Shore Regional enters the season as the heavy favorite in Class B Central, but the Blue Devils were the favorites last year and won the division by just one game over St. Rose. If some other team is able to rack up 11 or 12 wins against the non-Shore teams, then the Blue Devils might be in for a challenge. With the rest of the field appearing to be competitive, Shore remains the clear front-runner as division play gets underway.

 

In predicted order of finish

Shore

Head Coach: Christian Pontier, sixth season
2014 Record: 22-3-1 (13-0-1, first in B Central)
Returning Players: J.T. Kessler (Sr., Forward), Dante Montesinos (Jr., Midfield), Mikey Barreca (Jr., Defense), Stevie Johnson (Jr., Midfield), Josh DeFino (Sr., Defense), Evan Coffey (Sr., Goalkeeper), Brett Norman (Sr., Midfield), Dave LaPorta (Jr., Defense), Matt Dutra (Jr., Midfield), Max Henry (Sr., Midfield), Gavin Hegglin (So., Defense), Jeremy Lang (So., Midfield), Matt Quesada (So., Midfield), Dan Santangelo (So., Defense), Brendan Short (Sr., Forward), Chris LaMarca (So., Midfield), Kyle Moore (Sr., Defense)
Key Losses: Lukas Montesinos (Midfield), Eric Bolsch (Defense), Cole Allem (Midfield), Jake Friedland (Defense), Sean Blair (Defense), Marco Armondes (Forward), Alden Aikens (Midfield), Lucas Bongarzone (Midfield), Danny Welsh (Forward)
Newcomers: Leonardo Montesinos (Fr., Midfield), Ryan Bongarzone (Fr., Midfield), Michael Adams (Fr., Midfield), Kadison Bates (Fr., Goalkeeper), Chris Panduri (Fr., Goalkeeper), Garrett Freund (Fr., Defense), Brandon DeNovaes (Fr., Forward), Jake Turner (Fr., Midfield)

Shore is annually near the top of the Class B Central division and it is common for the Blue Devils to cut through the division like they did last year. What made last year the best season at Shore in 16 years was the team’s postseason success, which included the program’s first NJSIAA Central Jersey Group I championship since 1998 as well as a trip to the Shore Conference Tournament quarterfinals. This year, with top scorers J.T. Kessler and junior Dante Montesinos both back to help offset the loss of six starters, the Blue Devils are aiming to win the overall Group I title and crack the final four of the Shore Conference Tournament.

Kessler is coming off a breakout season in which he scored a Shore-Conference-leading 39 goals and entered his final season 44 goals shy of 100 (he scored two in Tuesday’s opener against Middletown South, leaving him 42 away). Montesinos added 15 goals and 12 assists of his own last year and the tandem is poised to reside among the Shore’s scoring leaders again this year. Junior midfielder Stevie Johnson also emerged as a key cog last year and contributed five goals and nine assists as a sophomore, while senior Josh DeFino thrived in his first year as a starting center back. Senior goalkeeper Evan Coffey also returns after leading the Shore Conference with 14 shutouts last year.

Replacing starters is usually a smooth transition for Shore because its whole roster usually gets a chance to play in the Blue Devils’ lopsided wins. Juniors Mikey Barreca and Matt Dutra and senior Brett Norman played significant minutes in all of Shore’s games and move into starting roles this season. The Blue Devils also add freshman Leonardo Montesinos to the mix and the younger brother of Dante will start as a center midfielder. With some new blood, quality replacements for the departed starters and five quality starters back from last year’s 22-3-1 team, Shore looks poised to repeat last season and perhaps even exceed it.

Shore senior J.T. Kessler was the leading scoring in the Shore Conference last year with 39 goals. (Photo by Doug Bostwick)

 

Point Pleasant Beach

Head Coach: Mike Baiata, fourth season
2014 Record: 10-9-1 (8-5-1, fourth in B Central)
Returning Players: Joe Laduca (Sr., Defense), Nick Antognoli (Sr., Midfield/Forward), Ryan Franzoni (Sr., Goalkeeper), Mike Favato (Sr., Forward), Rob Lissenden (Sr., Defense), Connor Prima (Jr., Midfield), Jack McDonald (Sr., Midfield), Anthony Decraene (Jr., Midfield), Mike Ciorlian (So., Midfield), Aris Papoutsakis (So., Forward), Danny Savage (So., Forward), Jeremy Tombs (Jr., Defense)
Key Losses: Alex Ciorlian (Midfield), Cory Gross (Midfield), Matt Savage (Defense), Dan Taylor (Midfield); Nick Hartman (Midfield/Defense), John DeSalvo (Defense), Johan Rosa (Forward)
Newcomers: Joe DelGrippo (Sr., Forward/Goalkeeper), Jake Laduca (So., Defense), Andrew Garrow (So., Midfield), Ki Costa (Fr., Midfield)

