...From the pages of Suburban Family Magazine's Spring High School Sports Preview...
Bishop Eustace Crusaders
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Among the experienced returning players are senior midfielders Harrison Brown, Roy Hansen and sophomore Matt Brennan, senior attacker Brad Iula and sophomore attackers Ray Farnesi and Nicholas Barbieri. Returning defenders are seniors Sean Kreh and Turner Smith, and senior goalie Sean Carlin.
OUTLOOK: The Crusaders were 7-9 and look to improve with 16 letter winners. The Crusaders should also benefit from football coach Rob Cormier, a college lacrosse player himself, who takes over the team.
Camden Catholic Fighting Irish
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior Dave McConnell and Mike Schlager return at attack along with sophomore Adam Giordano. Other returning veterans are junior goalie Collin Coshland, sophomore defender Colin Wharton, junior defender Mark Burke, senior midfielders Brian Kohler, Nick Turner and Dan Fisher, junior midfielders Lee Bougess and Brian Medallion and sophomore midfielder Tyler Levine. Bougess, a first-team all-conference performer, will be among the offensive leaders.
OUTLOOK: After winning two games last season, the Irish look for improvement. This isn’t team that will be picked to win the division, but the program is headed in the right direction.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Junior midfielder Chris Rispo was a second-team all-conference choice. Other returning veterans include senior midfielders Steve Murawski, Evan Silver and Brad Zembruski, senior attack Tyler Martin, senior defender Shae McCusker, junior midfielders Joey Catrambone, Zackry Grace and Ryan Seward, junior defender Brett Wojtkowiak, sophomore midfielder Jesse Streb and sophomore goalie Grey Clarkson.
OUTLOOK: While Shawnee will be the favorite in the Olympic American, Cherokee could contend for the title. The Chiefs have an experienced team returning and appear ready to improve on last year’s 10-9 record.
Cherry Hill East Cougars (pictured)
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Sophomore midfielder Brandon Stern scored 15 goals in earning second-team all-conference honors. Senior midfielder Mason Stevens is a team captain. Sophomore midfielder Chris Hammerquist scored 17 goals. Other starters back include senior defenders Jon Minion and Lou Calabrese. Among the key returning letter winners are junior midfielder Joe Turtz and sophomore goalie Jesse Viggiano. Freshman defender Brian Stamm and freshman midfielder Ian Sheekey are among the newcomers to watch.
OUTLOOK: The Cougars were 9-9 last season and still have a young but experienced team. The team is coming off its first playoff appearance last year and the momentum should continue. While not a favorite in the Olympic American Division, this is a program that will be competitive with any teams in the conference.
Cherry Hill West Lions
PLAYERS TO WATCH: The Lions had three players who earned all-Olympic Conference Patriot Division second-team honors, senior attack Joshua Ensley, senior defender Craig Lind and senior goalie Conner Maloney.
OUTLOOK: The Lions were 4-12 last season and the hope is to improve, but this team doesn’t appear ready to contend for a division title. Improving on last year’s record would be a realistic goal.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Junior midfielder Joe Dibabbo was a first-team all-conference selection. Also returning in the midfield are sophomores Matt Donnelly and Mike Mannino. Returning starters on defense include sophomore Adam Graham and seniors Sean Thomas and Mike Dougherty. Junior Tyler Richardson returns on attack. Among the returning letter winners are senior midfielders Troy Darpino and Colin Morrow, junior midfielder/defender Dan Perri, sophomore midfielder Pat Hall, junior defender Nolan Vesey and junior midfielder Nathan Martini.
OUTLOOK: The Pioneers were 6-12 last season and, while improvement is likely, they won’t be listed among the conference contenders against division teams like Kingsway, Seneca and Haddonfield, who have more experience.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior attack Rob Weingart was a first-team all-conference selection and a Boston University recruit. Senior goalie Peter Cava and senior attack Jonah Samost earned second-team all-conference honors. Other returning starters are junior attack Collin Mitchell and senior defender Brett Eisenberg. Among the newcomers is freshman Jake Brown, a faceoff specialist.
OUTLOOK: The Vikings were 13-8 last season and, despite being on the inexperienced side, should remain competitive in the Olympic Conference American Division. With Eisenberg leading the way and Cava in net, the Vikings should be strong defensively, but the team is probably at least a year away from challenging the likes of Shawnee for the American Division title.
