August 26, 2015

FINISHING KICK: Ben Davis kicks the ball in action for the Lehigh University men’s soccer team. Davis, a former Princeton High standout, is heading into his final campaign for the Mountain Hawks. Defender Davis and Lehigh start the 2015 campaign on August 28 when the Mountain Hawks host Fairleigh Dickinson.(Photo Courtesy of Lehigh Sports Communications)

FINISHING KICK: Ben Davis kicks the ball in action for the Lehigh University men’s soccer team. Davis, a former Princeton High standout, is heading into his final campaign for the Mountain Hawks. Defender Davis and Lehigh start the 2015 campaign on August 28 when the Mountain Hawks host Fairleigh Dickinson. (Photo Courtesy of Lehigh Sports Communications)

Despite emerging as an All-State defender for the Princeton High boys’ soccer team, Ben Davis was not heavily recruited by college programs.

“I didn’t put that much emphasis on playing soccer when I was looking at schools,” said Davis, a 2012 PHS grad who helped PHS win a state title in 2009 and county crowns in 2009 and 2011. more

August 19, 2015

LANDMARK VICTORY: Victory Sports basketball director Bryan Caver, second from left, presents the Maselli & Warren Law Firm team with the trophy it earned for winning the Victory Sports Pro-Am League championship in the league’s inaugural season. Maselli & Warren edged CertaPro Painters 67-64 in the title game last Thursday evening at the Hun School gym.

It turned out to be a win-win scenario for the Victory Sports Pro-Am League as the Maselli & Warren Law Firm faced CertaPro Painters in the first-ever championship game of the new hoops league at the Hun School gym last Thursday evening. more

FITTING FINALE: Ted Sobolewski, the manager of rowing programs and girls’ head coach for the Princeton National Rowing Association’s Mercer Rowing Club (PNRA/Mercer), addresses some of his rowers at the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta earlier this month. It was the final competition at PNRA/ Mercer for Sobolewski before he leaves to assume the role of associate head coach for men’s rowing at Northeastern University and his rowers gave him a big send-off. The PNRA/Mercer girls won seven of the nine events they entered. The boys’ rowers added to the gold medal haul for the club, winning two events to record their first-ever victories at the competition.

FITTING FINALE: Ted Sobolewski, the manager of rowing programs and girls’ head coach for the Princeton National Rowing Association’s Mercer Rowing Club (PNRA/Mercer), addresses some of his rowers at the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta earlier this month. It was the final competition at PNRA/ Mercer for Sobolewski before he leaves to assume the role of associate head coach for men’s rowing at Northeastern University and his rowers gave him a big send-off. The PNRA/Mercer girls won seven of the nine events they entered. The boys’ rowers added to the gold medal haul for the club, winning two events to record their first-ever victories at the competition.

As the Princeton National Rowing Association’s Mercer Rowing Club (PNRA/Mercer) girls rowers headed into the 133rd Royal Canadian Henley Regatta earlier this month, they brought some extra emotion across the border. more

FLYING HIGH: Boston College receiver David Dudeck eludes a Penn State defender in action last December in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Dudeck, a former baseball and football star at the Hun School, made a 21-yard touchdown reception in overtime in the game as Boston College lost 31-30. Dudeck is currently in preseason camp for his senior campaign with the Eagles.(Photo Courtesy of Boston College Athletic Communications)

(Photo Courtesy of Boston College Athletic Communications)

 

David Dudeck starred in baseball at the Hun School but he made it to Yankee Stadium last year as a member of the Boston College (BC) football team. more

August 12, 2015

Registration for the Princeton Little League (PLL) 2015 fall baseball season is now underway.

The PLL fall season gets underway on Saturday, September 12. All sessions to be on Saturday afternoons with no weeknights.

Player development is the primary focus of the PLL fall program. Players will be organized by age division and by team. They will play games, but no standings will be kept, as the primary goal is to work on skills and have fun. Players will also practice for 30-40 minutes (depends on age group) before the start of each game. Fall ball will also feature the return of our Pro Coaching Sessions. Pro coaches will lead two special days of training for all registered players and all volunteer coaches.

 more

BEARING DOWN: Emma Quigley goes after the ball in action last fall during her freshman season for the Brown University field hockey team. Former Princeton Day School star Quigley made 12 appearances and scored a goal in her debut campaign for the Bears. Next week, she starts preseason practice for her sophomore season.(Photo Courtesy of Brown’s Office of Athletic Communications)

BEARING DOWN: Emma Quigley goes after the ball in action last fall during her freshman season for the Brown University field hockey team. Former Princeton Day School star Quigley made 12 appearances and scored a goal in her debut campaign for the Bears. Next week, she starts preseason practice for her sophomore season. (Photo Courtesy of Brown’s Office of Athletic Communications)

When Emma Quigley began the recruiting process for college field hockey, one school jumped to the top of her list.

“I started sophomore year, looking at and researching schools,” said Quigley, a former Princeton Day School standout who recorded 44 goals and 20 assists in her career with the Panthers, earning All-Prep and All-County honors.

