Cape May County Gazette Leader Sports

Crest native is national triathlon champion

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, July 03, 2014 09:02 am

JOE MALOY Just since the beginning of this year, he’s traveled to Australia, China, Japan and New Zealand to compete.

Now back on home soil, Joe Maloy made the most of a major opportunity.

Maloy, a Wildwood Crest native and Wildwood Catholic High School graduate, became the 2014 national triathlon champion by finishing as the top American at the ITU (International Triathlon Union) World Triathlon in Chicago last weekend.

The race was designated as the USA Triathlon Elite National Championship for American athletes.

Maloy finished 17th overall out of more than 4,000 entrants in the 1,500-meter swim, 38.1K bike and 10K run course, posting a time of 1 hour, 49 minutes, 24 seconds.

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Maddie Anagnou: So. CMC Female Athlete of Year

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, June 26, 2014 08:29 am

Before she even entered Middle Township High School, Maddie Anagnou was on the radar of people associated with the school’s athletic department.

“Wait until you see Maddie Anagnou,” Middle Township athletic director Scott Lodgek told the Gazette back then. “She’s going to be one of the best female athletes this school has seen.”

Lodgek certainly wasn’t wrong.

Anagnou capped an amazing four-year high school athletic career with an extraordinary senior season. She’s a program record holder in field hockey and swimming and is among the greatest scorers in program history in lacrosse.

And she’s also a top-notch student, as evidence by her selection as the Cape-Atlantic National Conference’s top scholar-athlete for the 2013-14 season.

Add all that up and it’s easy to see why Anagnou is an easy choice as the Gazette and Leader newspapers’ Area High School Female Athlete of the Year for southern Cape May County for the second straight year.

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Jose Valentin: Southern CMC Male Athlete of the Year

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, June 26, 2014 08:19 am

Jose Valentin participated in his first varsity contest for Wildwood High School in October 2012 after finally becoming eligible to participate following family issues that caused absenteeism.

He made immediate impact in helping the Warrior football team to one of its six victories that season.

“We told him not to think too much, but to go tackle the ball carrier,” said Rich Hans, Wildwood’s head football coach in 2012-13. “He went out there and did it.”

Valentin made 10 tackles that evening, five of which were for losses, and caught a two-point conversion pass in a lopsided win over Salem.

That performance spawned two full years of extraordinary impact on the athletic program at Wildwood High School, with Valentin also excelling in basketball and baseball. For his efforts with each of those teams, particularly during his senior season in 20-13-14, Valentin is the Gazette and Leader newspapers’ Area High School Male Athlete of the Year for southern Cape May County.

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Diamond Crush win state championship

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, June 26, 2014 08:14 am

The Jersey Shore Diamond Crush 18U Elite travel softball team, made up of players from Cape May and Atlantic counties, won the USSSA state championship last weekend by winning five of six games in the tournament.

The team qualified for the knockout round by going 2-1 in pool play on Saturday. On Sunday, the Diamond Crush edged The Crew, 1-0, in their first game behind a shutout pitching performance by Jackie DeLong (Wildwood Catholic).

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World Cup fever sweeps area

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, June 18, 2014 06:46 pm

Ricky Thall (red), Brian Haas (white) and Steve Kane (blue) support Team USA while watching the World Cup at the Angelsea Pub in North Wildwood NORTH WILDWOOD – It was about 6 p.m. Monday evening and about 40 people – perhaps 30 more than usual at that time of day at this time of year – were bellied up at the bar at the Anglesea Pub in North Wildwood.

Before a handful of them had even ordered their first cocktail, those gathered in the pub exploded in euphoria at what they had just witnessed on the many televisions located in all corners of the establishment.

The cheering wasn’t for a Flyers’ goal in a Stanley Cup playoff game.

It wasn’t for a Ryan Howard three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth.

And it certainly wasn’t for a last-second game-winner by a member of the Philadelphia 76ers.

They were cheering after witnessing what happened in a soccer game.

Yes, a soccer game.

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LCM baseball coach steps down

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, June 18, 2014 06:38 pm

MIKE KUEMMERLE Mike Kuemmerle gave the Lower Cape May Regional High School baseball program 12 seasons. He now wants to give the time spent doing that to his young family.

Kuemmerle, who recently finished his 11th season as head coach after first joining the program as an assistant under Craig Markley, has resigned as coach.

“It’s bittersweet but this is something I had to do for myself and my family,” said Kuemmerle, who is married with a 13-month-old son.

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Nearly 1500 Escape the Cape

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, June 11, 2014 04:56 pm

NORTH CAPE MAY – A triathlon event that began with a major leap of faith ended with lots of smiles Sunday morning.

The Escape the Cape triathlon, one of the most unique public participation races anywhere, drew approximately 1,500 athletes to the Cape May-Lewes Ferry terminal for a swim-bike-run race unlike any other.

The second annual race, staged by local race company DelMoSports, begins with all participants leaping off a ferry boat into Delaware Bay for the swim, with the bike and run portions traveling through parts of Lower Township. The finish was in the grounds of the ferry terminal.

