- day racing season on Oct. 6, sporting across-theboard gains in attendance — on-track and simulcast handle.Through a lease from the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA) to the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NJTHA) signed on May 4, 2012, Monmouth Park is marking its first full year under new leadership, with Darby Development LLC as the operating manager.“We knew last year would prove a good starting point,” said Dennis Drazin, advisor to Darby Development and the NJTHA, in a Monmouth Park press release. “The numbers posted this year prove that fans across the country have responded positively to our racing product, while those closer to home enjoyed great racing at one of the world’s most beautiful racetracks.”Average attendance came in at 8,986, besting last year’s average of 8,599 by 4.5 percent, when Monmouth ran 65 cards. Ontrack wagering averaged $510,106, an 8.3 percent increase over 2012, as total wagering averaged $4,440,595, representing a 9.8 percent boost over last season.“These numbers certainly met all expectations,” Drazin said. “We were hoping to build off last year’s start, and we have succeeded in doing so.“We’ll look to continue this upward momentum as we strive to meet the goals set forth by ourselves just over one year ago — bring expanded gaming opportunities to the racetrack, create new family entertainment and provide world-class Thoroughbred racing at the Jersey Shore.”The meet was once again highlighted by the $1 million William Hill Haskell Invitational, which saw Verrazano set a new win margin record, dominating his foes by nine and 3/4 lengths in the Shore’s signature race. Other highlights included Big Blue Kitten’s impressive performance in the United Nations Stakes, and the thrilling stretch duel between Last Gunfighter and San Pablo in the Iselin, with the former besting the latter, who was the defending champion.“As we look to the future, we are on the brink of announcing a new off-track betting facility, we continue our work to bring sports wagering to the racetrack and have plans for enhanced on-line gaming opportunities — all geared at bringing horse racing closer to the fan,” Drazin said.“On-track, we will soon open the William Hill Race and Sports Bar, a stateof the-art, Vegas-style sports book, which will offer free play on top sporting events,” he added. “In addition, the entire facility will continue its transformation into a more fan-friendly, family-oriented destination in the heart of the Jersey Shore.” Paco Lopez was a runaway winner in the race for top jockey, booting home 99 winners. It was Lopez’ second Monmouth title, having taken home top honors in 2010.One of Lopez’ finals wins was the $60,000 Jersey Juvenile Stakes on Oct. 5. He rode Flay Mignon to a five and 3/4 length lead in the race of New Jersey-breds.Charleymillionaire was place horse, and She’s Hot Wired was the show horse.A 2-year-old filly by Yesbyjimminy, Flay Mignon has won three of her four career starts, earning $112,400.Leading trainer went to Jorge Navarro, who saddled 47 winners, including a record-tying four on Sept. 22. For Navarro, a 38-year-old native of Panama, this was his first trainer’s title at any racetrack.Red Oak Stable, who has been involved in racing for decades, enjoyed their firstever Monmouth Park owner’s championship, having visited the winner’s circle 17 times, tying them with High Point Thoroughbred Partners, who also enjoyed their first owner’s title.Thoroughbred racing shifts north to the Meadowlands for 10 all-turf live cards beginning on Oct. 11. The Meadowlands will host live racing on Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays through Nov. 2, with the exception of Oct. 21, which will be a dark day.
