FOR MANY RESIDENTS OF SOUTH JERSEY, the month of August finds them scrambling to get in those final beach days of the season, preparing for one last summer barbecue and generally soaking up as much sun as possible.
But for the dedicated student-athletes from local high schools dreaming of winning a state championship or catching the eye of a college recruiter this fall, August is all about getting back in game shape, learning the playbook and creating bonds with their teammates.
The fall sports season always brings its share of highlights to our area, and this one promises more of the same. From perennial powers like Eastern field hockey and Washington Township boys soccer to the five football programs being led by new head coaches, there are plenty of storylines to follow.
As usual, Suburban Family kicks off the new school year with our annual Fall Sports Preview, with in-depth coverage of nine sports: football, boys and girls soccer, fiel d hockey, girls tennis, boys and girls cross country, girls volleyball and gymnastics.
Read on to find out more about the star players, underclassmen ready to have an impact and season outlooks and schedules for teams from Bishop Eustace, Camden Catholic, Cherokee, Cherry Hill East, Cherry Hill West, Clearview, Eastern, Gloucester Catholic, Haddonfield, Kingsway, Lenape, Moorestown, Moorestown Friends, Paul VI, Seneca, Shawnee and Washington Township.
The season begins earlier than normal this year—with many football teams in action before Labor Day—so grab your popcorn and get ready for another exciting year.
BISHOP EUSTACE CRUSADERS
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Although Bishop Eustace graduated a strong senior class, there is reason for optimism heading into 2018. A key player who returns on both sides of the ball is senior running back/defensive back Craig Yates, who made the al l-confer- ence second team on offense as a junior. He led the Crusaders in catches and receiving yards and also averaged 4.3 yards per carry on 42 rushing attempts. Yates added 55 tackles from his cornerback position and should be one of the team leaders this fall. Junior Patrick Brady was a two-way starter last year before breaking his arm midway through the season. He is set to take over as the startin g quarterback and seems poised for a big year. Seniors Michael Robinson and Robert Snyder are stalwarts on the offensive line, and other ve terans vying for spots up front are seniors Marco Nastasi and Alex Zanghi and juniors Silvio Giacobetti and Luke Baines. Junior Brian Hartm an and senior Tony Rizzo are experienced wide receivers, and seniors Andrew Dean, Andrew Harley and Granden Ledyard will rotate at tight end. Sophomore running back Luke Dickson got some varsity carries as a freshman, and junior transfer Ryan Walsh—a two-year starter at Camden Catholic—is expected to have a major impact at fullback and linebacker. Junior James Gruccio and sophomore Brayden Foster are other phys ical linebackers, while Robinson and Nastasi are returning starters on the defensive line. Senior Max Bidic and junior Thomas Ciampi will also contribute on the D-line and the secondary is deep with Hartman, Rizzo and sophomore Jeff Marshall joining Yates.
OUTLOOK: The Crusaders finished strong down the stretch last year to finish with a 6-4 record. They move from the West Jersey Football League (WJFL) Royal Di vision to the Patriot Division this season and will face a much different schedule, so it will be interesting to see how they fare again st new competition.
CAMDEN CATHOLIC FIGHTING IRISH
PLAYERS TO WATCH: After a coaching change and several high-profile play ers transferring out of the program in the offseason, Camden Catholic will have a much different look this fall, but new head coach Cody Hall remains confide nt in his group. His optimism starts up front, as the Irish have an experienced, powerful crop of offensive linemen paced by 6-foot-3, 3 15pound junior Mekhi Bryant. Seniors Liam Mertz, Tyler Tompkins and Nik Obuchowski are also key players in the trenches, and their leadership will be crucial with a new quarterback taking the reins of the offense. An open competition for the job will be held in training cam p, with sophomore Mickey Santore among the front-runners. Junior running back Liwanu Miller will get the bulk of the carries and Hall bel ieves he has the potential to be a 1,000-y ard rusher. Junior Dante Burke provides game-breaking speed at wide receiver, junior Alex Reyes w ill contribute in the slot and junior Matt Davis is the starting tight end. Senior Divine Young made the all-conference first team last y ear and is back to lead the defense. He is joined on the D-line by Bryant, senior James Gilmore and junior Seamus Murphy. Senior Jeremy Nutt will also be a major contributor on the line when he returns from a knee injury. Davis and senior Joe Punchello are penciled in at line backer, and Miller is a returner in the secondary along with Burke and Reyes. A newcomer to watch on defense is freshman Mikkel Miller—the younger brother of Liwanu— who is expected to have an immediate impact at linebacker. Senior Danny Kay made the all-South Jersey first team at punter and the all-conference first team at kicker, as he converted 32 PATs and 6-of-10 field goal tries. He is being recruited by several Division I colleges.
