July 18, 2018

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.”

 more

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.

 more

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.

 more

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.

 more

July 11, 2018

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

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

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

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

FILLING IN: Princeton High boys’ lacrosse player Evan Filion heads to goal in a game this spring. Junior midfielder Filion was a bright spot for PHS this season, tallying 21 points on 14 goals and seven assists. The Little Tigers posted a final record of 5-12. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

When the Princeton High boys’ lacrosse team edged Allentown 6-5 in late April, it reached the .500 mark for the first time this spring as it improved to 5-5.

That win turned out to be the high water mark for PHS as it ended the season on a tailspin, losing its last seven games to finish with a 5-12 record. more

GINNED UP:  Stuart Country Day School lacrosse player Gin Gin Plehn looks for an opening in a game this season. Senior star Plehn enjoyed a productive senior campaign as Stuart went 5-11-1. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Over the course of the spring, the Stuart Country Day School lacrosse team proved to be a study in persistence.

“It really became about everybody doing their part to contribute,” said Stuart head coach Missy Bruvik, whose squad posted a final record of 5-11-1. “Nobody ever gave up all season long. Every day was a positive atmosphere.” more

CONTACT HITTER: Princeton Day School softball player Julie Patterson makes contact in a game this spring. Junior catcher Patterson starred at the plate and in the field for PDS, who posted a final record of 1-9. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For the Princeton Day School softball team, defeating Peddie in early April provided a glimpse of its potential.

“It is the absolute highlight,” said PDS head coach Paul Lano, reflecting on the 21-13 triumph over the Falcons. more

NICK OF TIME: Nick Brackett, right, of the Packer Hall All-Stars battles with Elias Bermudez of Majeski Foundation last summer at the Community Park courts in Princeton Recreation Department Summer Men’s Basketball League action. Last Monday, Brackett scored 12 points to help defending league champion Packer Hall defeat Apex Sport 72-56 in the opening night of the 2018 season. In other action on Monday, Majeski defeated Gomo Health 47-32 and LoyalTees edged NJ Spiritwear 60-55. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

The Packer Hall All-Stars didn’t look like a title contender in the Princeton Department Summer Men’s Basketball League last year when it lost its first three games on the way to a 2-6 regular season record.

But the squad caught fire at the right time, advancing to the best-of-three championship series as the seventh seed and then proceeding to sweep top-seeded and defending champion Majeski Foundation to culminate an unlikely title run. more

June 13, 2018

WILD RIDE: Princeton High boys’ track star Nils Wildberg flies through the air in the long jump at the Meet of Champions last Saturday at Northern Burlington High. Junior Wildberg took second in the event with a personal record leap of 23’ 8.5. Wildberg is one of 16 athletes from PHS who will be competing at the New Balance Nationals next weekend in Greensboro, N.C. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Nils Wildberg was looking for a new activity in his freshman year at Princeton High and made a fateful decision.

“I first started track in my freshman year in high school in the winter,” said Wildberg, who had focused on soccer prior to entering PHS in 2015. more