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Star Athletes

by Editorial Staff--Suburban Family Magazine

Michael Stoughton (pictured)
Stoughton, a fifth-grader at Cranberry Pines Elementary School, completed his 100th mile for the Cougar Runners Program. The program is run by parent volunteers and encourages students in Medford elementary schools to exercise by walking or running. The participants are monitored so that milestones can be rewarded. Cranberry Pines started the program in 2010 and Stoughton completed his first mile when he was in second grade.

Katy Schlechtweg and Julia Applegate
Mount Laurel and Moorestown
Both graduates of Moorestown Friends School, Schlechtweg and Applegate were recently honored for their roles in one of the best field hockey seasons in school history (12-6) at Dickinson College. A senior goalie, Schlechtweg capped her outstanding career by being named the team’s Most Valuable Player for 2013. The Mount Laurel resident finished her career with 488 saves, fifth on Dickinson’s all-time list. Applegate, a senior forward from Moorestown, received the team’s Unsung Hero Award for providing strong senior leadership to go with her four goals on the season. She was also named to the Centennial Conference Sportsmanship Team.

Brennan Wheeler
Washington Township
Wheeler, just 8 years old and the youngest boy on his U-9 Red Raiders boys soccer team, still managed to have a huge impact this past fall. He was named team MVP after scoring an impressive 20 goals, and was also selected for the Washington Township All-Star team. He helped lead the Red Raiders to a 6-4-2 record.

Briana Gess
Gess became just the third rookie to achieve the honor of top runner in the state this past fall when she claimed the girls cross country Meet of Champions title, setting a freshman course record at Holmdel Park with a time of 17:45. She was the first Haddonfield High School girls runner to win the Meet of Champions crown since 2000. Also the South Jersey and state champion in Group II, Gess went on to place fifth at the Foot Locker Northeast Regionals in New York. That earned her a trip to San Diego for the national championships, where she finished 13th overall and No. 1 among freshmen.

Alex Kunicki and Dominick Petracci
Washington Township
Kunicki and Petracci, both members of the Washington Township Junior Wrestling program, each took first place at the 27th Annual Delsea Crusaders Junior Wrestling Tournament. Kunicki defeated four other wrestlers from a six-man bracket to take the title in the Midget 85-pound Division. Petracci beat four other wrestlers in a five-man bracket to earn the win in the Midget 90-pound Division.

Amanda Cooper
Cooper, an eighth-grader at Moorestown Friends School, was honored for her terrific field hockey season in the fall when she was named the Foxes’ Most Valuable Player during the Middle School Sports Awards ceremony. Cooper was a dangerous offensive player for the Foxes, scoring 17 goals to go with six assists. She also recorded hat tricks in two different games.

Tom Flacco
Flacco, an Eastern High School senior quarterback, became only the second player in South Jersey history to throw for 6,000 career yards this past fall when he hit the milestone in a win over Clearview. He finished his career with more than 7,300 career yards, second only to fellow senior Dylan Cummings of Pennsville. Flacco just wrapped up the winter season as a guard for the Eastern basketball team, and this spring he looks to help the Vikings defend their Group IV state championship in baseball.

Remy Madarieta
Cherry Hill
A junior, Madarieta is shining in athletics and in the classroom at the Army and Navy Academy Boarding School for Boys in Carlsbad, Calif. The Cherry Hill native competed on his school’s water polo team in the fall and was named to the San Diego Union-Tribune All-Academic Team, which recognizes juniors and seniors who have participated in a varsity sport and maintained a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher. As a wrestler at the academy this winter, Madarieta was once again named to the All-Academic Team. He also helped the Warriors win the Southern Conference Citrus League title in their first season in the league.

Allison Cox, Sabrina LaRosa, Samantha Maynes and Carly Pettipaw
Mount Laurel
The Lenape High School shuttle hurdles relay team of Cox, LaRosa, Maynes and Pettipaw won the Group IV state title at the NJSIAA State Relay Championships. The girls posted a time of 32.06 seconds, setting a new state record and breaking the old mark that was also held by Lenape. Their win helped the Indians tie for second in the team standings.

Mark Papaneri and Tyler Brake
Cherry Hill
Papaneri and Brake have been teammates since middle school and are now senior co-captains on the Cherry Hill High School West wrestling team. It’s only fitting, then, that they reached a major milestone together. Both grapplers won their 100th career matches on the same day in February during a quad match. Brake won by fall against Paul VI, becoming the third wrestler in school history to join the 100-win club. Later that day, Papaneri also earned a pin, against rival Cherry Hill East, to become the fourth Lion to hit the big number.

Trayvon Reed, Aja Ellison and Isis Young
Burlington Township
Reed, Ellison and Young, all seniors at Life Center Academy in Burlington Township, were among the 984 student-athletes nationwide nominated for the prestigious McDonald’s All-American basketball games. Although not chosen for the final rosters, the local players were among 66 senior boys and girls in New Jersey to receive nominations. Reed, a 7-foot-1 center on the Life Center boys team, will continue his career at the University of Maryland. Ellison, the daughter of Life Center boys coach and former NBA player Pervis Ellison, has also signed with Maryland, while her teammate, Young, has committed to Florida.

Courtney Simpson
Simpson’s soccer career at Cherokee High School started off with several devastating injuries, but it ended with her as one of the best goalkeepers in the area. The senior, who set a school record with 11 shutouts in her junior season, capped her career this past fall by being named all-state by the New Jersey Girls Soccer Coaches Association. She was also named Keeper of the Year by the South Jersey Soccer Coaches Association. Simpson will continue her career at Loyola University.

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 5, Issue 1 (March, 2014).
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