OUTLOOK: The Fighting Irish’s 8-2 season featured a perfect 5-0 mark in the WJFL Constitution Division and a close loss to St. John Vianney in the Non-Public Group III playoffs. This could be a transition season in the revamped Constitution Di vision—which welcomes in Delsea, Cedar Creek, Woodrow Wilson and Willingboro—but Hall does not expect the rebuild to take long.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Change is in the air at Cherokee, which graduated a strong senior class and said goodbye to longtime coach P.J. Mehigan, who stepped down. The Chiefs do return their workhorse on offense: junior running back E.J. Bard, who rushed for 868 yards and thre e touchdowns as a sophomore to earn all- conference second-team recognition. Junior wide receiver Jackson McIntyre is another weapon who le d the team with 37 catches and scored a pair of TDs to make the all-conference second team. McIntyre could also be in the mix to replace Jack Walters as starting quarterback along with senior Aiden Douglas. Senior Ryan Bassett and junior Andy Walters are back at wide receiver and senior Anthony Pasquarello is a returning tight end. On defense, Pasquarello and senior Kevin Linden are back on the line. Senior Marcu s Dawson is a key returner at middle linebacker and senior Shane Silver is an experienced cornerback along with Bard.
OUTLOOK: Mehigan won five South Jersey titles and went 135-41 in 13 seasons, including a 7-3 overall mark last year and the WJFL American
Division championship. New coach Brian Glatz is a 1986 Cherokee graduate and has spent many years as an assistant in the program. He will have some positions to fill on both sides of the ball, but the Chiefs hope to stay competitive as the American Division gets even tougher with the additions of Lenape, St. Augustine and Rancocas Valley.
CHERRY HI LL EAST COUGARS
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Cherry Hill East hopes to make strides this season behind its senior leaders, five of whom made the all-conference team in 2017. Four of those all-stars were honored for their defensive accomplishments, including senior cornerback Isaac JeanBaptiste and senior linebacker Dante Gazzola, who both made the first team. Senior linebacker Nick Gazzola, Dante’s twin brother, and senior defensive lineman Phil Drebick both made the all-conference second team. Senior linebacker James Roberts, senior defensive back Marc Andre and junior defensive back Mike Wheeler are other key returners on defense. On the other side of the ball, Wheeler and sophomore Seba Miller will battle it out for the starting quarterback job. The Gazzola twins and Andre are talented running backs, while Jean-Baptiste and junior tight end Zach Frye are receiving threats. Senior Dominic Seta, an all-conference secondteamer, and Drebick anchor the offensive line. Senior tackle Roberto Sulis another returning starter on the offensive line.
OUTLOOK: After consecutive winless seasons, the Cougars will look to get back on track under new coach Andrew Daley, who replaces longtime coach Tom Coen. Cherry Hill East is the only holdover in the new-look WJFL National Division, which welcomes Cherry Hill West, Cumberland, Pennsauken, Seneca and Triton this year.
CHERRY HI LL WEST LIONS
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Despite losing starting quarterback Monte Williams and dynamic wide receiver Naiem Simmons—who will be playing for Camden and Woodrow Wilson, respectively, this year—Cherry Hill West is excited about its roster. Sophomore Nick Arcarolli saw varsity time at QB as a freshman and is ready to hold down the position on a full-time basis. He will have help from senior running back Mike Alberto, who made the all-conference second team. Senior Carlos Gomez is also an experienced running back and wide receivers include seniors Nick Jester and Alex Cann and junior Johnny Ioannucci. Senior Max Sullivan is one of the key returners on the offensive line. Alberto, a linebacker, also made the all-confere nce second team on the other side of the ball and leads the defense. Senior Dorian Davis and Sullivan are back on the D-line and the lineb acking corps includes seniors Lenny Fernandez and Salvatore Chiaro. Ioannucci contributes in the secondary.
OUTLOOK: The Lions went 1-9 in 2017, but it would not be surprising to see them bounce back this fall and contend for a winning record as they move from the WJFL Consti tution Division to the National Division.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Clearview got off to a slow start in 2017 but closed the seas on strong, and several talented players are back to help build on that finish. Junior Mike Ancona started every game as a sophomore at several offensive positions and could take over as the starting quarterback. Tyvier Alexander, last year’s JV starter, will also compete f or the QB job, and senior Brandon Dick could be in the mix as well if he is able to return from a serious knee injury. Senior Anthony Trazzera is a three-year starter at fullback and other returners who will battle for carries out of the backfield are seniors Dean Dvorak and Hunter Lewis. Junior Troy Black, who played special teams as a sophomore and also saw time at running back, is also expected to have a bigger role after an impressive track season in the spring. Senior Rashan Allen-Hunt is the top target in the passing game along with Lewis, and senior Justin Iaccio could see time at several positions, including tight end. Seniors Ryan Gies and Aidan Romano, an all-conference second-team selection, lead a strong offensive line that also returns junior Nick Matalucci. Others battling for spots on the line are junior Stephen Unger and sophomores Jaden James-Mason, Dalton Noakes, Will Conway, Pierce Love, Julian Wolford and Jimmy Sharkey. The defense is led by Iaccio, a linebacker who is being recruited by Bucknell, Fordham and Army and has preferred walk-on interest from Oklahoma State. Senior David McCullough also returns at linebacker and the defensive line is paced by Romano, Gies and junior Rashan Tompkins, who started every game last year at defensive end. Dvorak made the all-conference second team at safety and other defensive backs are Trazzera, Ancona and senior Jack Love. Senior Shawn Dougherty, a star baseball player, is a newcomer expected to contribute at several defen sive positions. Sophomore Hunter Logan is a promising kicker.
