Monday, March 31, 2014

Baseball: Sussex County preview capsules

High Point Wildcats

Coach: Mickey Thomas (244-131, 17th season, third stint).

2013 record: 5-14, 2-12 NJAC American Division (eighth).

Key returnees: Sr. Kyle Adams (.492 avg.) INF-P; Sr. Jon Stone (.333) P-INF; Sr. Brandon Carr INF; Brandon Potucek OF; Jr. Tyler Schulok P; So. Billy Kerwien INF-P; Jr. Matt Magura OF-P.

Key losses: Mike Ragnetti P-OF.

Promising newcomers: Sr. Matt Musilli OF-P; Sr. Mark Smolen OF; Jr. Riley Keenan (transfer from Vernon) C; Jr. Tyler Saczawa INF-P; Jr. Trevor Risdon Utility-P; So. Kyle O'Connell Utility; So. Ben Costello INF-P; Jr. Brian Lange OF-P; Jr. Billy Hemmer INF; Jr. Reilly McGregor Utility; So. Ben Armstrong Utility-P.

Outlook: Wildcats have struggled in recent seasons, but they feature one of the area's top players in Adams, an All-NJAC First Team selection a year ago who batted around .500. Life in the American Division is not easy, so this group will have to pitch extremely well and play solid defense to have a chance to move up the standings and finish around the .500 mark.

Hopatcong Chiefs

Coach: Chris Buglovsky (68-98, eighth season).

2013 record: 2-23, 1-13 NJAC Freedom Division (eighth).

Key returnees: Sr. Pat Stanton OF-P; Sr. Kevin Mulharin OF; Jr. Shea Bongiovanni SS; So. C.J. Robertson 2B-C; So. P.J. Rodick C; So. Christian Ammiano 1B-P.

Key losses: Ryan Frace 3B-P; Adam McLagan (.407, 16 SBs) OF; Rick Prestifilippo C; A.J. Bongiovanni OF.

Promising newcomers: So. Brandon Vanderhoof 3B; So. Dalton Delrosso 2B-SS; Sr. Willie Russell 3B-OF; Jr. Jason Twaits 2B.

Coach's comment: "We will continue building toward the future with most of the roster being underclassmen. We will rely on up-and-coming sophomores Ammiano and Rodick."

Outlook: Chiefs are two years removed from capturing the program's first conference title since 1998 -- winning the Freedom Division in 2012. Last year was a struggle as Buglovsky's squad dropped its first 10 games before a stunning 9-3 win over unbeaten Newton, which went on to win the division title. Stanton is a good all-around player, but this team will be extremely young, with as many as seven sophomores in the starting lineup at a given time. Expect this group to get better as the season goes on.

Kittatinny Cougars

Coach: TJ Orlando (first season).

2013 record: 7-15, 4-10 NJAC Freedom Division (seventh).

Key returnees: Sr. David Moyer (.408 avg., 3 HRs, 17 RBIs, 44 IP, 42 K's) P-1B-3B; Sr. Joe Repasy (.400, 15 RBIs, 32 IP, 34 K's) P-SS-3B; Sr. Mike Dispoto (.402, 19 RBIs) OF-P; Jr. Cowan Sikora (.279) SS-P; Sr. Adam Goriscak OF-1B-P; Sr. John LaFiura C-OF; Sr. Brian Reznik (OF-1B-P); Sr. Scott Sponder C-1B-2B; Sr. Dan Imperiale OF-3B.

Key losses: Kyle Potten (.319, 12 RBIs, 2-3, 3.47 ERA, 41 K's) SS-P; Casey McArdle (.407, 21 runs) OF-P; Nick Pastor Poe (.347, 11 RBIs) INF.

Promising newcomers: Sr. Anthony Ippolito OF; Sr. Robert Roff 2B-OF-C-P.

Coach's comment: "While we have a number of seniors on this year's team, quite a few have limited varsity experience. If our teams plays to its strengths, we look to be competitive in our last year in the Freedom Division and hope to qualify for the state tournament."

Outlook: Orlando takes over the head coaching duties from Brian Bosworth, whose teams went 18-15-1 over the previous two seasons. Cougars feature a nice 1-2 punch on the mound with Moyer and Repasy. As Orlando notes, this team lacks varsity experience and will need its senior leaders to step up and guide the way. Offense seems to be a big question. With a talented group of pitchers, this team will do well if the bats come alive this spring.

Lenape Valley Patriots

Coach: Bob Klinck (73-75, seventh season).

2013 record: 13-11, 7-7 NJAC Freedom Division (tied for fourth).

Key returnees: Jr. Jim Fluke (.339 avg., 3.19 ERA) SS-P; Sr. David DelSontro (.290) C-3B; Sr. Tyler Rogers OF; Sr. Dan Rafferty (1.17 ERA) P-SS; Sr. Nick Sabatini (.288) OF; Jr. Pat Togno (.358) 1B-OF; Jr. Rob Sparacino C-3B.

Key losses: Drew Burke (4-3, 3.43 ERA) P; Ken Costa (.298, 15 RBIs, 2-4, 5.07 ERA) P; Bryan Falato (.403, 18 runs) OF; David Kain (.368, 14 runs) OF; Mike Deerfield (5-2, 4.21 ERA) P; Anthony Basciano P-1B.

Promising newcomers: Jr. Cole Swanson P-OF; Sr. Ryan Lindner 3B; So. Tom Armstrong P-OF; So. Mark Lisi P-3B; Sr. Kevin Varian P-Utility; Sr. Chris Sclafani Utility; Sr. Tyler Shaw Utility; Jr. Christian Basciano 1B; Jr. Zachary Kronenfeld P; Jr. Zachary O'Brien P; Jr. Carl Rosequist 3B.

Coach's comment: "We have a very competitive team with several returning players. Success of the team will depend upon how newcomers respond to varsity competition. We expect to challenge for a division title and a state sectional championship." 

Outlook: Patriots return a solid nucleus of players, including Togno and Fluke, two of the better hitters in the Freedom Division. This team will need some arms to step up with the loss of Burke and Costa, last year's Nos. 1 and 2. Fluke and Rafferty will assume those roles. This club has set some lofty goals and is hungry after dropping a 3-1 decision to Hawthorne in last year's North 1, Group 2 sectional tournament.

Newton Braves

Coach: John Selitto (66-118, ninth season).

2013 record: 18-7, 13-1 NJAC Freedom Division (first).

Key returnees: Jr. Nick Grant (5-1, 2.18 ERA, 31 K's) P-1B; Sr. Ben Cramer (.451 avg., 15 RBIs, 26 runs, 10 SBs) OF; Sr. Casey Thomas (3-1, 2.80 ERA) OF-P; Sr. Joey Maker (.429, 16 RBIs, 10 SBs) 3B-C; Sr. Charlie Grotyohann (.316, 20 RBIs) C; Sr. Justin Smith (.391, 18 SBs) OF; Sr. Anthony Brown SS-2B; Jr. Jon Bernotas (.329, 11 RBIs) SS; Sr. Steve Kelly P-1B; Sr. Ryan Hattersley INF.

