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2017 Fall Sports Preview

by Matt Consentino

BISHOP EUSTACE Crusaders

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Four-year varsity player A.J. Pietrangelo isback to lead a solid returning core for Bishop Eustace. A forward/midfielder, Pietrangelo scored a team-high 12 goals and added five assists to make the all-South Jersey third team and all-conference first team in 2016. Senior forward/midfielder Matt Pattison is another important part of the offense who had seven goals to make the all-conference second team. Senior Vinny Lamina, an all-conference first-teamer, anchors the defense along with senior goalie Zach Young, who recorded seven shutouts. Senior Paul Schields and sophomore Alex Pietrangelo are other key pieces of the defense, while senior John Kueny and junior Joseph Makar (two goals, four assists) return in the midfield. Junior forward Mason Domico and sophomore forward/midfielder Drew Ruehlicke will also contribute.

OUTLOOK: The Crusaders went 12-6-1 last fall—a seven-win improvement from the year before—and lost in the South Jersey Non Public A quarterfinals. They have the potential to contend in the Olympic Conference National Division behind Pietrangelo.


CAMDEN CATHOLIC Fighting Irish

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior forward Christian Belz has been a major contributor since his freshman year and should be in store for a big final season at Camden Catholic. He is a proven goal scorer and made the all-conference second team in 2016. Steve Baranowski is another senior leader and sophomore Liam Barnett showed promise as a rookie. Other players expected to contribute are seniors Jared Wainwright, Dominic Andriella, Anthony Blattenberger, Paul Cerri and Matt Hart and sophomores Mike Volpe and Andrew Godley.

OUTLOOK: A 5-13-1 season for the Fighting Irish included a close loss to St. John Vianney in the first round of the South Jersey Non-Public A playoffs. New head coach Varsay Lewis—a former standout player at Camden Catholic who also coached the school’s girls soccer team from 2012-2015—will look to continue the progress made under Larry Sullivan.

 

CHEROKEE Chiefs

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Cherokee graduated nine starters, including its entire starting defense, so the lineup will certainly have a different look this fall. Senior Rome Young is one of the top returners and will be expected to spark the attack. He used his terrific speed to record seven goals and four assists as a junior and made the all-conference second team. Senior midfielder Travis Gould had four goals and three assists and is the other returning starter. Junior Phil Fiore should take on a bigger role in the midfield, and seniors Tatum Cinelli, Colton Schneeweis and Sebastian Graterol will also contribute. The returners hoping to fill the void on defense are juniors Corey Haines and Chris Marrone and seniors Keith Fisher and Trevor Nation.

OUTLOOK: The Chiefs went 14-5 last year, earned a share of the Olympic Conference American Division title and reached the South Jersey Group IV quarterfinals. Although the 2016 senior class is hard to replace, the new lineup hopes to keep the program’s winning tradition going.

 

CHERRY HILL EAST Cougars

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Cherry Hill East graduated a class of 18 seniors, including three all-conference players, so it will be counting on new leaders this fall. The key returners include senior midfielder Tim Welsch (five assists), senior midfielder/ forward Rob Rogowski and senior defender Mike Kenny. Health will be crucial for the Cougars, as junior Mark Basehore (three goals, four assists) and sophomore Eddie Grant missed significant time last season but hope to build on last year’s success and contribute heavily in the midfield and striker spots. Additional players to keep an eye on are seniors Matt Blaker and Sam Biotti and junior Remus Creanga.

OUTLOOK: After finishing with a 4-11-2 record in 2016, the Cougars hope to make strides in the always-competitive Olympic Conference American Division.

 

CHERRY HILL WEST Lions

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Cherry Hill West brings back two of the best finishers in the area in senior forwards Jason Kahan and Elliot Cumba, who both made the all-conference first team. Kahan scored a team-high 18 goals to go with four assists and Cumba added 17 goals and seven assists. Senior Brandon Nam and juniors Zach Bruno (five goals, six assists) and Joey Baldarrago are also returning starters, and other important pieces of the attack are seniors Dimitri Malliaros and Eric Reyes. Seniors Steve Young and Frank Papaccio will look to strengthen the defense.

