What a year it has been for the Dragons. With a record haul of championships, Kingsway showed the rest of the conference as well as New Jersey that it has one of the most well-rounded athletic programs around.
Here is a sport-by-sport synopsis of the spring season.
Golf: Head Coach Dave Young, assisted by former Head Coach Hank Harrison, led his squad to an impressive 16-4 record, qualifying for the NJSIAA Tournament. They finished tied for second in the Tri-County Conference Royal Division. Grant Gardiner established himself as arguably the best golfer in South Jersey when he won the Carl Arena Tournament.
Girls Lacrosse: Head Coach Maggie Goodman and her assistant Sarah Robertson have slowly been building up this program over the years, and this year’s squad made it to the NJSIAA playoffs. The team highlight this year was their 10-8 win over Washington Twp., the first time they’ve been able to beat their county rival. They had four all-conference selections.
Boys Tennis: Head Coach Ed Moody returned to the sidelines for the Dragons this season, and he put his imprint on the program immediately. Assisted by long-time assistant Tom Keating, the boys were able to qualify for the NJSIAA tournament where they lost to Seneca. Led by stalwart and All-South Jersey Group 3 selection Peter Brennan, they had a 5-5 record in the Royal Division. They had three all-conference selections.
Boys Lacrosse: Head Coach Sean Dunn, who earned his 100th coaching victory this season in a win against Paul VI, continues to have his Dragons in position as one of the top programs in South Jersey. With assistants Kristian Ward and Dan Rozmes, Dunn led his very young team to their eighth consecutive trip to the state tournament, where they defeated Brick Twp. 16-10 (their fifth consecutive first round win) but later fell to state power Moorestown. They ended up with eight all-conference nominations. Senior Tim Kemner broke the school’s goals record as well as the single season points record. He also tied the Kingsway career points record. The program has 94 wins in 9 seasons.
Baseball: After starting off the season with an 0-8 record, Head Coach Ian Enders and his assistants, John Green and Dave Stanton, got their boys on track in a major way. They won the Joe Lang Classic, upsetting Pitman in the final. Ronnie Ippolite was named MVP of the tournament. They went 14-6 the rest of the way, earning a big must-win game over Delsea to make the playoffs. They then defeated Delsea again and made it to the South Jersey semifinals, before losing a heartbreaker to Burlington Township. John Paul Beshada led the team statistically, breaking the Kingsway career record for most hits in a career.
Softball: Head Coach Tony Barchuk and his assistants, Dave Dominik and Allison Lisa, had some rebuilding to do after graduating many stars off of last year’s team that made it all the way to the state title game. They did a masterful job of reinventing the Lady Dragons, as they won the division title again and made it to the South Jersey semifinals before falling to arch-nemesis Hammonton, 7-6. With 16 wins this season and having only four seniors on the squad, expectations will be high for this squad next year.
Girls Spring Track and Field: The girls’ squad continued their fine tradition under Head Coach Curtis Custis and his assistants, Michelle Carrocino and Caitlin Hess. They took down archrival Winslow to win the West Deptford Relays. They also finished second at the county, Woodbury Relays, Tri-County Conference, South Jersey, and State Group 3 championships. Tara Daniels (shot put and discus), Nikki Burns (javelin), and Thaila Cooper (400m) won South Jersey championships. Individual state titles were won by Thaila Cooper (400m).
Boys Spring Track and Field: The Dragons, led by Coach Mel Carter and assistants, Christian Lynch, Carmen Costa, and Jeff Riggs, showed themselves as one of the top teams in New Jersey. They won the Bridgeton Relays, the Woodbury Relays, and the South Jersey Large School race at Penn Relays. They defeated Delsea to win the Gloucester County Championship, earned their first win over Highland in program history to win the Royal Division title, and beat powerhouse Timber Creek to win the South Jersey Group 3 team championship. Individually, Derrell Manhertz won the State and South Jersey 800m titles, breaking the State Group 3 meet record and further establishing himself as one of the fastest runners in New Jersey and US history. He also anchored the 4×800 relay to the New Jersey Meet of Champions title as well. Austin Moore also won the South Jersey title in the 400 hurdles, while Dylan Altland won the South Jersey pole vault title, vaulting over 15 feet in the process.
All-in-all, this spring season successfully concluded a banner year for Kingsway. This is a testament to the commitment to excellence shown by everyone involved in the Dragon athletic program. Go Dragons!