South Jersey Sports

Holy Spirit swamped by DePaul, 42-0, in Non-Public 2 state final

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Written by Bill LeConey Saturday, December 06, 2014 07:26 pm

spirit1 Bill LeConey/Kareem Walker PISCATAWAY – Holy Spirit’s trip to the Non-Public II state championship was about as memorable as the weather Saturday: dreary, lifeless, and ultimately futile.

But, then again, these Spartans weren’t even supposed to be here – playing in a state final for the fifth straight year - so a 42-0 loss to powerful DePaul Catholic should only linger in the minds of the younger players as motivation to get back to the top.

“I got to see Rutgers Stadium,” said Holy Spirit freshman fullback Qwahsin Townsel from Egg Harbor Township. “This is what I want to do when I graduate from high school. I want to be in a stadium like this.”

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Kerr's dagger sinks Drexel in upset (video)

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Written by Brian Cunniff Friday, December 05, 2014 10:29 am

USciences athletics/Middle grad Garret Kerr and Wildwood Catholic grad T. John Casiello (background) helped University of the Sciences upset Drexel Thursday evening Ever since Garret Kerr began playing basketball at Division II University of the Sciences, some have wondered how he would have fared had he played at the Division I level.

After Thursday’s performance, it’s pretty easy to tell he would have done rather well.

Kerr, a 2011 graduate of Middle Township High School, sank a three-pointer with two seconds to play as Sciences shocked Division I Drexel, 54-52. Wildwood Catholic graduate T. John Casiello assisted Kerr on the winning shot.

Kerr finished with a game-high 27 points on 9-of-19 shooting. He made both of his three-point attempts. Kerr added 10 rebounds and four assists and committed just two turnovers.

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Holy Spirit looks to maintain tradition in state title game

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Written by Bill LeConey Thursday, December 04, 2014 10:05 pm

seniorspartans Bill LeConey/ Holy Spirit senior football players get together for a picture after practice on Thursday, Dec. 4. Left to right, Nick Cordivari, T.J. Clayton, Andrew Light, Jordan Taylor, Amir Young, DeSean Hart, Matthew Hoke, and Alex Joseph. ABSECON - It has been a very un-Spirit-like season, so to speak, for the tradition-rich Holy Spirit High School football team.

But if the Spartans can find a way to upset DePaul Catholic on Saturday, Dec. 6, at Rutgers' High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway, the season will end in a very Spirit-like way: with a Non-Public II state championship.

Holy Spirit (5-6) has won 10 state titles overall, three straight from 2010-12, and is making its fifth straight appearance in a non-public state title game.

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Where does St. Joe team fit among CAL’s best?

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Written by Tom Williams Thursday, December 04, 2014 12:45 pm

stjoeHorne Bill LeConey/St. Joe quarterback Salaam Horne drops back for a pass in a game against Atlantic City last year. On Saturday, Dec. 6, two Cape-Atlantic League football teams will play for NJSIAA championships. Holy Spirit will be the underdog at Rutgers, just like the Spartans were in their first two playoff victories. And St. Joseph will be the favorite to win its sixth straight title at Kean University.

St. Joe has been the talk of the league – in fact, all of South Jersey – this season. Some feel this team might be the school’s best. But just how good are they?

So, here is a list of the most successful teams from CAL schools. The criteria is that a team cannot have lost to another CAL team unless that team is also on the list. And ties are discarded. Look it over.

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So. Cape May County swimming preview

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, December 03, 2014 04:29 pm

MTHS swim captains Tom Sykes, Elliot Dingler, Zach Sykes and Molly Faulkner MTHS swim captains Tom Sykes, Elliot Dingler, Zach Sykes and Molly Faulkner. While area high school basketball wrestling teams were scheduled to hold their first official practices on Monday (although “tryout” practices were permitted last week), high school swimming teams have already started their regular seasons.

It’ll be a transition year for quite a few of the local swimming teams, since many of them graduated quite a few talented seniors from last year’s clubs.

The state playoff system has changed a bit. A new Public “C” classification has been added and many of the top seeds in each section will receive first-round byes.

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LCM inducts latest class into Hall

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, December 03, 2014 04:20 pm

CAPE MAY – Four of the best athletes of recent times from Lower Cape May Regional High School were inducted into the school’s athletic Hall of Fame during a banquet held at the Grand Hotel Friday evening.

The South Jersey champion 1989 boys soccer team was also inducted.

Bill Damiana, Matt Dicken, Matt Szczur and Victoria Wermuth were the individual inductees.

Damiana, a 2009 graduate of the school, is regarded as one of the best wrestlers in school history. He holds the school record with 137 wins and is the only wrestler in school history to win 40 matches in back-to-back seasons, which he accomplished as a junior and senior. Damiana was a two-time District 32 champion, two-time Region 8 medalist and two-time state tournament medalist.

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Eagles stuff Mustangs for first Turkey Day win since '09

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Written by Mike Schultz Saturday, November 29, 2014 04:25 pm

eht1 Mike Schultz/EHT defenders Luke Florentino (left), Austin Smith (88) and Angelo Branca (91) converge on and sack Mainland quarterback Ryan Swenson. LINWOOD - An old rivalry game got off to a great start for a new coach.

Head Coach Kevin Stetser and the Egg Harbor Township High School football team defeated Mainland Regional 13-0 on Thanksgiving Day, the Eagles' first win over their nearby rivals since 2009.

The Eagles relied on a solid run game and a punishing helping of defense to earn the victory.

Dante Moore and Connor Agostino each scored rushing touchdowns for EHT.

