South Jersey Sports

Boys lacrosse preview: Lacrosse on the rise in South Jersey

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Written by Bill LeConey Wednesday, April 02, 2014 12:42 pm

newboyslax Bill LeConey/Absegami’s Jerry Breitzman gets possession of the ball against a Lower Cape May player in an April 1 game in Galloway. Lacrosse is one of the fastest-growing sports in the country, and it is finally starting to take hold in South Jersey in terms of interest and talent.

Oakcrest and Egg Harbor Township each won state playoff games last year, and new teams at Holy Spirit, Atlantic City and Cedar Creek will take the field for the first time this year.

Here are capsule previews of several area teams.

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Girls lacrosse preview: Expectations high for EHT

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Written by Bill LeConey Wednesday, April 02, 2014 12:13 pm

Girls lacrosse preview: Jen Marra/Oakcrest’s Cassie Mancella (left) and Dominique Barber and Middle Township’s Juliana Riggitano go after the ball in front of Oakcrest goalie Khadijah Coleman in a game on April 1. Egg Harbor Township High School girls lacrosse coach Jonelle Scardino says she has the most athletic group of players in the six-year history of the team.

“All of the players understand and practice the team mentality of working together,” Scardino said. “I am a firm believer that a team cannot be successful unless they work together and utilize every player on the field. If we continue to play as a team, I do not think there is anything that can stop us this season.”

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Warm weather heralds start of Cape-Atlantic League baseball

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Written by Bill LeConey Wednesday, April 02, 2014 11:27 am

Matt Ardente Matt Strabuk/Junior Matt Ardente, a Division I college recruit, anchors the Absegami pitching staff. After a long, cold, snowy winter, it finally felt like spring in South Jersey on Tuesday, April 1 (really, no fooling), and baseball was in the air at several local schools. Here are capsule previews of several area teams.

Absegami

Head coach Brian Wastell said his team is experienced but not senior-loaded. The weak point is pitching depth. “Our pitchers must work innings and we must put up improved offensive numbers from last year if we expect to compete for a CAL American Division I title,” Wastell said. Junior Matt Ardente will anchor the pitching staff and hit in the three-hole. Wastell said Ardente is being recruited by many major Division I programs.

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WCHS hoops stars make college choices

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, April 02, 2014 08:02 am

Eddie McWade The two players who led the Wildwood Catholic High School boys basketball team to one of the best seasons in recent program history have made their college choices.

Jordan Robertson, a 6-4 big guard/wing forward, has accepted a full athletic scholarship offer from Division I Colgate University, while Eddie McWade, a 6-4 power forward, has earned a full athletic/academic scholarship to Division II Chestnut Hill College.

According to Wildwood Catholic athletic director Sal Zuccarello, both players are scheduled to sign National Letters of Intent on Wednesday, April 16, the first day of the NCAA’s late-signing period.

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Southern Cape May County baseball preview

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Written by Brian Cunniff Sunday, March 30, 2014 08:16 pm

MTHS baseball senior starters It may not have seemed very much like baseball weather for much of last week. Or much of this month for that matter. But, ready or not, the high school baseball regular season is set to begin on Tuesday.

The following is a look at each of the area’s high school baseball teams:

Read more: Southern Cape May County baseball preview

   

Court House teen heads to youth hockey nationals

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Written by Brian Cunniff Sunday, March 30, 2014 08:05 pm

Brandon Graf Four or five times per week for up to nine months per year, 15-year-old Brandon Graf, accompanied by his mother and/or father, makes the long trip from his home in Cape May Court House to Pennsauken to play ice hockey.

All those trips have led to one very long trip this week.

Graf, a goaltender, and his Team Comcast teammates are in Green Bay, Wis., this week to compete in the USA Hockey national championships.

Team Comcast qualified for the tournament by winning its district championship after going 25-3 during the regular season. Team Comcast beat the Junior Flyers of West Chester (Pa.) two games to one in a best-of-three district championship series. Graf started all three games of the series.

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Stars collide at Prime Events All-Star Saturday

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Written by Bill LeConey Sunday, March 30, 2014 02:41 pm

mya1 Matt Strabuk/Pleasantville's Mya Alston shoots in front of Cedar Creek's Mikila Stefanski. OCEAN CITY – Mya Alston was rarely on the winning side of the scoreboard in her four-year basketball career at Pleasantville High School.

But Alston had one last chance – and an overtime period, no less – to prove her talents and shine as a Cape-Atlantic League All-Star.

So it was immensely satisfying for Alston to not only contribute to a winning effort but to be named Most Valuable Player of All-Star Saturday at the Dixie Howell Memorial Gymnasium in Ocean City.

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Another CAL basketball season is history

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Written by Tom Williams Wednesday, March 26, 2014 10:11 am

CALrecap1 Matt Strabuk/Mainland Regional’s Darius Jerkins brings the ball up against Wilson in a South Jersey playoff game. High school basketball in New Jersey ended Monday with a doubleheader in Trenton with St. Joseph-Metuchen and Shabazz winning Tournament of Champions titles. The season’s final all star game is Saturday. And the Cedar Creek girls won their second South Jersey title in three years.

On the boys side, Wildwood Catholic won two tough games over Holy Spirit; the Spartans beat St. Augustine and split with Atlantic City; the Vikings lost to the Prep but split with Wildwood Catholic. Mainland Regional earned the top seed in South Jersey Group III and reached the SJ title game for the first time in 24 years.