Key losses: Anthony Morro (.284, 26 RBIs) P-1B; Chris Branham (5-1, 2.59 ERA, 48 K's) P-3B; Joey Selitto (.368, 21 runs) 2B; Brady Castle OF-SS-P; Ryan Vasquez OF-DH; Quinn Kramer P.

Promising newcomers: Jr. Nate Kolzow P; Jr. Joey Defeo INF-P; So. Cole Van Luvender P-1B-3B; So. Bobby Fehr C-INF-P; Sr. Ricky Izquierdo OF; Jr. Steve Papis OF; Fr. Scott Price C-OF.

Coach's comment"We return a strong, experienced unit. Senior leadership is a strength with six full-time starters returning, and losing just one pitcher from last year's staff. We are approaching the year with the feeling of unfinished business and still a lot to prove. Our first-year varsity players are talented and capable, and provide much depth."

Outlook: Braves are coming off capturing their first conference title and winning season since 2001. With most of last year's team returning, this group has championship aspirations once again this spring. Grant, who tossed a no-hitter last year, is the ace of a solid pitching staff, while Cramer is one of the top hitters in the tri-county area. Smith is a quality leadoff man and is a threat to steal whenever on base. Grotyohann and Bernotas were unsung heroes a year ago and should be at the forefront this season. There's no doubt that an ugly 13-3 loss to Pascack Hills at home in last year's North 1, Group 2 semifinals will serve as added motivation this spring.

Pope John Lions

Coach: Vin Bello (230-148-1, 15th season).

2013 record: 15-14, 8-6 NJAC American Division (third).

Key returnees: Sr. Dan Cunico (5-4, 3.61 ERA, 57 K's) P-3B; Jr. Jay Sanford SS; Jr. Ethan Collins (6-2, 2.23 ERA) P; Jr. Matt Piwko (0-4) 1B-P; Jr. Zack Leach C; Sr. Connor Kopnik Utility; Sr. Mike Young (.371, 20 runs, 17 RBIs) OF; Sr. Axel D'Addario (.392, 10 2Bs, 3 HRs, 24 RBIs) P-2B; So. Kyle Malejko OF-P; Jr. Cyrus Ahmadi OF-P; Jr. Jack Nelson P.

Key losses: Ken Mott P; Anthony Gignatelli P; Rob Sanders 1B;

Promising newcomers: Fr. Davian Sanchez 3B; Jr. Conner Van Kampen 3B-P; Fr. Trevor Backman P; Fr. Justin Provost 3B; So. Kevin Dole 2B.

Coach's comment: "We have very strong pitching, great team speed and leadership."

Outlook: Lions are annually one of the top teams in the tri-county area and this year will be no exception. With a deep and talented pitching staff, led by Collins and Cunico, a Division 1 recruit by UMass-Lowell, this team will challenge for conference and sectional titles. D'Addario, a stellar relief pitcher, established himself as a solid everyday player last season. Sanford is an excellent shortstop and will anchor the infield, while the speedy Young will set the table at the top of the batting order.

Sparta Spartans

Coach: Sam Slobodzian (268-171-3, 18th season).

2013 record: 17-9-1, 10-3-1 NJAC American Division (second).

Key returnees: Sr. Thomas Ruddy (.495 avg., 30 SBs) OF; Sr. Austin Unglaub (.436, 34 RBIs) 2B; Sr. Kevin Foulds (.339, 6-4, 2.50 ERA, 66 K's) 1B-P; Sr. T.J. Estanislau (.329) SS; Sr. Matt Chemis (.320, 10 SBs) OF; Jr. Dillon Mendel (4-3, 2.19 ERA) 3B-P; Sr. Drew Garger C-P; Sr. Michael Meisel C-DH; Sr. Matt Pampin (4-2, 1.81 ERA) P; Sr. Alec Bowie OF.

Key losses: Peter Forman C; Sean Dilger 1B-P; Jon-Karl Widuch OF; Grant Hagedorn C.

Promising newcomers: So. Connor Coyle OF-P; Jr. Alex Herbert 3B-P; Sr. Gordy Bonker P; Jr. Nick Makowitz 1B-P; Sr. Anthony Longo OF; So. Tim Gondek OF; Jr. Steven Viola OF; Sr. Jake Davis 1B; Sr. Matt Seville 3B.

Coach's comment: "We are extremely excited about this season. We return an experience core of players, six out of nine starting positions and 12 returners from last year's 17-man roster. Five out of six returning strarters hit better than .300 and we look to improve on those numbers. The strength of this team is starting pitching with Kevin Foulds and Dillon Mendel. They make a formidable 1-2 punch on the hill. We feel this could be a special group."

Outlook: Spartans are loaded in the pitching and hitting departments and are primed for another excellent season after reaching the North 1, Group 3 sectional semifinals last year. Ruddy, an excellent all-around player and leadoff hitter, is headed to Yale next fall. He enters the season with 91 career hits, 59 steals (school record) and is riding a 31-game hitting streak dating to 2012. He hit safely in all 27 games in 2013. Unglaub, who comes in with a 13-game hitting streak, also is one of the top players around and was the Mugs Media Player of the Year as a junior. Expect this group to contend for a sectional title and possibly a Group 3 championship.

Sussex Tech Mustangs

Coach: Brad Szatkiewicz (9-18, second season).

2013 record: 9-18 Independent.

Key returnees: Jr. Paul Caron SS-P; Jr. Austen Campbell 1B-P; Sr. Matt Beck 3B-P; Sr. Dan Louis OF-P; Jr. Brian Keith OF; Jr. Eric Wistermayer C; Sr. Mike Petrasek Utility.

Key losses: Jimmy Crumb (.425, 26 runs, 15 SBs) 1B-P; Chris Manzi C-P; Chris McNulty 2B-P.

Promising newcomers: Jr. Tom Slate 2B-P; Fr. Brandon Bendes C-P; Jr. Justin Brauchle OF; Jr. Matt Colvin C-Utility.

Coach's comment: "We need to step up in all aspects of the game. The great group of returners and the few good newcomers mix well together. We know the importance of pitching and defense, so that is our main focus."

Outlook: Mustangs showed great improvement in Szatkiewicz's first season and are making a major jump in competition with the move to NJAC Independence Division. Despite the loss of three quality players from 2013, this group has the coaching and enough talent to make a run at the .500 mark this season.

Vernon Vikings

Coach: Scott Berge (39-70, sixth season).

2013 record: 11-13, 5-9 NJAC American Division (seventh).

Key returnees: Sr. Dave Baxter (.368 avg.) 1B; Sr. Anthony Germinario (.261, 3.22 ERA) P-2B; Sr. Mike Harboy (.321) INF-P; Sr. Chris Pontus (.267) OF.

Key losses: John Lipari (.483 slugging, 16 RBIs) 1B; Kevin Berge (.316, 3-2, 2.90, 42 K's) C-P; Ryan Duvall (.284, 15 RBIs, 5-3) 2B-P; Kevin Ufferfilge (.333) OF-P; Michael Franklin P.

Promising newcomers: Sr. Kevin Moran 3B-P; Sr. Joe Roccasanta OF; Sr. Josh Rodriguez OF; Jr. Ed Battista C; Jr. Louis Caiafa P-OF; Jr. Matt Emerson P-3B; Jr. Christian Quaranta SS; So. Cody Bartsch OF; So. Christian Capuana P-3B; So. Connor Fitzsimmons C; So. Brady Keenan P.

