Kingsway winter sports continued to shine as usual. However, what really stood out are some of the new pieces in the department.
With new head coaches in girls basketball and swimming, along with the implementation of the girls wrestling program, Kingsway certainly had a new look this winter. Here is a breakdown of the winter season:
Bowling: The Kingsway boys bowling team had an excellent season, going 8-2-3. The boys finished second in the Tri-County Conference Royal Division. They were in the race until the last week of the season. Alex Horchuk and Garrett Patella earned post-season all-star honors.
Meanwhile. the Kingsway girls bowling team had to go one without graduated star Katie Robb and certainly felt the impact of that loss with a 2-10-1 record. However, they did have many freshman join the program which bodes well for the future.
Boys Basketball- The Kingsway boys basketball team, under Coach Marcus Robinson, continued its dominance of the Tri-County Conference Royal Division, winning the title with a 7-1 divisional record. This was the third consecutive division title for the Dragons.
Overall, they had a record of 14-11. They made the South Jersey Group 4 playoffs where they lost to Rancocas Valley, 58-43. Jaelin Keels, William Pollick, and Alex Odom earned All-Conference honors.
Girls Basketball- The Kingsway girls basketball team, under first year head coach Lamont Robinson, was able to amass an overall record of 23-5. Within the Tri-County Conference Royal Division, they went 7-1, winning the divisional title. They made the South Jersey Group 4 playoffs as the third seed and consistently were ranked in the top 10 in South Jersey all season. They ended up losing to rival Cherokee, 44-29, in the semifinal round. Senior Morgan Robinson led the way, earning All-State Group 4 3rd team and All-Conference 1st Team honors.
The Kingsway cheerleaders, led by Coach Colleen Addeo, enthusiastically supported the boys’ and girls’ teams throughout the season, helping to create a strong home-court advantage.
Boys Swimming: Taking over for the highly successful coach, Caitlin Hess, was Shane Tubb, who led the boys to a 8-2 record. Team-wise, they finished second in the Tri-County Conference Royal Division, seventh at the South Jersey Invitational, and fourth at the Gloucester County Championships. However, their breakthrough performance was at the Tri-County Showcase, where they won the team championship.
Post-season honors went to Nathan Jess, Richie Jaramillo, Connor Bowen, Jack Schell, the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays, and Colin Hickey, who continues to establish himself as one of the best divers in New Jersey. Hickey also was the South Jersey diving champion.
Girls Swimming: The girls swim team, headed by Coach Shane Tubb, had a spectacular record of 7-1, their fifth consecutive winning record. They won the Tri-County Royal Division title as well as the Tri-County Showcase meet. They finished fourth at the South Jersey Invitational and second at the Gloucester County Championships. They earned the third seed in the South Jersey Group 4 playoffs.
Postseason all-star honors went to Olivia Smith, Abigail Miller, Abby Miller, Lyndsay Warner, Allison Berkoben, Aubrey Miller, Cara Heino, Jenna Sprigman, and Kelsey Tirpak.
Boys Winter Track and Field: The winter track program, under Coach Christian Lynch, continued to be among the elite programs in New Jersey. They traveled to Pennsylvania where they won their second consecutive Ursinus Invitational team title. Stone Caraccio won the South Jersey Group 4 title in the mile. Orion Joyner was the best triple jumper in New Jersey and qualified for the National Championships. Sam Allen finished second in the mile racewalk at Nationals, while Kyle Rakitis finished third in the freshman mile. Nine boys were named all-conference.
Girls Winter Track and Field: The girls’ squad, who lost many stars including Alexis Mullarkey and Kylie Anicic, continued to impress under Coach Christian Lynch, showing they had one of the best teams in New Jersey. They won the Ursinus Invitational team title in Pennsylvania. State qualifiers were Ashlynne Burke, Allie Pierontoni, Autumn DeMary, and Allison Bobst. Nine girls were named all-conference.
Girls Wrestling: This season was the inaugural season for the Kingsway girls wrestling program. Coach Farid Syed and Coach Mike Barikian had over 40 girls come out for the program, and they quickly became one of the top programs in New Jersey. Mia Bruno, Olivia Heyer, Rebecca Brown, and Kat Bott qualified for the states in their first season of wrestling at Kingsway.
Boys Wrestling: Coming into the season with a large number of their boys who made it to the South Jersey Group 5 final last year, expectations were high, and this team certainly met those expectations. They swept through the division, winning the Tri-County Conference Royal Division title and had an overall record of 17-7.
They defeated Clearview 47-16 to win the South Jersey Group 4 championship and then defeated state powerhouse Phillipsburg 26-20 to win the New Jersey Group 4 championship. They also won the District 32 team title. Bell, Alieis Almanzar, Finn McFadden, and Dakota Morris won district titles. Bell and McFadden won Region 8 titles. Coach Barikian was named the District 32 and Region 8 coach of the year.
This spring, the boys’ tennis, boys volleyball, baseball, softball, girls track, and boys track teams will look to carry on the momentum garnered from the winter. Just like the winter, the mixture of old and new should result in similar winning results for Kingsway.
By Christian Lynch