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Rumson-Fair Haven made Wednesday a historic day for Shore Conference boys lacrosse with an upset that shocked the state to capture the NJSIAA Group I title.

Photo by Bob Badders

It took four hours because of lightning delays, but it was worth the wait as the Bulldogs stunned two-time defending champion Mountain Lakes 9-8 in overtime on a goal by sophomore Charlie Curran to become the first Shore Conference boys lacrosse team to ever win a Group title. Curran also scored the game-tying goal with 15 seconds left in regulation to send it to overtime, showing incredible poise for a sophomore.

“I couldn’t believe it, it’s unreal,” Curran told SSN's Bob Badders. “I didn’t think it would be open at first, but I’m a born attackman and I had a shortie from behind the net. I live there and I love it, so I had the confidence I could take him.”

“I don’t have much words for this, it’s incredible,” said senior midfielder Lucas Seckler.

You can say that again. The Bulldogs now move on to the Tournament of Champions, which begins Saturday. They most likely will be the No. 6 seed and have to play a juggernaut squad like Bergen Catholic or Bridgewater-Raritan depending on the outcome of games today that were postponed from yesterday by lightning. Regardless, the Bulldogs are on gravy time now because they already accomplished history.

It's interesting because they still probably won't finish No. 1 in the Shore given that Southern has two head-to-head wins over the Bulldogs this year, including the Shore Conference Tournament final, but I'm going to go out on a limb and guess Rumson could care less as they polish their trophy.


It will be a must-see match-up on Monday night at FirstEnergy Park when Red Bank Catholic takes on defending champion Christian Brothers Academy in the Shore Conference Tournament final.

After losing to the Colts in last year's SCT semifinals, the young Caseys got over the hump on Wednesday by beating Jackson Memorial 4-1 behind another strong performance by junior John Poccia. Wagner recruit Mike Ianelli slugged a big three-run homer in the first inning on RBC's home field at Count Basie Park for all the runs Poccia would need.

In his first season as a starter, Poccia has emerged as RBC's big-game pitcher and will get the ball again in the SCT final. He isn't overpowering, but is smart, has good command, throws strikes, pitches to contact and trusts his fielders.

In the game before RBC's win, CBA kept its potentially historic season rolling by erupting for nine runs in the sixth inning to power a 13-5 win over Manasquan and return to the SCT final. Junior catcher Brandon Martorano continued to bolster his credentials for Shore Conference Player of the Year with his sixth home run in the last 10 games and his ninth home run of the season, and Cid Porter had another great game out of the leadoff spot.

CBA is now four wins away from the Holy Grail of high school baseball - five titles in one season. The Colts already have two and will play RBC for a third. The other two could require going through the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the state if CBA wins in the Non-Public South A semifinals against Immaculata at home on Friday. Bishop Eustace is in the other semifinal and is the No. 2 team in the state, while nationally-ranked Don Bosco Prep could potentially await in the overall Non-Public A final. Even if Bishop Eustace loses, the winner would be another perennial power, Gloucester Catholic, so that sectional final is a major challenge no matter who the opponent is.

If CBA wins tomorrow, that means Dalatri will be saved to potentially face Bishop Eustace or Gloucester Catholic on Tuesday. If not, he will go against RBC. If CBA wins tomorrow, then RBC becomes the team with the latest chance to try to derail CBA's quest to join the 2004 Wall team as the only ones in Shore Conference history to win five titles in one season, so it doesn't get better than that.

Colts junior star Luca Dalatri added another piece to a legend-in-the-making resume on Thursday when he was named the Gatorade New Jersey Player of the Year. While he is a lock to win SSN Pitcher of the Year honors again, you could make the case that he could get Player of the Year over candidates like his own teammate, Martorano, because Dalatri has also had a big year at the plate in addition to dominating on the mound. Either way, he will go down in CBA lore as one of the all-time greats, and he still has another year to go.


The offers keep rolling in for some of the Shore Conference's top returning players. St. John Vianney sophomore offensive lineman Micah Clark pretty much has the cream of the crop in FBS lining up for his services at this point. He added offers from Auburn and Virginia Tech on Wednesday and has 20-plus overall, including heavyweights like Ohio State and Alabama.

Lakewood linebacker Amir Tyler picked up an offer from Syracuse yesterday, according to Piners coach L.J. Clark. Syracuse continues to recruit the Shore hard under recruiting coordinator Bobby Acosta, a former head coach at Monmouth Regional and Marlboro.

Also, SSN first-team All-Shore pick Joe Sellmeyer, a junior offensive lineman for reigning Central Jersey Group V champion Manalapan, picked up his first scholarship offer from Bryant University on Thursday.

More on Thursday: 

  • Former Raritan star Bennett Jackson could be in the mix to become part of the safety rotation for the New York Giants after moving over from cornerback.
  • A high school pole vaulter from Michigan had to get 40 stitches after the pole broke while he was vaulting and impaled him in the eye.
  • Got to love Boston. Shore Regional grad John Farrell led the Red Sox to the World Series title only two years ago and now the whispers of firing him are starting.
  • Vegas has set the over-under win total for Rutgers football this fall at five.

On tap for today: No events today, but there are two big games on Friday as CBA baseball welcomes Immaculata in the Non-Public South A semifinals, and Shore Regional tries to make it back-to-back Central Jersey Group I titles when it hosts Middlesex in West Long Branch.

I'll end with Charlie Curran's game-tying goal for Rumson yesterday and Noah Syndergaard's home run for the Mets. Being able to throw 98 miles an hour and hit 400-foot bombs almost isn't fair.