July 18, 2018

ON THE BALL: Zach Currier chases down the ball in a 2017 game during his senior season with the Princeton University men’s lacrosse team. This week, star midfielder Currier is playing for Canada at the FIL (Federation of International Lacrosse) World Championships in Netanya, Israel. Currier has contributed two goals and an assist to help Canada to go 3-1 to start group play as it looks to defend its title. The semis are slated for July 19 with the championship game scheduled for July 21. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Zach Currier’s combination of versatility and grit helped make him one of the more uniquely productive players in the history of Princeton University men’s lacrosse history.

During his senior season in the spring of 2017, star midfielder Currier, a 6’0, 180-pound native of Peterborough, Ontario, produced 24 goals, 34 assists, 130 ground balls, a team-best 27 caused turnovers, and a 57 percent winning percentage on face-offs for the Tigers.

Moving up to Major League Lacrosse (MLL) that summer to join the Denver Outlaws, Currier continued to be a dynamic playmaker, earning All-Star honors and helping the Outlaws advance to the MLL championship game.

Over the winter, Currier emerged as one of the top rookies in the indoor National Lacrosse League with the Calgary Roughnecks.

This week, Currier is displaying his skill set and tenacity on an international stage, playing for team Canada in the FIL (Federation of International Lacrosse) World Championships in Netanya, Israel.

“It is something I have dreamed about, being able to represent Canada,” said Currier, who has contributed two goals and an assist so far in the tournament to help Canada to go 3-1 to start group play as it looks to defend its title.

“I have done it at U19 level but that is playing with boys. Now that I am able to do it on the men’s level, it is huge. I am really happy for it. It is definitely one of the biggest accomplishments in my lacrosse career, something that I hope can turn into a gold medal.”

Moving up to the MLL helped Currier raise the level of his game. “Making the transition was tough, especially with the shot clock and the skill level, of course,” said Currier, who is based in Michigan where he works full-time for Warrior Sports as a product development engineer focusing on improving lacrosse stick design.

“But with my box background, being able to play fast and being able to adapt to new positions, that helped me. There was an adjustment period for sure but the great coaching staff helped me along the way.”

Going indoors for the NLL was an easier transition for Currier. “I definitely had an edge on most of the younger crowd who got drafted just straight out of high school,” said Currier.

“You go from playing lacrosse at whatever level you are to playing to the best in the world. There are some guys in this league that are just out of this world in terms of skills. You have got to be at your best to try to stop them from scoring. They are going to get their goals and you try to limit them.”

Looking ahead to the world championships, Currier saw taking care of the ball as a key to success for Canada.
“I think possession is critical at the international level,” said Currier. “There is no shot clock, there is no time limit to clear the ball. That is going to be huge, just being able to play hard and make stops when we need to and score goals when we need to. A lot of it is timing.”

Currier’s scrappy, do-everything style should come in handy with the emphasis on ball possession.

“I am hoping to do all the dirty work for my teammates,” said Currier. “There are so many skilled guys on my team. I am not going to be able to score as well as they can but I can pick up a ground ball and I can get them the ball and make sure that our defense gets a rest and stuff like that. The biggest part of my game is that I will be able to contribute is picking up the ball, working hard on the defensive end and in transition, and making sure that our team gets as many possessions as we can.”

Although Canada topped the U.S. 8-5 in the 2014 Worlds final, Currier knows that the squad can’t take anything for granted as it goes for a repeat.

“No matter how many times we win this thing, we will always come in as underdogs because of how strong the U.S.A. team is,” said Currier, who tallied a goal as Canada fell 11-10 to the U.S. last Sunday in a group play matchup.

“I think that is an advantage for us because we have nothing to lose. If we go in there and play our best and the U.S.A. beats us, then our hats are off to them. But we are going to do out best to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

BRONZE STAR: Katarina Stough, center, celebrates with her boat mates after piloting the Georgetown University women’s lightweight four to a bronze medal at the Eastern Sprints in late April in Worcester, Mass. The Princeton High grad and former standout coxswain for PNRA (Princeton National Rowing Association) Mercer Rowing enjoyed two homecomings this spring, competing for the Hoyas against Princeton on Lake Carnegie in a regular season matchup in April and then taking part in the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) national championship regatta on Mercer Lake in June.

Katarina Stough got off to a good start when she joined the Georgetown University women’s lightweight rowing program in the fall of 2015.

The Princeton High grad and former standout coxswain for PNRA (Princeton National Rowing Association) Mercer Rowing immediately found a home on the Potomac with her new teammates.

