Boys Lacrosse – Standout Seniors Gather for All-Star Game
Some of the top senior boys lacrosse players in the Shore Conference will get to showcase their skills in one final high school game when the Shore Conference Lacrosse Coaches Association hosts its senior all-star game, 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday June 15 at Rumson-Fair Haven High School.
The North all-stars will be comprised entirely of players from Monmouth County schools and coached by Rumson’s Andy Eastwood, Shore Regional’s Gregg Malfa and Holmdel’s Dale Oehler. The South squad will consist of the Ocean County senior all-stars plus seniors from Wall and Manasquan. The South team will be coached by Manasquan’s Sean Cunningham and Jackson Liberty’s Anthony Dzienkiewicz.
The North all-stars feature four Division I recruits, including Shore Regional midfielder Doug Goldsmith (Albany), who tied for the Shore Conference high in points with 99 (56 goals and 43 assists) while also picking up 124 ground balls. Ocean attackman Joey Appio also recorded 99 points (30 goals and 69 assists) this season and became the Shore Conference’s career leader in assists with 221. That mark is also second all-time in New Jersey. Appio continue his career at Division II Florida Southern College.
Also headlining the team is the Rumson group of attackmen Robbie Garavente, Henry Sillen and Griffin Schultz, defenseman Ian Clarke, face-off specialist Butch Clark and goalie Kyle Knapp. Those six helped the Bulldogs capture the Shore Conference Tournament title for the fifth time in six seasons and sixth time overall. They were also key members of Rumson’s 2015 NJSIAA Group I championship team, the first state champion from the Shore.
Red Bank Catholic’s Brett Habich (Siena), Red Bank’s Ryan Gilmartin (Mount St. Mary’s) and Garavente (Lafayette) are also headed to Division I schools in the fall.
In addition to Goldsmith and Appio, the North team has several of the Shore’s top offensive players. Ocean midfielder Erik Rant finished with 62 goals and 88 points and Garavente had 54 goals and 85 points. Red Bank attackman Cole Smolokoff tallied 56 goals and 81 points, and teammate Brian Fagan notched 68 points on 49 goals and 19 assists while working the midfield for the Bucs.
Clarke and CBA’s Gordon Paul lead the group of defensemen while Knapp and Colts Neck’s Andrew Halmi are the goalies for the North team.
The South squad isn’t as deep as its counterpart, but has several standout players of its own. Southern attackman Nick Simonelli was second in the Shore in assists (48) and also scored 49 goals for 97 total points. Wall attackman Mike Steppe finished with 92 points on 59 goals and 23 assists. Along with Jackson Liberty’s Tyler Kalmowitz and his 64 goals, the South squad boasts an impressive trio of attackmen.
Barnegat midfielder J.J. McKenna will play Division I lacrosse next year as the Bengals standout heads to Rutgers. Teammate Joe Jinks played midfield for the first time in his career after being a defenseman and turned in a very solid season.
Attackman Billy Porter will represent Brick Memorial after helping the Mustangs to an 11-6 record and becoming the program’s all-time leading scorer with 140 points.
Joining Simonelli for Southern will be midfielder James Manzo and defensemen Gordie VonSchmidt, Evan Henken and Anthony Triola. They helped the Rams go 14-2 and win the Class A South title for the fourth straight season. They were also part of a Southern team that captured the 2015 Shore Conference Tournament title.
A senior-heavy Jackson Liberty team will be well-represented with seven players. Along with Kalmowitz are midfielder Walter Matthies, defensemen Austin Doel and Gio Colandrea, long-stick midfielder Chris Stefanowicz, face-off specialist Christian Pongracz and goalie Chris Mulholland.
Group II finalist Manasquan was a team loaded with juniors and not many seniors, but one of the Warriors’ most important players will get one last game as versatile midfielder Paul Krueger will play on the South team.
The complete rosters for both teams can be found on ShoreSportsNetwork.com.
The North all-stars won last year’s game, 12-8, with Howell’s Zach Ornstein selected as Most Valuable Player. Ornstein started as the face-off specialist for Albany this past season as a true freshman.
There will also be a youth all-star game at 5:30 where fans can watch the stars of tomorrow. Last year’s youth all-star game featured several players who made an impact as freshman this season, including Manasquan’s Mike Lapoint, James Pendergist and Jack Fabean, CBA’s Connor Macrae, Shore’s Gil Goldsmith and Jack McCrae, Wall’s Shane Meyler, Rumson’s Thomas Bavuso, Jackson Memorial’s Santo Porazzo and Lacey’s Dylan Vitale.
Tickets are $5 at the gate.
Shore Sports Network will be on hand with stories, photos and video highlights from the game. There will be a special game program edition of our magazine, the Shore Sports Network Journal, available free of charge at the gate. It will feature the rosters for both teams in the high school and youth games along with biographies of each high school player, plus the SCLCA All-Shore and All-Division teams and more.