October 3, 2018

BREAKING THROUGH: Princeton High football player Jaylen Johnson fights for extra yardage in recent action. Last Saturday, senior star Johnson rushed for 77 yards and two touchdowns to help PHS defeat Cherry Hill East 21-14, snapping a 21-game losing streak. The Little Tigers, now 1-3, play at Lawrence High on October 5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Locked in a 14-14 tie against Cherry Hill East with 9:06 remaining in the fourth quarter last Saturday, the Princeton High football team got the ball at its 29-yard line and was primed to end its 21-game losing streak.

Starting just his second game at quarterback, junior Judd Petrone was sticking to basics as the Little Tigers started the possession. “It was just score a touchdown,” said Petrone. more

FINISHING TOUCH: Princeton Day School girls’ soccer player Brooke Smukler, left, controls the ball in a 2017 game. Last Thursday, senior forward Smukler tallied a goal and an assist to help PDS defeat Lawrenceville 3-0. The Panthers, who topped the Shipley School (Pa.) 3-1 last Saturday to improve to 7-1-1, play at the Hill School (Pa.) on October 3 before hosting Pingry on October 5 and Springside Chestnut Hill (Pa.) on October 9. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Brooke Smukler got herself in the right place at the right time for the Princeton Day School girls’ soccer team as it played at the Lawrenceville School last Thursday.

Early in the first half in the matchup of rivals, senior forward Smukler found the back of the net to give PDS a 1-0 lead. more

September 26, 2018

BACK STAGE: Princeton High field hockey player Lila Doran controls the ball in a game earlier this season. Junior defender Doran’s stellar work on the back line has helped PHS get off to a 5-0 start. In upcoming action, the Little Tigers host Hamilton West on September 27, Hightstown on September 29, and Hopewell Valley on October 2. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Lila Doran is determined to make noise on the back line this fall for the Princeton High field hockey team. “Being in the center of the field, I can see everything,” said junior defender Doran. “I try to direct the wing defenders and be a leader of communication.”

Last Friday against visiting Allentown, PHS communicated well in the first half, stifling the Redbirds and taking a 1-0 lead into intermission.

“I thought we managed that stress pretty well,” said Doran. “Basically our goal is to clear it to the sidelines and into space. We worked really well as a unit and we were communicating.” more

LOGAN’S RUN: Hun School quarterback Logan Clouse takes off for a run in recent action. Junior transfer Clouse has helped Hun get off to a 1-1 start. The Raiders play at the Haverford School (Pa.) on September 29. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Seeking to test itself against tough competition this fall, the Hun School football team achieved that goal with its first two games.

Hosting Cheshire Academy (Conn.) in its season opener on September 8, Hun rallied from a 14-0 halftime deficit to pull out a 16-14 win. A week later, the Raiders headed to the midwest to face Steubenville High (Ohio), battling hard before succumbing 27-14.

Hun head coach Todd Smith acknowledged that his squad got pushed hard by the two formidable foes. more

WORTHY COMPETITOR: Hun School girls’ soccer player Bryonna “Breezy” Worthy controls the ball in a game earlier this season. Senior forward Worthy scored four goals in Hun’s first four games as the Raiders have gotten off to a 2-2 start. Hun was slated to play at Pennington on September 25 and at East Brunswick High on September 29. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Even though the Hun School girls’ soccer team dropped a 1-0 nail-biter at Monroe High last Saturday, Joanna Hallac saw her squad’s performance as a step forward.

“I thought we played a much more consistent game than we did against PDS (a 3-2 loss on September 13); it was a much better 80 minutes,” said Hun head coach Hallac, whose team moved to 2-2 with the setback.

“We were moving the ball around well, combining, and playing quick. Defensively, we were more consistent. There were a few breakdowns but Leah [Sutphen] came up with some saves. Our defense made some good stops. It could have gone either way; it was a very evenly matched game.” more

ON TRACK: Princeton High boys’ soccer player Thomas Reid tracks the ball in a 2017 game. Senior defender Reid led a spirited effort on the back line last Thursday as PHS tied WW/P-North 0-0 through regulation and two overtimes. The Little Tigers, who dropped to 2-2-2 with a 1-0 loss to Allentown last Monday, play at Ewing on September 26 and at Elizabeth on September 29 before hosting Hamilton West on October 1. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As the Princeton High boys’ soccer team played at WW/P-North last Thursday night, it found itself under the gun for most of the first half as the hosts controlled possession, generating a number of opportunities.

