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.
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
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.
Mikalah Carter, Brick Memorial
In a stacked Brick Memorial team, Carter makes a name for himself. Her average this winter is 188.5.
Madison Mosley, Howell
Mosley has one of the highest average runs this year. Her average of 199.49 is fifth best in the Shore Conference.
Kristi Nardiello, Brick Township
Nardiello threw the highest game in the Brick Tournament, a 266.
Gianna Remo, Freehold Borough
Remo surprised at first. She has an average of 188.9 this year, one of the highest totals in the Shore Conference.
Daren Chen, Ranney School
Chen is a freshman and he has already made a big impression on the Panthers swim program. He has put in solid times in the 200 IM (1:54.15) and 100 chest (1:00.05) and should be a contender in those events at the Shore Conference meeting. Chen currently holds the 200 IM and 100 breast school records at Ranney School.
Allen Zhou, Ranney School
Zhou is a junior in the Panthers program and also a top scorer. He recorded respectable times in the 100 back (57.28) and the 100 fly (1:00.05). Zhou should be a name you hear at the Shore Conference meeting.
Kevin Carr, Freehold Township
Carr is a freshman for the Patriots and he is consistently in the top four places, at least being enrolled during the 2021-2022 season. His best time in the 100 chest was 1:10.77 in a second-place finish against Long Branch. He won 100 flies twice (1:04.18 and 1:13.00) in victories over Middletown North and Ocean. In his best event, the 200 IM, he won the race six of the seven times he stepped on the platform. His best time of the season (2:06.33) came in a win over Long Branch.
Hunter Kuenzel, Holmdel
Kuenzel broke into the limelight last season and he has now continued solid performances into his sophomore year. Kuenzel has racked up numerous first-place finishes for the Hornets this season in events such as the 100 Back (56.06 vs Rumson-Fair Haven), 100 Free (54.04 vs Shore), the 200 Free (1:58.53 vs Shore), and the 500 Free (4 :49.25 vs Rumson Fair Haven).
Jacob Werner, Southern
Werner is a regular member of the Rams’ 200 Free Relay and 400 Free Relay Units, who have taken a number of first and second places this season. Additionally, Werner has racked up a ton of team points with individual success in events like the 500 Free (5:38.03 vs Barnegat), 200 IM (2:20.89 vs Cedar Creek), 200 Free (2:03.08 vs Barneat) , 100 free (0:57.42 vs. Cedar Creek) and 100 flies (1:05.18 vs. Brick Memorial).
Francesca Fields, Southern
Fields is having a fantastic first year for the Rams. She has swam in all three relays and is this season’s leading individual points scorer in events such as the 100 Chest (1:12.48 against Point Boro), the 100 Fly (1:04.37 against Toms River East), the 100 Free (1:00.34 against Point Boro). Barnegat), and the 200 IM (2:28.29 against Point Boro).
Sam Dugan, Toms River South
Dugan, a junior, showed her versatility in a recent encounter against Brick on January 4. She was in the winning 200 medley relay (2:02.78) and 400 free relay (4:10.61) and also had success in 50 free (26.54, first place).
Ella Cohn, Donovan Catholic
Cohn, a sophomore, has made the Griffins a success in several encounters this season. She has been a consistent top 3 scorer in the 100 fly (1:07.50 against Barnegat) and as a member of the 200 medley relay (2:08.19 against Barnegat) and in the 400 free relay (4: 18.66 against Barnegat).
Kylie Spalt, Manasquan
Spalt, a sophomore, has swum the 100 breast (1:21.63 against Barnegat), 100 free (1:05.45 against St. Rose), the 200 free (2:19.23 against St. Rose), and the 500 free (4:53.73). vs Ocean) with great results. She also contributed to strong performances in the 200 free relay and the 200 medley relay.
Elizabeth Wright, Rumson-Fair Haven
Wright, a senior, has been a top performer for the Bulldogs all season. She took several first places in the 100 free (2:03.24 against Ocean) and as a member of the 200 medley relay (2:01.34 against Ocean), the 400 free relay (3:51.62 against Ocean). She also took second place in the 50 free (26.0 against Holmdel) and in the 500 free (5:34.75 against Holmdel).
Jack McBarron, Rumson-Fair Haven
After contributing to the Bulldogs’ post-season success in the spring, McBarron rode a great time indoors to help the 4×800 unit (8:23.34) to the Monmouth County Relays Championship.
Diego Rodriguez, Toms River North
In addition to teammates Teddy Wilson, Jack Cordiano and Matt Sabo, Rodriguez led the Mariners to an overall championship at the Ocean County Relays. They ran an 8:21.67 in the 4×800, narrowly beating Manchester Township.
Ben Skrincosky, CBA
The Colts were left without a number of key runners due to illness, but athletes like Skrincosky stepped up to lead CBA to its 30th non-public A Relay title. He ran in the shuttle hurdles, the 4×200 and took first place in the pole vault with a 10-6.
Gabe Stypul, Rumson-Fair Haven
Stypul, a major points scorer for the Bulldogs in the spring, took home the pole vault title over the Monmouth County Relays with a high of 11-6.
Paige Dezenforf, Donovan Catholic
Dezenforf continued her long track record by giving another big performance at the Non-Public A Relays. She was third in the shot put with a 33-8.1.
Ava Ellis, Toms River North
The sophomore joined Emma Fortuna, Ayo Folwewo and Lia Malave to win the shuttle hurdles at the Ocean County Relays in the season’s best indoor time, with the Mariners winning the game to capture Southern’s 14-year dominance .
Fiona Olsen, St. Rose
A high jump win by Olsen propelled the Purple Roses to an overall win in the private A relay. The freshman’s best jump was 4-4.
Emerson Dirk, Toms River East
The junior at the Ocean County Relays was able to win 9-0 in pole vault (matching winner and teammate Nina Casalino) and added top three finishes in pole vault and high jump in the Group 3 relays.