“I loved Brown from the start. I thought it was a bit of a reach academically because it is such a great school. I e-mailed the coach as a sophomore. My dad went to grad school there. I loved the campus.”

With some support from PDS head coach Tracey Arndt, Quigley ended up finding a spot at Brown.

“Jill (Brown head coach Jill Reeve) knew Tracey from Penn State and the U.S. national team,” said Quigley. “She was amazing helping me, sending Jill e-mails.”

Last fall, Quigley enjoyed a solid freshman campaign for the Bears, appearing in 12 games at forward and scoring a goal.

Next week, Quigley will start her second preseason camp, steeled by what she learned last summer.

“It was hard, any college freshman is nervous going in and playing a sport is even more pressure,” said Quigley. more

HEADING WEST: Julia DiTosto patrols the midfield in a game last fall during her senior season with the Princeton High field hockey team. Star midfielder DiTosto, an All-State and All-County standout for PHS, is currently hitting the field for the Stanford University field hockey team as she starts preseason practices for her freshman campaign.(Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

HEADING WEST: Julia DiTosto patrols the midfield in a game last fall during her senior season with the Princeton High field hockey team. Star midfielder DiTosto, an All-State and All-County standout for PHS, is currently hitting the field for the Stanford University field hockey team as she starts preseason practices for her freshman campaign. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Having played field hockey, ice hockey, and softball through middle school, Julia DiTosto narrowed her athletic focus when she entered Princeton High in 2011.

“I didn’t really take field hockey seriously until my freshman year of high school,” said DiTosto.

“I joined a club team and it really became a part of my life. I ended up spending every weekend playing. I joined the Impact club out of Drew University and was there as a freshman and a sophomore. In the fall of my junior year, I switched to the Princeton club.

DiTosto, a skilled 5’5 midfielder who impacts the game at both ends of the field, ended up becoming one of the top players in the area, earning All-County and All-State honors. She was named as the 2014 CVC Player of the Year and was also selected as the Midfielder of the Year.

This week, DiTosto is hitting the field for the Stanford University field hockey team as she starts preseason practices for her freshman campaign with the Cardinals.

Although DiTosto was initially leaning toward staying home, going to Princeton University and joining its field hockey program, she ultimately decided to head west for college. more

WILLPOWER: Nassau Swim Club Lemmings standout Will Kinney displays his breaststroke form. Kinney, who also stars for the Princeton High boys’ swim team, came up big for the Lemmings at the Princeton Area Swimming and Diving Association (PASDA) championship meet. He won the boys’ 18-and-under division 50 freestyle and finished second in both the 50 backstroke and 50 breaststroke as Nassau placed second of five teams in the Division 2 standings at the meet.(Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

WILLPOWER: Nassau Swim Club Lemmings standout Will Kinney displays his breaststroke form. Kinney, who also stars for the Princeton High boys’ swim team, came up big for the Lemmings at the Princeton Area Swimming and Diving Association (PASDA) championship meet. He won the boys’ 18-and-under division 50 freestyle and finished second in both the 50 backstroke and 50 breaststroke as Nassau placed second of five teams in the Division 2 standings at the meet. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

For the Nassau Swim Club, a blend of quantity and quality helped it enjoy a big performance at the Princeton Area Swimming and Diving Association (PASDA) championship meet.

“We did really well,” said Nassau head coach Morgan Sawin, whose team took second out of five teams in the Division 2 standings at the PASDA meet. more

August 5, 2015
TRUE BLUE: Stephen Kratzer of the Community Park Bluefish swim team powers through the breaststroke during a meet this summer in Princeton Area Swimming and Diving Association (PASDA) action. Last week, Kratzer, a rising senior at Princeton High who started swimming for the Bluefish at age eight, placed third in the boys’ 18-and-under 100-meter individual medley and sixth in both the 50 free and 50 butterfly in the PASDA championship meet.(Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

TRUE BLUE: Stephen Kratzer of the Community Park Bluefish swim team powers through the breaststroke during a meet this summer in Princeton Area Swimming and Diving Association (PASDA) action. Last week, Kratzer, a rising senior at Princeton High who started swimming for the Bluefish at age eight, placed third in the boys’ 18-and-under 100-meter individual medley and sixth in both the 50 free and 50 butterfly in the PASDA championship meet. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

A summer recreational league is designed to keep athletes in shape while adding to their skill base, but for Stephen Kratzer, a rising senior at Princeton High, his involvement with the Community Park Bluefish swim team helped him fall in love with the sport.

