Sports Scrapbook - Summer heating up, leads Spirit to playoff wins

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On Wednesday, Coach Dennis Smith held his breath when he heard that star players Summer Crilley and Val Garafolo had been taken to the hospital following an automobile accident, but was greatly relieved to find out that there were no concussions or serious injuries.

After sitting out practice on Thursday, both young ladies performed perhaps their best game of the season as Holy Spirit avenged their only league loss of the season by blowing out No. 11 Millville, the hottest team in the league, 66-40.

Former Brigantine resident junior Summer Crilley had a blistering evening scoring 24 points, five steals, and three assists. Crilley was 12 for 13 from the foul line, where she has excelled all season. In one previous win she was a perfect 16 for 16 from the stripe.

The very next evening Crilley poured in 21 points to pace the Spartans in an impressive 57-44 win over Woodrow Wilson (19-5) to advance in the South Jersey tournament.

The win over Millville advances the Spartans (17-5) to a showdown with No. 2 Cedar Creek (18-3) on Wednesday at St. Augustine Prep.

Locals Oleksiak and Magee help Spirit Jayvee Team

The Spartan Jayvee team features two locals: Maddy Oleksiak and Kylee Magee. The team has had a very successful season this year with only one loss. The two former Lady Buccaneers should bolster the Spartan varsity next year.

Holy Spirit Hall of Famers-Frank and Grace Merendino

Frankie and Grace Merendino are fixtures at Holy Spirit games. Frankie, who has been blind for a number of years, sits outside of the refreshment stand where Grace volunteers.

Both in their late 70s, they continue to support the school. I enjoy talking with Frankie and reminiscing about Ducktown, Pitney Village, St. Michael's, Dante Hall, the Kiwanis Baseball League, and the numerous ball players who came out of Ducktown.

The Merendinos are two of the most deserving members of the Holy Spirit Hall of Fame. Next time you go into Angelo’s Fairmount Tavern in the heart of Ducktown, take notices of some of the teams that played during that era.

ACHS inducts Ron Jordan to Hall of Fame

Perhaps Atlantic High’s biggest and oldest supporter, Ron Jordan will be inducted into the Atlantic City High School Hall of Fame.

As soon as I walk into an Atlantic High – Holy Spirit basketball game, I know I will see Jordan in the first-row seat where he has been for more than 60 years rooting for the Vikings. Jordan and I were teammates on the 10-year-old champion Montreal team in the Kiwanis Baseball League a few decades ago. Jordan was the second baseman who got the nickname “Be Ready Jordan" from his constant chatter at second base.

Should Manuel platoon Howard and Ruff?

Charlie Manuel has two of the most prolific home run hitters in Philly history. Ryan Howard hit only .173 last year against lefties. However, Howard still hit 16 home runs in a half a year. A platoon situation at first base could produce up to 50 home runs if Darin Ruff can continue his power hitting in the majors. He led all minor league players with 38 homers (breaking Howard’s record), hit three for the Phillies, and was on a pace to hit 68 in Venezuela. A platoon situation would also give the Phillies power off the bench.

Spring training is a fun time to speculate what could happen. It almost never does. It happens every spring!

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