South Jersey Sports

Vikings ready to ‘climb the mountain’ once again

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Written by Bill LeConey Wednesday, September 10, 2014 03:07 pm

ACpreview Bill LeConey/Atlantic City coach Thomas Kelly says the “sky is the limit” for junior quarterback Jamir Prevard, shown here in a scrimmage last month against Cedar Creek. ATLANTIC CITY – In Thomas Kelly’s four years as head coach of the Atlantic City High School football team, the Vikings have always been willing to accept any challenge head-on.

It’s no different this year, as the Vikings open a new season Friday, Sept. 12 with a young team against one of the toughest schedules in South Jersey.

“We’re Atlantic City, so we expect the hard way, we expect the mountain to climb,” Kelly said. “If we do what we’re supposed to do, I think that we can compete in every single game. If the Vikings show up to play Vikings football, we’ll be just fine.”

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Field hockey preview: Vikings take to turf in coach’s debut

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Written by Bill LeConey Wednesday, September 10, 2014 02:02 pm

fieldhockey1 Bill LeConey/Atlantic City’s Abby Anmuth (left) and Oakcrest’s Teagan Hay compete for possession of the ball during the Cape-Atlantic League opener on Sept. 5. ATLANTIC CITY - The Atlantic City High School field hockey team began a new era Friday afternoon, Sept. 5, playing its first game on the artificial turf field at the Jack Eisenstein Athletic Complex, and its first game under new coach Ali Juliano.

The debut was a successful one for Juliano and the Vikings, who beat Oakcrest 4-1 in the Cape-Atlantic League opener for both teams.

Junior Lillie Cutugno scored two goals for the Vikings, while senior Abby Anmuth had a goal and two assists. Kiersten Campbell scored the other AC goal, and Logan Day scored the lone goal for Oakcrest, denying the shutout bid by AC goalie Izzy Turner.

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Boys soccer preview: Second-half surge lifts EHT in opener

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Written by Staff Reports Wednesday, September 10, 2014 11:27 am

boyssoccer1 Mike Schultz/EHT's Kyle Sullivan (left) and Andrew Fernandes team up to steal the ball from Absegami's Randy Merced along the sidelines. Sullivan, a senior captain, scored a goal and had an assist in the win. EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP - The Egg Harbor Township boys soccer team defeated Absegami 3-1 Friday Sept. 5 in the Cape-Atlantic League opener for both teams. EHT's Kyle Sullivan, a senior captain, scored a goal and had an assist in the win.

The teams played a scoreless first half before Gami's Andrew Griggs scored the first goal. EHT answered with a quick goal from junior captain Enrique Fiallos. EHT's Jon Gjyleri scored what proved to be the game winner at 27:25 of the second half when he hit a ball with his left foot that rolled sharply past Absegami goalkeeper Drew Roesch and found the corner of the net. Sullivan added his goal late in the second half to put the game out of reach.

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Mainland girls open season in aftermath of tragedy

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Written by Bill LeConey Wednesday, September 10, 2014 10:35 am

maingirlssocc1 Bill LeConey/Players from the Mainland Regional and Cape May Tech girls soccer teams hold hands for a short ceremony honoring the memory of former Mainland student-athlete Aisling Cooke before Tuesday’s game. LINWOOD - The game began under cloudy skies and a threat of rain Tuesday at Mainland Regional High School, which fit the mood of a team and a community still dealing with the tragic loss of a young teammate and student.

The Mainland girls soccer team played its first game since the death of freshman Aisling Cooke, who passed away Tuesday, Sept. 2 as a result of injuries sustained in a three-car crash along Rte. 40 in Hamilton Township. She was traveling with her Mainland soccer teammates to a 3 on 3 tournament in Richland when the accident occurred.

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Girls soccer: New season brings new faces, new format

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Written by Bill LeConey Wednesday, September 10, 2014 10:18 am

girlssoccer1 Mike Schultz/The Egg Harbor Township girls battled Middle Township in a Cape-Atlantic League game on Sept. 8. The Cape Atlantic League has changed the way a conference championship is acquired in soccer, doing away with the divisions within the conferences. In the case of the American Conference girls, there are only seven schools, so they will play home and away for twelve games that count towards the championship. In the National, teams will only play once against every other school in games that count towards the championship. There will also be five add-on games that do not count but should be played.

Here are capsule previews of the Current-area girls soccer teams:

Egg Harbor Township

Coach: Christian Wiech

2013 record: 11-6-1

The program is hoping to build off of last year’s CAL American Conference Division 1 title. This is a very senior heavy roster with a lot of young talent. Lexi Magruder should continue to climb the school ranks in goals scored (currently tied for fifth with 18 goals). Stephanie Auble and Rachel Lucia are senior captains and commanders of the midfield, while Camille Howarth is a dominant outside defender.

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Cedar Creek smothers Cedar Grove in steamy opener

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Written by Bill LeConey Sunday, September 07, 2014 12:29 pm

creek1 Bill LeConey/Cedar Creek's Owen Bowles closes in on Cedar Grove ball-carrier Nick Zirolo during the first quarter of Saturday's game. EGG HARBOR CITY – The Cedar Creek Pirates have the word “EAT” emblazoned in big gold letters on the backs of their helmets.

It stands for “Effort. Attitude. Tenacity.” But it could easily reflect the Green Gang’s gluttonous appetite for punishing the opposition on defense, and chewing up yardage on offense.

The Pirates feasted on every section of the buffet Saturday in a 41-0 season-opening win over Cedar Grove of Essex County. The defense was as smothering and oppressive as the July-like heat, and the offense thrived with big plays on the ground and in the air.