OUTLOOK: The Pioneers started 0-5 last season but rallied to finish with a 37 record thanks to an exciting 28-27 win over rival Kingsway on Thanksgiving. They will move from the WJFL National Division to the completely revamped Liberty Division, which now consists of Burlington Township, Highland, Moorestown, Paul VI and Winslow. Clearview only f aces two teams from its 2017 schedule this fall, so it will be interesting to see how the season unfolds.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: A strong senior class is back to lead Eastern, including Chase Stafford and Andrew Heck, who both saw time at quarterback last year. Two tal ented running backs also return: senior Manny Azuonwu, who led the team in rushing, scored five touchdowns and made the all-conference second team, and senior TJ Franden, who scored a team-high seven TDs. Senior Umar Davis is another experienced running back and returning wide receivers are seniors Stevie Benson and Dominic Harris. Senior Jermaine Donaldson, an all-conference first-teamer, leads the offensive line. Franden made the all-conference first team at linebacker, and other playmakers at linebacker are Davis, an all-conference secon d-teamer, and Azuonwu. Junior safety Moe Howard h ad three interceptions and four fumble recoveries last year and Harris is another key p layer in the secondary. Senior lineman Benjamin Sperling is another returner on defense. Sophomores Brandon Drayton and Justin Moore both saw time as freshmen and should make an impact at both wide receiver and defensive back.
OUTLOOK: The Vikings rode a strong start last year to a 5-5 final record, including a berth in the South Jersey Group V playoffs. Their seniors will keep them competitive as they move in to the WJFL Royal Division and face a completely different schedule.
GLOUCESTER CATHOLIC RAMS
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Dashaun Harris had a breakout season as a sophomore and leads the returners for Gloucester Catholic. The junior running back rushed for more than 1,000 yards and sco red 16 total touchdowns on his way to all-conference first-team honors. Danny DeAngelis, last year’s starting quarterback, transferred to Washington Township, but the Rams are still in great shape at the position. Sophomore Alijah Clark and senior Conor Regan—a standout basketball player who decided to come out for the team—will both see time at QB. The offensive line suffered several big losses to graduation but welcomes back senior tackle Luke Lesch , an all-conference first-teamer. Junior Joe Camarillo, a 6-foot-3, 295-pounder, has made big strides since playing football for the first time last year and also looks to have a spot on both the offensive and defensive lines. Senior defensive end Jimmy Laphan led the team with seven sacks and returning linebackers are junior Da’Juan Vales and senior Scott Griffin. The secondary has plenty of talent, starting with Harris, who had five interceptions. Clark will also play a role in the defensive backfield.
OUTLOOK: The Rams notched their second straight 6-4 season last year and competed in the Non-Public Group II playoffs. They have a chance to make it three winning seasons in a row as they move into the WJFL United Division with rival Gloucester to take on the likes of Buena, Lower Cape May, Middle Township and Pleasantville.
HADDONFI ELD BULLDAWGS
PLAYERS TO WATCH: A strong core from last year’s South Jersey Group II championship team is back in the fold for Haddonfield, including senior quarterback Jay Foley. In his first year as the starter, Foley threw for over 1,700 yards and 13 touch- downs and also ran for six TDs. His top targets include his twin brother, senior wide receiver John Foley, who led the team in catches and receiving yards to make the all-conference first team; senior tight end/wide receiver Drew Gavranich, who scored the game-winning touchdown in the championship game; and senior wide receiver Davis Smith, who is being recruited by several Division I schools. The Bulldawgs are also experienced in the backfield, with senior running back Chris Brown and senior fullback Lance Forebaugh hoping to play big roles after missing most of last season with injuries. Senior Lewis Evans, junior Alex Kadar and sophomore Tommy Batson are other talented tailbacks and senior Gabe Klaus returns at tight end. Veterans can also be found on the offensive line, as senior Matt Pinsky moves to center, seniors Vince Bra dy and Jack Brady return at tackle and junior N ick DiNoia is back at guard. Senior Jimmy Kane and sophomore Matt Carey are candidates to star t at the other guard spot. Klaus is a force on defense; he made the all-conference first team at defensive end after recording 10.5 sack s and 68 tackles as a junior. Kane is another returner on the defensive line and Evans is a talented, sideline-to-sideline linebacker w ho was second on the team in tackles. Forebaugh also play s linebacker and the secondary is led by Smith, Brown, Kadar and John Foley. Senior kicker Henry Grozier booted five field goals last year and is close to automatic on extra points.
OUTLOOK: The Bulldawgs played all of their games away from home last year as their stadium was renovated and dealt with several key injuries, but still found a way to go 9 -3 and claim their fourth South Jersey title since 2010. With a true home-field advantage again and a talented, playoff-tested nucleus, they have high hopes for this fall.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Junior Alex Odom contributed in several areas last year for Kingsway, including running back and wide receiver. He could take over as the starting quarterback this fall, but expect him to play a key role i n the offense wherever he lines up. Senior running back Amier Hobson is another top returner who rushed for four touchdowns and made the all-conference second team, and senior Andre Butler is a playmaker at wide receiver and running back. Senior Cameryn Martin is expected to fill the void at wide receiver left by the graduation of Kevin Zehner. Senior guard Nick Iannacone, senior tackle Michael Rinaldi and soph omore center Sean Horner will look to fortify the offensive line. Odom made the all-conference first team at cornerback and senior Blake Tambone was an all-conference second-teamer at linebacker. Horner is back on the defensive line along with newcomer Shymell Davis and the linebacking unit also features senior Aneas McGruder and junior Dennis Lee. Butler and senior Semaj Bosket return in the secondary.
