Spring Eagles Exceed Expectations

Bobby Lussier, Sports Editor

This spring, sports here at Middletown South turned in impressive results in yet another successful year.

The South baseball team, coached by Mr. Spillane, had a winning season, posting a record of 14-11, and claiming the title of Division A-North Public Champions, outscoring their opponents by 13 runs over the course of the year. The team also had impressive victories against Freehold Borough and Union Beach in tournament play, as well as a notable win against cross-town rival, CBA. Senior pitcher Rob Grilli took home the Class A-North Pitcher of the Year award, an accolade that has been won by a Middletown South pitcher for the past three years.

The Eagles’ softball team, coached by Mr. Erbig, performed very well this year, bringing home an 18-10 record and claiming the Division A-North tri-championship. The team was led by Alli Podmajersky, who gave the team 14 of their 18 wins and struck out 188 batters over 167 innings, subsequently earning a spot on the First All-Shore Team. Podmajersky also led the team in hitting with a .340 batting average and 9 extra base hits. Another great player on the Eagles this year was Grace Heller, bringing speed to the team with 21 runs scored and a perfect 9-for-9 stolen base record, both of which led the team. Heller received a spot on the Third All-Shore Team for her efforts.

This was the first year that both track teams were coached by Mr. Clifton, and the outcome was tremendously successful. The girls, following an amazing 2012 spring season, came out even stronger this year. Senior Carissa Gray not only was our Monmouth County and State Sectional Champ in the 400 hurdles, but she proved she was an all-round athlete, also scoring in the high jump, long jump and high hurdles. The field team was led by Sharon Kim, Gabrielle Reimann, and Anna Wajda, and eventually captured an unexpected second place trophy in the State Sectionals. Another highlight of the girls’ track season was Triple Jumper Julia Valkos, who broke the school’s triple jumping record despite being only a freshman .

The boys’ track team survived a rebuilding year. The boys showed some extremely promising young talent rising through the system and Eli Smith, who ran the 100 meter in 11.0 seconds, matching a Middletown South record set in 2006 by current NFL star Knowshon Moreno. Smith also broke South’s 200 meter record, which stood for over 2 decades. Newcomers such as sprinting underclassmen Rob Hulse, Trent Giglio, and Mike Balsamo give the team a sense of optimism for the years to come.

The boys’ tennis team, coached by Mr. Cernera, was young this year, with only 4 juniors and no seniors, but they learned to cope with their inexperience and tallied 6 wins. First team singles starter Tyler Fiore played extremely well in one of the hardest positions on the team. Coach Cernera said about Fiore, “He really picked up his game along the way and developed into a great player as the year progressed.” Other key players included underclassmen Will Weiss, Jack Peters, and Nick Mitwasi, as well as High Tech High student Alex Sudnt. The team is packed with solid young talent and poised to make a run at a championship in the next few years.