By TOM WILLIAMS
Things continue to happen for Ocean City High School’s fall sports teams – and the season is just three weeks old.
The seven OCHS teams are a combined 28-6 after three wins Wednesday.
Leading the way are the cross country teams. Matt Purdue’s boys, who run in the Osprey Invitational at Stockton University on Friday, are 5-0 and have won 85 straight dual meet decisions. As expected, Korey Greene and Jesse Schmeizer have stepped up into the leadership roles. Anthony Conte, P.J. Short and Luke Kramer have also been frequent scorers.
Trish Henry’s girls cross country team is 4-0 and senior Alexa Weber (above) has had a fabulous three weeks. Not only has she led the Raiders into first place in the conference but she finished first in the South Jersey Shootout at Rowan University and was the first South Jersey runner to finish in the Cherokee Challenge. Alexa Palmieri, Mickey Baker, Nicki Bradley and Casey McClees join Weber to make OCHS a tough team to beat.
Aaron Bogushefsky’s boys soccer team got two goals from Trevor Paone Wednesday afternoon to defeat Absegami, 3-1, and improve to 6-1 on the season. The Raiders are just behind Oakcrest, the team that defeated them, in the conference standings. Josiah Nistorenko pulls the offense together for OCHS – he leads South Jersey in assists with seven. The Raiders are off until next Wednesday when they host Lower Cape May.
The girls soccer team has bounced back from the crushing injury to Tori Rolls, who led the team in scoring each of the last two seasons. In this year’s opener Rolls suffered a broken collarbone that will probably cause her to miss the rest of the fall season. But freshman Faith Slimmer, the Cape May County Athlete of the Week on Coast Sports Today, has picked up the slack. She has scored nine goals, third highest total in South Jersey, and OCHS is 5-1. On Wednesday, however, it was another freshman – Kelsey White – who scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Absegami. Sophomore Carly Reighard assisted and sophomore Abby Fenton made seven saves for the shutout. The Raiders host Delran at Tennessee Avenue on Saturday.
The field hockey team has bounced back from its loss to Mainland and will go into Saturday’s big game with West Essex at Carey Stadium with a 4-1 record. West Essex comes in with a 7-0 record and the No. 1 ranking in the state after winning the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions last fall. The Raiders are ranked No. 19 in the state by NJ.com, right behind No. 18 Mainland. Junior Reese Bloomstead leads the team with six goals and five assists. She got two of those goals Wednesday when Ocean City defeated Vineland, 7-0, on Maddie Kahn’s fourth shutout in five games.
The football team won its opener and, after an early bye week, will get back into action Saturday afternoon (1pm) in Egg Harbor City against Cedar Creek. Seniors Harry Pfeifle, Issac Robertson and Liam Bergman showed a strong, versatile running game against Oakcrest and the defense was very effective. In fact, the OCHS defense averages fewer points against it (6.0) than any team from a Cape-Atlantic League school this season.
And the girls tennis team has won three of its last four matches after dropping the first two to Vineland and Millville, two of South Jersey’s best teams. The other loss came Wednesday to Egg Harbor Township, probably the best among the CAL teams. Libby Trofa, Maddie Holmes and Rose Malfitano have been the singles players for OCHS, which hosts Middle Township on Thursday, goes to Mainland on Friday and plays in the South Jersey Invitational Tournament over the weekend in Vineland.
If the first three weeks are any indication, it could another of those great fall seasons for all these Raiders.