South Jersey Sports

Mainland football looking for right mix to rise above average

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Written by Bill LeConey Wednesday, September 11, 2013 12:03 pm

mainland players File photo/Mainland football players touch a stone engraved with the names of the four student-athletes - Casey Brenner, Dean Khoury, Edgar Bozzi and Nicholas Conner - who died in a 2011 motor vehicle accident. Bob Coffey never shies away from a challenge.

He has won nearly 175 games as head football coach at Mainland Regional High School, and he never tires of mixing and matching, finding the right chemistry between experienced players and unproven underclassmen, and seeing how it all shakes out.

Chemistry class is in session again, and Coffey is curious to see if this year’s mix can allow the Mustangs to break loose from several seasons of .500-level football.

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Plenty of returning stars brighten girls soccer landscape

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Written by Mike Schultz Wednesday, September 11, 2013 11:40 am

eht girls 3 Jen Marra/Egg Harbor Township sophomore Camille Howarth splits the gap between Lower Cape May Regional defenders Kaylee Devine (left) and Nicole Hornbeck in Monday's match. Not too many local girls soccer teams were hit hard by graduation. In fact, Egg Harbor Township is returning 15 players from last season’s team, and playing with good chemistry.

The Lady Eagles pulled out a come-from-behind win on the road at Lower Township on Monday, Sept. 9, scoring three goals in the last 15 minutes and winning 4-3.

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Boys soccer: Absegami looks to reload after mass exodus

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Written by Mike Schultz Wednesday, September 11, 2013 11:25 am

boys soccer Mike Schultz/Absegami's senior midfielder J.D. Leeds puts a move on a Millville defender during Tuesday’s home match. Last season, The Absegami Braves dominated local soccer. They posted a school record in wins and advanced to the South Jersey Championship.

The Braves were hit hard by graduation but still hope to be competitive. Atlantic City will look for someone to take over the goal-scoring role after a key loss to graduation.

Cedar Creek hopes to add to last season's success and compete for a division title. Egg Harbor Township has a young team but most players have varsity experience. Holy Spirit will continue the rebuilding process under second-year coach Jody Roberts. Oakcrest competes in a tough division but could make an impact in the state playoffs.

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Frank Vogel welcomed home by Wildwood High

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Written by Brian Cunniff Tuesday, September 10, 2013 07:58 pm

WILDWOOD – The Wildwood High School community gathered Tuesday afternoon to honor one of its own.

With students, teachers, administrators, current and former coaches and a handful of community leaders in attendance, Wildwood High brought back one of its most famous graduates, current NBA head coach Frank Vogel, for a stirring ceremony in the school’s auditorium.

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Deeper OCHS football team looks for improvement

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Written by Brian Cunniff Tuesday, September 10, 2013 04:07 pm

Ocean City High School will start the 2013 football season on Saturday afternoon at 1 at Cedar Creek with a two-platoon starting lineup. For the first time in a long time, the Raiders have 11 starters on offense who are completely different from the 11 defensive starters.

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Raider boys soccer starts with victory

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Written by Tom Williams Tuesday, September 10, 2013 04:04 pm

The Ocean City High School boys soccer team started its season last week with a 5-0 win over Cumberland in a non-conference game. Coach Aaron Bogushefsky thought that was important.

“We needed to start the season with a statement game,” Bogushefsky (39-32-8 in four seasons) said. “We told the kids we had to come out strong and they did. We scored in the first 10 minutes and then got two more before halftime. We didn’t score much last season and we need to get back to where our opponents are worried about our offense.”

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Defending state champ OCHS hockey team opens Saturday

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Written by Tom Williams Tuesday, September 10, 2013 04:03 pm

The Ocean City High School field hockey team won the program’s eighth state championship last season. And six of the team’s top seven goal scorers from last year are back. So, a lot is expected of the team again this season.

“We know we’re the favorites,” said coach Cory Terry (61-3 in three seasons), “but our team had targets on our backs when I was playing. It’s almost always been like that for Ocean City field hockey. The girls need to take care of themselves, to do what they need to do every game, favorite or not.”

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OCHS girls soccer wins in new coach's debut

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Written by Tom Williams Tuesday, September 10, 2013 03:59 pm

Ocean City High School’s girls soccer team got the coaching career of Kelly Halliday off to a good start on Monday by defeating Cedar Creek, 3-0, in the 2013 opener.

After a scoreless first half, the Raiders scored twice in the first four minutes of the second half to take control. Junior Patsy Fox broke the scoreless tie with the game-winner from junior Devon Terwilliger in the first minute of the second half. Less than three minutes later, Terwilliger scored with an assist from junior Kristi Rohrer. In the 73rd minute, Rohrer got the final goal with an assist from junior Sarah Laux.

