South Jersey Sports

Holy Spirit to face top seed Holy Cross in N-P II semifinal

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Written by Bill LeConey Wednesday, November 19, 2014 05:49 pm

spirit1 Matt Strabuk/Oakcrest linebacker Kyle Miller tackles Holy Spirit quarterback Andrew Light in a CAL National game on Nov. 7. The Holy Spirit High School Spartans are trying to salvage a less-than-stellar season with a long run in the state Non-Public Group II playoff tournament.

That challenge began well for the Spartans on Saturday, Nov. 15 when they beat favored Montclair Kimberley on the road, 42-21, in an NP II quarterfinal contest.

Read more: Holy Spirit to face top seed Holy Cross in N-P II semifinal

   

The Top 40 option for high school football playoffs

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Written by Tom Williams Wednesday, November 19, 2014 05:38 pm

Matt Strabuk/Holy Spirit’s Nick Cordivari tries to elude Oakcrest would-be tacklers in a Nov. 7 game. Matt Strabuk/Holy Spirit’s Nick Cordivari tries to elude Oakcrest would-be tacklers in a Nov. 7 game. Every year there are complaints about the NJSIAA football playoffs.

When they started back in the mid-1970s, the top four teams in each group with a positive win record qualified for the playoffs.

Along the way, the NJSIAA created a mathematical power rating.

In 1998, the NJSIAA started allowing eight qualifiers in each group. During the past few years, the NJSIAA dropped the requirement of a .500 record and created a fifth group for public schools.

Read more: The Top 40 option for high school football playoffs

   

Cedar Creek-St. Augustine game moved up to this Saturday

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Written by Bill LeConey Wednesday, November 19, 2014 05:20 pm

creek1 Bill LeConey/Cedar Creek junior Ahmir Mitchell runs with the ball earlier this season against Oakcrest. How anxious are the Cedar Creek High School Pirates to play a meaningful football game? So anxious that they moved the season finale against St. Augustine Prep up by a week.

The game, originally scheduled for Nov. 29, will now be played at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 22 in Egg Harbor City.

It's got to be a tough playoff season to stomach for the Pirates and coach Tim Watson. The Pirates were 6-2 at the NJSIAA playoff eligibility deadline but missed the eighth seed in the tough South Jersey Group II field by mere points.

Read more: Cedar Creek-St. Augustine game moved up to this Saturday

   

EHT Peewee Eagles capture second straight title

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Written by Staff Reports Tuesday, November 18, 2014 04:59 pm

peewee Jen Arthur/EHT’s William Clossey tries to avoid a tackle by Upper Township’s Ty Mercado. On Saturday, Nov. 15, the Egg Harbor Township Youth Organization Cape Peewee Eagles won their second straight Championship in the Cape Atlantic Junior Football League, beating Upper Township 20-6 in Marmora.

The team was led by head coach Mike Price, who stated: “The kids’ dedication, hard work, and great coaching by all of their coaches led the team to win the championship.”

Read more: EHT Peewee Eagles capture second straight title

   

Absegami looks to end season on positive note

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Written by Bill LeConey Tuesday, November 18, 2014 04:43 pm

Bill LeConey/Absegami’s Ibn Wilkerson, left, Tyler Welch and Vinnie Nelson pose for a picture after their win over Pennsauken. Bill LeConey/Absegami’s Ibn Wilkerson, left, Tyler Welch and Vinnie Nelson pose for a picture after their win over Pennsauken. GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP - It may have been a consolation game, but the Absegami Braves played like their season was on the line in a 21-7 win over Pennsauken on Thursday, Nov. 13.

And, in a sense, it was on the line for seniors such as quarterback Tyler Welch playing in their last home game for the Braves on a cold, damp, dreary night.

"We just wanted to get our seniors a win," said junior running back/defensive back Ibn Wilkerson, who made big plays on both sides of the ball in the South Jersey Group IV consolation game for two teams that didn't make the NJSIAA playoffs.

