Central Jersey RedLegs will hold tryouts for the 11U 2016 spring and summer baseball season. Winter workouts start the first week of January. Indoor tournaments, league play and multiple travel tournaments will be played.

Home fields are located in Michael Tighe Park, Freehold Township.

Contact Coach Tom at for details.

Jackson Memorial High School senior right-hander Chris Hawryluk has signed a National Letter of Intent to continue his baseball career at Monmouth University.

Hawryluk is heading into his third varsity season with the Jaguars on the diamond and has starred both on the mound as a pitcher and at the plate as a first baseman. This past season, he hit .444 with five doubles, a triple and three home runs while knocking in 21 runs and scoring 24. He also posted a .550 on-base percentage and .622 slugging percentage from the middle of the Jaguars’ order.

Heath built legendary cross-country program at CBA


Tim Morris

The words “great” and “legend” get thrown out so often that they have almost lost their meaning.

In the case of retired Christian Brothers Academy (CBA) cross-country coach Tom Heath, those words hardly do him justice.

Heath, who stepped down as the Colts’ head coach after another championship year, leaves as one of the greatest coaches in any sport in New Jersey high school sports history. His legacy is unsurpassed. He is synonymous with cross-country in this state and, in the process, elevated the sport.

His list of accomplishments is staggering. There is the record 21 NJSIAA Meet of Champion (MOC) crowns, which includes the last six straight. There are the 27 group state titles, as well as team average course records all over New Jersey and New York (Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx and Bowdoin Park in Wappingers Falls). Maybe the most impressive achievement is winning the Nike Cross Nationals national championship in 2011.

Tom Heath’s Christian Brothers Academy cross-country teams won a record 21 NJSIAA Meet of Champions titles during his unparalleled career. Yet he ranks the national-record 343 dual-meet victories as the highlight of his career.LARRY LEVANTI/CBA

Tom Heath’s Christian Brothers Academy cross-country teams won a record 21 NJSIAA Meet of Champions titles during his unparalleled career. Yet he ranks the national-record 343 dual-meet victories as the highlight of his career.

LARRY LEVANTI/CBA However, when asked what stands out the most to him over his unprecedented career, his reply was the streak.

“It’s pretty cool,” he said.

The streak is CBA’s ongoing national record for consecutive dual-meet victories, which began in September 1974 and continued through the 2015 season. The mark now stands at 343.

The mark is a tribute to CBA’s unmatched depth. The Colts were so deep that Heath was able to run his B or even C team in most dual meets and rest his top runners. In that way, as Heath noted over the years, everyone contributed to the streak.

One of the Shore coaches linked to Heath’s streak is Colts Neck High School’s Jim Schlentz. In 1981, the streak was at 94 when Schlentz’s St. John Vianney High School team tied the Colts in a dual meet but lost on the sixth-runner tiebreaker. It was the closest any team came to CBA during its unfathomable five-decade streak.

“I like running against CBA,” Schlentz said. “The only way to get better is to race against the best.”

The Cougars’ coach, who has had his fare share of success in the sport (his 2006 Colts Neck girls were MOC champions), spoke highly of what Heath and CBA have been able to accomplish.

“To be at the top all those years is remarkable,” Schlentz said.

The Cougars’ coach had a simple explanation as to why the Colts have stayed on top all this while. “They outwork everybody,” Schlentz said. Heath, a CBA graduate who was a sprinter on the track team, took over as head coach of the cross-country team in the fall of 1971.

“There was a tradition at CBA for crosscountry,” Heath said.

Heath, though, took the program to high levels.

Heath noted that not being a cross-country runner was, in a strange way, an advantage for him.

“I never ran distance, which is probably good,” he said. “I never knew pain.”

There was no secret formula behind CBA’s and Heath’s success. He pointed out that it starts with recognizing that kids are smart. He explained they have to work hard, put in their miles in training and stay injury free. Pretty simple stuff, but something it seems only the Colts could achieve year-in and year-out.

