BISHOP EUSTACE CRUSADERS
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Evan Adams is primed for a terrific senior season and is one of the top returners for Eustace. Last year he was the sectional champion in the high jump and took third at states. He also won the high jump and the high hurdles at the Camden County Championships. Senior Jack Smith is a versatile competitor who competed at states in the 100 and discus and also throws the shot put. Other returning sprinters are seniors Jack Brady and Jason Varley, and they joined Smith on the 4x100 relay that took first at sectionals and fourth at states. Junior Montel Johnson is a returning thrower who competed at states in the shot put and the Crusaders have strong hurdlers in seniors Cameron Acito and Zahir Williams and junior John Nguyen. Sophomore Nick Hutchison is a promising distance runner, and other returners are seniors Wesley Payne, Paul Jacob and Joe Dignam; juniors Michael Dziuba, Nolan McDonald, Daniel Hulihan, Kyle Gentek and Nate Carpenter; and sophomore Philip Sobocinski.
OUTLOOK: The Crusaders shared the Olympic Conference National Division title last year with Paul VI and Camden. They also took fifth at sectionals and ninth at states and should turn in strong showings at the big meets again this spring.
CAMDEN CATHOLIC FIGHTING IRISH
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Camden Catholic graduated a pair of distance runners who were the strength of last year’s team, but several young runners return and it will be interesting to see what they can accomplish. Junior Kyle Dupree is a standout in the 800 and runs the 400 as well. He was also part of the distance medley relay that took third in Group I at the Woodbury Relays. Sophomores Marcus Hillman is a promising sprinter and also competes in the long jump. Other returners include junior sprinter Kameron Dupree and junior thrower Austin Branch.
OUTLOOK:The Fighting Irish have some young talent in the program and hope to make their presence felt at the major meets.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:Jack Shea had an impressive fall, earning sixth place at the NJSIAA Cross Country Meet of Champions and eighth at the Nike Cross Regional Championships. On the track last spring, Shea was fourth in Burlington County and ninth at sectionals in the 3200, so he will be looking to punch his ticket to the state championships this year. Fellow junior Nick Falk went to states in the 3200 after placing sixth in South Jersey Group IV. A two-time county champion in cross country, he placed third in the county in the two-mile last spring. Shea and Falk are part of an impressive contingent of distance runners that also includes senior Michael Zurzolo (second in the county in the 1600) and sophomore Justin Kelly (seventh in the county in the 3200). Senior John Hemple leads the throwers after taking third in the Olympic Conference in the shot put and ninth at sectionals, just missing a berth at states. Other returners are seniors Robert Curley, Daulton Hopkins, David Osterhout, Alfred Panaccio and Matthew Gross; juniors Matthew Powell, Terrance Graves and Adonis Giovetis; and sophomores Brandon Marks and Dante Casella.
OUTLOOK:The Chiefs have distance runners who can compete with the best in the area and hope to build a strong squad around them.
CHERRY HILL EAST COUGARS
PLAYERS TO WATCH: East is paced by a pair of state championship contenders on the track. The first is senior Aaron Groff, who will conclude his outstanding scholastic running career this spring. Groff is the two-time defending sectional champion in the 3200 and took fourth at states and 10th at the Meet of Champions. He was joined at states last year by senior Isaiah Jean-Baptiste, who took sixth at sectionals, fifth at states and 20th at the MOC in the 800. Senior James Garth is an excellent returning thrower who was the Camden County champion in the discus and took fourth in the javelin. He also placed seventh at sectionals in the javelin, and his twin brother Justin Garth is another top competitor in the throws. Other key returners include senior hurdler Jordan Clark, senior triple jumper Kennedy Omari and senior high jumpers Kyle Encarnacion and Nevin Beasley. The distance runners include senior Cole Parsons and juniors Josh Dillon, Marc Meltzer and Tyler Parsons.
OUTLOOK:The Cougars have several terrific competitors and have the potential to improve upon their eighth-place showing at sectionals.
