September 15, 2021

A Remembrance Ceremony was held by the Princeton 9/11 Memorial Committee on Saturday afternoon at the Princeton First Aid & Rescue Squad headquarters on Mount Lucas Road. The event was one of many area observances marking the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Attendees share where they were and what they were doing when they first learned of the attacks in this week’s Town Talk on page 6. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

By Donald Gilpin

The Princeton Health Department on Monday reported 23 new cases of COVID-19 in the previous seven days, 42 new cases in the previous 14 days in Princeton, as infection levels continue to increase.

All 21 New Jersey counties are now listed as having high rates of COVID transmission, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The statewide transmission rate is currently 1.01, with any number over 1 indicating that each new case is causing more than one additional case and that the outbreak is expanding. The CDC is recommending that people in all counties in the state wear masks in indoor public settings, regardless of vaccination status.

“COVID-19 cases have been rising in the Princeton community to a level we observed in January 2021, approximately 3.25 new cases per day,” said Princeton Public Health Officer Jeff Grosser.

Attributing much of the problem to the Delta variant, Grosser noted that the United States is averaging 152,000 cases each day, close to four times the levels reported at this time last year. “Delta continues to circulate throughout the community, and public health has shared the devastating impact it has had in communities with lower vaccination rates across all demographics, particularly those 65 years and older.”

Grosser noted that the current surge is different from the surge of last fall and winter with transmission occurring more readily now. He added, “The vaccine has absolutely helped, and those who still get COVID-19 are likely to have milder, shorter illnesses and appear to be less likely to spread the virus to others.”

Six Princeton residents, with an average age of 85, have been hospitalized recently in vaccine breakthrough cases, Grosser reported. He urged people to “be aware of what the current guidance is; how to prevent transmission; how to protect ourselves, our families, our friends, our neighbors.” more

By Donald Gilpin

Mara Franceschi

Two incumbents, Betsy Baglio and Brian McDonald, and two new candidates, Mara Franceschi and Jeffrey Liao, will be competing in the November 2 election for three available seats on the Princeton Public Schools (PPS) Board of Education (BOE). The top three vote-getters will win three-year terms on the BOE, beginning in January 2022.

With just seven weeks until election day, Town Topics is beginning a series of weekly candidate profiles in which the candidates will present a summary of their personal, academic, and professional backgrounds; why they got involved in the schools and in this particular election; and what their priorities are for the future of the PPS.

Mara Franceschi is leading off:

“I consider few things more important than a high-quality public education for ALL our children. With a new superintendent and other key personnel, it is an exciting time in our district. However, the district must also navigate many challenges to ensure continued success. Chief among those challenges is balancing aging facilities against a backdrop of increasing student enrollment and budget stressors. Maintaining our facilities is both an investment in valuable hard assets and the minimum required to provide a clean and healthy learning environment for our children. Successfully balancing critical, necessary investments in our schools, while keeping tax increases to a minimum, is essential. To address these challenges, I believe that transparent communication with, and among, all the stakeholders in the community is paramount.  more

40 YEARS OF PEACEMAKING: The Rev. Robert Moore (center in blue shirt), surrounded by Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) colleagues, received a surprise visit on September 8 from Princeton Councilmember David Cohen (right), who presented him with a Council resolution honoring Moore’s 40 years as executive director of CFPA and declaring September 8 as “Rev. Robert Moore Day” in Princeton. 

By Donald Gilpin

Last Wednesday, September 8, the Rev. Robert Moore, executive director of the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) for the past 40 years, was working in his Witherspoon Street office when Princeton Councilmember David Cohen, along with five of Moore’s CFPA colleagues, paid him a surprise visit.

September 8, 2021 is “Reverend Robert Moore Day” in Princeton, Cohen announced, as he read out loud a Princeton Town Council Municipal Resolution in Moore’s honor. The resolution — citing Moore’s four decades of leadership in working with the CFPA to abolish nuclear weapons, end endless wars, prevent gun violence, and combat growing militarism and the climate crisis — was formally passed by the full Council at their Monday, September 13, meeting.