Despite losing a wave of seniors from its 2013 Class B Central championship team, Point Beach remained a competitive team that featured a nucleus of young players who are now ready to take over the bulk of the workload in the wake of graduating three senior starters. Juniors Connor Prima and Anthony Decraene both emerged as key player in the midfield during their sophomore season, while sophomores Aris Papoutsakas, Mike Ciorlian and Danny Savage were all key contributors as freshmen.

Papoutsakis is the team’s leading returning scorer off his eight-goal freshman season, while Prima (four), Decraene (three) and Ciorlian (two) combined for nine. Point Beach will have an experienced group in the back to complement its young attack, led by senior goalkeeper Ryan Franzoni. Seniors Joe Laduca and Rob Lissenden will anchor the defense in front of the all-division keeper and sophomore Jake Laduca will chip in on the back line during his first season as a starter. Freshman Ki Costa is a newcomer to watch who will start in the central midfield, along with the host of returning sophomores and juniors.

Point Beach battled its way into the postseason tournaments with a lot of influence from young players and the Garnet Gulls will be even more reliant on juniors and sophomores for scoring this year. Those players do have a track record of performance at the varsity level, so the Gulls are set up to contend again this year while also setting themselves up to make a run at Shore again next year.

 

St. Rose

Head Coach: Brian Pringle, second season
2014 Record: 14-6-2 (12-1-1, second in B Central)
Returning Players: Connor Cusack (Sr., Forward), Sean Breuche (Jr., Midfield), Jack Cusack (Jr., Midfield), Anthony Demaio (Jr., Midfield), Patrick Gates (Jr., Goalkeeper), Enrique Barreda (Sr., Defense), Brendan Smith (Sr., Forward), Mike Gowen (Sr., Midfield), Jeff Mahon (Sr., Defense), Matty O’Malley (Jr., Midfield), Billy Tenza (Jr., Defense)
Key Losses: Brett O’Malley (Midfield), Joe Forlenza (Forward), Kyle Breuche (Defense), Kellen Jordan (Goalkeeper), Ryan O’Malley (Midfield), Craig Suchecki (Defense), Travis Cloney (Defense), Matt Hunt (Forward), Matt Frost (Defense), Brendan Hueth (Forward)
Newcomers: Daniel Clayton (Jr., Defense), Chris Gowen (Jr., Midfield), Jack McDonough (Jr., Midfield), Ethan Tombs (So., Midfield), Michael Kinsel (So., Defense), Jonathan Caputo (Fr., Midfield), Matt Forlenza (Fr., Midfield)

St. Rose enjoyed a nice bounce back to form last year, when the Purple Roses won 14 games and put a 9-11-1 2013 season behind them. They advanced all the way to the NJSIAA South Jersey Non-Public B semifinals before falling to eventual Non-Public B champion Pingry, which followed a tough 1-0 loss to Point Boro in the Shore Conference Tournament opening round. With 10 significant contributors and 44 goals from last year gone, taking the next step this year will be a tall order for the Purple Roses.

Although St. Rose will have to incorporate a lot of new players into the starting lineup, like Shore, the Purple Roses get a chance to use the whole roster during the divisional schedule. More than 20 different players scored at least one goal last year, so St. Rose will have players who know what it’s like to finish a goal: it’s just a matter of finding enough goals with so many of last year’s gone. Juniors Jack Cusack, Matt O’Malley and Anthony Demaio each scored three goals last season and will all look to be bigger scoring factors as juniors. Seniors Mike Gowen, Brendan Smith, and Connor Cusack will also figure into the offensive picture.

Seniors Enrique Barreda and Jeff Mahon, and junior Billy Tenza will play on the defense after gaining varsity experience last year, while junior Patrick Gates takes over in goal for graduated keeper Kellen Jordan. Shore looks like a heavy favorite to win the division, but this is an important year for the Purple Roses to restock its roster, compete for the postseason and set St. Rose up for a big 2016.