OUTLOOK: The Dragons’ 3-7 record in 2017 included three losses by a combined eight points. They expect to be competitive again—and hopefully turn some of those close losses into wins—as they move from the WJFL American Division to the Royal, where their opponents will include Easter n, Hammonton, Holy Spirit and Washington Township.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Lenape graduated a whopping 13 all-conference players and went through a coaching change, so the team will certainly have a different look. But there is still talent on the roster. Junior Connor Kennedy and sophomore Brady Long will compete for the starting quarterback position, and whoever wins the job will have several playmakers at his disposal. Sophomorrunning back Xavier Coleman showed potentiaas a rookie, scoring three touchdowns, and he c ould be ready for a featured role. Senior Matt Soutar is another experienced running back expected to receive carries and senior Ryan Erla nger returns at wide receiver. Seniors Brandon Marshall and Amir Byrd are also promising receivers and junior Jake Silver is a returning sta rter on the offensive line. An outstanding defense that allowed just 6.8 points per game also graduated its share of standouts. Silve r and senior Jayson Wingate are back on the line and experienced linebackers are senior Dasan Craig and junior Clyde Washington. Byrd and Erlanger are returners in the secondary. Senior kicker Stephen Mulville, who booted the game-winning field goal with five seconds left i n the South Jersey Group V championship game, is also back after making the all-conference second team as a junior.
OUTLOOK: The last few seasons have been special for Lenape, capped by an 11-1 record and the first sectional title in school history in 2017. Former defensive coordinator Joe Wojceichowski has beepromoted to head coach to replace his mentor, Tim McAneney. He will look to keep the program humming along as the Indians move into the WJFL American Division with the likes of district rivals Cherokee and Shawnee.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Moorestown is paced by one of the top quarterback-receiver tandems in South Jersey in seniors Brian McMonagle and Nick Cartwright-Atkins. McMonagle, the starter under center since his sophomore season, tossed 18 TD passes last year and made the all-conference first team. Cartwright-Atkins was also a first-teamer after leading the team in TD catches and finishing with 636 receiving yards. The speedster is also a threat out of the backfield, while running backs to watch are senior Josh Pearcy and junior Jonathan Miller. Veteran offensive linemen include seniors Colbe Eldridge, Jack Ginley and Jack Finnerty. Pearcy, an outside linebacker, and Ginley, a middle line backer, both made the all-conference first team and lead the defense. Eldredge, an all-conference second-teamer, and senior Matt Harvey are back on the D-line, while Cartwright-Atkins and Miller are key players in the secondary. Senior Josh Bearder handles the punting and kicking duties and made the all-conference second team.
OUTLOOK: The Quakers had a memorable run in 2017, as they went 9-2 and reached the South Jersey Group IV semifinals. With top players on both sides of the ball, they should be in store for more success as they move fr om the WJFL Royal Division to the Liberty Division, where their opponents include Burlington Township, Clearview, Highland, Paul VI and Winslow.
PAUL VI EAGLES
PLAYERS TO WATCH: After making an impact defensively last year at safety—and being rewarded with a spot on the all-c onference second team—senior Kevin Johnson is ready to lead the Paul VI offense as the starting quarterback. He will have a top weapon in junior wide receiver Drew Williams, who was second on the team in receptions and receiving yards on his way to all-conference secondtea m honors. Senior Brian Brown is a talented running back and junior Alfred Woods will also look to contribute out of the backfield. Senior Dennis Hallamis another returning wide receiver and sophomore Bryce Kraemer should be a factor in the passing game as well. Senior Preston Verling, an all-conference second-teamer, anchors the offensive line. On defense, the linebacking unit is strong with seniors Nick Mattia and Nolyn McGrath and Verling will be a key player up front. Senior safety Osamai Unuigbe leads a secondary that also includes Williams, Brown and seniors Rece Parker and Brandon Morales. Senior Henry Westerman, who booted four field goals last year, made the all-South Jers ey and all-conference second team at kicker and handles punts as well.
OUTLOOK: The Eagles posted a 5-5 overall record and 3-2 mark in the WJFL National Division last year. Their schedule will have a different look as they move into the Liberty Division this year, but they have enough experience to handle the changes and remain competitive.
SENECA GOLDEN EAGLES
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Seneca had several young players earn time at the skill positions last season, and it will be exciting to see how they perform now that they are accustomed to varsity football. That includes junior quarterback Malin Jasinski, who became the starter as a sophomore and threw for 1,042 yards and 10 touchdowns and also ran for three TDs. Sophomore running back Najheem Johnson also showed tremendous potential as a rookie, as he averaged 5.6 yards per carry and ran for four TDs. He also scored a receiving touchdown and two TDs on kick returns. Senior Kaden Hastie is a dangerous wide receiver who had 21 catches on his way to all-conference second-team accolades. Junior Austin Endebrock is an experienced tight end, although the core of the offensive line graduated and Seneca will have to develop the position. On the other side of the ball, Endebrock made the all-conference second team at defensive end. Hastie (76 tackles) and junior Nick Ettore (72 tackles) are key returners at linebacker. Johnson and sophomore Garret Woodruff are promising players in the secondary.
