It’s hard for two rival high schools from the same town to be good at a lot of different sports in the same season.
But that’s what Jackson Memorial High School and Jackson Liberty High School pulled off in the spring of 2019.
There were deep bases of athletic talent at both Jackson Township schools this past spring, which is rare for two schools within the same district. All of the successful teams at both schools deserve recognition, so we are going to give it to them.
Here is a rundown of Jackson’s 2019 spring sports season.
Jackson Memorial baseball and Jackson Liberty baseball
It was hard to tell these teams apart throughout the spring, as both enjoyed tremendous campaigns.
Jackson Memorial went 20-5 and won the Shore Conference’s A South Division. Jackson Liberty finished 23-4 and captured the Shore Conference’s B South Division.
Senior Alex Iadisernia and junior Ryan Lasko sparked Jackson Memorial’s lineup, with both players hitting over .400 and driving in more than 30 runs. Seniors David Melfi and Connor Keenan guided Jackson Liberty’s offense, with both batting over .400 and producing over 50 runs.
Neither team won a postseason trophy, but both enjoyed strong seasons.
Jackson Liberty softball
In softball, the Lions finished 18-7 and reached the quarterfinals of the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 3 sectional tournament, where they lost to Steinert High School, 9-0.
Offense was this team’s clear strength, as it averaged more than seven runs per game. Sophomore Ashleigh Tavaska, junior Emily Sanbeg and sophomore Emily Dubiago led the offense, with each player batting over .400 and producing more than 30 runs.
They will all be back next year, too, so the Lions should be really good again.
Jackson Memorial boys’ lacrosse and Jackson Liberty girls’ lacrosse
You don’t think of Jackson Memorial and Jackson Liberty as lacrosse powers in the Shore Conference, in either boys’ or girls’ lacrosse. But these two clubs showed that Jackson can produce lacrosse talent, too.
The Jackson Memorial boys’ lacrosse team went 11-5 and reached the NJSIAA South Jersey, Group 3 sectional tournament, falling to West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South in the first round, 9-8. Junior Sean Laverty and senior Santo Porazzo combined for 75 goals and 32 assists.
The Jackson Liberty girls’ lacrosse team finished 11-8, won the Shore Conference’s B South Division and advanced to the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 2 sectional tournament quarterfinals, losing to Cinnaminson High School, 14-11. Seniors Jade Rivera, Donna Polhemus, Amber McGee and Hailey McGee all scored at least 29 goals.
Jackson Memorial boys’ volleyball and Jackson Liberty boys’ volleyball
In the only indoor spring sport, both Jackson teams thrived. The Jackson Memorial and Jackson Liberty boys’ volleyball squads posted 17-7 and 15-7 records, respectively. Jackson Liberty also won the Shore Conference’s A Central Division with a 10-2 league mark.
In the postseason, Jackson Memorial got all the way to the NJSIAA South Jersey quarterfinals, losing to Clearview Regional High School, 2-1. Jackson Liberty qualified for the NJSIAA Central Jersey Tournament, falling in the first round to Hillsborough High School, 2-0.
Jackson Memorial junior Alex Furlong recorded 208 kills. Junior Shane Neilan led the squad with 295 assists. Both will be back to lead the team again in 2020.
For Jackson Liberty, Luke Brown and Riley Fahnholz combined for 441 kills. Nic Mathias posted 483 assists. Brown and Mathias will both be back next spring.
Both Jackson boys’ volleyball teams should be contenders once again.