OUTLOOK: The Lions’ memorable 2016 campaign included the Olympic Conference National Division championship and the Coaches Tournament title. They finished with a 20-3 record after reaching the South Jersey Group III semifinals. Although key players from that team have moved on, particularly on defense, there is enough talent back to keep them competitive.

 

CLEARVIEW Pioneers

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Clearview brings back a solid nucleus led by all-conference first-teamers Harmon Nuss and Andrew Jarrett, both seniors. Nuss, a midfielder, tied for the team lead with 11 goals and added four assists, while Jarrett was part of a defense that allowed just nine goals all season. Senior midfielder Justin Bilderback and senior goalie Ronin Costello (14 shutouts) were both named to the all-conference second team. Other returners who will contribute up front and in the midfield are senior Mykhaylo Mokris, juniors Jack McEvoy and Mike Rizzo and sophomores Jack Accorsi and Kevin Donahue. Seniors Joe DeSimone and Zach Wurst are experienced defenders.

OUTLOOK: The Pioneers’ strong 14-3-4 season included wins in the Coaches Tournament and the South Jersey Group IV playoffs. They have the potential to contend in the Tri-County Conference Royal Division in 2017.

 

EASTERN Vikings

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Junior forward Phil Varner emerged as a key player for Eastern last fall and led the team with seven goals on his way to all-conference second-team accolades. Junior midfielder Terrell Collins (three goals, two assists) will also contribute to the attack, and junior Tanner Koch is a returning defender in front of all-conference second-team goalie Jeremy Fulton. Senior forward Nick Passeri suffered a knee injury during club ball and will miss the entire season, a tough blow for the Vikings. Other returners up front and in the midfield are senior Joe DiDio and juniors Antonio DiColandrea and Michael Padula. Senior Jack Weissman and junior Bayur Buruschkin are back on defense.

OUTLOOK: The Vikings went on an 11-game winning streak at one point in 2016 on their way to a 13-5-1 record and a share of the Olympic Conference American Division crown. They hope to contend in the division once again.

 

GLOUCESTER CATHOLIC Rams

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Gloucester Catholic suffered major losses to graduation, including six all-conference players. Senior Sean Buckland is a key returner on defense who also scored five goals. There is also a promising group of juniors who contributed as sophomores and will take on bigger roles, including forwards Joe Tesi and Matt Tesi, midfielder Joe Grace and defender Chayse Rand. Sophomore midfielder Colin Anderson will look to build on a solid rookie campaign in which he scored a goal and had four assists.

OUTLOOK: The Rams went 13-3-4 overall and unbeaten in the Tri-County Conference Classic Division to earn the division title. They also reached the South Jersey Non-Public B semifinals. It will be interesting to see how the new core fares under the direction of new head coach Bob Kulinski, who replaces the retired Steve Bombaro.

 

HADDONFIELD Bulldawgs

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Jack Dugan has been a major contributor for Haddonfield since his freshman year and it will be exciting to see how he winds down his career this fall before heading to Division I James Madison University. He had 22 goals and 16 assists as a junior to make the all-conference first team for the third straight year and the all- South Jersey first team. He has 48 career goals and can break the program’s all-time record of 64 with another big season. Senior Sam DeCencio is another Division I recruit who has committed to La Salle. He had seven goals and a team-leading 19 assists to make the all-South Jersey second team and all-conference first team. Other offensive contributors include senior Max Green (six goals, four assists); juniors Steve DiTomaso (13, seven) and Gabe DaSilva (six, eight), an all-conference second-teamer; and sophomore Tommy Mollis (seven, three). Senior Finn Miller is a standout goalie who had nine shutouts last year. Other returners expected to contribute are senior Will Sabia and juniors Luke Baxter and Mike Gallo.

