By: Christian Lynch
Kingsway came off of a record breaking season in the fall, winning a slew of titles at the conference, South Jersey, and state levels. They set a high standard for the winter and spring teams.
While the winter teams did not record the same level of championships, the effort was still impressive nonetheless. Here is a synopsis of the winter season:
Wrestling: Kingsway’s grapplers compiled a seasonal record of 9-18. They finished third in the district team standings, behind Delsea and Vineland. A team with a multitude of freshman varsity contributors, this is a program on the rise. It will not be long before they return to the level of Kingsway wrestling teams of the past.
Boys Basketball: Coach Drew Owen’s finished his second campaign as the head coach with a record of 15-12. It was an extremely rewarding season for Coach Owens, as they only had 2 returning starters.
They also had to incorporate a slew of transfers, as well as kids new to the varsity level. They were able to form a solid unit, where each person knew their roles. Their leading scorer was junior Ray Lawry.
They lost in the second round of the South Jersey Group 3 playoffs to top-seeded Hammonton. The Kingsway cheerleaders, led by Coach Dawn Marchetti, enthusiastically supported the boys and girls teams throughout the season, bringing excitement and school spirit to the gym.
Girls Basketball: Going into the season, there may have been some concerns about the youth of the girls basketball team. As usual, however, Coach Karyn Pickard was able to take a group of neophytes and mold them into a top-notch group.
The Lady Dragons finished with an impressive 15-13 record in the Royal Division, one of the toughest divisions in South Jersey. They made it to the second round of the South Jersey Group 3 playoffs.
Their leading scorer was freshman Zoe Hahn, while Ally Gallagher usually was their top rebounder. Seniors Caroline Otten and Nadine Rucci provided steady guidance and experience, too. With two freshmen, one sophomore, and one junior in this year’s normal starting lineup (as well as a host of solid underclassman bench players, the future looks extremely bright.
Girls Swimming: Coach Caitlin Hess had a young team that grew as the season progressed. Their 2-6 record did not reflect the change in attitude in the program.
A big win over a good Glassboro team accentuated the positive trend of the program. They also finished fifth in the conference. They were All-Conference in five events.
AJ Zahniser was the top point scorer for the team this season. With a bevy of middle schoolers coming in next year as well as the bulk of the team returning, the team will only improve.
Boys Swimming: As a first year head coach, Coach Caitlin Hess was tasked with restructuring the culture of the swim program. They had a stellar 7-3 record and were fifth in the conference. They had a signature win over perennial power GCIT.
While they did not have one standout individually, they had a group of solid swimmers who collectively made a very good unit. Jimmy Amorebella was the top point scorer this season. They were All-Conference in 7 events. After seeing what she did this season, the program looks to be a powerhouse soon.
Boys Bowling: After losing state champion Diante Field to graduation, many thought the boys team would be down this season. However, Coach Mike Mulligan and the team proved prognosticators wrong by finishing with an outstanding 21-11 record. This was the best division record in school history. With returners Connor Bell and Ryan Waddington leading the way, the boys will be formidable next year. Coach Mulligan has this program pointed in the right direction.
Girls Bowling: While the boys team has gotten its fair share of the headlines last year, this year was the girls time to shine. Like last year, they were able to win the Patriot Division title (out of the Olympic Conference) under Coach Mike Mulligan and Coach Angel Sheridan. Led by Jackie Keene, Kate Bardall, and Laken Owen, these girls have set a two-year standard that will be the measuring stick for future squads.
Boys Winter Track and Field: Coach Christian Lynch had a well-rounded boys team that certainly made their mark as one of the top teams in New Jersey. The team highlight was when the team beat powerhouse Timber Creek to
The 4×800 team won the state championship. There were 11 All-Conference members. They sent their 4xmile relay as well as Derrell Manhertz to Nationals. Manhertz also won the State Group 3 and South Jersey titles, breaking meet records at every stop and establishing himself as one of the fastest runners in New Jersey and US history.
Girls Winter Track and Field: The girls squad continued their fine tradition under Coach Christian Lynch. They broke a multitude of school records and sent their 4×400 and sprint medley relays to Nationals.
Nine girls were All-Conference members. Individual state titles were won by Thaila Cooper (400m) and Tara Daniels (shot put). The shot put relay, sprint medley relay, and 4×400 relays also won state titles. The pinnacle of the season was at the State Group 3 Relay Championships. The anchor leg of the 4×400 relay came from 20 meters behind to out-lean favored Winslow in that racing to clinch the State Group 3 team championship.
As evidenced by this roundup, the Dragons are on a roll, collectively, in athletics. This spring, they’ll look to pass the torch to boys tennis, boys volleyball, baseball, softball, girls track, and boys track. It should be an exciting spring season!