The Most Valuable Swimmer for the PHS boys’ squad last winter, and a member of the the 2014 state Public B runner-up team, Kratzer has made a name for himself with the Little Tigers. While Kratzer spends all of the winter training with PHS, he returns every summer to the Bluefish swim team, where he started competing in the sport in 2006 at age eight, joining the team after hearing about it when he first arrived in Princeton. more

NO BACKING DOWN: Nassau Swim Club’s Sophia Burton is poised to start a backstroke race in a meet this summer in Princeton Area Swimming and Diving Association (PASDA) action. Last week, Burton won the girls’ 10-and-under 25-meter backstroke and took second in the 100 individual medley at the PASDA championship meet to help the Lemmings place second among Division 2 teams at the competition, which was held at West Windsor Community Park.(Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

NO BACKING DOWN: Nassau Swim Club’s Sophia Burton is poised to start a backstroke race in a meet this summer in Princeton Area Swimming and Diving Association (PASDA) action. Last week, Burton won the girls’ 10-and-under 25-meter backstroke and took second in the 100 individual medley at the PASDA championship meet to help the Lemmings place second among Division 2 teams at the competition, which was held at West Windsor Community Park. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Buoyed by a number of superb efforts from its younger swimmers, the Nassau Swim Club Lemmings proved to be a force in Division 2 at the Princeton Area Swimming and Diving Association (PASDA) championship meet last week.

The Lemmings scored 1,690 points to take second of five teams in the division, trailing only the Ben Franklin Swim Team, which piled up 2,987.50 to place first.

In the girls’ 6-and-under division, Juliet Wei and Lexi Hoffman came up big for the Lemmings. Wei placed first in the 25-meter freestyle and 25 backstroke while Hoffman placed second in the 25 free and third in the 25 back.

Maggie Hoffman placed third in the 25 free and Charlotte Scaturo took fourth in the 25 breaststroke in the girls’ 8-and-under division. Nassau picked up big points in the age group in the relays, taking first in the 100 free relay and third in the 100 medley relay.

The Lemmings boasted a slew of standouts in the girls’ 10-and-under group. Sophia Burton won the 25 back and took second in the 100 individual medley while Kimi Wei won the 100 IM and placed third in the 25 fly. Emma Hopkins was second in the 25 free, Helen Amon was fourth in the 25 breast, and Nina Urcioli finished fourth in both the 25 free and 25 fly. Not surprisingly, Nassau won both the 100 free and medley relays in the age division. more

TUDER ERA: Community Park Bluefish swimmer Susannah Tuder displays her breaststroke form in a meet this summer. Last week, Tuder took first in the girls’ 12-and-under 50 breast and third in the 100 individual medley at the Princeton Area Swimming and Diving Association (PASDA) championship meet. The Bluefish finished first among Division I teams at the competition, which was held at West Windsor Community Park .(Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

TUDER ERA: Community Park Bluefish swimmer Susannah Tuder displays her breaststroke form in a meet this summer. Last week, Tuder took first in the girls’ 12-and-under 50 breast and third in the 100 individual medley at the Princeton Area Swimming and Diving Association (PASDA) championship meet. The Bluefish finished first among Division I teams at the competition, which was held at West Windsor Community Park . (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

While Mike Uchrin was excited to to take the helm of the Community Park Bluefish swim team this summer after serving as an assistant coach in the program for the last four years, he felt some pressure in making the move.

“It was daunting at first, I know how deep the Bluefish roots are in the community and how many talented swimmers have been in the program over the years,” said Uchrin, reflecting on becoming the program’s head coach. “It was a big responsibility.” more

HEART AND SOUL: Tommy Soulias of Ivy Inn heads up the court in action during the championship series of the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League. Last Wednesday, Kean University star and summer league regular season MVP Soulias scored 12 points to help Ivy Inn top Bring Me Food 45-27 in Game 2 of the best-of-three series. The victory tied the series at 1-1 and Ivy Inn ended up winning the title by forfeit when Bring Me Food didn’t have enough players to field a team on Friday for the decisive Game 3.(Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

(Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Tommy Soulias emerged as one of the top offensive threats in local college basketball circles this winter during his junior campaign for Kean University.

The 6’3, 195-pound guard led the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) in scoring with 21.4 points per game, earning All-NJAC, All-ECAC, All-Region, and Division III All-Metropolitan honors.

Over the last two months, Soulias built on his college success in his third campaign with Ivy Inn in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League, earning league regular season MVP honors as he scored 18.8 points a game.

“It gave me a lot of confidence coming into this league; it is an extremely competitive league with a lot of talented players,” said Soulias.

“I know what I am capable of and what I bring. I realized that the role I needed to play this year was to score and just defend hard every night to help us win.”

Soulias filled that role admirably as Ivy Inn produced a 7-2 record to tie for first place in the regular season and then topped Princeton Pi 67-54 in the playoff quarterfinals and posted a 48-44 win over Aria Health in the semis on the way to the league’s best-of three championship series against second-seeded Bring Me Food. more

July 29, 2015
TRIAL RUN: Will Stange displays his freestyle form in a race this season for the Cornell University men’s swimming team. Former Princeton High standout Stange enjoyed a solid freshman campaign this winter for the Big Red, focusing on the 200 freestyle, 100 and 200 backstroke races. Last Thursday, Stange achieved a big breakthrough, posting a time of 2:03.56 in the 200-meter at the New Jersey Long Course Junior Olympics hosted by Scarlet Aquatics at Rutgers back to qualify for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials in the event.

