Like many proud parents, there was a time when Joe DaRold could be found standing on the sideline at all of his daughter’s soccer games with, in his case, a videocamera in his hands.
It was the start of a lifelong hobby.
Coaches started to notice him and asked him to use his talents to capture the performances of other young athletes. Clearly he was gifted because requests continued to come in.
“My daughter played soccer for Sayreville High School, so I started by videotaping her and then I got to be a little bit known in Sayreville, so the boys soccer team asked me to do it and then both the girls and boys basketball teams asked me to do it and then football, baseball and softball,” he said.
For someone like DaRold, with a passion for high school sports and a benevolent nature, it was part of a natural progression for him to wind up videotaping the Snapple Bowl.
This year marks the fifth that DaRold will lend his talents to the annual midsummer all-star football game that pits the top graduating seniors from Middlesex County against counterparts from Union County.
All proceeds from the Snapple Bowl benefit Children’s Specialized Hospital and the Lakeview School, a program of the New Jersey Institute for Disabilities. Since its inception in 1994, the game has raised more than $485,000.
After reading about the event, DaRold decided that he would like to get involved because of its charitable impact. He contacted Snapple Bowl founder, Marcus Borden, and the rest is history.
“I went on the website and sent coach Borden an email about three or four days before the game was supposed to happen and he told me that he didn’t have anyone doing it, so I did the highlights that year, but the best part was the following year when I got to do the visit to the Lakeview School and that to me is the best part and I’ll be going there this year to do it again,” DaRold said.
Prior to game-day, Snapple Bowl athletes visit the children at the hospital and school.
If there is one person that recognizes all that DaRold does and just how generous he is, it is Borden.
“He does all the work in promoting, from the press conference to the practice footage to the charity visits and then game day and the half-time performance of the cheerleaders and he puts together an awesome video package for the kids and donates it to the game, he charges nothing,” Borden said. “That’s just the kind of guy he is, he told me it’s his way of giving back.”
After he became a household name in Sayreville, DaRold expanded his coverage to St. Joseph where he went to high school.
Through his tenure with the Falcons, DaRold captured footage of recent No. 1 overall NBA draft pick, Karl-Anthony Towns.
“I started doing St. Joe’s basketball about six years ago and then Karl came into the picture so I have a lot of video on him,” DaRold said. “The NBA contacted me and I gave them some footage of Karl and they actually used a little bit of it on draft night.”
It is clear that DaRold is surprised about how far his hobby has taken him, but what no one is surprised about is how he continues to give of his time and expect nothing in return.
Whenever the name Joe “Diamonds,”, which is DaRold’s nickname because he works for a jeweler full-time, comes up high school athletes in Sayreville automatically think of the man behind the camera.
“He’s great, I mean, everything he does is so professional,” Sayreville football player, Dan Rodriguez, said. “It’s perfect every time – every game, every event he does and it speaks a lot about the person he is that he does it for free.”
DaRold is someone who cares about children in general and athletes in particular and it comes through clearly in how his hobby has expanded over the years and how he works to help young athletes to further their careers and give them lasting memories.
DaRold puts it quite simply:
“It’s a labor of love and I enjoy it. I enjoy being around the kids and the coaches.”
What: MyCentralJersey.com Snapple Bowl XXII, New Jersey’s most successful charity all-star football game
Where: Kean University’s Alumni Stadium, Union
When: 7 p.m. Thursday, July 16
Participants: Recently graduated high school senior players and cheerleaders from Middlesex and Union counties.
About the event
Beneficiaries: All proceeds from the game, which has raised more than $485,000 since its inception, benefit Children’s Specialized Hospital and the Lakeview School, a program of the New Jersey Institute for Disabilities.
Practice venues: Colonia High School (Middlesex County All-Stars) and Union High School (Union County All-Stars).
Key dates: Middlesex County All-Stars visit the Lakeview School in Edison and Union County All-Stars visit Children’s Specialized Hospital in Mountainside on July 13; Snapple Bowl banquet at Pines Manor restaurant in Edison July 15.
Tickets: Can be purchased at the gate for $10.
Previewing the game: Leading up to Snapple Bowl XXII, the Home News Tribune, Courier News and MyCentralJersey.com will feature at least one story daily, as well as videos.
Game coverage: Look for a game story, a notebook, a Middlesex County sidebar, a Union County sidebar, an A1 story, a photo gallery and video highlights from Snapple Bowl XXII in the Home News Tribune, Courier News and at MyCentralJersey.com.
Social media: Follow us via Twitter @MyCJ_Sports and @SnappleBowl for updates and to interact with reporters and Snapple Bowl XXII game director Marcus Borden.
MyCentralJersey.com Snapple Bowl XXII official web site: Can be found at https://worknotes.com/NJ/SouthRiver/SnappleBowl/