In September 1980 a group of Princeton-area faith leaders, concerned about the escalating nuclear arms race, founded what would become the CFPA, and on September 8 of the following year they hired Moore to lead the organization.

Under his leadership the CFPA has expanded to become a regional office serving central and south New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania. It is one of the largest grassroots affiliates of National Peace Action, with over 7,500 member and supporting households. more

TELL ME A STORY: The annual New Jersey Storytelling Network Festival, which comes to Community Park North Amphitheater on Saturday, September 25, is not just for kids. Ken Karnas, shown at a previous festival with a group of rapt adults, is among those scheduled to appear at the upcoming event.

By Anne Levin

After holding its annual gathering virtually last year, the New Jersey Storytelling Network Festival is going live again. The location, on Saturday, September 25 from 2-4 p.m., is Princeton’s Community Park North Amphitheater.

Several practitioners of the art will be on hand to tell all manner of tales, geared to all ages of listeners. During the last half hour, participants can drop their name in a hat to tell their own stories of connection (in four minutes or less). The theme of the event is “Stories that Connect Us,” said Princeton resident Kathryn Weidener, president of the New Jersey Storytelling Network.

“A professional storyteller is someone who, while not reading a story [aloud], has done a great deal of reading and listening,” she said. “They can weave a story through their own brain, and tell it in a way that engages the audience. It’s more than something just written on a page. It’s told to an audience, and it creates a back-and-forth.”

The festival has been around for more than two decades. Previous locations have included the Grounds For Sculpture, Howell Farm, Waterloo Village, and Allaire State Park. This year’s event was originally planned for Howell Farm, but due to COVID-19 restrictions was relocated to Community Park, where it will be held concert-style.

Among those who will “tell” are Princeton resident Maria LoBiondo, whose specialty is folk and fairy tales.

“I feel that these tales have been passed down for generations, and hold the wisdom of generations of people,” she said. “No matter how old you are or where you live, you have to deal with sibling rivalry. You have to deal with going out into the world to find your fortune. You have to deal with what it means to be generous and kind. These folk tales address all of these ideas. It just fascinates me. It’s worldwide. These stories are from every continent, and they hit similar themes. I find that very compelling.” more

By Anne Levin

The Rosedale Road crosswalk where a pedestrian was struck by a car and died late last month dominated discussion at a meeting of Princeton Council on Monday, September 13.  Several members of the public pleaded for installation of a traffic light at the site, while another argued that lowering the speed limit was the answer.

Council passed several resolutions at the meeting, including three having to do with Princeton’s deer management program. A special award of recognition was given to the Rev. Robert Moore, marking the 40th year since he joined the Coalition for Peace Action as its executive director. A work session was held on the proposed stormwater redevelopment ordinance, particularly relevant considering recent damage from remnants of Hurricane Ida.

Originally scheduled for the meeting, a public hearing on an ordinance establishing a new affordable housing overlay zone along Witherspoon Street was taken off the agenda because noticing had not been completed. Mayor Mark Freda said rescheduling the hearing will be a priority at Council’s next agenda-setting meeting.

After being presented with his award, Moore thanked the local community and the Council for support of various causes including nuclear freeze and ending the Iraq war. “The words and support you all give as local elected officials amplifies our voice to the higher branches of government that are making these decisions,” he said. more

By Anne Levin

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has opened a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) at the Hollowbrook Community Center in Ewing Township. The center, which opened its doors on Tuesday, September 14, is to assist any Mercer County residents or businesses whose property was damaged in the remnants of Hurricane Ida.

In Lambertville, which is in Hunterdon County, the Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) will offer assistance on Wednesday, September 15 from 2-7:30 p.m. to provide residents and business owners with one-stop access to a range of resources to help them recover from the damage, which was substantial. The MARC will be on the sledding hill at North Main Street and Phillips Barber Road.

The DRC in Ewing is staffed by FEMA representatives who can provide information and answer questions on FEMA disaster aid. It is open to residents and businesses from every municipality in Mercer County, and residents from any other county that received the FEMA “Disaster” declaration.

