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Boys Soccer Preview A South

Thanks to some very talented Toms River North and Southern Regional sides, Class A South entered last season coming off one of the best stretches of soccer the division had seen in about a decade. In 2022, the overall stature of the division took a step backward, as Toms River North and Southern replaced heavy losses to graduation and no team emerged as a dominant outfit.

Down year or not in 2022, the 2023 Class A South field is shaping up to be much closer to the gauntlet divisions of the 2019-to-2021 time period than the collection of teams that failed to produce a Shore Conference Tournament quarterfinalist in 2022. Toms River North is stocked with returning talent off winning a division co-championship; fellow co-champion Toms River East loses two standouts, but returns numbers; Southern has a talented junior core back; Toms River South returns the second-leading scorer in the division from 2022; Jackson Memorial and Central bring back a combined 16 starters; Brick Memorial welcomes a new coach; and Jackson Liberty joins the division coming off its first ever division title in Class B South.

With the eight teams in A South feeling good about their chances, the favorite remains the team that has established itself as a championship program over the past four seasons.

In predicted order of finish

Toms River North

With just one returning starter and almost no scoring from the 2021 South Jersey Group IV championship team, last year’s Mariners squad still managed to capture a share of the Class A South championship and reach the semifinals of the South Group IV tournament. As much as Toms River North’s three straight sectional titles from 2019 to 2021 were a validation of coach Joe Mahon’s program, last year was just as much so in that it revealed the Mariners’ ability to adapt with a new roster.

With eight starters and several more experienced contributors back this season, there won’t be quite as much adaptation needed for Toms River North to win a fourth straight division championship and make another deep run in the state tournament. The Mariners have scoring punch up top in the form of senior Anthony Ruggiero and a blend of skill and athleticism in the midfield with returning starters Kosta Papanikolas and junior Christian Caso. The defense is also loaded with proven talent, led by senior Luke Montanile, who was a significant contributor off the bench as a sophomore in 2021.

Montanile is part of a defense that remains mostly intact in front of returning goalkeeper Mike Vivolo. Depth will again be a strength for the Mariners, with Josh Brazier, James Homyak, Turkcan Curak, Michael Andres Cindales and Miguel Arryave all among the potential scorers – not to mention the wave of sophomores looking to make a mark. After an 11-win rebuilding year that included another deep postseason run, Toms River North is positioned to again be an upper-tier Shore Conference team in 2023.

Toms River North junior Luke Montanile wins a ball in the air. (Photo: Ray Rich Photography)
Toms River North senior Luke Montanile wins a ball in the air. (Photo: Ray Rich Photography)

Toms River North at a Glance

Head Coach: Joe Mahon, 14th season
2022 Record: 11-4-1 (5-1-1, tied first in Class A South)
SCT Group: 10 (Middletown North, Point Beach, Donovan Catholic)
NJSIAA Section: South Group IV
Key Losses: Ray Keller (Midfield), Matt Bozicev (Midfield), Vinny O’Donnell (Defense), Jake Bennett (Forward)

Projected XI (With 2022 Stats)

Returning Starters in Bold

Anthony Ruggiero, Sr., Forward (7 goals, 2 assists)

Josh Brazier, Jr., Forward (2 goals, 1 assist)

Kosta Papanikolas, Sr., Midfield (2 goals)

Christian Caso, Jr., Midfield (3 goals, 1 assists)

James Homyak, Jr., Midfield (3 goals, 1 assist)

Turkcan Curak, Sr., Midfield

Luke Montanile, Sr., Defense (2 goals, 1 assists)

Jack Eubanks, Sr., Defense

Mike Venegas, Jr., Defense

Devon Zimmerman, Sr., Defense

Mike Vivolo, Sr., Goalkeeper


Other Key Players

Michael Andres Cindales, Sr., Forward

Kyle Bartolomeu, Sr., Forward

Miguel Arryave, Sr., Midfield

Carlos Estevez, Sr., Defense (Transfer from Allentown)

