NJ Hockey, Swimming, Bowling, Track: Breakthrough Stars of 2022

We looked at some of the top Shore Conference athletes as the hockey, swim, bowling and indoor lane season kicked off and kept an eye out for more players in our “Here are 42 athletes who stood out in December.”

But now that the postseason is not far away, more athletes have exceeded expectations with “breakout” seasons. Let’s take a look at some of the best that haven’t gotten their dues yet or deserve more credit.


Christian Chouha, Christian Brothers Academy

The sophomore forward, after scoring four goals in his debut season, scored in CBA’s opening night 3-0 win over then No. 1 Don Bosco Prep and has not held back, scoring four goals in the past week to complete his season tally. carry to 14. When CBA won a rematch with Bosco, Chouha handed out an assist. The Colts started this week as the only undefeated team in the elite Gordon Conference.

Hockey players have breakout seasons

Dakota Vastola, St. John Vianney

The 6-foot-4, 190-pound sophomore defenseman has “great size and talent that is one of the best for his grade in New Jersey,” said preseason coach Mick Messemer. Vastola had four goals and four assists until January 16.

Brandon Gronau, Middletown South

The senior forward has five goals and four assists for nine points. He had two goals in the Eagles’ 7-0 and 8-2 wins over Morris Knolls and Jackson Liberty.

Charlie Tallman, Rumson-Fair Haven

Tallman, a senior striker, has four goals. He scored two goals in the Bulldogs’ 7-1 win over Manasquan.

Virginia Avery, Trinity Hall

The freshman defenseman picked up a pair of assists on her high school debut — an 8-2 win over Westfield — and continued to contribute to the Monarchs, one of two remaining undefeated teams in the New Jersey Interscholastic Girls Ice Hockey League.

Jack Toye, Brick

Toye, a senior, has 12 goals and five assists. He had a hat-trick in the Green Dragons’ 4-1 win over Central.

Matthew Leonard, Southern

The senior striker has seven goals and two assists for nine points. He had a hat-trick and assisted in the Rams’ 6-2 victory over Toms River East.

Corey van den Berg, Central

The senior has 11 goals and six assists for 17 points. He had a hat-trick in the Golden Eagles’ 4-4 tie with Toms River East and two goals and two assists in Central’s 6-2 win over Red Bank.

Jason Hook, Wall

The senior forward has six goals and 14 assists for 20 points. He played three games with three points.

Tony Brandl, Howell

Brandl, a sophomore striker, has 11 goals and five assists for 16 points. He had two goals in Howell’s 5-2 win over Central and both of the team’s goals in a 5-2 defeat to Southern.

Lake:High School Winter Sports Player of the Week: Any winner of our weekly polls on APP.com

Boys bowling

Bowlers with breakout seasons (file photo)

Matthew Baxter, Toms River East

Outside of the established names like Dan Robertson of Jackson Memorial and Joe Spagnola of Barnegat, few roll better than Baxter. He achieved an average of 215.5 this winter.

Nino Cantalupo, Manchester Township

Cantalupo rolled the second highest run at the Brick Tournament. He threw a 691, just behind Burlington’s Nick Mehalchick’s 699 series.

Tommy Hastry, Matawan

Hastry has one of the highest averages in the Shore Conference this year at 218.5.

Anthony Paulucci, Manalapan

Paulucci has quietly been an excellent bowler this year. His average score this season so far is 208.2.

Justin Tilton, Brick Memorial

The Brick Memorial girls’ team has been a perennial winner over the years, but the boys’ team has raised many stars, such as Tilton. He achieved an average of 205.1 this winter.

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