Reviewing another great spring at OCHS

By TOM WILLIAMS

The Ocean City High School sports teams compiled quite a record again during 2019.

For example, Lacrosse has become a prominent sport at OCHS because of the talents of two coaches and the dedication of dozens of athletes. The boys lacrosse team, coached by Joe LaTorre (102-41 in seven seasons) finished 19-3 in 2019, the best record in school history. They were undefeated American Conference champions, winning a conference title for the fourth time in five seasons, and reached the South Jersey semifinals before losing a tough, 7-6 decision to Shawnee. Bill Kroeger was named second team, all-state by NJ.com and the Raiders were ranked No. 15 in the state. Kroeger, Christian Kuhn, Trent Laveson, Marty Cattie, Anthony Inserra, Kyle Saul and goalie Charlie Dahl all graduated on Monday but LaTorre has a lot of talent returning.

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Bill Kroeger won 301 of 392 face-offs this season

Boys Lacrosse Leaders

Goals

  1. Noam Levy-Smith 49
  2. Christian Kuhn 46
  3. Trent Laveson 44
  4. Jake Schneider 32
  5. Marty Cattie 28

Assists

  1. Anthony Inserra 48
  2. Jake Schneider 38
  3. Marty Cattie 24
  4. Christian Kuhn 24
  5. Trent Laveson 20

Groundballs

  1. Bill Kroeger 156
  2. Brady Rauner 78
  3. Ted Grimley 56
  4. Kyle Saul 43
  5. Jake Inserra 34

 

Girls lacrosse, coached by Alyssa Morrison (110-29 in seven seasons) was also 19-3 this year, the most wins in school history and the second best won-lost record. Like the boys, they were undefeated American Conference champions, winning a third straight conference title. The Raiders reached the South Jersey final for the first time and were ranked No. 11 overall in the state. Danielle Donoghue, one of the finest lacrosse players in OCHS history, and Emily DiMarino, Anna Devlin and Ali Hendricks were among the seniors who graduated on Monday. But, like LaTorre, Morrison returns some talented players.

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Danielle Donoghue led OCHS in goals and assists

Girls Lacrosse Leaders

Goals

  1. Danielle Donoghue 66
  2. Emily DiMarino 58
  3. Anna Devlin 45
  4. Ashley Devlin 39
  5. Ali Hendricks 23

Assists

  1. Danielle Donoghue 55
  2. Anna Devlin 26
  3. Ashley Devlin 24
  4. Emily DiMarino 16
  5. Ali Hendricks 13

Groundballs

  1. Ashley Devlin 47
  2. Anna Devlin 43
  3. Danielle Donoghue 38
  4. Emily DiMarino 34
  5. Alexis Smallwood 26

 

The baseball team (19-5), coached by Andrew Bristol (35-10 in two seasons) had another great spring. The Raiders had won 14 straight and entered the last full week of May with a chance to win a share of the CAL’s National Conference title and advance in the NJSIAA Group 3 Tournament. But a loss to Absegami cost them the conference championship and Toms River East edged them, 3-2, in 10 innings to end their Group 3 chances. Brandon Lashley was All-South Jersey and the starting pitcher in the Carpenter Cup. Junior Jaden Millstein was also chosen to play in the Carpenter Cup and A.J. Campbell joined Lashley on the All-South Jersey team. M.J. Ginn, Brandyn Pokrass, Shane Ferry and Tom Breazeale graduated Monday along with Lashley and Campbell – a talented group. But Bristol returns a deep pitching staff and plenty of talent next year.

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Brandon Lashley pitched three shutout innings to start the Carpenter Cup

Baseball Leaders

Batting Average

  1. Brandon Lashley, .451
  2. Jaden Millstein, .420
  3. M.J. Ginn, .396
  4. A.J. Campbell, .393
  5. Brandyn Pokrass, .365

Runs Produced

  1. A.J. Campbell, 51
  2. Brandon Lashley, 46
  3. Jaden Millstein, 37
  4. Tom Breazeale, 34
  5. Brandyn Pokrass, 30

Earned Run Average

  1. Brandon Lashley, 0.74
  2. Tom Finnegan, 0.82
  3. Gannon Brady, 1.24

Strikeouts Per 7 Innings

  1. Brandon Lashley, 9.21
  2. Gannon Brady, 7.00
  3. Tom Finnegan, 7.00

 

John Bruno (109-276 in 20 seasons) has been coaching at OCHS for 30 years, 20 of them as softball coach. To give you an idea how long ago he began, Bryce Harper, Carson Wentz and Kawhi Leonard had not been born yet when he started and Trish Henry was a senior in high school. This was Bruno’s last softball season, though he will continue as boys basketball coach. And it was his best. The Raiders were 16-6 and won two NJSIAA Group 3 games, his first two post-season wins. In fact, no Ocean City softball team had won 16 games in 30 years under five different coaches. The new OCHS head coach will have to replace Alex Vitola, Jackie Nesi, Savanna Holt, Ashley Vitiello and Lindsay Konick but some key young players return. And Bruno exits as a winner.

