Lingering winter weather notwithstanding, all high school spring sports teams are practicing and getting ready for the opening of the regular season.##M:[more]##

The North and South baseball teams are making their yearly spring training escape to Florida from March 28 through April 3 with both teams facing a series of practice games against Florida schools. North coach Bob Boyce’s team went 15-9 last year but are looking to improve behind the pitching exploits of sophomores Zach Weale — a Legion Ball all-star last summer — and Casey Warner. North opens the regular season on Monday, April 4 at Trenton.

South coach Don Hutchinson’s team, which finished 16-10 last year, will need to come up with some young pitching arms to replace Alex Goldberg, who graduated last year as the winningest pitcher in South history. the Pirates open the regular season at home against Princeton on Monday, April 4.

Both softball programs struggled last season with losing records. North, behind head coach Jason Petrone, finished 4-19, having started the season with a series of losses, picking up some wins in the middle of the season, then ending with five straight losses. Junior pitcher Flynn Eisenman is expected to help the Knights rebound. North opens the season on Friday, April 1, at home against Steinert

South spent most of the year hovering around the .500 mark, winding up with a 9-12 record. This year second year coach Kristen Zenerovitz has a strong veteran base with senior infielder Kelly Kasper (one of the Pirates’ top sluggers) and fellow senior Katy Hubbard (one of the best pitchers in the county) back to lead the team to a winning record. South starts things off with a home game against East Brunswick on Saturday, April 2.

The rivalry between North and South boys tennis teams is one of the best in the CVC. North coach Albert Paulsson’s team finished 13-6, including a loss to South. Senior Wayne Jenq, who made it to the third round of the NJSIAA singles tournament last year, will be the teams’ top veteran. North opens the regular season on Friday, April 1, at Steinert, at 4 p.m.

The Pirates must replace last year’s first singles player Benny Gordon-Goldstein and senior Russell Nitzberg or sophomore Shintaro Mori, last year’s second and third singles players, will likely battle it out. South finished 21-1 last season, losing only a close match to East Brunswick, behind a sea of controversy, in the NJSIAA Group IV finals. South opens the season at home match against Ewing on Friday, April 1.

The North golf team, having finished 11-4 last year, has its work cut out for 2005. Coach Russell Wray has lost half of last year’s team to graduation. Senior Sean Willard will be the veteran of the squad. North starts the season on Friday, April 1, at Miry Run against Steinert.

South golfers, coached by Doug Harmon, finished 13-5 last year and will likely be even stronger this season behind returning senior Christine Volker and juniors Mike March and Ryan Phelan. The Pirates open the season on Tuesday, April 5, at Springdale against Princeton.

North’s first year coach Steve Czelusniak, a former head coach at Hun, inherits a team that was one of the area powers last season, finishing 12-4 in 2004. This included a 9-7 win over South at the end of the season. Replacing last year’s all-star Matt Lalli will not be easy. North opens the season on Friday, April 1, at home against Westfield.

South boys lacrosse were a power last year as well as head coach Kerry Weigner led the team to a 13-4 record. Senior Jon Lupo, one of the Pirates’ top scorers last season is South’s top returning veteran. Football and basketball star Grant MacQueen, a senior, will be playing his first and only season of high school lacrosse. South opens the season on Saturday, April 2, at 11 a.m. at Saint Joe’s.

The North girls lacrosse team finished with a sparkling 14-3 record last season. Junior goal scorer Kate Lalli — sister of Matt — is set to return. Head coach Beth Mitchell is also returning for her third season. The Lady Knights open the season at home on Monday, April 4, against Lawrenceville.

South girls lacrosse finished with a record of 9-8 last year. Having lost much of her senior-laden team to graduation, head coach Kris Javick will build from youth. The Pirates open the season on Friday, April 1, at home against Lawrence.

North boys and girls track each finished with impressive records last season (6-1 and 6-2 respectively). The boys will be led by runner Mike Page and sprinter Joe Mastrangelo, both seniors. High jumper Jade Phame was one of the county’s best last year for Knights girls team. Both teams open the season at home on Wednesday, April 6.

As teams, South boys and girls track were inconsistent in 2004, both failing to earn a winning record. But both feature two of the county’s best in junior Joe Ennis and senior Lisa Miller. The Pirates open the season on Tuesday, April 5, at home against Trenton and Robbinsville.