Boys Soccer – 2015 Class A South Preview
Class A South featured a four-team race in 2014 that was closely contested throughout the season. This fall should bring more of the same, with Toms River South looking to repeat and Jackson Memorial hoping that returning experience wins the day.
In predicted order of finish
Head Coach: Steve Bado, 11th season
2014 Record: 13-7-2 (9-4-1, third in A South)
Returning Players: Joe Mamola (Sr., Defense), Andrew Jozwicki (Sr., Forward), Joey Stoltenberg (Sr., Midfield), Nick Schlageter (Sr., Midfield), Anthony Nappi (Sr., Midfield), Christian Fryc (Jr., Midfield/Defense), Chris Kinzler (Sr., Defense/Midfield), Mike Schoener (Jr., Forward), Dan Van Clef (Sr., Midfield), Dylan Kanner (Jr., Goalkeeper), Andrew Jenkins (Jr., Midfield)
Key Losses: Jarrett DiGiantomasso (Defense), Chris Juhasz (Goalkeeper), Will Kaminskas (Defense), Brian Scheno (Defense), Tyler Kessler (Forward)
Newcomers: Andrew Keating (Fr., Defense), Nick Kinzler (Fr., Goalkeeper), Ben Patti (Fr., Midfield), Kevin Luzzi (So., Defense/Midfield), Jacob Patti (So., Midfield), Josh Franco (Jr., Midfield/Defense), Chris Sichenze (Jr., Midfield), Zach Maibach (Jr., Forward), Carlin Procida (Sr., Midfield), Brandon Bonilla (Sr., Midfield), Jon Cobi Delfin (Sr., Midfield), Nick Learn (Sr., Goalkeeper), Peter Marino (Sr., Midfield), James Tracey (Sr., Midfield/Forward)
After a middling start to the 2014 season, the Jaguars caught fire heading into the Shore Conference Tournament by going unbeaten over a 10-game stretch (9-0-1) before losing to Manalapan in the quarterfinals. With nine players with starting experience back, Jackson Memorial is looking to put together a full season that looks more like those 10 games and less like the up-and-down start.
Andrew Jozwicki (seven goals), Anthony Nappi (four), Joey Stoltenberg (four) and Mike Schoener (nine) return to the lineup after combining for 24 of Jackson Memorial’s 38 goals last year, with Schoener and Jozwicki forming one of the top forward duos that return to the Shore Conference this year. Senior Nick Schlageter will rejoin Stoltenberg and Nappi in the midfield, while junior Christian Fryc and senior Joe Mamola both return in the back, with Fryc set to play a more defense-oriented role. If Jackson Memorial has any holes to fill, it is on the back line thanks to the graduation of Jarrett DiGiantomasso, Will Kaminskas and Brian Scheno.
Junior Dylan Kanner will take over in goal for all-division performer Chris Juhasz in front of the retooled defense, and although the Jaguars lack the same experience in the back that they have around the rest of the field, goal prevention is always a staple of the Jaguars and should continue to be this season as well. With Toms River North, Toms River South and Brick Memorial all looking to replace a large chunk of scoring this year, the door is open for Jackson Memorial to reclaim Class A South for the second time in four years.
Toms River North
Head Coach: Joe Mahon, sixth season
2014 Record: 14-6-2 (9-3-2, second in A South)
Returning Players: Joey Hertgen (Sr., Midfield), Kyle Burke (Sr., Defense), Tommy Butz (Sr., Defense), Rob Cameron (Sr., Midfield), Cedric Cook (Sr., Forward), Tommy Lynch (Sr., Goalkeeper), Andrew Foti (Sr., Forward), Raz Chabra (Sr., Midfield), Gal Chabra (Sr., Midfield), Nick Moreno (Sr., Defense), Jason Garcia (Jr., Midfield), Charles Copeland (Jr., Forward/Midfield), Mitch Reed (Jr., Midfield), Andrew Jeans (Sr., Goalkeeper)
Key Losses: Ryan Cheslock (Forward), Lee Scheck (Midfield), Liam McDonnell (Midfield), Brian Brannagan (Goalkeeper), Tyler Foss (Midfield), Nick Hund (Defense/Midfield), Mike Karpinsky (Defense), Kevin Lysaght (Midfield/Defense)
Newcomers: Sean Crabb (Sr., Forward), Matt Sirota (Sr., Defense), Matt Benvenuto (Jr., Defense), Tyler Keller (Jr., Defense), Kevin Ryan (Jr., Goalkeeper), Dante Shenkin (Jr., Midfield), Joe Swanton (Jr. Goalkeeper), Evan Zurawski (Jr., Defense), Jack Butz (So., Midfield), Anthony McNulty (So., Defense), Alex Poll (So., Defense), Brett Schneider (So., Forward)
The Class A South race was a four-team battle in 2014, but the only team to make a postseason run out of the dog-eat-dog division was Toms River North. The Mariners caught fire in the NJSIAA South Jersey Group IV Tournament and reached the sectional final before losing 1-0 to Washington Township, the No. 1 team in N.J. If not for a stunning overtime loss to Marlboro in controversial fashion in the Shore Conference Tournament round of 16, the postseason might have been even better for the Mariners.
