The Rumson-Fair Haven High School boys’ basketball team seeks to build on the momentum of last year’s Central Jersey, Group 2 state tournament championship.
The Bulldogs finished with a 25-3 record last winter when they beat Arthur J. Johnson High School of Clark, 57-51, in the Central Jersey, Group 2 final. Rumson-Fair Haven’s season came to an end when it was eliminated by Camden High School, 65-49, in the semifinals of the Group 2 state tournament.
Head coach Chris “Shempy” Champeau felt that his current Bulldog squad has the talent to compete at a high level again this year. He is confident due to the depth his team features.
“I expect us to have a good year,” Champeau said. “We have a lot of people coming back, including some new players. So we have good depth and experience on the team.”
The coach praised the offense his Bulldogs play, but defense must come through in order to win another state sectional title.
“We’re going to have to defend as a team,” he said. “We have a lot of great shooters and a lot of great offensive players, but, in order to win in the playoffs, you have to defend.”
A variety of veteran and young talent will be featured this season.
“We have two of our seniors,” Champeau said. “Teddy Sourlis and Jack Solano. They were two of the top three point shooters in the state last year, so we’re expecting them to do well this year as well. We also have a senior point guard in Devin Cooper who’s a transfer from Red Bank Regional High School who’s really good as well.”
“We have a few underclassmen as well that should play really well for us,” the coach said. “Ian O’Connor and Jackson McCarthy are both 6’5 juniors that we really like. Phillip Wheeler is a 6-7 sophomore that we think can make a huge impact for us this year. He can do it all. Sky. Dunk. Shoot. Defend. He can really do it all.”
Other notable Rumson-Fair Haven players are seniors Elijah McAllister, Jason Hall, Brad Herkimer and Alex Sloan, junior Ryan McCann and sophomore Drew Frankel.
The Bulldogs will begin their campaign on Dec. 19 when they travel to Matawan High School for a 6:30 p.m. game.