By TIM MORRIS Staff Writer The Brookdale Community College women’s soccer team poses with the Region 19 trophy they won Nov. 1 at Ocean County College in Toms River when they defeated Union County College, 6-0. It was the second straight region championship for the defending national champions. The Jersey Blues begin defense of their NJCAA Division III title on Nov. 13 against Anne Arundel Community College back in Toms River. BROOKDALE ATHLETICS Neither wind nor rain nor Union County College could keep the Brookdale Community College women’s soccer team from their destination.The Brookdale women defeated Union, 6-0, under adverse conditions to capture their second consecutive Region 19 championship, attaining their season-long goal of returning to the National Junior College Athletic Association’s (NJCAA) Division III National Championship.“This team has worked extremely hard all season to get [to the national championship tournament],” Brookdale head coach Katie Miller said. “It was the goal they set, and now they are eager play.”Brookdale, which has been ranked No. 1 in the country all year and is the defending national champion, will begin its bid for back-to-back championships on Nov. 13 when the Jersey Blues play Anne Arundel Community College at 10 a.m. at Ocean County College in Toms River.The Ocean County College pitch is a welcome site for the Jersey Blues, not only because it means the team doesn’t have to travel, but also because it’s the pitch where they won the Region 19 championship on Nov. 1.“We got a feel for the field,” Miller said. “It is an advantage.”The region finals were played in conditions that are usually a great equalizer, and that made the victory that much sweeter.“It was extra exciting,” Miller said of the region victory. “It poured the whole time and there were strong winds, and we were able to play through it.”The strong winds and rain can often neutralize the talents of a more skillful team. It figured to put a ball control team like Brookdale at a disadvantage. But, it didn’t.“Against the wind, it was difficult to get the ball out of the back third,” Miller said. “We persevered.”Miler credited Caroline Duerr (Manasquan) and Nicole Rodriguez (Millstone/ Union High) with running down every ball kicked out of the defensive end and getting Brookdale into its possession game. Brookdale’s speed up front, Miller noted, has been extremely difficult for opposing teams to match. It gives the Jersey Blues a huge edge every time they take to the pitch.Center midfielder Meghan Begley (Mater Dei Prep) worked hard at distributing the ball to the forwards and from the back, Amanda Anastasia (Middletown South), Ali Maddock (Henry Hudson) and Meredith Parleman (Middletown North) did yeoman work in helping Brookdale play under control and not get trapped into a kick-and-run game, according to Miller.Goalie Marti Stewart (Marlboro) was tested when Union had the wind to its back, and she recorded another clean sheet with 15 saves.“Marti did a very good job,” Miller said. “When the ball would hit the turf, it took off.”Brookdale’s offense, which has been explosive all year, struck early and often.Rodriguez scored just 6:54 into the match. Duerr followed with goals at 24:26 and 31:47 (she has 28 on the season for third best nationally). Before the first half was over, Brianna Penix (Ocean Township) made it 4-0 for the champions.Ashley Cafarella (Old Bridge) and Kimberly D’Ermilio (Old Bridge) added goals in the second half for the final 6-0 tally. Rodriguez had two assists to go with her goal. Duerr, who was named the Region 19 Player of the Year, was the Most Valuable Offensive Player. Anastasia was named the tournament’s Defensive MVP.In addition to ranking third in the country in goals scored, Duerr is fourth in total points with 68, and midfielder Brooke Tartis (Neptune) is second in the nation in assists with 19. Stewart ranks second nationally in save percentage (.944) and fifth in goalsagainst average (0.47).Tartis (12 goals, 19 assists), Rodriguez (10 goals, 10 assists) and Cafarella (14 goals, three assists) have scored more than 30 points. Brookdale will bring a 17-1 record into the NJCAA Tournament that will run on Nov. 13, 14 and 16.Being the defending national champions has never been a problem for the Jersey Blues this year. They haven’t suffered a championship hangover or lived in the past.“No one is thinking of last year,” Miller said. “It’s a whole new season. I have extremely motivated student-athletes.”Motivated enough to make another strong run at a national championship.
WHEN the Professional Golfer’s Assocation (PGA Cyprus) golf pros teamed up together and challenged the leading Cyprus Golf Federation (CGF) amateurs of the island to a ‘friendly’ competition with a title last year at Elea Estate, it produced a match of such high-calibre that it would have been remiss not to do it again this year.Therefore, at 10am on Thursday, hosted by Minthis Hills Golf Resort and this year, sponsored by the PGA Cyprus and PGA Cyprus partner Abbeygate Insurance, these two significant golfing bodies will go head-to-head in the first round of the 2nd Annual PGA vs CGF Cup.The second and final round, followed by dinner and a prize-giving ceremony, will take place on Friday, also at Minthis Hills.The stakes are higher this year, however, as the inaugural competition ended officially in a tie, something neither team wishes to happen again. So, the competition is tougher, comprising two consecutive days and 36 holes.This year, to be more like the Ryder Cup format, in addition to the fourballs team event, there will also be an individual competition. Both will be matchplay, with scores of 1 for a win, 1/2 for a tie, and 0 for a loss to be counted towards each player’s card.Andrew Darker, Director of Golf at Aphrodite Hills Golf Resort and Chairman of PGA Cyprus is very enthusiastic. “Last