Lacrosse – 2014 Class A South Preview
Class A South
Team listed in alphabetical order
Head coach: Ryan Dalon, ninth season (31-98)
2013 record: 11-8
2014 outlook: The Bengals have the look of a program on the rise coming off consecutive winning seasons, including a program-best 11 wins last year. Senior attackman Ethan Tonneson returns after a breakout season in which he scored 41 goals and dished out 51 assists. He is one of three returning 20-goal scorers from last season along with junior attackman Matt Manno (27-19-46) and sophomore midfielder J.J. McKenna (23-12-35). McKenna also collected a team-best 84 ground balls and won 58 percent of face-offs. Junior midfielder Ricky Gerena added 75 ground balls. Senior defenseman Greg Moran and senior goaltender Matt Grobelny lead the defense. Grobelny had a .650 save percentage last season.
Head coach: Len Zdanowicz, third season (22-13)
2013 record: 10-7
2014 outlook: Leading scorer David Kearns, a senior attackman, leads the Green Dragons’ group of returners after scoring 54 goals and adding 43 assists to finish third in the Shore in scoring with 97 points. Kearns also had 78 ground balls. Senior attackman Louie Ray finished with 24 goals, 20 assists and 64 ground balls last season and senior midfielder Brendan Rack added 76 ground balls. Junior midfielders Hunter Palmer and Pat Adamatis, senior midfielder Wasif Amin, junior defenseman Kyle Leary and sophomore attackman Anthony DiChristina round out Brick’s top returners.
Head coach: Brent Middlemiss
2013 record: 8-9
2014 outlook: The Mustangs need to replace virtually all of their scoring from last season, and will do so with senior midfielder Griffin Carney and junior attackman Bailey Sharpe as returning double-digit goal scorers. Senior Christian McGratty has gotten off to a strong start with 12 goals in the team’s first four games. Senior Jake Lombardo anchors the defense in front of first-year starting goalie, senior C.J. Guarino.
Head coach: James Buchanan, second season (14-3)
2013 record: 14-3
2014 outlook: The Jaguars were hit exceptionally hard by graduation, losing some top defenders and their three leading scorers who accounted for over 175 points last season. Junior attackman Troy Wolf returns to lead the offense after a 28-goal sophomore season and senior Vinny Celidonio anchors the defense in front of senior goalie Cody Weisel, who posted a .647 save percentage last season. Senior middie and face-off ace Scott Wedgeworth also returns off a junior season in which he won 66 percent of draws and also picked up 127 ground balls. It’s been a rough start for the Jags so far, as they’ve dropped their first four game to open the season.
Head coach: Anthony Dzienkiewicz, first season
2013 record: 6-10
2014 outlook: Junior middie Andrew Ferullo and sophomore middies Matthew Ferullo and Joe Leone have led the offensive charge early in the season with six, five and five goals, respectively, through the teams 2-2 start to the season under first-year head coach Anthony Dzienkiewicz. Key returners for the Lions include senior defensemen Dominick Logotte and A.J. Korzonowski, senior attackman Bill Londis, sophomore goalie Christopher Mullholland, sophomore long stick midfielder Christopher Stefanowicz, junior attackman Connor Moschetti, junior middie Shawn DeJesus and junior defenseman Patrick Gahagan.
Head coach: Shane Allen, fifth season (13-56)
2013 record: 8-10
2014 outlook: The Loins made great strides last season in qualifying for the Shore Conference and NJSIAA Tournaments, and so far this year have proven they’re a program gaining traction. They defeated Jackson Memorial for the first time in program history in the opening weeks and also posted a victory over Wall as part of a 4-1 start. Catholic University-bound senior Dan Cannon leads the cast of returning starters along with senior attackman and Belmont Abbey recruit Joe Long and senior defenseman Casey Sullivan, a Marywood recruit. Five juniors have joined the fray this season, including football standouts George Sayre and Lucas Sirotniak.
Head coach: John Pampalone, eighth season (82-45)
2013 record: 18-2
2014 record: The Rams made history last season in winning the Class A South division title, reaching the Shore Conference Tournament final and advancing all the way to the Group IV final. The Rams lost a good amount to graduation, but also return a ton of firepower as they look to reach the top. Junior attackman Dylan Jinks, a Hartford recruit, is coming off a 53-goal, 31-assist season in which he was a All Shore Media first team attackman as well as the South Jersey Player of the Year and a US Lacrosse All-American. Junior attackman Brendan Mullen also posted 53 goals with 20 assists, while junior middie Shawn McManus returns after a balanced 63-point year. Senior face-off ace Billy Dowd returns after winning 82 percent of his draws last season. Junior defenseman Mike Adragna, a 6-foot-3 player who will be starting for the third straight season, anchors the defense in front of standout junior Brendan Lefanto, who had a .700 save percentage last season. Double-digit scorers Chris Smith, a junior, and Brian Dunphey, a senior, give Southern great depth in the midfield.
Toms River East
Head coach: George Peters, 11th season
2013 record: 6-10
2014 outlook: The Raiders are faced with the task of replacing all of their top players after a 6-10 season. They will look to senior attackman Kevin Kennedy to lead the charge offensively with fellow seniors Matt Gudzak, Rich Wajda and Nick Sarnowski. Senior Dylan Jusino leads the defense in front of senior goaltender Sean Hopf. Junior attackman Robert Long and sophomore middies Eric Johnson and Mike Grasso round out the Raiders cast of returners.
Toms River North
Head coach: Brett Smith, 11th season (74-64)
2013 record: 4-11
2014 outlook: The Mariners look to rebound from a 4-11 season with senior returners Kevin Dougherty, Joe Suchocki, Tayler Boschetti and Ryan Prima in the midfield, junior attackman Mike Colello, junior defenseman Alex Scherer, junior middies Tyler Foss and Joe Vitiello and senior defenseman Gunnar VanBezooijen. Newcomers include sophomore poles Tom Donovan and Matt Haegan, junior midfielder Mike Hoy, sophomore attackmen Josh Francis and Ryan Clancy, sophomore goalie Austin Bennet and freshman attackman Andrew Lombardi.
Toms River South
Head coach: Matt Zuech, 11th season (72-85)
2013 record: 4-10
2014 outlook: After an 0-2 start, the Indians picked up a huge 6-5 win over Freehold Township, which could provide momentum heading into the bulk of their divisional schedule. Key returners for Toms River South include senior attackman Dino Vitale, senior goalie Jeremy Brown, senior defensemen Garret Hall and Mike Donzanti, senior midfielder C.J. Muller, junior defenseman Colin Enright and sophomore LSM Pat Toal.