Cape May County Gazette Leader Sports

Another numbers game at Wildwood

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Written by Brian Cunniff Friday, September 12, 2014 08:04 am

MIKAL POTEAT High school football coaches in New Jersey spent the last couple of weeks of August and the first week of September honing the skills of their players as they prepare for their season openers.

But at Wildwood, the coaches were simply trying to find players.

The Warrior football program is again in a tenuous position, preparing for its season opener against Gloucester Friday at home with only about 20 players in the program. The ineligibility of a couple of upperclassmen, apathy about making a commitment to the sport among much of the male student body and the simple fact that Wildwood is such a small school to begin with have left the Warriors at an extreme disadvantage going into Friday’s home game against the vaunted Lions.

“We’re struggling for numbers,” said new Wildwood coach Bruce Lazaruk, who’s previously been a head coach at Hammonton, Rancocas Valley and Riverside over a long career in the game. “But from what I understand, that’s not the exception here but more of the rule. We’re in that boat again.”

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So. Cape May County girls tennis preview

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Written by Brian Cunniff Friday, September 05, 2014 09:49 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.

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LCM, Middle field hockey teams look strong

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Written by Brian Cunniff Friday, September 05, 2014 09:30 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 09:23 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:

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So. Cape May County boys soccer preview

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Written by Brian Cunniff Friday, September 05, 2014 09:14 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.

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Another Hicks chooses William & Mary

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, September 03, 2014 08:27 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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Philly high school football in area this weekend

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, August 28, 2014 06:41 am

Football junkies certainly can get their fix of live games in the area this weekend.

Continuing a long tradition of high school football at the Jersey Shore on Labor Day weekend, Maxwell Field in Wildwood and Carey Stadium in Ocean City will host a total of six high school games involving teams from the Philadelphia area on Friday and Saturday.

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WCHS loses 2 hoop transfers

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, August 28, 2014 06:36 am

Danielle Sanderlin Danielle Sanderlin and Naiyanna Saab were extremely instrumental in the success of the Wildwood Catholic High School girls basketball team as freshmen last winter.

Neither player will be back next season, however.

Crusader athletic director Sal Zuccarello has confirmed that both Sanderlin and Saab did not re-enroll at Wildwood Catholic for the new school year, which is set to begin next week. Zuccarello said both have transferred to Gloucester Catholic. They’ll have to miss the first 30 days of next season as per New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association transfer rules.

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Wildwood soph picks Penn

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, August 27, 2014 09:26 pm

Before even beginning his sophomore year of high school, Brendan Bean already knew where he wanted to attend college.

Coming off a dynamite freshman season at Wildwood High School, Bean has verbally committed to play baseball at the University of Pennsylvania after he graduates high school in 2017.

Bean entered Wildwood with a lofty reputation in the game and did not disappoint in his first high school season as a 14-year-old last spring. He batted .404 with 38 hits in 94 at bats and posted 27 runs scored and 14 RBI. He led the Warriors with 27 walks. Twelve of his hits went for extra bases.

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Philly sports broadcasters & new rules

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Written by Tom Williams Wednesday, August 27, 2014 02:49 pm

Bill Campbell Bill Campbell

In the August issue of Philadelphia Magazine, senior editor Richard Rhys ranked the top Philadelphia sports broadcasters. Here was his list.

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LCM grad could crack lineup at Rutgers

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Written by Brian Cunniff Monday, August 25, 2014 06:51 pm

Vance Matthews When Vance Matthews ended his football career at Lower Cape May Regional High School, he had a chance to play at Delaware and had other similar colleges interested in his services.

Matthews, however, decided to take his chances as a walk-on at Rutgers University. After two seasons as a practice player with the Scarlet Knights, he’s expected to make his first appearance in a game when the team opens its 2014 season late Thursday evening at Washington State.

Matthews, a wide receiver, has steadily worked his way up the depth chart. And with injuries affecting numbers in the receiving corps, the redshirt sophomore has been making the most of his chances in the preseason. According to a report on scarletnation.com, a website that covers Rutgers football, Matthews saw significant time with the top offensive units in both the spring and preseason practice sessions.

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Cape Tech hoops coach resigns

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Written by Brian Cunniff Monday, August 25, 2014 06:45 pm

Bob Ridgway The longest-tenured head coach in the history of the Cape May County Technical High School’s athletic program has called it quits.

Bob Ridgway, the head coach of Cape May Tech’s boys basketball team, announced over the weekend that he has resigned from the position after 16 seasons.

“After 16 years of giving everything I had to the program, I just think it’s time to step away,” Ridgway said.

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Szczur could have taken different path

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, August 21, 2014 11:27 am

On a Saturday in early November in 2006, the Lower Cape May Regional High School football team was clinging to a five-point lead over Buena in a game it needed to win in order to secure its first-ever home state playoff game.

Matt Szczur, also the team’s quarterback, stood 12 yards behind center in punt formation at about his own 25-yard line to await the snap on a fourth-and-7 play. Less than two minutes were on the clock.

It was no surprise that Buena had 10 men on the line of scrimmage, hoping for a chance to block the punt.

The Chiefs, however, never got the chance. Szczur took the snap, jumped forward to avoid the first rusher, then took off to the right sideline for about a 20-yard game that sealed his team’s 24-19 victory.

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Szczur had magical baseball moments at LCM

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, August 21, 2014 11:25 am

Chuck Dougherty, the head coach of the Middle Township High School baseball team, remembers the game as if it were yesterday, even though it occurred more than eight years ago.

His team was ahead by a run or two late in the game over Lower Cape May, with Caper Tiger junior star Matt Szczur about to come to the plate with two runners on.

There was a discussion between Dougherty and pitching coach Steve Regan about whether to issue Szczur an intentional walk. Middle just so happened to have Scott DeCecco, a sophomore at the time who later pitched at Division I South Carolina Upstate and is now in the Seattle Mariners system, on the mound.

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