Read more: Absegami looks to end season on positive note

   

Oakcrest plowed under by Central in playoff opener

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Written by Bill LeConey Saturday, November 15, 2014 12:01 pm

oakplayoff1 Bill LeConey/Oakcrest coach Chuck Smith talks to his team after its playoff loss to Central Regional. TOMS RIVER - The young Oakcrest Falcons never got a grip on Mike Bickford – and they never quite got a handle on their first playoff experience.

Oakcrest, making its first playoff appearance in four years and only the fourth in the 57-year history of the school, lost to Central Regional, 28-14, in a chilly South Jersey Group III quarterfinal game Friday night. The game was played at Toms River High School East because Central’s home field in Bayville is under renovation.

Too many mistakes - critical penalties, bad snaps, and one very costly turnover - doomed the fifth-seeded Falcons (5-4).

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OCHS Boys Soccer repeats as South Jersey champions

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Written by Tom Williams Thursday, November 13, 2014 04:14 pm

The Ocean City High School boys soccer team defeated Toms River South Thursday afternoon, 2-0, to win its second straight South Jersey Group 3 championship and the 10th in school history. The Ocean City High School boys soccer team defeated Toms River South Thursday afternoon, 2-0, to win its second straight South Jersey Group 3 championship and the 10th in school history.  The Ocean City High School boys soccer team defeated Toms River South Thursday afternoon, 2-0, to win its second straight South Jersey Group 3 championship and the 10th in school history. The Raiders last won back-to-back titles in 2004-05.

After a scoreless first half, Don Van Meter scored for Ocean City in the first 10 minutes of the second half and Aaron King added the insurance goal in the final eight minutes that started the coundown among fans and players.

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Oakcrest Falcons look to make most of rare playoff opportunity

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Written by Bill LeConey Thursday, November 13, 2014 12:09 am

oakplayoff1 Bill LeConey/Oakcrest quarterback Kendall Elliott escapes from pressure in a game against Cedar Creek earlier this season. HAMILTON TOWNSHIP – It hasn’t happened very often, in fact only four times in the 57-year history of Oakcrest High School. The Falcons are in the state playoffs – and they plan to stick around for awhile.

Sixth-seeded Oakcrest (5-3) will face No. 3 Central Regional in the first round of the South Jersey Group III tournament on Friday (7 p.m.) at Toms River High School East. The game will be played in TomsRiver because Central’s home field is being renovated with an artificial turf surface.

“As long as we execute our assignments and everything we can do, we’ll be fine,” said Oakcrest’s talented sophomore quarterback Kendall Elliott, who has thrown for 11 touchdowns and rushed for nine more. “No turnovers, and we’ll come out with that W.”

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You can just call her Champ

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Written by Tom Williams Wednesday, November 12, 2014 11:29 pm

Sometimes the stories about her success call her Epiphany. Sometimes they say Devon. Her full name is Epiphany Devon Grisbaum and, on Saturday, she won the South Jersey Group 3 cross country championship.

It was her third South Jersey championship but the first in cross country. She also won titles in indoor track and outdoor track.

“I had a breathing cramp early in the race,” she said, “and it got my attention. But you have to fight through them and I did.”

She finished the race at Delsea Regional High School in Franklinville in 18 minutes and one second, a full 48 seconds ahead of Mainland freshman Alyssa Aldridge, who finished second. It was just the latest success in a very successful season. Grisbaum has already won the Cape May County and Cape-Atlantic League championships, along with impressive efforts in some prestigious weekend events.

 

Read more: You can just call her Champ

   

Holden makes it official with Fordham

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, November 12, 2014 04:44 pm

Surrounded by her family and coaches, Lauren Holden is all smiles as she signs with Division I Fordham University ERMA – Lauren Holden is officially the first full scholarship girls basketball player from Lower Cape May Regional High School.

Holden, a 5-5 point guard, signed a National Letter of Intent Wednesday afternoon to attend Division I Fordham University on a basketball scholarship next scholastic year.

Holden was joined by about 20 family members and friends as she signed her scholarship papers during a ceremony held at the school’s Board of Education offices.