TRIAL RUN: Will Stange displays his freestyle form in a race this season for the Cornell University men’s swimming team. Former Princeton High standout Stange enjoyed a solid freshman campaign this winter for the Big Red, focusing on the 200 freestyle, 100 and 200 backstroke races. Last Thursday, Stange achieved a big breakthrough, posting a time of 2:03.56 in the 200-meter at the New Jersey Long Course Junior Olympics hosted by Scarlet Aquatics at Rutgers back to qualify for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials in the event.

Even though Will Stange was sidelined by illness for over a week in the tapering phase as the Cornell University men’s swimming team prepared for the Ivy League championship meet this past February, he still produced a personal best in the 200-yard backstroke at the competition.

Former Princeton High standout Stange posted a time of 1:45.1 to place 13th, achieving the third-fastest time for the event in Cornell program history. more

BRINGING IT ON: DeQuan Holman heads to the hoop last Monday in the Princeton High gym for Bring Me Food as it faced Ivy Inn in game one of the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League best-of-three championship series. Former PHS standout Holman scored a team-high 18 points to help second-seeded Bring Me Food defeat Ivy Inn 54-39 in the opener. Game 2 of the series is scheduled for July 29 at the Community Park courts with Game 3, if necessary, slated for July 31. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

BRINGING IT ON: DeQuan Holman heads to the hoop last Monday in the Princeton High gym for Bring Me Food as it faced Ivy Inn in game one of the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League best-of-three championship series. Former PHS standout Holman scored a team-high 18 points to help second-seeded Bring Me Food defeat Ivy Inn 54-39 in the opener. Game 2 of the series is scheduled for July 29 at the Community Park courts with Game 3, if necessary, slated for July 31. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

DeQuan Holman had been a fixture in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League over the years.

During his career with the Princeton High boys’ basketball team, which saw him help the Little Tigers to the Central Jersey Group 3 sectional finals in 2009 as a senior, Holman played for the Princeton Youth Sports entry in the summer league.

After graduating from PHS, he continued to spend his summers on the Community Park courts, helping University Radiology to the league title in 2011 and then starring for Dr. Palmer.

This summer, Holman has assumed the wily veteran role for Bring Me Food as it has played its debut season in the league.

“I have actually never played with these guys before, it is actually pretty different for me,” said Holman. “I am the oldest by far, that is a new feeling for me. I am used to being the youngest.”

Last Monday evening in the Princeton High gym, Holman displayed his savvy and skill, scoring a team-high 18 points to help second-seeded Bring Me Food defeat Ivy Inn 54-39 in Game 1 of the league’s best-of-three championship series. Game 2 of the series is scheduled for July 29 at the Community Park courts with Game 3, if necessary, slated for July 31.

Having lost 57-48 to Ivy Inn in a regular season game on July 15, Holman and his teammates were determined to turn the tables in the rematch. more

STICKING WITH IT: Carly O’Brien heads up the field in action this spring during her senior season with the Dickinson College women’s lacrosse team. Former Princeton Day School standout O’Brien enjoyed a superb career for Dickinson, tallying 166 points in her career, fifth best in program history.  (Photo by by James Rasp, provided courtesy of Dickinson’s Office of Athletic Communications)

STICKING WITH IT: Carly O’Brien heads up the field in action this spring during her senior season with the Dickinson College women’s lacrosse team. Former Princeton Day School standout O’Brien enjoyed a superb career for Dickinson, tallying 166 points in her career, fifth best in program history.
(Photo by by James Rasp, provided courtesy of Dickinson’s Office of Athletic Communications)

Sadly, Carly O’Brien ended her senior season with the Dickinson College women’s lacrosse team this spring the same way she finished her freshman campaign – with a serious knee injury.

While injuries may have hampered O’Brien during her college career, the former Princeton Day School standout accomplished a lot when she was on the field for the Red Devils.

The high-scoring 5’8 forward tallied 166 points in her career, fifth best in program history, on 114 goals and 52 assists. She ranks seventh all-time for the team in goals and fifth in assists.

“Every time I stepped on the field, it was my job to score,” said O’Brien, a three-sport performer at PDS, who played soccer and ice hockey in addition to lacrosse.

“The defense worked so hard to get the ball and I wanted to come through. Because of the injuries, I wanted to make the most of the time I was on the field.”

Coming into this spring, O’Brien was looking to make the most of her senior season.

“My first three years, we came so close to the Centennial Conference  playoffs so my main goal was to make playoffs,” said O’Brien reflecting on her mindset coming into 2015. “It was a young team with a lot of talent and potential.”