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Falcons cap breakout season with win over Absegami

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Written by Bill LeConey Friday, November 28, 2014 03:11 pm

oak1 Bill LeConey/Oakcrest junior running back Terrence Smith (34) gets a congratulatory hug from coach Chuck Smith after his outstanding performance on Thanksgiving morning against Absegami. HAMILTON TOWNSHIP - Oakcrest High School’s Terrence Smith summed up his Thanksgiving morning this way: "Who doesn't like to have a little fun in the mud, you know?"

Smith, Oakcrest's outstanding junior running back, rushed for 236 yards and three touchdowns as the Falcons beat their intra-district rivals Absegami, 32-7, on a wet and muddy Falcon Stadium field.

“We practiced in this all week, so we knew what to expect,” said Smith, who also set a single-season Oakcrest record with his 14th touchdown of the season. “No matter what the elements are, we're going to play our hardest. It feels great.”

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Football excitement on Thanksgiving Day

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Written by Tom Williams Thursday, November 27, 2014 05:25 pm

A half-dozen high school football games were played on Thanksgiving Day as all but one school concluded seasons in the annual rivaly games.

The one school that played Thursday with still a game to play is Holy Spirit, which will face defending champion DePaul on Dec. 6 at Rutgers in the NJSIAA Non-Public 2 championship game. But, on Thursday morning, Atlantric City quarterback Jamir Prevard was too much for the Spartans (5-6). Prevard scored twice, including the game-winner in the fourth quarter, and threw another for a 22-18 win for the Vikings (6-4). Andrew Light scored both of Holy Spirit's TDs.

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Middle drops Anchor on LCM

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, November 27, 2014 02:09 pm

Middle Township's seniors celebrate with the Anchor Trophy CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE – The Lower Cape May Regional High School football team got off to a great start against Middle Township Thanksgiving morning.

It was the Panthers, though, who finished with a flourish.

After watching the Caper Tigers march down the field and complete a 25-yard touchdown pass from Dylan Harrison to Cory Carlson for a 7-0 lead, Middle went on to score four touchdowns in the final eight minutes of the first half and coasted to a 49-13 victory.

The win was Middle’s third straight in the Anchor Bowl series and 11th in 19 games since the game was moved to Thanksgiving Day in 1996. Middle upped its all-time lead in the series to 57-36-5.

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Finally, a rivalry renewed for LCM, MT

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Written by Brian Cunniff Tuesday, November 25, 2014 04:39 pm

There will be a game.

The Lower Cape May Regional and Middle Township high school football teams will renew their rivalry at the varsity level for the first time in two seasons when the clubs meet Thanksgiving morning at 10 at Memorial Field in Cape May Court House.

Last year at this time, the two teams ended their seasons in rather bizarre fashion.

Lower was forced by the Cape-Atlantic League to forfeit its final three games after the Caper Tigers decided to forfeit a contest against Holy Spirit on Oct. 25 due to a lack of healthy players. The Tigers played a handful of junior varsity games to close out the season, the final one coing the Friday before Thanksgiving against Middle’s junior varsity squad.

Middle Township, meanwhile, was awarded a forfeit victory over Lower Cape May in the varsity contest. So rather than ending its season with the pageantry of a Thanksgiving morning game, Middle’s last played game occurred in a 54-14 victory over Pinelands in an NJSIAA consolation contest a week and a half prior.

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Senior can't play, but he sure can lead

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Written by Brian Cunniff Tuesday, November 25, 2014 04:32 pm

JAMES SMITH James Smith enjoyed a promising junior season for the Middle Township High School football team. He contributed some on offense, but was a major force at linebacker for the Panthers, ending the season as a second team Cape-Atlantic National Conference all-star.

Smith was supposed to be one of Middle’s top players in 2014. Instead, he never played a down in a regular-season game.

Smith suffered a major injury to his right knee on the third play of his team’s first scrimmage back in August.

“I thought it was just a minor injury, definitely not as bad as it came out,” Smith recalled. “I wanted to go back in. I remember our trainer told me to start sprinting on the sideline and I thought I was going to go back in. But then it felt like my knee was popping in and out of place. It didn’t really hurt, but it didn’t feel right.”

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New hoops coach at Cape Tech

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Written by Brian Cunniff Tuesday, November 25, 2014 04:24 pm

JOSH MERCADO Cape May County high school basketball hadn’t seen a head coaching change at any school in nearly five years before Bob Ridgway stepped down at Cape May Tech in late August. Ridgway had led the Hawks for 16 seasons.

Josh Mercado, an assistant under Ridgway for four seasons, has taken over the program.

Mercado, a social studies teacher at Cape May Tech, was scheduled to be in the gym early this week for tryout practices, now that the NJSIAA is allowing high school basketball programs to hold such sessions during the three days prior to Thanksgiving.

“We’re ready to go,” Mercado said. “We’re gung-ho and super excited.”

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Kerr dominant at Division II

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Written by Brian Cunniff Tuesday, November 25, 2014 04:17 pm

GARRET KERR Garret Kerr has heard the talk for the better part of three years now. And he wants nothing to do with it.

People have seen the numbers he’s put up for the Division II men’s basketball team at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and have wondered – often aloud and sometimes even to Kerr – if he could have played college hoops at a higher level.

“I would never say I can’t play at that level because I think I could,” said Kerr, a 2010 graduate of Middle Township High School. “But I came here and it ended up working out great for me. For a lot of kids, I think it’s an ego thing that they want to got Division I and everyone gets caught up in that. For me, I wanted to play close to home, get a good education and get a chance to play a lot. This has been pretty much perfect.”

It’s hard to argue with his statement.

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