Gloucester Catholic Rams
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior attack Steve Jackson scored 50 goals while earning first-team all-conference honors. Other returning starters include sophomore defender Shane Kenney, senior defenders Patrick Sheehan and Nick Liscio, junior goalie Kyle Nunan, senior midfielder Nick Lanciano and junior midfielders Pat Richardson and Tyler Graham. Among returning letter winners are junior attack/midfielder James Higginbotham, senior midfielder/defender Zach Franchi, junior midfielder JR Hall, junior midfielder Edgar Chew, and junior attack Jeff DeAngelis. A newcomer to watch is freshman defender Curtis McDonald.
OUTLOOK: After going 11-7 last season, the Rams have the look of a division contender along with West Deptford. Coach Ryan Murphy feels that Lanciano, Richardson and Graham comprise the best midfield in the division. Successfully replacing the graduated attacks Anthony Iacovone and Jake Turner will be a key to the Crusaders’ success.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: The Bulldogs have two returning first-team all-Olympic National Division choices: senior midfielder Gunnar Apgar and senior goalie Dan Lynch. Junior attack Luke Pease, junior goalie Andrew Augugliaro and junior midfielder Dan Halla were second-team choices.
OUTLOOK: The Bulldogs were 14-5 last season and should remain among the top 10 programs in South Jersey while being a viable contender for the Olympic Conference Patriot Division title.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior attack Tim Kemner and senior goalie Conor Beers are two-time all-conference performers. Senior defender Brian Morrow was a second-team choice last season while senior Frank Cifone is another experienced defender. Other returnees include senior midfielders Jamar Hall, Ian Kington and Cody Lauser, junior midfielder Nick Guglietti, sophomore midfielder Anthony Cacciavillano, sophomore attack Bill Moran, senior attack Vinny Morgan and junior midfielder Nick Casella.
OUTLOOK: The Dragons graduated four first-team all-conference selections from a 15-6 team that finished 37th in the state in the final LaxPower.com computerized rankings and tied for second in the conference, while winning the Gloucester County championship. Despite the losses, the Dragons are expected to be a major contender in the Olympic Conference Patriot Division and a viable threat to defend their Gloucester County title.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior goalie Eric Leonard, senior attack Reed Hofmann and junior midfielder Justin Holl earned first-team all-conference honors while senior defender Matt Belanger and junior attack Andrew Streilein were second-team choices. Other returning starters are senior defender Casey Fayan, senior long pole midfielder Sean Devlin, junior midfielder Brooks Long and sophomore attack Connor Wolfe. Among the returning letter winners are senior defenders Dan Walker, Justin Jacobs and Steve Yaffa, senior midfielders Tom Pearsall and John Muncey, sophomore midfielder Vinnie Alfinito, senior midfielder Andrew O’Neal and senior attack Alec Leong. Among the newcomers are three freshmen—midfielders Connor Gaffney and Liam Baker, and defender Joey Mercado.
OUTLOOK: The Indians were 11-8 overall and shared the Olympic American title with Lenape. With an experienced team returning, the Indians will again compete for a league title, although it will be more difficult this season with Shawnee moving into the American Division.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Junior attack Michael Handlan was an all-state performer and first-team all-Skyland Conference choice. Senior midfielder Matt Olbrich and senior goalie Danny Willis were second-team choices. Other returning starters include senior attack Andrew Hillman, senior midfielders Anthony Labetti and Patrick Lynam, senior defenders Anthony Sebastiani and Ryan Soffronoff and junior defender Brenden Handlan. Returning letter winners include junior midfielder Robert Kuhn, senior defenders Stephen Burke and Doug Jurin, senior midfielder Chris DiCamillo, senior midfielder Albert McHugh, who was injured last season, junior midfielder Nick Testa, senior attack Wade Dickey and four sophomores—midfielders Austin Haynes, Jimmy McHugh, Jared Payne and Kevin Tsao. Among the newcomers are junior defender Zach Echhorn, sophomore midfielder John Ramos and freshman attack Bryan Wright.
OUTLOOK: The Quakers could be improved from a 12-5 team that finished fourth in the Skyland Conference, which is one of the best in the state. The Quakers traditionally play one of the tougher schedules in the state and it usually prepares them for the tournament. This looks like a state title contender and definite top five team in South Jersey.
