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Something about the month of May suits Middletown North, and if last year is truly an indication of what is to come, June could be even more special for the Lions.

For now, Middletown North prepares for their NJSIAA Group III title defense while celebrating the recently-clinched Shore Conference Class A North public division championship, as well as the Week 6 Jersey Mike's Team of the Week award.

From May 1 of last year through the end of the 2022 season, Middletown North went 16-2 on the way to winning the overall Group III championship. Once the calendar flipped to May in 2023, Middletown North promptly won seven in a row -- a streak that included the Lions clinching the Class A North public division championship.

Photo: Matt Manley
Photo: Matt Manley

On May 9, the Lions pounded Freehold Township, 10-1, to clinch no worse than a share of the public title -- which is awarded to the highest-finishing public-school team in the Class A North standings when Christian Brothers Academy wins the outright championship. When Middletown South beat Marlboro later in the week, it officially delivered Middletown North sole possession of the public championship, with an assist from its crosstown rival.

Later in the week, Middletown North continued its dominance with two lopsided Shore Conference Tournament victories. The Lions handled Henry Hudson, 16-3, in the first round of the SCT, then rolled, 11-0, over an Ocean team that is 10-2 over its last 12 games.

Middletown North's streak ended with a 4-2 loss at Red Bank Catholic in the SCT quarterfinals on Monday and after that loss, the Lions went 1-1 in two games just before the state-tournament cutoff against John F. Kennedy of Iselin (win) and Point Pleasant Beach (loss).

During the Middletown North winning streak, the Lions averaged just under 11 runs per game -- exhibiting the same lineup depth that drove the run to the 2022 championship. Middletown North opens its state-title defense Monday as the No. 3 seed in the Central Jersey Group III section and will host 14th-seeded Hamilton West.

Jersey Mike's 2023 Team of the Week Winners

Week 1: Southern

Week 2: Shore

Week 3: Jackson Memorial

Week 4: Ranney

Week 5: Donovan Catholic

Week 6: Middletown North


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