Senior midfielder Joey Hertgen returns after a breakout junior year in which he scored 12 goals. Toms River North will be working in a new group of forwards, so Hertgen could even see some time up top if it will get him some scoring chances. Senior Cedrick Cook is one of the forwards who returns with experience after scoring three goals last year and junior Mitch Reed is back in the midfield after tallying four goals as a sophomore. Seniors Kyle Burke and Tommy Butz bring some stability to the back line after playing as juniors, while senior goalkeeper Tommy Lynch will look to build on a strong debut season, during which he took over as the starter during the middle of the year.
Seniors Rob Cameron and Andrew Foti will both step into the attack this season, while juniors Matt Bevenuto and Tyler Keller and seniors Nick Moreno and Matt Sirota are lined up to fill holes on defense, with Benvenuto currently occupying the starting stopper back position. Toms River North will again boast a deep roster that can wear down opponents with its capable bench, so as long as coach Joe Mahon can sort through the pieces and make them all fit, the Mariners should again be dangerous once October rolls around.
Toms River South
Head Coach: Ed Leibe, 13th season
2014 Record: 15-4-2 (11-2-1, first in A South)
Returning Players: Cameron Geerinck (Sr., Forward), Dylan Dannelson (Jr., Midfield), Tyler Egnatuk (Jr., Midfield), Mike Tapp (Sr., Defense), Mike Conover (Sr., Defense), Francesco LoScrudato (Sr., Midfield), Sergio Dippolito (Sr., Forward), Evan Niemierowski (Sr., Midfield), Chris Kluxten (Jr., Defense), Dominic Pizzi (Jr., Goalkeeper)
Key Losses: Jordan Urbaczek (Midfield), Kieran Murphy (Defense), Kollin White (Goalkeeper), Jared Knowles (Defense), Ryan Shiffer (Forward), Michael Braun (Defense), Owen Lee (Midfield), J.T. Timmes (Midfield)
Newcomers: Cole Clayton (Sr., Midfield), Ben Brown (Jr., Midfield), Matt Babcock (So., Midfield)
One of the benefits of winning at the high school level with roster depth is that when a group of seniors graduates, there is another wave of players with varsity experience ready to go from reserves to starters. Toms River South lost eight starters from last year’s Class A South division championship team, but most of the players who will be taking over those eight positions were contributors in 2014. Senior forward Cameron Geerinck was the breakout star of the bunch last year, when he scored eight goals to go with 12 assists as a junior. Junior midfielder Dylan Dannelson has been a contributor since his freshman year and senior Mike Tapp returns as a starter on the defense.
Senior goalkeeper Kollin White leaves a void in goal that junior Domonic Pizzi will attempt to fill while also playing behind a retooled defense, led by Braun. Junior center back Chris Kluxten impressed coach Ed Leibe and his staff during the preseason and will be a key addition to the lineup, but as an attacking defender and a throw-in specialist. Senior Mike Conover also brings speed to the back line, which will play a key role in helping Pizzi as he transitions to the starting role.
Junior Tyler Egnatuk returns after playing significant minutes in the midfield last year, while seniors Sergio Dippolito and Francesco LoScrudato each broke into the rotation last year and are ready to shoulder bigger playing-time loads as seniors. Improved performance from players moving from the bench to the starting lineup will have to be a common thread for Toms River South to repeat in A South, but this group has already shown it can perform in spurts and will now look to do it over the 14-game A South gauntlet.
