By TOM WILLIAMS
What a week this is for Ocean City High School’s sports teams.
It has already been a great fall season for the Raiders. Consider these facts.
All seven teams are above .500, one team has won a championship and four others can win titles by winning their remaining contests this month. OCHS fall teams were 42-10 in September and enter this week 24-5-1 in October. That’s 66-15-1, an impressive .815 winning percentage.
But things really get serious this week.
It all starts this afternoon when the boys and girls soccer teams both play first round games in the brand new Cape-Atlantic League Tournaments. The boys (9-4) will host Pleasantville at 3:45 p.m. at Tennessee Avenue. The winner of that game will play the winner between St. Augustine Prep and Mainland for the tournament championship on Wednesday at Egg Harbor Township.
Aaron Bogushefsky’s team comes into the week with a four-game winning streak, all by shutouts, including a 1-0 win at Middle Township when Trevor Paone scored the only goal with an assist from Fisher Hudak. In addition to today’s tournament game, the Raiders will visit Middle Township on Friday. It is one of three games Bogushefsky’s team needs to win to clinch the CAL’s National Conference championship.
Kelly Halliday’s OCHS girls (11-4-1) will travel to Egg Harbor Township today at 5 p.m. in a CAL semi-final. The winner will play the Mainland-Buena winner for the championship Wednesday at EHT.
The Ocean City girls also enter the week with four straight wins, including a 1-0 win over Clearview when Faith Slimmer assisted Delaney Lappin for the game’s only goal.
The girls will also travel to Mount Holly on Friday for a first round game in the South Jersey Soccer Coaches Invitational Tournament. Ocean City is the No. 10 seed and RV is seeded No. 7. The Ocean City boys decided not to play in the Coaches Tournament this year.
The OCHS field hockey team (13-2-1) will play Egg Harbor Township tonight (6pm) at Carey Stadium in an effort to formally clinch the CAL’s American Conference championship. After stubbing their toe last year, ending a string of 20 straight CAL titles, Kelsey Mitchell’s girls have dominated the conference this year. The Raiders are 11-0 in the conference and have outscored conference opponents, 74-1.
Mitchell’s team has won three straight, including a 3-1 win over Lenape Saturday when Reese Bloomstead scored twice, Jaclyn Charbonneau scored once and Chloe Prettyman had two assists.
Later this week, Ocean City will host Absegami Wednesday at Carey Stadium and will travel to Mainland on Friday.
Girls tennis (14-2) will begin play in the CAL Tournament in Vineland tomorrow. The competition will continue on Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday, OCHS will be at Atlantic City. Next Monday (Oct. 22) Samantha DiMatteo’s team will play at Egg Harbor Township to hold onto first place in the CAL-American and clinch at least a tie for the conference title.
The Ocean City girls lost to Mainland, 4-1, last week in the South Jersey Group 3 semifinals. It ended the Raiders’ 12-match winning streak. The first doubles team of Brynn Bowman and Rosalie Graham supplied the lone OCHS win in the match.
Both Ocean City cross country teams will run in the Cape May County Meet on Thursday at County Park in Cape May Court House. Trish Henry’s OCHS girls (8-0), who won the American Conference championship this year, have won the county title the last eight years and 28 times in 31 years. Matt Purdue’s boys (8-1) have won the county meet three straight years and 36 times in 43 years.
Over the weekend, the girls finished third and the boys fourth in the Manhattan Invitational. The two teams that finished ahead of the girls and the three who bested the boys were all from New York. Alexa Palmieri was sixth overall in the girls race, Casey McLees was 13th and Becca Millar 26th. For the boys, Gavyn Fox was 13th, Anthony Conte 23rd and Luke Kramer 30th.
And the coming weekend is significant for the football team (3-2). First, the Raiders will be playing Oakcrest to take the lead in the West Jersey Football League’s Independence Division and set up a championship game with Mainland the following Friday.
But there is much more.
It is Red & White Weekend, the all-class OCHS reunion event, which means there will be tailgating before the 6 p.m. kickoff on the field behind the press box at Carey Stadium. It is also the Homecoming Game. The candidates will be introduced and the winner announced at halftime. There will be a homecoming dance on Saturday night and, on Sunday afternoon in the Hughes Auditorium at Ocean City High School, nine new individuals and one team will be inducted into the OCHS Sports Hall of Fame.
Last Friday, Kevin Smith’s Raiders lost a bizarre game to Triton, 33-23, in Runnemede. After misplaying two kickoffs that gave Triton the first three possessions of the game and a 12-0 lead, the Raiders scored 23 unanswered points on two TD passes from Ian Aungst to Brandon Lashley, a touchdown run by Aungst and a field goal by Henry Souto. But Triton scored the game’s final 21 points for the upset win.
Three soccer tournaments, a possible field hockey championship, a girls tennis tournament, two county championship cross country meets, a homecoming football game and a Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Just another week in a great fall season for the student-athletes at OCHS.
Check out all the daily results and schedules in the Raider Diary – http://www.oceancitysports.com/OCDiary.html.