But a masked man on the PHS back line rose above the rest to repeatedly thwart the undefeated Northern Knights as they failed to find the back of the net.

Wearing black protective gear to shield a broken nose, PHS senior defender and co-captain Thomas Reid continually stuck his head in the action to spearhead the Little Tiger defense. more

POWER HITTER: Princeton High girls’ volleyball player Gillian Hauschild leaps up for a hit in a match last year. Junior standout Hauschild’s versatility and production has helped PHS get off to a solid 8-2 start this fall. In upcoming action, the Little Tigers host WW/P-North on September 27 before playing at WW/P-South on September 28 and at Lawrenceville on October 1. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After turning heads with a stellar 31-2 campaign in 2017, the Princeton High girls’ volleyball team is looking to prove that success wasn’t a fluke as it has taken the court this fall.

“We lost a couple of seniors but that just meant that we had to change things around a little bit,” said PHS head coach Patty Manhart, noting that the team is running a new offensive formation.

“We still had a really solid core of girls coming back. Everyone knew that we wanted to keep up the intensity and build on last year. The girls came ready to make those adjustments to stay just as strong.” more

September 19, 2018

STICKING WITH IT: Princeton Day School field hockey Gwen Allen controls the ball in recent action. Last Thursday, senior star and tri-captain Allen scored the winning goal as PDS edged Stuart Country Day School 2-1 in overtime. The Panthers, now 3-0, host Blair Academy on September 22 and Peddie School on September 25. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Gwen Allen and her teammates on the Princeton Day School field hockey team were a bit frustrated as their battle with local rival Stuart Country Day School headed into overtime last Thursday.

“I feel like we should have scored earlier on; we had a lot more opportunities than they did and we had great offensive sequences,” said Allen.

“We felt like we were playing well, we just weren’t able to finish it. It was ‘let’s just close it out.’”

After coming to the bench for a brief rest during the overtime, Allen returned to the contest and finished it off, tallying a goal with 3:36 left in the extra session to give PDS a 2-1 win as it improved to 3-0.

“When I went back in, Val [Radvany] had the ball at midfield and there was nobody in front and I got it and it was a one versus two,” said Allen.

“I tried to get close to the circle and my first shot was bad, but Lyla Allen (not Gwen’s sister) got the rebound and passed it to me. It was a weird shot; it kind of trickled in.”

While the shot may not have been a thing of beauty, the result was heartening for PDS.

“It was really exciting. It was definitely a relief,” said Allen. “Most of all, I was really proud of my team. It was the first time we have gone to overtime and we have a really young team with a lot of freshman. I was proud of everyone for sticking with it.”

Allen credited the Stuart defense with making PDS work overtime.

“They were good at getting out quickly and finding the girl in the middle and distributing it out, but for the most part we had possession, which was awesome,” said Allen.

In Allen’s view, the team’s 3-0 start has been awesome if a little unexpected.

“After the preseason, I was a little worried; we lost a lot of really good players and starters from last year,” said Allen.

“We have a super young team. The Allen twins (freshmen Lyla and Emily) have really been helping; they are super athletic and in shape. They are a huge help, and the other younger players are all stepping up and doing well. We had some players who were on JV last year and got bumped up to varsity and they have been great.”

The trio of senior stars Allen, Radvany, and Sasha Sindhwani looking to help the younger players feel comfortable on the varsity.

“We are really close; it has been us three since freshman year, so we are super excited to be able to lead the team together,” said Allen.

“It is a good dynamic; we have good communication. We all agree on leadership style and how we do things. It is fun to be captains with Val and Sasha.”

PDS head coach Heather Farlow had fun seeing Allen come through with the game-winning tally.

“We were talking to Gwen; we wanted her to shoot more at the top of the circle,” said Farlow. “During the game, we were telling her you have got to yell that you are wide open and stuff. We finally got her the ball; it was good.”

The Panthers played some good hockey against the Tartans.

“I knew that we wanted to play a passing game; I felt that we really did control possession most of the game,” said Farlow, who also got a goal from Sindhwani on a first half penalty stroke. “They had some good defensive plays; they were tough.”