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Former coach, top player with Sacred Heart softball land at WCHS

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Written by Brian Cunniff Sunday, September 08, 2013 06:01 pm

The closure of Sacred Heart High School in Vineland was devastating to its community. But one of the side effects of it has been its positive impact on Wildwood Catholic High School, in particular with its athletic program.

A few months after landing former Sacred Heart girls basketball Steve DiPatri to lead its girls basketball team, Wildwood Catholic has hired another former Sacred Heart coach. Matt Megines, an assistant softball coach with the Lions last spring, will take over Wildwood Catholic’s softball team this spring.

Megines replaces Loretta Kelly, who resigned over the summer after serving as Crusader head coach for one season. Kelly is now an assistant softball coach at Wildwood High School, her alma mater.

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Southern Cape May County boys soccer preview

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, September 05, 2013 09:28 am

This could be a good year overall for boys soccer in Cape May County. On paper, Middle Township is the odds-on favorite to win another Cape-Atlantic National Conference title and could challenge for South Jersey glory as well.

Lower Cape May has a handful of very good players and will challenge to improve upon last year’s eight-win season.

Wildwood Catholic lost a couple of key players from last year’s 11-win team but will certainly still be a factor in the CAL National II race.

And Wildwood and Cape May Tech both should challenge to improve on their finishes from a year ago.

The following is a look at each of the area high school boys soccer teams:

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Southern Cape May County girls soccer preview

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, September 05, 2013 09:15 am

Lower Cape May and Middle Township were both among the better teams in the Cape-Atlantic National Conference titles in girls soccer last fall. That trend should continue this season, with both teams bringing back excellent players among their ranks.

Meanwhile, Cape May Tech, Wildwood and Wildwood Catholic all look to better their respective records from last season.

The regular season is scheduled to begin for most local teams early next week.

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

CAPE MAY TECH

Cape May Tech enters a new season with some optimism, as a large group of young players gained experienced during last year’s 2-16 campaign.

Twelve returning players, many of whom are still underclassmen, hope to lead the Lady Hawks to a more successful season this fall.

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Southern Cape May County girls tennis preview

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, September 05, 2013 09:04 am

With its top two players back and some excellent depth behind them, Middle Township appears to be the top area team heading into the 2013 high school girls tennis season.

With young and/or inexperienced lineups, Lower Cape May, Wildwood and Wildwood Catholic will look to build for the future.

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

LOWER CAPE MAY

Lower Cape May finished right at .500 last year (12-12) with a rather veteran team. With many new and less experienced players in the mix, head coach Gina Givens has termed this as a rebuilding season. But with only two seniors projected for the varsity lineup, Lower should be in good position moving forward.

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Southern Cape May County field hockey preview

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, September 05, 2013 08:55 am

Lower Cape May Regional and Middle Township are the lone local high schools that offer field hockey programs. Both have traditionally been two of the better teams in the Cape-Atlantic National Conference and this season should be no different.

The following is a look at each of the two teams:

LOWER CAPE MAY

Lower Cape May enters a new season under a new head coach in Amie Hoch, who takes over for Denise Murray. Hoch had been an assistant coach in the program for two seasons, however, so the program’s transition to her leadership should work out just fine.

Lower finished two games under .500 a season ago but brings back 10 players who gained varsity experience last season. The Lady Tigers will look for leadership behind four seniors in D Bela Lotozo, D Emily Levin, MF Laura Shriver and F Morgan Hart. Shriver was a second team National Conference all-star last season. Returning juniors include F Carissa Scott, MF Katherine Swan, F Carrie Wunder, GK Averi Smith and GK Kemlyn Pearson. Also back is sophomore D Brianne Nicholas.

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Commentary: Wildwood's cloudy football future

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, September 04, 2013 03:34 pm

It’s almost always been a numbers game for the football program at Wildwood High School. Realistically, even for a Group I school, a football program needs at least 30 players to function properly due to the violent nature of the game.

Wildwood, one of the smallest regular public high schools in the state, has survived in the past with much less than 30 players. Last season, the team went a very respectable 6-4 with only about 20 to 22 players in uniform for any given game. The previous time the program experienced a winning season, back in 1999, the Warriors played a game or two with as little as 16 or 17 players in uniform.

And even though there have been tremendous players to have gone through the program over the years – Randy Beverly, Meredith Campbell, Chickie Ludman, Bill Osborn, Ernie Troiano III, Tylee Thomas, Joe Kelly and Wesley Hills immediately come to mind – you’d have to go back a long way to find a Wildwood team that dressed as many as 30 players for a game.

Which brings us to the here and now. So far this preseason, Wildwood hadn’t had any more than 11 or 12 players at any given practice prior to this week, according to multiple sources. On Tuesday, an athletic department source said 14 players attended practice.

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