July 26, 2017

SPECIAL DELIVERY: Teddy Durbin delivers a pitch for the West Windsor-Plainsboro Babe Ruth 15-year-old All Stars last week in the Southern New Jersey state tournament. Last Friday, rising Princeton High junior Durbin got the win on the mound as West Windsor-Plainsboro defeat Hamilton-Northern Burlington 7-4 to win the crown. West Windsor will now compete in the Babe Ruth Mid-Atlantic Regional Tournament in Naskayunk, N.Y. with that tourney wrapping up this weekend.

Teddy Durbin celebrated his 16th birthday last Sunday but he already received a special gift two days earlier.

Pitching for the West Windsor-Plainsboro Babe Ruth 15-year-old All Stars, rising Princeton High junior Durbin helped the squad defeat Hamilton-Northern Burlington 7-4 as the program captured its first ever Southern New Jersey state title. more

EAGLE EYE: Jake Alu takes a swing in action this spring during his sophomore season for the Boston College baseball team. Former Princeton Day School standout Alu enjoyed a breakthrough campaign in 2017, leading the Eagles with a .331 batting average, producing 55 hits, a double, 23 RBIs, 15 walks, and 12 stolen bases. Alu earned third-team New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA) All-New England honors.  (Photo provided by Boston College Athletics/John Quackenbos)

Jake Alu was a star from day one of his baseball career at Princeton Day School.

Alu started at shortstop as a freshman in the spring of 2012, hitting at the top of the order for PDS. He was a fixture in that spot all four years, exceeding the 100-hit mark in his career, becoming the program’s all-time hits leader. Along the way, Alu earned All-Prep B accolades each season of his career, included first-team honors as a senior. more

ON THE RISE: Seth DeValve leaps for the ball during his career with the Princeton University football team. DeValve is getting ready for his second training camp with the Cleveland Browns, which starts this Thursday in Berea, Ohio. Tight end DeValve made 10 catches for 127 yards and two touchdowns last fall in his rookie campaign. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Despite being hampered by injuries that caused him to miss a big chunk of playing time in his final two seasons with the Princeton University football team, Seth DeValve caught the eye of the National Football League.

The star receiver was chosen as the 138th pick in the fourth round of the 2016 National Football League draft by the Cleveland Browns, the highest-drafted Tiger in the modern era. more

RED ALERT: Connor Fletcher head upfield this spring in his freshman campaign for the Cornell University men’s lacrosse team. Former Princeton Day School standout Fletcher enjoyed a big debut season for the Big Red, tallying 32 points on 22 goals and 10 assists. (Photo by Dari Zehr, provided courtesy of Cornell’s Office of Athletics Communications)

It didn’t take long for Connor Fletcher to make an impact in his freshmen season for the Cornell University men’s lacrosse team. more

PACKER NATION: Kevin Johnson dribbles the ball in recent action for the Packer Hall All-Stars in the Princeton Recreation Department Summer Men’s Basketball League. Last Monday, Johnson scored seven pouts as seventh-seeded packer edged top-seeded majesty Foundation in the first game of the league’s best-of-three championship series. Game two is slated for July 26 at the Community Park courts.  (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Last year, Kevin Johnson helped the Majeski Foundation win the title in the Princeton Recreation Department Summer Men’s Basketball League. more

July 24, 2017

DOING WELL: Princeton Post 218 American Legion baseball player Zach Dudeck takes a cut in recent action. Last Wednesday, center fielder and lead-off batter Dudeck contributed a double and a walk in a losing cause as Post 218 fell 19-2 to South Brunswick. The defeat left Princeton with a final record of 2-20 this summer. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

For Zach Dudeck, changing his priorities helped him enjoy a breakout year this spring in his senior campaign for the Princeton Day School baseball team.

The center fielder starred as PDS posted a 10-10 record, hitting .322 with 16 runs and 17 RBIs.

“I started focusing mainly on baseball; before I was trying to do soccer and baseball,” said Dudeck, reflecting on his final high school campaign. more

July 19, 2017

When Thomas Walker took up rowing in 2012 at the Princeton National Rowing Association’s Mercer Rowing Club (PNRA/Mercer), he was quickly inspired to someday make an impact in the sport on a national level.

“We shared that boathouse with the women’s national team and it was pretty awesome to look at the best people in the world,” said Walker, who was a junior at Princeton High when he joined PNRA/Mercer. “I always had that goal to be able to race for the U.S.A. in some capacity.” more

TURNING THE CORNER: Dana Smith races upfield this spring in her junior season with the Lafayette College women’s lacrosse team. Smith, a former Princeton High girls’ soccer and lacrosse standout, helped Lafayette go 10-8 in 2017 and make the Patriot League postseason tournament for the first time since 2013. It was the program’s best record since 2002, when it went 13-7. Defender Smith was twice named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week this season. (Photo Provided by Lafayette Sports Information)

Even though her Lafayette College women’s lacrosse team posted a 6-11 record in 2016, Dana Smith believed the squad was on the verge of turning the corner. more

MORE TO COME: Cara Morey surveys the action during her six-year tenure as assistant coach for the Princeton University women’s hockey team. Morey was recently named as the head coach of the program, succeeding Jeff Kampersal, who left Princeton to guide the Penn State women’s hockey team. (Photo Courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

Cara Morey had never coached at the college level before joining the staff of the Princeton University women’s hockey team in 2011.