Surviving the extra session was a good step forward early in the season for PDS.

“It points out some strengths and weaknesses; it is good competition,” said Farlow, whose team hosts Blair Academy on September 22 and Peddie School on September 25.

“We just want to keep moving forward, we have done some nice things. We have executed what we have practiced but we just need to keep putting it together.”

Allen, for her part, believes that the Panthers need to sharpen up on their execution around goal.

“I think next week we are definitely going to be working on fitness and finishing on attack,” said Allen. “It will be moving and shooting and how to get around the defense and the goalie. Circle attack will be the focus.”

THIRD PARTY: Princeton High girls’ tennis player Nicole Samios hits a serve in a match last fall. Junior Samios is playing at third singles again for PHS this fall and has helped the team get off to a 2-1 start. In upcoming action, the Little Tigers have matches at WW/P-South on September 20 and at Allentown on September 21 before starting play in the Mercer County Tournament on September 24 at the Mercer County Park tennis complex. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Although the Princeton High girls’ tennis team may not boast any superstars in its 2018 lineup, it possesses the depth and experience to maintain the program’s winning tradition.

“We have a lot of seniors,” said PHS head coach Sarah Hibbert, noting that the roster includes six seniors with four currently in the starting lineup.

“We want to send them out on a high note and we are hoping to have the best season we can.”

One of those seniors, Sydney Vine, has moved into the first singles spot.  more

September 12, 2018

The Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) hosted its annual Fall Open House on Saturday afternoon, which included an opening reception for the “Members Exhibition” in the Taplin Gallery. Participants share their favorite art forms in this week’s Town Talk on page 6. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

By Donald Gilpin

The conflict seems to intensify as postponement of the Princeton Board of Education (BOE) vote on Princeton Public Schools’ (PPS) proposed $129.6M bond issue, and consequent postponement of the ballot issue until after the November 6 general election, gives both sides the opportunity to develop and clarify their cases.

Last week, shortly before its Tuesday night meeting at which it was planning to vote to place the referendum on the November ballot, the BOE was informed that due to a backlog the New Jersey Department of Education (DOE) was still reviewing the district’s plans and that the referendum would have to be postponed until after the November ballot.  more

August 29, 2018


CHINESE LESSON: Ian McNally, left, instructs players at a camp in China this summer. Hun School boys’ hockey head coach and former Princeton University player McNally took part in the ECAC Hockey/Princeton camps in Beijing and Shenzhen, near Hong Kong.

By Bill Alden

Ron Fogarty helped guide the Princeton University men’s hockey team from the ECAC Hockey cellar to the NCAA tournament, while Ian McNally has built the Hun School boys’ program into a local powerhouse as it has won five straight Mercer County Tournament titles.

This July, the two coaches flew nearly 7,000 miles across the world to help grow the game they love as they took part in the ECAC Hockey/Princeton camp in China.

 more

READING THE GAME: Princeton High boys’ soccer star Thomas Reid controls the ball in a game last fall. Senior defender Reid has emerged as the leader of the PHS back line. The Little Tigers get the 2018 season underway when they play at WW/P-South on September 6. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Last fall, the Princeton High boys’ soccer team added a special chapter to the program’s storied history.

Catching fire after a rocky start, PHS won the Group 4 Central Jersey title and advanced to the state final where it fell to powerhouse Kearny to end the fall with a 17-6-1 record.

 more

BIG JAY: Princeton High football player Jaylen Johnson takes a break in action last fall. Senior Johnson is going to be busy for PHS this year, playing running back and defensive line. The Little Tigers open their 2018 campaign when they host Hamilton on September 8. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

The goal for the Princeton High football team is simple as it heads into the 2018 season.

“We want to win some football games,” said PHS head coach Charlie Gallagher, whose squad went 0-10 last fall. “I am excited about our coaching staff because we have put in great work and we are coaching these kids up.”

 more

GETTING IN FORM: Princeton High girls’ soccer player Camille Franklin controls the ball in a training session last week. Senior Franklin figures to be a key offensive weapon for PHS this fall. The Little Tigers kick off their 2018 season by hosting WW/P-South on September 6. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With the Princeton High girls’ soccer team having lost a slew of seniors after going 10-6-2 in 2017, there will be new faces in new places for the squad this fall.