I have watched the CBA program over the years as it went from a state power to national champion. I, like most, used to think, “Hey, anyone can coach CBA.” He gets the talent, but after observing Heath over the years and seeing how his runners were always ready for November and the biggest races of the season, I began to appreciate what he has done more. Getting your runners to come through when it matters in a single race takes more than talent. It takes coaching. In Heath’s case, it’s great coaching.

I remember the shocked faces of the Cherokee High School runners a few years ago when they were the heavy favorites to win the MOC only to have CBA take it from them as the Colts ran above their season-level. They did it this year, rebounding from a loss in the group championships the week before to snatch a 21st MOC title.

The 2012 MOC stands out as CBA’s signature win. With superstorm Sandy pushing the MOC back, it conflicted with the Nike Cross Northeast Regional. Heath couldn’t run his starters for fear that it would impact them at the regional three days later and jeopardize their chances of qualifying for the nationals. So he gambled on his “B” team, resting his top five runners.

“I told [the MOC runners] there was no downside,” Heath said. “If you do bad, I’ll take the blame. Just relax and be focused.”

The Colts all went out and ran their Holmdel Park personal bests for a stunning triumph that was a testament to CBA’s tradition.

When the Nike Cross Nationals started up to produce a national champion, did anyone doubt that Heath and the Colts would win it? They did in 2011, raising the profile for New Jersey cross-country. The Colts were also the runnerup in 2013. They’ve made the national championships the last six years.

It’s hard to think about it now, but it wasn’t always this way for Heath and his harriers. He pointed out that he lost the Monmouth County championships the first four times his teams competed in it. Clearing that hurdle opened the door for what would follow.

“As soon as you win something, you realize it’s not as hard to win as you thought,” he said. “It was the same thing with the states (MOC). I thought it was impossible. Then you win it, and it’s not as hard to do.”

How do you get everyone to race so well at the same time?

“You just have the kids relax and realize it’s just another race and it can be won,” Heath said.

Now that Heath has retired, he said that he won’t appear at any cross-country meets next year so as to not be seen as looking over the shoulder of the coach who has the impossible task of following him.

He may not be at Holmdel Park next year, but his shadow certainly will be.

Podvorchani, Marlboro were district’s aces on tennis court

Howell High School’s Barbara Podvorchani has become the face of Freehold Regional High School District (FRHSD) girls tennis.

While Marlboro High School maintained its hold on the Shore Conference A North Division and a firm grip as the district’s best team, Podvorchani has emerged as the area’s best player.

The Rebels’ sophomore went through the regular season undefeated, dominating opponents with her versatility. She can overpower players with her ground strokes and take control of a point. She can also play defense with the best of them because of natural speed, which allows her to run shots down and keep the ball in play until her opponent makes an unforced error. She played a match to three sets only once during the regular season.

Podvorchani wears her love of tennis on her sleeve. Everything about the way she plays displays her sheer joy.

“I like winning and I like competing,” she said.

She did plenty of that, reaching the third round of the NJSIAA Singles Tournament. As a sophomore, there is a lot more winning in Podvorchani’s future. Winning has been the norm for Marlboro’s girls, and they owned A North again because of their balance. They went trough the A North schedule undefeated and finished the season with an overall record of 14-3. They made it to the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group IV quarterfinals.

Freehold Township High School joined the Shore’s top programs this fall, going 12-3. The Patriots lost only to Marlboro twice in A North play and to Montgomery High School in the state quarterfinals.

Freehold High School remained one of the Shore’s best teams, going 11-6 and reaching the quarterfinals of the Central Jersey Group III tournament.

The News Transcript’s 2015 All- FRHSD Team has Podvorchani, Marlboro’s Celine Lee and Raquel Rosen and Freehold’s Anjali Prabhat and Alexis Yu at singles.

The doubles teams are Shelby Rush and Grace Zhang from Marlboro and Freehold Township’s Jillian Heun and Marisa Wu.