Residents who previously registered for assistance via the internet or by phone do not need to visit the DRC, but can ask questions or seek further information in person at the DRC. The eligibility for FEMA Individual Assistance means that  residents or business owners whose properties were directly damaged by the flooding or storm events on September 1-3 can apply to recoup their losses.

Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes announced on September 10 that Mercer County had been added to FEMA’s list of locations to get major disaster declarations. Originally, Mercer County was not on the list, though several towns including Princeton suffered major flood damage during the storm.  more

By Stuart Mitchner

It was a madhouse. Everybody was running, women were screaming. All of this pollution coming out of the debris; it was like snow falling out of the sky.

—Sonny Rollins

I didn’t know how to release myself from him, and … I had some backlash, you know, on a personal level.

—Michael K. Williams on playing Omar

My idea of “shock and awe” has nothing to do with the label the Bush administration attached to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, wherein “awe” was supposed to suggest disarray, panic, confusion, and terror. “Awe” is what I feel watching Michael K. Williams’s astonishing performance as Omar in The Wire. And it’s what I’ve felt in the presence of the Saxophone Colossus, Sonny Rollins, another native New Yorker who, like Williams, was hit hard by 9/11. With Rollins at his most wondrous, there’s no end to awe, it’s like his definition of music as “an open sky.” And 20 years on the other side of 9/11, the giant is still standing, having marked his 91st birthday on September 7, the day after the death at 54 of Michael K. Williams.

Toxic Snow

TV reports of New Yorkers being evacuated in the wake of the World Trade Center attacks referred to “an elderly black man carrying a saxophone case.” According to @jazztimes, “Sonny Rollins had been home in his Manhattan apartment, six blocks north of the World Trade Center, when the attacks occurred. From the street, he watched the second tower go down.” The next day the National Guard evacuated him from his apartment, where he’d been living for almost 30 years.

Interviewed on September 11, 2019, Rollins commented, “When that second plane hit, it was like snowfall coming down. And that snow, of course, was just toxic stuff. Anyway, I gulped some of it down. We were waiting until the next day to be evacuated, so I picked up my horn to play. I took a deep breath and felt that stuff down to my stomach. I said, ‘Oh, wow, no practicing today.’ … So yeah, it’s been conjectured that that’s part of what happened to me.” He’s referring to the pulmonary fibrosis that ended his playing days in 2012. As he put it in an NPR interview, “I had to go through quite a period of adjustment after I realized that I couldn’t blow my horn anymore.”  more

TAKING ORDERS: “Waitress” is among the touring Broadway shows to come to the newly renovated State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick this season. (Photo by Jeremey Daniel)

Tickets for State Theatre New Jersey’s 2021-22 Broadway Season are now on sale. The theater has been renovated. Season tickets are also available and come with special benefits.

The series includes Summer: The Donna Summer Musical on November 26-28; Anastasia December 3-5; and An American in Paris on February 25-27. Other Broadway Series shows in 2022 include Waitress April 14-16; and Hairspray, on April 29-May 1.

Additional shows included in the “Buy More Save More” offer include the Jimmy Buffet musical, Escape to Margaritaville on October 8-10; the musical Million Dollar Quartet on November 2; Cats on March 18-20; Riverdance – 25th Anniversary Show on April 19-21; and the new musical, Roald Dahl’s Charlie and The Chocolate Factory on May 13-15.

Visit STNJ.org for ticket information.

Banjo player Bela Fleck presents My Bluegrass Heart, featuring Michael Cleveland, Sierra Hull, Justin Moses, Mark Schatz, and Bryan Sutton on Friday, September 24 at 8 p.m., live at McCarter Theatre.

My Bluegrass Heart is the third chapter of a trilogy which began with the 1988 album Drive, and continued in 1991 with The Bluegrass Sessions.

“I was kind of surprised, frankly, when I sent out the invite for the first touring ensemble, because everyone I asked said yes,” Fleck said in an article on the McCarter website. “So now I can present an incredible first offering, with some of the brightest lights on the scene. I can’t wait.”

Fleck has earned 15 Grammy awards in nine different fields. His appearance at McCarter is the first to celebrate the return of in-person performances. Visit Mccarter.org for tickets.

