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home : news : sports February 15, 2019

RBC athlete's faith takes him from despair to domination on the mat
Red Bank Catholic’s Steve Cmielewski wrestles against Haddon Township’s Paul IV High School Feb. 4 in the school gym.  John Blaine photo

Red Bank Catholic’s Steve Cmielewski wrestles against Haddon Township’s Paul IV High School Feb. 4 in the school gym.  John Blaine photo

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
One-at-a-time approach working for unbeaten RBC, Mater Dei

The Red Bank Catholic and Mater Dei Prep football teams have several things in common.

Both are fueled by state tournament losses in 2017; both are coached by guys with NFL ties, both are undefeated and both are looking at first-round home games in this year’s states.

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Thursday, October 18, 2018
RBC's Bauman will feel at home under the Golden Dome
Kevin Bauman always knew he wanted to play Division I football. The fact he will be doing so at a school that encourages his Catholic faith and just happens to have the most storied program in college football, only makes it that much better. More ...
Thursday, October 4, 2018
SJV's Catholic Athletes for Christ instilling hope around community
Hope is a wonderful thing, and the athletes of St. John Vianney High School are offering a lot of it for the future. More ...
Thursday, October 4, 2018
Registration for co-ed recreation basketball
St. Francis Community Center, 4700 Long Beach Blvd., Brant Beach, is announcing the following registration dates for this year’s Recreation Basketball League. More ...
Thursday, September 20, 2018
Student-athletes brainstorm evangelization opportunities in annual CAC meeting
From Catholic high schools spanning the Diocese of Trenton, teen leaders of Catholic Athletes for Christ assembled Sept. 18 in the Chancery, Lawrenceville, to celebrate their common ground – faith, and athletics. More ...
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Tennis, faith a good match for Donovan Catholic senior

Cristina Merone is 7-0 at first singles for the Donovan Catholic tennis team this fall after winning 22 matches at the top flight during her junior season.  

She is justifiably proud of those numbers, but takes just as much pride in her other roles with the Griffins – spirit leader and prayer leader.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Serendipity leads SJV grad to Brookdale volleyball team
In the midst of a rebuilding season for the Brookdale Community College volleyball team, a star is emerging in freshman Katie O’Neill. More ...
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
St. Rose's new surfing team ready to hit the waves

Competitive high school surfing in New Jersey is growing more popular each year, and St. Rose in Belmar is one of the latest schools to ride the Monmouth County wave.

The Purple Roses have established their inaugural team under 24-year-old coach Adam Iatesta who, since he was 8, has surfed up and down the New Jersey coastline along with trips to California, Costa Rica and Puerto Rico.

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Friday, September 7, 2018
Donovan Catholic grad takes on head basketball role at Mater Dei

Mater Dei Preparatory Academy, Middletown, has appointed Dennis Kazimir as the new boys’ head basketball coach.

Kazimir, who grew up in Brick and graduated from Donovan Catholic High School, Toms River, has 15 years of coaching and management experience on the collegiate and high school level and recently completed four seasons as the assistant coach and interim head coach at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

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Friday, September 7, 2018
The logic of sports and life

Sports and spiritual life resemble each other in notable ways that caught St. Paul's attention in his First Letter to the Corinthians (9:24-27).

In the back of Paul's mind when he urged Corinth's Christians to "run so as to win" was an image of athletes training for the ancient Isthmian Games, held in alternate years on Greece's Isthmus of Corinth.

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Thursday, August 23, 2018
Delran sophomore continues to build confidence in field hockey skills

Bobbi Warner began her field hockey career by honing her “Who, me?” expression whenever she was called for an infraction.

Warner was not doing that to try and get away with something. She really had no clue what her offense was. Of course, when it comes to field hockey, a lot of novices are that way due to the massive amounts of play stoppage.

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Thursday, August 23, 2018
St. John Vianney gymnasts set the bar high for new school year

The first three years of existence for the St. John Vianney gymnastics program were much like a gymnast itself – ups and downs.

As their fourth season approaches, the Lancers may follow one up with yet another.

The fledgling season of 2015 produced second-place finishes in the state sectional and state championship meets. The bottom dropped out in 2016 as there were not enough girls for a team, and the gymnasts could only compete as individuals. It was back up to new heights last season, as the Holmdel school went 6-1, won the Shore Conference Tournament and Central Jersey Section 1 Tournament titles, and finished second overall in the NJSIAA state meet.

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Thursday, August 23, 2018
Catholic education, brothers help SJV grad thrive in soccer at WPU

When Cameron Allen transferred to William Paterson University last year, it marked the first time he was attending a non-parochial school.

Allen went to St. Thomas School, Old Bridge, for elementary and middle school before attending St. John Vianney High School, Holmdel, for four years. He then went to Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y., a Catholic institution, for his freshman year before heading to WPU in Wayne and becoming the soccer team’s second leading scorer last season, with 10 goals and three assists.

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Wednesday, August 8, 2018
Faith goes the distance for RBC grad, UConn linebacker
Eddie Hahn was recruited by numerous football programs coming out of Red Bank Catholic High School, and that meant talking to numerous coaches and recruiting coordinators. More ...
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
CBA celebrates 10 years of sailing success
The Christian Brothers Academy varsity sailing team celebrated its 10-year anniversary as a school-sponsored sport June 2 with a special anniversary regatta event in Toms River. More ...
Friday, June 29, 2018
Donovan Catholic grad Alyssa Wilson makes track & field history on national level

When it comes to Donovan Catholic graduate Alyssa Wilson, greatness seems to have no ceiling.

