The Princeton High School Baseball team of 2018 represented what great senior leadership and team chemistry can do for any sports team. Paul Cooke, Alec Silverman, and Mike Ramirez as captains led better than any other group of captains I have ever had and they put in amazing amounts of effort in building team chemistry. The team chemistry they helped build led us to a season record of 13-9 the FIRST WINNING SEASON for Princeton High School Baseball since the Spring of 2001. After 22 CONSECUTIVE practices inside to start March because of our unplayable field, we came out on opening day hot and ready to go beating Hamilton West High school for the first time in 17 years (2001). Our success continued as we then put together a 4 game winning streak highlighted by a no-hitter thrown by Teddy Durbin over perennial power Notre Dame (and at the time of writing this a Sectional Semi-Finalist in Non Public B). Our record stood at 9-6 after our first 15 games (automatically qualifying us for the state tournament) including two heart stopping walk off wins against Robbinsville and a Senior day walk off against Lawrence. We continued to take care of business as the county tournament rolled around winning our opening game against Hightstown 4-0 our first MCT win since 2005, we then traveled to DEFENDING MCT Champion and DEFENDING Group Three State Champions Allentown (and at the time of writing this Central Jersey Group 3 Finalist) where we pulled off a shocker coming from down 5-1 to pull out an 8-7 win, propelling us to the MCT Semifinal game for the first time since 2005. We eventually lost to Nottingham 4-2 but played a tremendous game for which we were all proud of. After a long layoff due to rain we went into our state tournament game confident as Ben Amon struck out the first six batters he faced, eventually striking out 10 for the game, but in the end we lost 2-0 to Sayreville. Overall, as a team this was one of the great years in the history of the school, as if not for rain we most likely have finished with the most wins in school history which is 14 for a season, but we settled for second with 13. Baseball is a game about perseverance and overcoming failure and the 2018 baseball team excelled at both this past year.
Individually, newspaper awards do not come out traditionally until the 3rd week of June but we have already received numerous individual awards, Senior OF Paul Cooke, Junior Pitcher Teddy Durbin, and Junior First basemen Tommy Reid were all selected by the coaches of Mercer County to participate in the Carpenter Cup Classic a 16 team single elimination tournament held in Philadelphia with the last two rounds held at Citizens Bank Park. It is the third straight year we have had someone selected, it is Paul Cooke’s second consecutive year on the team and the most players we have ever had on the team in a singular year.
Paul Cooke was also selected to play in the Senior All Star game for representing Central Jersey which includes (Monmouth, Mercer, Hunterdon, Somerset, and Middlesex Counties) he is one of 25 players on that team. This is the first time we have EVER had a senior picked for this game.
Paul Cooke was selected as a First Team All CVC player by nj.com!
Seniors Playing in College:
Paul Cooke will graduate as the all-time leader in hits in the history of the school as he finished with 115. He was also a two time captain and a four year Varsity Starter. He will continue his career at Swarthmore College.
Alec Silverman finished as a three year starter and will continue his career at Macalester College. We are incredibly proud of both of these young men.
The golf team had a fantastic year, it was even better than the team expected.
We finished with a 14-4 record. Two of those losses were out of conference.
We lost two senior players, Sam Tarter and Tom Doran. They will be missed.
Key players were junior-Harry Skopas, freshman-Adam MacMillian, junior-Pete Chotikajon, junior- Atticus Lynch, sophomore-Abhi Vachani, sophomore- Jonathan Lin, Junior- Richard Krok and junior- Gabe Rizzi.
Highlights for the year were qualifying for State Sectionals, and playing well. Placing second inthe Group IV South Central Section.
We also were co-divisional Champions. We are extremely optimistic about the future of PHS Golf team!
Lacrosse Boys PHS:
The Boys had a tough year record wise, ending 5-12. They were committed, diligent and work hard in practice. That was a positive for a team that was not winning. Their spirit and togetherness stayed relatively strong. Injuries really hurt us throughout the year. We had to ask players to play in different spots and at different times and again the effort was there but the lack of skill and understanding of this new position contributed to our play dropping for stretches of a game and throughout the season.