OUTLOOK: The Bulldawgs’ 2016 season featured a share of the Colonial Conference Liberty Division title—their second straight—along with their first trip to the South Jersey Group II final since 2011 and a 16-5-2 final record. With Dugan and DeCencio leading the way, expect more of the same this fall.

 

KINGSWAY Dragons

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Kingsway’s talented seniors—many of whom have been contributing to the varsity squad since they were freshmen—have high hopes for their final season together. That includes forward Zack Garcia, who led the Dragons with 13 goals as a junior and made the all-conference first team and all-South Jersey third team. Seniors Austin Ogren (four goals), Preston Baughman and Jake Aliquo are key players in the midfield, while senior Ethan DeLuca anchors the defense and made the all-conference first team in 2016. Seniors Brady Hochman and Noah Turner are both standout goalies who split time last fall. They both could start on most teams, but have developed a close friendship and push each other to get better. Senior Jonathan Burlingame and juniors Mike Natale and Ryan Ayars are also back on defense, and other returners expected to contribute are juniors Matt Toner and Alec Emmi.

OUTLOOK: The Dragons played well down the stretch last year and dropped a close game to Shawnee in the first round of the South Jersey Group IV playoffs to finish with a 10-7-1 record. Their strong senior class should help them contend for the Tri-County Conference Royal Division title.

 

LENAPE Indians

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Lenape brings back a pair of seniors who made the all-conference second team last year. Midfielder Billy Bruno had two goals and two assists, while goalie Collin Day made more than 100 saves for the second straight year. Junior Tyler Huynh is a key player in the midfield, and seniors who will contribute up front and in the midfield are Mark Capocasale, Jonathan Landis and Nick McAndrew. Sophomore Jack Blumberg started at outside back as a freshman, and other experienced defenders are senior Colin Eckenhoff and junior Gianfranco Altieri.

OUTLOOK: The Indians went 6-12 and lost in the first round of the South Jersey Group IV playoffs. With a good mix of seniors and talented youngsters, they’ll look to show continued improvement under new head coach Eric Krastek.

 

MOORESTOWN Quakers

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior midfielder Jack Broker, a three-year varsity player, leads the returners for Moorestown after recording four goals and four assists as a junior. Seniors Justin Ramos, Max Haller, Sean Carden and Angus Gaffney will also contribute to the attack. Junior defender Tim Sever garnered all-conference second-team recognition as a sophomore and senior Noah Afonso is an experienced goalie. Other players hoping to have an impact are seniors Ryan Finley, Coby Gluck, JT Lumley and Richard Sterle and juniors Brendan McGettigan and Tanner Hall.

OUTLOOK: The Quakers’ 6-10-2 record is a bit deceiving as they were competitive in all of their matches and reached the Central Jersey Group III quarterfinals. They’ll attempt to turn some close losses into victories and shoot for a winning record in 2017.

 

MOORESTOWN FRIENDS Foxes

PLAYERS TO WATCH: A solid core that features three all-conference players is back to lead Moorestown Friends. Senior defenderPhil Evans and senior goalie Teddy Kinzler both made the all-conference first team, while junior defender Ollie Frank was an honorable mention selection. Junior Hunter Arce netted seven goals as a sophomore and will be a key offensive player, and other returners expected to contribute to the attack are senior Jack Burrows, junior Liam Schenk and sophomore John Bernard. Other returners include seniors Menarsh Patel and Lawrence Miles, junior Brian Cronk and sophomore Cory Dennis.

OUTLOOK: The Foxes’ 11-6-4 season included the first Friends School League championship in program history and a trip to the South Jersey Non-Public B quarterfinals. The last several seasons have been very successful and there’s reason to believe that can continue this fall.

 

PAUL VI Eagles

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Paul VI brings back a host of important players from last year’s young squad, including leading scorer Bryce Bovell, a senior forward who found the back of the net five times. Sophomore Mark Schuhl scored four goals in his rookie season and senior defender Jake McGuigan was an all-conference second-team selection. Senior Ryan Bufo and junior Dylan Coco are other returning starters and junior Josh Rivkind is an experienced goalie.