Read more: Holden makes it official with Fordham

   

AC Vikings rise to another playoff challenge

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Written by Bill LeConey Wednesday, November 12, 2014 03:57 pm

ACfootball1 Mike Schultz/Atlantic City's Jamir Prevard is flushed from the pocket and forced to run against Absegami on Nov. 7. The result of the run was a touchdown as time expired in the first half. The rushing touchdown gave the Vikings an 18-3 lead at halftime. Prevard has thrown for 10 touchdowns and rushed for eight more this season. ATLANTIC CITY - Another year, another first-round playoff test on the road against a higher-seeded opponent. This time, the Atlantic City High School Vikings are looking to cross that fine line between exhilarating victory and devastating defeat.

The always-dangerous Vikings are the sixth seed in the NJSIAA South Jersey Group V playoff tournament. They will travel to Williamstown High School on Friday, Nov. 14, to play the third-seeded Braves. Kickoff is 7 p.m. in Williamstown.

Last year, the Vikings almost knocked off top seed Eastern in the first round, as quarterback Jamir Prevard was stopped on the 4-yard-line with seconds to play. Prevard, now a junior and one of the most dynamic playmakers in South Jersey, remembers it well.

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After missing playoffs, EHT Eagles refocus on strong finish

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Written by Bill LeConey Wednesday, November 12, 2014 01:45 pm

ehtfootball Bill LeConey/Egg Harbor Township coach Kevin Stetser addresses his team after last Friday’s 42-35 loss to Millville. EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP – The Egg Harbor Township High School football team's turnaround season has hit a rough patch of late.

But despite a loss to Millville on Friday, Nov. 7 that derailed the Eagles’ NJSIAA South Jersey Group V playoff hopes, the program has clearly taken a turn toward a brighter future.

“We have great kids,” said first-year coach Kevin Stetser after the 42-35 loss to Millville, the Eagles’ fourth loss in five games after a 3-0 start. “I’m very proud of this group of kids. We had a lot of things to fix this year. There’s no doubt we’re headed in the right direction.”

Read more: After missing playoffs, EHT Eagles refocus on strong finish

   

Sisters draw inspiration from courageous mom

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Written by Brian Cunniff Tuesday, November 11, 2014 11:43 am

Tim and Jen Hanna join daughters Casey (second from left) and Kelly (second from right) following the MAAC field hockey championship game victory by Casey and Monmouth University on Sunday. Casey Hanna, a sophomore sweeper on the Monmouth University field hockey team, was named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference’s defensive Player of the Year last week. On Sunday, she and her teammates routed Rider, 6-1, to win the MAAC championship and receive an automatic berth to the Division I NCAA Tournament.

Kelly Hanna, a senior offensive center midfielder for the Ocean City High School field hockey team, has scored 24 goals to go with a team-best 27 assists for a Raider team that won its third straight South Jersey Group 3 title on Friday with a 2-0 win over Hammonton.

The sisters are obviously extremely talented players who have worked hard at their craft, have received excellent coaching throughout their careers and have gotten great support from their teammates.

But the backbone of their recent success has been their mother, Jen, a Wildwood Junior High School teacher who has fought a courageous battle with ovarian cancer since May.

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The future can wait: Holy Spirit girls thriving in the present

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Written by Bill LeConey Monday, November 10, 2014 10:39 pm

spiritgirls1 Bill LeConey/Holy Spirit's Kayla Patitucci, an EHT resident, scored two goals in last Friday's playoff win over Roselle Catholic. ABSECON – Maybe they’re playing ahead of their time. Or maybe they just don’t know any better.

You would think the young Holy Spirit High School girls soccer team would be intimidated by the playoff spotlight, and maybe shrink at the prospect of playing some of the best teams in South Jersey.

But it’s been just the opposite for the Lady Spartans, who will face top seed Moorestown Friends on Tuesday, Nov. 11 in Moorestown in a Non-Public South B semifinal.

Read more: The future can wait: Holy Spirit girls thriving in the present

   

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