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home : news : sports June 17, 2019

RBC's Zeni wins long jump gold at MOC; CBA earns 9 medals
Tara Zeni proudly displays the gold medal she won in the long jump at the June 8 NJSIAA Meet of Champions at Northern Burlington High School. Courtesy photo

Tara Zeni proudly displays the gold medal she won in the long jump at the June 8 NJSIAA Meet of Champions at Northern Burlington High School. Courtesy photo

Once Tara Zeni could no longer flip through the air as a gymnast, she began to fly through the air as a long jumper.

And on June 8, the Red Bank Catholic senior flew to the moon by winning the NJSIAA Meet of Champions gold medal with a leap of 19-feet, 2-inches at Northern Burlington High School in Columbus.

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Friday, June 14, 2019

Jones, Agrapides go out winners as Lancers win SCT softball title

After what they did for the St. John Vianney softball team over the past four years, Alexis Agrapides and Ally Jones deserved to go out with a championship.

The two did just that, rebounding from a gut-wrenching defeat to take a 4-3 victory over Donovan Catholic in the Shore Conference Tournament championship game at Count Basie Field in Red Bank June 3.

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Friday, June 14, 2019
Faith ever-present as Donovan Catholic wins Tournament of Champions
On Friday, June 7, prior to departing for Seton Hall University to play in the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions final, Donovan Catholic softball coach Debbie Schwartz gathered her team in the Toms River school’s parish office to discuss topics other than softball. More ...
Friday, June 14, 2019
Donovan Catholic captures first state softball title
Winning pitcher Lindsay Nelson stood on the Rowan University softball field amid the euphoria of Donovan Catholic’s win over St. John Vianney in the NJSIAA Non-Public A South championship game May 31 and discussed the intense rivalry between the Shore Conference powerhouses.


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Monday, June 3, 2019
Memorable Holy Cross softball season comes to an end in SJ Non-Public B final
It wasn’t so much the destination, as it was the journey for the Holy Cross Prep Academy softball team. More ...
Saturday, June 1, 2019
SJV's Shalkowski remembered as faithful coach who put students first

For decades, she made the St. John Vianney cheerleading program one of the best in the nation. It’s only fitting that cheers are now ringing loudly for coach Jayne Shalkowski, who passed away suddenly May 21 at age 61. 

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Thursday, May 30, 2019
Spirited Irish win CJ III girls lacrosse title in honor of Notre Dame teammate

One day before its opening season, the Notre Dame High girls’ lacrosse team got terrible news – and turned it into motivation.

One hour before the 2nd-seeded Irish’s NJSIAA Group III Central championship game, the team got wonderful news – and turned it into a celebration.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2019
TCA catcher Hernandez thriving - with a little help from MLB cousin

There is something not quite color coordinated when Trenton Catholic Academy catcher Jedier Hernandez takes his position behind home plate. The Iron Mikes colors are blue and white, but bright red shin guards and chest protector stare out at the pitcher’s mound.

It might have something to do with the fact the St. Louis Cardinals wear red and Bengie Molina is a Cardinals broadcaster. Molina is the oldest brother of the Major League Baseball trio that also includes José and Yadier, who all catch and who are first cousins with Hernandez.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2019
CBA baseball goes from eighth seed to winning another MCT title
The seeding was a little different, but the result was fairly usual.  More ...
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Notre Dame baseball breaks 'Hopewell Jinx' to win Mercer County Tournament
Robbie Buecker was having trouble finding the words, so he turned to Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield for inspiration. More ...
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Jockey Mike Smith, 2018 Triple Crown winner, relies on Catholic faith

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Jockey Mike Smith, a Catholic who rode Justify last year to a Triple Crown victory, prays before every race, but he doesn't pray to win.

The 145th Run for the Roses on May 4, when he plans to try for his third Kentucky Derby win, is not going to be any different.

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Friday, May 3, 2019
ND's Robbie Buecker taking faith, firm values to West Point

It’s hard to decide what to like best about Robbie Buecker – his talent in athletics, love of country, polite personality or devotion to faith. 

He has attended Catholic school his entire life, going from St. Gregory the Great in Hamilton (also his parish) to his current school, Notre Dame High School, Lawrenceville. It is in that environment he has learned the essentials of being a person of character as well as the importance of community.  

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Thursday, May 2, 2019
Sophomore softball players provide strong Mater Dei foundation
It’s not often high school softball teams consider two sophomores the cornerstone of their lineup, but Mater Dei Prep is enjoying just such a situation this year with Gina Giaramita and Allie Massimino. More ...
Thursday, May 2, 2019
When it comes to girls lacrosse, St. Rose is in bloom

The St. Rose of Belmar girls lacrosse team is proving that one thing definitely leads to another.

