Farewell South Jersey athletes, coaches, parents, fellow writers and others who have made my five years, five months of covering sports full-time in the area a memorable and enriching experience.
After today, I no longer will be a staff writer for The Inquirer. It's time for me to move on. I have a project that will keep me busy for a year or more and it will occupy most of my time.
The rest of the time? You might see my by-line like this: By Bill Iezzi, For The Inquirer. I'd like that. Hope you do, too.
Mentioned: Burlington County Institute of Technology | Clearview Regional High School | Rancocas Valley Regional High School | Deptford Township High School | Camden Catholic High School | Lenape High School | Glassboro High School | Holy Cross High School | Cherry Hill High School East | Burlington County Institute of Technology | Cinnaminson High School | Haddon Township High School | Gloucester City Jr-Sr High School | Lower Cape May Regional High School | Cherry Hill High School West | Pitman High School | Camden County Technical Schools | Haddonfield Memorial High School | Moorestown High School | Cherokee High School | Mainland Regional High School | Kingsway Regional High School | Shawnee High School | Audubon Jr./Sr. High School | Pennsauken High School | Absegami | Atlantic City | Bishop Eustace | Bordentown | Bridgeton | Buena | Burlington City | Burlington Township | Camden | Cape May Tech | Clayton | Collingswood | Cumberland | Delran | Delsea | Eastern | Egg Harbor Township | Florence | Gateway | Gloucester | Gloucester Catholic | Gloucester Christian | Gloucester County Tech | Haddon Heights | Hammonton | Highland | Holy Spirit | Lindenwold | Maple Shade | Mercer Christian | Middle Township | Millville | Moorestown Friends | Northern Burlington | Oakcrest | Ocean City | Our Lady of Mercy | Palmyra | Paulsboro | Peddie School | Pemberton | Pennington | Penns Grove | Pennsauken Tech | Pennsville | Pleasantville | Riverside | Salem | Schalick | Seneca | St. Augustine | St. Joseph | Sterling | Timber Creek | Triton | Vineland | West Deptford | Wildwood | Wildwood Catholic | Williamstown | Willingboro | Winslow Township | Woodbury | Woodrow Wilson | Woodstown | Overbrook (NJ) | Sacred Heart NJ | Washington Twp.
Pennsville didn't score one goal in its Tri-County Classic Division loss to visiting Gloucester Tuesday. However, the Eagles' goalkeeper shined in the season-opening 5-0 loss.
It could have been much more lopsided if Emily MacGrath had not been up to the task. The junior faced 18 shots in the first half, when Gloucester relaxed with a 2-0 lead.
After intermission, MacGrath faced 14 more shots and stopped all but three. The 11th grader wasn't afraid to dart out of the cage to cut down angles of the attackers. She was just as fearless between the posts.
The Penns Grove softball team is a puzzle. Ask Kingsway and Pennsville.
Below .500 at the cutoff date for entering the playoffs, No. 10-seeded Penns Grove eliminated No. 3 Pennsville from the NJSIAA tournament on May 31, 6-5. Which means that the Red Devils, with a 7-12 record, plays No. 5 Gloucester City for the South Group 1 championship on June 3.
Penns Grove was the team that handed then No. 1-ranked Kingsway a 4-1 defeat early in the season.
I recently returned from a long trip and noticed some newcomers to The Inquirer's Top 10 wrestling teams in South Jersey.
Pennsville moved into seventh place and Lenape and Delsea slipped into the ninth and final spots, respectively.
Keep an eye on those three teams. All appear to be headed for successful seasons.
Pennsville football coach Ryan Wood says that quarterback Kenny Emmons will remain sidelined for Friday's game against visiting Glassboro.
Emmons has missed most of the past two games with a hairline fracture in his fibula. In his place freshman Dylan Cummings has thrown for 427 yards and four touchdowns.
Both Glassboro and Pennsville are 5-0 and are among the many contenders in South Jersey Group 1.
Dustin Fowler delivered a second-half goal and one of the most unlikely boys’ soccer victories of the season Tuesday as Deptford won its first game this fall, 1-0, over visiting Williamstown in the Tri-County Conference.
The Spartans (1-7) had been outscored by 19-4 in their first seven games, but fashioned a defensive effort that held Royal Division contender Williamstown (6-3) to six shots at Deptford goalie Mike Bonanno.
Fowler converted an assist from Harpreet Singh for the goal with 14 minutes, 22 seconds left in the second half.