Coach's comment: "We are looking to improve on last year's record, get above .500, and once again qualify for states."

Outlook: Vikings overcame a 2-6 start a year ago and made a surprise run to the Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex final -- its first in program history -- by knocking off No. 2 seed Newton, 6-2, in the quarterfinals and favorite North Hunterdon, 3-1, in eight innings in a classic semifinal, as a No. 6 seed. It might be tough to duplicate that run with heavy graduation losses. Baxter and Harboy were solid offensive contributors last year, while Germinario showed flashes of being a top-of-the-rotation starter. Being extremely inexperienced in the pitching department may be a big obstacle in achieving that goal of getting above .500.

Wallkill Valley Rangers

Coach: Kevin Lukich (55-70, sixth season).

2013 record: 8-13, 7-7 NJAC Freedom Division (tied for fourth).

Key returnees: Sr. Brandon Grabkowski (.461 avg., 17 RBIs) OF-P; Sr. Nick McWilliams (.275, 14 RBIs) C; Jr. Travis Hill (.344) C-3B-P; Sr. Brett Hill 1B-P; Jr. Kyle Rosencranz (.377, 15 SBs) SS-P; Jr. Michael Armstrong OF-P; So. Rich Stecher (.333) OF-P; So. Wes Walton OF-P.

Key losses: Brian Niedergall 2B; Casey Jervis (3-5, 3.66 ERA) P-SS; Rob Stecher (5-1, 2.92 ERA) P-1B.

Promising newcomers: Jr. Joe Colosimo P-OF-1B; Jr. Brad Lodema 2B; Jr. Cameron Blake 2B-P; So. Jordan Florio SS-P; Jr. Sean Endres 3B; Jr. Joe Tizzano OF; Jr. Larry Ball SS-P; Sr. Pat Reiman P.

Coach's comment: "We bring back eight returning starters from the second half of last season. We will definitely be able to score a lot of runs this season as well as have a much improved defense. The big question will be if we can get enough good pitching to take the next step. If the pitching comes around, we should be right in the thick of it this season."

Outlook: Rangers had an up-and-down season in 2013, mainly because of inconsistent pitching. As Lukich says, this team will go as far as the pitching takes it this spring. Grabkowski is the club's best all-around player and will help anchor the pitching staff, which includes Brett Hill and Walton. The offense should produce enough runs to make each game interesting. The Rangers will be well coached as always so this is a group that could surprise and should be fun to watch.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Baseball: Hunterdon-Warren preview capsules

Belvidere County Seaters

Coach: Aaron Feldman (53-70, sixth season).

2013 record: 10-14, 6-8 Skyland Conference Valley Division (tied for fourth).

Key returnees: Sr. Jake Carlson (.278 avg., 21 RBIs) C; Sr. Logan Welles (.408, 24 RBIs) 1B-P; Jr. Henry Myerchin (.329 avg, 20 RBIs; 5-4, 3.81 ERA) SS-P; Jr. Bobby Merle (.390 OBP) OF.

Key losses: Sr. Tyler Grogan INF-P; Sr. Caleb Seibert 3B-P; Avery Sepulveda INF; Johnny Giacchi OF-P; Anthony Madeo 2B; Tyler Tutka OF-P; Alex Hoffmaster OF.

Promising newcomers: Sr. Jacob Seibert OF-P; Sr. Niles Sena INF-OF; Sr. Josh Unangst INF-P; Jr. Owen Kaiser INF-P; Jr. Kevin Merle (transfer from Stroudsburg, Pa.) P-INF-OF; Jr. Stephen Merle (transfer from Stroudsburg, Pa.) OF-C-P; So. Thomas Madeo INF-OF; So. David Woodworth P-1B.

Coach's comment: "After winning 17 games four years ago and graduating 13 seniors that year, we have steadily improved with this group of seniors. From five wins three years ago, to eight wins two years ago, to 10 wins last year. Our goal this season is to be well-above .500. We have nine different players that could pitch for us."

Outlook: County Seaters have four solid players to build around in Carlson, Welles (Moravian College recruit), Myerchin and Bobby Merle. Myerchin will be the staff ace, while Welles will be the catalyst in the batting order. Feldman is looking for players to set the table for those strong middle-of-the-order bats, which accounted for 65 RBIs a year ago. This program has shown steady improvement the past couple of seasons and has a favorable schedule to get above that .500 mark this spring.

Delaware Valley Terriers

Coach: Marty White (97-113, 11th season).

2013 record: 9-13, 4-6 Skyland Conference Raritan Division (tied for third).

Key returnees: Sr. Joe Chiarino 3B-P; Sr. Chris Fiaschetti (0.96 ERA) SS-P; Sr. Adam Novotny 1B-OF-P; Jr. Logan Brown P; Sr. Nick Perna 2B-P; Jr. Frank McHugh OF.

Key losses: Scott Skripko 1B-P; Chris Pilone C; Reed Williams 2B-SS-P; Ryan Hann P; Chris Innocenti OF.

Promising newcomers: Jr. Mike Pilone C; Jr. Billy Osmun C-3B; Jr. Travis Scharffenberger 1B-OF; Jr. Devin Merritt SS; Jr. Drew Mera 2B; Jr. Kurt Heeren OF; So. Jake Brogan P-OF-3B; So. Chris Schaible P-OF-1B; So. Chris Miller OF.

Coach's comment: "With the loss of five starters [three All-Conference players], we will have to grow up quickly. Replacing that much experience and talent won't be easy. I expect to hit a few bumps in the road, but I believe we have the right players to get there."

Outlook: Terriers did indeed lose five quality starters from last season, but the six returnees are plenty talented, starting with Brown and Fiaschetti, the Nos. 1 and 2, atop the rotation. Chiarino was a solid contributor last season as the cleanup hitter and will be counted on to help lead a young lineup. Offense is a question and if the bats can produce, this team has a strong chance to finish atop the division with a good mix of arms. Finding a way to win close games also is a priority, with 11 of 13 losses last year decided by four runs or fewer.

Hackettstown Tigers

Coach: Gary Poyer (153-117, 13th season).

2013 record: 10-14, 5-9 NJAC Freedom Division (sixth).

Key returnees: Sr. Justin Nicholls (.310 avg.) OF-P; Sr. Kenny Stelmack (.290) C; Jr. Matt Engels (.280) OF-P; Jr. Jonathan Pezzato (.305) C; Sr. Vin Putignano (.385) 2B; Sr. Jeff Carajat (.410) 1B-P.

Key losses: Nick Garno 3B; Ronald Gieger SS-3B; Matt Bailey C; Matt Lerman 3B-P; Joe Alitz OF.

Promising newcomers: So. John Franco 3B-P; So. Anthony Carida INF-P; Jr. Nick Pixley 1B-P; Jr. Thomas Bordi 3B; Jr. Tyler Profilias SS-P; Jr. Taylor Karnis 3B-P; Jr. Joe Lake OF-P; Jr. Eric Kendra OF; Sr. Chris Donohue OF; Sr. Paul Heyrich OF; Sr. Mike Remick C-1B.

