Cape May County Gazette Leader Sports

LCM, Middle excited for lacrosse season

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, March 26, 2015 09:40 am

Juniors Cole Blackley, a midfielder, and James Cella, a goalkeeper, are two of the Lower Cape May boys lacrosse team’s top players. The four area high school boys and girls lacrosse programs each posted winning seasons last spring. The Middle Township girls were the best of the lot, enjoying an undefeated league season and a Cape-Atlantic League championship. The Middle boys won 16 games, the Lower Cape May boys were over .500 and qualified for the state playoffs for the first time and the Lower girls had a more-than-respectable 12-win season.

All four teams have a good chance for more success this spring.

In fact, Lower Cape May’s teams have already experienced some success. Both posted victories over Atlantic City in their season openers on Wednesday, the boys winning 16-0 behind four goals from Pete Tomlin and the girls victorious by 14-1 behind six goals from Ashley Hunt.

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Wildwood senior selected for state all-star game

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Written by Brian Cunniff Tuesday, March 24, 2015 08:07 pm

MIKAL POTEAT The Wildwood High School football team won just one football game last fall. That didn’t stop standout two-way starter Mikal Poteat from getting some major recognition, however.

Poteat, a 6-2, 265-pound senior offensive lineman and linebacker, has been selected to play in the prestigious Phil Simms New Jersey North-South All-Star Football Game on June 29.

“I was surprised to get picked,” Poteat admitted. “I didn’t expect that a lot of people were watching our games or seeing my stats.”

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Childhood gift pays dividends for Tech grad

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Written by Brian Cunniff Tuesday, March 24, 2015 08:05 pm

BRIAN FERRANTE A little more than 15 years ago, Brian Ferrante was a wide-eyed 8-year-old on Christmas morning eagerly waiting to open the last of his gifts in his family’s Dennis Township home.

“We kind of had a little tradition in our family where we’d save the best gift for last,” he recalled.

After tearing the wrapping and ripping open a box that was too big for its contents, however, Ferrante was a bit disappointed to see a new set of Spaulding golf clubs.

“I was absolutely upset at the time because I had no idea what golf was then,” he said with a laugh. “But being an 8-year-old kid, I never knew it would be the best gift ever.”

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Award-winning cheer career winds down for Middle grad

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Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Tuesday, March 24, 2015 08:01 pm

GABBY MATTERA It is not inevitable, despite the nature of their athleticism, that all cheerleaders will suffer the wounds of their accomplishments.

One of the cheerleaders who has not been so fortunate is 21-year-old award-winning Gabby Mattera of Middle Township who, in her 15 years as cheerleader, acrobat and tumbler has broken her foot twice and suffered a multitude of muscle pull injuries in her legs.

Not too many years in the future, however, Mattera may be going the opposite route as an emergency care doctor giving medical help to cheerleaders whose bodies have rebelled against the stresses forced by the field of athletics. This September she will begin her education and training to become an emergency care doctor.

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McGann to play at D II Flagler

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Written by Brian Cunniff Friday, March 20, 2015 06:29 am

PAT McGANN Wildwood Catholic High School senior Pat McGann is set to continue his soccer career at Flagler College, a Division II school located in St. Augustine, Fla., near Jacksonville.

McGann said he is not initially receiving athletic scholarship money but added that he has earned some academic scholarship money to Flagler, at which he plans to major in sports management.

“I just wanted to get away from this weather and play soccer year round in a comfortable setting and go to the best team I could possibly get myself on,” McGann said. “But I also wanted to be sure I wanted to go to that school, so I chose Flagler first. And then it went from there with the soccer.”

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Kerr’s brilliant college career ends

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Written by Brian Cunniff Friday, March 20, 2015 06:27 am

GARRET KERR Garret Kerr’s record-setting college basketball career came to a close last weekend in the second round of the NCAA Division II Tournament.

Kerr, a 2011 Middle Township High School graduate, poured in 34 points and collected 12 rebounds in his University of the Sciences team’s 59-53 loss to Southern New Hampshire in a second-round game on Sunday.

Kerr finished his career as the all-time leading scorer and rebounder at Sciences, ending with 2,434 points and 1,391 rebounds. For his career, he averaged 22.1 points and 12.6 rebounds while shooting 52.7 percent from the floor.

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Teammates, then rivals, now teammates again

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Written by Brian Cunniff Friday, March 20, 2015 06:25 am

JARED IRWIN They were teammates growing up and opponents while in high school. Next fall, Jared Irwin and Sal Zampirri will be teammates once again.

Irwin, of Wildwood High School, and Zampirri, of Wildwood Catholic, two of the top soccer players in Cape May County, will continue their careers at Division III Cabrini College.