The most prodigious thrower in New Jersey high school history needed just one year of college to put forth the greatest throwing performance in USA Track & Field Junior National Championships history. As a true freshman for the University of California, Los Angeles, Wilson made history the weekend of June 15-17 by becoming the first junior woman to qualify for Team USA in three throwing events. It is Wilson’s final year in junior competition, which is for ages 20 and younger.  

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Notre Dame's Horvath wins MOC pole vault title by setting meet, state records

Haley Horvath did it again. With an exclamation point.

After winning the indoor pole vault championship at the NJSIAA Indoor Meet of Champions in February, the Notre Dame High senior won the outdoor MOC title June 9 at Northern Burlington High School in Columbus.

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Friday, June 15, 2018
Donovan Catholic softball turns tables on Lancers to win SCT title

In an eye-popping display of offensive power, the Donovan Catholic softball team collected 12 hits and three home runs in taking a 13-4 win over St. John Vianney in the Shore Conference Tournament championship game June 4 at County Basie Field in Red Bank.

What a difference scant days make.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2018
St. John Vianney softball survives tense ending to win first state title in five years

St. John Vianney High School’s first softball title since 2013 was defined in different ways by different players, but it all translated into the same emotion – ecstasy. 

On June 2, the Lancers of Holmdel took a pulsating, 2-1 victory over Mount St. Dominic of Caldwell in the NJSIAA Non-Public A championship game at Kean College in Union, after the Lions put the tying and winning runs on in the seventh inning.

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Monday, June 4, 2018
CBA golf team wins Tournament of Champions for 2nd straight year

Tim Sewing’s Christian Brothers’ Academy golf team was more concerned with focusing on the task than the outcome this year.

By doing so, the outcome was as good as it gets.

On May 21, the Colts of Lincroft won their second consecutive NJSIAA Tournament of Champions title by shooting a combined 297 at the Hopewell Valley Golf Club. CBA finished 14 strokes ahead of Old Tappan and Watching Hills to win its ninth overall MOC title and first back-to-back crowns since 1985-86.

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Thursday, May 31, 2018
St. Rose girls are second in SJ Non-Public B track
The Diocese of Trenton high school girls track & field teams could not quite gain a championship in the NJSIAA Non-Public South Jersey meets May 21-22, but a few came close. More ...
Thursday, May 31, 2018
CBA boys track extends its championship streaks

For the Christian Brothers Academy boys’ track & field team, it was a matter of keeping championship streaks intact.

And the Colts did just that, convincingly. 

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Thursday, May 31, 2018
SJV dedicates varsity baseball field to longtime athletic director

With the student body, faculty and staff in attendance, the St. John Vianney High School varsity baseball field was blessed and dedicated during a recent ceremony.

Father John Michael Patilla, the school chaplain, and Father Thomas Vala, pastor of nearby St. Clement Parish, Matawan, presided over the dedication.

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Monday, May 21, 2018
TCA sets 7 records in winning CYO Track & Field Meet
The Trenton Catholic Academy Track & Field team not only maintained its dominance in the CYO of Mercer County Track & Field Meet, many of its athletes helped raise the bar for future competitors to try and get over. More ...
Saturday, May 19, 2018
Veteran Panzini pitches young RBC to Monmouth County baseball title

Whether it’s young or old, the Red Bank Catholic baseball team is starting to get the hang of this Monmouth County Tournament thing.

After losing in the finals to CBA in 2016, the Caseys have made it two straight titles and three in six years after taking a 5-1 victory over 12th-seeded St. Rose High School, Belmar, in the MCT finals May 8 at First Energy Park, Lakewood.

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Thursday, May 17, 2018
RBC softball team rolls to Blue title
In the Monmouth County Tournament softball consolation final, known as the Blue Division championship, Red Bank Catholic rolled to a 12-3 win May 12 on its own Count Basie Park field. More ...
Thursday, May 17, 2018
St. John Vianney's softball team takes 9th straight Monmouth County Tournament title

In hurling the St. John Vianney softball team to its ninth consecutive Monmouth County Tournament title, sophomore pitcher Julia Parker symbolized the team around her.

“She stays focused,” coach Kim Lombardi said. “That’s the team I have this year with her and the defense – they stay focused.”

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Tuesday, May 15, 2018
After season of playing through injury, Delran lacrosse player back in full force

Just prior to the Holy Cross girls’ lacrosse training camp in 2017, Brielle Bennett tore her labrum. Regretfully proving that one bad tear deserves another, she tore her quad during training camp.

While that would have been enough for many athletes to take the season off, Bennett knew her team needed her and played as many games as possible during her sophomore season. It wasn’t easy, but she wasn’t alone.

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Sunday, May 6, 2018
With service, tennis, CBA student racking up points on, off court

In performing the service hours required of Parochial school students, Christian Brothers Academy junior Connor Nelson has attacked his project with particular zeal.

Nelson and his sister have set up bins around Lincroft and talked to nearby tennis centers about donating gently used rackets that they can ship to players in Indonesia who may not be able to afford equipment.

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Tuesday, May 1, 2018
St. John Vianney centerfielder celebrates 100th career hit

Watching Lindsey Baron tear into a pitch and send it screaming through an outfield gap or charging a ball and gunning a strike to home plate to nail a stunned runner by 10 feet, one could never imagine her performing on a stage not too long ago.

In fact, Baron even has trouble imagining it these days.

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Monday, April 23, 2018
Baseball success proving Trenton Catholic Academy more than a basketball school

Trenton Catholic Academy baseball coach Keith Naylor knows he is trying to grow a baseball team in soil that mainly produces basketball players.

Now in his sixth year, he is doing just that while using hoops as a recruiting pitch.

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Friday, April 20, 2018

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