“All of the girls were so accepting of me, they all really wanted me to succeed,” said Stough, who took up coxing in eighth grade when she took part in a Mercer Rowing camp. “In the fall, I was in the freshman eight.”

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SHOWING HIS STUFF: Chris Murdock delivers a pitch in a game this summer for the Princeton Post 218 American Legion baseball team. Murdock, a recently graduated Hun School star, helped Post 218 go 7-5 in its final 12 games of the season as it bounced back from a 0-10 start. Last week, Murdock got the win on the mound in a 5-2 win over North Hamilton on July 9 and then contributed a hit as Post 218 defeated Ewing 5-3 a day later in its season finale to end with a final record of 7-15. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

When the Princeton Post 218 American Legion baseball team started the summer 0-10, things could have fallen apart for the squad.

Instead, the Post 218 players bonded, going 7-5 over the final 12 games of the campaign.

“It was getting to know everybody as a team chemistry-wise because we definitely had the talent going into it,” said recently graduated Hun star Chris Murdock, a starting pitcher and infielder/outfielder for Post 218.

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SEMI TOUGH: Members of the Princeton Football Club (PFC) Napoli U16 girls’ soccer team pose after they represented New Jersey at the Region 1 Tournament in West Virginia earlier this month. Napoli went 2-1 in group play to advance to the semifinals where it fell 2-1 to Montgomery United (Pa.) 2-1 in the second period of overtime. Pictured in the front row, from left to right, are Alison Walsh (Montgomery High), Vannessa Ponce (Princeton High), Kaitlyn St. Amour (WW/P-North High), Stavroula Papakonstantinou (PHS), Vanessa Devlin (Princeton Day School), Jessica Wu (PHS), and Talya Deutsch (Montgomery). In the back row, from left, are head coach Milen Nikolov, Ashley Moritz (WW/P-North), Neena O’Mara (Montgomery), Nicolette Evich (Hopewell Valley Central High), Emily DeNero (Hopewell Valley), Molly Frain (PHS), Sophia Kavulich (The Pennington School), Morgan Beamer (PHS), Claire Tellier (Hopewell Valley), Dylan Wellborne (The Lawrenceville School), and assistant coach Natalie Wilson. Not pictured is Elizabeth Nielsen (WW/P-South High).

When his Princeton Football Club (PFC) Napoli girls’ soccer team fell in the final four of the State Cup last season, Milen Nikolov believed the defeat could end up being a blessing in disguise.

“When they lost in the semifinal for the state cup on penalty kicks, I told them you are going to get another chance and this is a lesson,” said PFC Napoli head coach Nikolov.

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JOE COOL: Joe Montano of Majeski Foundation dribbles the ball in playoff action last year in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League. Last Monday, Montano helped fourth-seeded Majeski edge fifth-seeded Apex Sport 51-48 in the playoff quarterfinals. In other quarterfinal action, second-seeded NJ Spiritwear defeated seventh-seeded Gomo Health 77-49 while third-seeded Packer Hall All-Stars beat sixth-seeded Cure Insurance 58-41. In the semifinals on Wednesday at the Community Park courts, Majeski will face top-seeded Loyaltees while Packer Hall plays NJ Spiritwear. The victors will advance to the league’s best-of-three championship series starting on July 23. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Over the previous two summers, the Majeski Foundation has emerged as a dominant force in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League.In 2016, the team, comprised of players from The College of New Jersey men’s basketball program, lost once in regular season play on the way to winning the league championship series.

Last summer, Majeski posted an undefeated regular season and advanced to the title series where it fell to Packer Hall All-Stars.

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July 11, 2018

FAMILY TIES: Tom Schreiber heads to goal during his career with the Princeton University men’s lacrosse team. Schreiber, a 2014 Princeton alum who scored 200 points for the Tigers on 106 goals and 94 assists who has gone on to star in Major league Lacrosse, will be playing for the U.S. national team at the FIL (Federation of International Lacrosse) World Championships in Netanya, Israel from July 12-21. Schreiber is following in a family tradition at the competition as his father, Doug, played for the U.S. squad that won the gold medal at the 1974 Worlds in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

In 1974, University of Maryland men’s lacrosse star Doug Schreiber helped the U.S. national team win the gold medal at the FIL (Federation of International Lacrosse) Men’s Lacrosse World Championship in Melbourne, Australia. more