Brandon George, Sr., Defense

Ian Kaniuk, Sr., Defense

Jack Marro, Sr., Defense

Nick Orlando, Sr., Defense

Karol Zawarus, Sr., Midfield

Christian Assante, Jr., Midfield

Alex Roman, Jr., Goalkeeper

Frank Toledo, Jr., Defense

Dylan Flores, So., Defense

Vincent Fratacelli, So., Midfield

Nick Gallipoli, So., Midfield

Brady Gillman, So., Midfield

Josh Girtain, So., Forward

Matt Schwenker, So., Defense

Canio Symons, So., Defense

Chris Ruggiero, Fr., Midfield



Southern’s season got off to a slow start, but a six-game, midseason winning streak propelled the Rams back toward the top of the table in Class A South and made them a dangerous team heading toward the tournaments. The eventual No. 1 team in New Jersey, Christian Brothers Academy, found Southern to be a challenge, needing overtime to shake off the Rams in the Shore Conference Tournament round of 16. Southern also took Rancocas Valley – the No. 1 seed in South Jersey Group IV – to the wire in a 1-0 loss in the SJ IV quarterfinals.

There are some significant pieces gone from last season – namely top scorer Aidan Antonio, steady midfielder Mathieu Leonard and standout defender Jonathan Holden – but Southern brings back a junior core that made a major impact and a mix of seniors and sophomores that should complement the juniors nicely. Brody Reynolds, Aidan Donnelly and Nick Prosperi are the midfield standouts, with all three capable of creating goals, as well as keeping the formation connected. Jefferson Rubi Cruz is a proven scorer with five goals in two varsity seasons to his credit, while classmates Matt Hoosack and Kaan Zengler join the attack this season.

Two new starters to watch in the back are juniors Shane Holden and goalkeeper Ryan Schweigart – both of whom will play prominent roles for the Rams. Seniors Colin Olcott and Jack Marano will also man the back line for Southern, with senior David Boyd also in the picture as an attacker. In the second year with coach Rob Muñoz in charge, Southern looks to be on solid ground and positioned for another highly-competitive stretch – one that started four games into 2022 and should carry on for the next several seasons.

Southern at a Glance

Head Coach: Rob Muñoz, second season
2022 Record: 9-6 (4-3, fourth in Class A South)
SCT Group: 11 (Point Boro, Red Bank, Asbury Park
NJSIAA Section: South Group IV
Key Losses: Aidan Antonio (Forward/Midfield), Jonathan Holden (Defense), Mathieu Leonard (Midfield), Zach Hetrick (Midfield), Chris Prosperi (Defense), Patrick Gaffney (Defense), Nate Bott (Goalkeeper)

Projected XI (With 2022 Stats)

Returning Starters in Bold

Matt Hoosack, Jr., Forward (2 assists)

Jefferson Rubi Cruz, Jr., Forward (2 goals)

David Boyd, Sr., Forward (1 goals, 2 assists)

Kaan Zengler, Jr., Forward (1 goal, 2 assists)

Aidan Donnelly, Jr., Midfield (2 goals, 2 assists)

Nick Prosperi, Jr., Midfield (7 goals, 1 assists)

Brody Reynolds, Jr., Midfield (2 goals, 4 assists)

Colin Olcott, Sr., Defense

Jack Marano, Sr., Defense

Shane Holden, Jr., Defense

Ryan Schweigart, Jr., Goalkeeper


Other Key Players

Brendan McCormick, Jr., Defense

Matt Pleyn, Sr., Forward


Toms River East

With the best player in Ocean County on its side in 2022, Toms River East reclaimed a share of the Class A South championship for the first time since 2011. After the graduation of 17-goal scorer and All-Shore First-Teamer Kajus Matazinskas, as well as all-division midfielder Ryan Kozlej, Toms River East will have to replace a pair of heavy-impact players. Fortunately for the Raiders, they bring back eight starters – the kind of roster that makes replacing a top scorer possible through strength in numbers.

Senior striker Jackson Markovitch is coming off an eight-goal season after playing off of Matazinskas last season and will have to adjust to being a focal point this season – both of his own team an of opponents. The midfield that surrounded Kozlej is all back as well, with Tommy Renkin, Jack Smyth, Sean Peck and Luke Bodziak all coming off solid showings for a division-championship team.

Junior Rowen Joice and senior Matt Moore will lead the defense as returning starters on the back line and will protect one of the Shore’s best goalkeepers in returning All-Shore selection Bobby Calvo – one of four sophomores to make a Shore Sports Network All-Shore Team in 2022. Matazinskas leaves a sizable hole in the formation, but Toms River East has the depth to adjust to a more balanced attack and a goalkeeper who can keep every game close with his knack for big saves. That will be a slightly new formula for Toms River East, but it is one that works for many successful teams.