“It seems like everybody is ready to step up and really contribute and fill their role,” said PHS head coach Val Rodriguez, whose team opens regular season play by hosting WW/P-South on September 6.

 more

August 22, 2018

ON TRACK: Alex Roth is competing for the University of Pennsylvania men’s track team in a meet last March at Franklin Field in Philadelphia. Former Princeton High standout Roth ended his freshman campaign by taking ninth in the 10,000-meter run at the Ivy League Outdoor Heptagonal Championships this past May. Last week, he returned to Penn to begin preseason practice for his sophomore cross country season. (Photo Provided by Penn Athletics)

By Bill Alden

Alex Roth enjoyed a dominant senior season in 2016-17, setting the pace for the Princeton High boys’ cross country and track programs.

In the fall, Roth placed first in the county cross country meet, fourth at the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional meet, and second at the state Group 4 meet as the Little Tigers finished first in the team standings at each competition. He ended the historic campaign by helping PHS win the Meet of Champions (MOC) for the first time in school history as he placed third individually. more

August 15, 2018

LEADING LIGHTS: Maddy Peel, far right, pilots the Princeton National Rowing Association (PNRA)/Mercer Juniors women’s lightweight eight in action this spring. Coxswain Peel, a Princeton High graduate who is headed to Cornell this month to join its women’s rowing program, helped the Mercer boat take fifth at the USRowing Youth National Championship in Sacramento, Calif. this June.

By Bill Alden

For Maddy Peel, mastering a new vocabulary proved to be a key challenge when she joined the Princeton National Rowing Association (PNRA) Mercer Junior rowing program as a neophyte coxswain in the fall of 2014.

“It was a lot about learning the lingo at first. There are a lot of words that aren’t used anywhere else,” said Peel.

“Once you get the hang of what to say, it starts getting a little bit easier. It is also knowing what is going on in your boat. When you are brand new, you are sitting down and you can’t really tell what is going on. You see eight oars but you don’t really know what is happening.” more

HEAD START: C.J. Uche, right, heads the ball during a game last fall in his senior season for the Princeton Day School boys’ soccer team. Star midfielder Uche, who helped PDS win the state Prep B title in 2016, is now in preseason practice for the Bucknell University men’s soccer team as he gets ready to start his college career. Bucknell opens regular season action when it plays at Mount St. Mary’s on August 24. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

When C.J. Uche joined the Princeton Day School boys’ soccer team in 2014 as a freshman, he didn’t see himself playing at the next level.

“I came in thinking that I wasn’t the D-I soccer type; that wasn’t my goal at that time,” said Uche.

But after emerging as a star midfielder early in his PDS career, Uche realized that he might have a future in college soccer.

“I played Match Fit Academy for four years and the summer after sophomore year, we won the national tournament against some of the highest competition,” said Uche. more

Alex Ni competes at the 7th World Junior Wushu Championships held last month in Brazil. Ni, a West Windsor resident and rising junior at the Hun School, won two gold medals and a silver medal at the competition. He prevailed in the Changquan (Long Fist) and straightsword events and took second in spear. The event is held biennially and each country/region can send up to two boys and two girls for each of three age groups -12 and under, 13-15, and 16-18. Athletes from 42 countries competed in this year’s Championships. Ni, who took up martial arts at age 6, has earned spots in the U.S. junior wushu team, the U.S. senior wushu team, as well as the U.S. kungfu team. In addition, he regularly performs in school and local community talent and cultural shows, in senior and rehab centers, Plainsboro Founders Day, Chinese New Year celebrations, and in Lincoln Center in New York City.  Ni has been teaching Xingyi Quan, a fist form in the martial arts club at the Hun School.

August 8, 2018

SHARP PERFORMANCE: Community Park Bluefish swimmer Serena Sharpless displays her breaststroke form in a race this summer. Sharpless starred for the 18-and-under girls as the Bluefish took first in Division 1 at the Princeton-Area Swimming and Diving Association (PASDA) championship meet at the John Witherspoon Middle School pool on  July 23-24. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Although the Community Park Bluefish swim team rolled to another undefeated dual meet season in Division 1 PASDA action this summer, the squad outdid itself at the league’s championship meet.

