STELLAR: Southern Regional senior Cole Nemes and the rest of the Rams on the boys swim team concluded their regular season with a big win over Jackson Memorial on Jan. 25, securing a third straight division title and another perfect record. (Photo by David Biggy)
For a third straight season, the Southern Regional boys and girls swim teams finished the regular seasons undefeated as Shore Conference Class A South champions. On Jan. 25, coach Patrick Craig’s boys concluded their regular season at 10-0 by routing Jackson Memorial, 122-48, while coach Bill Entrikin’s girls thumped the Jaguars, 116-54, to end with a 9-0 mark.
During the boys’ meet, Kristian Werner, Sean White, Jack Matthews and Cole Nemes started the onslaught with a 1:45.94 to win the 200-yard medley relay before Bryan Kahl scored first-place points in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:03.99, and Jake Werner captured the top spot in the 200-yard individual medley in 2:20.21. After Kristian Werner won the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 23.17 seconds, Matthews clocked a 1:01.63 to take first in the 100-yard butterfly.
Following a first-place time of 53.42 from Nemes in the 100-yard freestyle, Bryan Kahl touched the wall in 6:04.47 to win the 500-yard freestyle, and the foursome of Bryan and Sean Kahl, Nemes and Kristian Werner swiped the top spot in the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:34.93. After Kristian Werner won the 100-yard backstroke in 1:01.04, White was victorious in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:02.13. The 400-yard freestyle relay of Nick Napolitano, Sean Kahl, Matthews and Jake Werner capped the victory with a first-place time of 3:52.57.
As for the girls, Mohini Jani, Francesca Fields, Brooke Boyd and Shae Centanni started things off with a 1:59.68 to win the medley relay before Payton Nork won the 200 free in 2:16.89, and Fields cruised to first in the 200 IM with a time of 2:26.69. After Boyd won the 100 butterfly in 1:08.89, Erin Little secured first-place points in the 100 free with a time of 1:04.58, and Chloe Furlong won the 500 free in 6:26.61.
Following a victory in the 200 free relay by Boyd, Jessica Paulillo, Isabella Wyckoff and Centanni (1:51.33), Jani won the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:10.26, and the crew of Fields, Emma Mills, Nork and Wyckoff won the 400 free relay in 4:16.00.
Southern Ice Hockey Team
After a rough start to last week, the Southern Regional ice hockey team began this week with a solid victory – scoring its ninth win of the season with a 5-1 triumph against Monroe Township.
The Rams (9-6-1) started with an even-strength goal from Sean Rowland, assisted by Ben Gautier, with 10:14 to go in the first period, and a minute later Yater Henry was set up by Gautier for a power-play goal to make it a 2-0 contest going into the second period, when Gautier made it a three-goal game when he scored following assists from Henry and Rowland.
Monroe trimmed the deficit to two with a goal 8:30 into the third period, but an empty-net goal by Henry with 1:26 left, followed by a goal by Patrick Koehne, assisted by Daniel Georgeson, with under a minute to play to cap the scoring. Aidan Rowland made 32 saves in front of the goal.
Following a 5-1 loss to powerful St. John Vianney on Jan. 25, the Rams came from behind the next day to tie Manasquan, 4-4. Down 1-0 after the first period, Sean Rowland was assisted by Henry for the Rams’ first goal, before Matthew Leonard scored on the power play to knot the game at 2-2 going into the third.
Thomas Giaccio and Leonard assisted on Andrew Buda’s go-ahead goal with 11:13 left in the contest, but the Warriors tied it several minutes later. On the power play, Sean Rowland and Henry assisted Brooks Hradek to put the Rams up, 4-3, with 7:03 to go, but Manasquan managed to tie the game with 2:54 left. Aidan Rowland finished with 41 saves to help preserve the deadlock.
The Southern Regional wrestling team is one victory away from a perfect regular season after the Rams scored three more victories last week – a 62-3 drubbing of Monroe on Jan. 24, followed by a 58-19 win over Shore Conference Class A South rivals Toms River East on Jan. 25, and a 63-12 bruising of Lower Cape May on Jan. 26.
During the win over East, which secured the division crown, Southern started the match down, 3-0, after losing at 157 pounds, but things quickly turned around when the Rams won the next seven bouts, starting with Tyler Chase’s pin at 3:02 of the 165-pound contest and culminated with Scottie Pari’s pin in 49 seconds of the 113-pound match. After Conor Collins, Wyatt Stout and Matt Henrich each pinned from 126 through 138, Christian Capone capped the victory with a pin in 32 seconds at 150 pounds.
Going into this week, the Rams were 13-0 with only a divisional tilt against Toms River South still on the slate before Southern embarks on the NJSIAA team tournament, scheduled to begin Monday, Feb. 7, for which the Rams likely will be the top seed in South Jersey Group V and are among the favorites to reach the Group V final. Two years ago – the last time the state tournament was contested – head coach Dan Roy’s squad captured the Group V state title.
Pinelands Wrestling Team
Following a narrow victory to conclude the previous week, the Pinelands Regional wrestling team scored a one-point win in its only match last week – a 34-33 triumph over Shore Conference Class B South foe Manchester.
After going down, 6-0, following the opening bout at 215 pounds, Mateo Mena was awarded a forfeit victory at heavyweight to tie the contest early on, but the Hawks scored 12 points during the next two bouts to go up 18-6. The Wildcats bounced back when Michael Platti won a 13-4 decision at 120, Josiah Hart scored a 7-5 decision at 126, and Mason Livio bumped up to 132 and pinned in 50 seconds, giving Pinelands a 19-18 lead.
Following a loss at 138, Gio Rosetti put the Wildcats back into the lead with a pin in 2:56 of the 144-pound clash. However, a pin at 150 and a forfeit at 157 had Pinelands in an eight-point hole with two bouts left. Nick Sheridan then won a 2-0 decision at 165 pounds, and Gavin Wagner capped the thriller with a pin in 2:27 at 175 pounds.
— David Biggy