Redbirds hoping to qualify for tourneys in rebuilding year


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By Wayne Witkowski

It’s one thing to have growing pains, but they hurt even more for a team having to rebuild from the loss of graduated All-American Dakota Wojcik and four outstanding defensemen like Allentown High School’s boys lacrosse team has had to do.

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With 10 players graduated — eight of them starters — the Redbirds have had an up and down season, going 3-4 overall and 2-3 in the Colonial Valley Conference (CVC) Patriot Division heading into this week. Some players have begun to pick up the pace, as the Redbirds have shown signs of getting some momentum of late heading into a big week with games. They were slated to play at home against West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North April 26 for Senior Night before playing against Hopewell Valley Central High School April 29 and at Westfield High School May 2 in nonconference action.

Mercer County Tournament seedings come out April 29. Both the boys team and the girls team, which is also hovering around .500 at 5-4 coming into this week, look to step it up in the days ahead with cutoffs looming for county and NJSIAA tournaments.

“Things are going great,” boys lacrosse coach Carl Schubauer said. “Anytime you lose that many players from last season, it’s a big factor. The boys are stepping up and filling spots nicely.”

That was evident in the latest game before this week, a 9-4 victory over West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South. James Neebling scored two of his three goals in the second quarter, when the Redbirds snapped a 2-2 tie for a 5-2 lead at halftime. Jared Jordan, a freshman midfielder, added a goal in that quarter.

Neebling leads the way with 13 goals this season.

Senior attack Michael Dacey, a returning starter, scored two goals and had an assist, and junior Connor Provist had a goal and an assist.

For the season, Dacey has 10 goals, which is second best on the team.

Tanner Ferrara, a senior, is the only other returning starter but moves from goalkeeper to long pole middie. Zack Powdermaker, a junior, is the goalie this year.

Schubauer also praised the efforts of senior Mike Hogan, who the coach said earned a position in the depleted defense with his superb play. Jason Rider also has excelled as a defensive midfielder.

Schubauer feels his team isn’t the only one in the CVC going through growing pains.

“A lot of teams this year [in the CVC] have had a big shakeup — a lot graduated last year — and they’re coming along,” Schubauer said. “We had a slow start and have been making adjustments. It’s all sorts of little things everywhere, not one area of the field. We’re just coming together as a whole, and I’m very happy with the progress of late.”

Juniors Jeremy Kleinwaks on defense and Nick Stagnitti in the midfield have developed as starters, and Dan Drew as an attack rotates into the lineup.

Girls lacrosse

The Redbirds, coming off a 20-7 blowout victory over South Brunswick High School April 22 that snapped a two-game losing streak, plays Shore Regional High School April 27.

Kali Hartshorn leads the way with 37 goals and 23 assists heading into this week, and her sister, sophomore Marin Hartshorn, follows with 24 goals, including seven against South Brunswick. Alyssa Sloane has 18 goals and 11 assists.

Allentown lost, 11-8, April 21 to Princeton High School, which scored the last four goals of the game, as the Hartshorn sisters were held to one goal each. Kaitlyn Bergen had two goals and an assist, and Shae O’Leary scored to give Allentown an 8-7 lead it could not hold.

Allentown also lost, 20-12, April 18 to Hopewell Valley, which took a 13-4 lead at halftime. The Hartshorn sisters each scored five goals.


Allentown comes into the week 11-2 after wining two of three games last week.

Alyssa Ariano had three hits and Heather Devine scattered six hits with six strikeouts as Allentown beat Lawrence High School, 8-5, April 23.

A day earlier, it split two games, losing, 11-10, to North Hunterdon High School in eight innings and beating Moorestown High School, 13-3.

Alyssa Notarianni drove in three runs in each game and had five hits combined. The freshman leads the Redbirds in batting with an average of .533 with 21 RBIs, seven doubles and two home runs coming into this week.

Ariano bats .533 with seven RBIs, and Devine is hitting .409 with eight RBIs.

The Redbirds were scheduled to play Robbinsville High School April 25 and at Hopewell Valley April 27. They visit East Brunswick High School April 28, host Ewing High School April 29 and play at Hightstown High School May 2.


Allentown (4-6) looks to snap a three-game losing streak this week and keep its hopes alive for tournament qualification.

The Redbirds played Steinert High School April 25 and Lawrence April 27. They play Lawrence again April 29 before a game against Princeton April 30.

Allentown sandwiched a pair of 5-0 losses to Hopewell Valley and Hamilton High School West around a 6-5 loss to Hopewell Valley.

Ryan Huth went 3-for-3 and batted in two runs in the 6-5 loss. Allentown was held to six hits in the two losses.

Frank DelGuercio leads Allentown in batting with an average of .387. He also has four RBIs.

Outdoor track and field

Sophomore Kassidy Mulryne, who competed in the NJSIAA Indoor Track and Field Meet of Champions in the high jump in March, finished fourth outdoors in the Mercer County Relays high jump at 4-10 and third in the long jump at 15-4½ April 23.

Carly Roche finished fourth in the pole vault (9-0) and Lorna Drexler threw the javelin 87-3 for fifth, as the Redbirds finished seventh in the team standings.

The distance medley (13:02.2) and the sprint medley (4:19.75) had third-place finishes, while the shuttle hurdles was fourth in 1:12.72 and the 4×800 relay was sixth in 10:05.03.

For the boys, the sprint medley (3:53.39) and shuttle hurdles (1:15.11) relays each finished fifth to top the Redbirds’ efforts.

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