Big Expectations for Winter Sports

Tom DiMeo, Sports Editor

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As another great season of fall sports at South wraps up, anticipation for the winter seasons is building.

Boys’ basketball is looking to have a breakout season and return to the winning ways of the ’09-’10 Division Champion team after 2 rebuilding years. The squad is in prime position to do so, returning two starters and five 3-year varsity players. “Everyone has been working extremely hard over the off season in order to make this season a success,” said senior guard Sam Brodsky. “I’m confident that we’re going to surprise a lot of people.” The boys open with a big home game against rival Colts Neck on December 14th at 6:30. The Lady Eagles are expecting another successful season of hoops as well. Last year, the girls’ basketball team won the A-North Division and made it to the semifinals of the State tournament. The girls are led by Seniors Kiera Gannon, Carissa Gray, and Division 1 Wagner recruit Jackie Dluhi, all of whom have been starters since their sophomore season. The strong senior class looks to have one of the program’s best seasons in recent memory and surpass last year’s success.

Wrestling looks to have a big year as well. After injuries hindered the team last year, this year’s team is excited to build on what could have been. Many new faces are expected on the mats this year, but the team is still very confident. Senior Ryan Cotterell is especially optimistic, stating, “We’re anticipating our best season in a long time.”

Girls’ bowling doesn’t have much room for improvement: last season, they finished with a record of 41-4 and won the Shore Conference for the first time since 1982. Although some key seniors were lost, the team returns 7 players. Led by Coach McCabe, the girls have their sights set on another conference championship. Boys’ bowling is looking sharp as well. After winning the Shore Conference for 6 consecutive years, the boys failed to do so last season. This year, Senior Captain Mark Canny is looking to lead South bowling back to the top. Seniors Brandon Joseph and Rob Martini, along with phenom freshman Brandon Lynch, round out a solid team.  Canny is confident:  “We’re really optimistic about the outcome of this year.”

Last year, ice hockey at south saw a strong senior class come to fruition in a very successful season, winning the Handchen Cup and finishing with a record of 19-6-3. This year, the pressure is on to maintain the squad’s recent success after being hit hard by graduation. Senior defender Cole Ditzel, along with forwards Tanner Neilson and Adam Gold will try to do just that, leading the way for the team.

In the pool, boys swimming lose 7 seniors to graduation but are counting on new faces, such as sophomore Andrew Smith and juniors Connor Zero and Chris Bonardi to carry the team this year. The girls, highlighted by Division 3 Hamilton recruit Martha Smith, look to make a big splash as well. Looking to improve on last year’s mediocre season, Coach Skinner will look to a strong freshman class to pick up the slack.

The girls track team looks to improve upon an already successful season last year after losing Coach Gomulka. Mr. and Mrs. Clifton step in as head coaches and look to transition smoothly into another productive year. The boys look to do the same, after losing 4 runners to graduation. Seniors Andrew Von Wagner and Matt Nelly will lead the way for boys track. “We have a lot of younger guys who are really dedicated to the sport,” Nelly said. “We hope to be better than we were last year.”

As the temperature falls and sports move indoors, the competition at south is sure to heat up. We look forward to a very successful season of winter sports.

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