Toms River East at a Glance

Head Coach: Mike Konopka, eighth season
2022 Record: 8-5-3 (5-1-1, tied first in Class A South)
SCT Group: 4 (Marlboro, Freehold Boro, Barnegat)
NJSIAA Section: South Group IV
Key Losses: Kajus Matazinskas (Forward), Ryan Kozlej (Midfield), Nick Denardo (Defense)

Projected XI (With 2022 Stats)

Returning Starters in Bold

Jackson Markovitch, Sr., Forward (8 goals, 4 assists)

Tommy Renkin, Jr., Midfield (4 goals, 4 assists)

Jack Smyth, Sr., Midfield (2 goals, 3 assists)

Luke Bodziak, Jr., Midfield (1 goals, 1 assists)

Sean Peck, Sr., Midfield (2 goals, 5 assists)

Trey Scollan, Sr., Midfield

Rowen Joice, Jr., Defense

Matt Moore, Sr., Defense

Donoto DiMeola, Jr., Defense

Tyler Godlesky, Jr., Defense

Bobby Calvo, Jr., Goalkeeper


Other Key Players

Nick Ferreira, Sr., Defense

Mark Colasurdo, Sr., Defense (2 assists)

Kaiye Gordon, Sr., Forward

Davut Kansu, Sr., Midfield

Matt Marvinny, Sr., Defense

Moaz Amr, Sr., Midfield

Ethan Kelly, Jr., Midfield

Billy Laudien, Jr., Midfield

W.J. Lauria, Jr., Defense

Aiden Reis, So., Midfield

J.J. Reed, So., Midfield/Defense

Mike Moore, So., Goalkeeper


Jackson Memorial

Since winning the Class A South championship with a 14-3-2 overall record in 2019, Jackson Memorial has slipped 19-27-5 over the past three seasons, including finishes of seventh and fifth in each of the past two seasons. That is as long a stretch of mediocrity as the Jaguars have experienced under Steve Bado, who does not usually allow his teams to stay down for too long – if they are down at all.

With nine players returning with starting experience in 2022, Jackson Memorial has its sights set on the top-half of the Class A South table once again. The Jaguars routinely piece together quality back lines and goalkeeping, so the variable for Jackson Memorial when it comes to having a memorable season is typically its goal-scoring. While the Jaguars don’t return a ton of scoring, they do return most of the 2022 players tasked with scoring. Seniors Stephen Csatari, Tyler Korinchak and Peyton Collimore were the top three scorers on last year’s team and again figure to spearhead the Jaguars attack.

Juniors Joe Waters and Aiden Guzman will tie in the midfield with the back line, which returns seniors Henry Daum and John Calamia as starters. Senior Chris Schoener, meanwhile, is back in goal after a strong showing in his first year as the starter. Although the Jaguars managed to make it back to the Shore Conference and NJSIAA Group IV Tournaments in 2022, they were bounced in blowout fashion from each. That is not the norm for the Jaguars and with so many players returning and motivated to go out with a flurry, Jackson Memorial should be considered a legitimate contender for the A South title in 2023.

Jackson Memorial at a Glance

Head Coach: Steve Bado, 19th season
2022 Record: 9-8-2 (3-4-0, tied fifth in Class A South)
SCT Group: 7 (Long Branch, Ranney, Brick)
NJSIAA Section: Central Group IV
Key Losses: Tom McChesney (Defense), Ryan Polakowski (Defense), Andrew Kline (Midfield), Christian Abel (Forward)

Projected XI (With 2022 Stats)

Returning Starters in Bold

Tyler Korinchak, Sr., Forward (5 goals)

Nate Patti, Sr./Robert Calamia, Jr., Midfield/Forward

Peyton Collimore, Sr., Midfield (4 goals, 3 assists)

Stephen Csatari, Sr., Midfield (6 goals, 1 assist)

Shaan Moon, Sr., Midfield (2 goals, 2 assists)

