South Jersey Baseball History:
20th Century All-Star Teams: Riverside High School
Sunday, July 11, 1999
By Charlie Schick
South Jersey Baseball Historical Society
In our task to try to select the best Riverside High School baseball players and coach of the 20th century, we found our assignment to be no easy matter. A number of road blocks faced the selection of the Rams' elite team, as varied levels of competition and the aluminum bat introduction were just a few of the conditions that had to be weighed. These factors plus other intangibles made the comparison of player achievements over the years difficult at best.
Probably the toughest All Time Team selection was at the utility player slot. This challenge arose because throughout their history Riverside High has produced so many quality multiposition ball players. But with all this said, we searched past and present records and gave it our best shot.
Riverside High School
20th Century All-Star Team
|Left-hand Pitcher||Jason Coates||1997||8-0|
|Right-hand Pitcher||Mike Alfred||1977||8-1|
|Relief Pitcher||Fred Hopwood||1965||6-2|
|First Baseman||John Bujanowski||1986||.395|
|Second Baseman||Mike Bloomquist||1999||.495|
|Third Baseman||Matt Janulis||1998||.431|
|Utility Player||Ron Atkinson||1955-56||5-1 & .377|
|Designated Hitter||Tim Davidson||1997||.440|
|Head Coach||Gary Herron||1997||22-4|
Left-hand Pitcher: JASON COATES - 1997
Multi year player who was selected 3 times All Burlington County, twice All State Group I, and the 1997 All South Jersey all-star teams. Excellent multi-position player (P, 1B, & OF) that helped Rams win 2 Burlco titles, 2 South Jersey Group I and State championships. All-Star 1997 year totals showed perfect 8-0 pitching record and .425 batting average with 40 base hits. First player in Burlington County history to finish varsity career with over 100 runs, hits and RBIs, and also had over 100 strikeouts as a pitcher (122 runs, 131 hits, 106 RBIs, 131 strikeouts).
Right-hand Pitcher: MIKE ALFRED - 1977
Arguably had the best all around season in the school's history, as he led the Rams in 16 individual pitching categories and 10 different offensive departments. He almost single handily carried his teammates to the 1977 Burlington County title with a 8 - 1 pitching record, and a 1.22 ERA. At the plate he hammered the ball at a .419 clip, and earned All County, and All State Group all-star honors.
Relief Pitcher: FRED HOPWOOD - 1965
Ace hurler of Rams Group III '64 and '65 teams with a combined 13 and 5 record. Was county's top hurler in leading Rams to 1965 Burlco championship, and South Jersey Group final. Excellent control, and lead Group with lowest ERA. Honors include All County and All State Group all-star in both '64 and '65.
Catcher: BRIAN LAZARUK - 1999
A three year starter with unusual speed for a catcher. Helped Rams capture two Burlco and South Jersey Group I titles, plus 1997 New Jersey State championship. Twice selected All County and All State Group I all-star. Had outstanding senior year hitting .398 with 50 runs scored, and a .646 on base percentage.
First Baseman: JOHN BUJANOWSKI - 1986
A slick fielding first sacker that starred on under achieving teams of the mid 80's. The hard hitting Bujanowski dominated county and Group I pitchers throughout his career with the Rams. A perfect example was his outstanding senior year that saw him hit .395 and set new school records for hits with 32 and RBIs with 25. His 1986 efforts earned him All South Jersey Group I all-star recognition.
Second Baseman: MIKE BLOOMQUIST - 1999
Probably the most underrated infielder in South Jersey over his multi-year career at Riverside. Key defensive and offensive member of the Rams championship county and state teams. Had spectacular 1999 season collecting 51 hits, hitting .495 with 49 runs scored, 51 RBIs and a .874 slugging percentage. Received All County, All South Jersey, and All State Group I all-star honors.
Shortstop: CASEY DONAHUE - 1995
A four year starter that established himself as one of the finest shortstops in the county, South Jersey and State Group I competition. Excellent leadoff hitter, who posted a .549 on base percentage. Great 1995 season when he hit .459 with 39 hits, 17 walks, 40 runs, and 28 RBIs. Picked All County and All South Jersey Group I shortstop.
Third Baseman: MATT JANULIS - 1998
Quality all around athlete that starred on the '97 and '98 Ram teams. Was named All County and twice All South Jersey Group I third baseman. Defensively featured strong arm and great range. Had outstanding senior season with .431 average, 28 hits, 25 runs scored, 23 RBIs and .646 slugging percentage.
Utility Player: RON ATKINSON - 1955-56
A strong throwing arm made him both a quality hurler and infielder. His hitting and pitching were key elements in the Rams back to back county championships in '55 and '56. Mainstay of 1955 club with a 5 - 1 record and 1.01 ERA. 1956 showed him starring at shortstop with a solid .389 average. A All County and All State Group all-star performer.
Outfielder: JOHN SIEMONOWSKI - 1971
For three varsity seasons was considered one of the finest outfielders in the state. His rifle arm collected 11 assists and discouraged runners from taking a extra base. A career .400 hitter and excellent RBI producer. Was a All South Jersey selection, and three time Burlington County and All State Group all-star honoree.
Outfielder: MARK BRIGGS - 1988
A real blazer that stole 46 bases out of 47 attempts over his final two seasons with the Rams. Twice received All Burlington County all-star honors, and gained All South Jersey Group I recognition in 1988. His senior year resulted in a .440 average with a .623 slugging percentage. He also led the county in walks and runs scored.
Outfielder: RICK LOVELAND - 1991
A four year starter with great outfield quickness and instincts. Outstanding base stealer with 59 stolen bases in 63 attempts over his final two seasons. Gained All County, All South Jersey Group and All State Group all-star honors in junior and senior years. His 1991 numbers were .516 average, 42 hits, and 35 runs scored. Finished career as an above .400 hitter
Designated Hitter: TIM DAVIDSON - 1997
A four year varsity player who collected 123 hits and a .407 career batting average. Key offensive force in Rams numerous championship teams. Twice picked All County, All South Jersey Group I and All State Group designated hitter. Led '97 championship team hitting .440 with 37 hits, 27 RBIs, and 38 runs scored.
Head Coach: GARY HERRON - 1997
Since the mid 90's Riverside High School has experienced its most successful baseball era in the school's history. And it's no coincidence that Gary Herron has been at the controls of the Rams teams during that period. Since his arrival as head coach in 1994 the Riverside program has posted a 111-34 record for a .766 winning percentage. His six year record speaks for itself: 3 Burlington County titles, 3 South Jersey crowns, and 2 New Jersey State championships.