By TOM WILLIAMS
The high school sports post-season in underway in New Jersey and Ocean City High School is right in the middle of it.
This afternoon, OCHS field hockey (10-2) dominated Lower Cape May, 9-0, in an NJSIAA SouthEast A game. The Raiders are the #1 seed and will meet #5 Mainland on Thursday at Carey Stadium in the tournament semifinals. The Mustangs (7-4) knocked off #4 Millville, 3-2, today. OCHS defeated Mainland twice this year, 3-2 and 11-1. In the other half of the bracket are Hammonton (5-1-1) and Egg Harbor Township. Senior Tara McNally, a Hofstra recruit, scored three times for Ocean City today, giving her 25 goals and 12 assists on the season, both best on the team.
Bill Shallcross streamed the Ocean City-Lower Cape May game live today (you can watch it HERE) and he hopes to stream Thursday’s game with Mainland, as well.
The boys soccer team (9-2-1) lost to Northern Burlington today, 3-0, at Carey Stadium in Group 3 SouthWest D to end their season. Aaron Bogushefsky’s Raiders started post-season Saturday with a 3-0 win over Burlington Township. Senior Reed Lindsay, junior Ori Levy-Smith and sophomore Paul Tjoumakaris all scored and senior Nick Chiccarine had two assists.
OCHS girls soccer team (8-0-1) starts tomorrow (Wednesday) against Vineland (3-5) at Carey Stadium in the SouthEast B Tournament. (You’re right, these are confusing tournament titles.) The Raiders, ranked No. 3 in the entire state by NJ.com, somehow ended up as the #2 seed in this competition behind Millville (9-1). The winner tomorrow will play either Mainland (9-1) or Hammonton (5-4) in the semi-finals. Ocean City last played over a week ago when they beat Egg Harbor Township, 6-0. Senior Faith Slimmer, a Rutgers recruit, scored three times and junior Summer Reimet added two goals. Junior Hope Slimmer had two assists. Faith Slimmer enters tomorrow’s game with 88 career goals 64 career assists, both OCHS records.
The OCHS cross country teams finished on Saturday. The boys (6-0), after a second straight undefeated dual meet season, finished second to Highland in the NJSIAA South Jersey Group 3 Meet. Junior Owen Ritti was the first Raider to finish, coming home fifth overall. Senior Tyler Greene was seventh, senior Brendan Schlatter 10th, sophomore Nick Scarangelli 21st and senior Nicholas Ferzetti 23rd.
The Ocean City girls (5-1), who had won three straight South Jersey titles, also finished second, behind Mainland, which handed them their only dual meet loss. Senior Alexa Palmieri led OCHS by finishing sixth. Senior Erin Hanlon was 11th, freshman Frankie Ritzel was 16th, senior Isabella Padula was 18th and senior Vanessa Karayiannis was 21st.
But the football team, with a thrilling 12-7 win over St. Joseph, has provided the post-season highlight, so far.
The RAIDER DIARY, including day-by-day results and schedules of all fall teams, plus links to every team page, is HERE.
The Football PODs: Ocean City is playing in Bracket B and is now scheduled to host Camden on Friday at Carey Stadium. Camden (4-1) advanced because its scheduled opponent, undefeated Burlington Township, had to close down its football program because of COVID exposure. The Raiders are ranked #5 overall in South Jersey and Camden is #12. There are three other brackets involving South Jersey teams (calling them PODs just seems wrong). Holy Spirit will host Lenape in Bracket A, St. Augustine will host Williamstown in Bracket C and Paulsboro will visit Salem in Bracket D. They say there are no championships in football this year but you know the winners of these games will feel like they’ve won a championship. By the way, in two interesting consolation games, Pleasantville will play Atlantic City for the first time since 1961. And St. Joe will face Hammonton in what was once the biggest Thanksgiving game in the CAL. You can check out this weekend’s full CAL schedule HERE.