Three players made ALL-Conference:
Alex Park (Jr) Honorable Mention Attack
Patrick Jacobs (Sr) 2nd Team Defense
Ryan Farrell (Sr) 1st Team LSM
The PHS Freshman class was large, enthusiastic and worked hard under Coach Cameron Carothers.
Seniors Playing in College:
Patrick and Ian Jacobs- Cornell University
Ryan Farrell- Rhodes College
Lacrosse Girls PHS:
Abaigeal Ryan (Sr) scored her 100th goal.
Mariana Lopez-Ona (Jr) scored her 200th goal.
Shaylah Marciano (So) attained her 100th assist.
Grace Reardon (Jr) made her 100th save.
Mariana Lopez-Ona (Jr): Trentonian Offensive Player of the Year; 1st Team Honors
Abaigeal Ryan (Sr): Trentonian 1st Team Honors
Shaylah Marciano (So): Trentonian 1st Team Honors
Lila Doran (So): Trentonian 1st Team Honors
Serena Bolitho (Jr): Trentonian Unsung Hero and 2nd Team Honors
Grace Reardon (Jr): Trentonian 2nd Team Honors
Eva Petrone (So): Trentonian Honorable Mention
Lauren Rougas (So): Trentonian Honorable Mention
Kendall Lieberman: CVC Sportsmanship Award for PHS
Seniors Playing in College:
Abaigeal Ryan will be playing for the Temple Owls in college. She will be joining her sister, PHS Alum Julia Ryan, on the team.
Softball PHS: The Varsity team finished the season 2 and 18 with wins over Trenton and Princeton Day School. They faced difficult opponents and kept their attitude and efforts up which the coaching staff really appreciated. The team made states for the third year in a row, but lost in the opening round to the top seeded South Brunswick. There were many girls that were new to the Varsity program and were able to get experience in the field and at bat that we hope to build on for next year.
Tennis Boys PHS: The Princeton High Boys’ tennis team had a great spring season! They finished with a final record of 20-3, with all 3 losses coming to the #1 team in the state, West Windsor-Plainsboro South. The team won the North 2, Group 3 Sectional Championship though a very competitive field, and went on to win the Group 3 semi-final over perennial powerhouse Moorestown 3-2, before falling to WWP-South in the Group 3 final. They also finished 2nd as a team in the Mercer County Tournament behind WWP-South, taking 1st place at second singles (Jerry Gu), 2nd place at 1st singles (Noah Lilienthal) and 3rd singles (Kevin Yang) and 4th place at 2nd doubles (Sameer Joshi and Aryaman Babber). 1st doubles (Simon Hwang and Richard Yang) lost a very close 3 set match to the runners up. The team defeated top local rivals such as WWP-North and Hopewell, and almost all other CVC competition, finishing 2nd in the division (again, behind WWP-S). Additionally, all three of our singles players made the individual state tournament; Kevin, our 3rd singles won a round, and fell in a third set tiebreak in a very close match. Noah and Jerry both made it to the quarterfinals, the top 8 players in the state of NJ, then Noah continued to the semifinals, where he lost a very close match to the eventual champion (who he also defeated 2 times this year). We finished the season ranked #2 in Group 3 teams, and #6 in the state. Noah was honored as 1st team All-Group 3, All-Area, and All-CVC, and 3rd team All-State. Jerry was also honored as 1st team All-CVC.
We will miss seniors Noah Lilienthal, who will be playing for Wesleyan, and Kevin Yang, planning on playing for Northeastern. Senior Ian Shang also saw Varsity time, and helped us cement the victory over Hopewell in our last match of the season. Despite the losses of Noah and Kevin, we’re still hoping to have a strong season again next year!
Track & Field:
The PHS boys’ track and field and cross-country teams completed a sweep of the Mercer County Cross-Country, Indoor Track and Outdoor Track championships. The teams also swept the Central Group IV Sectional championships for the fall, winter and spring and won the Group IV State Championship outdoors. This was the first ever Group IV title for PHS Outdoor Track and Field and the first overall since 1981, when PHS won Group II. PHS broke over 15 school records during the winter and spring seasons had a record 22 boys and girls athletes selected to the All-County team.