O’Brien and the Red Devils got off to a good start, going 3-0, but couldn’t get over the hump, losing some tough games to ned the season at 8-7 overall and 4-5 Centennial. more

July 22, 2015
CLOSING STATEMENT: Princeton Little League (PLL) star Jackson Rho takes a big swing in recent tournament action. Rho’s power hitting and solid pitching helped PLL take third at the New Jersey State Intermediate 50/70 tournament last weekend. Rho went 3-for-7 with a homer, double, four runs, and four RBIs at the tourney.(Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

CLOSING STATEMENT: Princeton Little League (PLL) star Jackson Rho takes a big swing in recent tournament action. Rho’s power hitting and solid pitching helped PLL take third at the New Jersey State Intermediate 50/70 tournament last weekend. Rho went 3-for-7 with a homer, double, four runs, and four RBIs at the tourney. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Having made history by becoming the first team from the Princeton Little League (PLL) to win a sectional title, the Princeton squad was looking to write another chapter to its memorable summer as it played in the New Jersey State Intermediate 50/70 tournament last week in Winslow.

“The mood was very serious and very determined,” said PLL manager Jon Durbin. “They wanted to do the best that they could, they were dialed in and focused. It was very professional.”

PLL showed its focus as it jumped out to an early lead against West Deptford in an opening round contest at the four-team event.

“We were up 6-1 after two innings,” recalled Durbin. “Teddy (Durbin’s son) started and decided that he would only go 50 pitches so we could have him for the championship round. We pulled him and they got five runs in the next inning.”

West Deptford went ahead 9-6 in the top of the fifth inning on a three-run homer and pulled away to a 15-9 win.

“It turned into a slugfest, it was a see-saw game. The closest we got was 9-8,” said Durbin.

“It was a wild game, both teams were tight and both made more errors than you would expect.” more

MAKING STRIDES: Princeton Little League (PLL) 9-10-year-old all-star Jensen Bergman races down the base path during the District 12 tournament. Leadoff hitter and center fielder Bergman helped PLL advance to the championship round of the tournament where it fell to Nottingham.(Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

MAKING STRIDES: Princeton Little League (PLL) 9-10-year-old all-star Jensen Bergman races down the base path during the District 12 tournament. Leadoff hitter and center fielder Bergman helped PLL advance to the championship round of the tournament where it fell to Nottingham. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Even though the Princeton Little League (PLL) 9-10-year-old all-star team fell 17-4 to Nottingham in the first game of the championship round of the District 12 tournament, Ken Harlan didn’t see any of his players hanging their heads.

“They are very loose,” said PLL manager Harlan. “Even after the loss to Nottingham, they were goofy. They just like to have fun.”

PLL was looking to have fun as it went into a rematch with Nottingham in a winner-take-all finale last Thursday at Tantum Park in Robbinsville. “I thought we were feeling good, we were focused,” said Harlan.

Getting off to a good start, PLL scored two runs in the top of the first inning and added five in the top of the second to build a 7-0 lead. “I felt good, I was happy with the way we were pitching,” recalled Harlan.

Things took an unhappy turn for Princeton, however, as Nottingham scored five runs in the bottom of the second and then exploded for eight in the bottom of the fourth as it pulled away to a 15-9 victory and the district title.

“We just had a few plays that got away from us,” lamented Harlan. “It was the 10-year-old game. We made some mistakes in the field. We knew it was going to be a high scoring game. Unfortunately we didn’t have the higher number. They had some good hitters.” more

CLASSIC LOOK: SAT Smart/Princeton Soup and Sandwich guard Eric Klacik looks to unload the ball in action this season in the Princeton Recreation Department Summer Men’s Basketball League. Last Monday, Klacik scored a game-high 14 points to help third-seeded SAT Smart edge sixth-seeded Belle Mead Physical Therapy 50-47 in the league quarterfinals. The win earned the team a spot in the league semis on Friday against the victor of the July 22 quarterfinal clash between second-seeded Bring Me Food and seventh-seeded King’s Pizzarama. The other semi on Friday will match the winners of quarterfinal contests between top-seeded Ivy Inn and eighth-seeded Princeton Pi and No. 4 seed Aria Health against fifth-seeded and defending champion Winberie’s.(Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

CLASSIC LOOK: SAT Smart/Princeton Soup and Sandwich guard Eric Klacik looks to unload the ball in action this season in the Princeton Recreation Department Summer Men’s Basketball League. Last Monday, Klacik scored a game-high 14 points to help third-seeded SAT Smart edge sixth-seeded Belle Mead Physical Therapy 50-47 in the league quarterfinals. The win earned the team a spot in the league semis on Friday against the victor of the July 22 quarterfinal clash between second-seeded Bring Me Food and seventh-seeded King’s Pizzarama. The other semi on Friday will match the winners of quarterfinal contests between top-seeded Ivy Inn and eighth-seeded Princeton Pi and No. 4 seed Aria Health against fifth-seeded and defending champion Winberie’s. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Last winter, Eric Klacik and The College of New Jersey men’s basketball team enjoyed a breakthrough season.

TCNJ posted a 15-11 record, making the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) playoffs for the first time since the 2008-09 season. Sophomore guard Klacik, for his part, played a major role in the team’s success, averaging 9.3 points a game.

Playing in the Princeton Recreation Department Summer Men’s Basketball League this year as the SAT Smart/Princeton Soup and Sandwich entry, Klacik and his TCNJ teammates have continued the progress they showed this winter.