Joe Waters, Jr., Midfield

Aiden Guzman, Jr., Midfield

Henry Daum, Sr., Defense

John Calamia, Sr., Defense

John Penswater, Sr./ Brady Adams, Jr./ Bryson Petrina, Sr., Defense

Chris Schoener, Sr., Goalkeeper


Other Key Players

Sean Kas, Sr., Defense

Nick Kearns, Midfield

Alex Penswater, Sr., Midfield

Sam Boskowicz, Sr., Goalkeeper

Thomas Dellomo, Sr., Forward

Alex Felicelli, Jr., Midfield

Callan Granito, So., Midfield

Connor McNiff, So., Midfield

Charlie Balasquez, Sr., Forward

Cooper Meyers, So., Goalkeeper


Toms River South

Of all the teams in Class A South heading into 2023, none has a scorer as accomplished as Toms River South’s top target up top. Senior Kenny Caruso is coming off a 14-goal junior season, which ranked him tied for sixth in the Shore Conference last season and tied for second among players returning in 2023. Caruso’s scoring landed him his first All-Shore selection and helped keep the Indians in the running for the Class A South title – two feats he would like to repeat in 2023.

Caruso won’t have much help as far as returning starting experience goes, but the Indians are pushing a group of players who were talented underclassmen last season in hopes they are ready to be regulars on an A South contender. Junior midfielder David Mandica and junior fullback Anthony Johnson are the only other returning starters in the field, but junior midfielders Noah Beaton and Caden Langan got time last season. Sophomore Shane Gambarony will complement Caruso up top, junior Jake Hall rounds out the midfield, and sophomore Brody Robillard fills out the defense along with juniors Frankie Curci and Robert Boemio.

Outside of Caruso, the only other senior in the projected starting lineup is goalkeeper Owen Heale, giving the Indians bookend seniors in the formation with juniors and sophomores at every spot in between. The unproven element of Toms River South – including with first-year head coach Mike Conover – makes it hard to know what expect from the Indians this season. With that being said, they have an established scorer and that is something not many teams around the state can say heading into this – or any – season.

Toms River South at a Glance

Head Coach: Mike Conover, first season
2022 Record: 9-6 (5-2, third in Class A South)
SCT Group: 9 (Monmouth, Matawan, Henry Hudson)
NJSIAA Section: South Group III
Key Losses: Jon Fitzgerald (Midfield/Forward), Eddie Candia (Midfield), Peter Johnson (Midfield), Justin Villamizer (Defense), Devon Costa (Midfield), Evan Burnett (Defense), Ray Gardner (Defense)

Projected XI (With 2022 Stats)

Returning Starters in Bold

Kenny Caruso, Sr., Forward (14 goals, 2 assists)

Shane Gambarony, So., Forward

David Mandica, Jr., Midfield (2 assists)

Noah Beaton, Jr., Midfield

Caden Langan, Jr., Midfield (2 goals, 1 assist)

Jake Hall, Jr., Midfield

Anthony Johnson, Jr., Defense

Frankie Curci, Jr., Defense

Brody Robillard, So., Defense

Robert Boemio, Jr., Defense

Owen Heale, Sr., Goalkeeper


Other Key Players

Cam Riccardi, Sr., Midfield

Mohamed Hajaja Serroukh, Sr., Forward

Nick Romaine, Sr., Defense

Chase Ford, Jr., Midfield

Nolen Mahoney, Jr., Goalkeeper/Midfield

Zach Sullivan, Jr., Midfield

Owen Beneciuk, So., Midfield

Nigel Graham, So., Defense

Jacob Myers, So., Forward

Aras Ozancka, So., Forward

Nolan Pennell, Jr., Defense (Injured, out for season)



It might not have seemed like Central was a contender for the 2022 Class A South division title and based on the three divisional losses the Golden Eagles had on their ledger by Sept. 21, that would have to be considered an accurate assessment. What is not as obvious about those three losses is the tidbit that they were all one-goal losses to the Toms River teams: a 1-0 loss to South, 3-2 to North and 2-1 to East. With a year to stew over those losses – as well as a wild, 6-4, loss to Colts Neck in the Shore Conference Tournament – Central returns a substantial portion of its 2022 roster for 2023 with designs on a breakout season in A South and beyond.

