June 15, 2016

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ON THE MARK: Mark Aziz of Ivy Inn heads to the basket in action last year in the Princeton Recreation Men’s Summer Basketball League. Aziz and Ivy Inn will tip off the 2016 campaign when they face Pediatric Therapy Solution on June 15 in an opening night triple-header at the Community Park courts. Ivy Inn won the 2015 title by forfeit when Bring Me Food didn’t have enough players on hard to field a team for the decisive Game 3 of the best-of-three championship series. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Over the last 15 years, the Princeton Recreation Men’s Summer Basketball League has generally been comprised of 10 teams. more

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STATE OF JOY: Members of the Princeton Football Club (PFC) U-19 United boys’ squad are all smiles after winning the New Jersey State Cup earlier this month. The PFC squad defeated the Next Level Soccer Academy (NLSA) Raiders 3-0 in the title game on June 5. Pictured in the front row, from left to right, are, Andres Redrovan (Trenton High), Chris Harla – captain (Princeton High), Jake Caddeau (PHS), Dwight Donis (PHS), Cole Snyder (PHS), Chase Ealy (PHS), Peter Luther (PHS), Gunnar Schellscheidt (Hun), Jaime Chavez (Trenton). In the back row, from left, are assistant coach Joe Yurcisin, Mark Petrovic (PHS), Oscar Vik (Princeton Day School), Marco Pinheiro (PDS), Sam Serxner (PHS), Owen Lindenfeldar (PHS), Conner Yurcisin – captain (Montgomery High), Matt Cabrera (Montgomery), Kevin Hagan (PDS), Jerry Merino (Trenton), Erik Munguia (Trenton), and head coach Stoyan Pumpalov.

For Stoyan Pumpalov, guiding his Princeton Football Club (PFC) U-19 United boys’ squad to a New Jersey State Cup earlier this month was the culmination of a long-term process. more

June 8, 2016

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BRONZE AGE: The Princeton University men’s lightweight varsity 8 powers through the water in a race earlier this spring. Last Sunday, the boat took third at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) national championship regatta on Mercer Lake, trailing champion Columbia and runner-up Yale. In taking bronze, the Tiger top boat continued a progression up the ladder as it took sixth in the 2013 IRA, fifth in 2014, and fourth in 2015. Princeton also earned medals at the IRA in the two fours events as the four with coxswain held off Yale by 1.3 seconds to take bronze, while the four without coxswain beat Harvard by just over one second for silver. (Photo Courtesy of Princeton Crew)

All spring long, Christian Wawrzonek and the Princeton University men’s lightweight varsity 8 crew have battled Columbia and Yale for supremacy on the east coast. more

Start of the girls race

GROUP EFFORT: Princeton High distance running stars Lou Mialhe, second from left, and Chloe Taylor, right, compete in a 2015 cross country race. Last weekend, senior Mialhe took 13th in the 3,200 and 15th in the 1,600 at the Group 4 state championship meet while sophomore Taylor was 23rd in the 3,200. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

For track coaches, an overriding challenge is fine-tuning athletes to produce their best performances in the biggest meets. more

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DELIVERING THE GOODS: Princeton High pitcher Mike Ramirez delivers a pitch in action this spring. Sophomore Ramirez emerged as a mound star for the Little Tigers this season. PHS posted a final record of 9-14 in 2016, ending the season with a 2-0 loss to eventual champion Hunterdon Central in the first round of the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional tournament. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

On paper, it looked like the Princeton High baseball team was in over its head as it played at Hunterdon Central in the first round of the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional tournament. more

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NET GAIN: Hun School girls’ lacrosse goalie Madison McNulty makes a save in a game this season. Junior McNulty’s fine play in the cage helped Hun post a final record of 9-8 this spring.