CHERRY HILL WEST LIONS
PLAYERS TO WATCH: The distance runners again look like one of the strengths for Cherry Hill West as seniors Liam Coverdale and Owen Barrett lead a pack that also includes senior Jonathan Hoch and junior Robert Abrams. Senior Scott Sherry specializes in the 800 and runs the mile and is another key returner on the track. Junior Lorenzo Hernandez placed eighth at sectionals in the shot put and leads the throwers, while seniors Marquel Wiley and Nick Krake are returning long jumpers. Other returners include juniors Nick Alberto, Sean Hall, Aidan Curran, Shaun Robinson and Matt McGovern.
OUTLOOK:The Lions have several standouts who could contend at the county and conference meets and possibly at sectionals as well.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Clearview is sparked by two of the top runners in South Jersey, although Nathan Shivers and Gyair Sharper have completely different styles. Shivers, a senior, is a distance runner who was the Tri-County Conference champion in the 3200 last year and took third at the Gloucester County Championships in the 1600. Sharper, a junior sprinter, claimed fourth in the 100 at sectionals to qualify for states. He also notched a second-place effort in the conference and took fourth in both the 100 and 200 in the county. Junior Fred McAlpin contributes in the 200 and high jump and senior Chris Jones is another returning sprinter. Other returners include senior Michael Avallone; juniors Dallin Agatone and Ian Gorman; and sophomores Colin McCarty, Tim Alestra and Reuben Cumpio.
OUTLOOK:The Pioneers are a consistent program that can always be expected to field a competitive squad. Plus, they’ll be worth following to see what Shivers and Sharper can do.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: A deep and talented group of distance runners is just one of the reasons for Eastern to be excited about the upcoming season. Senior Nicholas Pschunder is at the top of the list after placing second in the 3200 at sectionals and moving on to states. Pschunder also took second in the Olympic Conference in the 800 and second in Camden County in the 1600. Vipul Bhat is another senior distance star who was the county champion in the 3200 and took fourth in the conference in the 1600. Senior Josh Chazin added a third-place effort in the 3200 at the conference meet. Joining Pschunder as state qualifiers were senior Darius Andrews in the high jump and senior Devlin Cox in the javelin. Andrews took sixth at sectionals and fifth in the county, while Cox placed sixth in South Jersey and was the county champion. Senior Parnel Ahamed shines in the sprints and the triple jump and senior Benjamin Stevenson is a key returner in the 200 and 400 hurdles. Other contributors are seniors Alexander Sung, Tim Caruso, Joseph Marshall, Biagio Caruso, Ryan Bolden, Zachariah White and Michael Maleka; juniors Brendan Barrett and Mykhel Oppon-Kuntu; and sophomores Ryan Jennings, ZahirGoyins, AJ Shaw, Kofi Asare and Bob Young.
OUTLOOK: After placing ninth a year ago, the Vikings will be a team to watch at sectionals, especially when their distance runners are on the track.
GLOUCESTER CATHOLIC RAMS
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior distance runner Sean Simila has been a consistent performer over the last several seasons and will look to end his career on a high note. Last year he took 13th in the Tri-County Conference in the mile. Junior Nick Giordano is an important returner who specializes in the sprints and long jump, and junior Vincent McAllister is another returning runner. Juniors Ryan Cassidy, Riley Walsh and Paolo Lee are all back in the hurdles and experienced throwers include senior Zach Sheehan and junior Dan Scaffidi.
OUTLOOK: Simila and Giordano are the key competitors to watch this spring and the rest of the Rams will keep trying to improve as the season wears on.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Haddonfield is paced by a terrific pair of distance runners in seniors Greg Pelose and Austin Stoner. Pelose was the South Jersey and state champion in the 1600 last year and also took fourth in the 800 at both meets. Stoner took second at sectionals and third at states in the 800, in addition to placing third at sectionals and fourth at states in the 1600. Senior thrower Jake Curran (javelin) also competed at states, while senior high jumper Sam Baelor took eighth at sectionals and second in the county and junior Spencer Flores added a second-place finish in the 110 hurdles at the county meet. Senior Franklin Clapp is another returner expected to have a big year in the pole vault. Other strong competitors are senior Matt Fell (sprints) and juniors Brandon Quanci (distance), Albert Pera (throws) and Nick Bateman (pole vault). Freshman Luke Colehower broke the school’s indoor records in the 200 and 400 this winter, and Derek Gess is another outstanding rookie who was part of the state champion distance medley relay during winter track.