CATCHING ON: Paul Franzoni is taking control at catcher this spring in his freshman season for New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Division I baseball program. Franzoni, a former Princeton Day School standout, enjoyed a superb debut campaign for NJIT, hitting .271 and earning ASUN (Atlantic Sun Conference) All-Freshman team honors to help the Highlanders go 22-25 overall and 9-12 ASUN on the way to making the league’s postseason tournament. (Photo by Mike McLaughlin Photography for New Jersey Institute of Technology, Courtesy of NJIT Sports Information)

By Bill Alden

Surveying his options as he went through the college baseball recruiting process, Paul Franzoni concluded that the New Jersey Institute of Technology offered a range of opportunities that he couldn’t pass up. more

SELECT CLUB: Members of the Princeton Football Club (PFC) Boca 2002B team celebrate after they won the 16U title at the U.S. Club Soccer Mid-Atlantic Regional earlier this month in Somerset. PFC defeated PDA South Suarez 2-0 in the title game to earn a trip to the U.S. Club Soccer Nationals in Aurora, Colo. later this month. The PFC team includes Princeton High students Jared Bell, Brendan Coffee, Rafael Matar Grandi, Dylan Parker, Ethan Parker, Simon Sheppard, Noah LaPoint, and Ian Pompliano, along with Peter Sarsfield of Princeton Day School, Jakob Kunzer of Lawrenceville School, Xavier Guerreiro and Aron Szoke of Council Rock High North (Pa.), Herbert Ramirez and Brendan Sagbo from Hightstown High, Daniel Ingersoll of South Hunterdon, and Connor Staples from WW/P-South.

By Bill Alden

The Princeton Football Club (PFC) Boca 2002B team didn’t have to travel far to compete in the U.S. Club Soccer Mid-Atlantic Regional, as the competition was held in nearby Somerset.

But after surviving a gauntlet of tough foes in games played in a heat wave, the PFC 16U squad earned a trip of around 1,750 miles as it won the regional crown in its division to qualify for the U.S. Club Soccer Nationals in Aurora, Colo. more

BANNER DAY: Members of the Princeton Little League (PLL) squad display the banner they earned for winning the Section 3 Intermediate 50/70 tournament last week. PLL defeated host Middletown 12-6 to clinch the title and advance to the N.J. State tournament which starts this Wednesday in Lacey Township. It marked the second sectional crown for the PLL program. Pictured in the front row, from left, are Danny Harlan, Alex Winters, Nico Vitaro, Remmick Granozio, Jonathan Tao, Rohan Sheth, and Jack Durbin. In the back row, from left, are manager Jon Durbin, A.J. Surace, Ethan Roth, Lucas Pelc, Wes Yonish, Gordon Grandbouche, and coaches Damon Grandbouche, and Jeremy Vitaro.

By Bill Alden

After winning two nail-biters to start play in the Section 3 Intermediate 50/70 tournament, the Princeton Little League (PLL) squad was looking to put the hammer down as it faced host Middletown in its third game. more

SPIRITED EFFORT: John McArthur unloads a pass during his career with the Princeton Day School boys’ basketball team. Last Monday, McArthur, now a rising sophomore at Immaculata University, tallied 18 points to help NJ Spiritwear top Majeski Foundation 81-70 in overtime in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

During his career for the Princeton Day School boys’ basketball team, John McArthur’s inside-outside game helped him pass the 1,000-point mark in his career and lead PDS to the state Prep B title in 2015-16.

Last Monday evening, McArthur displayed his versatility, tallying 18 points to help NJ Spiritwear top Majeski Foundation 81-70 in overtime in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League. more

July 3, 2018

WORLD CLASS: Obiageri Amaechi competes in the discus this spring for the Princeton University women’s track team during her freshman season. After a superb debut campaign which saw her break the school record several times and finish seventh at the NCAA Championships to earn first-team All-American honors, Amaechi placed first at the USA Track & Field Junior Championships with a personal best and Ivy League record heave of 186’11. Amaechi will now compete in the IAAF World U20 Championship in Tampere, Finland from July 10-15. (Photo by Beverly Schaefer, Courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

By Bill Alden

Obiageri Amaechi focused on sprinting and jumping events when she started her high school track career as a freshman in 2013.

