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Star Athletes: June, 2010

by Editorial Staff--Suburban Family
Brianna and Jaden Shontz (pictured)

Holy Cross High School & St. Charles Borromeo Parish School
Sisters Jaden and Brianna Shontz of Delran are jumping for joy after qualifying to compete in the Junior Olympic National Championships. At the recent Regionals in West Virginia, both girls showed strength and grace in their age divisions, besting hundreds of fellow jumpers from all over the East Coast: Brianna, 14, won the State Individual Trampoline Championship, plus a silver medal at the same competition and two bronze medals from the Region 6 Championship, bringing her title total to 6 State, 2 Regional. Jaden, 8, was the State champ in Double-Mini Trampoline and took second place in Power Tumbling. The Shontz girls train at Jets Gymnastics in Mount Laurel; Brianna’s going into her sophomore year at Holy Cross High School in Delran, and Jaden goes to St. Charles Borromeo Parish School in Cinnaminson. Cooper Pontelandolfo

Marlton Elementary School
Cooper Pontelandolfo of Marlton had a stellar wrestling season leading up to his gaining the title of National Champion in the 2010 Middle Atlantic Wrestling Association Eastern Nationals Championship in the Bantam 54 pound division. The 9-year-old—who wrestles for both the Marlton Recreation Council and the Wrecking Crew in Mount Holly—also finished first in no less than eight local and regional tournaments prior to his big win. He’ll be going into third grade. Gina Bischof
Our Lady of Good Counsel School
Twelve-year-old Gina Bischof of Hainesport is one of the top competitive gymnasts on Will Moor’s United States Association of Independent Gymnastic Clubs team. This soon-to-be 9th grader at Moorestown’s Our Lady of Good Counsel School is the reigning tri-state region champion in the floor exercise, took second place at Regionals in floor, uneven bars and the all-around competition, and will vie for Nationals. Douglas Banks
Williamstown Middle School
As local high schools begin to field their 2010 football teams, one player to watch carefully is Douglas Banks, 14, who’s going into his freshman year at Williamstown High School. Last year, as starting quarterback for the undefeated, South Jersey Elite Championship-winning Monroe Braves Junior High team, the Williamstown resident was voted an SJE All-Star for the fourth year in a row. He is widely considered one of the top midget football QBs in the area. Rodney Williams
Carusi Middle School
At 13, Rodney Williams is already known for being one of Cherry Hill’s most effortless young athletes. The 8th grade, Carusi Middle School student excelled at basketball in the winter, setting the school record by scoring 43 points in a game while leading the team to a 12-3 record for the season. By spring, he was on the baseball field as an outstanding defensive centerfielder batting over .350 and leading the team to extra base hits. Matt Christopher
Southampton Township School
Matt Christopher is quickly becoming known for his athletic prowess at the plate. In 2009, he blasted 16 home runs from spring through fall while also building a reputation as one of the few kids his age who wields a very fast bat. In May, Christopher traveled with his team, the Southampton Warriors, to Cal Ripken Stadium in Maryland where he took home the 9u Under Armour Prospect Tournament MVP. This 3rd grader maintains straight A’s in the Accelerated Program at Southampton Middle School. Fran Bolletino
Eastern Senior High School
The Voorhees senior, 17, broke Eastern Regional High School's single season school record for aces in volleyball. He now has 54 aces breaking the old mark of 53, established by Michael Bertucci in 2005. Brianna Crofton
Delsea Regional High School
A junior at Delsea Regional, Brianna Crofton, 17, recently earned her first state track-and-field titles. At the NJSIAA State championships, she became the Group II champ in both the 100-meter dash and the 400 meters, with running times 12.37 and 57.33 seconds, respectively. Eric Maertin
Moorestown Friends School
Game, set, match for Eric Maertin of Medford, who just graduated from Moorestown Friends School after another stellar tennis season. The Medford student, who led his school to the South Jersey Non-Public B 2009 title, went 13-0 in regular season tennis dual matches and 15-2 overall. Michelle Brown
Seneca High School
Michelle Brown, 17, who is on the Seneca High School track team, became the first girl in history to win three straight 400 meter races at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions track and field event in June. The senior is a four time All American, 11-time state champion and county record holder in the 400. The Tabernacle student will be attending the University of Notre Dame in the fall. Phil Bhaya
Haddonfield High School
The high school senior’s season total of 64 goals in lacrosse is tops in south jersey. “In 14 years of coaching, he’s the best athlete I’ve ever seen,” says Haddonfield coach Chris Keleher. The 17-year-old is better known as a football player. He was a three-year starter at quarterback and defensive back for Haddonfield High School and helped Haddonfield earn a school-record 10 wins and advance to the South Jersey Group 2 final. He plans to play football at Princeton University. Liz Locke
Kingsway High School
Sixteen-year-old Liz Locke of Woolwich Township is mighty speedy, winning the 1600 meters at the South Jersey Group III championships, placing fourth in NJSIAA State Group Championships, where she also took fifth place in the 800 meters. Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family, Volume 1, Issue 4 (June, 2010).
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