South Jersey Sports

Prevard powers Vikings to thrill-ride victory over Mainland

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Written by Bill LeConey Saturday, September 20, 2014 02:42 am

acmain5 Bill LeConey/Atlantic City coach Thomas Kelly talks to his team after its 44-38 victory over Mainland. ATLANTIC CITY – With a talent like Jamir Prevard at the controls, there’s never a dull moment around the Atlantic City High School football team – and few deficits the Vikings can’t overcome.

The Vikings needed all of Prevard’s dizzying athletic ability and more to outlast the Mainland Mustangs, 44-38, in a thrill ride of a Cape-Atlantic League American Conference game Friday night at Atlantic City High School.

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Memories of a wild and woolly opening night

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Written by Bill LeConey Thursday, September 18, 2014 02:34 pm

calopen1 Matt Strabuk/Mainland Regional quarterback Sam Jackson tosses a pass in the first quarter against Millville. It was an exciting opening night of the Cape-Atlantic League football season on Friday, Sept. 12.

These images - by photographers Matt Strabuk, Mike Schultz, Bill LeConey and Laura Stetser - captured just some of the drama and pageantry of high school football in South Jersey. Hopefully, they’ll get you in the mood for another full slate of games coming up this weekend. (Scroll down for more photos).

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Pleasantville boys soccer on the upswing

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Written by Bill LeConey Thursday, September 18, 2014 01:19 pm

pvillesoccer1 Bill LeConey/Pleasantville’s Emilio Cortes (17) tries to keep the ball in along the sidelines against Middle Township on Sept. 16. PLEASANTVILLE – Despite a shutout loss to conference power Middle Township on Sept. 16, the Pleasantville High School boys soccer team is off to one of the most promising starts in program history.

Middle, the defending South Jersey Group II champion, won the Cape Atlantic League National Conference game, 4-0, as Joe Fala scored two goals. Trent Canter and Mikey Roselli scored the other goals, and Nick Anagnou earned the shutout as the Panthers improved to 3-0-2.

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Good start for WCHS tennis

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, September 17, 2014 05:27 pm

It had been a rough go in recent years for the Wildwood Catholic High School girls tennis team. The Crusaders always seemed to field a very inexperienced team and often struggled to win even a few matches each season.

They’ve reversed the trend so far this fall.

Wildwood Catholic suffered only its first defeat in five matches so far this season Monday afternoon when it dropped a 3 ½-1 ½ decision to Holy Spirit. The point at first singles was halved when Catholic’s Madison McNicholas and Spirit’s Julia Dalzell could not finish a three-set marathon due to impending darkness. The players were tied at 5-5 in the third set when the match was called.

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WCHS baseball coach steps down

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, September 17, 2014 05:24 pm

Wildwood Catholic High School is seeking a new head baseball coach.

Bill Gianakopoulos has stepped down after three seasons due to increased job commitments, Wildwood Catholic athletic director Sal Zuccarello said.

Gianakopoulos, a former standout player at Wildwood Catholic, posted a career mark of 18-49. The Crusaders went 5-17 last spring but only had one senior on the roster. They are expected to return a large number of seniors in 2015, led by infielder/pitcher Kevin Laffey, pitcher/outfielder Tyler Norris and outfielder/pitcher Sal Zampirri.

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Crusaders taking a step forward

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, September 17, 2014 05:22 pm

Wildwood Catholic's Caitlin McMullan scored three goals against Cape May Tech. STONE HARBOR – Through four games, the Wildwood Catholic High School girls soccer team has shown the rest of the Cape-Atlantic League that it is no longer a pushover.

The Crusaders moved their record to 2-2 Tuesday afternoon following a convincing 8-0 result over Cape May Tech, putting them halfway to their win total of last season only four games into the 2014 campaign.

Sophomore Caitlin McMullan recorded a hat trick, freshman Noelle Johnson added two goals and seniors Becky Andress, Olivia Rulon and Gia Tammmaro each added one for the Crusaders, who led 6-0 at the half.

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Nicholas a defensive rock for Lady Tigers

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, September 17, 2014 05:19 pm

BRIANNE NICHOLAS ERMA – Brianne Nicholas is a defender for the Lower Cape May Regional High School field hockey team but moves up to offense when her team earns a penalty corner opportunity.

On Monday against Middle Township, Nicholas never got the chance to play offense because her team got zero corner chances.

But despite being completely uninvolved in her team’s two scoring plays, Nicholas may have been the biggest reason the Lady Tigers recorded a rather unlikely 2-1 overtime win over their biggest rival.

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Oakcrest girls win latest edition of 'sibling' rivalry

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Written by Bill LeConey Wednesday, September 17, 2014 03:21 pm

oakgamisoccer1 Bill LeConey/Collisions like this one are the norm when Oakcrest meets Absegami on the soccer field. HAMILTON TOWNSHIP – Inter-family squabbles are often the most heated, and there’s no exception when it comes to girls soccer games between Oakcrest and Absegami high schools.

