October 17, 2018

By Bill Alden

On paper, it looked to be a total mismatch when the 15th-seeded Hun School field hockey team played at second-seeded Princeton High in the opening round of the Mercer County Tournament last Friday.

Hun entered the game with a 2-7 record, having lost 7-0 at Blair and 6-0 at Princeton Day School in the previous week while PHS brought an unblemished  11-0 mark into the matchup. more

October 10, 2018

By Bill Alden

Jackson Barletta prides himself on being a multi-faceted threat for the Hun School football team.

“It is good to be all around the field and just impact the team however I can,” said senior star Barletta, who plays receiver, quarterback, and defensive back for the Raiders.

Last Saturday against visiting Blair Academy, Barletta made an impact in the first half with his arm and legs, throwing a touchdown pass to Nicholas DeGennaro and then catching a scoring strike from Logan Clouse as the Raiders built a 12-0 halftime lead. more

SETTING THE PACE: Princeton High boys’ cross country runner Acasio Pinheiro (No. 858, second from right) competes in a 2017 race. Last Saturday, senior star Pinheiro took third individually in the Boys’ Varsity C race at the Shore Coaches Invitational in Holmdel Park to help the Little Tigers place third of 27 schools in the team standings in the race. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Over the last several years, the individual brilliance of Alex Roth and and then Will Hare helped spark the Princeton High boys’ cross country team to county and state crowns.

This fall, a triumvirate of senior standouts, Acasio Pinheiro, Jackson McCarthy, and Tucker Zullo, have combined to make PHS formidable again. more

PLAYING SMART: Hun School boys’ soccer player Elijah Smarr controls the ball in recent action. Last Saturday, senior midfielder Smarr chipped in an assist to help Hun defeat Blair Academy 3-0 in its Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) opener. The Raiders, now 5-4, play at the Hill School (Pa.) on October 13 before hosting Northern Burlington on October 16. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With the Hun School boys’ soccer team locked in a scoreless tie with Life Center Academy last week, Elijah Smarr had the ball on his foot near the goal.

But rather than firing away, Hun senior midfield Smarr saw teammate Amar Anand breaking free and slotted the ball to him and he found the back of the net.

“Jack Tarzy played me a nice ball in; I could have taken him on but I saw that Amar had a better angle so I just played it to him and he was able to put it away,” said Smarr of the score that came with 27:13 left in the half. more

FRONT OF THE PACK: Princeton High girls’ cross country runner Siena Moran displays her form in action last year. Last Saturday, senior Moran finished seventh individually in the Girls’ Varsity B race at the Shore Coaches Invitational at Holmdel Park to help PHS place fifth of 19 schools in the team standings in the race. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Having becoming a member of the Princeton High girls’ cross country team last fall after transferring from the American School of London, Siena Moran embraced the culture of her new program.

Improving by leaps and bounds, Moran became a star, taking sixth at the Mercer County Championship meet and placing 10th at the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional.

PHS head coach Jim Smirk sensed that Moran was just scratching the surface, and that some offseason work would make her a force this fall. more

SET POINT: Princeton High girls’ volleyball player Gillian Hauschild sets the ball last Thursday as PHS defeated Hopewell Valley 2-0. Junior star Hauschild contributed three kills, four assists, two blocks, and one dig to help the Little Tigers prevail 25-10, 25-12. PHS, which moved to 13-4 with a 2-0 loss to Montgomery last Friday, is hosting Fairfield Prep (Conn.) on October 13 before playing at Florence on October 16. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Gillian Hauschild is displaying her versatility this fall in her junior season for the Princeton High girls’ volleyball team.

After dominating on the front row in her first two seasons, Hauschild has added a playmaking role to her portfolio.

“We are running a 6-2 this year, which is a lot different than last year,” said Hauschild. more

By Bill Alden

Wesley Leggett scored 13 goals in the first 10 games this fall for the Princeton Day School boys’ soccer team.

Last Wednesday, senior forward Leggett tried mightily to add to that total as PDS hosted Old Bridge, making a number of runs and generating some shots in the box but it was to no avail as the teams played to a scoreless tie through regulation and two overtimes. more

October 3, 2018

GRACE UNDER PRESSURE: Princeton Day School girls’ tennis player Grace Marshall hits a forehand in action last week at the Mercer County Tournament. Junior Marshall took first in third singles, outlasting Melissa Liu of WW/P-South 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 in the final. Marshall’s victory helped PDS place seventh of 19 schools in the team standings at the event, held at the Mercer County Park tennis complex. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

In mid-September, Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya set the world record for the marathon, clocking a time of 2:01.39 in winning the Berlin Marathon.

Last Thursday at the Mercer County Tournament, Princeton Day School girls’ tennis player Grace Marshall found herself in a marathon match that ended up lasting nearly twice as long as Kipchoge’s landmark run, playing four hours to defeat Melissa Liu of WW/P-South 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 in the third singles championship match. more

SO GOOD: Hun School girls’ tennis player Sophia Lin hits a forehand last week as she competed in the Mercer County Tournament. Sophomore Lin placed fourth at first singles, helping Hun take fifth of 19 schools in the team standings.  (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Going through his first Mercer County Tournament as the head coach of the Hun School girls’ tennis team, Antonio Balson gained some valuable knowledge from the competition last week.

“It is good to see where we stand,” said Balson, who previously coached at the Seacrest Country Day School in Naples, Fla. more

IN THE ZONE: Stuart Country Day School field hockey player Catherine Martin (No. 33) celebrates after a goal a game earlier this season. Last Friday, sophomore forward Martin chipped in a goal to help Stuart defeat the Solebury School (Pa.) 5-0. The Tartans, who dropped to 6-2 after falling 2-1 in overtime to the Country Day School of the Sacred Heart (Pa.) last Monday, host Peddie on October 3 and Mt. St. Mary’s on October 5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Catherine Martin came into this fall determined to become an impact player in her sophomore season with the Stuart Country Day School field hockey team.

“I just needed to step up my game,” said Martin, who worked with the USA Field Hockey Futures Program over the summer. “I wanted to show my team that I could be a leader and help everyone else out by improving myself.” more

DOUBLE TAKE: Princeton High first doubles players Bella Lependorf, left, and Jordan Johnson celebrate a point last week at the Mercer County Tournament. The pair of freshman Lependorf and senior Johnson went on to win their flight at the MCT, defeating Sabrina Chang and Kirthi Chigurupati of WW/P-North 7-6, 6-3 in the final. The victory by Lependorf and Johnson helped PHS take second of 19 schools in the team standings at the event held at the Mercer County Park tennis complex. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Jordan Johnson is a senior and Bella Lependorf is a freshman but that age difference didn’t prevent them from developing an instant chemistry when they were paired together to play first doubles for the Princeton High girls’ tennis team this fall.

“It is total fun; I love Bella, she is a great player,” said Johnson. “She makes great volleys and can get to a lot of the balls at the net.” more

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