By TOM WILLIAMS
The calendar year is about to end and it was a great 12 months for Ocean City High School sports. For a little more than a week now, lets take a break from the Teams of the Decade to recognize some top performances of the year.
Later this week the OCHS Athletes of the Year and Sportsperson of the Year will be revealed. But today lets salute the two teams of the year – one boys team and one girls team.
The year started off with a boys basketball team that won its conference and notched its first win in the eight-team Cape-Atlantic League Tournament; a girls basketball team that won the CAL Tournament and reached the South Jersey final; and two swim teams that combined for 20 meet victories, including a total of three in the NJSIAA Tournament.
In the spring, the baseball team won 19 games, including 14 straight, and competed for the conference championship right up to the final game; the softball team won 16 games, the most in 30 years, including two in the NJSIAA Tournament; both lacrosse teams won CAL championships and advanced to the third round of the state tournament; both track teams and the golf team won county championships; and the girls crew team boasted solid performances at the Nationals by its Varsity 8 and Junior 8 boats.
Then there was the fall.
The field hockey team won another conference title and reached the South Jersey final; the girls cross country team won third straight crowns in both South Jersey and the CAL; the boys soccer team rallied from a slow start to reach the South Jersey final; the girls tennis team won 12 straight and finished a close second in the CAL; and the football team had a record-setting year that saw them reach the South Jersey final and finish a close second in its West Jersey Football League division.
That leaves two fall teams – and they are the Raider Teams of the Year.
Kelly Halliday’s girls soccer team was 24-1-1, won the state title along with South Jersey and CAL championships. They lost to Rancocas Valley in the fourth game of the season, then won 15 straight before RV tied them in the Coaches Tournament semifinal and won the shootout tie-breaker. Halliday was the state Coach of the Year, Faith Slimmer and Summer Reimet set new school goal records, Slimmer also set a new assist record and Abbey Fenton erased almost all of the goalkeeping records.
Delaney Lappin, Carly Reighard, Hope Slimmer, Paige Panico, Suzy Dietrich, Hannah Keane, Katie Mazzitelli, Kelsey White, Kamryn Chisholm, Aimee Altieri, Emily Benson, Kasey McDonnell – it was a solid team that did more than any girls soccer team in school history and deserves to be recognized as the 2019 Team of the Year.
Matt Purdue’s boys cross country team was undefeated in nine regular season meets, winning seven by shutouts. These Raiders finished first in the Cherokee Challenge, the Osprey Invitational, the Disney Classic (with an assist getting there from Delta Airlines), the Cape May County Meet, CAL Meet and South Jersey Group 3 Meet.
In the South Jersey Meet, seven Ocean City runners finished among the top 10. Luke Kramer was third, followed, in order, by Owen Ritti, Brendan Schlatter, Max Kelly, Anthony Conte and Mike Farley, who was eighth. Then Cameron DiTroia finished 10th to wrap up the dominant performance.
Girls soccer and boys cross country – the Ocean City High School Teams of the Year for 2019 – a year that was filled with successful Raider teams.