Another win, that is.

The Purple Roses have burst from the gate with a 7-0 record to match their victory total from last year’s 7-10 season. St. Rose had five straight losing seasons since a 6-6 finish in 2013, and enjoyed its only winning record of this decade at 8-7 in 2012.

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Friday, April 19, 2019
Red Bank Catholic adds love of faith to lacrosse star's game

When Jack Zenkert arrived at Red Bank Catholic High School as a freshman, he already loved to play football and lacrosse but wasn’t overly zealous about attending church.

Nearly three school years later, his devotion to faith has reached the same level as his devotion to sports.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2019
High school senior receives award from woman whose legacy is one of strength, faith

On March 24, Ewing High School senior Jaycee Lowe proudly accepted the Renee Keister Award from the woman for which it was named. The crowd at the Mercer County CYO Center, on hand to watch the 20th annual high school basketball all-star games, applauded warmly as it was well aware of Lowe’s skillset.

Few, however, knew much about the presenter.

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Monday, April 8, 2019
Donovan Catholic softball one to watch this season
The numbers are staggering. An 82-8 record, two NJSIAA South Jersey Non-Public A championships, one Shore Conference Tournament title, two Shore Conference B South Division crowns and a 30-game winning streak against division foes. More ...
Saturday, April 6, 2019
Notre Dame High School taps former Rutgers coach to run soccer program
When Notre Dame High School made Dan Donigan its new varsity soccer coach March 25, it did more than hire a man who won 172 games and made eight NCAA Tournament appearances as a college coach. More ...
Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Youngsters succeed in Knights' Free Throw Tournament
There’s just no stopping Evangeline Leung on the basketball court. More ...
Wednesday, April 3, 2019
CYO standouts celebrated at all-star games
The 20th annual Mercer County CYO high school basketball all-star games March 24 not only featured great moves on the court, but off as well. More ...
Thursday, March 28, 2019
St. Rose girls basketball rallies past IHA for second straight Non-Public A title

The St. Rose of Belmar girls basketball team knows how to get the job done in the biggest moments.

The Purple Roses proved that again on March 9 by taking a 45-42 victory over Immaculate Heart Academy in the NJSIAA Non-Public A championship game in Toms River. It was the second consecutive state title for St. Rose.

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Wednesday, March 13, 2019
CBA swimmers clinch ninth NJSIAA title
On Friday, Feb. 22, Paul Retterer was gearing up for the final state championship swim meet of his high school career. That included checking his cell phone most of the evening. More ...
Friday, March 8, 2019
Custis has big night as TCA girls win first sectional title since 2011

For a brief moment, it looked like all of Trenton Catholic Academy’s hard work in the first half was melting away. Gloucester Catholic scored seven straight points to cut a 14-point deficit in half and Iron Mikes coach Bob Fusik called timeout.

When play resumed, Maniya Custis showed why the night belonged to her.

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Thursday, March 7, 2019
St. Rose takes second straight sectional crown

Coming off a 2018 state championship, the St. Rose of Belmar girls basketball team returned with a new coach and a lot of new players this season.

But it was one of the holdovers who led the way to another title for the Purple Roses.

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Wednesday, March 6, 2019
With broken hand, sophomore wins first state wrestling title in SJV history

When is sleeping more difficult than wrestling?

If you’re Dean Peterson, it’s when you have a broken hand.

On March 2, the St. John Vianney sophomore won the 113-pound title at the NJSIAA State Championships in the Atlantic City Convention Center.

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Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Manchester pulls away from Lancers in fourth quarter of SCT final
The St. John Vianney girls’ basketball team is always one of the best teams in the Shore Conference Tournament, but it has had difficulty being THE best in recent years. More ...
Monday, February 25, 2019
Defense key as TCA girls win MCT championship against Pennington

The Trenton Catholic Academy girls basketball team has a very simple package for success. Take scoring contributions from several different players throughout the game, and wrap them all together with the strong binding that comes from playing team defense from start to finish.

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Sunday, February 24, 2019
Sister Dorothy close in thought as TCA boys win Mercer County Tournament

It was early January and the Trenton Catholic Academy boys basketball team was having its troubles. The Iron Mikes were off to what would become a 1-7 start, long-time head coach Fred Falchi had stepped down and assistant Eric Elliott had been promoted to head man and was trying to figure things out.