 

Ranney

Head Coach: Anthony Vazquez, first season
2014 Record: 6-10-2 (6-7-1, fifth in A Central)
Returning Players: James Geraghty (Sr., Midfield/Defense), Shane Keenan (Jr., Midfield/Forward), Noah Ayers (Jr., Goalkeeper), Mo Odunlami (Sr., Forward), Marc Greenstein (So., Midfield), Sawyer Howard (So., Defense/Forward), Greg Marx (Jr., Defense)
Key Losses: Youseff Awad (Sr., Midfield); Jake Palecki (Sr., Defense);
Newcomers: Brendan Wall (Jr., Midfield/Forward) – transfer from Holmdel, Asher Kraut (Jr., Midfield)

Entering its fourth season as a member of the Shore Conference, 2015 looks like a potential landmark season for Ranney athletics, and the boys soccer team has a chance to be a big part of that. The Panthers finished a game under .500 in Class B Central, which was their best mark of the three seasons. This year, Ranney returns nearly all of its scoring adds three-year varsity player and Holmdel transfer Brendan Wall to the fray.

Wall will not be eligible to play until early October as he sits the requisite 30 days, but his impact could be sizable given the strong start to his varsity career while playing for one of the state’s best programs. He scored six goals to go with seven assists last year after chipping in three and five during an injury-affected freshman season and even in just a month’s time, there is a good chance Wall exceeds those numbers as a junior player in a division that features a ton of scoring. In the meantime, junior Shane Keenan and senior James Geraghty will provide plenty of scoring for the Panthers after the two combined for 11 goals and 11 assists last year. Senior Mo Odulami also added four goals as a junior and sophomore Marc Greenstein returns after scoring a pair of goals and making an impact as a freshman.

Junior goalkeeper Noah Ayers is an experienced player in goal and junior Greg Marx and sophomore Sawyer Howard could be keys to the Ranney defense, where the Panthers are likely most vulnerable with the graduation of both Youseff Awad and Jake Palecki. If the Panthers can piece together a solid defense and remain competitive over the first month, they will add one of the Shore Conference’s top juniors to the fold in October and become a potential thorn in someone’s side come SCT time.

 

Asbury Park

Head Coach: Jean Dortissant, ninth season
2014 Record: 9-10 (9-5, third in B Central)
Returning Players: Davensky Joinvilmar (So., Forward), Woodjerry Cetoute (Sr., Midfield), Fenelson Etienne (Jr., Defense), Fradlet Etienne (Jr., Defense), Alberto Moreno (Jr., Midfield), Schown Narcisse (So., Defense), Widmaier Beaubrun (So., Midfield), Joey Johnson (Jr., Defense/Goalkeeper), Cavialy Romulus (Jr., Forward), Eben Landau (Jr., Forward), Kendy Vasquez (Sr., Midfield)
Key Losses: Carl Cazeau (Forward), Gamal Ganthier (Midfield), Eduardo Garcia (Goalkeeper), Junior Marcelin (Defense), Williagins Nasanes (Sr., Midfield)
Newcomers: Jefferson Pierrecius (So., Defense/Goalkeeper), Jordi Gonzalez (Fr., Midfield), Miguel Diaz (So., Midfield), Jonathan Desulme (Fr., Defense)

For the second straight year, Asbury Park will have to replace its best scorer and for the second straight year, the Blue Bishops have a leading candidate to pick up the lost scoring. Carl Cazeau scored 12 goals last year to help the Blue Bishops overcome the loss of third-team All-Shore forward Jose Cesaire and now they will have to replace Cazeau’s production.

Enter Davensky Joinvilmar, who scored eight goals as a freshman last year and returns as the top scoring option for the Blue Bishops this season. The challenge for Asbury Park will be to find complimentary scoring while also further building a cohesive formation that can keep contending with the top teams in the division. Senior Woodjerry Cetoute is entering his third year as a starter in the midfield, while juniors Fenelson Etienne also rejoins Cetoute in the midfield. Sophomores Schown Narcisse and Widmaier Beaubrun each got a chance to play last year as freshman and are ready to be heavier contributors – Narcisse on the back line and Beauburn in the midfield. Sophomore Cavialy Romulus and junior Eben Landeau will all slide into greater roles on the defense.