While Amaechi mainly did the 100, 200, 4×100 relay, long jump, and high jump competing for Abraham Lincoln High in San Francisco, she did start dabbling in the discus and shot put. more

TOP DOG: Chris Fake carries the ball up the field for the Yale University men’s lacrosse team as it battled Duke in the NCAA championship game. Former Hun School star Fake helped the Bulldogs top Duke 13-11 in the title game to earn the program’s first national title. Fake emerged as a defensive star this spring, getting named as the Ivy League Rookie of the Year, making 1st-team All-Ivy and second team All-America. (Photo Courtesy of Yale Sports Publicity)

By Bill Alden

For Chris Fake, a daily ritual this spring with the Yale University men’s lacrosse team helped mold him into one of the top defenders in the nation.

As the former Hun School standout looked to get up to speed in his freshman campaign for the Bulldogs, he drilled with with Yale senior attacker Ben Reeves everyday after practice. more

MAC ATTACK: Marqui McBride helps lead the offensive charge for the West all-star squad in the 22nd Annual Sunshine Football Classic last Friday at The College of New Jersey. Recently graduated Princeton High star lineman McBride enjoyed a big game as the West prevailed 28-20. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Marqui McBride wasn’t surprised when the West all-star squad started the 22nd Annual Sunshine Football Classic last Friday by grinding out a 14-play, 74-yard scoring march to jump ahead 7-0 over the East team.

“We established that lineman connection on the first day of practice,” said recently graduated Princeton High star offensive lineman McBride. “Everyone coming up with calls for ourselves and all that stuff.” more

FINISHING KICK: Princeton High running star Will Hare heads to the finish line in a cross country race last fall. Senior Hare ended his PHS career on a high note this spring, placing first in the 3,200 run at the Mercer County Championships, the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional and the state Group 4 meet, helping the Little Tigers to the team title in each of the meets. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As Will Hare headed into this spring for his final season with the Princeton High boys’ track team, he was paying attention to detail.

“It was really a lot about taking care of the little things in the spring,” said Hare. “I wanted to set myself up as best as I could to be running well in late May and early June. Those are really the meets that define the season and, in my case, my career.” more

TITLE RACE: Princeton Little League (PLL) star A.J. Surace takes a cut in Intermediate 50/70 playoff action. Last Friday, Surace contributed two hits to help Princeton rally to a 12-9 win over host Middletown in the opener of the Section 3 tournament. PLL topped Beachwood 11-9 a day later to advance to the championship round of the double-elimination competition. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After rolling to the District 12 Intermediate 50/70 title, outscoring Millstone-Roosevelt 26-6 in the two-team tournament, the Princeton Little League (PLL) squad showed a flair for drama as it competed at the Section 3 tourney last weekend in Middletown.

In its opening game at the double-elimination tourney last Friday, Princeton fell behind early to host Middletown, trailing 5-2 going into the sixth inning before exploding for nine runs in the sixth inning on the way to a 12-9 victory. more

Members of the Princeton Little League 11-year-old all-star team celebrate after winning the 11-U title at the recently-held USABL (United States Amateur Baseball League) “Bring the Heat” Tourney. Princeton rallied from 5-0 deficit against Monroe in the championship game to prevail 16-11. The team beat Lincroft 6-4 and Gallagher/Sportika 13-10 on the way to final at the tourney, which was held in Toms River and Howell. Pictured in the front row, from left, are Ben Walden, Colton Simonds, Anders Hedin, Travis Petrone, and Mike Prete. In the back row, from left, are Brady Collier, Basil Reiger, Alex Winters, Ed Kuczynski, Luke Haan, and Carter Hillsdon. Not pictured is Sam Lee.

June 27, 2018

By Bill Alden

Adam Wijaya saved his best for last this spring as he helped the Hun School baseball team win its third straight state Prep A title.

The star third baseman produced a huge senior year, batting .452 with a team-high 28 hits as the Raiders went 15-6 on the way to the three-peat.

Looking to build on that progress, the Hamilton College-bound Wijaya joined the Princeton Post 218 American Legion team this summer. more

By Bill Alden

Even though the Princeton High football team went 1-19 in his two seasons as a starting offensive lineman, Adam Musa doesn’t dwell on the steady diet of losing when he looks back on the experience.

“I think of the teammates and the game and all of the fun hanging out with the guys,” said Musa.