Posting a 7-2 regular season record, SAT Smart earned the third seed in the league playoffs and faced sixth-seeded Belle Mead Physical Therapy last Monday night in a quarterfinal contest at the Community Park courts.

In the early going of the game, it looked like SAT Smart might have been heading for an early exit as it trailed 25-16 late in the first half. But showing some of the grit it developed last winter, the squad closed the half with a 12-2 run to take a 28-27 lead into intermission.

“They  came out hitting shots, we knew we had to get on the shooters,” said Klacik. more

RAM TOUGH: James Bunn follows through on a swing in action this spring during his junior campaign with the Virginia Commonwealth University baseball team. Speedy outfielder Bunn, a Princeton resident who starred in soccer, hockey, and baseball for the Pennington School, helped the VCU advance to the NCAA tournament Super Regionals this spring, a first in Rams’ program history.(Photo Courtesy of VCU’s Office of Athletic Communications)

RAM TOUGH: James Bunn follows through on a swing in action this spring during his junior campaign with the Virginia Commonwealth University baseball team. Speedy outfielder Bunn, a Princeton resident who starred in soccer, hockey, and baseball for the Pennington School, helped the VCU advance to the NCAA tournament Super Regionals this spring, a first in Rams’ program history. (Photo Courtesy of VCU’s Office of Athletic Communications)

Months before the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) baseball team started its 2015 season, James Bunn sensed it was going to be a big spring.

“In the fall, me and my roommates said this team is special, there is something going on,” said VCU outfielder Bunn, a Princeton resident who starred in soccer, hockey, and baseball for the Pennington School. “We had a core of seniors who didn’t want to be denied.” more

July 15, 2015
THE RIGHT STUFF: Jackson Bailey fires a pitch for the Princeton Little League (PLL) 9-10-year-old all star team last week in the District 12 tournament. Bailey’s pitching and hitting has helped PLL start 4-0 in the tournament. Princeton was slated to face Nottingham on July 14 in the finals, needing one more win to clinch the crown in the double-elimination competition.(Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

THE RIGHT STUFF: Jackson Bailey fires a pitch for the Princeton Little League (PLL) 9-10-year-old all star team last week in the District 12 tournament. Bailey’s pitching and hitting has helped PLL start 4-0 in the tournament. Princeton was slated to face Nottingham on July 14 in the finals, needing one more win to clinch the crown in the double-elimination competition. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

As the Princeton Little League (PLL) 9-10-year-old all star team entered the sixth inning of its District 12 tournament winner’s bracket game against Millstone-Roosevelt last Wednesday night, the mist rising in the outfield lent a Field of Dreams aura to the contest. more

FINAL CUT: John Reid connects during recent action for the Princeton Post 218 American Legion baseball team. Former Princeton High standout Reid helped Post 218 enjoy a big weekend as it posted an 11-0 win over South Brunswick Post 401 on Saturday and then edged North Hamilton 5-4 a day later. Post 218, which improved to 4-19 with the victories, was slated to wrap up its season by playing at Hamilton Post 31 on July 14.(Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

FINAL CUT: John Reid connects during recent action for the Princeton Post 218 American Legion baseball team. Former Princeton High standout Reid helped Post 218 enjoy a big weekend as it posted an 11-0 win over South Brunswick Post 401 on Saturday and then edged North Hamilton 5-4 a day later. Post 218, which improved to 4-19 with the victories, was slated to wrap up its season by playing at Hamilton Post 31 on July 14. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Chris Maselli scuffled a bit in the first inning as he started on the mound for the Princeton Post 218 American Legion baseball team against visiting South Brunswick at Smoyer Park.

Wiry right-hander Maselli gave up a single and walked another batter but got out of the frame unscathed with some help from his teammates.

“My catcher (Gideon Friedberg) really picked me up in the first inning,” said Maselli, a former Pennington School standout who just finished his freshman year at Methodist University in North Carolina.

“He threw the kid out at first and then the kid out at third. It really just helps when you make mistakes as a pitcher and your infield can pick you up and get you out of situations like that.”

Post 218 picked it up at the bat in the bottom of the first, pushing across five runs as Steve Majeski, Chris Sumners, and Nick Perez each contributed RBI singles.

“When you come up as the home team and score five, that gives you confidence,” said Maselli.

“We have been struggling this year; we haven’t been able to do as much as we would like. To come out and be leading 5-0 after one, it gives the pitcher all the confidence in the world.”