GILMAN AT WORK: Drawings and works on paper by artist Ann Gilman are featured in “At the still point of the turning world,” on view through December 17 at the  Anne Reid ’72 Gallery at Princeton Day School.

Anne Reid ’72 Gallery at Princeton Day School, 650 Great Road, presents “At the still point of the turning world,” an exhibition of drawings and works on paper by Anne Gilman, on view through December 17.

Gilman is a Brooklyn-based artist who works in varying formats that include large-scale drawings and multi-panel projects. The political, social, and personal concerns that fuel all forms of moods, worries, and psychological states of being are the materials that feed her work. She begins by using her own thoughts and experiences as a starting point, writing extemporaneously across 1/2-inch lines she rules across the page. The resulting drawings are a mapping of information, thought and emotion. The exhibition takes its title from T.S. Eliot’s epic “Four Quartets,” a meditation on the nature of time. Eliot leads the reader through undulations of the past and the future, re-centering us consistently back within the present moment. Gilman does much the same in her artwork; echoing the practice of meditation through observation and acceptance of thoughts and emotions as they come.  more

Gail Bracegirdle’s “Quicksand,” above, and Joseph DeFay’s “Stream,” below, are featured in their dual exhibit on view through October 3 at Artists’ Gallery in Lambertville.

Gail Bracegirdle and Joseph DeFay are displaying their unique artwork together at the Artists’ Gallery, located at 18 Bridge Street in Lambertville, through October 3.

The exhibit, “Variations,” features DeFay’s photography, which focuses on close views of nature, and Bracegirdle’s textured abstract watercolors paintings, some which include collage elements.

The Artists’ Gallery is open Thursday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. A closing event will be held on Sunday, October 3, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information, visit LambertvilleArts.com.

“THE DOG TEAM TAVERN”: This hand-hooked rug by Lucy Walsh of Clinton has been accepted for inclusion in “2021 Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs 31,” sponsored by Rug Hooking Magazine.

The Hunterdon County Rug Artisans Guild has announced that two of its members have been accepted for inclusion in “2021 Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs 31,” a premier juried collection of the year’s best hand-hooked rugs sponsored by Rug Hooking Magazine.

Included in “Celebration 31” are the following works from its members:   

In the Rugs Based on Original Designs category: “Bison,” by Judy Carter of Willow Street, Pa. (this is Carter’s 17th appearance in “Celebration”).  Sadly, all who knew Carter grieve her recent passing.  She leaves the rug hooking community a lasting legacy of beauty, knowledge, friendship, and talent.

In the Primitive category: “The Dog Team Tavern” by Lucy Walsh of Clinton, N.J. (this is Walsh’s third appearance in “Celebration”).  Walsh’s rug honors the Grenfell hooking style and influence. 

The mission of the Hunterdon County Rug Artisans Guild is to perpetuate the tradition and art of rug hooking in all its various forms. Visit the Guild’s website (hcrag.com) for information on its programs and activities.

ART PLUS HISTORY:  The Phillips’ Mill, shown here, is many things to many people. An important cornerstone in New Hope, it was once a grist mill, dating to the 18th century. It is now a unique visual and performing arts center, welcoming artists, photographers, playwrights, actors, and art lovers from around the region. Its long history, showcasing important talent, brings countless visitors to its annual exhibitions and performances. It will hold its “92nd Juried Art Show,” opening on September 25, featuring the work of important area artists.

By Jean Stratton

History and art come together at the Phillips’ Mill in New Hope, Pa. Located at 2619 River Road, it was originally a grist mill in the 18th century, when farmers brought their grain to be ground into flour.

Today, it is known for presenting one of the most prestigious art shows in the region, attracting top talent and serious art collectors.

Considered to be the birthplace of Pennsylvania Impressionism, the Mill is home to its acclaimed “Juried Art Show,” first held in 1929, explains Laura Womack, vice president of the Phillips’ Mill Community Association board and chair of the art committee.