Marlboro’s Kenningham, Dinh lead All-District volleyball team

The girls volleyball season again centered around Marlboro High School. Head coach Margie McNamara’s Mustangs are firmly entrenched as one of the best programs in the Shore, and they maintained that status in 2015 thanks to Grace Kenningham and Teresa Dinh.

Marlboro went 16-7, finishing second to Wall High School in the Shore Conference A North Division and reaching the quarterfinals of the Shore Conference Tournament. The Mustangs advanced to the second round of the state tournament.

Kenningham was the dominant player in the Freehold Regional High School District (FRHSD) again. The senior carried the Mustangs to their fine season — both by her spirited play and leadership. She was a force at the net and had 276 kills this year (750 over her three-year career) and came up with 67 digs. She also won 79 service points.

Dinh, also a senior, broke the Marlboro school record for career assists by surpassing 1,000 with 367 this fall. McNamara retired at the end of the season having coached the Mustangs’ girls the last 10 years. She took the program to unimaginable heights, including multiple division titles and a Shore Conference Tournament championship in 2011 when they broke Southern Regional High School’s stranglehold on the tournament. Marlboro was back in the Shore Conference Tournament finals in 2012 and 2014, when they lost a great three-set match with St. John Vianney High School.

During her tenure, McNamara coached all-state standouts Jet Manzi, Haley Unger and Kenningham.

Colts Neck High School and Freehold High School were also postseason tournament participants.

Kenningham and Dinh head the News Transcript’s 2015 All-FRHSD Girls Volleyball Team. Completing the squad are Colts Neck’s Shannon Daly and Victoria Bruno, Freehold’s Sara Weiss and Marlboro’s Jessica Iacobellis.


Spectra by Comcast Spectacor, which provides venue management, food services and hospitality and ticketing and fan engagement to Mercer County’s Sun National Bank Center, announced a partnership with River Horse Brewing Co. to sell their local craft beer at the Sun National Bank Center.

The newly branded pub area, which is located near section 109 on the Sun National Bank Center concourse, debuted Dec. 8 at the Premier Boxing Champions event and featured River Horse’s IPA, Special Ale and Tripel Horse craft beers.

Lancers await challenges as defending Non-Public A champs



The St. John Vianney High School girls basketball team, armed with a full slate of returning players, will embark on the new season with high expectations.

All of the Lancers who carried St. John Vianney to the NJSIAA Non-Public A title last season will be back in action. So a year after surging to the Tournament of Champions with zero seniors on the varsity roster, the Lancers are stocked with experienced, talented players. It does not come as a surprise, then, that St. John Vianney is ranked by as the No. 1 team in New Jersey.

Still, a merciless schedule awaits the Lancers. As in past seasons, the Lancers have penciled in as many powerhouses as they could fit in the regular-season calendar, strengthening a schedule that already includes games against the Shore Conference’s fiercely competitive A Central Division. The Lancers are well aware that the path to defending their state championship will be a rough one.

“It’s exciting in one aspect to have the attention and everybody looking at us, but we have to understand that we are going to get everybody’s best when we step out on the court. We are going to go through a full season of getting everybody’s best,” head coach Dawn Karpell said.

With that understanding, the Lancers believe they are up to the task. The Lancers will go to battle with a star-studded senior class that includes point guard Kelly Campbell, who is entering her fourth year as a starter. The DePaul University commit averaged 14.7 points last season.

Campbell will be joined in the backcourt by fellow seniors Kellie Crouch, Tina Lebron and Vanessa Pinho. Senior forwards Gigi Caponegro, Zoe Pero and Megan Furch, along with junior Kim Evans, will be part of a formidable frontcourt. The 6-foot- 3 Evans was second on the team in scoring a year ago.

The Lancers will benefit from a strong junior class that consists of Evans, Courtney Dobrzynski, Julia Ramos, Riley Kehoe and Abby Anderko. Freshman Sarah Karpell and sophomores Madison Doring and Sarah Furch will also contribute to a deep roster for the 2015-16 season.