Over the next four innings, Maselli did what he liked on the mound, retiring all 12 batters he faced as Post 218 pulled away to 11-0 in a game shortened to five innings due to the 10-run rule. more

MOORE ON THE WAY: Hashim Moore heads up court in his post-graduate campaign for the Hun School boys’ basketball team in the 2012-13 season. Moore, who went on to play the last two seasons as a reserve forward for the Princeton University men’s basketball team, has switched to football. He is staying around basketball, though, by playing for King’s Pizzarama in the Princeton Recreation Department Summer Men’s Basketball League. Last Monday, he scored a game-high 21 points in a losing cause as King’s fell 58-50 to Belle Mead Physical Therapy. In other action on Monday, Aria Health defeated SAT Smart/Princeton Soup and Sandwich 60-51 and Bring Me Food topped Princeton Pi 66-56.(Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

MOORE ON THE WAY: Hashim Moore heads up court in his post-graduate campaign for the Hun School boys’ basketball team in the 2012-13 season. Moore, who went on to play the last two seasons as a reserve forward for the Princeton University men’s basketball team, has switched to football. He is staying around basketball, though, by playing for King’s Pizzarama in the Princeton Recreation Department Summer Men’s Basketball League. Last Monday, he scored a game-high 21 points in a losing cause as King’s fell 58-50 to Belle Mead Physical Therapy. In other action on Monday, Aria Health defeated SAT Smart/Princeton Soup and Sandwich 60-51 and Bring Me Food topped Princeton Pi 66-56. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

After helping the Hun School boys’ basketball team to the Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) title in 2013 as a post-graduate, Hashim Moore moved across town to join the Princeton University men’s hoops program.

Over the last two seasons, Moore filled a reserve role at small forward, making seven appearances as a freshman in 2013-14 and then getting into four games last winter, scoring a total of 15 points in 28 minutes of action.

This spring, the 6’5 Moore, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., decided it was time for a change in his sporting focus, leaving the basketball program to join the Princeton football team.

“It just wasn’t for me at the time,” said Moore, explaining his decision. “I am looking for an opportunity in football.”

Looking to play tight end for the Tigers, Moore is putting in some hard work this summer to get up to speed in his new sport.

“I have been here for a couple weeks now, doing 6 a.m. workouts every morning with the football guys who are here in the summer,” said Moore.

“I haven’t played football since middle school. I feel like I am athletic enough to do the switch. The coaches are working with me to help learn the plays and get bigger and stronger. I have gained 20 pounds (going from 220 to 240) since I did the switch.”

Moore, though, is staying in basketball by playing for King’s Pizzarama in the Princeton Recreation Department Summer Men’s Basketball League.

Last Monday, after arriving at the Community Park courts with football and King’s teammate, Anthony Gaffney, just after the team tipped off against Belle Mead Physical Therapy, Moore showed flashes of his hoops brilliance. more

HIGH TECH: Aaron Shavel unloads the ball in action for the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) men’s lacrosse team. Shavel, a former Princeton Day School standout, wrapped up his RPI career this spring by tallying 12 goals and three assists to help the Engineers go 10-5.(Photo Courtesy of RPI Athletic Communications)

HIGH TECH: Aaron Shavel unloads the ball in action for the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) men’s lacrosse team. Shavel, a former Princeton Day School standout, wrapped up his RPI career this spring by tallying 12 goals and three assists to help the Engineers go 10-5. (Photo Courtesy of RPI Athletic Communications)

During his first two seasons with the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute men’s lacrosse team, Aaron Shavel struggled to find a rhythm at the college level.

“The game is a lot faster and the players are a lot bigger,” said Shavel, a former Princeton Day School star attacker.

“I had to be a lot quicker and more decisive, the big thing was the speed of everything. You have to refine your game. It took a while for me to grow into it; I was making a lot of turnovers.”

A coaching decision early in Shavel’s junior year changed the game for him.

“At the end of fall ball, the coach (Jim Townsend) talked to me; he said I wasn’t getting a lot of playing time but thought I could still be an asset to the team,” said Shavel.

“He said he wanted to move me to midfield. I hadn’t played that since middle school but I said anything to help the team and get on the field.”

Adjusting well to his new role, Shavel helped trigger the team’s offense in 2014, scoring 24 points on 17 goals and seven assists.

“I went from a second or third line attacker to first line midfield,” said Shavel.

“It was better for my skill set; I was able to get my hands free. I also got to play on the man-up unit. When you are on attack, you are on the field the whole time. As a midfielder, you are on for 30 seconds and then off for two minutes. Being on the man-up got me one or two more runs. I was on low left; I had a comfort level there and it helped me get a rhythm.” more

CROWNING ACHIEVEMENT: Members of the the Princeton Little League (PLL) squad  celebrate last Thursday after they edged Ocean Township 5-4 at Farmview Fields to win the Section 3 50/70 Intermediate tournament. It is the first-ever sectional crown won by the PLL program. The team will now go for a state title and faces West Deptford in the first round of the states on July 15 in the four-team competition being held at Winslow Township.(Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

CROWNING ACHIEVEMENT: Members of the the Princeton Little League (PLL) squad celebrate last Thursday after they edged Ocean Township 5-4 at Farmview Fields to win the Section 3 50/70 Intermediate tournament. It is the first-ever sectional crown won by the PLL program. The team will now go for a state title and faces West Deptford in the first round of the states on July 15 in the four-team competition being held at Winslow Township. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Having gone undefeated in tournament play this summer, the Princeton Little League (PLL) 50/70 Intermediate squad found itself trailing Ocean Township 4-2 in the fifth inning of the final round of the Section 3 tourney last Thursday.