Coach's comment: "Pitching will be our biggest question mark. We have strong defense and good speed, and strong leadership."

Outlook: Tigers showed major improvement last year coming off a four-win season in 2012 -- going 1-1 in the North 2, Group 2 playoffs. Nicholls, Stelmack and Engels form a good nucleus in what figures to be a strong offensive lineup. As Poyer says, pitching is a definite question mark, so it's hard to figure this team to make a jump up in the standings. Probably a middle-of-the-pack finish for this group.

Hunterdon Central Red Devils

Coach: Mike Raymond (268-98, 14th season).

2013 record: 21-9, 8-6 Skyland Conference Delaware Division (tied for fourth).

Key returnees: Sr. Mike Pfenninger 3B; Sr. Matt Stalter (.265 avg., 11 RBIs) SS; Jr. Brett McManus (.395, 3 HRs, 22 RBIs) 2B; So. Matt Toke (.343 avg., 2 HRs, 21 RBIs) 1B-P; Jr. Henry Hawkins OF; Jr. Mike Novello (6-2, 2.61 ERA, 36 K's) P; Sr. Ryan Horzepa P.

Key losses: Geggie Russomagno OF; Jeremy Ake 2B; Bill Maier P; John Icaza OF; Brett Mele C.

Promising newcomers: Sr. Zak Vacca C; Sr. Zach Gusitites OF; Sr. Sean Hanigan DH; Sr. Christian Carey OF; Jr. Dan Scassera 1B; Jr. Anthony Cillo 2B; Jr. Ryan Pasko SS; Jr. Mike Perone 3B-P; Jr. John Korn OF; Jr. Brent Lincoln C; Jr. Cale Pfauth C; Jr. Pat Clare P; Jr. Sam DiGiovanni P; Sr. Matt Schuster P.

Coach's comment: "I believe this year's team has the talent and potential to be successful again this season. Our guys are working very hard at improving and are excited to start the season, and add to our tradition of championship baseball. I believe we have the potential to contend and ultimately have a legitimate shot at another Central Jersey [sectional] title."

Outlook: Red Devils, who won 12 in a row before a loss to Eastern in the Group 4 semifinals, are primed for another banner season with plenty of offensive firepower back, including McManus, Stalter (NJIT recruit, moving from third to short) and Pfenninger (Manhattan recruit, moving from first to third). Novello and Horzepa are solid returning arms and will be counted on in an otherwise inexperienced rotation. Raymond expects this group to be solid defensively. If the pitching can complement the offense, this group should challenge for another Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex title -- third overall in five years -- and have a strong chance to proceed deep into the playoffs.

North Hunterdon Lions

Coach: Mike Kane (29-28, third season).

2013 record: 17-12, 8-5 Skyland Conference Delaware Division (third).

Key returnees: Jr. Andrew Meiners C; Sr. Marc Monks OF; Sr. Zach Kaminsky OF; Jr. Tom Schumacher 3B; Sr. Quentin Klein P-3B-DH; Sr. Kurt Thompson P; Sr. Griffin Hatton P; Jr. Shayne Fontana P-OF.

Key losses: C.J. Rasile OF; Shane Brown OF-P; Mike Ragozine 1B; Robbie Young 2B; Andrew Gianos OF; Tyler Smith P; Justin Trinity P.

Promising newcomers: So. John Wilson P-1B; Sr. Jon Scott 1B-DH; Sr. Shane Cassidy 2B; Sr. Austin Arndt SS-P; Sr. Mike Zandanel OF.

Coach's comment: "We graduated nine seniors, including two starting pitchers, and we are happy to say that our current seniors and underclassmen look to fill the voids. We are looking forward to another successful baseball season."

Outlook: Lions lost a wealth of talent from last year's 17-win team, but the cupboard is well-stocked as usual. Meiners is a solid catcher, one of the best in the state according to Kane, while the coach also expects a big year from Schumacher, now the starting third baseman. Monks, the team's best hitter a year ago, shifts from second base to center field. Seems like a lot of teams are in the same boat, but if the pitching can hold up, this could be a very strong team and should be a contender atop the division.

North Warren Patriots

Coach: Jim Haupt (217-143, 16th season).

2013 record: 14-10, 9-5 NJAC Freedom Division (third).

Key returnees: Sr. Cam Esposito (.414 avg., 15 RBIs, 14 SBs) OF-P; Sr. David Wilbur (.323, 15 RBIs) C; Sr. Alex Hladik (.337, 19 RBIs, 5-4, 2.02 ERA) SS-P; Sr. Brian Turner (.338, 15 RBIs) 2B-P; Sr. Nick Meyer (.297, 3 HRs, 14 RBIs) 1B; Jr. Lance Kernoschak (3-2, 3.92 ERA) INF-P; Jr. Matt Nicholoff INF-P; Jr. John Vuz OF; So. Sean Thornton P; Jr. Vince Lubertazzo P.

Key losses: Hunter Stevens (.400, 25 SBs) OF-P; Mike Clothier (.362, 14 RBIs) OF.

Promising newcomers: Fr. Jared Vuz SS; Jr. Dale Durling OF; Sr. Nick Nicholoff OF.

Coach's comment: "We have a great group of seniors and players who have really worked hard to get better over the offseason. My goal for this team is to play hard and give ourselves a chance to win every game. Our strengths should include pitching and offensive experience, and talent."

Outlook: Patriots lost two talented starters (Stevens and Clothier) from last season, but there is a wealth of experienced players returning, including Hladik, who is the team's staff ace and starting shortstop. Esposito, Wilbur and Turner are among the top players in the division. With 13 of its top 15 players returning, including six of seven pitchers, this group should be a serious challenger to defending champion Newton for Freedom Division honors, or at least a solid No. 2 in the standings. A loss in last year's North 1, Group 1 semifinals will also serve as motivation.

Phillipsburg Stateliners

Coach: Dave Hinkle (47-58, fifth season).

2013 record: 7-18, 1-13 Skyland Conference Delaware Division (eighth).

Key returnees: Sr. Chris Trent (.538 OBP) OF; Sr. Matt McAnally 3B; Sr. Tyler Plesnarski DH-P; Sr. Andy Ferrara C; Sr. David Wodzisz (.386 avg.) SS; Jr. Jake Knoble OF.

Key losses: Alex Martin OF; Tyler Widitz 3B-P; Bryan Gardner 1B; Tyler Woscek P; Zach Yale P; Max Ellerth P.

Promising newcomers: Jr. Jake Clifford OF; Jr. Mark McGuire 1B; Jr. Tim Hinkle C; Sr. Lou Fasano 2B; Jr. Pete Schmidt INF; So. Matt Yanes 3B-P; Jr. Billy McAuliffe P; Sr. Brandon Shay P; Jr. Ashish George P; Sr. Matt Stiehler C.

Coach's comment"We have tons of experience back in our lineup. I think we'll be able to score runs, which hopefully will take some pressure off of our young and inexperienced pitching staff, and help them come of age. We expect to be vastly improved from last season and to be very competitive in the division this year." 

