An incredible year of high school sports in the Shore Conference is capped off with a look back at the best moments captured by Shore Sports Zone cameras
Looking Back on 2016
by Shore Sports Zone owner and managing editor Rich Chrampanis
Four hundred and fifty three is the number of games and events that Shore Sports Zone cameras were able to capture in 2016. We are grateful for the generous support of each and every one of you who fuel us with kind words and compliments and support us by watching the great moments we capture on a daily basis. Coming up with Top 10 lists are always subjective and it’s just one man’s opinion, but the process is fun. The fact that dramatic overtime wins, walk-off moments and historic victories did not crack this list is a testament to how many great moments the athletes in the Shore Conference produces.
#10: Frankie Tagliaferri’s Mastery in the SCT Finals
It would have been so easy for the Colts Neck soccer star to “big time” high school soccer after playing for the US Under 17 National Team in the World Cup and scoring two goals in international competition. Yet, she returned to the Cougars and scored a season’s worth of goals in about a dozen games. This story is just beginning and soccer fans across the world will watch these videos years from now.
#9: Scottie Lewis/Bryan Antoine Top 10 Dunks
It’s almost unfair to hype a 9th grader, but that was the case for the Ranney duo of Scottie Lewis and Bryan Antoine, yet these two young men met the hype and then some. If you really love the game of basketball, make it a point to watch these two players showcase their wares in our backyard, because before you know it, they’ll be in the big time.
#8: The end of the Dalatri/Martorano era
CBA’s dominance on the diamond was a team effort, but the battery of Luca Dalatri and Brandon Martorano were the catalysts. Watching the numbers for Dalatri’s senior season were a benchmark that will be hard to replicate and Martorano has the tools on and off the field to not only be a big leaguer, but to be a true star in MLB. Watching them on the diamond for the last time as high schoolers in Lakewood was the perfect ending to their careers.
#7: Saint John Vianney wins the T of C
You can go all around the country scouring gyms looking for the best high school girls basketball and when it’s all said and done, it will be very hard pressed to find a better league than the Shore Conference. The Tournament of Champions is the ultimate barometer as state champions go head to head to claim the true best team in New Jersey. It was only fitting that the T of C finals was a Shore Conference affair and Saint John Vianney and Manasquan put on a spectacular show.
#6: Sebastian Rivera wins state wrestling title
The atmosphere of Atlantic City is tops when it comes to high school sports. Thousands of people watching one mat in the center of the arena. CBA’s Sebastian Rivera was down big in his finals match and it would have been easy to give up. But his last second pin (literally it came with one second!) was a sight to see. It’s why sports is always better than any reality TV – you can’t write a better script than this.
#5: Colts Neck wins at the buzzer for sectional title
Two locals battling so late in the season is always a treat. Someone is going to be happy and the atmosphere in Colts Neck’s gym was electric. Brendan Clarke will no doubt be sharing this video with his kids and grandkids many years from now.
#4: PJ Ringel’s emotional tribute to Dad
When PJ Ringel scored his first goal in the state soccer playoffs, I didn’t know what was going on. Sure, goals bring great emotion from the entire team, but this was different. At the half, I found out that PJ’s Dad passed away the day before in a car accident. His golden goal was something that truly transcends sports and it reminded me that there’s a lot of great kids that we cover each and every day who are on the path to great things on and off the field.
#3: The Mater Dei Miracle
Shore Sports Zone is all about video. We put almost all of our energy and effort into it. We don’t just want to get the highlight, we want to get it better than anyone else. Sometimes it takes a little good fortune and people staying out of the way of our lens and every once in a while it’s perfect. Alex Lorenzo got the biggest football play of the season, the Eddie Lewis hook and ladder to win the state title. He didn’t just get it, he shot it perfectly, so good that I’m worried that NFL Films is going to be calling and taking him away from SSZ. We love shooting all sports all year long, but high school football is our calling card. We love breaking down big games like ESPN breaks down the NFL and major college football. We could do a Top 10 Football list alone, but instead we give you the best of our best:
#2: Jason Groome’s 19 strikeout no-hitter
It’s funny, the record books will never have Barnegat’s win over Central Regional because of a forfeit due to NJSIAA transfer rules, but this video will cement forever that it actually happened. Jason Groome, in front of a sea of MLB scouts, showed why we was the first round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox. As I said in the highlights, Barnegat didn’t need to take their mitts out of the dugout for the final half of the game, because it was nothing but K’s.
#1: Mater Dei’s improbable comeback in the SCT
Before the Mater Dei football miracle, there was the basketball miracle. I still can’t believe it happened. In front of thousands at Monmouth University, this video will be a part of Seraphs history forever.
Our New Year’s Resolution for 2017?
To be back here this time next year with another Top 10 list. We talk about sponsors all the time, because it’s important to educate our audience that we can not exist without them. Every time a new business joins our team, we get to more games. We need one sponsor for every school and to continue to add sponsors like the US Army and Monmouth Building Center to allow us to showcase athletes year round. A special thanks to every one of our sponsors who have given us the chance to capture so many great moments. On behalf of every member of the Shore Sports Zone team, have a safe and Happy New Year. We won’t waste any time in 2017 – our first Monmouth Building Center Game Balls and Avon Game Puck nominees will be posted on Sunday morning!