By TOM WILLIAMS
The Ocean City boys cross country team (above) has completed another undefeated season in the Cape-Atlantic League.
Matt Purdue’s Raiders have won 89 straight dual meets. They last lost on Sept. 23, 2008 when Egg Harbor Township won, 27-29. Before that loss, OCHS had won 20 straight meets. That works out to 109 wins in the last 110 meets and 11 straight American Conference championships.
Ocean City is led by Korey Greene and Jesse Schmeizer, two veteran runners who, like others before them, have stepped up to provide the necessary leadership on the course. Losing them will leave a void – just like the losses of Jake Davis, Evan Schmeizer, Brandon Hadtke, Lou Paone, Kevin Scott, Miles Schoedler and Brett Johnson over the last nine years. But there are runners ready to move up, including junior Gavyn Fox, sophomore Anthony Conte, sophomore Luke Kramer, sophomore Mike Farley, freshman Tyler Greene and freshman Steve Gooden.
The Raiders finished second to Iona (NY) Prep in the Disney Invitational last weekend.
But, although the Raiders 89-meet win streak is the big story, there have been plenty more success stories this fall.
The girls cross country team (8-0) has won the American Conference for the sixth time in seven seasons. Led this year by senior Alexa Weber, one of the best distant runners in South Jersey, the Raiders have won 60 of their 61 meets during the last seven seasons. Senior Mickey Baker adds additional leadership for Coach Trish Henry, who has lots of depth in her program. The future looks strong because of junior Brooke Farr; sophomores Casey McClees, Ava Auwarter, Marissa Guido and Laney Guido; and freshman Alexa Palmieri.
Both cross country teams go to New York City for the Manhattan Invitational tomorrow and will run in the Cape May County Meet next Thursday, an event the OCHS boys have won 16 times in the last 17 years and the girls seven straight years.
The girls tennis team (10-6) is playing today (weather permitting) in Hammonton in the semi-finals of the NJSIAA South Jersey Group 3 Tournament. Senior Libby Trofa, senior Maddie Holmes and sophomore Jordan Moyer have been solid at the singles positions for the Raiders. Junior Rosalie Graham, senior Rose Malfitano, sophomore Kate Carter and junior Gina Schmid comprise the doubles teams.
The field hockey team (10-5) holds a slim lead in the American Conference seeking its 21st straight championship. The title should be on the line next Wednesday when OCHS visits Millville, which is in second place, a half-game behind the Raiders. Senior Shannon O’Reilly leads Ocean City scoring with 13 goals, followed by junior Reese Bloomstead (11), senior Haleigh Flukey (9) and sophomore Chloe Prettyman (8). Bloomstead leads the team in assists (11) followed by O’Reilly (7) and Prettyman (6). Junior Maddie Kahn has made 84 saves and won eight shutouts. The Raiders have played a tough schedule and are ranked No. 17 in the state.
The girls soccer team (11-1) holds a slim lead over Oakcrest, with whom they split two games, in the National Conference standings. In the absence of junior Tori Rolls, the team’s leading scorer the last two years, with a broken collarbone, freshman Faith Slimmer has provided offense with 14 goals. Junior Natalie Stinson has scored four, freshmen Paige Panico and Kelsey White three each. Panico (5), junior Anna Devlin (4) and sophomore Carly Reighard (4) lead in assists. Sophomore Abbey Fenton has made 34 saves and won eight shutouts.
The boys soccer team (9-1-1) is also in first place by one game over Middle Township. Junior Hunter Paone leads the team in goals with nine, followed by junior Anthony Inserra and junior Trevor Paone (four). Senior Josiah Nistorenko has nine assists and Trevor Paone has four. Senior Garrett Viet has 70 saves and four shutouts.
Both OCHS soccer teams and the field hockey team have control of their fate – if they keep winning they will chalk up CAL championships.
And the football team – with three wins in four games entering tonight’s game at Middle Township – has its best record in 16 years and currently sits at No. 5 in the South Jersey Group 3 power ratings. Seniors Harry Pfeifle, Liam Bergman and Issac Robertson have anchored the offense with juniors Brandon Lin, Austin Green and Travis Stoerrle key players on defense. But the big story of the season has been the way the Raiders up front have controlled the line of scrimmage.
Altogether, the OCHS fall teams are 60-14-1.