OUTLOOK:The Bulldawgs claimed the Group II sectional title and added their first state championship since 2011 in another memorable season. Count on Haddonfield being a force again in 2016.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Kingsway graduated a lot of talent from last year but has one very important returner: state champion shot putter Sam Shinn. A senior, Shinn claimed the title with a throw of 55 feet, 2 ½inches and went on to compete at the Meet of Champions. He was also the champion in the Tri-County Conference and Gloucester County. The Dragons also sent a pair of pole vaulters to states, as juniors Ryan Evernham and Jacob Metheny placed third and sixth at sectionals, respectively. The duo also captured the third and fourth spots at the conference meet. Sophomore Joe Grandizio continues the Kingsway tradition of strong distance runners, as he was the county champ in the 3200 and placed third in the 1600 at the conference meet. Junior Earnest Daniel is another talented returner who shines in the high jump and triple jump. Other returners include seniors Shaune Oates, Mark Mihlebach, Joaquin Cavazos, Chase Matthews, Alex Ojomoh, Brendan Stevens, Ben Estabillo, Gary Henderson and Dylan Rinnier; juniors Joe Waltzer, Jerrell Bishop, Tyler Guinup and Nick Fanelle; and sophomores Brian Mangiaracina and Jon Connor.
OUTLOOK: The Dragons’ 2015 season included the Gloucester County team title, a seventh-place showing at sectionals and an 18th at states. Expect more individual and team success this spring.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Lenape graduated one outstanding overall athlete in Jake Liebling but brings back another in Kevin Harrison. The senior competed at states in the 400 meters and 400 hurdles after placing third in both events at sectionals. He was also the Olympic Conference champion and took third in Burlington County in the 400 and it will be exciting to see how he follows that performance up this spring. Senior Joshua Flowers is another top hurdler who qualified for states in the 400 hurdles and took third in the county in the event. Senior Ray Backus leads the throwers after taking fourth in the discus at the county and conference meets and placing 10th at sectionals. He’ll be aiming for an appearance at states in his final season. Junior Chase Campbell is a talented sprinter and long jumper, seniors Danny Fraley and Adam Vicente are key distance runners and senior Tony Monroe contributes in the jumps. Also back are seniors Mike Figura, Zachary Pilling and Rob Reinhard; juniors Jeff Hochberg, Ryan Kasper, Khyree Johnson-Waters, Ronnie Caccese and Jacob Beckett; and sophomores Justin Micale and Hunter Louie.
OUTLOOK: The Indians took third at both the county and sectional meets in 2015, the second straight year they placed in the top five at both. Liebling is certainly a key loss, but Harrison and the rest of the returners will look to keep the streak going.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Moorestown returns a pair of athletes who ended last season at the Meet of Champions and will be exciting to watch this spring. Junior Brandon Outlaw took fifth at the MOC in the 400 with a schoolrecord time of 48.52 seconds. That performance came after a third at sectionals and fourth at states in the event. Senior Kyle Loveland cleared 14 feet in the pole vault to win the South Jersey Group III title. He went on to place second at states and eighth at the MOC and was the Burlington County champion earlier in the year. The Quakers also return a strong distance duo in senior Harrison Morris and junior Kevin Fox, who both ran the 800 and 1600 at states. Morris took fifth in both events at sectionals to qualify, while Fox was third in the 800 and sixth in the 1600. Senior sprinter Melvin Sheppard made it to states in the 100, and senior Skyler Clark is another strong competitor who placed third in the county in the long jump. Other Quakers hoping to contribute this year are senior Christian Cramer; juniors Bavish Gummadi, Zion Howard, Hunter Rieger and Samuel Filler; and sophomore Diego Arvelo.
OUTLOOK: With standouts like Outlaw and Loveland setting the tone, Moorestown will be a team to watch at the county and sectional meets.