In the 3-2 loss to Toms River North in the third game of the season, current senior David Kroon struck for two quick goals, but his hot start to the season came to a screeching halt when he suffered a season-ending leg injury. Kroon has battled back and will be among the starting group this season, teaming with classmate Keith Swistock as a dangerous scoring tandem up top. Juniors Blake Crutchley and Jordan Benzon are also back on the attack, while sophomores Landon Kavanagh and Madden Lesczczynski, plus junior Dillon Konfederak, will be key cogs in the midfield.

Seniors Owen Elliot and Matt Golizio will lead the defense with the help of sophomore Ilyas Ciltepe, who impressed as a freshman starter by the end of 2022. With the graduation of dependable goalkeeper Trevor Policastro, senior Zach Polo will have his moment to show he can shine as well. Central’s roster of established varsity regulars will have a chance to climb all the way to the top of Class A South this season and that the Golden Eagles could be even more likely to find it challenging to get out of the bottom half the standings should be an indication that Class A South is back to being a powerhouse division this year.

Central at a Glance

Head Coach: Troy Van Hise, sixth season
2022 Record: 8-6-1 (3-4-0, tied fifth in Class A South)
SCT Group: 2 (Holmdel, Howell, Manchester)
NJSIAA Group: South Group IV
Key Losses: Ryan DiCillo (Midfield), John Truhan (Midfield), Trevor Policastro (Goalkeeper), Tommy Dudzik (Defense), Tane Zorgdrager (Defense)

Projected XI (With 2022 Stats)

Returning Starters in Bold

David Kroon, Sr., Forward (4 goals, 2 assists)

Keith Swistock, Sr., Forward (2 goals, 3 assists)

Blake Crutchley, Jr., Midfield (2 goals, 4 assists)

Jordan Benzon, Jr., Midfield (4 goals)

Landon Kavanagh, So., Midfield

Madden Leszczynski, So., Midfield

Owen Elliot, Sr., Defense

Matt Golizio, Sr., Defense

Devont King-Reilly, Jr., Defense

Ilyas Ciltepe, So., Defense (2 goals, 2 assists)

Zach Polo, Sr., Goalkeeper


Other Key Players

Dillon Konfederak, Jr., Midfield (1 goal, 2 assists)

Mike Boyer, So., Defense

Ricky Pasqualini, So., Midfield

Shril Mistry, Sr., Midfield

Dan Palheta, So., Midfield

Kareem McGrath, Jr., Midfield


Brick Memorial

There are a host of new faces within the Brick Memorial boys soccer program this season, not the least of which is first-year head coach Tom Lecorchick. He takes over a team coming off a frustrating, 2-8-6 season that included two one-goal losses to go along with the six-draws. That season came with a collection of seniors leading the way, so if this is to be a turnaround season for Brick Memorial, it will come on the back of a lineup that is unproven heading into its Thursday opener against Southern.

Brick Memorial’s defense was inconsistent in allowing 33 goals in 16 games this season, but it showed flashes of being a standout unit. Two of the starters return to the defense in seniors Robbie Carroll and Aiden Marotta, plus two more new starters in Mike Heptig and Ben Idzahl to round out an all-senior back line in front of another returning senior starter in goalie Justin Perrin.

The rest of the formation will be considerably younger, with the exception of senior Declan Beelitz coming back to play on the attack. Sophomore Mike Alaimo moves into the lineup as a defensive center midfielder, with classmate Paul DiRosa and Landon Almalfa also playing in the midfield. Juniors Declan Smith and Juan Bahos will also be keys on the attack for a Brick Memorial team that will lean on its seniors to keep the ball out of the net while the young, up-and-comers take a run at the goal.

Brick Memorial at a Glance

Head Coach: Tom Lecorchick, first season
2022 Record: 2-8-6 (1-4-2, seventh in Class A South)
SCT Group: 5 (Wall, Manalapan, St. John Vianney)
NJSIAA Section: Central Group III
Key Losses: Billy Caruso (Forward), Pat Schlagenhaft (Midfield), Zander Pitts (Midfield), Connor Hackett (Forward), Drew Forfar (Midfield), Drew Iacullo (Defense)

Projected XI (With 2022 Stats)

Returning Starters in Bold

Juan Bahos, Jr., Forward

Declan Beelitz, Sr., Forward/Midfield

Paul DiRosa, So., Midfield

Declan Smith, Jr., Midfield

Landon Amalfa, So., Midfield

Mike Alaimo, So., Defense

Aiden Marotta, Sr., Defense

Robert Carroll, Sr., Defense (1 goal, 1 assist)

