By TOM WILLIAMS
The Ocean City High School sports teams had a pretty good fall in 2016. And the Raiders have good reason to expect more of the same starting next week.
The girls tennis team begins on Tuesday (in fact, they play three straight days) with the rest of the teams kicking off their seasons later in the week.
Coaching is a big reason for the fall success OCHS. Four of last year’s fall coaches are among the 30 in school history who have won two-thirds of their games, matches or meets.
Boys cross country coach Matt Purdue (below) is No. 1 on that list (see chart, below) with a .988 winning percentage over nine seasons. His Raiders come into this season having won 80 straight dual meets and nine straight conference championships.
Trish Henry is No. 3 all-time with her .943 winning percentage in girls cross country. Henry also joins Fenton Carey, Cory Terry and Aaron Bogushefsky as the only people to be part of a South Jersey champion at OCHS as an athlete and later as a head coach.
Samantha DiMatteo is also in the OCHS Top 30 with eight straight winning seasons and two CAL championships in her eight years of coaching girls tennis.
Cory Terry is No. 4 on that list. Her teams won 89.5 percent of their games during her seven seasons that produced seven CAL titles, six South Jersey championships and three state crowns.
But Terry resigned and has been replaced by Kelsey Mitchell, a recent assistant at Cedar Creek who scored 171 career goals at Eastern High School, was two-time New Jersey Player of the Year, was a first team All-American and had a successful career at Iowa. The Raiders enter the field hockey season with a 36-game winning streak against CAL opponents.
Add to these coaches the strong programs being maintained by Bogushefsky in boys soccer, Kevin Smith in football and Kelly Halliday in girls soccer and you can see why the fall at OCHS has been consistently successful.
And with athletes like Alexa Weber, Issac Robertson, Shannon O’Reilly, Jesse Schmeizer, Tori Rolls, Harry Pfeifle, Maddie Kahn, Mickey Baker and Korey Greene around there is no reason to expect anything to change this fall.
OCEAN CITY HIGH SCHOOL TOP 30
SINGLE-SPORT WON-LOST PERCENTAGES
(minimum of 5 seasons – active coaches CAPITALIZED)
1-MATT PURDUE, boys cross country .988 (82-1)
2-Mike Naples, girls track .943 (133-8)
3-TRISH HENRY, girls cross country .943 (115-7)
4-Cory Terry, field hockey .895 (145-17)
5-Mike Naples, girls cross country .882 (209-28)
6-Mike Pellegrino, boys soccer .867 (228-35)
7-Trish LeFever, field hockey .865 (486-76)
8-Bob Martin, boys soccer .829 (87-18)
9-Pat Dougherty, girls basketball .810 (269-63)
10-Dixie Howell, boys basketball .801 (277-69)
11-Fenton Carey, boys track .800 (52-13)
12-Bill Moreland, boys cross country .796 (281-72)
13-Tom Miller, girls soccer .791 (91-24)
14-PAUL BARUFFI, girls basketball .780 (355-100)
15-Sue Tridico, softball .779 (95-27)
16-Fenton Carey, swimming .777 (115-33)
17-Bill Moreland, girls track .774 (55-16)
18-Matt Lane, girls lacrosse .774 (82-24)
19-Lloyd Hayes, swimming .740 (125-44)
20-Al Holden, girls track .729 (35-13)
21-Ralph Carson, golf .721 (181-70)
22-Leo Chase, girls soccer .712 (74-30)
23-Ted Klepac, boys track .710 (71-29)
24-Jim Harris, boys cross country .689 (73-33)
25-Phil Birnbaum, girls tennis .686 (221-101)
26-Phil Birnbaum, boys tennis .683 (441-205)
27-Dixie Howell, baseball .676 (117-56)
28-SAMANTHA DiMATTEO, girls tennis .671 (102-50)
29-JOELaTORRE, boys lacrosse .670 (67-33)
30-Skip Angelo, golf .668 (225-112)