During this difficult time, Sister Dorothy Payne, the team’s president and No. 1 fan, came to practice for a pep talk.

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Sunday, February 24, 2019
High-scorer helps St. Rose girls basketball to another big year
Amazingly, before they joined forces this year, Mary Beth Chambers and Brynn Farrell had no idea who the other woman was. More ...
Saturday, February 23, 2019
Senior's lifelong love affair with hockey helps SJV to another stellar season

St. John Vianney ice hockey coach Mick Messemer is not far off on his assessment of senior center John Gutt.

“He’s the type of kid who seems like he learned to play hockey and skate before he learned to walk,” Messemer said.

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Friday, February 22, 2019
Champions crowned on a busy playoff day at CYO Center

It was the biggest day of the year for Mercer County CYO basketball Feb. 17, as seven playoff champions were crowned during Championship Sunday at the league’s iconic gym on Broad Street in Trenton.

 
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Friday, February 22, 2019
RBC athlete's faith takes him from despair to domination on the mat

During early autumn 2017, Steve Cmielewski was not in a good way. A year after starting at middle linebacker for the Red Bank Catholic football team as a sophomore, Cmielewski suffered a season-ending broken ankle three plays into his junior season.

Doctors told him he would miss both the football and wrestling seasons. His entire life now consisted of trying to get better. “I was devastated at first,” Cmielewski said.

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Wednesday, February 6, 2019
NJ Devils to host Faith & Family Day

It is somewhat ironic that a sports team going by the name of the Devils is leading the way to promote faith.

That will be the case March 23 at the Prudential Center in Newark, when the New Jersey Devils host the Arizona Coyotes while sponsoring Faith and Family Day. The Devils are encouraging all denominations to come celebrate their faith, either as an individual, family or group.

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Wednesday, February 6, 2019
NJ soccer coaches bestow honor on former Notre Dame's Mike Perone
Jake Nerwinski is heading into his third training camp with Major League Soccer’s Vancouver Whitecaps and can safely be termed one of the many success stories authored during Mike Perone’s 40-year tenure as Notre Dame High head coach. More ...
Tuesday, January 29, 2019
Donovan Catholic girls turn personal adversity into team energy

If the Donovan Catholic girls’ basketball program can hang its hat on one definitive attribute, it’s the ability to thrive amid adversity.

Last year, despite the fact that coach Glen Jansen lost his father and grandmother during the Shore Conference Tournament, the Griffins finished 21-6 and reached the quarterfinals of the SCT and South Jersey Non-Public A tournaments.

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Thursday, January 10, 2019
Coach Elliott takes over TCA basketball after Falchi steps down

When Fred Falchi stepped down as coach of the Trenton Catholic Academy boys’ basketball team over the holidays, assistant Eric Elliott took over one of the most high profile programs in the state. The pressure to win is constant, but Elliott is not making it his first priority.

In fact, it barely makes it into the top five. “I am looking for four things in regards to my players,” Elliott said. “I want good character guys on and off the floor. I want guys that are good teammates. I want guys that play hard, and I want guys that are coachable.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2019
Stepping down after 50 years, Notre Dame field hockey coach leaves legacy of support on, off field
If there was a thesaurus entry for “Barb Major,” it would consist of about 50 positive synonyms – one for every year she coached. In discussing Major with those who worked with or played for her, one cannot help but be struck by the amount of accolades her admirers throw out.

It is why a special luncheon was held Dec. 8 to honor Major for her 50 years as head coach of the Notre Dame High School varsity field hockey team. Let that sink in for a moment – a half-century of coaching the same sport at the same school.
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Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Distance no obstacle for SJV football star, war veteran friendship
Johnny Buchanan and Tony Parisi were seemingly put on earth to make other people feel good about themselves, so it may be more than coincidence that the two found each other. More ...
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
CYO adds new names to Basketball Hall of Fame

Just call it The Debate that started The Tradition.

And it has become one of the most prestigious traditions in Mercer County athletics over the past 15 years – the Catholic Youth Organization of Mercer County’s Basketball Hall of Fame Awards Dinner.

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Saturday, December 1, 2018
SJV senior culminates career with state gymnastics all-around title
Bang!  That was the sound of Ari Agrapides concluding her high school gymnastics career. More ...
Friday, November 30, 2018
Red Bank Catholic wins state title against Mater Dei Prep in tense showdown at NFL stadium

Statistics look attractive, but oftentimes lose out to heart, soul and desire.