Irwin, a striker for Wildwood last fall but who has also played in the midfield during his high school career, broke two significant programs records by netting a program-record 30 goals as a senior and a program-record 56 goals for his career.

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Teammates, then rivals, now teammates again

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Written by Brian Cunniff Friday, March 20, 2015 06:25 am

JARED IRWIN They were teammates growing up and opponents while in high school. Next fall, Jared Irwin and Sal Zampirri will be teammates once again.

Irwin, of Wildwood High School, and Zampirri, of Wildwood Catholic, two of the top soccer players in Cape May County, will continue their careers at Division III Cabrini College.

Irwin, a striker for Wildwood last fall but who has also played in the midfield during his high school career, broke two significant programs records by netting a program-record 30 goals as a senior and a program-record 56 goals for his career.

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Middle grad to play in NCAA Tournament

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Written by Brian Cunniff Sunday, March 15, 2015 02:44 pm

LAURYN FIELDS Around this time last year, the prolific high school basketball career of Lauryn Fields ended with a crushing defeat to Cedar Creek in the South Jersey Group II championship game.

Soon, Fields will be playing in the NCAA Tournament.

The Middle Township High School graduate is a freshman reserve guard for the Savannah State women’s basketball team, which earned its first-ever trip to the tournament with a 65-47 win over Maryland Eastern Shore in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship game on Saturday in Norfolk, Va.

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Magical playoff ride ends for Lady Tigers

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, March 12, 2015 09:05 pm

Lauren Holden scored 16 points against Manasquan in her final high school game WILLIAMSTOWN – The Lower Cape May Regional High School girls basketball team’s magical ride through the state tournament came to a crashing halt Thursday evening.

Manasquan, the state’s No. 1-ranked team, used a big run at the end of the second quarter to turn a close game into a rout and defeated the Lady Tigers, 77-43, in a state Group II semifinal at Williamstown High School.

“That was a very good basketball team,” said Lower coach Scott Douglass. “We knew it was going to be a challenge. We didn’t play particularly well. But we also knew we were going to have to play a monster game just to have a chance to a beat a team like that.”

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Lady Warriors ‘can’t be disappointed’ with season

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, March 11, 2015 06:51 pm

When it comes to sports, success is often measured in championships. But while the Wildwood High School girls basketball team didn’t win any of those this season, you definitely can’t say the 2014-15 season wasn’t a successful one.

The Lady Warriors bowed out of the South Jersey Group I Tournament in the semifinal round on Monday, losing 68-45 to top-seeded Haddon Township, which went on to beat Gloucester in the South Jersey championship game on Tuesday.

“Haddon Township was a very good ballclub,” Wildwood coach Dave Troiano said. “I think our top two players were very close to their top two, but then after that they had so much more depth than we did. All five of their starters were very, very good players.”

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Warriors came a long way in 17-win season

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, March 11, 2015 06:49 pm

It was a miserable start to the season for the Wildwood High School boys basketball team.

But even after the Warriors lost five of their first six games, head coach Scott McCracken remained optimistic.

“I still think we’re going to compete in our division,” he said in early January.

They did that and more.

Wildwood, given a boost by the eligibility of transfer Yamire McNeal in mid January, rallied mightily. The Warriors won 16 of their next 20 games, before being eliminated in the third round of the South Jersey Group I Tournament with an 82-49 loss to eventual sectional champion Paulsboro.

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Two straight 20-win seasons for WCHS girls

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, March 11, 2015 06:46 pm

Olivia Rulon ended her career seventh all-time in scoring for WCHS girls basketball. The Wildwood Catholic High School girls basketball program appeared to be at a major crossroads prior to the season.

Two seniors, one of whom is now playing at Michigan State, had graduated. Two freshmen who had started transferred out.

That left one returning starter and only one other player with any kind of varsity experience coming into the season.

But the Crusaders managed to enjoy their second straight successful season, ending it by giving the top seed in the South Jersey Non-Public B Tournament a major scare before an eventual 39-34 loss in the second round.

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Crusaders look forward after overachieving season

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, March 11, 2015 06:45 pm

Kevin McWade was the lone senior on this season's WCHS boys basketball team. There’s a natural instinct to assume a high school basketball team is going to be better the following season when it loses only one player to graduation from the current team.

Wildwood Catholic High School boys basketball coach Dave DeWeese was quick to warn against that thought.

“If we’re going to win another Cape-Atlantic League title or compete for a Cape-Atlantic League title we still have to get better and the next seven or eight months are critical,” he said. “If we don’t get better over the next seven or eight months we could go backwards. If we want to compete with some of the teams we want to compete with, we have a long way to go.”

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