Moorestown Friends Foxes
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Returning team captains are senior defender Tim Latimer, senior midfielder C.J. Cooper and junior goalie C.J. Durkow. Other returning starters are junior defender Sam Madamba and senior midfielder Tevin Rivera. Key returning letter winners include junior midfielder Dan Richards, and sophomore midfielders Joe Beideman and Andrew Cook. Junior Trevor Golden is a transfer student who looks to bolster the defense.
OUTLOOK: After winning five games last year, the Foxes are looking to improve. This was a playoff team last year, but this season, Moorestown Friends has higher expectations and has the ability to be competitive once the postseason arrives.
Paul VI Eagles
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior midfielders Sam Jarvis was team MVP and second-team all-conference. He had 42 goals and 19 assists. Senior attack Gabriel Romano is a fourth-year varsity performer who had 31 goals and eight assists as a junior and provides a great inside game, according to coach Steve Halla. Senior midfielder Alec Schneider is a skilled faceoff middle. Senior long stick midfielder-defender MacKenzie Collins is a fourth-year varsity player. Junior attack Michael Burns has the best field vision on the team, according to Halla. Three other experienced juniors include attack Christian Murphy (19 goals, 8 assists), midfielder Kevin McCahill and attack Anthony Abruzzo. Four sophomores returning to varsity action are junior Daniel Echevarria, Michael Bizzoco, Nicholas Misata and Connor Skilton. A number of freshmen to watch include Daniel Boucot, Colin Savacool, Nicholas Antonucci, Nikolas Russo, Austin Olson and Tom Froio.
OUTLOOK: The Eagles won six games last season, but with an experienced cast have the ability to be a .500 or better team and possibly surface as an outside contender for the Olympic Conference Patriot Division crown.
Seneca Golden Eagles
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior midfielder Matt Southwick (28 goals, 6 assists) and senior attack Tyler Schulte (66 goals, 30 assists return). Earning second-team honors were junior attack Dan O’Keefe (40 goals, 26 assists), junior defender Alex Weightman and senior goalie Ryan Moss. Other returning veterans include seniors Cole Bryson, Dan Donnelly, Joe Pawlowski, Riley Harris and T.J. Johnson, junior Nick LeSaint and Zack Aho, and sophomores Vaughn Butler and Kevin Gray.
OUTLOOK: The Golden Eagles bring an experienced team back from a 13-6 squad and should seriously contend in what should be an interesting Olympic Conference Patriot Division race, where there will be no shortage of contenders.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: There are three Division I recruits: Junior midfielder Kyle Borbi has made a verbal commitment to Notre Dame; senior midfielder Jake Dean is headed to Virginia; and senior defender Connor Flannery is a Manhattan recruit. Other returning veterans are senior attacks Eric Meyer and Cory Munger, sophomore attack Jake Parola, senior midfielders Zach McHale, junior midfielder Peter Kaz and sophomore midfielders Curtis Corley, David Smith, Jack Warren and Nick Pressler. Also returning are senior defender Marc Yeager, junior defenders Dylan McCaughan and Alex Foley, sophomore defender Cole Troyano, senior goalie Chris Egan and junior goalie Reece Tursi.
OUTLOOK: Coach Tim Gushue, who started the program, has won the division each of the first nine years. Once again, Shawnee will not only contend for the Olympic Conference American Division but will seriously challenge for the No. 1 spot in South Jersey.
Washington Township Minutemen
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior attack Steve Gagliardi was a first-team all-conference choice who is a Boston University recruit. Senior defender Marc Bushong is a second-team all-conference choice who has committed to Gwynned-Mercy. New to the roster is head coach Dan Fowler, coming from an assistant coaching spot at Lenape and replacing longtime leader Steve Arata. Among other expected key contributors are sophomore goalie Chris Burns, junior TJ Mulderig and seniors Ryan Biebel, Nick DiTulio and Ryan Maiden.
OUTLOOK: The Minutemen will be competitive but are not expected to compete for the Olympic American title, where Shawnee will be the favorite. Still, this is a team capable of beating any of the American Division teams.
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family’s High School Spring Sports Preview, January, 2013.
For more info on Suburban Family Magazine, click here.
For information about advertising in Suburban Family Magazine, click here.
To find out where to pick up your copy of Suburban Family Magazine, click here.