Sophomore Stevenson Jean Baptiste and freshman Raciel Racine will look to make an instant impact as newcomers to the midfield and senior Kendy Vasquez is ready to step in and provide a senior presence in the midfield. Junior Joey Johnson is set to take over in goal and, perhaps the most encouraging trend, Asbury Park has a deep enough roster to spell the starters. That depth could be the key to Asbury Park overtaking Point Beach and St. Rose in the race toward the top of B Central and even if the Blue Bishops don’t have the firepower to beat out Shore for the division title, they always play the Blue Devils tough.

 

Mater Dei Prep

Head Coach: Justin Meehan, first season (third overall)
2014 Record: 1-16-1 (1-12-1, eighth in B Central)
Returning Players: Nic Geneve (Sr., Midfield), Matheus Giaculi (Sr., Defense), Peter Cahill (Sr., Defense), Ryan Nortz (Sr., Defense), Lucas Durante (Sr., Midfield), Sean Molicki (Jr., Midfield/Forward), Luke Lino (Jr., Defense), Liam Petry (Jr., Midfield/Defense), Phil Cantave (Jr., Forward), Sean Krueger (Jr., Midfield), Ryan Baird (So., Goalkeeper)
Key Losses: Dan Cleary (Forward), Dan Deahl (Goalkeeper), Dave DiMasi (Forward)
Newcomers: Chris Ward (Fr.), Lorenzo Perez (Sr., Defense) – transfer from Cardinal McCarrick, Matt Wojciechowski (Sr., Defense) – transfer from Cardinal McCarrick, Oscar Ayllon (Sr., Midfield) – transfer from Cardinal McCarrick, Patrick Belvin (Sr., Defense), Justin Tumulty (So., Midfield), Bobby Bilkowski (So., Midfield)

A nightmare 2014 season began with a litany of injuries that the Seraphs roster ultimately could not overcome. Mater Dei now enters the 2015 season with a new head coach and a new outlook, with alumnus Justin Meehan taking over the program after spending two years as the head coach at Red Bank Catholic. He will have his hands full in turning around a 1-16-1 team, but the return of senior defender Matheus Giaculi as well as full seasons from senior midfielder Nic Geneve and junior forward Phil Cantave are a good starting point for the Seraphs.

Geneve missed last season due to injury and Cantave sat the first 30 days as a transfer from Ranney. Cantave scored five goals last season and is due for a breakout season as Mater Dei’s top scoring threat. Senior Pete Cahill also returns with starting experience on the defense, while junior Luke Lino and senior Ryan Nortz also return in the back. Mater Dei will also benefit from an influx of players from Cardinal McCarrick, which closed its doors after the 2014-15 school year. The Eagles also had a rough 2014 season, finishing 0-15.

Meehan also took over a one-win team at RBC three seasons ago and led the Caseys to back-to-back eight-win seasons, which included a trip to the NJSIAA South Jersey Non-Public A semifinal last year. The Seraphs will most certainly improve this season and if they can join the mix of teams competing for the second spot in the division, it would be a very good accomplishment.

 

Keyport

Head Coach: Brendan Hilliard, second season
2014 Record: 3-16 (2-12, seventh in B Central)
Returning Players: Brendan O’Brien (Jr., Midfield), Gadiel Escobar (Jr., Midfield), Alex Castro (Jr., Defense/Midfield), Cameron Bright (Jr., Defense), Ricardo Velasco (So., Forward), Noah Geraghty (So., Defense), Matt Ayala (So., Defense), Louis Serrano (So., Defense)
Key Losses: Joe Froncek (Forward), Jake Caverly (Goalkeeper), William Torres (Defense), Pasquale Cuahurzo (Forward)
Newcomers: Ken Harrigan (Sr., Goalkeeper), Teddy Smith (Sr., Midfield), Casey Davis (Sr., Midfield), Jose Castro (Sr., Midfield), Anthony Rosa (So., Defense), Aiden Paez (Fr., Defense), Henry Martinez (Fr., Forward), Said Terrazas (Fr., Midfield/Forward), Jair Mariano (Fr., Midfield), Ken Alvarez (Fr., Defense), Zach Budd (Fr., Midfield), Mark Rivera (Fr., Midfield), Eric Gonzalez (Fr., Defense), Yordy Castro (Fr., Forward)

One year after debuting as a varsity soccer program, Keyport looks to follow its debut up by climbing in the standings. That is going to be a challenge on a number of levels: first, because the division figures to be more competitive in the middle of the pack and secondly because the Red Raiders lose top scorer Joe Froncek, as well as standout keeper Jake Caverly.

