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Star Coaches: October, 2013

by Editorial Staff--Suburban Family Magazine

Jamie McGroarty
Eastern High School’s McGroarty, pictured front row center, became the winningest girls soccer coach in South Jersey history with a 6-0 win over Cherry Hill East. The victory gave McGroarty 317 wins, allowing him to pass the previous record-holder, former Cherry Hill East coach Lee Troutman. McGroarty is in his 10th year at Eastern after starting his career at Delsea.

Tracy Burkhart
Washington Township
Burkhart, the Washington Township High School softball coach, was selected as the New Jersey Scholastic Coaches Association’s Softball Coach of the Year for 2013 after leading the Minutemaids to the Group IV state championship and a staggering 30-2 record last spring. Burkhart, who has a 245-83 record overall, was also the South Jersey Softball Coaches Association Coach of the Year. The NJSCA will present her with her award on March 30, 2014, at its annual banquet.

Troy Memis Sr.
Mullica Hill
Memis brought TOPSoccer, which stands for The Outreach Program for Soccer, to Harrison Township last year to ensure that his son J.T. could compete in a safe and fun environment. J.T. has Down syndrome, and the program is designed for children ages 4 and up with special needs. The program was such a success that Memis was inspired to create a nonprofit organization called TOPSports, which will provide special needs children the opportunity to play soccer, baseball, bowling and basketball. Memis is running the programs and acting as a coach.

Jeff Holman
A legendary tennis coach at Haddonfield Memorial High School, Holman reached the 1,000-win milestone with the girls program in a 5-0 victory over Audubon on Sept. 19. He has built the Bulldawgs into a perennial power, and last year they went 32-0 and won the Tournament of Champions. Holman has been coaching the Haddonfield girls team since 1976 and the boys team since 1978. He has 996 career wins with the boys and should hit 1,000 with that program in the spring.

John Shea
After a 28-year coaching career at Eastern High School filled with remarkable achievements, Shea recently stepped down from his position. He coached 59 state champions and seven high school all-Americans in cross country and track, and won numerous awards, including New Jersey Coach of the Year and South Jersey Coach of the Year. He also guided the Vikings to many team championships along the way.

Dana Palumbo
A former Shawnee High School cross country standout turned coach and teacher, Palumbo saw three of her runners place between sixth and 10th as the Renegades captured the B Division team title at the Shore Coaches Invitational. Kara Bonner, Nina Bendixen and Julia DiSpirito placed sixth, ninth and 10th, respectively, on the Holmdel Park course. A former captain of the Shawnee girls cross country team, Palumbo is leading the current squad to success despite losing two of last year’s top runners.

Chris Marrone, Rich Meder and Kelvin Murray
Marrone, the head coach of the Marlton Lightning U-13 B soccer team, helped his squad win its flight at the Marlton Soccer Summer Classic. The Lightning went 4-0 in the U-13 Premier Flight, including a 2-1 win over the Manalapan Warriors in the final as Gaurav Dravida scored both goals off headers. Meder is the team’s assistant coach and Murray trains the squad.

Mike Bottino, Rob Topolski, Jim Rush and Al Nanni
Mount Laurel
The four coaches guided the Mount Laurel 13-year-old baseball team to the Southern New Jersey Babe Ruth state championship this past summer as they went 4-0 in the tournament. In the championship game, Mount Laurel beat Atlantic Shore 16-2. The team went on to compete in the Middle Atlantic Regional Tournament in Niskayuna, N.Y.

Dennis Stein
Cherry Hill
For the first time since 1988, the Cherry Hill East High School boys soccer team had a different coach on the sidelines to start the season as Stein took over for legendary coach Karl Moehlmann. Stein earned his first victory with the Cougars in his debut, as they toppled Camden Catholic, 5-0.

Beau Sherry
A long-time assistant coach of the Moorestown High School football team, Sherry took over as head coach this year for the highly successful Russ Horton. In his head coaching debut, Sherry helped the Quakers to a 7-0 win over Seneca thanks to a late touchdown pass from Tyreek Robinson to Brandon Hammons.

Cindy Surplus
Washington Township
Surplus, a sixth-grade science teacher with a passion for the environment, organized a cleanup effort by her Washington Township High School tennis team on the school’s sprawling campus. As participants in the Gloucester County Clean Communities Program, the girls cleaned the WTHS campus, including the stadium, sports complex and parking lot. They collected 10 bags of trash weighing 120 pounds and seven bags of recyclables weighing 175 pounds.

James Paga
Paga guided the Medford SC Hurricanes, a youth girls soccer team, to a strong showing at the 30th annual TBAA Kick-off Tournament in late August. The Hurricanes notched two shutout victories and their only defeat was a 3-2 loss to the Lower Merion Herricanes. They claimed first place in their bracket of the U-12 Georgia Flight.

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 8 (October, 2013).
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