With a 5-8 record and four games left in the season, the Hun School girls lacrosse team could have gone through the motions down the stretch. more

June 7, 2016

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HOMESTAND: Members of Princeton National Rowing Association’s Mercer Rowing Club Men’s Youth 8 plus Coxswain are all smiles after taking second at the Mid-Atlantic Youth Championships at Mercer Lake to secure a spot in the upcoming 2016 USRowing Youth National Championships. Pictured, from left to right, are senior Kevin Borup (South Brunswick High), freshman Jack Gallagher (Council Rock High School North), junior Daniel Stoddard (WW/P-S), junior Grant Barthelmes (Ranney School), junior coxswain Sarah Brune (Lanoka Harbor), junior Carter Levine (Princeton High), senior John Tanguay (Hopewell Valley High), senior Jason Fleurial (Princeton High), and junior Andrew Hickey (Notre Dame High). PNRA/Mercer’s Women’s Youth 8 plus Coxswain, Women’s Youth Lightweight 8 plus Coxswain, and Women’s Lightweight 4 plus Coxswain also qualified for the national championship regatta, which will be held on Mercer Lake from June 10-12.

As the Princeton National Rowing Association (PNRA) hosts the USRowing Youth National Championships for the first time ever, it is hoping that some home cooking will help the four PNRA Mercer Rowing Club crews that qualified for the competition. more

June 2, 2016

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BREAKING AWAY: Princeton High distance running star Alex Roth breaks the tape in winning the Princeton 5k last month. Last weekend, junior star Roth helped PHS take fifth in the Central Jersey Group 4 boys’ sectional meet. He placed second in the 3,200, third in the 1,600 and helped the 4×800 relay take second and set a school record of 7:54.53, breaking a mark set in 1981.

As the Princeton High track teams prepared for the sectional meet last weekend, they knew they were moving up in class.

Having typically competed in Group 3, PHS was elevated to Group 4 this year, facing larger schools and tougher competition. more

June 1, 2016

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FOURTH POWER: Princeton Day School boys’ tennis star Lex Decker slams a forehand in a match this spring. Last Thursday, sophomore Decker won the title at second singles at the Prep B state championships, helping PDS to its fourth straight team title at the competition. Senior Scott Altmeyer won the first singles crown for the Panthers while juniors Leo Nye and Noah Liao were the victors at second doubles. PDS piled up 11 points in the team standings with Rutgers Prep and Gill St. Bernard’s tying for second with six. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

As the Princeton Day School boys’ tennis team hit the court for the opening rounds of the state Prep B tournament last week, it was taking the first steps in its pursuit of a fourth straight title. more

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FOLLOWING THROUGH: Princeton High softball player Natalie Campisi finishes a swing in a game this spring. Senior center fielder Campisi gave the Little Tigers speed and production at the top of the lineup. PHS ended the season at 9-14, advancing to the Mercer County Tournament quarterfinals and making the state tourney in what turned out to be the final season for head coach Dave Boehm, who is stepping down from the program. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Playing at Monroe in the opening round of the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional, the Princeton High softball team got off to a rough start, falling behind 3-0 in the first inning. more

l-r PHS #7 and Hun #1

GOAL ORIENTED: Princeton High girls’ lacrosse player Taylor Lis heads upfield in a game this spring. Senior star and Cornell-bound Lis led PHS with 74 goals, helping the Little Tigers post a final record of 10-8. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Adding a number of new faces into its lineup with the loss of several probable starters, the Princeton High girls’ lacrosse team faced a season of transition this spring. more

May 25, 2016

When Hayden Reyes got called up to the Princeton High varsity baseball team as a freshman in 2013, it didn’t take long for him to make an impact.

“They put me in one game and I wasn’t doing well,” said Reyes.

“Then they moved me up to second in the lineup and I went 2-for-5 that game and ever since then I have never looked back.”

Over the last four seasons, Reyes has been a fixture in the PHS lineup, playing shortstop and batting leadoff.

