Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Phil Anastasia: Super Seven Power Rankings

The best teams in South Jersey, regardless of sport:

Phil Anastasia: Super Seven Power Rankings

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The best teams in South Jersey, regardless of sport:

1. Eastern field hockey (26-2): Veteran Shore Regional coach Nancy Williams said this was the best team in Danyle Heilig's 11 seasons at Eastern. That's like trying to compare Beatles' albums. Rubber Soul? Revolver? Sgt. Pepper's? With seven fully-focused seniors, these Vikings rolled through the post-season and won the program's 11th consecutive Group 4 state title and third Tournament of Champions title in the four years of the event.

2. Haddonfield girls' tennis (32-0): With everybody back, the Bulldogs conceivably could be even better next season. But if you look at what Jeff Holman's team did this season, especially in the Tournament of Champions, you wonder if that's even possible.

3. Lenape girls' soccer (24-1): It's tempting to say the Indians just "finished" one of the great three-year runs in South Jersey soccer history, with three consecutive state Group 4 titles as well as three consecutive Coaches Tournament titles. Then you remember all the young players on the roster, such as sensational sophomore Katie Rigby, and you suspect that Kevin Meder's team might not be "finished" anything.

4. Egg Harbor Township football (11-0): Quarterback Scott Miller has great feet and a nice arm. Plus, he's going to Harvard. EHT's matchup with Cherokee in the sectional finals is a classic clash of styles: the Eagles' speed against the Chiefs' power. Tony DeRosa's team can end all arguments about the No. 1 ranking with a victory. A Cherokee victory will have a half-dozen one-loss teams claiming they deserve the top spot.

5. Haddonfield boys' cross country (10-0): It's a measure of Nick Baker's team that the Bulldogs were disappointed to finish fourth in the Meet of Champions. How many programs, in every sport, would like to be No. 4 in the state? Three consecutive individual Group 2 state titles for senior Jon Vitez and three consecutive team Group 2 state titles for Haddonfield is the mark of one of the great runs in South Jersey cross country history.

6. Rancocas Valley boys' soccer (19-3-3): Between the Burlco Liberty Division, the Coaches Tournament, the state tournament and a monster non-league schedule, the Red Devils played more big games than any other program. They won most of them, too, including the Coaches Tournament title. Coach Damon Petras' team was South Jersey's best, based on a large body of work.

7. Delran boys' soccer (18-2-1): Coach Mike Otto's team capped a terrific season with a victory in the Group 2 state title game. Like Rancocas Valley, Delran was challenged on a daily basis in the Burlco Liberty. Unlike the Red Devils, the Bears were able to put together a great run in the state tournament.

-- Phil Anastasia

 

 

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