“I’m excited that we not only have a lot of seniors, but juniors. We have a lot of experience back — many girls who have been through our program for two and three years,” Karpell said.

The number of veterans allows the ninth-year head coach to push the Lancers further than she did last season, focusing on more than just the fundamentals.

“I can get on them for the little things,” Karpell said. “We know that we are going to be heavy favorites on most nights. We want to make sure that we take advantage of mismatches.”

St. John Vianney will be thrown right into the fire. The quest for another state crown begins on the road Dec. 19 in a showcase against Matawan Regional High School. The opener will be followed by a divisional game at home vs. Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School Dec. 21. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

The Lancers will then travel to Orlando, Florida, to face elite teams from around the country at the KSA Holiday Basketball Tournament after Christmas.

From the gym at St. John Vianney to Walt Disney World’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, the Lancers do not expect any breathing room to start the new season. Their January schedule includes Christ the King High School, Eastside High School (Paterson), Gill St. Bernard’s School and Manasquan High School — one of the team’s strongest A Central opponents. The first matchup of the season between St. John Vianney and Manasquan will come Jan. 8.

“We’re going to get challenged early on. With such a veteran group, we set things up to challenge ourselves,” Karpell said. “We’re going to play some of the top-tier teams in the state when we get back from Orlando.”

The Lancers drew up their daunting schedule in order to be 100 percent ready for the postseason. After all, St. John Vianney has a big goal in mind: back-to-back state championships.

Changes being considered by NJSIAA for non-public schools


High school football in New Jersey may change dramatically in 2016 as a result of the NJSIAA’s vote to create a separate conference for non-public high schools.

NJSIAA members voted, 215-128, Dec. 7, with two members abstaining, to make the change. However, there is a possibility that the decision could be overturned by state Education Commissioner David C. Hespe.

In addition, the NJSIAA voted, 216- 212, to create two non-public districts and one non-public region for wrestling.

“If the commissioner believes this is not in the best interests of the schools, he can rule against it,” Red Bank Catholic (RBC) High School Athletic Director Joe Montano said.

While such a decision is not likely before Jan. 1, Montano noted that there is a precedent.

In 2009, a rule that would have public and non-public schools competing in separate divisions at the district and region tournaments was rejected by Lucille Davy, the education commissioner at the time.

For his part, Montano, who is also the secretary for the Shore Conference, said he was disappointed by the NJSIAA vote. He added that the votes were sparked by a push from several dominant Big North Conference schools that have long done well in both sports. “At RBC, we take great pride in being a member of the Shore Conference, and we work hard to follow all of the rules,” Montano said. “Unfortunately, there are a lot of issues with the rules throughout the state for public and non-public schools.”

Should Hespe accept the vote, Montano said RBC would first consult with the diocese and then possibly other schools to determine a course of action, if any.

“What’s next?” he asked. “Another sport? Total separation? How far can this go? I don’t know what this means for the NJSIAA. That is a private governing body, and schools are voluntary members. Any school can leave if it wishes. St. Benedict’s left to play as an independent and play schools from out-of-state. I respect what they did.”

When asked if RBC could leave the NJSIAA, Montano said, “First, we’ll wait for the commissioner to make a decision. Then we’ll look at what our options are and make a decision.”

The RBC athletic director added that until a decision is final, it will be difficult for schools to finalize overall athletic schedules as football dates will have a ripple effect for field usage and transportation.

“This is not just about football and wrestling; it affects every sport,” he said. “Still, no matter what happens, the teachers, staff and coaches here at Red Bank Catholic are going to make sure it’s a great situation for our kids.”

Field hockey season belonged to district’s Patriots, Colonials

There is something in November that brings out the best in the Freehold Township High School field hockey team: the state playoffs.

For the second consecutive year and fourth in the last five, the Patriots captured the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV championship.

This year, they did it the hard way on the road as a lower seed.