The two Jakes: Jake Schneider scored his 19th career touchdown reception Friday against St. Joe to extend his own school record. He lifted his career receiving yardage to 1,740 yards, extending another of his school records. And he caught five passes in the game, extending yet another OCHS career record and improving his total to 111. He needs six more catches to tie the Cape-Atlantic League record set by Bo Melton at Cedar Creek. Melton is now a successful wide receiver at Rutgers. Schneider also has 132 career points, tying Jim Minshull and Dominic Iannace for ninth all-time at Ocean City. Meanwhile, Jake Inserra had another big game. He ran for 69 yards, teaming with Joe Repetti for 157 yards – more than the St. Joe rushing offense. And Inserra made 10 tackles, including six solos and one for a loss, to spark the OCHS defense.
The Repetti File: Senior Joe Repetti did a little but of everything. He completed seven of 12 passes for 45 yards and the touchdown to Schneider. It was his 30th career TD pass, tying the school mark held by Al Genz. Joe also ran for 85 yards, leading all rushers in the game; punted the ball five times for a 38.8 yard average; and was the holder on the important field goal and extra point by Brendan McGonigle. He now has 2,149 career passing yards, sixth place at OCHS. Just ahead are No. 5 Jordan Torroni (2,241) and No. 4 Chris Curran (2,291).
Mr. Automatic: Brendan McGonigle has scored as many kicking points as any kicker in Cape May County history. The junior added a field and extra point to bring his career total to 96 points. That ties OCHS grad Dan Kennard (1999-2001) for the top spot in the county. McGonigle now has 74 career extra points, seven away from Kennard’s school record, and seven career field goals, four away from Chris Curran’s school mark. All the CAL scoring leaders (including McGonigle, Schneider, Repetti, Inserra, Charley Cossaboone and Jacob Wilson) are HERE.
Ocean City took on one of the top running games in South Jersey last Friday and kept it under control. The Wildcats averaged 296 yards rushing per game and OCHS held them to 108. Ahmad Ross, their talented and powerful running back headed to West Point, averaged 136 yards. The Raiders held him to 48. At the end, when St. Joe was forced to go to the air with time running out and no timeouts, they moved the ball effectively. But, on that final play, Brady Rauner read the pass and notched his third career interception to seal the victory. Ocean City had two sacks – Will Drain was in on both of them and was joined by Matt Christy for the sack in the end zone that produced a safety. Inserra led the way and was also joined by Mike Rhodes, Charley Cossaboone, Tom Schutta and others for a great defensive effort.
Jake vs The Scarlet Knight: One interesting aspect of the OCHS defense was watching Jake Schneider cover Keshon Griffin. Jake is listed as 5-8, 159 – Griffin, who is headed to Rutgers, is 6-5, 248. Jake stayed with him most of the time but it was fun to watch. The one time Griffin beat him for a TD was called back by a hold. It’s over now. The next time Schneider will see Griffin will probably be on The Big 10 Network.
Passing Woolley: Friday’s win was number 48 for Kevin Smith as OCHS head coach, moving him into third all-time in football victories at Ocean City. He passed Ed Woolley. Smith is now 48-50 in his 10th season. When he completes this season, Smith will be the second OCHS football coach to coach 100 games. Gary Degenhardt coached 156.
1976: That was the last time Ocean City defeated St. Joseph. OCHS athletics director Geoff Haines was in the fifth grade at Radio Park Elementary School in State College, PA. Teacher-broadcaster George McNally was also in the fifth grade, at Candlebrook Elementary School in King of Prussia, PA. Leslie Jamison, the H-Back’s mother, was in the second grade at the Ocean City Primary School. Assemblyman Antwan McClellan was two years old. Sue Repetti, the QB’s mother, was three years old. And Kevin Smith was six years old, riding his bike around Helen Drive in Northfield. It was the year “Rocky” won the Oscar, the 76ers reached the NBA finals with Dr. J and Elvis Presley died. That game with St. Joe was the first game of Woolley’s head coaching career and Ocean City won, 13-0. Tim Chatburn scored both TDs, one from 84 yards away. Others on that team included Hall of Famer Joe Myers, Kevin Gayle, Al Burch, Joe Tyrrell, Joe Newsome, Kevin Murphy, Mark Impagliazzo and Dan Cullinane. Among the players on the 1976 St. Joe team were Paul Ordille, Jim LaSasso, John Mitrovic and Mark Benedetto. The Wildcats had won 10 straight times over the Raiders since then. That streak ended Friday.
The full box score of the Ocean City-St. Joseph game is HERE.
Video of the game is HERE.