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Alex Vitola led OCHS hitters

 

Softball Leaders

Batting Average

  1. Alex Vitola, .405
  2. Hailey Neville, .383
  3. Jackie Nesi, .378
  4. Christina Barbella, .375
  5. Abby Craige, .370

Runs Produced

  1. Christina Barbella, 42
  2. Alex Vitola, 29
  3. Abby Craige, 28
  4. Lindsay Konick, 28
  5. Jackie Nesi, 24

Earned Run Average

  1. Hailey Neville, 2.28
  2. Ashley Vitiello, 4.08

Strikeouts Per 7 Innings

  1. Ashley Vitiello, 6.59
  2. Hailey Neville, 5.25

 

The Ocean City golf team (13-5) had another good season, the sixth straight winning season under co-coaches Ed Ritti and Bryan Chojnacki (73-29 in six years). The Raiders won the Cape May County championship a third straight year and senior Kasey Clifford had the team’s low average. She shot a 76 in the CAL Tournament, the low score for a boy or girl, while winning the girls championship. Clifford graduated Monday, along with Evan Holmes and T.J. Stanton, but Ritti and Chojnacki have always been able to fill the gaps left by graduation.

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Kasey Clifford had the low score in the Cape-Atlantic League Tournament

Golf Averages (nine holes)

  1. Kasey Clifford 41.33
  2. Luke Neff 43.85
  3. Evan Holmes 44.56
  4. T.J. Stanton 44.83
  5. Josh Barnes 45.45

 

The boys track team (7-2) won the Cape May County championship and finished fourth in the South Jersey Group 3 Meet. Junior javelin thrower Lane Owens, in his first track season, earned a medal in the NJSIAA Meet of Champions. Matt Purdue (62-37-2 in 12 seasons) had his best team finish in the South Jersey meet. Among the key athletes who graduated Monday are Gavyn Fox, a South Jersey champion in the 1600 meters; record setting hurdler Kevin King; and the versatile Hunter Paone. But most of the lineup will return next spring.

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Lane Owens was a medal winner in the NJSIAA Meet of Champions

Boys Track-Best of 2019

100 – Kevin King, 11.0

200 – Lou Conte, 23.3

400 – Lou Conte, 51.9

800 – Luke Kramer, 1:59.53

1600 – Luke Kramer, 4:25.97

3200 – Owen Ritti, 9:50.33

110H – Kevin King, 14.32

400H – Hunter Paone, 1:00.05

HJ – Jaden Tocci-Rogers, 6-2

LJ – Kevin King, 20-5.5

TJ – Kevin King, 42-5

PV – Aidan Pearce, 11-6

Discus – Mike Rhodes, 132-4

Javelin – Lane Owens, 187-6

Shot – Mike Rhodes, 45-4.25

 

The girls track team (6-2) won the Cape May County championship and finished third in the South Jersey Group 3 Meet where junior Casey McLees won the 3200 meters. Tim Cook (11-4 in two seasons) watched Sophia Gresham, Mackenzie Matura, Tori Rolls and Amanda Allen graduate on Monday but he is expecting big things next year.

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Casey McLees was a South Jersey champion

Girls Track-Best of 2019

100 – Sophia Gresham, 12.4

200 – Sophia Gresham, 26.52

400 – Erin Hanlon, 58.2

800 – Casey McLees, 2:27.29

1600 – Casey McLees, 5:16.08

3200 – Casey McLees, 11:39.84

100H – Mackenzie Matura, 16.08

400H – Mackenzie Matura, 1:09.6

HJ – Emma Sacco, 5-2

LJ – Sophia Gresham, 17-9.5

TJ – Tori Rolls, 34-11.5

PV – Kamryn Chisholm, 8-6

Discus – Joni Dice, 92-3

Javelin – Amanda Allen, 101-7

Shot – Daesha Beachaump, 32-8

 

The boys tennis team struggled a bit through its 6-11 season. Coach Tim Kelley (21-16 in two seasons) loses his No. 2 singles player – Luke Bowman – to graduation along with doubles players Richard Flemming and Sean Roop.

Boys Tennis Records

Singles

1 – Michael Jacobsen    3-14

2 – Luke Bowman        2-14

3 – Joe Kelly                4-12

Doubles

1 – Richard Flemming-John Lenoir        9-7

2 – Kraig Redmond-Sean Roop             3-4

 

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In crew, the OCHS girls varsity eight (above) was second in the prestigious Philadelphia Scholastic City Championships and was fourth among 32 entries in the Stotesbury Cup Regatta. They competed in the National Championships in Ohio, finished third in a consolation final. In the boat were Claudia Scherbin, Eve Chiarello, Jenevieva Mulhall, Alexa Japzon, Margaret Kane, Avery Panico, Kira Tracy, Samantha Perro and coxswain Lucy Greene. The girls junior eight won at Stotesbury and at the Nationals. That boat included Ryleigh Mack, Alexis O’Keefe, Vanessa Karayiannis, Michaela Carroll, Juliana Giardina, Maggie Clunn, Carly Dougherty, Alexia Schmidt and coxswain Mackenzie Thurlow.

It was another great spring for Ocean City High School’s sports teams and, although many of the top athletes graduated Monday, a lot of versatile performers will be back again in 2020.

 

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