Outlook: Stateliners experienced the trials and tribulations last year of playing in one of the state's toughest divisions -- getting outscored 111-52 in those 14 games. Obviously, pitching was a main reason for the lack of success in division contests ('Liners gave up double digits in runs nine times). Despite the loss of nearly the entire staff from 2013, Hinkle believes this year's group, which is inexperienced, has a higher upside. Offensively, Trent is one of the best leadoff hitters around, while McAnally is a solid performer. If the pitching, and it's a big if, can be decent, this team should be able to approach the .500 mark or better.

South Hunterdon Eagles

Coach: Cory Weingart (first season).

2013 record: 6-13, 5-9 Skyland Conference Valley Division (sixth).

Key returnees: Sr. Jared Bogdan OF; Sr. Toby Coleman 3B; Sr. Jimmy Eick OF; Jr. Jimmy Smiegocki 1B-P; Sr. Ryan Godown OF-P.

Key losses: Grant Jensen OF-P; Jake Phillips SS-P; Robert Albanir INF-P.

Promising newcomers: Sr. Jayck Lopez 2B-P; Jr. Josh Phillips 2B-OF; Jr. Richard Roy III 3B-P; Jr. Dario Sabidussi SS-P; So. Jonathan Eick C; So. Andrew Lelie OF; So. Lukas Robinson INF-OF-P; So. Nick Scamuffa 1B-OF-P.

Coach's comment: "The goals for this season are to continue to improve and to compete in the tough division that we are in. We have a tough league schedule where there is no easy game. We are a young team that has a lot to prove. A lot of our players have limited experience on the varsity level."

Outlook: Weingart takes over for Toby Jefferis, whose teams went 32-89 over the previous seven seasons. The first-year coach has five returning starters to build around, including top hitters Bogdan, Coleman and Smiegocki. The Eagles lost their top two starting pitchers to graduation, but Godown and Smiegocki were right behind them in last year's rotation. If they can provide stability on the mound and the bats can produce, this team, which lost four games by four runs or fewer in 2013, could approach the .500 mark.

Voorhees Vikings

Coach: Cory Kent (first season).

2013 record: 6-16, 3-7 Skyland Conference Raritan Division (fifth).

Key returnees: Sr. Matt Furka P; Sr. Will Palmer (.282 avg.) 1B-P; Jr. Kyle Pierson P-OF; Jr. Johnny Wernicki 2B; So. Tyler Kroll SS; So. David Wernicki 3B-P; So. Jakob Twill C.

Key losses: Josh Hausler C; Dan Barone OF; Nick Marini OF; Mitch Palmer SS-1B; Andrew Haspel P-OF.

Promising newcomers: Sr. Evan Vaccarella C; Sr. Jendry Seijas 1B; Sr. Grant Palmer 2B; Jr. James Cahill OF; Jr. Phil D'Armiento OF; Sr. Trevor Spatz OF; Fr. Ryan Cahill OF; Jr. Tobi Cozzolino OF.

Coach's comment: "We have a lot of unknowns as I enter my first year as a head coach in New Jersey. I know our kids have been working hard and have shown [they have] talent. We are young, but we have a lot of kids with experience and heart."

Outlook: Kent, a former standout player at Wilson (Pa.) in the Lehigh Valley, takes over a program that won 82 games under former coach Spark Mattson the last 10 seasons. The Vikings struggled last spring, primarily in the pitching department. Pierson, Furka and Dave Wernicki are returning starters on the mound and will be counted on to guide the staff. Last year's squad didn't score a lot of runs either, particularly in the second half -- 26 in the last eight games, including a 10-spot vs. Bishop Ahr -- so it appears that Kent will have his work cut out for him this season.

Warren Hills Blue Streaks

Coach: Mike Quinto (122-134, 10th season).

2013 record: 11-14, 4-6 Skyland Conference Raritan Division (tied for third).

Key returnees: Sr. Alex Julian 3B; Jr. Christian Stagaard (.297 avg., 12 RBIs, 2-0) C-P; Jr. Craig Lawson SS; Sr. Nathaniel Capone (4-2, 2.66 ERA) P; Jr. Jake Larsen (4-1, 3.30 ERA) 1B-P; So. Anthony Veneziano OF-P; So. Tim Woolf 2B; So. Matt Cummings (.385) OF.

Key losses: Shea Kohler 2B-P; Ron Legreide C-DH; Dallas Johnson OF-3B-P; Cody Crowley OF.

Promising newcomers: Jr. Nick Gagliano Utility; So. Evan Murray P.

Coach's comment: "We are young, but many [players] have varsity experience."

Outlook: Blue Streaks got off to a slow start last season -- 1-6 -- but really turned things around in the second half, winning six of their last nine. There is a solid nucleus of returning players, including Capone and Larsen, who will be atop the rotation. Veneziano gained some valuable experience last season, while Quinto expects good things from newcomers Gagliano and Murray, who is slated to be the closer. Offensively, last year's group struggled and that seems to be a big question this spring. If this team can swing the bats it should be able to compete with any team in the division.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Baseball: Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex weekly schedule

Welcome to the 2014 high school baseball season, though it doesn't feel like it's here with snow still on the ground in many places and freezing temperatures. Let's hope it warms up soon as the season officially gets underway early next week.

Note: Games are 3:45 and 4 p.m. weekdays. Check your team's official schedules for exact starting times.

Tuesday, April 1 

Skyland Conference

Somerville at Warren Hills
Delaware Valley at Voorhees
Phillipsburg at Montgomery
South Hunterdon at Manville
Hunterdon Central at Watchung Hills
Bridgewater-Raritan at North Hunterdon
Bound Brook at Belvidere

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Kittatinny at Lenape Valley
Newton at Wallkill Valley
Jefferson at North Warren
Hopatcong at Hackettstown
High Point at Pope John
Mount Olive at Sparta
Morris Knolls at Vernon

Wednesday, April 2


Somerset Tech at Sussex Tech

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Dover at Hopatcong

Thursday, April 3

Skyland Conference

Voorhees at Warren Hills
Phillipsburg at Hillsborough
Bernards at South Hunterdon
Hunterdon Central at North Hunterdon
Delaware Valley at Ridge
Gill St. Bernard’s at Belvidere

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Kittatinny at Wallkill Valley
Hopatcong at Jefferson
Lenape Valley at North Warren
Hackettstown at Newton
Morris Knolls at High Point
Morris Hills at Pope John
Vernon at Sparta
Sussex Tech at Mountain Lakes

Saturday, April 5

(All games 11 a.m., unless noted)

Skyland Conference

Montgomery at Warren Hills
Phillipsburg at Ridge
South Hunterdon at North Plainfield, 3:45 p.m.

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

North Warren at Kittatinny
Newton at Lenape Valley
Sparta at Morris Hills (ppd)
Jefferson at Hackettstown


Hunterdon Central at Nottingham (ppd)
Demarest at Pope John, 12:30 p.m.
South Plainfield at North Hunterdon
Belvidere at Moravian Academy, 2 p.m.