The Bluefish, who have been undefeated in dual meets since 2015, rolled up 3,934.50 points in winning the Division 1 competition, nearly doubling the 2,030 scored by the runner-up Lawrenceville Swim Association. more

IN CONTROL: Daniel Baytin churns through the water in a meet last year for the Nassau Swim Club Lemmings. In late July, Baytin helped the Lemmings take fourth in Division 2 at Princeton-Area Swimming and Diving Association (PASDA) championship meet, starring in the 12-and-under boys’ group. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After the Cranbury Swim Club closed in 2014, Will Kinney had to find another outlet for his summer swimming.

Joining the Nassau Swim Club Lemmings as a swimmer and assistant coach, Princeton High standout Kinney quickly found a home.

“The team is a lot of fun, it is positive and it is such a great experience for everyone,” said Kinney, who is heading into his sophomore year at William and Mary. “I don’t think it could have worked out any better. I have met so many people; it has been really nice to grow with this team.” more

August 1, 2018

CROWNING MOMENT: Nicole Angelini kisses the trophy after her Player Development Academy (PDA) South ’02 16-U girls’ squad won its age group at the US Club Soccer NPL (National Premier Leagues) National Championship last month in Aurora, Colo. Rising Hun School junior midfielder Angelini scored on a penalty kick in the final as PDA topped GPS (Mass.) 5-0 to earn the national title.

By Bill Alden

By the time she was 10 years old, Nicole Angelini decided that she was ready to make a deeper commitment to soccer and joined the high-powered Player Development Academy program in Somerset.

“I was on a travel team in Hamilton, but I wanted to step it up,” said Angelini, now a rising junior at the Hun School. “My dad asked me if I wanted to play more seriously and how much I actually liked it. I wanted to take it up a notch and PDA was pretty close. It was a different level.” more

ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH: Members of the Princeton Football Club (PFC) Boca U-16 (2002) boys’ team show off the medals they earned for winning their age group at the U.S. Club National Cup in Aurora, Colo. PFC Boca defeated FC Cardinals Man City (N.C.) 3-1 in the final. Pictured in the front row, from left, are Xavier Guerreiro, Connor Staples, Aron Szoke, Brandon Sagbo, Jose Rodriguez-Chacon, Silvio Aparicio, Ian Cabrera, Noah LaPoint, Daniel Ingersoll, and Herbert Ramirez. In the back row, from left, are head coach Yordan Hristov, Jared Bell, Andres Argueta, Simon Sheppard, and Ian Pompliano.

By Bill Alden

As his Princeton Football Club (PFC) Boca U-16 (2002) got ready to start play in the U.S. Club National Cup in Aurora, Colo. last month, Yordan Hristov urged his players to savor the experience.

“I said, ‘guys look where you are, we are at the highest stage; you had a dream and this is where we are at the moment,’” said PFC Boca head coach Hristov. more

LOYALTY REWARD: Davon Black of LoyalTees, right, puts the pressure on John McArthur of NJ Spiritwear last week in the opening game of the best-of-three championship series in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League. Former Princeton High star Black helped LoyalTees earn the title as it defeated NJ Spiritwear 76-60 in game three of the series last Friday night at the Hun School gym.(Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Davon Black sensed early on that his LoyalTees squad could be something special this season in its second campaign in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League.

Coming into the summer, former Princeton High boys’ hoops star Black, the player/manager for LoyalTees, added some key pieces to augment the team after its league debut in 2017. more

NICK OF TIME: Nick Davidson of LoyalTees grabs the ball in action last week against NJ Spiritwear in the best-of-three championship series in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League. Davidson helped LoyalTees win the series, scoring 29 points as the team defeated NJ Spiritwear 76-60 in the third and deciding game last Friday at the Hun School gym. Davidson was named as the winner of the league’s Foreal Wooden Playoff MVP award. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After Nick Davidson and his LoyalTees teammates fell to NJ Spiritwear in the opening contest of the best-of-three championship series in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League, they brought a scrappy approach into game two.

“In the first game we came out a little lackadaisical; we were trying to feel them out a little bit and they ended up pouncing on us,” said Davidson, reflecting on the team’s 70-67 loss in the opener on July 23 at the Princeton High gym. more