OUTLOOK: The Eagles went 5-14-2 with a playoff victory in last year’s rebuilding season. If Bovell and Schuhl keep progressing, the team can make great strides.

 

SENECA Golden Eagles

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Seneca returns a lot of offensive firepower, led by senior forward Zach Malcolm. He has 19 goals over the last two seasons, and netted 10 last year to go with four assists on his way to all-conference first-team honors. Juniors John Meale (five goals, three assists) and Eric Pierre (four, three) are also talented finishers. Senior Chris Macauley is a key player in the midfield who made the all-conference second team, while junior Justin Patton is also back in the midfield. Sophomores Mitchell Tippin and Drew Gallagher are returning starters on defense in front of experienced junior goalie Sean Casey.

OUTLOOK: The Golden Eagles played very well down the stretch in 2016 before falling in the South Jersey Group III quarterfinals to finish with a 10-10-1 record. They’ll look to carry the momentum over to 2017.

 

SHAWNEE Renegades

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Shawnee graduated three all-conference first-teamers—including Caleb Longshaw, their leading scorer the last two years— but there is plenty of talent remaining. Senior forward Kane Feudtner tied Longshaw with a team-high seven goals and senior midfielder Dan Goodson is another proven scorer who added five. Senior Bailey Pringle is a three-year starter in the midfield, and seniors Vaughn Paga and Brett Funk are experienced defenders who will help hold down the fort as the Renegades break in a new starting goalie. Other senior contributors are midfielders Ryan Artis, Jackson Goldman, Pietro Gambino and Ryan Previti, and juniors back in the fold are defenders James Murray, Brian Lorenz and Dillon Ferrari.

OUTLOOK: The Renegades’ accomplishments in 2016 included a share of the Olympic Conference American Division title and a berth in the Coaches Tournament semifinals. They also advanced to the sectional quarterfinals and finished with a 14-5 record. It wouldn’t be surprising to see them back in contention in the Olympic American this fall.

 

St. AUGUSTINE Hermits

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Although St. Augustine lost several top players to graduation, the Hermits are excited about the return of senior forward Pat Kavanagh. He will look to build on a breakout junior season in which he led the team with nine goals and added three assists. Kavanagh will have help offensively from senior forward Jake Ottinger (five goals, two assists), and other key seniors up top and in the midfield are Tyler Booth, Cullen Davis, Robert Zaccaria, Vincenzo Stellato and Joe Stewart. Sophomore Kevin Witkowski and junior Justin Tana are up-and-comers in the midfield and seniors Anthony Neri and Jonah Hammerstedt are experienced defenders in front of senior goalie Nick Pilny.

OUTLOOK: The Hermits went 15-7-1 and advanced to the South Jersey Non-Public A final for the second straight year in 2016. This is consistently one of the top programs in the area and this year should be no different.

 

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP Minutemen

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Seven starters are back in the fold for Washington Township, as well as several key reserves who gained valuable varsity experience. Will McCusker made the all-conference first team and anchors a defense that also includes fellow senior Ed Rainey and junior Sean Zemlak. Senior midfielder Jason Arakelian—who netted the game-winning goal in the sectional final—was an all-conference second-teamer, and senior Josh Strickon also returns in the midfield. Junior Brett Guetens (eight goals) and senior Clayton Crosse (six goals, four assists) pace the offense up front. Junior midfielders Arturo Serano (four goals), Chad Yates and Jake Logar saw important minutes off the bench and will be contributors again and senior Vince Romano is an experienced keeper. Other returners looking to have an impact are senior AJ Dressner and sophomore Alex Desiderio.

OUTLOOK: It’s clear by now that the Minutemen can never be underestimated. Despite struggling toward the end of the regular season in 2016, they still managed to claim a share of the Olympic Conference American Division title before getting hot in the playoffs and winning their fourth sectional title in five years. With an experienced, talented nucleus in place, this is shaping up as another successful season.

 

To see a complete list of our Fall Sports Schedules, click here to go to our digital edition 

 

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 5 (July, 2017). 
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