Monday, April 7

Skyland Conference

Warren Hills at North Hunterdon
Manville at Belvidere

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

High Point at Montville
Jefferson at Kittatinny
Lenape Valley at Hopatcong
Newton at North Warren
Vernon at Mount Olive
Hackettstown at Wallkill Valley
Sussex Tech at Morris Catholic

Tuesday, April 8

Skyland Conference

Ridge at Warren Hills
Somerville at Voorhees
Watchung Hills at Phillipsburg
Immaculata at Hunterdon Central
Franklin at Delaware Valley
Montgomery at North Hunterdon

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Pope John at Montville


Hopatcong at Bound Brook

Wednesday, April 9

Skyland Conference

Pingry at South Hunterdon
Bernards at Belvidere

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Sparta at High Point
Hopatcong at Kittatinny
Wallkill Valley at Lenape Valley
Newton at Jefferson
Pope John at Vernon
North Warren at Hackettstown
Butler at Sussex Tech

Thursday, April 10

Skyland Conference

Warren Hills at Delaware Valley
Voorhees at Franklin
Immaculata at Phillipsburg
Montgomery at Hunterdon Central
North Hunterdon at Hillsborough


Vernon at West Milford
North Plainfield at Hopatcong

Friday, April 11

Skyland Conference

South Hunterdon at Belvidere

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Kittatinny at Newton
Lenape Valley at Hackettstown
Wallkill Valley at Jefferson
Hopatcong at North Warren
High Point at Mount Olive
Morris Knolls at Pope John
Montville at Sparta
Morris Hills at Vernon
Sussex Tech at Kinnelon

Saturday, April 12

(All games 11 a.m. unless noted)

Skyland Conference

Warren Hills at Watchung Hills, 10 a.m.
South Hunterdon at Delaware Valley at Riegel Ridge, 7 p.m.

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Newton at Boonton, 2:30 p.m.
Hackettstown at Whippany Park, 10 a.m.
Wallkill Valley at Kinnelon


Voorhees at Princeton, noon
Phillipsburg at Stroudsburg (Pa.)
Hunterdon Central at Randolph
Pope John at Bergen Catholic, 6 p.m.
Sparta at Minisink Valley (N.Y.), noon
Sussex Tech at Verona, 10:30 a.m.
North Hunterdon at Edison, 3 p.m.

Sunday, April 13


(Both games 7 p.m. at Diamond Nation)

Pope John vs. Immaculata
North Hunterdon vs. Red Bank Catholic

Monday, April 14

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Vernon at Newton
Sparta at Kinnelon
Hackettstown at Wallkill Valley


Hopatcong at Warren Hills
South Hunterdon at Princeton
Phillipsburg at Pius X (Pa.)
Westfield at Hunterdon Central
Belvidere at Sussex Tech

Tuesday, April 15

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Hackettstown at Kittatinny
Lenape Valley at Jefferson
North Warren at Wallkill Valley
Newton at Hopatcong
Morris Hills at High Point
Pope John at Mount Olive
Sparta at Morris Knolls
Vernon at Montville


Delaware Valley at Bound Brook
Moravian Academy at Belvidere

Wednesday, April 16

Skyland Conference

Franklin at Warren Hills
Voorhees at Ridge
Bound Brook at South Hunterdon
Phillipsburg at Hunterdon Central
Delaware Valley at Somerville
North Hunterdon at Watchung Hills

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

High Point at Vernon
Jefferson at Kittatinny


Pope John at West Milford

Thursday, April 17

Skyland Conference

South Hunterdon at Gill St. Bernard’s
Phillipsburg at Bridgewater-Raritan
Hunterdon Central at Hillsborough
Immaculata at North Hunterdon
Belvidere at Pingry

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Newton at Sparta
Wallkill Valley at Hopatcong
Lenape Valley at Morristown-Beard
Pequannock at Sussex Tech


Warren Hills at Hackettstown
West Morris at Voorhees
High Point at Blair Academy
North Warren at Notre Dame-East Stroudsburg (Pa.)

Saturday, April 19

(All games 11 a.m. unless noted)

Skyland Conference

North Hunterdon at Voorhees

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Boonton at Lenape Valley
Pequannock at Wallkilll Valley


Phillipsburg at Easton (Pa.), 6:30 p.m.
Warren Hills at North Warren
Rancocas Valley, Robbinsville and South Brunswick at Hunterdon Central Tournament, 10 a.m.
Goshen (N.Y.) at Sparta
Belvidere at Notre Dame-East Stroudsburg (Pa.), 4 p.m.

Monday, April 21

Skyland Conference

North Hunterdon at Ridge

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Lenape Valley at Mount Olive
Jefferson at Sparta
Hackettstown at Kittatinny
North Warren at Wallkill Valley


North Warren at Phillipsburg, 11 a.m.
Edison at Hunterdon Central
Vernon at Warwick Valley (N.Y.)
Piscataway Tech at Sussex Tech in NJTAC Tournament

Tuesday, April 22

Skyland Conference

Warren Hills at Somerville
Voorhees at Delaware Valley
Bridgewater-Raritan at Hunterdon Central
North Hunterdon at Phillipsburg
Belvidere at North Plainfield

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

High Point at Wallkill Valley
Pope John at Roxbury
Butler at Hopatcong


Sussex Tech at Warren Tech

Wednesday, April 23

Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex Tournament preliminary round, TBA

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Sparta at Pope John

Thursday, April 24

Skyland Conference

Warren Hills at Voorhees
Manville at South Hunterdon
Montgomery at Phillipsburg
Watchung Hills at Hunterdon Central
Ridge at Delaware Valley
North Hunterdon at Bridgewater-Raritan
Belvidere at Bound Brook

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Pope John at High Point
Lenape Valley at Kittatinny
Wallkill Valley at Newton
Sparta at Mount Olive
Boonton at Sussex Tech
Vernon at Morris Knolls
North Warren at Jefferson
Hackettstown at Hopatcong

Friday, April 25

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Hopatcong at Madison
Dover at Newton
Lenape Valley at Jefferson
Sparta at Morris Knolls


Sussex Tech at Notre Dame-East Stroudsburg (Pa.)

Saturday, April 26

Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex Tournament first round, TBA


South Hunterdon at Pennington, noon
Memorial vs. North Hunterdon at Bundt Park, 3 p.m.

Monday, April 28

Skyland Conference

Phillipsburg at Warren Hills

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

High Point at Newton (ppd)
Pequannock at Sparta (ppd)
Sussex Tech at Hopatcong
Wallkill Valley at Vernon


Steinert at North Hunterdon, 6 p.m.
Pius X (Pa.) at Belvidere
Blair Academy at North Warren

Tuesday, April 29

Skyland Conference

Voorhees at Somerville
South Hunterdon at Bernards
Hillsborough at Phillipsburg
North Hunterdon at Hunterdon Central
Delaware Valley at Franklin
Belvidere at Gill St. Bernard’s

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Jefferson at Hopatcong
High Point at Morris Knolls
Wallkill Valley at Kittatinny
North Warren at Lenape Valley
Newton at Hackettstown
Pope John at Morris Hills
Sparta at Vernon


Sussex Tech at Morris Tech

Wednesday, April 30

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Hackettstown at Mount Olive
Morris Hills at High Point
Vernon at Montville

Thursday, May 1

Skyland Conference

Delaware Valley at Warren Hills
Franklin at Voorhees
North Plainfield at South Hunterdon
Phillipsburg at Watchung Hills
North Hunterdon at Montgomery, 7 p.m.
Hunterdon Central vs. Immaculata at Diamond Nation

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Vernon at High Point
Kittatinny at North Warren
Lenape Valley at Newton
Montville at Pope John
Morris Hills at Sparta
Hopatcong at Wallkill Valley
Hackettstown at Jefferson


Notre Dame-East Stroudsburg (Pa.) at Belvidere

Friday, May 2


Hopatcong at Delaware Valley
Watchung Hills at Sparta
Mountain Lakes at Sussex Tech

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Pope John at Mount Olive

Saturday, May 3

(All games 2 p.m. unless noted)

Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex Tournament quarterfinals, TBA

Skyland Conference

Warren Hills vs. Ridge at TD Bank Ballpark in Somerset, 7 p.m.