That’s why Oakcrest coach Jason Hearn had mixed emotions after his team’s 4-1 win over Absegami in a Cape-Atlantic League game on Sept. 11.

Hearn was very pleased with how his girls played, but not so happy about some of the “extra-curricular” activities that went on between the two teams, who are both members of the Greater Egg Harbor Regional School District.

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Girls tennis: Mainland, Absegami, Spirit look strong

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Written by Bill LeConey Wednesday, September 17, 2014 02:47 pm

girlstennis Bill LeConey/Atlantic City doubles player Janey Kogan returns a volley in the season-opening loss to Ocean City. Capsule previews of Current-area girls tennis teams:

Atlantic City

Coach: Melissa Mathis

2013 record: 3-15

The Vikings will count on talented freshmen Isabella and Gabby DeStefano as their top singles players as they look to improve on last year’s record. Seniors Sierra Jordan and Janey Kogan bring experience and leadership. “There is tremendous athletic ability and experience on our team,” Mathis said. “The girls are determined and mentally motivated.”

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LCM stuns Middle in field hockey

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Written by Brian Cunniff Monday, September 15, 2014 08:08 pm

ERMA – If you’ve ever been to a high school field hockey game, you may have heard the chant “every corner is a goal” by the substitute players when their team is awarded a penalty corner chance.

That saying certainly did not apply to the Middle Township High School field hockey team Monday afternoon. The Lady Panthers scored just once off of an amazing 30 penalty corner chances and were left stunned when Lower’s Carissa Scott scored on just her team’s third shot on goal of the game a little more than three minutes into overtime as the Lady Tigers came up with a shocking 2-1 victory.

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Catholic and Middle on level terms

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Written by Brian Cunniff Saturday, September 13, 2014 04:39 pm

Middle's Nik Anagnou (left) and Catholic's Anthony Zampirri starred in the 1-1 draw STONE HARBOR – You never know what you’re going to get during rivalry games.

You can occasionally see the ugly side, with trash talking, chippy play and overzealousness from fans.

But sometimes, you get what happened in Friday’s Middle Township-Wildwood Catholic boys soccer game – an intense, well-played game with great exhibitions of sportsmanship.

The contest ended in a 1-1 draw, Middle preventing a mild Wildwood Catholic upset when Trent Canter scored six minutes from full time to bring his side to equal terms. Wildwood Catholic had taken the lead early in the second half on Sal Zampirri’s exquisitely placed free kick from 19 yards after teammate Tyler Mericle was fouled during a challenge on a ball in the air.

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Banged-up Middle falls just short in opener

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Written by Brian Cunniff Saturday, September 13, 2014 08:25 am

Middle Township marches into Memorial Field ahead of its game against Vineland on Friday. CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE – Colin Cooper’s catch and run on a 72-yard touchdown reception epitomized the effort of the Middle Township High School football team Friday night.

Cooper caught the long pass near the Vineland 30-yard line, then broke a series of tackles and practically carried two Vineland defenders on his back as he crossed the goal line to draw the Panthers within a point with 47 seconds remaining in the game.

Middle coach Frank Riggitano, knowing his team was besieged by injuries to that point, decided to go for a two-point conversion and the lead rather than kicking the extra point and most likely setting up overtime. Joe Durso’s pass on the conversion was tipped away at the goal line and Vineland recovered the ensuing onsides kick to hold on for a 27-26 victory.

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Egg Harbor Township opens new era with dramatic victory

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Written by Bill LeConey Saturday, September 13, 2014 01:17 am

ehtac1 Bill LeConey/EHT quarterback Kyle Houghton unloads a pass as Atlantic City's Malik Pannell closes in. ATLANTIC CITY - Kevin Stetser said before the season started that it was time for the Egg Harbor Township High School football program to win again.

Not just to compete, not to play for the tie and overtime on the road – but to win.

In his wildest dreams, he probably didn’t expect it to happen quite like this, right off the bat.

“It was amazing, it really was,” Stetser said after his team rallied for a dramatic 28-27 victory over Atlantic City Friday in his debut as head coach.

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Gibson ties LCM scoring mark

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Written by Brian Cunniff Friday, September 12, 2014 09:16 am

Gabriella McKeown. Jen Fetsick. Mike Gavin.

They are some of the most prolific scorers in the history of high school soccer in Cape May County.

Madie Gibson has a chance to pass them all.

Gibson, a senior forward at Lower Cape May Regional High School, scored her fourth and fifth goals of the season and 90th of her career during Wednesday’s 2-0 victory over Cedar Creek that improved her team to 3-0 for the season.

Gibson is now tied for the program’s all-time lead with former teammate Gabriella McKeown, who’s currently contributing as a freshman at Division I Temple University. And, of course, she was also just 10 away from the magical 100-goal mark, a plateau that’s been reached by a female player from the county only four times. The county leader is Wildwood’s Jen Fetsick, who netted 109 in a career that ended in 2003.

Also within reach is Mike Gavin’s overall school soccer scoring record of 111 goals.

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