As reported in the Phillips’ Mill Association’s special book, Celebrating 75 Years of Art, “Among the founders were the now legendary leaders of the Pennsylvania art colony, centered in New Hope at the beginning of the 20th century. Initially, they included Edward Redfield, William Langston Lathrop, and David Garber.” more

RETURN ENGAGEMENT: Princeton University football head coach Bob Surace answers a question at the program’s recently-held Media Day. After last season was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns, Princeton is returning to action by playing at Lehigh on September 18. The Tigers last played on November 23, 2019 when they defeated Penn 28-7 to finish that season 8-2 overall and 5-2 Ivy League. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

There is a din of screeching, thumping, and hammering going on around the Princeton University football team as it has gone through its preseason practices with a soccer stadium and parking garage being constructed nearby.

But that racket hasn’t distracted Princeton head coach Bob Surace as he goes about the task of building his 2021 squad into a winner after last season was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.

“You saw all of the construction; I feel like those things 10 years ago when I was a little less mature would have bothered me,” said Surace, standing in a corner of Powers Field at  Princeton Stadium fielding questions in the program’s recently-held Media Day.

“But when you have a year off, you are smiling on the way to practice. Stuff is going on all around us and nothing bothers me. It is just about the guys being back and us being here, which is really cool.”

With Princeton having last played on November 23, 2019 when they defeated Penn 28-7 to finish that season 8-2 overall and 5-2 Ivy League, the Tigers will have an additional contingent of veterans as they play at Lehigh on September 18 to kick off the 2021 campaign. more

HAPPY TO BE BACK: Princeton University football player Jeremiah Tyler enjoying the proceedings at the program’s recently-held Media Day. Senior star linebacker Tyler is looking forward to a big senior year after not enrolling at Princeton last year. In 2019, Tyler was unanimously first-team All-Ivy and was one of two finalists for the Bushnell Cup as the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year. Tyler has been named as one of the six captains for the 2021 squad along with classmates Collin Eaddy, Trevor Forbes, Nikola Ivanisevic, James Johnson, and Cole Smith. Princeton, which had its 2020 season canceled due to COVID-19 concerns, returns to action this fall by playing at Lehigh on September 18. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Jeremiah Tyler took a year off from Princeton University in 2020-21 but he didn’t take it easy.

The star senior linebacker for the Princeton football team gained strength and weight, got a taste of the real world, and deepened the bonds with his teammates during his time away from school.

“At the first half of the year I stayed at home in Detroit and I trained with the trainer to focus on myself and gain weight; that was a huge emphasis for me,” said Tyler.

“I was with my parents just working internships. I’m really grateful for the PFA [Princeton Football Association], they’re a huge help for all of Princeton. Just getting that internship and that work time, getting that experience of real life is good. You get that under your belt and the second half I moved in with some teammates. We went to Nashville, which was a good time. We got a gym down there — Gym 5 — shouts out to them — and they were really nice about everything. They were very welcoming, let us lift and power lift and all that jazz. In Nashville we had about 20 guys total. It was two different houses.”

 more

NICK OF TIME: Princeton High boys’ soccer player Nico Carusone heads a ball in a 2020 game. Last Wednesday, senior forward Carusone scored the winning goal late in the second half as PHS edged Robbinsville 2-1 in its season opener. The Tigers, who tied Steinert 0-0 last Saturday, play at WW/P-North in September 18 before hosting Allentown on September 21. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Nico Carusone knew it was time to step up.

With the Princeton High boys’ soccer team deadlocked 1-1 against Robbinsville late in the second half last Wednesday in the season opener, senior striker Carusone produced a moment of brilliance.

Getting the ball in the box, Carusone wheeled and blasted the ball into the back of the net to score and give PHS the margin of victory in a 2-1 triumph.

“With 15 minutes left in the game, we had to bring it all,” said Carusone. “I knew the goal was there and I hit it.”

It took a while for PHS to get into a rhythm as the foes were deadlocked in a scoreless draw at the half.

“They had their back line so far back, they were letting us play in front of them which kind of led to our possession,” said Carusone.

“I  think they did a really good job of keeping a hold of us. Once we got a break before the second half, we told the team what they were doing and we figured out how to score two goals.”

The trio of Carusone, sophomore Patrick Kenah, and junior Richard Wegman started figuring out things after halftime with Kenah tallying the first goal of the day, slotting in a rebound 14 minutes into the half.

