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

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

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

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

June 28, 2017

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

UNDER PRESSURE: Eric Murdock, Jr., dribbles the ball into the paint for Majeski Foundation in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League action last week. Last Monday, Murdock helped Majeski, which is comprised of current players on the The College of New Jersey men’s hoops team, edge LoyalTees 58-53. Murdock scored 19 points for Majeski as it improved to 2-0. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Eric Murdock, Jr., happily dribbled out the last 15 seconds of regulation as Majeski Foundation closed out a 58-53 win over LoyalTees last Monday in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League. more

June 22, 2017

SLIDE SHOW: Princeton Post 218 American Legion baseball player Chris Sumners, right, slides into second base in recent action. Last Thursday, recent Hun School graduate Sumners reached base three times and contributed an RBI single in a losing cause as Post 218 fell 14-2 to Lawrence Post 414. Princeton, which fell 10-2 to South Brunswick last Friday to drop to 1-6, plays at Lawrence on June 22 and has a doubleheader at Bordentown Post 26 on June 24. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Hosting Lawrence Post 414 last Thursday evening, the Princeton Post 218 American Legion baseball team dug a 5-0 hole. more

June 21, 2017

ON FIRE: Princeton Day School boys’ lacrosse player Elon Tuckman, left, heads to goal in a game this spring. Junior star Tuckman was the offensive catalyst for PDS as it went 14-2, winning both the state Prep B and Mercer County Tournament titles. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

In his first two seasons with the Princeton Day School boys’ lacrosse team, Elon Tuckman served as the squad’s young gun.

In the spring of 2015, he set a PDS program record for most points by a freshman. more

FOLLOWING THROUGH: Princeton Day School softball player Annika Asplundh takes a cut in a game this spring. Senior shortstop Asplundh provided leadership and production as PDS ended up with a 3-9 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

While the three wins it posted this spring were unquestionably highlights for the Princeton Day School softball team, Paul Lano believes his players distinguished themselves in defeat as well. more

June 14, 2017

STEPPING UP: Princeton High softball pitcher Kayla Volante delivers the ball in a game this spring. Senior star Volante was a steadying presence for PHS this spring, starring in the circle and producing in the middle of the batting order. The Little Tigers ended the spring with a 6-16 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

For Marissa Soprano, seeing her Princeton High softball team come through with an 8-2 win over Hamilton in a Mercer County Tournament consolation game was heartening.

“We were down at the start and then the girls came back and rallied and scored a bunch of runs,” said PHS first-year head coach Soprano, reflecting on the May 12 contest. “That was a good moment for them.”

Although PHS ended up with a 6-16 final record, the Little Tigers experienced some good moments over the last few weeks of the season. more

ENJOYING THE MOMENT: Princeton High throwing star Paul Brennan grins during a meet this year. Sophomore Brennan culminated a big spring by taking seventh in the discus at the Meet of Champions last Saturday at Northern Burlington High. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Tim Brennan took up throwing events as a sixth grader at the Cranbury School and went on the enjoy a brilliant career for the Princeton High boys’ track team.

Brennan set a PHS record in the discus at 180’9 and competed at the next level, throwing for Dartmouth College over the last four years, recently getting named as a recipient of the program’s Herb Chase Track Award given to athletes who have made the greatest improvement in his or her event through hard work, self-discipline, and enthusiasm for the sport. more

DRIVING FORCE: Eric Murdock, Jr., right, drives past a foe in action last year in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League. Star guard Murdock helped Majeski Foundation win the 2016 league title. Murdock and the Majeski squad, which is comprised of current members of The College of New Jersey men’s hoops team, will start their title defense when the league tips off its 29th season on June 19 with a triple-header at the Community Park courts starting at 7:15 p.m. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

For the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League, the 2016 season represented a changing of the guard.

With league stalwarts and perennial title contenders, Ivy Inn and Dr. Palmer, getting eliminated early in the playoffs, the Majeski Foundation, a squad comprised of current members of The College of New Jersey men’s hoops team, rolled to the title. more