Earlier this month, Reyes achieved something he never imagined was possible when he made his varsity debut, collecting the 100th hit of his high school career. more

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STILL ROARING: Princeton High boys’ lacrosse star Rory -Helstrom heads to goal last Saturday against Scotch Plains-Fanwood in the North Group 3 state tournament quarterfinals. Helstrom chipped in a goal and three assists as PHS rallied for a 10-9 victory over the fourth-seeded Raiders. The Little Tigers, now 12-4, play at top-seeded Northern Highlands on May 25 in the semis. (Photo by John Dowers)

Rory Helstrom has enjoyed some great moments on the Princeton High turf field, starring as an all-county running back in football and a hard-charging midfielder in lacrosse. more

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GALE FORCE: Princeton Day School senior defender James Fragale pressures a foe in recent action. Last Wednesday, he made some big plays down the stretch to help top-seeded PDS edge second-seeded Montclair Kimberley Academy 6-5 in the state Prep B title game. The triumph gave the Panthers a final record of 15-1 and marked its second championship of the spring as the program had won its first-ever Mercer County Tournament title earlier this month. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

James Fragale realized that the Princeton Day School boys’ lacrosse team faced a challenge in containing Montclair Kimberley Academy in the state Prep B title game last Wednesday. more

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HITTING THE GAS: Princeton Day School baseball player Dom Gasparro takes a big swing in a game this season. Last Friday, senior third baseman Gasparro had a double, three runs, and an RBI in a losing cause as PDS fell 9-6 to visiting Hopewell Valley on its annual Senior Day celebration. On Monday, Gasparro and his classmates ended things on a high note as the Panthers defeated New Hope-Solebury (Pa.) 8-1 in its season finale. The win gave PDS a final record of 12-8. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Dom Gasparro found himself in the middle of the action as he played in his Senior Day for the Princeton Day School baseball team against visiting Hopewell Valley last Friday. more

Hun player #17, 3rd from right gets congrats from players after his home run.

FITTING FINALE: Members of the Hun School baseball team celebrate a homer in a game earlier this spring. The Raiders had a lot to celebrate last weekend as they won the state Prep A title, giving a retirement gift to legendary head coach Bill McQuade in his 46th and final season at the helm of the program. After losing earlier in the week in the opening round of the double-elimination tournament, the Raiders went up to Blair and posted four straight wins to earn the title. Hun defeated Peddie 3-1 and 4-1 in the finals on Sunday to end the spring with a 16-7 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

As the state Prep A baseball tournament got underway last week, a major story line centered on whether the top-seeded Hun School team could deliver a retirement gift to legendary head coach Bill McQuade in his 46th and final season at the helm of the program. more

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MIGHTY KACEY: Hun School softball player Kacey Abitz takes a cut in the state Prep A semifinals against Peddie last Wednesday. Senior third baseman/pitcher Abitz and the Raiders went down to a 7-0 defeat to the Falcons in the contest. Hun finished the spring with a 13-3 record, winning the Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) title along the way. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

For the Hun School softball team, starting the spring with an 11-10 victory over nemesis Peddie gave it a heavy dose of self belief. more

May 18, 2016

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PANTHER PRIDE: Princeton Day School boys’ lacrosse player Joey Levine enjoys the moment after top-seeded PDS defeated Robbinsville 17-8 in the Mercer County Tournament championship game last Thursday at WW/P-N. Senior star Levine scored four goals to help the Panthers earn the program’s first-ever county crown. PDS improved to 14-1 with a 15-3 win over Morristown-Beard last Monday in the state Prep B semis, and will go for a second title when it hosts Montclair Kimberley in the championship game on May 18. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

In the view of Joey Levine, reading the backs of the t-shirts worn by the Princeton Day School boys’ lacrosse team is all one needs to do in order to understand how the squad rolled to its first-ever Mercer County Tournament title. more

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MILESTONE MOMENTS: Princeton Day School boys’ lacrosse player Jonah Tuckman celebrates during the Mercer County Tournament championship game. Senior star and co-captain Tuckman scored five goals and had an assist to help first-seeded PDS top third-seeded Robbinsville 17-8 in the title game as the program earned its first-ever county crown. Tuckman hit the 100-goal mark in his career with his performance. Tuckman also starred in the MCT semis, tallying two goals and an assist as the Panthers edged fifth-seeded and defending champions Hopewell Valley 4-3. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Playing at nemesis Hopewell Valley in the Mercer County Tournament semifinals last week, the Princeton Day School boys’ lacrosse team misfired in the early going. more