“We are all on the same page at this point, we had a really good preseason together,” said Carusone. more

TIED UP: Princeton High football Tyler Goldberg, right, gets wrapped up by a Haddon Heights tackler last Saturday. Sophomore tailback Goldberg rushed for a team-high 32 yards in a losing cause as PHS fell 47-0 to the Garnets. The Tigers, now 0-2, play at Cherry Hill East on September 18. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With the Princeton High football team trailing Haddon Heights 39-0 at halftime last Saturday in its home opener, the message was simple.

“At halftime, it was just go back in and have fun,” said PHS sophomore running back Tyler Goldberg. “That was it.”

Midway through the third quarter, Goldberg had some fun, ripping off a 29-yard run followed by an 11-yard jaunt.

“I saw daylight, I am hyped,” said Goldberg, who ended up with a team-high 32 yards net rushing.

The Tigers, though, did not find much more daylight on the day as they ended up falling 47-0.

“We have to be more of a team, we just have to communicate,” said Goldberg, reflecting on the defeat.

“This is our team, this is our family. We have go to work together to beat teams and I don’t think we did that today.”

PHS head coach Charlie Gallagher acknowledged that the Tigers ran into a very good team in Haddon Heights.

“My hat is off to their coaching staff; they have a good football program and they are 2-0 for a reason,” said Gallagher.

“They have got some big boys, they have some good wide receivers. Jackson Ferrante is a standout tailback and a standout middle linebacker. He stuffed us a couple of times early. It was just really challenging.” more

FIRST RATE: Princeton High girls’ tennis player Eva Lependorf hits a backhand in a match last fall. Sophomore Lependorf has moved into the first singles spot this season for PHS. The Tigers, who defeated Hamilton 5-0 last Friday to improve to 1-1, play at Robbinsville on September 17 before starting action in the Mercer County Tournament on September 20 at Mercer County Park. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Although the Princeton High girls’ tennis team started its 2021 season with a tough 3-2 loss to Hightstown last Wednesday, Sarah Hibbert believes the early setback could be a blessing in disguise.

“It was disappointing the way it ended, the girls all gave it their all,” said PHS head coach Hibbert, whose team rebounded from the opening day loss to defeat Hamilton 5-0 last Friday.

“We worked as hard as we could and unfortunately the last ball didn’t bounce our way. Hopefully it will give a little extra motivation for the rest of the season, it is alright, we didn’t start off the way we wanted to but we still got a lot of tennis to play.”

Hibbert is getting some good tennis from sophomore Eva Lependorf at first singles, who has moved into the top spot after her classmate Shaila Iyer, last year’s No. 1, decided to pursue her own training and won’t be with the squad this season. more

GOING FORWARD: Princeton Day School boys’ soccer player Milan Shah controls the ball in a game last season. Senior forward Shah figures to be a key offensive threat for PDS this fall. The Panthers, who fell 4-3 in overtime to Hightstown last Monday to move to 1-1, play at Pennington on September 15 before hosting Hamilton West on September 17. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Soccer is in Brian Thomsen’s blood.

“My grandfather actually came over from Glasgow to play semi-professional soccer back in the 1960s,” said Thomsen, 31, a native of Brick, N.J.

“He has been over here ever since. My dad and my uncle played together on the same club team growing up. My dad played at Southern Connecticut State. My uncle played at Loyola and he played professionally. My brother just retired from playing professionally down in Richmond with the Richmond Kickers. We have a soccer family.”

Thomsen, for his part, starred at Monsignor Donovan High in Toms River before playing at Northeastern University for two years and then transferring to Stockton University for his final two seasons of college soccer. Getting into coaching in 2015, he has served as the director of operations for Next Level Soccer Academy, director of programs for Washington Crossing FC Select, as an assistant men’s coach at The College of New Jersey, and the head coach of the Real Central NJ women’s program.

Now he is bringing that background and experience in the game to the Princeton Day School boys’ soccer team, taking the helm of the program after previous head coach Ollie Hilliker stepped down last fall.

“I felt it was a really good opportunity for me to build a program in a college prep-like environment that was different from a public school,” said Thomsen.

