High School Ice Hockey:
By Rick Murro
In fact, Township has 4 ice hockey teams. Three teams play in the South Jersey High School Ice Hockey League and 1 team represents the Middle School. The High school teams consist of a Varsity, JVA and JVB squad which play against some of the best teams in Southern New Jersey area. Teams such as Eastern, Shawnee, Clearview and Cherry Hill just to name a few, comprise a very competitive league. Over the past 3 years the Township Varsity squad has gone deep into the playoffs winning the 1996 SJHSIHL (South Jersey High School Ice Hockey League) championship and reaching the finals twice. The 1996 JVB team captured the 1996-1997 Wilmington Tournament Championship last winter. Currently the Varsity, JVA and JVB are atop their respective divisions.
Varsity is coached by Chris Harrington and Jim Macchione and have been a powerhouse in the league since the teams inception in 1989. Players like senior star Grey Shaneberger, Jeff Slotnick, Nick Gariffo, sophomores Derek Poletis and Chris Harrington Jr. along with freshmen Buddy Anderson, Steve Brown, and Brian Davis reflect the diversity of talent that make up the team. Township's collection of outstanding players include forwards Grey Shaneberger, Nick Gariffo, Steve Brown, James Christian, Casey Johnson, Paul Coller, Jeff Slotnick, Bruno Migali, and Ernie Migali. The Varsity defensive core consists of Tom Paolucci, Brain Davis, Buddy Anderson, Chris Harrington, Derek Polteis and Paul Pronio,. The goaltending duo of Brain Migliorisi and Mark Zlatkin round out a very strong and imposing Varsity squad.
JVA is coached by Will Brown, and so far this year has compiled a 6 - 0 record in league play. Having a tight hold on 1st place has not deterred coach Brown's staff or the players from keeping their intensity level in high gear. Once again the enormous pool of talent which makes up the Township organization is evident in the makeup of the JVA team as well. Eight graders Adam Zaccaria and Bill Verdecchio recently selected for the Philadelphia entry in the 1998 International Tournament in Quebec City are just part of the strength that make up the JVA squad. JVA forwards are: Manny Suriel, Tom Davies, John Comstock, Dave Andrews, Matt Naegele, Mike Dandurand, Al Anderson, Adam Zaccaria, Billy Verdecchio and Tom Nicoletti. Defense is comprised of Mike Fabrizio, Dan Ricci, Ken Condit, Joe Junfola, and Eric DeFiore and Nick Carnovale. Goaltenders Andrew McGinn and Kevin Ciccone insure very strong netminding for the team.
JVB coached by Steve Brown and Joe Pelle have been a dominant force in their division with only one loss in 7 league games. JVB has allowed only 7 goals against them while scoring 44 goals on the opposition in league play. Compiling a 5 -1 record is in large part to a stellar defensive core of players along with strong goaltending. The JVB squad is very disciplined, using pinpoint passing and strong skating ability to frustrate opposing teams. JVB goaltenders Derek Lucas and Mark Buckalew have combined for 3 shutouts and five 1 goal games in the early goings of the season. Township's diversity of talent is led by upperclassmen Mark Kiker, Frank Brandolini and Josh Ogin as well as a mix of eighth, ninth, tenth and eleventh graders making up a very strong collection of players. Forwards for JVB are : Chris Andrews, Scott Singer, Joe Pelle, Mike Mazzuca, Mike Murro, Frank Brandolini, Jim Procopio, Nick Brown, Joe Gabrielli, Dan Hill and Anthony Valerio. Defensive players consist of Mark Kiker, Bob Day, Dan Fratantoro, Josh Ogin, Eric Ricacho and Eric Marano. Goaltenders Derek Lucas and Mark Buckalew share time between the pipes for JVB.
Since the Washington Township Ice Hockey Club was established in 1989, many qualified people have been involved with its development. Jack Lyons and Ken Spellman got the ball rolling and the club has never stopped improving. In the hands of Townships current director, Jack Anderson, the club not only stresses to develop the players physical hockey talents but their attitudes and character off the ice as well. "We have the some of the best collection of talent in the Township involved in our program" says Anderson, "and we must never forget that this is all for them. The fun, camaraderie and bonds these players make with each other will carry with them for a long time". Last year the club collected 1600 coats for the Camden Homeless Shelter. This year 10 seniors on the club will be volunteering their time at the Flyers Wives Fight For Lives Carnival at the Core States Center.
Washington Township Varsity, JVA and JVB teams play most of their games at Hollydell Ice Hockey Arena . Schedules are posted in the Lobby at Hollydell Rink. The Washington Township Hockey Ice Club is a non profit organization which receives no funding whatsoever, all expenses for the club are paid for by parents and players. The Club invites everyone to come and watch the teams play. Varsity game admission is $3.00 which goes to the SJHSIHL, not the club. JVA and JVB games are free. This is fun, exciting, physical hockey and the kids would really enjoy the support. So pick up a schedule or call the Township Hotline at 609-374-9012 and come see YOUR teams compete in the COOLEST game on earth. See you at the rink!
Washington Township Ice Hockey Club
©1998 South Jersey Sports Online