Read more: Another CAL basketball season is history

   

New exhibits celebrate 'Hometown Teams,' A.C. sports heritage

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Written by Bill LeConey Wednesday, March 26, 2014 09:20 am

newacexhibit1 Bill LeConey/Atlantic City High School graduate Wilbur Fields stands in front of a photo that includes his brother, James, who in 1953 became the first African-American player on the ACHS tennis team. ATLANTIC CITY - Atlantic City’s sports history transcends age, gender, ethnicity and class distinctions – in short, it reflects the history of sports in America.

A new exhibit examines the culture of sports and celebrates the legends and venues that have made Atlantic City a unique and distinctive “hometown” for sports heroes like John Henry “Pop” Lloyd, Chris Ford, Art Dorrington, Gene Hudgins and Leavander Johnson.

The exhibit at the Noyes Art Garage also includes an interactive map highlighting the resort city’s diverse sports locales - from the Sandcastle to Pop Lloyd stadiums, Boardwalk Hall and the beaches and Boardwalk, to the tiny Pennsylvania courts where basketball giants like Wilt Chamberlain and Lew Alcindor once played pick-up games.

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Kevin Stetser named new Egg Harbor Township football coach

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Written by Bill LeConey Tuesday, March 25, 2014 10:49 pm

stetser1 Bill LeConey/New Egg Harbor Township football coach Kevin Stetser (right) is congratulated by school board member Jack Haines after Tuesday's vote. EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP – Kevin Stetser has a primary focus in his mission to rejuvenate the Egg Harbor Township High School football program: Keep the boys at home.

Stetser, 38, was unanimously approved by the EHT Board of Education Tuesday night as the school’s new varsity head football coach, replacing Tony DeRosa, whose contract was not renewed after 16 years at the helm.

Read more: Kevin Stetser named new Egg Harbor Township football coach

   

MTHS grad named D II All-American

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Written by Brian Cunniff Monday, March 24, 2014 11:59 am

Downbeach schools get late start Former Middle Township High School standout Garret Kerr has received national honors for his play on the basketball court.

The 6-4 forward from the University of the Sciences men’s basketball team has been named a first team Daktronics Division II All-American.

Kerr was the only player in Division II to rank among the top five in the nation in scoring (24.8 ppg) and rebounding (12.5 rpg). A three-year starter, Kerr broke school records for points scored with 693 and rebounds with 351. He also led the Devils in field-goal percentage at 52.4 percent, free-throw percentage at 82 percent and was second on the team in assists at 3.0 per game and steals at 1.3 per game. In 79 career games, Kerr has produced 1,638 points and 998 rebounds and has averaged 20.7 points and 12.6 rebounds for his career. He has posted a school-record 62 double-doubles for his career and is the only active player in Division II with more than 1,600 points and 900 rebounds over his career.

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Mainland girls, Spirit boys win Varsity 8 sprints at Lake Lenape

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Written by Bill LeConey Sunday, March 23, 2014 03:42 pm

mainlandgirls Bill LeConey/The Mainland Women's Varsity 8, left to right: Jenna Rosado, Emily Olsen, Pam Bacharach, Mindy Parson, Stephanie Petrova, Kaitlyn Mullin, Amy Jane Beattie, Maria Elena Gambino, and coxswain Rachel Kelley. HAMILTON TOWNSHIP - The opening regatta of the 2014 high school crew season – the Lake Lenape Sprints I - was a successful one for the Mainland Regional High School girls.

Despite the gusty winds at LakeLenape, the Mustangs captured the Women’s Varsity 8 final in five minutes, 39 seconds on Saturday, March 22, beating second-place Oakcrest by 3½ seconds. The Absegami A boat was third with a time of 5:46.08.

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5 from area in prestigious all-star games

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, March 20, 2014 01:07 pm

kennedy johnson KENNEDY JOHNSON Wildwood Catholic’s Jordan Robertson, Eddie McWade and Kennedy Johnson, Middle Township’s Lauryn Fields and Wildwood's Jess Freeman have each been selected to participate in prestigious postseason basketball all-star games.

Robertson, Johnson and Fields will play in the respective boys and girls North-South state all-star games this Sunday at Rider University.

The boys game will tip at noon, with the girls game beginning at 2:30 p.m.

Those games include many of the best seniors from throughout the state.

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Weather alert for spring sports teams

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, March 20, 2014 01:01 pm

Fox Park was supposed to host a softball scrimmage between Wildwood and Lower Cape May earlier this week. Instead, snow covered much of the field. So, you think you’ve had enough of all this late-winter cold and snow?

Ask coaches or players trying to get ready for a spring sports season how they feel.

The snowstorm that dumped as much as 10 ½ inches of snow in some parts of the county on Monday helped continue what has been a difficult preseason for high school spring sports teams attempting to get ready for their regular seasons, which for most sports is scheduled to begin Tuesday, April 1.

We all know March can be no picnic weather-wise, even in a good year. But quite a few spring sports teams have held as little as three or four outdoor practices since they were permitted to do so on March 7.

Two March snowstorms, especially the most recent one on Monday, and biting cold have led to limited outdoor work for many local teams.

Read more: Weather alert for spring sports teams

   

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