Head Coach: Steve Ferrullo, fourth season
2014 Record: 13-6-2 (8-4-2, fourth in A South)
Returning Players: Eddie Seamen (Sr., Midfield), Alejandro Fernandez (Sr., Defense), Alejandro Cisneros (Sr., Midfield), Jake DeGennaro (Jr., Midfield), James McCombs (So., Midfield), Chris Costa (Sr., Midfield), Angel Suarez (Jr., Forward), David Van Note (Jr., Defense), Joe Zahlaman (Sr., Goalkeeper)
Key Losses: Kevin Simek (Midfield), Bryan Malerba (Forward), Tom Hernandez (Defense), Kevin Duffy (Midfield), Mike Raccugalia (Defense), Matt Clayton (Defense), Kurt Reber (Goalkeeper)
Newcomers: Josh Scandrett (Sr., Forward), Shawn Behrend (Jr., Midfield/Forward), Lou Nazzaro (So., Defense), Steve Ferbee (So., Midfield), Erik Fatovic (So., Midfield), Brandon Byrnes (So., Goalkeeper), Sean Aubry (Fr., Defense)
Like Toms River North and Toms River South, Brick Memorial’s program depth will be tested this year in the wake of the graduation of top scorers Bryan Malerba (17 goals, 11 assists) and Kevin Simek (15 goals, 13 assists). The only difference between the Mustangs and its two rivals to this point is recent track record. Although Toms River North and Toms River South have better recent histories, Brick Memorial has taken significant strides over the last two seasons and has the talent in place to continue to compete for a Class A South title.
Senior midfielder Eddie Seaman is the team’s top returning scorer after pumping in seven goals as a junior and could make the move to forward as well if a talented young Mustangs midfielder grows up quickly and can manage the middle of the field without the help of the senior. Junior Jake DeGennaro scored five goals as a sophomore and will be an x-factor for Brick Memorial in the midfield, as will sophomore center midfielder James McCombs – who played heavy minutes as a freshman on a 13-win team.
The most striking characteristic of Brick Memorial’s team is its size in the back, led by 6-5 center back Alejandro Fernandez. As a junior, Fernandez pushed up to score three goals and will again be a threat to score on corner kicks and throw-ins, while also shutting down the box in front of new goalkeeper Joe Zahlaman. The defense was a sore spot at times for Brick Memorial last year and the Mustangs expect to be better in the back this season while finding some sources for offense in the absence of its two standout scorers from a year ago.
Head Coach: Rob Biele, second season
2014 Record: 9-11-1 (5-8-1, sixth in A South)
Returning Players: Robert Biele (Sr., Midfield), Hunter Dorsey (Sr., Forward), George Gartner (Sr., Defense), Bobby Considine (Sr., Goalkeeper), Nick Calarco (Sr., Defense), Andrew Strohmetz (Jr., Midfield), Garrett Hope (Sr., Midfield), Dakota Donnelly (Sr., Midfield), Sam Moynihan (Sr., Defense), Kevin Miller (So., Defense), Dylan Fielder (So., Midfield)
Key Losses: Owen Hope (Midfield), Fred Ciampa (Midfield), Scott Larsen (Defense), Ian Gillen (Midfield/Forward), Dan Greener (Forward), Dan McAvoy (Defense)
Newcomers: Luke Moynihan (So., Defense), Kip Byrne (Fr., Forward), Evan Olawianny (Jr., Defense), Yungjin Kim (Jr., Defense), Reilly Hunt (So., Forward)
During a three-game stretch last year, Lacey tied Brick Memorial and knocked off both Toms River South and Colts Neck, a run that pushed the Lions into the Shore Sports Network Top 10. The Lions, however, went 3-8 the rest of the way and enter this season looking for a way to recapture their form from the middle of 2014.
The pieces are in place for Lacey to do just that, starting with returning senior midfielder Robert Biele and senior central defender George Gartner. Biele logged 12 goals and seven assists during his junior season, his second straight as an all-division player for the Lions. Senior Hunter Dorsey also returns up at the top of the formation, while senior Bobby Considine is back in goal for Lacey. Seniors Nick Calarco, Garrett Hope, Dakota Donnelly and Sam Moynihan will all see increased rolls this season, as will junior midfielder Andrew Strohmetz. Kevin Miller and Dylan Fielder each got a varsity taste as freshmen and will be integral parts to the formation as sophomores.
The Lions will inject some youth into the lineup again this year with sophomores Luke Moynihan and Reilly Hunt, as well as freshman Kip Byrne. While Lacey will need a lot of those new players to emerge as reliable starters, their season will more likely come down to the play of its core of returnees that includes Biel, Gartner, Dorsey and Considine.