On the plus side, the Red Raiders return some program depth, as well as a proven junior midfield threat in Brendan O’Brien. As a sophomore, O’Brien was a complement to Froncek by scoring six goals and will carry more of the attacking responsibility this season. All of Keyport’s returning talent consists of juniors and sophomores, led by junior defenders Cameron Bright and Alex Castro, as well as junior midfielder Gadiel Escobar. Sophomores Ricardo Valesco, Noah Geraghty, Matt Ayala and Louis Serrano also got looks as a freshmen and will be more integral pieces to the puzzle this year.

The most noteworthy senior on the roster will be goalkeeper Ken Harrigan, who takes over in goal for Caverly. With another year to infuse some young talent onto an already-young roster, Keyport continues to build a program that will be able to make up some ground during the early part of its still-young existence.

 

Henry Hudson

Head Coach: Justin Grimes, third season
2014 Record: 3-13-1 (2-11-1, sixth in B Central)
Returning Players: Brendan Carlstrom (Jr., Goalkeeper), David Fitzgerald (Sr., Midfield), Josh Pinhas (Jr., Forward/Defense), Tom Colantino (Jr., Forward/Defense)
Key Losses: Matt Young (Forward), Christian Farwell (Midfield), Austin Manning (Defense), Frank McConnell (Midfield), Will Reynolds (Defense), Justin Santiago (Forward), Daniel McCahon (Defense), Euan Pedley (Defense), Adrian Velez (Forward), Alonso Olsen (Defense/Goalkeeper)
Newcomers: Odrhan King (Fr., Forward), Ethan Kelly (Jr., Defense), Wind Levybensetton (Fr., Midfield), Anthony Guidetti (Jr., Defense)

The Admirals overcame the loss of players to the Keyport program to finish sixth place in the division, but will now have to replace a slew of seniors while also overcoming the numbers that Keyport is taking from what used to be their talent pool. Matt Young took care of a good deal of what little scoring Henry Hudson did last year, so the Admirals have to find scoring from somewhere while also giving enough support to junior goalkeeper and three-year starter Brendan Carlstrom.

Senior David Fitzgerald will shoulder a good deal of the responsibilities in the midfield, while juniors Josh Pinhas and Tom Colantino return to the lineup after contributing as sophomores. In order for Henry Hudson to compete, it will need a pair of freshmen – Ordhan King and Wind Levybensetton – to get up to speed quickly, while also getting contributions from junior defenders Ethan Kelly and Anthony Guidetti. Carlstrom can handle himself in goal, but the Admirals will have to give him a chance by quickly jelling in the field.

 

Players to Watch

J.T. Kessler, Shore – After a 39-goal junior year, Kessler is now 42 goals away from 100 in his career.

Dante Montesinos, Shore – While Kessler is closest to 100 goals, Montesinos might actually be on the best pace to reach it after racking up 27 goals over his first two high school seasons

Brendan Wall, Ranney – After starting for one of the state’s top programs as both a freshman and sophomore at Holmdel, Wall brings lots of talent and big-game to experience to a Ranney program trying to take the next step.

Aris Papoutsakis, Point Beach – An effective eight-goal season as a freshman suggests Papoutsakis is ready to take over as the top scoring option for the Garnet Gulls.

Davensky Joinvilmar, Asbury Park – The Blue Bishops again need to replace a top forward and Joinvilmar showed he’s ready to take on the task as a top scorer after scoring eight goals as a freshman.

Josh DeFino, Shore – A breakout player for the Blue Devils last year, DeFino will look to help Shore overcome the loss of three starters in the back.

Stevie Johnson, Shore – Although his numbers are not as gaudy as those of Kessler or Montesinos, Johnson is just as important in the middle of the field.

 

Goalkeeper to Watch

Evan Coffey, Shore – After leading the Shore with 14 shutouts last year, Coffey returns as one of the top keepers in the area this year.

 

Breakout Players to Watch

Leonardo Montesinos, Shore – Like his older brother Dante, Leonardo Montesinos has a chance to make an instant impact as a freshman.

Phil Cantave, Mater Dei Prep – With a full season to play up top for a hungry Seraphs team, Cantave is likely to see an increase in his scoring.

Matty O’Malley, St. Rose – Now in his third varsity year, O’Malley will be a facilitator in the midfield for a St. Rose team that has talent, but is without a proven scoring threat.