As the No. 4 seed in their section, the Patriots had to play at top-seeded Rancocas Valley Regional High School in the semifinals.

Marie Pietracatella and Renata Baute scored first-half goals, and Freehold Township held on from there to beat Rancocas Valley, 2-0.

The sectional finals were played at No. 3-seed Jackson Memorial High School. The game went into overtime and was won on Jessica Pietracatella’s goal in the extra session, 2-1.

Freehold Township needed a goal by Jessica Applegate in the final eight minutes to tie the game at 1-1 and force the overtime.

For Jessica Pietracatella, it was the second state sectional game-winning goal of her career.

She scored the only goal of the game in 2014 when the Patriots beat Cherokee High School, 1-0, for the Central Jersey Group IV crown.

Freehold Township had gained momentum heading into the Central Jersey Group IV tournament, reaching the Shore Conference Tournament semifinals by knocking off previously undefeated Southern Regional High School, 1-0, on Applegate’s goal.

The Patriots finished the season with a 14-6-1 overall record, saving their best for the tournaments.

It was another championship season for Freehold High School, which held onto its A North Division crown.

Freehold marched through the regular season unbeaten.

The Colonials’ season came to a heartbreaking conclusion in the North Jersey II Group III finals at home. They fell to Summit High School in a shootout, ending the season at 13-2-2.

The positions of both the Patriots and the Colonials as two of the best programs in the state are the reason they dominate the News Transcript’s 2015 All-Freehold Regional High School District Field Hockey Team.

The forwards are Jessica Pianko, Tori Tiefenthaler and Clare Luttrell of Freehold; Jessica Pietracatella, Sara O’Malley, Madison Hoskins and Raegan Dunn of Freehold Township; and Kristi Schandall of Colts Neck High School.

The defenders are Marie Pietracatella and Kellie Hennessy of Freehold Township, Katelyn Pianko of Freehold and Julia Earley of Howell.

The goalies are Freehold’s Belly Reynoso and Colts Neck’s Gianna Mannino.

The Shore Conference coaches picked Marie Pietracatella as the A North Player of the Year.

Rebels expect to be tested defending A North mat title

Staff Writer

 Howell High School’s Kyle Slendorn, top, who defeated Colts Neck High School’s Joey King for the NJSIAA District 21 championship last year, is one of four wrestlers returning to the Rebels’ lineup who qualified for the state championships in Atlantic City. Howell is looking to win its 11th consecutive Shore Conference A North Division title this winter.  SCOTT FRIEDMAN Howell High School’s Kyle Slendorn, top, who defeated Colts Neck High School’s Joey King for the NJSIAA District 21 championship last year, is one of four wrestlers returning to the Rebels’ lineup who qualified for the state championships in Atlantic City. Howell is looking to win its 11th consecutive Shore Conference A North Division title this winter. SCOTT FRIEDMAN HOWELL

There aren’t many teams that can lose four NJSIAA District medal winners and still be a serious championship contender.

However, that’s where the Howell High School wrestling program is. It’s next man up at the school, and the holes get filled for the Rebels, who head into the 2015-16 season among the contenders for Shore Conference Tournament and state sectional championships.

Last year, Howell had an undefeated regular season, finished 26-2 overall and ranked ninth in the state. The Rebels lost in the Shore Conference Tournament semifinals to Jackson Memorial High School and the NJSIAA South Jersey, Group V championship by just three points, 28-25, to eventual state champion Brick Memorial High School.

It would seem hard to duplicate that success, but this team has the potential to do that and more.

While head coach John Gagliano’s Rebels did lose those four District 21 medal winners, they have six returning.

Kyle Slendorn, the district champion at 106 pounds, is wrestling at 120 this winter, and Anthony Gagliano, who finished third in the district at 132, will wrestle at 138 as part of a deep, experienced lineup.

Slendorn had a marvelous freshman season, going 37-3 and qualifying for the states championships in Atlantic City, as did Gagliano, a senior, who went 33-8.