OUTLOOK: The Golden Eagles’ 3-7 season included a berth in the South Jersey Group III play offs. As they move from the WJFL Constitution Division to the National Division, the schedule only has three holdovers from last y ear, but they hope to be in contention.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Shawnee will look to reload after graduating nine all-conference players from last year’s sectional championship team, including quarterback Colin Wetterau and dynamic wide receiver Daevon Robinson. One of the key returners is senior Joey Dalsey, who fills a number of roles on offense, defense and special teams. A running back/tight end on offense, Dalsey averaged 4.5 yards per carry and scored four touchdowns as a junior to go with nine receptions. He also played defensive end and recorded 50 tackles and three sacks, converted 42-of-47 extra points as the Renegades’ kicker and made the all-conference second team at punter. Junior Tom Papa will look to seize the starting quarterback job, and senior Nazair Powe ll is a talented running back who started the first four games last y ear before missing the rest of the season with an injury. Senior wide receiver Jon Searcy and junior tight end Matt Papa are returning starters and other contributors offensively are senior running back Kyzir Wall and senior wide receiver Joey Moore. The offensive line is paced by senior Beau Lanzidelle, a 6-foot-6, 315-pound guard being recruited by the likes of North Carolina and Virginia. Senior tackle JC Dobis, a two-year starter, is being recruited by several Ivy League programs, and other veteran offensive linemen are senior Patrick O’Hanlon and juniors Alex Pfeifer and Lee Simms. O’Hanlon also shines on the defensive line; he led the team with eight sacks and had 73 tackles on his way to all-Burlington County second-team honors. Searcy had 47 tackles and four interceptions from his outside linebacker spot, and other returning linebackers are senior Garrett Carella and junior Dalton Short. Senior Jake Stephan is back at defensive end and Moore leads the secondary, while senior Andrew Ellis enters his third season as the long snapper.
OUTLOOK: The Renegades capped their 8-4 season with a 41-6 win over Hammonton in the South Jersey Group IV final for their seventh sectional title. Even with a new cast of stars this fall, the program expects to be competitive year in and year out, although the WJFL American Division will get even more challenging with the additions of Lenape, Rancocas Valley and St. Augustine.
WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP MINUTEMEN
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior Joe McKillop is a playmaker on offense who lines up at running back and wide receiver and will be a key player for Washington Township this season. He earned all-conference second-team honors as a junior. The Minutemen have several quarterbacks who gained experience last year, including senior Roger Baldacci and sophomore Joe Gledhill, and it will be interesting to see who wins the job. Senior Stephon Mason and junior Andrew Wilson are potential targets at wide receiver and junior running back Andrew Nocille is expected to play a bigger role after seeing varsity time as a sophomore. Junior Jack Dunn started at tackle as a sophomore, senior Anthony Cheeseman also returns to the offensive line and senior Alex Santiago is also hoping to have an impact up front. Junior linebacker Louie Griggs paces the defense after leading the Minutemen in tackles and being rewarded with all-conference second-team recognition. McKillop and Santiago are also back at linebacker, Cheeseman contributes on the defensive line and the secondary includes Mason and Wilson. Junior Anthony Rossi returns as the starting kicker.
OUTLOOK: Despite being competitive in most of their games in 2017, the Minutemen struggled to a 2-8 record. They will look to turn things around with their third head coach in the last three years— Mike Schatzman—a former player and assistant at Washington Township who should bring stability to the program. The Minutemen will also move from the WJFL American Division to the Royal Division, where their opponents will include Eastern, Hammonton, Holy Spirit and Kingsway.
BISHOP EUSTACE CRUSADERS
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior MJ Schwab has been a varsity player since her freshman season and should be in store for a strong final campaign. She made the all-conference first-team for the second year in a row in 2017 and led a defense that allowed just 27 goals all season. Forward Alyssa Manuola (team-high 20 goals, eight assists) and midfielder Julianna Carletti (a Monmouth University commit) are other key seniors who joined Schwab as all-conference first-teamers. Junior midfielder Claire Vasell had 10 goals and led the team with 21 assists, and other proven scorers are senior forwards Bethany Garcia (a Kean commit), Veronika O’Donnell and Rachel Infantoli no and junior forward Julia Gatelein. Senior Maura Gallagher is a top returner in the midfield, seniors Olivia Ahart and Shelby Young are im portant pieces of the defense and sophomore Mia Trottie is back as the starting goalie. Other key returners are defensive back Abby Miller and goalie Charlie Wiacek, both juniors.
OUTLOOK: The Crusaders went 20-3 overall, 12-0 in the Olympic Conference National Division and captured their fourth straight sectional title last year on their way to the state final. A model of consistency over the years, the program will continue to set the bar high in 2018.
CAMDEN CATHOLI C FIGHTING IRISH
PLAYERS TO WATCH: After two impressive seasons at Washington Township, Julia Patrone transferred to Camden Catholic last season and had an immediate impact. She recorded 20 goals and eight assists despi te missing much of the season due to NJSIAA transfer rules. The senior forward should once again be one of the top scorers in the Olymp ic Conference. Junior forward Kate Walsh ( 12 goals, nine assists) and senior forward Katie Miller (five goals, six assists) are other key pieces of the attack who both made the all-conference first team. Seniors Lynn Hardy and Madison Edwards and junior Kaitlyn Cummins are strong players in the midfield and returning defenders are senior Kathryn Johns and junior Hailey Quicksill. Senior Emily Moffett is a veteran goalie and other experienced upperclassmen include senior midfielder Haley Didinger, senior forward Olivia Rosolia and junior forward Natalie Berry. Sophomores who saw time as freshmen are forwards Kortni Deeck and Elena Leahy and midfielders Jillian Orcutt and Laura McCann.