“You forget about the scores and all of that stuff. You just had a great time on the field playing with the guys. It is the memories you had together, the jokes you made and the Saturday morning breakfasts. We would have cheesy potatoes come in and everybody would be fighting each other for those cheesy potatoes. We had a lot of fun with our line coach. We had a great time.” more

A DREAM COME TRUE: Blake Dietrick heads to the basket in 2015 during her senior season for the Princeton University women’s basketball team. The star guard is currently in her second stint in the WNBA, playing for the Atlanta Dream. Dietrick has made eight appearances for the Dream, getting a season-high 18 minutes with three points in a 79-72 loss to the New York Liberty on June 19. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After a brilliant career for the Princeton University women’s basketball team and a stint in an Italian pro league, Blake Dietrick achieved her goal of playing in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) as she made the opening day roster for the Seattle Storm in 2016.

But Dietrick didn’t stick with the team, appearing in two games for the Storm and then playing in one game for the San Antonio Stars on a seven-day contract. more

OVER THE MOON: Yale University men’s lacrosse player Robert Mooney, right, battles for the ball against Duke in the NCAA championship game. Princeton resident and former Lawrenceville School standout Mooney helped the Bulldogs top the Blue Devils 13-11 in the title game to earn the program’s first-ever national crown. Mooney, a rising senior defender, earned second-team All-Ivy League honors this spring. (Photo Courtesy of Yale Sports Publicity)

By Bill Alden

In the early stages of his athletic career at the Lawrenceville School, Robert Mooney stamped himself as a college prospect in both soccer and lacrosse.

But after suffering a injury in the fall of 2013 during his junior season with the Big Red boys’ soccer team, Princeton native Mooney turned his attention to lacrosse.  more

ONE MORE SHOT: Vince Doran prepares to pass for the Princeton High football team during the 2016 season. Last fall, Doran’s senior season was cut short when he broke his collarbone on his first play in the season opener. This Friday, Doran will get a chance to get back on the field as he plays for the West squad in the Sunshine Football Classic at The College of New Jersey. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As Vince Doran took the field last August in the season opener for the Princeton High football team, he was poised for a big senior campaign.

Coming off a superb junior campaign that saw the lefty quarterback throw 16 touchdown passes, Doran believed he could build on that success. more

GRAND SLAM: Gordon Grandbouche delivers a pitch last weekend for the Princeton Little League (PLL) squad hosted Millstone-Roosevelt in the two-team, double-elimination District 12 Intermediate 50/70 tournament. Grandbouche starred on the mound, at the plate, and in the field as PLL posted a pair of 13-3 wins over Millstone to take the title, its fourth in six years in the competition. The squad will now compete in the Section 3 tournament, which starts on June 29 and is being held in Middletown. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As the Princeton Little League (PLL) squad hosted Millstone-Roosevelt in the two-team, double-elimination District 12 Intermediate 50/70 tournament last Friday at the Farmview Fields, it was determined to seize the momentum.

“We were really looking to get out to a strong start, right from the get-go,” said PLL manager Jon Durbin. more

TEEING OFF: Terrance Bailey of LoyalTees heads to the hoop in recent action in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League. Last Monday. Bailey scored 18 points to help LoyalTees defeat Majeski Foundation 73-62 and improve to 4-0. In other action on Monday, Cure Insurance defeated Gomo Health 67-44 and NJ Spiritwear topped Apex Sport 70-43. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

It was a battle of unbeatens when LoyalTees faced Majeski Foundation last Monday evening in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League.

Terrance Bailey and his LoyalTees teammates were primed for the clash at the Community Park courts.

“We knew this was going to be a tough game,” said Bailey. “We just wanted to come out and keep the tone going and set it right.” more

June 20, 2018

HOMECOMING: Addie Micir, center, surveys the action during her role as an assistant coach for the Dartmouth College women’s basketball team. Micir, a 2011 Princeton University alum and former star for the Tigers women’s hoops program, is coming home to serve as an assistant coach for her alma mater. (Photo Courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

By Bill  Alden

When Addie Micir arrived at Princeton University in the fall of 2007 and joined the women’s basketball team, she developed an instant rapport with head coach Courtney Banghart.

“She has been a mentor of mine since day one when I stepped on campus and she was my coach,” said Micir. more

FLYING HIGH: Princeton High boys’ track star Varun Narayan competes in a meet this spring. Last weekend at the New Balance Nationals in Greensboro, N.C., senior star and Carnegie Mellon-bound Narayan posted a mark of 23’ 2.5 in the long jump to finish sixth and earn All-American honors. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After dominating the New Jersey competition this spring by winning the Mercer County Championships, the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional meet, and the state Group 4 title, the Princeton High boys’ track team excelled on the national stage last weekend.

Competing at the New Balance Nationals in Greensboro, N.C., two of the boys’ entries earned All-America honors. more