A state title highlights a great 17 hours for OCHS sports

By TOM WILLIAMS

It was a memorable 17 hours for Ocean City High School sports.

The football team – The Road Raiders – got things started with another thriller last night in the NJSIAA Group 4 playoffs, defeating Long Branch, 21-20.

Then, this morning, the remarkable girls OCHS soccer team shut out Ramapo, 3-0, at Kean University to win the first state championship in that program’s history.

At around the same time this morning in Holmdel, the two Ocean City cross country teams ran in the NJSIAA state Group 3 meet. The boys finished fourth among the best in New Jersey and the girls were fifth.

The girls soccer team (24-1-1) took an early lead on the fourth goal of the season by senior Hannah Keane.

“When that first goal went in,” said Coach Kelly Halliday, “I knew today was our day. We had a fantastic last couple days of practice and I’m happy we came out like we usually do.”

Sophomore Summer Reimet added another first half goal and a second one in the second half to seal the victory. Reimet finished the season with 35 goals, tied with junior Faith Slimmer for the team lead and a new OCHS record. Slimmer registered her 27th assist of the season in the game, also a school record.

“Summer put in 2 goals like it was any other day,” Halliday said. “Our girls deserve to be the best. They told me they were not going to lose this game. This was the best day ever.”

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Halliday, second from the right, celebrates with (from left) assistant coaches Ashley Schmid, Jackie Adams and Lisa Cuneo

But these Raiders have done more than just score goals. With senior Abbey Fenton in the goal, they have kept opposing teams off the scoreboard at an impressive rate. In their six NJSIAA Tournament games they outscored the other team, 24-0. Fenton finished the season with 19 shutouts, a school record, and 43 for her career, another school record.

The football team (8-2) has played two playoff games and both ended the same way – with a fumble. This time Long Branch was driving toward a possible winning score when sophomore quarterback Christian Rodriguez, filling in for the injured starter, ran into a gaggle of tacklers and lost the ball. Sophomore Jacob Wilson, who had made a touchdown-saving tackle against Mainland a week ago, covered the loose ball. All the Raiders had to do was take a knee and they were headed for the South Jersey championship game for the first time since 2000. It will be at Shawnee (8-2) next Friday night.

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Long Branch scored first on a 36 yard run by senior Jermaine Corbett, a champion sprinter who showed why on that play. Ocean City bounced back with an eight-yard run by Joe Repetti and then took the lead with a Repetti-to-Jake Schneider TD pass from 16 yards. It was Repetti’s 19 TD pass of the season, tying the school record. Ten of them have been to Schneider.

But junior Jayon Farrar brought the ensuing kickoff back 84 yards to tie the game, 14–14. Later, near the end of the half, Corbett got open inside the five, quarterback Kyle Davidson hit him and Corbett squeezed into the end zone for a 20-14 lead. The extra point kick, however, was blocked by Brian Beckmann. It seemed like a nice play at the time – it would later become crucial.

Ocean City controlled the ball throughout most of the third quarter, scoring on Repetti’s 11 yard run to complete a drive that consumed six minutes and 31 seconds. Then Brendan McGonigle broke the tie by kicking his third extra point of the night and 33rd of the season.

The Raiders made some clutch defensive plays in the second half, including Wilson’s recovery and both a sack and a pass batted down by Will Drain.

In the cross country state championships, senior Luke Kramer was the first Ocean City boy to finish, coming home 17th. Sophomore Owen Ritti was 29th, senior Max Kelly 32nd, senior Anthony Conte 41st and junior Brendan Schlatter 50th among the 152 runners. Ocean City totaled 155 points to finish fourth behind Menham (48), West Windsor-Plainsboro North (69) and Colts Neck (133).

In the girls meet, junior Alexa Palmieri was 14th and senior Casey McLees 15th. Senior Becca Millar came across 46th, junior Erin Hanlon was 61st and junior Isabella Padula 70th out of 144 runners. The Raiders totaled 192 points to trail Middletown South (60), Colts Neck (96), Menham (96) and Summit (157).

The two OCHS cross country teams both won South Jersey titles last week. It marked the second straight for the boys and the third for the girls.

 

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