Local athletes earn postseason honors
HAMMONTON—Strong performances on the field have led to many postseason honors for student-athletes at both Hammonton High School and St. Joseph Academy.
On the football field, Hammonton High School posted a 9-3 record and reached the South Jersey Group 4 semifinals. The Blue Devils won the West Jersey Football League (WJFL) Memorial Division and eight Hammonton players were named as All-Stars for their play this season.
Sophomore running back Kenny Smith rushed for 1,670 yards and scored 23 touchdowns, earning first-team honors.
Smith ran behind a strong offensive line and two members of Hammonton’s front earned first-team All-Star honors. Senior Elijah Church and sophomore Christian Medina were named as conference All-Stars.
Hammonton had one of the top defenses in the WJFL and three Blue Devils earned first team nods. Linebacker Andy Wehner was among the team leaders in tackles and interceptions and the junior earned first team recognition. Another junior linebacker, Joe Gillen, ranked among the team leaders in tackles for loss and was a first team All-Star, as was defensive end Kye Pressley, who ranked among the state leaders in quarterback sacks this season.
Kicker Drew Fields was named as a first-team All-Star and defensive end John Smith earned second team honors.
At St. Joseph, the Wildcats wrapped up the season with a 6-4 mark and a trip to the Non-Public Group B semifinals.
Seven Wildcats were named as WJFL Independence Division All-Stars, including senior quarterback Jimmy Mantuano, who threw for 1,120 yards and eight touchdowns in 2022, adding 220 rushing yards.
Wide receiver Nasir Mahmoud caught a team-leading 35 passes for 526 yards and four scores this season and also earned first-team honors.
Up front, senior Demarion McCoy was one of the WJFL’s best two-way linemen and earned a first team All-Star nod for his strong play which included 48 tackles and 3.5 sacks.
Linebacker Zach Cruet led the Wildcats with 82 tackles and also played well at tight end, catching eight passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns. He was named a first team All-Star.
Junior Ty Mercado was a strong two-way player, recording 58 tackles while rushing for 202 yards and catching 18 passes for 164 yards. He was named a first team All-Star.
Kicker Trevin DelGozzo was St. Joe’s leading scorer with 43 points, connecting on eight field goals and 19 extra points during the season, earning himself first team honors.
Richard Chandler, St. Joe’s leading rusher and one of the team’s top tacklers on defense, earned second team honors.
Seven local field hockey players were named as Cape Atlantic League (CAL) All-Stars for their play in 2022.
Hammonton senior Brianna Gazzara was a first-team selection following a season that saw her score six goals and hand out four assists to help the Blue Devils win the American Conference title. Gazzara also earned a spot in the South Jersey Field Hockey Coaches Association’s senior All-Star game.
Abigail Goblirsch, who scored nine goals and had four assists, was also named a CAL first team All-Star. Gracie Donio earned first team honors after scoring five goals and handing out four assists last season.
Blue Devils goalie Angelina Catania was named to the second team after recording 95 saves.
For St. Joseph Academy, senior Macie Jacquet was named as a first team CAL All-Star. She scored a team-high 20 goals and had 18 assists to help the Wildcats win the National Division title.
Grace Gonzalez was named a first team All-Star as she finished the year with 13 assists. Jalia Cooper, who scored 13 goals and had four assists, was named to the second team.
Hammonton’s boys soccer team reached the CAL finals and was a South Jersey Group 3 semifinalist. The Blue Devils saw two players earn CAL All-Star recognition.
Senior Carter Bailey scored 15 goals and added 12 assists for the Blue Devils, earning a first team All-Star nod. John Waddell, a junior, received honorable mention after scoring 10 times last season and adding 12 assists.
Hammonton’s girls soccer team struggled for much of the season but senior goalkeeper Emma Peretti earned an honorable mention from the CAL for a season that saw her rank among the league leaders in saves with 117.
On the volleyball court, Hammonton earned the first postseason victory in the history of its program, finishing with an 11-12 record.
Senior Tiffany Paretti was among the CAL leaders in assists, digs and service points and earned first team All-Star honors. Senior Yesvi Patel received honorable mention for her strong season.
In cross country, Hammonton’s Natalie Clauhs, a sophomore, was named a second-team CAL All-Star and also earned first team All-County honors from the New Jersey Cross Country Track and Field Coaches Association (NJXCTFCA). For the boys, Matt Martino and Jesus Flores each earned second team NJXCTFCA Atlantic County honors.