Toms River East
Head Coach: Brian Huttemann, third season
2014 Record: 9-8-3 (6-5-3, fifth in A South)
Returning Players: Andrea Verace (Sr., Midfield), Alex Matos (Sr., Midfield), Dan Smyth (Sr., Midfield), Kyle Unger (Sr., Defense), Marcelo Duarte (Sr., Forward), Chandler Gibbons (Jr., Midfield/Defense), Ryan Labelle (Jr., Midfield), Brandon Mirabile (Sr., Midfield), Drew Ugaro (Jr., Goalkeeper)
Key Losses: Josh Sommerer (Sr., Forward), Chris Varga (Sr., Midfield/Defense), Alessio Rea (Sr., Forward), Nat Amadeo (Sr., Defense), Justin Nicol (Sr., Midfield), Justin Tedeger (Sr., Goalkeeper), Erik Bucchi (Sr., Defense), Giordano D’Alessio (Sr., Midfield), Giuseppe D’Alessio (Sr., Defense)
Newcomers: Robert Betts (Jr., Defense), Santino Celebre (So., Forward), Stephen Cosentino (So., Goalkeeper), Jon Deligny (So., Defense), Joey Gamboa (So., Midfield), Brian Gural (Sr., Midfield/Forward), Jack Kelly (So., Defense), Sean Kelly (So., Defense/Midfield), Ben Moraes (Sr., Defense), Trevor Zabilowicz (So., Goalkeeper), Christian Zamora (So., Forward)
Although they finished with a record barely above .500, Toms River East proved to be a dangerous team at several points during last year, nearly taking down the top two teams in A South in draws against Toms River South and Toms River North before beating Holmdel on the road in the Shore Conference Tournament. The Raiders lose some significant firepower from last year’s squad, specifically 32 goals between Josh Sommerer (18), Alessio Rea (10) and Chris Varga (four).
Seniors Alex Matos, Marcel Duarte, Dan Smyth, Kyle Unger, Andrea Verace and Brandon Mirabile will look to help lead a resurgence for the Raiders this season while also getting help from a strong group of juniors and sophomores. Matos proved to be a crafty creator in the midfield last year, while Smith and Verace have both shown an ability to attack. Juniors Chandler Gibbons and Ryan Labelle return to the midfield after chipping in as sophomores and junior goalkeeper Drew Ugaro is back after getting a chance to play in net last year.
The Raiders begin the season with eight first-time varsity sophomores on the roster, which will make them a team to keep an eye on as the season unfolds. They will have to find some scoring, but based on recent history, this is not a team to be taken lightly. Should players like Matos, Verace, Duarte, Smyth and Labelle combine to form a balanced attack, Toms River East will have a chance to break into the top three of the division and make a run at the A South crown.
Head Coach: Evan Brosniak, seventh season
2014 Record: 5-12 (2-12, seventh in A South)
Returning Players: Jared Grady (Sr., Goalkeeper), Kyle Montesano (Sr., Midfield), Justin Schuster (Sr., Midfield), Luke Kretschmer (Jr., Defense/Forward), Matt McHugh (Sr., Defense/Midfield)
Key Losses: Dylan Kanson (Midfield/Forward), Gavin Dougherty (Midfield), Tyler Harkness (Midfield), R.J. Myles (Forward), Tim Sullivan (Defense), Andrew Torre (Defense), Justin Wildasen (Defense), Andrew Wilkinson (Midfield), Gunnar Batullo (Defense)
Newcomers: Walter Sill (Sr., Midfield), Joe Rodriguez (Sr., Midfield), Sean Nauta (Sr., Forward), Anthony Delargarza (Jr., Forward/Midfield), John Loftus (Jr., Defense), Joe Orrico (So., Forward), Connor Feeney (Fr., Defense/Forward), Anthony Delargarza (Jr., Forward/Midfield), John Loftus (Jr., Defense), Cole Tranchina (Sr., Defense), Mike Young (Sr., Midfield)
The Rams are once again looking for a bounceback year after back-to-back two-win seasons within A South play. One reason for optimism is that Southern will have more scoring returning to its lineup, as well as a goalkeeper who began to establish himself as one of the better players at his position in the division. Senior Kyle Montesano returns off a nine-goal season in the midfield, which led a Rams team that lost nearly all of its scoring from the previous year. Senior Justin Schuster also returns with a scoring track record and he will look to increase his output with six-goal scorer Gavin Dougherty and playmaking midfielder Dylan Kanson gone to graduation.