That was the case Nov. 24 when Mater Dei Prep’s football team held a 408-256 advantage in total offense and 18-10 edge in first downs, but Red Bank Catholic took a 14-10 victory in a classic NJSIAA Non-Public Group III championship game held in MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford.

“We were ready for it all,” said tight end/linebacker Kevin Bauman. “Whatever it took. We were not gonna let this one go. We worked way too hard, way too long for this one, and we did it.”
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Monday, November 26, 2018
CBA cross country wins another M of C; RBC girls win Non-Public A

If the calendar says November, rest assured you will find the Christian Brothers Academy boys and the Red Bank Catholic girls excelling in New Jersey’s major high school cross country meets.

On Nov. 17 at Holmdel Park, CBA won the school’s 23rd Meet of Champions title – giving the Lincroft-based school half the championships of the 46 MOCs that have been run. It was their second straight and eighth in the last nine years.

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Thursday, November 22, 2018
Humility, practice key to sports and faith, young people hear at annual CYO Mass
Drawing comparisons between athletics and Christianity by using humility as a bond, Father Michael Wallack inspired young student-athletes during the annual CYO Opening Day Mass.

“The virtue of humility goes well in sports,” Father Wallack, pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish, Allentown, told the sizable crowd.
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Thursday, November 15, 2018
CBA boys snag state soccer title win in nail-biting fashion over Delbarton
As the clock melted down to five minutes remaining in the second overtime of the NJSIAA Non-Public A state championship game, Christian Brothers Academy coach Tom Mulligan turned to his assistants and asked if they wanted to start thinking about candidates for a possible shootout. More ...
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
State final loss fails to detract from St. Rose girls' soccer season

For the St. Rose of Belmar High School girls’ soccer team, it was all about the big picture.  Yes, the Purple Roses fell one game short of their first state title in eight years, but they will look back with pride on the program’s best season in five years.  

“I told the girls when we think about this season, we’re going to remember our first [Shore Conference B Central] Division title in five years, we’re going to remember the [South Jersey Non-Public B] state sectional championship,” first-year coach Zack Savacool said.

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Monday, November 12, 2018
Despite strong last-minute push, St. Rose falls to Rutgers Prep in boys' soccer

For a frenzied final 10 minutes, it looked like the St. Rose of Belmar boys’ soccer team would be able to keep its magical run alive.

But the ninth-seeded Purple Roses just missed several late opportunities to get the tying goal as third-seeded Rutgers Prep took a 2-1 victory in the NJSIAA Non-Public South Jersey B championship game at Holmdel High School Nov. 8.

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Friday, November 9, 2018
Holy Cross boys' soccer place first in Liberty Conference

The boys’ soccer team from Holy Cross School, Rumson, has much to celebrate.

On Oct. 30, the team won in double overtime against Freehold Intermediate School, for a 2-1 finish to win the 2018 Liberty Conference title.

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Thursday, November 8, 2018
Bishop O'Connell visits with student-athletes from Notre Dame High School

Members of Notre Dame High School’s Catholic Athletes for Christ received a special visitor Nov. 7, as Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., dropped by the gymnasium for a wide-ranging question-and-answer session.

“It’s a great source of pride to the Diocese to see our young people so committed to Christ and wanting to bring Christ to every area and endeavor in their lives, including athletics,” Bishop O’Connell said prior to meeting with the Lawrenceville school’s student-athletes.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Notre Dame High School celebrates winning football title, fighting cancer
It was an evening just as good off the field as on it. 

Notre Dame High School defeated Trenton, 21-7, to clinch a share of the West Jersey Football League’s Capitol Division championship Oct. 26 in Lawrenceville. Serving as a backdrop for the big night was Notre Dame’s Pink Out to fight cancer, honor survivors and remember those who have passed.
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Friday, November 2, 2018
CBA boys, RBC girls fall in SCT finals, regroup for states

The Diocese of Trenton was represented in both championship games of the Shore Conference Tournament Oct. 24 at Point Pleasant Borough High School.

Though neither team could bring home a championship, it didn’t mean they were done trying, as they and numerous other DOT teams began play in the NJSIAA Tournament the week of Oct. 28.

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Friday, November 2, 2018
Free of foot problems, Panko scoring more than ever for Notre Dame soccer
Olivia Panko is a leader on the Notre Dame High girls’ soccer team in several ways. She leads the team in scoring with 12 goals and five assists; she helps lead by example in practice and games with four years of varsity experience; and she serves as one of the team’s leaders in their Bible Study program that was originated by the ND football team. More ...
Tuesday, October 23, 2018



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