Cape May County Gazette Leader Sports

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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Football fans can give thanks

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Written by Tom Williams Monday, November 24, 2014 11:27 pm

There are lots of things that should cause football fans to give thanks.

Those from Mainland, who will watch the Mustangs host Egg Harbor Township on Thursday, can be thankful that the Mustangs won two crucial games to end the regular season and qualify for the NJSIAA playoffs. Longtime Mainland fans remember Thanksgiving battles with Oakcrest featuring the likes of George Landis, Steve Parker and Greg Buttle. And recent battles with EHT, including the first overtime Thanksgiving game. Those from EHT are thankful for the great facility they call home and memories of players like Cory Collins, Scott Parker and Aaron Bullock.

Holy Spirit fans are thankful for the two great performances by the Spartans in the NJSIAA Non-Public playoffs that have moved them into yet another championship game after a regular season in which they struggled. They remember a long tradition of football success guided by coaches like Stan Marczyk, Lou Paludi, Jim Gallagher and Ed Byrnes, among others. Atlantic City fans are thankful for their beautiful turf field and another appearance in the playoffs, led by former ACHS star Thomas Kelly.

 

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Cooper is Middle’s Mr. Versatility

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, November 19, 2014 06:51 pm

COLIN COOPER CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE – The 2014 season hasn’t gone as planned for the Middle Township High School football team. Loads of injuries and some disciplinary measures have left the team shorthanded in many of its games.

But one of the constants for the Panthers this season has been the versatile play of Colin Cooper.

Cooper is a senior defensive back, split end, halfback, punt and kick returner and punter. Offensively, while he doesn’t get the amount of touches as some of Middle’s other skill-position players, he’s made the most of his chances.

Cooper scored one of Middle’s touchdowns on a running play in its 22-0 win over Audubon in an NJSIAA consolation game late last week. Cooper ran seven times for 49 yards and his score and also caught four passes for another 47 yards. His punting was also excellent. He averaged 39.7 yards on his three kicks, with a long of 51 yards.

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Herlihy into Meet of Champions for second time

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, November 19, 2014 06:44 pm

RYAN HERLIHY Ryan Herlihy finished outside the top 10 at the state Group II cross country championship meet Saturday at Holmdel Park. But his time was good enough to qualify the senior for the Meet of Champions for the second straight year.

Herlihy finished Saturday’s race in 16 minutes, 25 seconds, recording the fastest time ever recorded at Holmdel Park by a Middle Township runner. But Herlihy had to sweat out the rest of the Saturday afternoon before finding out he had qualified for the Meet of Champions as a wild-card entry.

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MOC berth a fitting finish for WHS senior

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, November 19, 2014 06:38 pm

TREVOR GENTEK Trevor Gentek thought he had pushed himself as hard as he could. Then, he heard his coach’s voice.

“I had no energy,” the Wildwood High School senior said, describing the late stages of the Saturday’s state Group I cross country championship race at Holmdel Park. “Then all of a sudden I heard my coach (Erik Geisinger) yelling at me, ‘Come one, Trevor! Everyone’s hunting you down! Hurry up!’ At that point I just tried my hardest. I gave everything I had the last 100 meters.”

Everything he had put him into a place no other Wildwood High School runner has been.

Gentek’s 10th-place finish – out of 145 competitors – guaranteed him a berth at this weekend’s Meet of Champions, scheduled again for Holmdel Park on Saturday. Gentek is the first cross country runner from Wildwood to qualify for the race.

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Grauel, Warriors finally taste victory

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, November 19, 2014 06:30 pm

JAMES GRAUEL WILDWOOD – James Grauel left some plays out on the field in previous games.

In one game, he slipped and fell while wide open as the primary receiver on a halfback pass. In another game, he dropped a potential touchdown pass.

But last Thursday, the junior two-way starter for the Wildwood High School football finally put it all together. And so did his teammates.

Grauel scored two touchdowns and nearly scored a third on an interception return as the Warriors – a team that never dressed as many as 20 players in a game this season – won their season finale over Pleasantville, 22-6, to prevent a winless campaign.

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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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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.

 

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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.

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Lady Tigers stunned in Group II opener

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Written by Brian Cunniff Friday, November 07, 2014 05:57 pm

ERMA – The wind and a very talented and perhaps underseeded Delran side put an abrupt end to the Lower Cape May Regional High School girls soccer team’s season Friday afternoon.

The eighth-seeded Lady Bears, helped by having a stiff wind at their back, peppered the Lower Cape May defense for the opening 40 minutes and raced to a 3-0 advantage in the South Jersey Group II quarterfinal contest.

The opening goal came via penalty kick, the second came from a hard, high shot from, 20 yards and the third came on a wonderful header off a crossing pass from the flank.

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