Bishop Eustace Crusaders
Senior Eric Franklin placed sixth in the S.J. Non-Public A 1,600-meter championship. He competes in the 800-, 3,200-, 1,600 relay. He earned first-team all-conference honors in the 800. Classmate Connor McTear was eighth in the 400 and also competes in the 200, 400, long jump and 1,600-meter relay where he and his teammates earned second-team all-conference honors. Senior Daniel Metrick is a key returning hurdler and 400-meter runner. Senior Alex Stelmaski was second-team all-conference in the 1,600 and also runs the 800 and 3,200. Other key veterans include junior Eric Bjorklund (shot, discus, javelin), senior sprinter Andrew Gaydos, senior Marc Montinard (high jump, long jump, hurdles), sophomore Andreas Papadourakis (200, 400, long jump), sophomore sprinter Vinny Papale, junior distance runner Anthony Morelli, junior field event performer Anthony Profaci and sophomore hurdler Dominic LoPinto.
Last year, the Crusaders placed second in the Olympic National Division to Seneca and once again the Crusaders should be major contenders not only for the division but for a sectional title. With Seneca moving to the Patriot Division, Eustace is the National Division favorite.
Camden Catholic Fighting Irish
Junior Kyle Kirk is a key returning distance runner. During the fall, he placed sixth in the NJSIAA Meet of Champions, finishing the 3.1-mile course in 15 minutes, 56 seconds. He was also a first-team all-Olympic Conference National Division choice last spring in the 3,200 and 4 x 800. Senior Marvin Sandoval and junior Collin Pierlott were part of the all-conference 4 x 800 relay teams.
With Kirk’s ability to score points, the Irish may actually do better in bigger meets than in dual meets. Camden Catholic isn’t expected to challenge for any titles, but should put up some points in distance events.
Senior Shawn Wilson, the defending S.J. Group 4 champion in the 1,600 and 3,200, is among the top distance runners in the state. During the fall, he won the state Group 4 cross country championship. Junior Kaleb Burch is another key distance runner, while junior Shawn Tracey handles sprints.
The Chiefs placed second to Cherry Hill East in the S.J. Group 4 championship and once again will be a major contender, especially with Williams’ ability to score big points in distance events.
Cherry Hill East Cougars
Junior Jared Athias was fourth in the S.J. Group 4 high jump (6-2). Senior Brandon Bryant had a best of 43-08.75 feet in the shot put. Senior Kyle Bryant is a key field event performer who was third in the S.J. Group 4 triple jump. Junior Ben Dillon was sixth in the 3,200 during the S.J. Group 4 championships. Junior Jared Dashevsky is a key distance runner who ran a 4:36 in the 1,600 meters. Senior Mike Minion is a key distance runner who ran a 10:02 in the 3,200 and enjoyed a strong cross country season. Senior Kevin Barry ran a 50-flat 400 meters. Sophomore distance runner Dan Helfand won the team’s Bo Wood award for top newcomer. Seniors Matt Burt (throws) and Isaiah Milligan-Smith (throws) are other key returning performers.
While it will be difficult to duplicate last season’s success due to several key losses to graduation, don’t put anything past the Cougars. They are defending Olympic Conference American, South Jersey Group 4 and Camden County champions and there is enough experience to make a run again at all three.
Cherry Hill West Lions
Junior Geronimo Santana was 12th at the S.J. Group 3 championships in the 100 meters. Sophomore Quinton Jenkins was another of the Lions’ top sprinters last season while Kevin Schmalbach specializes in the hurdles.
There are strong individuals, but lack of depth will make it difficult for the Lions to compete for any championships.
Senior Tyler Shields (pictured) was third in the S.J. Group 4 championships in the 400 hurdles and a second-team all-conference choice. Senior Jarrett Edelman returns in field events. Junior William Dolan was eighth in the S.J. Group 4 110 hurdles and a first-team all-conference performer. Senior long jumper Henry Wilmer was an honorable mention all-conference choice. Other key returnees include junior Dave Simcox (distance), junior Kevin Parrott (hurdles) and sophomore Nahir Nelson (sprints/throws).
The Pioneers will have several top individuals but don’t have the depth to make a run for a division or sectional title.
Junior Mikhail Micheaux is a standout sprinter and long jumper. He is the defending S.J. Group 4 long jump champion and was fifth in the 200 meters at the S.J. Group 4 championships. Micheaux was third in the Group 4 state long jump competition and was the Olympic Conference champion in the long jump and 400 meters (44.22). His jump of 24-2 in the long jump at the Olympic Conference meet set a state record. Senior Mike Twist specializes in the 800 meters, where he has run 1:58 and the 1,500 in 4:10. Senior Matt Gill has run a 4:33 1,600 meters. Senior Jeffrey-jon Tucker was tied for sixth in the high jump.
In Micheaux, Eastern has a performer capable of putting up big numbers in the key meets. What will determine Eastern’s success is whether there are players that can develop and add to this, but this is a team that can never be discounted in either the Olympic American or S.J. Group 4.