PAUL VI EAGLES
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Two dynamic athletes on the track headline the returners for Paul VI. Senior Stefone Moore-Green was the Non-Public A state champion in the 100 and took second in the 200, advancing to the Meet of Champions in both events for the second year in a row. He went on to place 10th in the 200 at the MOC. Moore-Green, who will play football at Army, was also the Camden County champion in both events and will move to the 400 this year, giving the Eagles a terrific one-two punch in the event with Max Dickens, another senior. Dickens joined his teammate at the MOC once again, as he placed second in the 400 hurdles and fifth in the 400 at states to qualify in both events. Dickens was also the Olympic Conference and county champ in the 400 hurdles. Junior Rich Bush and sophomore Dominik Morton, who teamed with Dickens and Moore-Green to set an indoor 4x400 record, will also be factors, and junior Erick Robenson is another returning sprinter who took second in the conference and third in the county in the 200. Sophomore Antonio Tanantino, the top freshman sprinter last year, has impressed during indoor season and will be pushing for a spot on the relays as well. He also recently cleared 6-0 in the high jump. Senior Austin Olson picked up the pole vault late last spring and is making great progress, while junior Stephen Conte and sophomore Sam Giumarella lead a promising young group of distance runners. Senior Frank Scaramuzzo, who injured his knee during football season, is hoping to return in the spring and provide leadership. Other important seniors include sprinter and long jumper Tyron Tucker, hurdler Nick Hallam and throwers Joe Obasi and Gabe Schwankert. Also looking to contribute is sophomore Emilio Bucceroni.
OUTLOOK:The Eagles have the potential to move up from their eighth-place finish at sectionals, and Moore-Green and Dickens should both be in the mix for state championships.
SENECA GOLDEN EAGLES
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Seneca is led by senior sprinters Jurelle Watson and Sam Pawlikowski and senior distance runner Kevin Curtin, who placed 10th in Burlington County in the 1600. Other returning distance runners are seniors Domonic Ross and Arthur Suchodola, junior Joseph Saiia and sophomore Brady Moore. Senior Brendan Brown competes in the 800 and pole vault, and throwers include seniors Luke Anderson and Nick Damiri and juniors Patrick Brown and Jason Knecht.
OUTLOOK: The Golden Eagles hope to improve as the season goes on and put together their best effort at sectionals.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Shawnee graduated its only state qualifier in thrower Liam Onbashian, but another solid thrower returns in senior David Gajderowicz. He took second at the Olympic Conference Championships in the shot put and sixth in the discus. Gajderowicz also had a strong showing at sectionals, placing ninth in the discus and 14th in the shot. Distance runner Mark Miller, a junior, is another important returner who placed fifth in the conference in the 1600 and eighth in Burlington County in the 800. Seniors Jason Richwall and John Kearns are other returning distance runners. Senior Anthony Mague specializes in the 400 and 800 and senior Dominic Bilello took sixth in the county in the long jump. Senior Josh Walton is another key returner who placed sixth in the county in the pole vault, and junior Mitch Casey also returns in the vault.
OUTLOOK: The Renegades have several promising competitors who will post high finishes at the county, conference and sectional meets.
WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP MINUTEMEN
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Sophomore Clayton Crosse burst onto the scene last year and established himself as one of the premier sprinters in the area. He qualified for the Meet of Champions in both the 100 and 200 with tremendous performances at states and wound up eighth at the MOC in the 200. He was also the Olympic Conference champion in the 100 and 200 and the Gloucester County winner in the 100. In addition, Crosse was part of the 4x100 team that claimed third in the conference along with seniors Will Connolly and Charles Reamon and sophomore Akennis Yates. Senior Drew Kulis placed seventh in the county in the 3200 and is part of a pack of distance runners that also includes senior Alex Tursi and Michael Roscioli. Senior Joe Scavuzzo is a returning jumper and the throwers include seniors Bryan Mack and Colin Eggert and sophomore Maurice Matthews. Other returners include seniors Ryan Maness and George Charalabidis; junior Alex Zingani; and sophomores Marquis Sowell, Marcus Davis and Sean Smithson. Freshman distance runner Erick Dearing should also have a strong impact.
OUTLOOK:The Minutemen have a long list of returning competitors and will be exciting to watch at the major meets, especially when Crosse and their strong sprint team are running.
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 6, Issue 11 (January, 2016).
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