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Randolph, Summit, Delbarton Highlight Favorites to Contend for High School Titles

by Anthony Smith / New Jersey Devils
High school ice hockey made its triumphant return to the scene for the 2012-13 season. The Star-Ledger recently revealed its list of teams to watch this year, and some familiar faces remain high on that list.

Randolph took home its second consecutive NJSIAA Public A title last season at Prudential Center (Photo/New Jersey Devils).
In the NJSIAA Public A division, Randolph looks to repeat as champion for the third season in a row. Randolph suffered a huge blow following last season, however, losing 10 skaters to graduation, including 2012 Morris County Player of the Year Nicholas Holowko. This year’s team include no standouts as of yet, but coach Rick McLaughlin believes if the team that he has now will believe in his style of play, they will once again make a run deep into the State tournament. 

Among potential contenders Hillsborough, Bridgewater-Raritan, Ridgewood, Pascack Valley, Roxbury, Montgomery, Robbinsville, and Old Bridge. Morris Knolls looks to be the team most poised to take down defending champion Randolph. The team was defeated in the semifinals of the NJSIAA Public A tournament for the second straight year, and the third time in the last four years. As a persistent contender, Morris Knolls will look to lean on seniors Zack Simmons and Jack Monahan in search of that elusive title.

The Summit team following their victory in the NJSIAA Public B Championship last March at Prudential Center (Photo/New Jersey Devils).
The NJSIAA Public B division saw Summit win its first ever title last season, and we look to see them strongly contend for that title once again this season. Led by Garrett McGowan in goal, and skaters Michael Badgley, Liam McLaughlin, Chris Zanelli, and Riley Flynn, coach Keith Nixon has a squad that is confident they will make a return trip to Prudential Center in March.

A rematch of last season’s Public B Championship may be in the making, as Tenafly, led by Coach Andy Escala, will make a run this season with standout players Eli Markowitz, Will Rosato, and Jake Bernstein returning. Also look to Morristown to make a deep run, following last year’s defeat in the State finals to Randolph. Ramsey, Kinnelon, Point Pleasant Boro, Montville, Brick, Glen Rock, Chatham, and Middletown South will always likely be in contention to make deep into March.

Delbarton following their victory in the NJSIAA Non Public Championship last March at Prudential Center (Photo/New Jersey Devils).
Out of the Non-Public high schools, Delbarton will look to defend its NJSIAA Non-Public title, as they stunned Christina Brothers Academy in the title game last season. Despite losing 14 seniors, Delbarton still possesses what the Star-Ledger calls “arguably the top line in the state,” John Baiocco, Josh Melnick, and Alex Haggarty.

Losing 14 seniors, however, may prove to be a tough void to fill for Delbarton, potentially opening the door for another team to take the top spot. Christian Brothers Academy will look to avenge its crushing loss to Delbarton in the Non-Public finals last season, as the team that, for the most part, remains the same, will be motivated for sure. Don Bosco Prep will field a team of 15 upperclassmen, and will use that leadership to bring them into contention. Seton Hall Prep, Montclair Kimberly Academy, Bergen Catholic, and Paramus Catholic will also look to contend for the title.

For more, head to NJ Youth Hockey Central.
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