“It gave me what I was used to on the soccer side which was that these kids have good facilities, they have good academics, and they have good opportunities from school. There was a lot of support behind the program and athletics at the school.” more

By Bill Alden

The pieces are in place for the Hun School girls’ soccer team to be competitive this fall.

“We have a lot of young talent joined by our strong upperclass,” said Hun head coach Jenn Barrett, whose team went 0-4-1 last fall in a season abbreviated by COVID-19 concerns.

“We really don’t have many weak spots, we should really hold our own this year. We have solid, solid players in every position.”

The Raiders boast three solid players at forward in senior Olivia D’Aulerio, sophomore Tessa Falcone, and sophomore Mackenzie Turner.

“We are super excited that Olivia will have more help up top, we are really going to try to use her speed because she is so fast,” said Barrett of the trio who each scored a goal along with junior Lauren Soler as Hun defeated Moorestown Friends 4-1 last Monday to improve to 1-1.

“Tessa and MacKenzie are both high-level experienced club players so they will be able to feed her the ball and they have a nose for the goal also.” more

GETTING AFTER IT: Hun School field hockey player Ashley Jones goes after the ball in a game last season. Hun defeated Conwell-Egan (Pa.) 4-0 last Monday to improve to 1-1. The Raiders play at Hillsborough High on September 15, host Mercersburg Academy (Pa.) on September 18, and then play at Stuart Country Day on September 21. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Although the Hun School field hockey team went 1-6 last fall, Tracey Arndt believes that the program made some important strides despite the record.

“There is so much more than what they have been showing on the score line,” said Hun head coach Arndt, who is in her third season at the helm of the program.

“In my first year, we were losing games 6-0, 4-0, whatever and last year, although we only played three teams, there were one-goal games. There is the progress that we have been focusing on and not the product. They are recognizing that they have skill and they have potential and they have ability to be successful.”

Arndt views her senior group as a key factor in producing a successful fall.

“They have been great, they have been through so much, all of the seniors have,” said Arndt, whose Class of 2022 includes Olivia Gall, Lynssi Italia, Ashley Jones, Nicole Schaefer, Nora Shea, Lexi Thomas, and Aletheia Watts.

“They got a new coach as sophomores and had that transition. We have one year and then COVID hits so they had to go through all of that. I do think time at home while apart did bring us together. I think they are really mature. We got to know each other a little bit more there, we got to understand each other a little bit better. They are very different in terms of their hockey but what is really special about them is that they all work really hard and they all care about each other very deeply.” more

BELLWETHER: Stuart Country Day School field hockey player Isabel Milley sends the ball up the field in a game last season. Milley and the Tartans are off to a fast start this fall as they topped Pemberton 6-0 last Monday to improve to 3-0. Stuart plays at Princeton Day School on September 15, hosts Bordentown High on September 17, plays at Hamilton High on September 20, and then hosts the Hun School on September 21. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

In 2019, the Stuart Country Day School field hockey team enjoyed a stirring postseason run, advancing to the final of the Mercer County Tournament and the state Prep B semis.

Last fall, Stuart was deprived of a chance to build on that tournament success as both the MCT and Prep competitions were canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.

As the Tartans prepared for the 2021 campaign, they were excited about the prospects of resuming postseason action this fall.

“The first thing I would say is that we are totally looking forward to the opportunity to play in the state and country tournament,” said longtime Stuart head coach Missy Bruvik, who guided the Tartans to a 5-3-1 record in the abbreviated 2020 campaign.

“That builds that excitement. Those tournaments are back and we are going to have a chance to participate.”

Bruvik is excited about her corps of seniors which includes Kaitlyn Magnani, Keya Patel, Sanya Khullar, Audrey Blandford, and Lauren Gracias.

“The senior leadership has been great, they have been leading the way at practice,” said Bruvik. more

September 12, 2021

Tailgate in style with the latest looks from J.McLaughlin.

 more

September 8, 2021

The remnants of Hurricane Ida caused major flooding and destruction throughout the area last week, and the cleanup continues. People share how they were affected by the flooding in this week’s Town Talk on page 6. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)