Over the last six years, Morey gained a wealth of experience, being involved in every phase of the operation under the tutelage of head coach Jeff Kampersal. more

COMING THROUGH: Jordan Glover bulls through two defenders in playoff action last year in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League. On Monday, Glover scored 12 points to help top-seeded and defending champion Majestic Foundation top eighth-seeded King’s Pizzarama 59-38 in a quarterfinal clash. In other quarterfinal action on Monday, seventh-seeded Packer Hall All-Stars upset second-seeded LoyalTees 58-51. The two other quarterfinal games take place on Wednesday at the Community Park courts with third-seeded Princeton Special Sports facing sixth-seeded NJAC and fourth-seeded PEAC Performance playing fifth-seeded PA Blue Devils. The semifinals are slated for Friday with the best-of-three championship series starting on July 24. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Although the Majestic Foundation posted an 8-0 record in regular season play in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League and is the defending champion, the squad wasn’t overconfident as it opened its title defense last Monday.  more

July 12, 2017

MAJOR DEVELOPMENT: Evan Barratt controls the puck during his career with the Hun School boys’ hockey team. Barratt, who played at Hun from 2013-15, moved on to the U.S.A. Hockey’s National Team Development Program. Last month, Barratt, who has committed to play his college hockey at Penn State, was chosen in the third round of the NHL draft by the Chicago Blackhawks as the 90th pick overall. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

For Evan Barratt, it was the opportunity of a lifetime.

After helping the Hun School boys’ hockey team win the state Prep title and its second straight Mercer County Tournament crown during his sophomore season in 2014-15, star forward Barratt was asked by U.S.A. Hockey to try out for its National Team Development Program. more

IN CHARGE: Having been involved in athletics administration in the Princeton Public Schools for nearly 20 years, Brian Dzbenski is well suited for his new role as the district’s Supervisor of Physical Education and Athletic Director (AD). After serving as interim Athletic Director in the wake of the passing of former AD John Miranda last August, Dzbenski was named to the position this spring.

Princeton High held graduation in late June and the 4th of July holiday has come and gone but that doesn’t mean it is time for Brian Dzbenski to take a summer break.

As the recently hired Supervisor of Physical Education and Athletic Director for the Princeton district, Dzbenski has a lot on his plate even though school is out. more

LOYALTY POINTS: Davon Black puts up a shot for LoyalTees in recent action in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League. Last Monday, former Princeton High boy’s hoops star Black scored 18 points to help LoyalTees top King’s Pizzarama 58-52 to improve to 5-2. In other games on Monday, Majeski Foundation defeated the PA Blue Devils 72-53 to improve to 7-0 and Princeton Special Sports/Liquid Outdoor Advertising edged PEAC Performance 66-63. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Although the LoyalTees team was put together just weeks before the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League started action this June, the squad has come together quickly.

The team jumped out to a 2-0 start in the first week of league play and is battling for second place in the eight-team league. more

LEADING THE WAY: Members of the Princeton High boys’ cross country team take off at the start of the Mercer County Championships last fall. The PHS cross county squad produced a season for the ages last fall, winning the state Group 4 title and the Meet of Champions, finishing the campaign as the top-ranked team in the state. The heroics of the Little Tiger distance runners helped PHS get ranked 50th in a list of the Top 50 programs for 2016-17 compiled by NJ.com. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Capping off a superb year for Princeton High athletics, the school has been included in a ranking of the Top 50 programs for 2016-17 compiled by NJ.com.

The rankings were created by analyzing the accomplishments of each athletic program — individual team rankings, championships, individual awards and accolades, etc. — during the recently completed school year. more

FIGHTING IRISH: Nonie Andersen heads up the field this spring for the Princeton University women’s lacrosse team. Rising junior defender Andersen is currently competing for Ireland in the 2017 FIL Rathbones Women’s Lacrosse World Cup in England. She is being joined at the competition, which runs from July 12-22, by Princeton teammate Olivia Hompe ’17, who is playing for England. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

As Nonie Andersen entered her final year at Glenbrook High in the Chicago area in the fall of 2014, she didn’t appear to be a likely candidate to play for Ireland’s women’s national lacrosse team. more

HERE COMES THE SUN: Davon Reed dribbles up the court during his career with the University of Miami men’s basketball team. Reed, a former Princeton Day School standout, was recently chosen in the second round of the 2017 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns as the 32nd pick overall. Last Friday, he made his debut for the Suns, scoring 17 points as the Suns defeated the Sacramento Kings 89-85 in their NBA Summer League opener. (Photo Courtesy of Miami’s Office of Athletic Communications)

As a youngster, Davon Reed knew exactly what he wanted to be when he grew up.