Mentioned: Clearview Regional High School | Deptford Township High School | Lenape High School | Cherry Hill High School East | Pitman High School | Cherokee High School | Bishop Eustace | Buena | Cape May Tech | Cumberland | Delsea | Gloucester County Tech | Highland | Middle Township | Moorestown Friends | Pennsville | Salem | Schalick | Seneca | Timber Creek | Triton | Wildwood | Wildwood Catholic | Williamstown | Winslow Township
An own goal in double overtime ended 10th-ranked Clearview’s 2-1 win at No. 5 Eastern yesterday in a nonleague girls’ soccer showdown.
Thanks to a first-half goal by Kelley Alpaugh, the Pioneers (6-2-1) appeared to have the victory in hand. But Kelsey Long of Eastern (6-2) tied it with eight seconds left in regulation.
The deciding score came when a shot by Clearview’s Mackenzie Landon deflected off a defender and into the Vikings’ net. The goalies — Deana Wood of Eastern and Clearview’s Lauren West — combined for 27 saves.
Third-ranked Gloucester Catholic (8-0-1) used two goals apiece from Chelsea Duffy and Korrie Harkins to pull away to a 6-0 romp at Clayton (8-3), in a battle between division leaders.
Shawnee survived being a player short for the last five minutes of yesterday’s Olympic Conference boys’ soccer game as it battled visiting Cherokee to a 1-1 standoff in a meeting of top 10 teams.
The Renegades (6-1-1), ranked No. 7 in South Jersey by The Inquirer, got on the board first with a 25-yard goal from Jesse Shea.
Ninth-ranked Cherokee (3-2-1) came back and knotted the score with 12 minutes remaining as Brandon Tarzy headed in a cross from Dave Schlatter.
Shawnee lost a player to a red card late in the second half but goalie Mike Hartman kept the Chiefs from scoring again.
Also in the Olympic, Shea McGee’s second goal of the game was a header off a throw-in in overtime that wrapped up Seneca’s 3-2 thriller at Winslow Township. The Eagles tied the game with 10 minutes left in regulation on Pat Nelson’s goal.
Cherry Hill West turned second-half goals by Ramadan Dayyan and Connor Quigley into a 2-0 triumph at Paul VI.
Lenape rebounded from its first loss of the season with a 6-1 win at Triton in which Rocco Gambino and Marc Ruggia contributed two goals apiece.
Mentioned: Holy Cross High School | Cherry Hill High School East | Cherry Hill High School West | Cherokee High School | Kingsway Regional High School | Shawnee High School | Bishop Eustace | Bordentown | Cape May Tech | Clayton | Gloucester | Gloucester Catholic | Highland | Middle Township | Paul VI | Pemberton | Pennsville | Pleasantville | Salem | Schalick | Seneca | Timber Creek | Triton | Wildwood | Wildwood Catholic | Winslow Township
The Cherry Hill East girls’ soccer team picked up its first victory of the season yesterday — at the expense of fourth-ranked Bishop Eustace.
A trio of juniors played key roles in helping the host Cougars (1-5) prevail, 2-0, in an Olympic Conference match.
Rachel Sindoni opened the scoring on a direct free kick from 35 yards out late in the first half, and Kaity Hartkopf added the clinching goal with 14 minutes to go in the game. Goalie Lauren Minkoff made seven saves to keep the Crusaders off the scoreboard.
It was the second loss in two days and the third consecutive road defeat for Bishop Eustace (3-3).
In other Olympic Conference matches:
Jill Hampton scored twice, and Katie Rigby produced a goal and two assists to lead second-ranked Lenape over visiting Triton, 5-0.
Mentioned: Clearview Regional High School | Deptford Township High School | Camden Catholic High School | Lenape High School | Glassboro High School | Cherry Hill High School East | Pitman High School | Kingsway Regional High School | Bishop Eustace | Buena | Clayton | Cumberland | Delsea | Eastern | Gloucester | Highland | Pennsville | Salem | Schalick | St. Joseph | Triton | Wildwood | Williamstown | Washington Twp.
According to observers at the Paul VI-Camden Catholic soccer game, the rain was coming down in sheets and at times seemed to be coming in sideways. But Eric Romanowski didn’t let the conditions bother him.
Romanowski took a cross from Cedric Lewis and ran through the rain and the Irish defense in overtime to give the Eagles a 1-0 victory in an Olympic Conference National Division game. It was the first win of the season for Paul VI (1-5).
Ryan Murphy earned the shutout in goal after stopping seven shots for the Eagles.
Mentioned: Clearview Regional High School | Deptford Township High School | Camden Catholic High School | Glassboro High School | Pitman High School | Kingsway Regional High School | Pennsauken High School | Bridgeton | Cumberland | Gateway | Gloucester Catholic | Gloucester County Tech | Hammonton | Highland | Lindenwold | Middle Township | Paul VI | Pemberton | Pennsville | Salem | Schalick | St. Joseph | West Deptford | Wildwood | Wildwood Catholic | Williamstown | Willingboro | Winslow Township