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ENCORE PERFORMANCE: Princeton Day School girls’ lacrosse player Morgan Mills, left, goes after the ball in the state Prep B title game against Pennington last Monday. Junior Mills scored four goals to help top-seeded PDS post an 18-11 win over the second-seeded Red Raiders and win its second straight Prep B crown. The win gave the Panthers a final record of 13-5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Late in the second half of the state Prep B girls’ lacrosse championship game last Monday, Princeton Day School junior star Morgan Mills lay prone on the turf, gasping for air. more

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FINAL SWING: Princeton High softball player Emily DiLella takes a big swing in recent action. Senior first baseman and team co-captain DiLella’s production and leadership has helped PHS go 9-9 this spring with a run to the Mercer County Tournament quarterfinals. The Little Tigers play at Robbinsville on May 19, at Allentown on May 20, and at Hightstown on May 21. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

After splitting its two regular season games with WW/P-S, the Princeton High softball team took care of business in style in the rubber match as the foes met in the opening round of the Mercer County Tournament. more

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PAINT IT BLACK: Hun School boys’ lacrosse player Owen Black heads upfield in recent action. Last Monday, senior star and Villanova-bound Black helped Hun defeat the Shipley School (Pa.) 14-8 in the opening round of the Inter-Ac Challenge. Two days, earlier, Black enjoyed a big Senior Day, scoring three goals to help Hun defeat Mercersburg Academy (Pa.) 16-4 and clinch its second straight Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) title. Hun, now 11-6, will face Lawrencville in the Inter-Ac quarterfinals on May 18 in Conshohocken, Pa. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Owen Black has devoted more than a third of his life to playing lacrosse at the Hun School. more

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Members of the Princeton Day School boys’ lacrosse team celebrate after defeating Robbinsville 17-8 in the Mercer County Tournament championship game last Thursday at WW/P-N. It was the first-ever county crown for the boys’ lax program. PDS, now 14-1, will go for a second title when it hosts Montclair Kimberley in the state Prep B championship game on May 18. For details on the MCT final, see page 32. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

May 12, 2016

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IN THE SWING: Princeton Day School baseball player Ryan Augustus follows through on a swing in recent action. Last Monday, senior outfielder Augustus helped PDS top Holy Cross 9-0 as it improved to 10-4. PDS will be starting play in the state Prep B tournament this week, where it is seeded second and will host No. 7 Wardlaw Hartridge in a quarterfinal game on May 12. The semis are slated for May 17 with the championship game set for May 19. The Panthers are also scheduled to play regular season games at Nottingham on May 13 and at Hamilton on May 16. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

It was a spectacular catch worthy of the ESPN SportsCenter Top 10 as Princeton Day School star Ryan Augustus crashed into the left field fence at full speed to track down a long fly in the fifth inning last Thursday against Nottingham in the MCT quarterfinals. more

May 11, 2016

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TITLE PURSUIT: Princeton High boys’ lacrosse player Tooker -Callaway, left, pursues a foe in recent action. Last Saturday, junior star and co-captain Callaway helped key the defensive effort as second-seeded PHS defeated No. 7 Hightstown 14-5 in the Mercer County Tournament quarterfinals. The Little Tigers, who improved to 10-3 with the win, were slated to face third-seeded Robbinsvillle in the MCT semis on May 10 with the winner advancing to the title game on May 12 at WW/P-N to face the victor of the other semi, which pitted top-seeded Princeton Day School against fifth-seeded Hopewell Valley. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Tooker Callaway got a battlefield promotion in the preseason for the Princeton High boys’ lacrosse team when his leadership on defense prompted the coaches to make him a team captain. more