Kris Lindemann (145), who has battled injuries the last two years, has won a district title in the past. He was 25-10 last year and took third in District 21.

Lindemann and Gagliano, who have 86 and 80 career wins, respectively, should surpass the 100-win mark during the season.

Nick Ciaccia (132) and Eric Keosseian (220) were district runners-up. Ciaccia, a senior, was 24-9, and Keosseian, a junior, was 29-13.

Keosseian, Slendorn, Gagliano and Lindemann made it to Atlantic City last year.

The sixth returning district medal winner is junior Peter Dee (126), who took third in the district, and was 27-9.

Howell is loaded from 120 to 145 with Slendorn, Dee or Dan Esposito (a sophomore who went 14-4 last year), Gagliano and Lindemann. Teams will be hard-pressed to get through this juggernaut.

There is little question where the heart of the lineup is.

The Rebels’ most pressing concern is up top, where they lost three medal winners. Keosseian, at least, can be a stopper up top.

“I think our biggest concern this season is the lack of experience in our upper weights,” said John Gagaliano, who is in his 19th year coaching his alma mater and has a career win-loss record of 355-69. “We have kids up top that are working extremely hard and will keep improving as the year goes on.

“We have a few incoming freshmen that have a lot of experience and some upperclassmen that worked hard this past offseason and are ready to go. They are a hard-working group.”

Among the newcomers are sophomores Jesse Liptzin and Zach McConville at 103, freshman Darby Diedrich and sophomore Eric Megaroi at 113, sophomore Eli Orford at 120, junior Jon Friedman at 132, senior Cameron Ayesh at 138, junior Nick Sulkowski at 145, senior jack Kirk at 170, senior Zack Barnes at 182, senior Ryan Marter at 195 and junior Jacob Nash at heavyweight.

While Howell is among the preseason favorites for the Shore Conference Tournament and NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group V championships, the first objective is the Shore Conference A North Division. Howell has won the division the last 10 years and is taking nothing for granted as it seeks to begin a second decade of domination.

“I think A North will be extremely competitive this year with [Christian Brothers Academy (CBA)] returning the most returning varsity letter-winners,” the coach said.

“I also think both Middletown [North and South], Manalapan, both Freehold [and Freehold Township] and Marlboro return a lot and are much improved from last year.”

Howell opens its campaign Dec. 19 in a tournament at Paulsboro High School that the Rebels won last year.

The dual-meet season begins Dec. 21 at Freehold High School.

The Rebels will go to Brick Memorial for another tournament Dec. 28.

When 2016 begins, the dual-meet season takes off.

The key match of the A North season figures to be Jan. 7 when Howell hosts CBA.

On Jan. 12-13, Howell has back-toback matches with Freehold Township High School (home) and Manalapan High School (away).


Manalapan head coach Scott Pressman believes his Braves are going to make things interesting.

“We are a young, unproven group with a lot of talent,” Pressman said. “However, there is a ton of talent on the roster. This group had a great offseason.”

Although they also lost a lot to graduation — led by state place-winner Jake Kaminsky — the Braves have a balanced lineup that, while young, does have some experience.

Twenty-match winners Ronny Ghiada (152) and Joe Marano (195) are the key returnees. Marano is a senior and Ghiada is a junior.

Sophomore A.J. Sorotino (113) and junior Jake Staklinski (182) won 16 and 18 matches, respectively, a year ago.

Junior Mike Goebel (126), sophomore Anthony Coposky (132), junior Matt Mustillo (138), junior Nick Coposky (145), senior Joe Thompson (160) and junior Justin Obermeyer (170) were all starters last year and recorded double-digit win totals.

Transfer Masimo Miello is expected to make an impact at 126.

Pressman likes the team’s depth and balance this year.

“At many weights, we have multiple guys that can win varsity matches,” said Pressman, who added he expects his team to improve over the course of the season and be dangerous by later stages of the dualmeet campaign.

Manalapan will start its season off in the tournament at Nottingham High School. The Braves face an early season test Dec. 22 when they wrestle at CBA.