OUTLOOK: The Fighting Irish posted a 16-5-1 record and ended their season with a hard-fought 1-0 loss to rival Bishop Eustace in the sect ional final. They expect to be in contention once again.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Although Cherokee graduated a stellar senior clas s, there are several key players left to build around, including senior forward Allison Yocum, who scored eight goals as a junior and made the all-conference second team. Sophomore Alex Kulinski is another returning playmaker who had nine goals and four assists in an impressive rookie campaign. Kelly Foley had five assists and is part of a solid senior core that also includes Gigi Glenning, Anna Messina and goalie Kylie Cassidy.
OUTLOOK: The Chiefs went 13-7-1—their best record since 2007—and reached the sectional quarterfinals last year. The y hope to build on that momentum this fall.
CHERRY HI LL EAST COUGARS
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior forward Carli Ciocco has been the leading scorer for Cherry Hill East each of the last two seasons and made the all-conference first team last year. The Cougars are expecting a strong finish to her standout career. Senior Sarah Allen, who made the all-conference second team, will keep the team controlled at midfield and look to increase her goal total this season. Another talented senior is goalie Gabi Valladares, a starter since her sophomore year a nd one of the toughest keepers in the conference. Senior Julia Verna joins Ciocco at forward and key players in the midfield are seniors Chloe Garber and Julianne Calalo.
OUTLOOK: The Cougars’ 5-14 season included a tough 1-0 loss to Washington Township in the first round of the playoffs. Their strong senior class will look to go out with a winning season.
CHERRY HI LL WEST LIONS
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Junior forward Gabriella Huegel and senior forward Paige Tambussi both showed an ability to put the ball in the cage last season and will be counted on to spark the offense for Cherry Hill West. Jun- ior Olivia Hafner is another key returner at forward, while sophomore Caitlin King is a returning starter in the midfield. Sophomore Isabella Sylvester also flashed potential in the midfield as a freshman, and senior Niki Horiates leads the defense in front of junior goalie Gina Marie Bellon. Other returners expected to earn playing time are juniors Samantha Lafferty and Kerrigan Donnelly and seniors Ana Dorvil, Jovana Macarena and Ariana Lopez.
OUTLOOK: The Lions have been rebuilding in recent seasons but have good numbers in the program and hope to keep making progress.
CLEARVI EW PIONEERS
PLAYERS TO WATCH: An outstanding group of seniors graduated for Clearview, but there is still plenty of talent left on the roster. That includes senior forward Olivia Sindoni, who scored the only goal in the sectional final and finished with 11 goals and seven assists on the year. Juniors Gigi McAlpin (11 goals, five assists) and Sage Riso (four goals) are other top forwards and sophomore Abby Vesey is a key player in the midfield. The defense lost two stalwarts to graduation but does return senior goalie Julianna Smith (16 shutouts), along with sophomore backs Ali Palumbo and Grace Trovato, who both shined as freshmen. Other contributors are juniors Julia McCarthy and Haley Tabar.
OUTLOOK: The Pioneers made school history last year by claiming their first sectional championship with a 1-0 win over Ocean City in the South Jersey Group III final. They also won the Tri-County Conference Royal Division title and finished with an 18-2-1 record. While it will be difficult to match those accomplishments, this is a program that consistently delivers year in and year out.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Kara Heck has already compiled numbers that would make for an outstanding career for most players, and she’s only halfway done. The junior forward led New Jersey in scoring for the second straight season last year, with 59 goals and 31 assists, on her way to all-America, all-state and all-conference first-team accolades. Count on more of the same this season from the Boston College recruit. Senior Madi Guyer is another elite talent who anchors the defense for the Vikings. She also added nine goals and 15 assists to make the all-America third team, all-state second team and all-conference first team. Junior goalie Nina Santore secured the starting spot last year and responded with 17 shutouts to make the all-state second team and all-conference first team. Senior Sydney Woolston is also a key piece of the defense who made the all-state third team and all-conference first team, while juniors Theresa Schmus and Kylie Zielinski contribute on D as well. Junior forward Amanda Middleman had 22 goals and six assists last year and top players in the midfield are juniors Kendall Jung and Tara Somers, a St. Joseph’s recruit. Other returners expected to have an impact are senior Linsey Cha mpa, junior Elise Pettisani and sophomore Anastasia Lukasheva.
OUTLOOK: The Vikings put together another memorable season in 2017, as they posted a 24-1-1 record with their 19th state title in a row and dropped a tough 2-1 loss to Oak Knoll in the Tournament of Champions (TOC ) final. Their goals for this fall include adding another state championship and reclaiming the TOC crown for the first time since 2015.