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Wildwood football gains Hall of Fame coach

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Written by Brian Cunniff Tuesday, June 10, 2014 08:34 pm

BRUCE LAZARUK A pretty well known and successful coach throughout South Jersey has taken over the Wildwood High School football program.

Bruce Lazaruk, a member of the South Jersey Football Hall of Fame and former head football coach at three different high schools in the region, was recently approved by the school district’s board of education as Wildwood High’s new head football coach.

Lazaruk replaces Rich Hans, who resigned after last season’s 2-5 season. Hans will remain as the school’s head baseball coach.

Lazaruk, a retired schoolteacher, was most recently an assistant coach at Hightstown, serving for three seasons. He said he is in the process of moving to Villas.

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Red Sox select LCM's Pennington

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Written by Brian Cunniff Saturday, June 07, 2014 05:23 pm

JOSH PENNINGTON Josh Pennington admitted he was feeling “really nervous, really anxious and really frustrated.”

All those feelings immediately went away when the Lower Cape May Regional High School senior pitcher finally heard his name called.

Pennington, currently unable to pitch due to an elbow injury, was selected by the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox in the 29th round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft late Saturday afternoon.

“This is a dream come true,” Pennington beamed during a telephone conversation just minutes after learning of his selection. “That’s all it is, a total dream come true.”

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Warrior 50 Club's generosity continues

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, June 05, 2014 02:38 pm

Warrior 50/Byrne Foundation scholarships of $4,000 each were awarded to (from left) Nicole Toland, Shelby Thornton, Chelsea Mole and Mackenzie Huber. WILDWOOD – Sometimes it can be difficult being a student athlete at Wildwood High School.

Toiling for the smallest regular public high school in South Jersey, many of them are part of teams without a lot of depth. While some of the school’s teams do well, some others struggle to compete. A couple teams even have issues simply finding enough players to field teams.

But one of the major benefits of being an athlete at Wildwood High School comes to fruition each year at this time at the school’s Warrior 50 Booster Club annual awards dinner. That’s because, through a variety of successful fund-raising efforts and an extremely generous endowment from the Byrne Foundation, the graduating student athletes have access to an extraordinary amount of college scholarship money.

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LCM’s Smith enjoys excellent season

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, June 05, 2014 02:30 pm

JEFF SMITH There has been a lot of outstanding sports activity this spring at Lower Cape May Regional High School.

Quinn Bithell, just a sophomore, won a South Jersey title and has been assaulting the school record books in track.

The boys lacrosse team won the most games in program history and qualified for the state tournament for the first time, and the girls lacrosse team captured its first-ever state playoff victory.

And senior baseball Josh Pennington, despite a horrific elbow injury, could see himself selected in Major League Baseball’s First-Year Player Draft later this week.

But one sports story at the school that practically went unnoticed this spring was the quiet but excellent season posted by tennis player Jeff Smith.

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Pennington: If drafted, ‘I’m going to sign’

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, June 04, 2014 12:55 pm

JOSH PENNINGTON Josh Pennington may not throw another pitch for more than a year. But the injured senior righthander from Lower Cape May Regional High School is still optimistic he’ll be selected in the later rounds of this week’s Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

“It’s definitely not going to be how it was before,” Pennington said. “If I was healthy I might have gone in the (Round) 4-to-6 range. But now I’ll probably be much later than that.”

Prior to this season, Pennington was one of a handful of South Jersey high school pitchers drawing major interest from professional scouts due to a fastball that consistently reached into the low 90s. But he tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow while warming up for a game during the Caper Tigers’ trip to Myrtle Beach in April. He is scheduled to have Tommy John surgery later this month, to be performed by famed orthopedic surgeon James Andrews.

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MTHS frosh selected for National Lacrosse Classic

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Written by Brian Cunniff Monday, June 02, 2014 09:13 pm

BRIDGET RUSKEY Middle Township High School freshman Bridget Ruskey, fresh off a record-setting first high school season, has been selected to participate for Team New Jersey in the 2014 Brine National Lacrosse Classic scheduled for June 30-July 3 in Boyds, Md.

The Brine National Lacrosse Classic features many of the top high school lacrosse players in the country at one venue, where regional teams compete to become the 2014 national champion. The tournament includes practices, games, seminars and other activities for all players. Scores of college lacrosse coaches from every division are expected to attend.

Team New Jersey is made up of some of the top high school girls lacrosse players on track to graduate in 2017.

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Cape Express team falls in State Cup final

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Written by Brian Cunniff Monday, June 02, 2014 10:41 am

The Cape Express U-15 boys soccer team’s glorious run through the New Jersey State Cup tournament ended one victory shy of a championship.

After a scoreless first half, Marlboro scored twice in quick succession and held on for a 2-1 victory to win the title in the age group Sunday afternoon.

The New Jersey State Cup is a single-elimination tournament involving youth soccer teams of the same age levels from throughout the state. Separate tournaments are held during the fall and spring seasons.

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