On Dec. 28, they will be at the Middletown South Tournament.


Matt Shepherd’s Freehold wrestling team took a major hit to graduation. The Colonials lost 112 wins from their five graduated seniors, including District 21 champion Colin Monahan (113). That has the team in rebuilding mode.

“With only have two seniors in the program; we will have an extremely young lineup,” Shepherd said. “The young guys do have some varsity experience, and we put in a good offseason of work. We are looking to improve throughout the lineup.”

Junior Dom Theodosatos (138), junior Liam Tibbett (170) and junior John Downey (182) are the biggest returning winners with 17, 17 and 16 victories, respectively, last year.

Junior Sean Neely and freshman Jake Mostowsky at 120; junior Noah Weiss and freshman Tony Dushku at 126; junior Lucas Staples, sophomore Bobby Meyers amd junior Brendan Connelly at 132; Billy Theodosatos at 145; junior Joe Cavaliere at 152; juniors Andres Cardenas and Jerry Torres at 160; junior Kevin Hranj and Dan Giovanazzo at 195; junior Reid Oslin at 220; and junior Javier Cuatlatl at heavyweight complete the starting lineup. All saw varsity action last year.

Freehold is in the Princeton Classic at Princeton High School Dec. 19. The Colonials will also compete in the Holmdel High School Tournament Dec. 29.


Colts Neck High School, which competes in the B North Division, was a state tournament qualifier last year, and head coach Brett Jankos thinks his club is ready to take the next step and be a top-10 team in the Shore area this year.

The Cougars return a lot of experience from last year’s 15-9 team, led by Joey King (113), a District 21 and Region 6 runnerup at 106. King was one of the outstanding impact freshman last winter, going 36-4 and qualifying for Atlantic City.

The Cougars return a number of wrestlers with outstanding win-loss records in sophomore Dyon Womack (120), 20-11; sophomore Ben Sammarco (132), 12-6; junior Steven Kramer (138), 19-11; sophomore Liam Hoagland (152), 25-9; senior Pat McAteer (195), 24-6; and junior Steven Barsky (220), 19-7. Junior Dominick Esposito (126) is back after going 20-12 in 2014.

Sophomore Jerry Lleshi (106), junior Nick Ciela (145), junior Garrett Thesing (160), sophomores AJ Royle and Anthony Galason (170), senior Dylan Valente (182), junior Spencer Susino (195), sophomore T.J. DiMario (220) and senior Joe Machu (heavyweight) complete the lineup. All saw action on the mat last season.

This is a team, while still young, that has a lot of experience and will be very dangerous.

The Cougars go to the tournament at Brick Memorial Dec. 19 to kick off their season.

Their big division matches are Ocean Township High School at home Jan. 2 and Long Branch High School at home, Jan. 5.


Due to popular demand, the Mansfield University baseball program will host an expanded nine sessions of its Christmas Baseball Clinics this year, including a Mini Camp option for those seeking a more intensified experience.

A long-time stocking stuffer tradition, the seven sessions are broken down into age groups of 5-6, 7-8, 9-11, 12-14 and 15-18, and they are offered Dec. 27 and 28 and Jan. 2.

Costs for the clinics range from $30 to $80 per player. Registration is available by calling Harry Hillson at 570-404-2632. Call for team rates.

You may also register on the Mansfield baseball webpage at and click on the baseball page and then on the Camp and Clinic page.

Top Notch Training Academy is holding a Winter Team Training Series. Contact to schedule a time and date for team training this winter at 866-315-5313 or

Top Notch Sports also offers goalkeeper training at its new training center at 111 Route 35 in Aberdeen. Training is offered on a year-round basis.

Training employs Brazilian methods that are renowned worldwide. Learn the correct goalkeeping techniques used by the professional goalkeepers. Classes held from beginner to collegiate player level.

Items for the Sport Shorts column may be sent to Please send items at least two weeks prior to a registration deadline or tryout date.