Mike Heptig, Sr., Defense

Ben Idzahl, Sr., Defense

Justin Perrin, Sr., Goalkeeper


Other Key Players

Jeancarlo Mejia, Sr., Midfield

Felipe Ortiz, Sr., Forward

Elin Torres, So., Midfield

Nate Styker, Fr., Forward

Ryan Wheeler, So., Goalkeeper

Chris Vella, Jr., Midfield

Michael Sura, Jr., Midfield

Kenny Moynihan, Jr., Forward

Alex Santos, So., Forward

Mason Muolo, Jr., Defense


Jackson Liberty

Jackson Liberty gets the call from Class B South to play in Class A South for the first time in program history and the timing could have been a whole lot better for the Lions. Although Jackson Liberty is coming off its first ever division championship after claiming a share of the 2022 Class B South title, the Lions head into 2023 without a lot back from that roster and will have to tap into the program depth in order to compete with some of the Shore’s best programs this fall.

Seniors Giovanni Batista and Josh Hybbeneth are both quality defenders with starting experience and will be backed by junior goalkeeper and returning starter Rocco Manangone. Throw in two new senior starting fullbacks in Mateo Sanabria Ramirez and Jose Lainez Martinez, and Jackson Liberty will have the ingredients necessary to make teams work hard for scoring chances.

Scoring goals, meanwhile, figures to be a challenge. Batista and senior midfielder Jose Mayorga are the only players back who scored at least one goal last season and each of them scored exactly one. Richard Kosek and Salvatore Georgiano will try to light a fire as the forwards, with sophomore Ryan Monday highlighting the supporting cast around Mayorga in the midfield. Juniors Dylan Kasnowski and Tyler Mirao will also try their hand as midfielders for Jackson Liberty, which will try to fight its way through the division schedule and into the Shore Conference Tournament knockout round through a manageable Group 1, outside of tournament favorite Christian Brothers Academy.

Jackson Liberty at a Glance

Head Coach: Justin Siering, third season
2022 Record: 11-5-2 (6-0-1, tied first in Class B South)
SCT Group: 1 (CBA, Neptune, Pinelands)
NJSIAA Section: Central Group III
Key Losses: Gerard Cerino (Forward), Conor Yurgel (Forward), Jim Capucci (Midfield), Ryan Pettrow (Midfield), Nick Malangone (Defense), Ricardo Diaz (Defense), Sean Mazon (Midfield), Adal Garcia (Midfield)

Projected XI (With 2022 Stats)

Returning Starters in Bold

Richard Kosek, Jr., Forward

Salvatore Georgiano, Sr., Forward

Jose Mayorga, Sr., Midfield (1 goal, 1 assist)

Ryan Monday, So., Midfield

Dylan Kasnowski, Jr., Midfield

Tyler Mirao, Jr., Midfield

Giovanni Batista, Sr., Defense (1 goal, 2 assists)

Josh Hybbeneth, Sr., Defense

Mateo Sanabria Ramirez, Sr., Defense

Jose Lainez Martinez, Sr., Defense

Rocco Malangone, Jr., Goalkeeper


Other Key Players

Rafael Cruz, So., Midfield

Salvatore Georgiano, Sr., Forward

Tyler Mirao, Jr., Midfield

Connor Jones, Jr., Midfield

Dylan Kasnowski, Jr., Midfield

Mason Edwards, So., Midfield

Arick Buckley, Jr., Defense


Class A South Starting XI

Kenny Caruso, Toms River South

Anthony Ruggiero, Toms River North

Jackson Markovitch, Toms River East

David Kroon, Central

Keith Swistock, Central

Kosta Papanikolas, Toms River North

Stephen Csatari, Jackson Memorial

Nick Prosperi, Southern

Luke Montanile, Toms River North

Giovanni Batista, Jackson Liberty

Bobby Calvo, Toms River East (GK)


Class A South Breakouts to Watch

Brody Reynolds, Jr., Midfield, Southern

David Mandica, Jr, Midfield, Toms River South

Tommy Renkin, Jr., Midfield, Toms River East

Ryan Schweigart, Jr., Goalkeeper, Southern

Declan Beelitz, Sr., Forward/Midfield, Brick Memorial

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