“When people ask you what you want to be, some people say like a doctor or a teacher or an airplane pilot, I always said that I want to play in the NBA,” said Reed, a former Princeton Day School hoops star who went on to enjoy a superb career for the University of Miami. “That is what I have been saying all of my life.” more

July 5, 2017

LOCKED IN: Princeton Post 218 American Legion baseball player John Girouard waits for a pitch in recent action. Last Wednesday, Girouard, a rising Princeton High senior, went 3-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs in a losing cause as Princeton fell 10-9 to Trenton Post 93/182. Princeton, which moved to 2-13 with a 10-1 loss to Hightstown Post 148 last Friday, plays at Ewing Post 314 on July 5, hosts Hopewell Post 339 on July 6, South Brunswick on July 7, plays at Hamilton Post 31 on July 9 and at Hopewell on July 10, and then hosts Allentown on July 11.

John Girouard and his teammates on the Princeton Post 218 American Legion baseball team didn’t hang their heads when they fell behind visiting Trenton Post 93/182 in the top of the first inning last Wednesday evening. more

Last winter, Jack Coolahan assumed a supporting role for the Babson College men’s basketball team when it won the NCAA Division III national championship.

As a freshman guard for the Beavers, the 6’4, 185-pound Coolahan, a native of Newtown, Pa., averaged 1.8 points a game in nine appearances.

This past Friday in the Princeton Men’s Summer Hoops League, Coolahan stepped into a leading role for the PA Blue Devils, scoring a team-high 21 points to help them pull away to a 70-60 win over King’s Pizzarama at the Community Park courts. more

BLOCK PARTY: Matt Hawes, right, delivers a block in the Sunshine Football Classic last Thursday evening at The College of New Jersey. Recently graduated Princeton High standout Hawes helped the West to a 24-7 win over the East in the 21st edition of the all-star game. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Matt Hawes will never forget the last play of his high school football career. more

BANNER DAY: Members of the Princeton Little League (PLL) team enjoy the moment after they defeated West End 10-3 last Wednesday at Farmview Fields to win the District 12 Intermediate 50/70 tournament. Over the weekend, PLL went 2-1 at the Section 3 tournament to earn a spot in the final round against Freehold. Pictured in the front row, from left, are Jonathan Tao, Jack Durbin, Eli Sofer, Jensen Bergman, Theo Steiger, Jake Zuckerman, James Petrone, and Bobby Kuczynski. In the back row, from left, are coach Gary Zuckerman, coach Jeff Bergman, Carl Birge, Dhillon Choudhri, Andrew Lambert, Jaxon Petrone, Palmer Maurer, and manager Jon Durbin.

One of the traditional spoils of victory when a Little League team wins a district title involves the players brandishing the championship banner collectively in the post-game celebration. more

BRINGING THE HAMMER: Julia Ratcliffe displays her hammer throw form. Recently graduated Ratcliffe wrapped up her storied career with the Princeton University women’s track team by placing sixth in the hammer at the NCAA Championships last month. New Zealand native Ratcliffe, who just missed making the 2016 Summer Olympics, will be continuing her international career this summer as she competes in the 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships in London and the 2017 World University Games in Taipei, Taiwan. (Photo Courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

Julia Ratcliffe took a hiatus from her Princeton University track career, heading to her native New Zealand for a year to train for a shot at the 2016 Summer Olympics. more

June 28, 2017

PLAYING IT SMART: Princeton University women’s lacrosse star Olivia Hompe, right, heads up the field in game this past spring during her senior season. Last week, Hompe was named as the 2017 Scholar-Athlete of the Year by the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA). (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Recently graduated Princeton University women’s lacrosse star Olivia Hompe ’17 has been named the 2017 Scholar-Athlete of the Year, the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) announced last week. more

HANDS ON: Princeton High football player Ethan Guerra, left, battles in the trenches during a game last fall. Recently graduated star lineman Guerra will play the final game of his football career as he competes for the West team in the 21st annual Sunshine Football Classic at The College of New Jersey on June 29. He will be joined on the squad by PHS teammates Alex Solopenkov and Matt Hawes. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Ethan Guerra experienced plenty of ups and downs during his career with the Princeton High football team. more

SOLO PERFORMANCE: Alex Solopenkov heads up the field during his career with the Princeton High football team. Recently graduated Solopenkov will wrap up his high school football career as he plays for the West team in the 21st annual Sunshine Football Classic at The College of New Jersey on June 29. He will be joined on the squad by PHS teammates Ethan Guerra and Matt Hawes. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Transferring to Princeton High from North Brunswick midway through his sophomore year, Alex Solopenkov was an unknown quantity when he hit the football field for the Little Tigers in the fall of 2015. more

ACTION JAXON: Princeton Little League (PLL) player Jaxon Petrone takes a rip in the opening round of the District 12 Intermediate 50/70 tournament last Sunday. Petrone went 2-for-4 with a double, a run, and three RBIs to help PLL defeat West End 18-6. Princeton will face West End in the championship round of the tourney, needing one win to clinch the crown in the double-elimination competition. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

There was nothing complicated about the game plan for the Princeton Little League (PLL) as it faced West End in the opening round of the District 12 Intermediate 50/70 tournament last Sunday. more