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So. Cape May County girls tennis preview

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Written by Brian Cunniff Friday, September 05, 2014 10:49 am

Taylor Schad will play No. 1 singles for the MTHS girls tennis team for the third straight season. Most of the area high school girls tennis teams begin a new season this Friday. The following is a look at each of the area’s teams:

LOWER CAPE MAY

Lower won just four matches last season but brings back four players, including seniors Jess Hedum and Carolyn Megonigal, who will compete at first and second singles, respectively, after playing at second and third singles, respectively, last season.

Also returning are juniors Haley Riess and Sam Sandhoff, who are set to play at first doubles.

Read more: So. Cape May County girls tennis preview

   

LCM, Middle field hockey teams look strong

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Written by Brian Cunniff Friday, September 05, 2014 10:30 am

Carrie Wunder (left) and Brianne Nichols lead the 2014 Lower Cape May field hockey team. Both the Lower Cape May Regional and Middle Township high school field hockey teams enjoyed good seasons last fall. Both are primed to be successful again in 2014.

The following is a look at the area’s two high school field hockey teams:

LOWER CAPE MAY

Lower Cape May begins the season with a different head coach for the third straight year, as Rachael Dix has taken over for Amie Hoch, who moved out of the area after leading the program for one season.

Lower returns seven starters from last season’s 10-8 team that won two state playoff games to reach the sectional semifinal round. But the club doesn’t have a lot of depth with only about 15 players total in the program. As a result, the Lady Tigers will not be playing junior varsity contests this fall.

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So. Cape May County girls soccer preview

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Written by Brian Cunniff Friday, September 05, 2014 10:23 am

A large group of seniors will lead a strong Lower Cape May girls soccer team into a new season. They include (from left): Standing - Maddi Franco, Lizzy Sulecki, Madie Gibson, Ariel Magee; kneeling - Kasey Whitten, Domonique DeCamillo, Katrina Wiltshire. Two of the most prolific scorers in Cape May County high school girls soccer history have graduated. But even though Middle Township’s Danielle McCann (102 career goals) and Lower Cape May’s Gabriella McKeown (90) are now playing in college, there is still a lot of talent among area clubs heading into the new season.

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

Read more: So. Cape May County girls soccer preview

   

So. Cape May County boys soccer preview

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Written by Brian Cunniff Friday, September 05, 2014 10:14 am

Lower Cape May’s boys soccer team hopes to improve a four-win season in 2013. The Tigers will look to do so behind (from left): standing - Tyler Novsak, Alberto Ramirez, Logan Spicer, Oscar Nunez, Dennis Canchola; kneeling - Will Hubert, Stephen Moore. Cape-Atlantic League soccer has undergone change for the 2014 season. Gone is the previous four-division, two-conference format. The league now consists of two conferences without divisions, with each school in each conference playing one another only once in league play, although most teams will play a handful of league teams a second time in a contest that does not count in conference standings.

In this area, defending National Conference champ Middle Township features a completely revamped starting lineup but still has enough talent to challenge for a title. Wildwood Catholic should be improved and Lower Cape May and Cape May Tech will each attempt to challenge for winning seasons.

Read more: So. Cape May County boys soccer preview

   

Mainland hopes to recapture winning formula

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Written by Bill LeConey Thursday, September 04, 2014 09:47 pm

coffey Bill LeConey/Mainland Regional head football coach Bob Coffey talks to his team after practice on Sept. 2. The Mustangs open the season Sept. 12 at home against Millville. LINWOOD - It has been an exceptional calendar year so far for Mainland Regional High School athletics, with the basketball team reaching the South Jersey final and the baseball team capturing its first state title.

Now, it’s the football team’s turn to carry on the Mainland tradition.

Coming off back-to-back 4-6 seasons, that won’t be an easy task, but head coach Bob Coffey believes the team has the talent and experience to get over the hump.

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Cedar Creek football looking to take next step

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Written by Bill LeConey Thursday, September 04, 2014 02:03 pm

CCreekpreview1 Mike Schultz/Cedar Creek wideout Ahmir Mitchell, a highly recruited junior, stiff-arms a would-be Middle Township tackler during a game last season. EGG HARBOR CITY - The Cedar Creek High School football team can draw equal parts motivation and confidence from the way its 2013 season ended.

The Pirates suffered a 48-0 loss to Camden in the first round of the South Jersey Group II tournament, but rebounded for a 33-0 win over St. Augustine Prep on Thanksgiving that gave them a share of the Cape-Atlantic League National Conference title.

“The tale of two teams,” said head coach Tim Watson. “What we hope carries over to this year is the way we bounced back against the Prep. That’s the team that we want to be.”

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Another Hicks chooses William & Mary

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, September 03, 2014 09:27 pm

DAVID HICKS One of the best high school golfers in the state has made his college decision.

David Hicks, who just began his senior year at Middle Township High School, has verbally committed to play at The College of William & Mary, a Division I school in Virginia.

Hicks is the most decorated high school golfer in southern Cape May County history. He’s won two South-Central Group II sectional titles and is a three-time Meet of Champions qualifier. He’s also captured two Cape-Atlantic League Tournament victories and has led Middle to the CAL National Conference title in each of his first three high school seasons.

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Stetser: Time is now for EHT to win again

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Written by Bill LeConey Wednesday, September 03, 2014 03:02 pm

ehtpreview Bill LeConey/EHT quarterback Kyle Houghton looks to throw a pass in a scrimmage against Williamstown on Aug. 30. EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP – They have the numbers, the facilities, the youth football feeder programs and, they believe, the talent.

Now, the Egg Harbor Township High School Eagles are looking for the final piece of the puzzle: victories.

The new head coach, Kevin Stetser, knows what it’s like to put all the pieces together; he was a member of the 1992 Eagles team that won the South Jersey Group III championship.

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