Princeton Day at South Hunterdon
Lenape Valley at North Plainfield
Newton at Blair Academy, 3 p.m.

Monday, May 5

Skyland Conference

Voorhees at Hunterdon Central
Manville at Belvidere
Delaware Valley at Franklin

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Kittatinny at High Point
Mount Olive at Pope John
Jefferson at Vernon
Morris Catholic at Wallkill Valley
North Warren at Hanover Park
Hackettstown at Mountain Lakes
Hopatcong at Parsippany
High Point at Morris Knolls


Delaware Valley at Sparta
North Hunterdon at Randolph, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, May 6

Skyland Conference

Warren Hills at Franklin
Ridge at Voorhees
Phillipsburg at Immaculata
Hunterdon Central at Montgomery
Somerville at Delaware Valley
Hillsborough at North Hunterdon
Belvidere at Manville

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Montville at High Point
Kittatinny at Jefferson
Hopatcong at Lenape Valley
North Warren at Newton
Pope John at Sparta
Morris Catholic at Sussex Tech
Mount Olive at Vernon
Wallkill Valley at Hackettstown

Wednesday, May 7


Newton at West Orange

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

High Point at Vernon
Pope John at Morris Hills

Thursday, May 8

Skyland Conference

South Hunterdon at Pingry
Hunterdon Central at Phillipsburg
Watchung Hills at North Hunterdon
Belvidere at Bernards

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Wallkill Valley at High Point
Kittatinny at Morris Hills
Sussex Tech at Butler
Sparta at Vernon
Montville at Pope John


Warren Hills at Blair Academy
North Warren at Voorhees
Sparta at South Brunswick
Vernon at Paterson Charter

Friday, May 9

Skyland Conference

Phillipsburg vs. Delaware Valley at Riegel Ridge, 7:30 p.m.

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Butler at Lenape Valley
Pope John at Delbarton
Morris Knolls at Sparta
Vernon at High Point
Hopatcong at Wallkill Valley
Wallkill Valley at Boonton


Warren Hills at Notre Dame-Green Pond (Pa.)
Glen Ridge at Sussex Tech

Saturday, May 10

(All games 11 a.m.)

Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex Tournament semifinals, TBA

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

High Point at Lenape Valley
Kinnelon at Newton
Dover at Sussex Tech
North Warren at Belvidere

Skyland Conference

North Plainfield at South Hunterdon


Warren Hills at Summit

Monday, May 12

Skyland Conference

Warren Hills at Hunterdon Central
Phillipsburg at Voorhees

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

High Point at Sparta
Kittatinny at Hopatcong
Lenape Valley at Wallkill Valley
Jefferson at Newton
Vernon at Pope John
Kinnelon at Sussex Tech
Hackettstown at North Warren


Delaware Valley vs. Delran at Arm & Hammer Park in Trenton

Tuesday, May 13

Skyland Conference

Belvidere vs. South Hunterdon at Diamond Nation, 6:30 p.m.
Bridgewater-Raritan at Phillipsburg
Hillsborough at Hunterdon Central
North Plainfield vs. Delaware Valley at Riegel Ridge, 7 p.m.
North Hunterdon at Immaculata

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Vernon at Montville

Wednesday, May 14

Skyland Conference

Delaware Valley at Bernards

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Mount Olive at High Point
Newton at Kittatinny
Hackettstown at Lenape Valley
Pope John at Morris Knolls
Sparta at Montville
Sussex Tech at Pequannock
Vernon at Morris Hills
Jefferson at Wallkill Valley
North Warren at Hopatcong

Thursday, May 15

Skyland Conference

Warren Hills at Belvidere
South Hunterdon at Bound Brook
Phillipsburg at North Hunterdon
Hunterdon Central at Bridgewater-Raritan

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Kittatinny at Hackettstown


Voorhees at Morris Knolls
Paramus Catholic at Sparta

Friday, May 16

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

High Point at Morris Hills
Jefferson at Lenape Valley
Hopatcong at Newton
Sussex Tech at Boonton
Montville at Vernon
Wallkill Valley at North Warren

Saturday, May 17

(All games 11 a.m. unless noted)

Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex Tournament final at Diamond Nation, 7:30 p.m.


Rutgers Prep at Voorhees, 10 a.m.
Lenape Valley at Belvidere
Notre Dame-East Stroudsburg (Pa.) at Sussex Tech

Pope John vs. Malvern Prep at Delbarton, noon

Tuesday, May 20

Skyland Conference

Pingry at Belvidere
Gill St. Bernard’s at South Hunterdon
North Warren at Phillipsburg


Voorhees at Mount Olive
Kittatinny vs. Wayne Valley at William Paterson University
Pope John at St. Joseph’s-Metuchen
Sussex Tech at Somerset Tech
West Morris at North Hunterdon

Wednesday, May 21

Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference

Sparta at Lenape Valley


Pope John at Don Bosco Prep
North Hunterdon at Cranford

Thursday, May 22

Skyland Conference

North Plainfield at Belvidere


Wayne Hills at Pope John
Warren Tech at Sussex Tech

Friday, May 23

NJSIAA playoffs

TBA, Public sectional second round
TBA, Non-Public sectional first round

Tuesday, May 27

NJSIAA playoffs

TBA, Public sectional third round
TBA, Non-Public sectional second round

Friday, May 30

NJSIAA playoffs

TBA, Public sectional finals
TBA, Non-Public sectional semifinals

Tuesday, June 3

NJSIAA playoffs

TBA, Pubic state semifinals
TBA, Non-Public sectional finals

Saturday, June 7

NJSIAA playoffs

TBA, Public and Non-public state championships at Toms River

Monday, March 17, 2014

Wrestling: HWS active wins leaders for 2014-15

   (Minimum 50 victories)

Ryan Pomrinca
North Hunterdon
Jason Gaccione
High Point
Max Nauta
Warren Hills
Jimmy Schuitema
Max Elling
Ian Burke
Mike Derin
High Point
Dom Gallo
High Point
Andrew Pacheco
Warren Hills
Brandon Paetzell
D.J. Barrett
Lenape Valley
Gus Protogeropoulos
Joe Aumann
Glenn Haines
Lenape Valley
Kyle DiNapoli
Joe LaBell
Lenape Valley
Steve Friedman
Joe Renne
Austin Scrivani
Trevor Morales
Nestor Crespo
Hunterdon Central
Joe Scerbo
Hunterdon Central
Will O'Connell
North Warren
Sean Siek
Wallkill Valley

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Wrestling: Kocsis wins for Jersey in Lions Classic

State medal winner Jake Kocsis of Phillipsburg won his final high school bout -- one of just two victories for the New Jersey squad in a 36-6 loss to Pennsylvania in the 34th annual Easton Lions Club All-Star Classic on Friday night at Easton Area High School's 25th Street Gym.