Senior Jared Grady had a strong debut in goal as a junior for Southern and he will look to have an even better year as the Rams hope to give him more help by keeping teams away from the net and keeping the ball in the opposition’s end. Junior Luke Kretschmer and senior Matt McHugh each return with starting experience and can contribute either on the attack or on the back line depending on how the rest of the pieces fit for the Rams.
While its 2014 was mired with inconsistency, Southern played Toms River South to two one-goal losses and beat Jackson Memorial before the Jaguars made their big run. The high points of last season suggest there is another level for Southern and with Montesano and Grady returning with some potential to improve in spots around the field, the Rams could be due for a surprising season.
Head Coach: Tom Frazzitta, first season
2014 Record: 2-14 (1-13, eighth in A South)
Returning Players: Danny Moreno (Sr., Midfield/Forward), Farid Sandoval (Sr., Midfield/Forward), Brendan Laird (Sr., Midfield/Forward), Eric Buteau (Sr., Goalkeeper), Alan Gomez (Jr., Defense), Orlando Sanchez (Jr., Defense), Matt Loffredo (So., Defense), Frank Firrito (So., Defense)
Key Losses: Jason Brandsdorfer (Defender), Kyle Reinstadtler (Midfield), Jhon Ortiz (Forward), Juan Quintero (Forward/Midfield), Tyler Madsen (Midfield/Forward), Kyle Toranto (Midfield/Defense), A.J. Fasano (Forward/Midfield), Sabath Bonilla (Goalkeeper), Sean Copper, Mark Lima, Tyler Font
Newcomers: John Crist (Fr., Defense/Midfield), Eric Villalobos (Sr., Defense), John Bruno (Jr., Defense), John Mora (So., Midfield)
No team in Class A South will undergo more of a face-lift this year than Brick, which graduated 14 seniors and made a coaching change in the offseason. Longtime coach Ken Lynch moved over to the Donovan Catholic program and new coach Tom Frazzitta came over from the lower levels of the Donovan Catholic program to take over the Green Dragons operation. During the early part of his tenure, Frazzitta’s focus has been on increasing the intensity and work-rate across the board while playing with different formations to see what best suites his young group.
Seniors Danny Moreno, Farid Sandoval and Brendan Laird return to the attack this year and will be the only senior returnees in the field. Eric Buteau takes over fulltime goalkeeper duties following the graduation of Sabath Bonilla and will play in front of a relatively young defense that did get a dose of experience last year. Juniors Alan Gomez and Orlando Sanchez and sophomores Matt Loffredo and Frank Firrito will play in the back and all got a taste of the varsity game last year.
Brick bookended its season with its two wins last year, the first of which was a stunning win over an Ocean team that will be among the top sides in the Shore Conference this year. The goal for the Green Dragons will be to sustain the intensity from the first game and begin to take down some of the top teams in A South.
Players to Watch
Joey Hertgen, Toms River North – A stress fracture in his foot slowed his preparation for the season, but Hertgen is back and looking to build on a 12-goal junior campaign.
Cameron Geerinck, Toms River South – One of the top playmakers on the Class A South champions last year, Geernick came back stronger and ready to handle the physical defenses that A South offers.
Mike Schoener, Jackson Memorial – A speed demon up top, Schoener scored nine goals as a sophomore and should be able to better handle the physical rigors of the varsity game now that he’s a junior.
Robert Biele, Lacey – One of two A South players to return off a 12-goal season, Biele is a proven scorer who should be in for his best season yet.
Andrew Jozwicki, Jackson Memorial – Jozwicki got off to a fast start scoring goals before defenses picked him out and began to mark him more intently.
Alejandro Fernandez, Brick Memorial – At an athletic 6-5, Fernandez is a weapon in the air, both in defending his team’s goal and in attack the opponent’s.
Goalkeeper to Watch
Jared Grady, Southern – Like most players on a five-win team, Grady’s play might have been overlooked last year but coaches around the Shore have been singing his praises leading into the season.
Breakout Players to Watch
James McCombs, Brick Memorial – An accomplished club player and contributor as a freshman, McCombs is due to be a key player for the Mustangs of the next three season.
Chris Kluxten, Toms River South – The breakout player of the preseason for Toms River South, Kluxten combines, size, speed and strength as a center back and can also play on the attack as well. He’s also one of the top long-throw-in specialists around.
Dylan Kanner, Jackson Memorial – The Jaguars have done well for themselves in goal and Kanson is the latest player to step into the role. He has enough athleticism and experience from last year to expect him to thrive for a Jaguars team with high expectations.