By TOM WILLIAMS
Ocean City High School athletics director Vince Leavey had to find some room in the hallway trophy cases in part because of the Raiders’ cross country and girls tennis teams. And the three coaches spend a lot of time smiling.
Trish Henry’s girls cross country team had a near-perfect season. Her Raiders finished 8-0 and won the Cape-Atlantic League’s American Conference championship. They won the Cape May County Meet for the ninth straight year. They won the Cape-Atlantic League Meet for the second straight year. And they were NJSIAA South Jersey Group 3 champions for the second straight year and the third time in six years.
Sophomore Alexa Palmieri became the 13th OCHS runner to win the South Jersey girls individual championship. She was only the second Ocean City sophomore to do it, joining Brittany Sedberry in 2003. With a trio of successful juniors – Becca Millar, Casey McLees and Marissa Guido – returning along with freshman Kailey Grimley and sophomore Isabella Padula, Henry smiles a lot when she thinks about this year’s success and also the future. Senior Brooke Farr, a key runner, will graduate but the future looks bright for these Raiders.
Matt Purdue’s boys cross country team (8-1) did not win the American Conference championship, losing a dual meet to Mainland, 25-31, that ended the program’s 91-meet win streak that dated back to 2008. But the Raiders bounced back. They defeated Mainland to win the Cape-Atlantic League Meet and topped the Mustangs to win the South Jersey Group 3 championship. It marked the first time in history that both OCHS cross country teams had won the South Jersey title the same season.
Like Henry, Purdue seems pretty happy when looks into the future. His 2018 team was led by juniors Anthony Conte, Luke Kramer, Max Kelly and Mike Kelly; sophomore Tyler Greene; and freshman Owen Ritti. Ocean City will lose senior Gavyn Fox, a key part of the program for years to graduation but all other key runners from this team will return.
Samantha DiMateo’s girls tennis team (17-3) had its best overall record since 2011 and earned a share of the CAL’s American Conference championship. The Raiders lost to Mainland in the South Jersey Group 3 semi-finals after splitting with the Mustangs during the season.
Junior Jordan Moyer played most of the season at No. 1 singles and will return. The No. 2 player, Gina Schmid, will graduate but junior Kate Carter, who played No. 3, will be back.
Half of the doubles teams will also be back in the lineup next year. Senior Rosalie Graham and junior Bryann Bowman – who won the CAL Doubles Tournament – played first doubles. And senior Nicole Blum teamed with junior Ashley Devlin at second doubles.
With four of her seven starters coming back, DiMatteo has another of those smiling faces.
OCHS Girls Tennis Records
Jordan Moyer (12-7)
Gina Schmid (14-6)
Kate Carter (11-7)
Brynn Bowman-Rosalie Graham (17-2)
Nicole Blum-Ashley Devlin (18-1)
A look back at the 2018 OCHS football team will be next.
Check out all the day-by-day results and schedules in the Raider Diary – http://www.oceancitysports.com/OCDiary.html.