The 2014-15 academic year has been a very good one at Cherry Hill East in terms of sports success.
The school already boasts two state championship teams so far with the boys' cross country and boys' swimming teams bringing home the championship prize.
Check out our coverage of the boys' swimming championship:
And members of the team stopped by on our South Jersey Sports Digest Show in March:
The boys' basketball team reached the state finals but fell in the title game. Here's our coverage of the East boys' hoops team, including the state final and their crosstown rivalry game with Cherry Hill West:
Boys' tennis is historically strong at East with former coach Ralph Ipri posting a 956-90 career record in 45 seasons, 41 of which were at East from 1970-2011. This spring, they already did some damage in the Camden County tourney, sweeping it. In case you missed it, here's the story: http://www.sjsportsdigest.com/news_article/show/505407?referrer_id=1118285
The school's student cheering group, "The Countrymen" turned into a huge swarm at the boys' hoops state finals at Rutgers University, with 10 busloads making the trek up the NJ Turnpike.
But there's much more to East than sports.
The school newspaper, Eastside, has always been a strong extracurricular item, earning the distinction as No. 1 in the country in 2005 by the American Scholastic Press Assoc. It was No. 1 in the state from 2007-13. The school's music department is also a source of pride. And academically, Cherry Hill East is always among the best in South Jersey.
The school opened in 1967 as the township's second high school; what then became known as Cherry Hill High School West was the first public high school in Cherry Hill. The first Cherry Hill East graduating class graduated in June 1970, having started their freshman year in the fall of 1966 in the West building and doing split sessions until the East building was ready for occupancy in January 1967.
Of course, Cherry Hill West is East's biggest rival. The sister schools play every Thanksgiving in football for the Al DiBart Memorial Trophy, which is also known as "The Boot," an old bronzed high top cleat. And any game or contest between the two schools is always hotly contested.
Take a peek at the latest Virtua School of the Week, Cherry Hill East, home of the Cougars.
During Haddonfield’s home match with Vineland in which the Bulldawgs captured a 4-1 win, there were a lot of eyes on the first singles battle between former doubles champion Arpie Senopoulos (Haddonfield) and freshman Tess Fisher (Vineland).
The opening game saw Senopoulos, who was dealing with a foot injury suffered a few days prior, go up 1-0. Eventually, the first game went to 2-2 before Fisher really started to find her groove. Considered a prodigy before ever stepping on the court for Vineland, Fisher reeled off four straight games to take the first set.
From that point on, she never looked back. Fisher clinched the match in straight sets (6-2, 6-0) to collect Vineland’s lone win of the afternoon.
“I just picked up my intensity,” said Fisher following the win. “Every match I just try to play my hardest, have intensity and just see where it goes.”
That was just her second match at the varsity level — a true sign of just how good she can be in the high school ranks.
Haddonfield head coach Jeff Holman, the general of one of the most dominant programs in the state, spoke very highly of Fisher after experiencing her talent firsthand.
“What especially impressed me about Tess is that she seems like such an unpretentious, great kid. Vineland’s coaches told me how team-oriented she is, which is not always the case with players who have achieved a lot of success in outside tournaments.”
There’s no doubting Fisher’s potential. Teammates, opposing players and coaches are all taking notice of her. Yet, her head coach doesn’t want to rush the process.
“Tess will exemplify the student athlete as she becomes a dominant player in South Jersey,” said Vineland head coach Domonic Massaro. “Tess's adjustment has been seamless. She is tournament tested and enjoys the experiences that a high school team offers. But let’s allow Tess to complete her freshman year and then we can better speculate on her success.”
The Fighting Clan currently are 1-2.
Cherokee’s Kwon returns to tennis
Yvonne Kwon has learned a thing or two about tennis from her father. Tennis fans may be familiar with the name Young Min Kwon.
Kwon’s father played professionally, competing in tournaments such as the Australian Open and U.S. Open. He also helps out coaching Cherokee’s team. Yet, this season marks the return of Yvonne Kwon after she took a few years off following her freshman season.
“I quit tennis altogether but decided to come back this year,” said Kwon. “I've played tennis all my life. I guess I had a change of heart and being a part of the team is really great.
"My dad is very passionate about tennis and it's helped me appreciate the sport a lot more and make it more enjoyable.”
Kwon finds herself playing second doubles alongside Callen Filippone. The duo’s most recent match together saw them knock off Bishop Eustace’s Caroline Hromy and Haley Robinson (6-4, 2-6, 6-4) in Cherokee’s 4-1 win on Wednesday.