GLOUCESTER CATHOLIC RAMS
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Although Gloucester Catholic graduated leading s corer Chloe Fredericksdorf , the rest of the starting lineup is back in the fold. Senior midfielder Ally Frampton leads the way after scoring 17 goals and making the all- conference first team for the second straight season. Sh e has committed to Division I Sacred Heart. Junior forward Sara Hussey added eight goals and senior midfielder Emily Leonhardt is another returning playmaker. Senior Meghan Lozuke also returns at forward, while seniors Catharine Krier and Caitlin Lozuke are key defenders in front of junior goalie Olivia Blome. Seniors Jackie Brogan and Julianna Solomon, juniors Madison Baldwin, Madison Eller and Maggie Luck and sophomore Tatum Kearns are also looking to contribute.
OUTLOOK: The Rams went 10- 7- 1 with a playoff victory in 2017 to finish with their first winning record in more than a decade. With almost the entire roster returning, they hope to make it two in a row.
HADDONFI ELD BULLDAWGS
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Bridget McCormick enjoyed a breakout season in 2017 and her return this fall is a major boost for Haddonfield. The junior forward had 30 goals—just two off the team-high total established by her older sister Jaimie— and added six assists to earn allstate third-team recognition. At the other end of the field, senior defender Ella Dengler is a stabilizing presence who made the all-conference first team for the second year in a row. Behind Dengler is an all-conference first-team goalie in senior Megan Maynes, who enters her fourth year as the starter before moving on to Georgetown. Senior forward Natalie Naticchia, a Davidson recruit, scored 10 goals as a junior and gives th e Bulldawgs another scoring option next to McCormick. Junior forward Abby Marthins also contributes on offense, while seniors Ashley Campo (a Rutgers recruit for lacrosse) and Maddie Bickel (committed to Franklin & Marshall) are key players in the midfield. Sophomore Emily Smart is also back in the midfield and senior Sophie Kohs is a returning starter on defense. Other returners looking to make an impact are seniors Erin Angstadt, Mia Frontino, Caitlyn Tedeschi, Alex Townsend and Grace Sanger-Johnson; juniors Rebekah Vielehr and Chrissy Stanton; and sophomores Katie Marthins, Sarah Naticchia and Jenna Walls.
OUTLOOK: The Bulldawgs claimed their second straight state championship on their way to a 22-4 final record in a memorable 2017 campaign. There should be plenty of highlights this fall as well.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Seven starters are back in the mix for Kingsway, including three all-conference first-team players and the Dragons’ leading goal scorer. Senior forward Hailey Ferry had 23 goals and 21 assists to receive the conference recognition along with senior midfielder Julia Amoroso and junior midfielder Emily Keene. Senior forward Madison Maguire is another proven finisher who had 24 goals and 11 assists. Other returners who will add to the attack are junior forwards Abbie Brown and Natalie Ivans. Senior Sydni Coles is back in the midfield, and the defense includes juniors Abigail Miller and Abby Matthias an d sophomore Emma Turner. Sophomores Devin Harkins and Morgan Klaiss showed promise as rookies and several players will be in contention t o take over as the starting goalie.
OUTLOOK: Last year was another successful one for the Dragons as they posted a 15-5-1 record and reached the sectional semifinals. With a veteran roster returning, they have high expectations under new head coach Dana Ott.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Several top players return from last year’s sectional championship team, so Lenape is excited heading into the 2018 campa ign. Senior midfielder Caroline Barlow scored five goals— including the game-winner in the sectional final—and added eight assists as she earned all-conference first-team recognition for the second year in a row. Senior forward Kylie Bresley scored a team-high 11 goals to go with seven assists, and junior Megan McKenna is a standout player in the midfield who chipped in four goals and eight assists. Senior Lindsay Nanni and junior Reese Grogan are other scoring threats at forward and junior Sammy Lish is back in the midfield. Senior Emma James has been the starting goalie since her sophomore year and will be back in the cage again this fall. Looking to break into the starting lineup are returning seniors Kyla Boatwright, Olivia Bucilli, Nikki Papagno, Julia Berardi, Alyssa Hartman, Kelli Humphrey and Hannah Koerner. Other potential contributors are juniors Ashley Thomas, Taylor Brunner, Avery Bartolomeo, Rebecca Gardiner and Hunter Strauss, and sophomore Allie Halfpenny.
OUTLOOK: Just two years after winning only two games, the Indians went 11-11 last fall and claimed the Central Jersey Group IV championship, their first sectional title since 2003. With a large piece of the roster back, hopes are high again.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Almost the entire starting lineup is back from last year’s state championship team at Moorestown, including one of the state’s premier players in Delaney Lawler. The senior midfielder led the Quakers with 20 goals and eight assists and was a difference-maker at both ends of the field. Lawler, who will continue her career at Ohio State, made the all-America third team, all-state first team and all-conference first team. Five other all-conference first-teamers also return: senior forwards Kayla Frank (17 goals) and Colleen Craven (15 goals, five assists), senior defenders Julia Darmo and Shea Balderson and senior goalie Lauren Pickul, a three-year starter who also made the all-state third team. Senior forwards Catherine Dare (15 goals) and Madison Sever (six goals) are other proven scorers and senior Olivia Sever is a key player in the midfield. Senior Morgan Darmo and sophomore Margaret Lawler are important pieces of the defense.
OUTLOOK: After knocking on the door for so long, the Quakers broke through with the Group III state championship last year, their first since 2006 and the program’s 17th overall. They went on to reach the semifinals of the Tournament of Champions and finished with an 18-4 record. With so much talent back this fall, they will continue to set lofty goals.
