South Jersey Sports

Field hockey: Mainland pair make perfect combination for success

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Written by Bill LeConey Wednesday, September 18, 2013 02:08 pm

mainlandfieldhockey Bill LeConey/Mainland field hockey co-captains Sydney Losco, left, and Kailey Stangle. LINWOOD – Kailey Stangle and Sydney Losco have a habit of finishing each other’s sentences.

That foresight also serves them well on the field, where the Mainland Regional High School seniors are co-captains and leading players for the Mainland field hockey team.

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Peterson scores first pro surfing victory on final wave

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Written by Brian Cunniff Monday, September 16, 2013 09:10 pm

The sport of surfing doesn’t feature buzzer-beating shots.

But what Maddie Peterson did Sunday came about as close as a surfer can to executing one.

Peterson, of Wildwood Crest, won the first professional championship of her career at the Foster’s Belmar Pro surfing contest thanks to some late-competition heroics.

With only about 20 seconds to go in the contest, Peterson mounted her final wave and eventually scored a 9 on her ride to overtake the field and finish in first place.

“I was paddling right and I saw the wave and I knew it was practically my only chance to win the contest,” Peterson said. “I got a nine and it pushed me up to first place.”

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Egg Harbor Township off and running in 2013

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Written by Mike Schultz Monday, September 16, 2013 03:56 pm

Bynum EHT Mike Schultz/EHT quarterback Adam Bynum eludes an Oakcrest defender in the opening-week victory. Egg Harbor Township is off to a running start to the 2013 football season.

EHT won its season opener on Friday, Sept. 13, defeating Oakcrest 27-13 in a Cape Atlantic League American Conference matchup.

The Eagles, behind a strong offensive line performance, rushed for a combined 328 yards. "It all starts with our guys up front," coach Tony DeRosa said. "We take a lot of pride in our offensive line."

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A new Mitchell sparks Cedar Creek to victory over Ocean City

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Written by Bill LeConey Sunday, September 15, 2013 11:37 am

Ahmir Bill LeConey/Cedar Creek sophomore Ahmir Mitchell poses with mother April Bell after his three-touchdown performance against Ocean City. EGG HARBOR CITY – With a school as new as Cedar Creek, traditions can evolve quickly. In just their fourth year, the Pirates have developed both a family and football tradition of explosive runs and end zone celebrations by a player named Mitchell.

Ahmir Mitchell, younger brother of former all-everything Cedar Creek star Damon “Duwop” Mitchell, scored three times on three successive touches in the third quarter, giving the Pirates all the offense they needed (actually, more than enough) in a 21-0 opening-week victory over Ocean City.

Mitchell flashed his breakaway speed on touchdown runs of 69 and 65 yards. He leaped to wrestle the ball away from two Ocean City defenders for a 28-yard touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Jesse Milza.

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Egg Harbor Township powers past Oakcrest

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Written by Mike Schultz Friday, September 13, 2013 11:32 pm

EHT1 Mike Schultz/EHT's Dante Moore finds daylight along the Eagles' sideline. The Egg Harbor Township High School football team opened its season at home with a 27-13 win over Oakcrest in a Cape Atlantic League American Conference game on Friday.

The Eagles' run attack proved to be the difference in the win. EHT's Darius Ellis led the team, carrying the ball 11 times for 105 yards. Sophomore talent Dante Moore had 22 carries for 96 yards. The running game was bolstered by a good EHT offensive line effort.

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St. Joseph overwhelms Absegami in CAL opener

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Written by Bill LeConey Friday, September 13, 2013 11:06 pm

Gami 0913 Bill LeConey/St. Joseph's LaQuay Brown hauls in a touchdown pass from Sa'Laam Horne as Absegami's Ryan Ganard gives chase. GALLOWAY – The St. Joseph High School Wildcats certainly didn’t need any charity to overwhelm Absegami, 48-6, in the Cape-Atlantic League football opener for both teams Friday night.

St. Joe and its bevy of offensive weapons would have survived just fine without the poor decisions, undisciplined play and squandered opportunities offered up by the Braves.

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Prep blitzes Middle in football season opener

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Written by Brian Cunniff Friday, September 13, 2013 10:15 pm

CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE – A balanced St. Augustine Prep offense was too much for the Middle Township High School football team to handle in the season opener for both teams Friday evening at Memorial Field.

Jose Tabora threw for three touchdowns and Lamont Harris Jr. ran for three scores as the Prep blitzed the Panthers, 48-14.

Tabora tossed two scoring strikes to Austin Francisco and one to Dan Pavlik in the first half as the Hermits led 21-7 at the break.

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Panthers seek to continue winning trend

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Written by Brian Cunniff Friday, September 13, 2013 08:18 am

If the mantra last year was “Restore The Roar,” then the theme for this year’s Middle Township High School football team just might be “Take The Next Step.”

The roar certainly was restored when a Panther team that had won six games over three previous seasons matched that total in 2012 and qualified for the South Jersey playoffs for the third time in program history.

The challenge now is to prove last season was only one step in the right direction and not a one-year anomaly.