Gloucester Catholic Rams
Returning experienced seniors are Darren Raudenbush (sprints/hurdles), Frank Bobrek (throws) and Scott Hirst (throws). Returning juniors are Chris Rehrig (sprints), Colin Ward (distance), Billy Simila (distance), Andreas Logothetis (distance), Gabe Alessi (throws), Sal Scaffidi (throws), and Mike Giuliante (throws). Also back are sophomores Bill Asterino (sprints) and Andrew Harper (throws). Newcomers to watch include freshman Sean Simila, sophomore Jake Clayton, and juniors Bill Caraker and Zach Carney.
The Rams aren’t expected to compete for the Tri-County Diamond title, but could be competitive. The junior class has depth and that should bode well for the Rams.
Senior Greg Halla will be among South Jersey’s top distance runners. He was second in two events during the S.J. Group 2 championships, the 1,600 and 3,200. Senior Alex Johnston was seventh in the 400-meter hurdles. During the fall, Haddonfield won the S.J. Group 2 cross country title with Halla finishing second and teammate Alex Gigliotti seventh, Danny Brennan 13th and John Greenberg 14th.
What those cross country results show is that Haddonfield will be strong in the distance races. The Bulldogs finished 10th in the South Jersey Group 2 track championships last spring and, while not among the favorites, the Bulldogs have the ability to finish in the top five this year.
The Dragons will have one of the better distance running units around. During the fall, Kingsway’s Ryan Magnus finished 21st in the NJSIAA Meet of Champions, with a time of 16:16 in the 3.1-mile course. Teammates Kyle Evernham and Derrell Manhertz both finished in a time of 17:05. Senior Steven Jones is also considered a key sprinter.
This is always a strong program and, if the Dragons can complement their distance runners with some consistent sprinters, then they could have the ability to finish among the top eight in the sectionals.
Senior Michael Williams was fourth in the 400 hurdles during the S.J. Group 4 championships. Junior Julian Greco was sixth in the 1,600 meters and seventh in the 3,200. Junior Joel Bartow is a key sprinter while seniors Aidan Ryan and Lucas DiPietrantonio perform in field events. Senior Tyree Hughes was tied for 10th in the S.J. Group 4 long jump.
A winning record is realistic but the Indians would likely have to climb over too many higher-rated teams to win a division or S.J. Group 4 title.
Football standouts Anthony Bonett and Sidney Ruffin are key veterans. Bonett is an accomplished sprinter while Ruffin placed second in the S.J. Group 3 championships in the long jump. Jeremy Wilbur was second in the S.J. Group 3 javelin and third in the shot put.
The Quakers were eighth in the S.J. Group 3 championships and hope to have a team that could crack the top five this season.
Paul VI Eagles
Senior Chase White was third in the S.J. Non-Public A championships in the javelin. Junior Vincent Santorsier was third in the discus and 11th in the shot put. Senior Dior Hightower was 10th in the S.J. Non-Public A championships in the 100 meters. Classmate Neil MacFarlane was fifth in the 3,200 in the S.J. championships.
While not the favorite, Paul VI could give expected Olympic National Division contender Bishop Eustace a run for its money.
Seneca Golden Eagles
Senior Alex McGrainer was sixth in the 800 meters and eighth in the 1,600 at the S.J. Group 3 championships. Classmate Ryan Oyola was seventh in the Group 3 high jump. Junior Ryan Szelc was a key field events performer last season, especially in javelin. Senior Dave Foley is a top sprinter whom coach Bill Fisher says has a chance to break the school record in the 200 and 400. Senior Phil Zimmerman (hurdles) made it to the state finals last year. Senior Ed Bohi looks to break 2:00 in the 800. Seniors Tim Curtain and Ryan Schubert add great distance running depth. Among other key performers are junior Shane Grady (shot put) and sophomore Dan Nesco (sprints).
The Golden Eagles went 5-0 and were division champions in the Olympic National, but now move up to the Patriot, where South Jersey power Timber Creek is the favorite. Still, this will be a competitive team that will make a run at finishing among the top five in sectionals.
Senior Matt O’Rourke is a key returning distance runner. Senior Reed Rech is experienced in jumps and sprints. Junior Trevor Sye will provide distance running depth.
This will be one of the more inexperienced teams in South Jersey. Coach Steve Suriano faces a rebuilding season, but Shawnee is usually competitive and that shouldn’t change. Still, it will be difficult to vie for any type of championship.
Washington Township Minutemen
Senior Kyle Leonard was third in the 3,200 and seventh in the 1,600 during the S.J. Group 4 championships. Classmate Ian Kulis is another strong distance runner. Senior Drew Balkenhol is a returning sprinter. Junior Albert Barbuto returns in field events. Junior Andrew O’Neil was sixth in the 200 meters at the S.J Group 4 championships.
In a division other than the Olympic American, the Minutemen might be favored. But at least to start, their role in the preseason is as an outside contender and not among the favorites.
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.