MOORESTOWN FRIENDS FOXES
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Moorestown Friends suffered key losses to graduation, with four all-league first-teamers moving on. But there is still reason for optimism. Seniors Lauren Cates (11 goals, nine assists) and Kendall Connolly (eight goals, four assists) will be counted on offensively, and junior Jackie Barr is another scoring threat. Sophomore Bella McCollister received honorable mention recognition from the Friends Schools League and will look to build on a strong rookie season in the midfield. Jordan Obermeier, Hannah Wilson and Priya Shah are other sophomores who showed promise as freshmen. Veterans looking to contribute are seniors Chigozie Chukeunyere, Arianna Saballos and Katie Paw and junior Ella Hanamirian.
OUTLOOK: The Foxes’ memorable 2017 campaign featured a 15-3-2 record—their best mark since 2007—along with berths in the sectional semifinals and Friends Schools League final. Despite graduating a stellar senior class, they hope to follow it up with another strong season.
PAUL VI EAGLES
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior defender Caroline Francesconi is back to lead Paul VI after receiving all-conference first-team accolades as a junior. She is part of a solid back line that also includes seniors Brielle Odd and Alyssa Strano. The Eagles also have two strong goalies in senior Margaret Cirii, the returning starter, and senior Gabby Griffo, who was injured last season. Seniors Payton Barr and Julia Bruno are talented offensive players who will be expected to carry the offense, while sophomore Gianna Conti and senior Caitlin Scully return to secure the midfield. Other senior leaders are Isabelle Newman, Amanda Mascolo, Kathleen Eife, Julia Catarro and Bella Orzechowski.
OUTLOOK: The Eagles were competitive in most of their games and finished with a 5-13-2 record after falling in the first round of the playoffs. They are aiming for a winning record and a return to the postseason in 2018.
SENECA GOLDEN EAGLES
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Several top players are back from last year’s thrilling run to the state final, making Seneca a team to keep tabs on. Among that group is sophomore forward Cassidy Strittmatter, who burst onto the scene with 22 goals and five assists to make the all-conference first team. Senior midfielder Lindy Webb, a contributor all over the field, also made the all-conference first team and sophomore forward Olivia Quagliero (16 goals, four assists) joins Strittmatter as a dangerous offensive player. Seniors Abigail Cosper and Delayni Elentrio also contribute offensively and sophomore Madeline Lawlor is a talented defender who could transition to the midfield. The defense is led by returners Caitlin Kozokas, a senior, and Devon Webb, a sophomore, and senior Jenna Flemings is back as the starting goalie after having a massive impact in her first year of varsity hockey and making the all-state second team for Group II. Also looking to contribute are seniors Hannah Kent, Leah Siter and Madison Willitts, junior Kylie Mitchell and sophomore Isabella Fedeli. Freshmen Tess Strittmatter, the younger sister of Cassidy, and Sophia Abate could also earn varsity spots.
OUTLOOK: The Golden Eagles made program history in 2017 with their first sectional championship and first trip to the state final on their way to a 17-6-2 record. The bar is now set high, but they are confident they can accomplish big things again this fall.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Five starters are back in the mix for Shawnee, including two seniors who are committed to Division I college programs. Forward Erica Solomen, a University of Connecticut commit, has been the Renegades’ leading scorer the last two seasons. She had 28 goals and 20 assists as a junior on her way to all-state second-team and all-conference first-team accolades. Midfielder Bell a Mancini, who will continue her career at Rutgers, joined Solomen on the all-conference first team after recording five goals and 12 assists and shining at the defensive end of the field as well. Senior Toni Marmo (12 goals, four assists) and junior Alayna Burns (17 goals, eight assists) are also standouts in the midfield and other scoring threats are seniors Madison Connolly and Julianna Gligor, junior Riley Eck and sophomore Chrissy Solomen, Erica’s sister. Junior center back Logan Anderson made the all-conference first team and leads the defense, while senior Annika Ringen and junior Ashley Martin are other experienced defenders and senior Kiera Kennedy hopes to earn the starting goalie job. Sophomore midfielder Julia Cavicchio flashed potential as a rookie and will also contribute.
OUTLOOK: The Renegades posted a 15-6 record against a challenging schedule and reached the sectional final for the second year in a row. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see more of the same in 2018.
WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP MINUTEMAIDS
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Jessica Hatch h as been a standout at Washington Township since h er freshman year and is poised for a big final season this fall. The midfielder/defender h ad nine goals and 12 assists last year to make the all-conference first team for the second year in a row. Senior Jeanine Morrow (nine goals) and juniors Hannah Schrader (five goal s, th ree assists) and Jennie Boyle (three goals, five assists) are returning playmakers and other contributors up top and in the midfield are senior Lindsay Kuss, junior Sophia Schiavo and sophomores Marissa Oldrati, Ellie Koerner and Gabbie Mattia. Junior Audrey Ross is back as the starting goalie with senior Hannah Sharkey in front of her on defense.
OUTLOOK: The Minutemaids’ 2017 campaign featured a playoff victory and a 9-10 final record. This program usually finds a way to be competitive and this season should be no different with Hatch leading the way.
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 5 (July 2018).
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