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With schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the high school sports season suspended, seniors who play spring sports are missing out on their final athletic opportunities. With that in mind, each week during the spring the Shore Sports Network will feature a senior athlete who would normally be making headlines on the field, diamond, track, golf course, tennis court or volleyball court. Each athlete will receive a $25 Jersey Mike’s gift card as the iconic Jersey Shore business continues its support of Shore Conference athletics.

Athlete: Cade Johnson

School: Southern Regional

Spring Sport: Lacrosse

Position: Attack

Bio: Johnson was a Shore Sports Network second-team All-Shore selection in 2019 when he was set career-highs with 52 goals and 20 assists for 72 points to help lead Southern to its seventh straight Class A South division title. Johnson’s goal and point totals were also career-high marks. He was selected as the Class A South Player of the Year by the division’s coaches. With Johnson leading the Rams’ offense, Southern went 14-4, won Class A South, reached the quarterfinals of the Shore Conference Tournament and the semifinals of the NJSIAA South Jersey Group 4 state playoffs. Johnson currently has 88 goals and 117 points for his career.

Other Sports: “None, currently. I played football freshman year, soccer sophomore year. The first sport I grew up playing was soccer and for a while, I thought it would be my main sport. I started playing lacrosse in fifth grade and then playing club lacrosse in the summer going into my seventh-grade year and ever since then it’s been my main sport.”

College Plans: Committed to Division II Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia.

How you are staying in shape: “My dad and I go shooting a lot just to keep a stick in my hand; playing a lot of wall ball. Playing catch with my sister, Rylee (a member of Southern’s girls lacrosse team). Home workouts and running.”

Hardest part of being out of school/sports: “Just adjusting to everything. Online classes are different. I miss being in school, miss seeing people and being with my team. It’s an awful feeling because nobody saw this coming. You go from knowing your schedule and thinking you’d be playing this team on this date, having a practice this day. It’s weird. I haven’t had a spring off in a really long time.”

“It’s hard because you’re so used to having a friend text you and going out to get a bite to eat or coffee. Now everything is shut down. Not being able to see your friends, it def takes a toll. The high school generation and college generation, we’re very social.”

“To miss your last year playing with kids you grew up with is an awful feeling. I’m lucky that I will be playing in college. I feel for the kids who it’s their last time playing any sport, whether it’s track, baseball, lacrosse.”

“I just want to be back out there with my team. I miss being out there with at practices with the coaches. It’s weird, to say the least. We have fall workouts, winter workouts, fall league, winter league; we do all that to prepare ourselves for the season and after we were told it was suspended, you think about what-ifs at that point. It’s not the best feeling but hopefully we can get through it and get back into school sometime soon. I’m trying to stay hopeful.”

One positive that has come from having to stay home: “Getting more sleep. That’s been the one positive outcome of all this.”

Favorite stay-at-home activity: “I’ll play Xbox with some friends every now and then. Some heated family game nights; we’re all pretty competitive.”

Coach’s corner: “Cade Johnson is a four-year varsity player and a three-year starter for us. Through hard work and toughness, Cade has turned himself into one of Southern’s best attackmen. He leads by example and has become a leader on the team.” – Southern head coach John Pampalone.


Managing editor Bob Badders can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights.


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