Some good players – Zack Vogelei, now at Towson, Terrance Toney and Nigel Case among them – graduated from last year’s team. But head coach Frank Riggitano, in his second year of his second stint as coach, believes a young Middle squad that features only nine seniors in the program can be competitive not just in the future but right now.

“This year’s team will be very young but talented,” the coach said. “The junior and sophomore classes have several athletes that have dedicated themselves to the continued turnaround of the program. Likewise, the freshmen class (has) a handful of athletes that could help at the varsity level this year. I feel there is enough talent to be very competitive and win games this year. We have quite a few kids that are very fast and extremely athletic.”

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LCM rebuilding under new coach

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Written by Brian Cunniff Friday, September 13, 2013 08:16 am

An almost entirely new coaching staff leading a team of almost entirely new players usually means a rebuilding season.

That’s exactly what the Lower Cape May Regional football team is facing in 2013.

Bill Miller, an assistant coach last season, takes over as head coach for a program that returns only two regular starters from a year ago in senior OL/DL Josh Fredericks and senior RB/DB Alek Soriano.

In addition, Fredericks and WR/LB John Campbell are the only two of the team’s six seniors who have played in the program for four seasons. And with only a handful of juniors in the program as well, this is obviously a very young team that will line up against Bridgeton on Friday evening for the team’s opener.

Miller, however, is certainly not promoting a doom-and-gloom outlook for the season.

“The one thing we’re seeing at practice every day and in our scrimmages is that the young kids are improving so much so fast and that really keeps us optimistic,” the coach said. “We’re going to need our juniors and seniors – even the inexperienced ones – to play like older kids and the young kids are going to have to keep stepping up. But it’s definitely a good situation (to rebuild with) younger kids.”

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Undermanned Warriors will give it a go

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Written by Brian Cunniff Friday, September 13, 2013 08:14 am

For the better part of two weeks, the talk surrounding the Wildwood High School football team wasn’t about how well it might do this season but was more about whether there would be a team at all.

After quite a few anxious days during which coaches and school administrators pushed, prodded, cajoled and did everything else they could to get a few more players out, Wildwood has decided to give it a go.

The Warriors will line up and play Saturday for their season opener. The real question, though, with so many players coming out late for the team, is whether the team is actually ready to play this weekend.

“We’re going to go out there and try our best,” said Wildwood coach Rich Hans.

As of last week, only approximately 12 players, sometimes less, were showing up for practices. That forced the team to cancel a scrimmage and the administration to consider folding the program for the season. But after about six to eight more players made the commitment to play, Hans said the team will have about 18 players in uniform for the game against the Clippers.

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Mainland beats Pleasantville in CAL opener cut in half by lightning

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Written by Bill LeConey Friday, September 13, 2013 01:03 am

mustang fans Matt Strabuk/MRHS seniors Rachel Liang, 17, of Linwood, Kara Brown, 17, and Lexy Leeds, 17, both of Northfield, cheer for the Mustangs. LINWOOD – It was only fitting that a football game full of quick strikes, quirky plays and unlikely heroes would end … at halftime.

And that the game’s final points would come off the foot of a kicker making his first-ever field-goal attempt in his first game taking over for the best kicker in Cape-Atlantic League history.

Just another surreal night in the Cape-Atlantic League.

Mainland Regional beat Pleasantville 23-18 Thursday in an abbreviated CAL opener at the Mustang Corral. The game was called at halftime because of numerous lightning strikes in the area and the threat of more severe weather on the way.

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Cape-Atlantic season kicks off tonight at Mainland's Corral

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Written by Bill LeConey Thursday, September 12, 2013 03:00 pm

Spirit Holy Spirit's Taalib Gerald is part of an offense that could once again dominate the CAL American Conference. The 2013 Cape-Atlantic League football season opens tonight at a fitting showcase for South Jersey high school football - the Mustang Corral at Mainland Regional High School in Linwood.

Mainland hosts Pleasantville in the interconference opener at 7 p.m., moved up a day to avoid a conflict with the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.

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Bar set high for Cedar Creek in post-Mitchell era

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Written by Bill LeConey Thursday, September 12, 2013 02:30 pm

CCreek1 Bill LeConey/Cedar Creek freshman quarterback Jesse Milza throws a pass against Millville in a preseason scrimmage on Sept. 7. EGG HARBOR CITY – Cedar Creek High School is still the “new kid on the block” in the Cape-Atlantic League, but already the Pirates have achieved an enviable level of success.

Last year, in just the third year of the program, the Pirates finished 10-2 and reached the South Jersey Group II final. Of course, much of that had to do with the extreme talents of all-everything performer Damon Mitchell, now at the University of Arkansas.

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Pleasantville hopes to end its football drought this season

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Written by Bill LeConey Thursday, September 12, 2013 02:10 pm

pvilledudley Bill LeConey/Pleasantville High School coach Dave Dudley (middle) rallies his team before a preseason football scrimmage against Salem. PLEASANTVILLE – It’s a Catch-22 for the Pleasantville High School football program.

The team needs the support of the community and the school, as well as a solid turnout of motivated players, to field a successful program and win football games. However, it needs to win some football games to help generate that support and keep the enthusiasm growing.

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