Colts Neck High School and Marlboro High School did not get the most attention among athletic programs in central New Jersey this spring. But both schools fielded programs that posted strong seasons in 2019.
Eight varsity teams, four at each school, stood out. They are highlighted below.
Colts Neck baseball
The Colts Neck baseball team finished 12-9 and reached the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 3 sectional tournament quarterfinals, losing to Wall Township High School, 3-1.
Outfielder Reece Horncek and designated hitter Rob Mannino were named to the All-Shore Conference Third Team after the season. Mannino, a junior this spring, will be back in 2020.
Colts Neck softball
The Colts Neck softball team went 15-10 this past spring, with a few postseason victories on that record as well. The Cougars reached the second round of the Shore Conference Tournament and the quarterfinals of the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 3 sectional tournament.
Top pitcher Ava Metzger finished 11-6 with a 2.95 earned run average and 135 strikeouts in 116 innings. Mya Mancini and Erica Cunningham both batted .346 and produced more than 30 runs.
Only Mancini was a senior in 2019. Metzger and Cunningham will both be back.
Colts Neck boys’ volleyball
These Cougars finished 13-10 and qualified for the NJSIAA Central Jersey Tournament, losing to Bridgewater-Raritan High School, 2-0, in the first round.
T.J. Briscoe and Ryan Marut recorded 182 and 130 kills, respectively. Dante Cano posted 304 assists. Out of that trio, Cano is the only one slated to return in 2020.
Colts Neck boys’ tennis
Colts Neck had a really strong boys’ tennis team in 2019. It finished 14-4 and in first place in the Central Jersey, Group 3 standings. The Cougars ultimately fell in the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 3 sectional tournament semifinals to Princeton High School, 5-0.
Top singles player Tarun Sudabathula, second singles player Taro Suzuki and third singles player Shrish Silvan formed the core of Colts Neck’s lineup. The Cougars will have some rebuilding to do next year, as all three players were seniors.
Marlboro’s baseball team only went 10-13 in 2019, but it made a lot of noise in the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 4 sectional tournament, reaching the semifinals as a No. 15 seed. The Mustangs upset two higher seeds, Hillsborough High School and Hightstown High School, in the first two rounds.
Josh Schleifman led the first round victory over Hillsborough on May 20, pitching a complete game. Vin Ferrigno, Ramon Fontanes and Julian Buchman sparked the second victory by driving in multiple runs. All but Ferrigno will be back in 2020.
Marlboro boys’ tennis
The Marlboro boys’ tennis team had a sparkling season in 2019, going 19-1 and winning the Shore Conference Tournament with a 5-0 victory over Holmdel High School on May 6. Marlboro ultimately lost in the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 4 sectional tournament semifinals, 4-1 to West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South.
The team’s singles lineup of Eitan Khromchenko at No. 1, Vasista Linga at No. 2 and Lawrence Wang at No. 3 was difficult for opponents to match all spring. They will all be back next year, too.
Marlboro boys’ volleyball
The Marlboro boys’ volleyball squad finished 13-9 and qualified for the NJSIAA Central Jersey Tournament, losing in the first round to East Brunswick High School, 2-0.
Logan Toran, Nick Brzoska and Noah Lee recorded 174, 118 and 110 kills, respectively. Garrett Hartman posted 221 digs.
Brzoska was only a freshman in 2019, so he will be back to lead the program for years to come.
These Mustangs went 16-10 and reached the quarterfinals of the Shore Conference Tournament. They also qualified for the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 4 sectional tournament, though they lost in the first round.
Jody Thomas and Ally Hochstader powered a prolific lineup, as both hitters batted over .400 and produced more than 40 runs.
Hochstader, who was only a freshman this year, will be a cornerstone for the Mustangs over the next three years.