Pennsylvania won nine of 11 bouts and now leads the all-time series, 19-15, dating to 1981. New Jersey, which earned a 28-15 win in 2012, had won three straight and four of five classics before a 32-15 loss in last year's event.

Easton's Kyle Baker was named the Outstanding Wrestler -- decking Voorhees' Mike Muscatello in 4:50.

Kocsis, who finished fourth in the New Jersey State Tournament at 170 pounds, earned a 3-1 decision in overtime against Northampton's Bobby Fehr in the final bout at 173.

The only other winner for New Jersey was Bound Brook's Stephen Johnson -- 3-2 in the ultimate tiebreaker over Pen Argyl's Brady Mutton at 285.

In addition to Muscatello, Voorhees' Cody Ihling (120) and Jordan Juliano (170) lost decisions, while North Warren's Matt Ritchie dropped a 6-0 decision to Northampton's Zach Valley, a PIAA Class AAA state runner-up. North Hunterdon's Joe Guzzo was decked by Liberty's Noah Klingborg.

Pennsylvania also won the youth match, 28-11, that preceded the high school event.

132 -- Andrew Sutton (Pen Argyl), Pa., d. Ted Caruso (Ridge), 4-3.
182 -- Jose Ortiz (Bethlehem Catholic), Pa., d. Cort Hotz (Ridge), 5-0.
170 -- Nick Cortopassi (Bethlehem Catholic), Pa., d. Jordan Juliano (Voorhees), 6-1 OT.
126 -- Zach Valley (Northampton), Pa., d. Matt Ritchie (North Warren), 6-0.
152 -- Josh Ortman (Parkland), Pa., d. Ronald Spera (Mount Olive), 1-0.
138 -- Colby Ems (East Stroudsburg South), Pa., p. Moumen Akel (Somerville), 3:15.
285 -- Stephen Johnson (Bound Brook), NJ, d. Brady Mutton (Pen Argyl), 3-2 UTB.
120 -- Ethan Lizak (Parkland), Pa., d. Cody Ihling (Voorhees), 7-0.
145 -- Kyle Baker (Easton), Pa., p. Mike Muscatello (Voorhees), 4:50.
160 -- Noah Klingborg (Liberty), Pa., p. Joe Guzzo (North Hunterdon), 1:48.
173 -- Jake Kocsis (Phillipsburg), NJ, d. Bobby Fehr (Northampton), 3-1 OT.

(Youth match)


108 -- Ian Pulli, Nazareth, d. Kyle Tino, Phillipsburg, 7-2.
135 -- Jason Jones, Saucon Valley, d. Brian Meyer, Phillipsburg, 8-2.
50 -- Jason Trimmer, Easton, d. David Rhinehart, Washington, 5-0.
55 -- Cael McIntyre, Easton, d. Patrick Day, Phillipsburg, 2-1.
60 -- Johnny Colon, Whitehall, p. Chris Thatcher, Steele Hill, 1:47.
65 -- Logan Maczko, Phillipsburg, d. Josh Bauman, Bethlehem, 2-0.
70 -- Max Green, Phillipsburg, d. Evan Gleason, Easton, 3-0.
75 -- Dillon Murphy, East Stroudsburg South, d. Cullen Day, Phillipsburg, 6-2.
80 -- Jonathon Miers, Easton, md. Travis Jones, Phillipsburg, 9-1.
85 -- Isaiah Reinert, Easton, d. Chuck Dipple, Phillipsburg, 7-3.
90 -- Ryan Anderson, Hackettstown, tf. Brandon Kassis, Parkland, 22-5.


Kyle Tino, Phillipsburg, d. Mason Werkheiser, Easton, 3-1.
Zach Ortman, Parkland, d. Lance Wissing, Phillipsburg, 11-4.
Brian Meyer, Phillipsburg, d. Chase Anklan, Pen Argyl, 3-1.
Ed Hay, Bethlehem, p. Denny Perez, Phillipsburg, 2:36.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Wrestling: Easton Lions Club Classic matchups, info

The 34th annual Easton Lions Club All-Star Wrestling Classic will be held Friday at Easton Area High School's 25th Street Gymnasium.

The match pits seniors from New Jersey against their counterparts from Pennsylvania's rugged District 11. The high school event, slated for 8 p.m., is preceded by a youth event at 6.

Pennsylvania won last year's event, 32-15, snapping a three-match skid. New Jersey had won four of the previous five classics. Pennsylvania leads the overall series, 20-13, dating to 1981.

Bouts will be three periods of 2 minutes, 1 1/2  and 1 1/2 minutes in length.

Tickets, available at the door, are $6 for adults, $4 for seniors (65 and older) and $3 for students.

Tentative high school matchups (New Jersey listed first):

120 -- Cody Ihling (31-9, 77-37, D1, R2), Voorhees, vs. Ethan Lizak (44-5, 164-18, D1, R1, S4), Parkland.

126 -- Matt Ritchie (29-8, 103-36, D1), North Warren, vs. Zach Valley (40-4, 125-34, D1, R1, S2), Northampton.

132 -- Ted Caruso (27-6, 71-49, D3), Ridge, vs. Andrew Sutton (33-9, 90-41, D1, R3, S8), Pen Argyl.

138 -- Moumen Akel (25-10, D2, R4), Somerville, vs. Colby Ems (36-4, 99-19, D1, R1, S4), East Stroudsburg South.

145 -- Mike Muscatello (24-7, 44-29, D2), Voorhees, vs. Kyle Baker (28-6, 73-33), Easton.

152 -- Ronald Spera (31-7, 92-31, D2, R2), Mount Olive, vs. Josh Ortman (38-13, 132-47, D2, R2, S6), Parkland.

160 -- Jake Kocsis (41-5, 91-30, D1, R2, S4), Phillipsburg, vs. Bobby Fehr (36-5, 108-44, D1, R1, S7), Northampton.

170 -- Mike Fagg-Daves (41-4, D1, R1, S5), Franklin, vs. Nick Cortopassi (36-8, 84-31, D2, R1, S8), Bethlehem Catholic.

173 -- Joe Guzzo (33-7, 52-29, D1, R2), North Hunterdon, vs. Noah Klingborg (33-14, 73-45, D4, R4), Liberty.

182 -- Cort Hotz (34-5, 78-19, D2, R2), Ridge, vs. Jose Ortiz (38-6, 113-23, D1, R2, S2), Bethlehem Catholic.

195 -- Mike Okolo (25-4, D2), Franklin, vs. Nezar Haddad (45-3, 129-36, D1, R1, S7), Parkland.

285 -- Stephen Johnson (24-3, 87-21, D1, R1, S4), Bound Brook, vs. Brady Mutton (38-2, 100-26, D3, R1, S2), Pen Argyl.