“I have high expectations for the team and especially myself this year being a senior, “ said Kwon. “The goal is always victory but I also expect everyone to make the most out of every game and for us to grow stronger as the season continues.”
The Chiefs lost for the first time Thursday, 4-1, to Shawnee, but Kwon was unable to play (illness). They are currently 2-1.
'View's doubles team prepares for GloCo Open Final
Clearview’s Anna Kmiec and Erika Slowicki are one win away from being the Gloucester County Open doubles champions.
This time one year ago, though, the two were playing junior varsity and never had played on the same court together. Yet, in such a short amount of time, they seem to really be comfortable together.
“I think we’re successful together because we complement each other’s game,” said Kmiec. “We have different styles of play that work for us.”
Head coach Karl Neiswender had a similar choice of words when describing his top doubles unit.
“They are both very competitive and their personalities compliment each other,” said Neiswender. “Erika is quieter and Anna is more outgoing but they get along very well which is so important for a doubles team.”
On the court, Slowicki is extremely steady, which is quite amazing for a first-year varsity player, and she has precision placement on her serves. Meanwhile, Kmiec likes to attack and prefers a harder ball hit to her as opposed to a lob.
“I think we have been performing great together,” said Kmiec. “I really enjoy being her partner.”
Kmiec, a sophomore, and Slowicki, a junior, have shown a lot of potential early in the season despite their inexperience.
“There was a lot of nerves for me, but I just played my game the way I always do,” said Kmiec. “I think it’s amazing how we made it to the finals and it gives me a lot of hope that we will do really good this season together.”
The duo’s last test in the Gloucester County Open will be Pitman’s top team of Justine Collier and Marisa Grimm. The two teams played each other this week and as expected, the match went all three sets with Kmiec-Slowicki falling just short of Collier-Grimm in a regular season match.
The GlouCo Open doubles championship match will be held Sunday, Sept. 14, at noon at Kingsway Regional High School.
All-Julia Gloucester County singles final
In the singles tournament, Clearview's Julia Novick is the top seed. Delsea's Julia Ruczynski is the third seed. Sunday at noon, the two Julia's will meet in the Gloucester County Open singles tournament final.
Novick advanced by beating Washington Township's Jillian Calandra, 6-1, 6-3 in the semifinals this past weekend. Ruczynski defeated Pitman's Ashton Wentzel, 6-3, 6-3, to find herself in the singles final.
Rematch of Group 4 final postponed
Tuesday, Sept. 9, was supposed to mark the first meeting between Olympic Conference powerhouses, Lenape and Cherry Hill East, until the skies opened.
The Indians got off to a fast start before rain cut the afternoon short. All three singles and first team doubles won the opening set. The second team doubles match was split.
Looking ahead, Lenape coach John Carnevale believes his team has everything it needs to compete once again in the conference and group.
“I think we stack up against (Cherry Hill East) very well,” said Carnevale.
Last season, Lenape finished 19-5 while Cherry Hill East posted a 20-2 record before climbing through the ranks of the South Jersey Group 4 tournament to the face each other in the sectional championship match.
The make-up date has been set for Thursday, September 18.
Ocean City jumps to 3-0 start
Winning the Cape-Atlantic League will be a tall order, but Ocean City head coach Samantha Dimatteo likes what she’s seen so far from her squad, so much so that she thinks they’ll shock some teams this season.
“We will remain competitive within the conference and I am positive about our ability to challenge some of the league’s toughest teams, including Mainland,” said Dimatteo.
The Group 3 school won 5-0 earlier in the week against Oakcrest. None of the five matches needed a third set; showing just how dominant Ocean City was in the victory.
Sarah Redmond knocked off Aubrey Hawn (6-4, 7-5) in first singles, Liza Milov held off Paula Cuerquis (7-6 (7-3), 6-1) and Patricia Abenante cruised by Danielle Salvatierra (6-2, 6-1). In first doubles, Gaby Lombardo and Macy Oteri knocked off Onyx Showell and Emily Hoang (6-0, 6-3) while Rachel Zeides and Libby Trofa beat Kassia Doukhnai and Apria Pinkett (6-0, 6-1).
With so many impressive wins, Dimatteo really took notice of Abenante.
“She has shown great confidence in her new singles role this year,” said Dimatteo.
Thursday, Ocean City again won 5-0, this time over non-conference opponent Timber Creek.