But PLL star infielder Ben Petrone wasn’t overly concerned about the deficit. more

July 8, 2015
IMPROVING SITUATION: Jessica Frieder guards the goal this season for the Dartmouth College women’s lacrosse team. Frieder, a former standout lacrosse and soccer goalie at Princeton Day School, started all 14 games for the Big Green this spring in her senior campaign, posting a 10.60 goals against average and making 101 saves. Frieder, who had only made five appearances in her first three seasons at Dartmouth, won the team’s Most Improved Player award.(Photo Courtesy of John and Matt Risley/Dartmouth Athletics)

IMPROVING SITUATION: Jessica Frieder guards the goal this season for the Dartmouth College women’s lacrosse team. Frieder, a former standout lacrosse and soccer goalie at Princeton Day School, started all 14 games for the Big Green this spring in her senior campaign, posting a 10.60 goals against average and making 101 saves. Frieder, who had only made five appearances in her first three seasons at Dartmouth, won the team’s Most Improved Player award. (Photo Courtesy of John and Matt Risley/Dartmouth Athletics)

In her first three seasons with the Dartmouth College women’s lacrosse team, Jessica Frieder played in just five games, seeing a total of 46 seconds playing time as a sophomore and junior in her back-up goalie spot.

Despite her lack of game action, Frieder still felt very much a part of the team.

“I was behind Kristen Giovanniello, who was All-Ivy League and a great player,” said Frieder, a former Princeton Day School standout who was a star goalie in both soccer and lacrosse for the Panthers.

“I took pride in being in practice and working hard and helping the team. I was on the field every day, I was just not in 16 days. There are 30 players on the team and not everyone is going to be on the field in the games. It is not about playing time but preparing the team to play. It is a team effort and I never felt like I wasn’t a part of the wins.”

With Giovanniello graduating in 2014, Frieder earned the starting job this spring for her senior campaign.

“I think coming into the season I was nervous; I hadn’t had the playing time,” said Frieder

“As a senior leader, the defense was young and I was able to guide them. When I got the start, I kept in there.”

Frieder showed her leadership in an 8-5 loss to Princeton on March 7, making 12 saves as the Big Green nearly upset the eventual Ivy league champion Tigers.

“It was a lot of fun for me, I was very excited to play against my hometown team and show them what I could do,” said Frieder.

“Princeton and Dartmouth have a great rivalry, the girls always get excited for that one. It was the first Ivy game and we were coming out of the gates. We played really well, we just didn’t come out on top. Princeton was my breakout game. I was pretty confident after that. I was able to command the defense; I was seeing the ball well and making saves.”

While the defeat to Princeton was part of Dartmouth’s nine-game losing streak to start the season, Frieder and her teammates weren’t discouraged.

“We had a tough start but we had a really tough schedule,” said Frieder. “We were making progress every game, we were playing better each time out.”

On April 4, the Big Green broke through with a 10-9 overtime win against Cornell, triggering a late-season run which saw Dartmouth go 3-2 in its final five games to end the spring at 3-11 overall and 3-4 Ivy.

“I think that was a turning point, to finally get that win, especially in overtime; Cornell was a great team,” said Frieder.

“We just connected, we clicked. We were more consistent. Before that we were playing well for 15 minutes at a time. In the Cornell game, we played well for 60 minutes. It was a confidence builder.”

Frieder and her classmates ended their careers on a high note with a 9-8 overtime win against Columbia in the regular season finale.

“We were so determined to win, there was never a doubt in our minds,” said Frieder, who made nine saves in the victory.

“It was not as smooth as we wanted it to be. We had to fight hard and it was great to pull it out. There were definitely tears after the game, it was bittersweet. I really loved being on the team. It was sad to be done.”

While it was sad to be finished, Frieder can look back on a lot of happy times over the last four years.

“We had great careers; we won the Ivy tournament and we went to two NCAAs,” said Frieder.

“The seven of us grew together from the experiences we shared with the team. We played with a lot of heart. We were supportive of each other and we were role models to the underclassmen. We would work hard in practice.”

Frieder’s hard work paid off as she won the team’s Most Improved Player award.

“That was great, it was voted on by my teammates,” said Frieder, who started all 14 games this spring for the Big Green, posting a 10.60 goals against average and making 101 saves. “It was nice to see that they respected me. They showed confidence in me.”

Going through the ups and downs of her college lacrosse career has given Frieder extra confidence as she heads into life after Dartmouth.

“I learned so much from playing the last four years; I am grateful for the opportunity,” said Frieder, a geography major who is looking to get into the business world after graduating in mid-June.

“I loved being at the school; everyone was supportive. I was in close contact with the alums, they kept in touch. They were always sending e-mails and texts. You feel like you are part of something bigger than yourself. I learned life values that will help me in the real world. There were tough times, tough practices. You learn to be mentally tough playing in the cold like that.”