year, the amateurs gained great respect for their quality of play, the professionals were impressed and it highlights the high quality of golf on offer in Cyprus.”Captain of the PGA team this year will be David McKibben, the golf pro currently based at Minthis Hills. He will be supported by team members Andrew Darker, Paul Dyer, Danny Heard, Giles Johnson, Neil Sweeney, and newcomers to the island this year, Leonid Akhremenko and Robert Cook.The CGF team is comprised of the top eight amateurs island-wide, chosen according to the National Order of Merit (NOOM) standings which are based on the cumulative scores from qualifying events played throughout the previous year. Captained by Peter Greenwood-Jones, the team members will be Christopher Furneaux, Steven Gargaro, Alvin Gayle, Andrew Heap, Charalambos Maratheftis, Steven Mitchell, Robert Reynolds, Demetris Spyridakis, with reserve Lou Cunningham.Spectators are not only welcome but encouraged and the friendly rivalry is building in a competition that offers the unparalleled prize of bragging rights in addition to the perpetual trophy.“Obviously the PGA is tipped to win the event,” says Giles Johnson, who co-owns the Cyprus Golf Academy located at Aphrodite Hills together with Danny Heard.Both teams will be hoping the sunny weather stays, as last year’s biggest challenge was the gale-force winds on competition day.For further information on the event, please visit the PGA Cyprus website: www.pgacyprus.com
By Jamie ElliottThe Premier League season is underway with each team showing early signs of things to come after three games played.With the international break upon us, it is time to reflect on some of the teams and players that have shocked us so far this season.5. Dwight Gayle is a goal machineThe Crystal Palace striker is currently on fire but will it last?Gayle has managed four goals in four games so far and although three of those were part of a League Cup hat-trick the forward has made himself noticed, fronting a team that many expected to whimper and die without Tony Pulis at the helm.4. Swansea are yet to drop pointsThe Swans have started the season as an unexpected package this year with Nathan Dyer leading the way.Despite finishing last year in 12th place and firmly in mid-table, the Welsh side have started with a bang winning all three of their Premier League games so far and joining Chelsea as the only other team yet to drop points.3. Chelsea’s striker can score goalsWhilst this may not come as a surprise for many, for Chelsea fans it is more relief than anything that they finally have a striker scoring goals.Chelsea’s striker woes are what ultimately cost them the title last season and after previous record signings Andriy Shevchenko and Fernando Torres flopped, it is Costa’s four goals in three games which puts them top of the table.2. Everton can’t defendThe Toffees are thought of as one of the harder teams to break down, particularly when you view the Everton team sheet and see goalkeeper Tim Howard and a strong back four sitting in front of him.Despite Howard coming off the back of an excellent World Cup, the American has let in 10 goals in just three games compared to just two at this stage last year. Add that to the fact that the club has already let two-goal leads slip against Arsenal and Leicester and it isn’t so much of a shock that they sit just above the relegation zone1. Man United are still terribleLast season was a disaster for Manchester United fans. Seventh place and no European football to think about under David Moyes but the new appointment of Louis van Gaal restored a lot of faith.Yet after three games United have struggled to produce any sort of form shown by a title-winning side, losing their first game and drawing their subsequent two in disappointing fashion. Fans will be hoping that after an expensive transfer window the Red Devils will be able to recover and mount a challenge following the international break.For more articles and the latest soccer news, check out FTBpro.com
By Andrew Callus and Gregory BlachierMichael Schumacher faces a “long fight” for recovery as the first anniversary of his skiing accident approaches, the former Formula One driver’s manager said on Sunday.Her comments cast doubts over a newspaper report that said he was making cognitive progress.“We need a long time. It’s going to be a long time and a hard fight,” Sabine Kehm told Reuters by telephone. “He is making progress appropriate to the severity of the situation,” she added, reiterating a statement she made a month ago.Schumacher suffered severe head injuries in a ski accident in Meribel in the French Alps on Dec. 29 2013. He emerged from an induced coma in June, and left hospital in September.In an interview with Le Parisien on Sunday, Philippe Streiff, another former F1 driver, said Schumacher “had yet to recover the power of speech” but was “nevertheless starting to recognise those close to him”.Streiff, described by the newspaper as a long-time friend, said he had gleaned the information from contact with the German-born driver’s wife, Corinne, and with his surgeon, Gerard Saillant, whom he knows as a result of his own racing accident in 1989.He said Schumacher, who will be 46 on Jan. 3, had “very limited” movement but was working on sitting upright, and that “long term… he could hope one day to walk with crutches.”Kehm said Streiff was not a close friend of Schumacher and that his claims to have had contact with the two people named were “factually wrong”.“I cannot confirm that (report),” she said. “I can only confirm that I do not know where Mr. Streiff has his information from because he has no contact with us and he never has.”Schumacher, who won a record 91 F1 races, left the sport last year after a disappointing three-year comeback with Mercedes following an earlier retirement from Ferrari at the end of 2006.