With the fall season coming to a close, WW-P sports teams had ups and downs this year, but did find some success, most notably in the sports of cross country, tennis, field hockey, and volleyball. North’s football team also made it to the state tournament, but fell in the first round.
Here are some highlights of the year:
Cross Country. The teams at both North and South had their own successes this season in cross country. Despite only having one of the Rosa brothers on board this season, the North boys’ team claimed its fourth straight state Group III title on November 13.
Led by Jim Rosa —whose twin Joe was sidelined by a foot injury all season — North had five of its runners in the top 32 places overall at the state meet on November 13. Rosa also took home his first individual title with a time of 15:46. Pat O’Connell, Casey Dalrymple, Eddie Cunningham, and Danny Lee rounded out the other top four runners for North.
The Knights will head to the NJSIAA Meet of Champions on Saturday, November 20, where Rosa will look to earn his first Meet of Champions individual title. He finished second last year, behind his brother, Joe.
The state title made up for South’s upset of North last month, when the Pirates ended the Knights’ chances of winning a fourth-straight Mercer County Tournament title. The South boys’ and girls’ cross country teams both won their respective MCT titles.
The South boys’ took home second place in the state Group IV meet, behind Jeff Riff, who placed 23rd overall with a time of 16:33. Brian Schoepfer, Dan Riff, and Dan Sheldon all finished within 10 places. The Pirates have also qualified for the NJSIAA Meet of Champions on Saturday, November 20.
For the girls, the Pirates were led by Caroline Kellner, who continued her impressive career at South. Kellner finished first overall at the Mercer County Tournament, helping the girls to first place at the event.
Caroline Kellner placed fourth, with a time of 18:45 at the state Group IV championships on November 13.
Football. Despite having what has been considered one of the best seasons, High School North’s football team was unable to extend play beyond the first playoff game this year, when it fell to rival Hamilton in the first round of the Central Jersey Group III state tournament.
The Knights had defeated Hamilton earlier in the season, 10-6, but were unable to stop the Hornets, who were out for revenge on November 13, when they defeated the Knights 35-13 to end their season.
The biggest storyline all season was the talent and ability of junior rusher Jaymar Anderson, who had an explosive season, finishing with 1,535 yards and 18 touchdowns. Anderson had a touchdown in the team’s loss.
Meanwhile at South, the Pirates finished the season with a 4-5 record and failed to make the playoffs, despite its own success in the rushing game behind sophomore Brian Schoenauer, who had an equally stunning season.
Field Hockey. For the first time in school history, the North field hockey team moved onto the sectional final of the state tournament after defeating Old Bridge and Monroe in the first two rounds.
The team made it all the way to the championship game of the NJSIAA Section II, Group IV tournament, where it ultimately fell to Bridgewater-Raritan, 8-0.
Against Monroe, the Knights, were led by Devin Brakel and Kristen Carpio, who each had three goals in the 7-0 rout.
The team was able to move through the first two rounds of the tournament despite missing a few starters. Junior varsity goalie Aleni Christou stepped in for Sarah Bush in both wins, and Kristin Troianello moved into the center midfield position against Monroe to take over for Chloe Spetalnick, who broke a finger in the team’s win against Old Bridge.
Not only was it the first time that the Knights made it this far in the state tournament, the season marked the sixth consecutive divisional title for the team, which finished with a record of 14-4-1.
Tennis. For the third straight year, the High School South girls’ tennis team won the Mercer County Tournament, taking home four out of five individual titles in the win. With 24 points, the Pirates beat Princeton and Princeton Day.
At the MCT, Belinda Ji (second singles), Sahana Jayaraman (third singles), Larissa Lee Lum and Mallory Wang (first doubles), and Nicole Joseph and Catharine Wong (second doubles) all took home individual titles.
The Pirates moved through the earlier rounds of the state tournament, defeating Monroe in the quarterfinal round and East Brunswick in the semifinal round before falling to Montgomery in the championship round, 3-2.
Individually, South’s Ammu Mandalap advanced in the NJSIAA singles tournament by defeating Maggie Kurtz of Burlington City in the first round and then defeating Satreethai Sasinin of New Brunswick in the second round. She fell in the subsequent round.
Meanwhile, North finished in fourth place at the Mercer County Tournament. The team fell in the quarterfinal round of the Central Jersey, Group IV tournament to East Brunswick.
Volleyball. The South girls’ volleyball team had a stellar season, moving all the way to the NJSIAA Group III championship game on November 13, before falling to the state’s top-ranked team, Old Tappan, 25-15, 25-9.
This season also featured the team’s first state sectional title in school history. South defeated Moorestown, 25-16, 16-25, 25-23, in the Group III final on November 11 before facing Old Tappan.
In the championship game, South’s Vera Shulgina, Rachael Degnan, and Mariame Fadiga each had four kills. South finished the season with a commanding 18-3 record.
Soccer. The boys’ soccer team at North made it to the Mercer County Tournament semifinal last month, where the team fell to Princeton Day School.
The girls’ soccer teams had good seasons this year. North defeated Monroe in the first round of the Central Jersey Group IV tournament. The team moved on to the quarterfinal round, where it fell to Jackson Memorial, 2-0.
Meanwhile, South tied Steinert in the NJSIAA Group IV Central tournament first round game and put up a tough fight in overtime, heading into the sixth round of shootouts before falling to Steinert. Prior to that, the team made it to the Mercer County Tournament semifinals before falling to Pennington.
South had advanced to the semifinals of the MCT after taking out North in the quarterfinal round.