Sports

CCM athletic director named Region XIX AD of the year

By Brett Friedensohn

Editor-in-Chief

The National Junior College Athletic Association Region XIX presented its Ron Case Athletic Director of the Year Award to County College of Morris AD Jack Sullivan at its fall meeting in Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania.

Sullivan said that he was honored to have earned the award named after someone who he considers a friend and a mentor. He said that Case helped him when he first took the role at the helm of CCM’s athletic department in 2002 when Case was the athletic director at Gloucester Community College, now called Rowan College at Gloucester County. Case is a hall of famer with National Two-Year Alliance of Athletic 

Administrators, and Sullivan said that Case introduced him into the organization which he would later become president of.

“Winning an award with his name on it means a lot to me,” Sullivan said. “He helped usher me in and took me under his wing a long time ago.”

During Sullivan’s time overseeing the department, several CCM teams have won Region XIX championships, most recently golf in 2018 and 2014 and softball in 2016.

Region XIX consists of 32 community colleges in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware and includes colleges in Sussex County, Bergen County, and Monmouth County. CCM hosts nine Region XIX teams: men’s soccer, women’s soccer, and volleyball in fall; men’s basketball and women’s basketball in winter; and softball, golf,  baseball, and lacrosse in spring.

“The recognition that Jack Sullivan received by his peers is also a testament to his continuous commitment to our CCM athletes, coaches and Titan spirit,” Dr. Bette Simmons, vice president of student development and enrollment management, said in a press release. “He ensures that our student-athletes are reaching their best potential both in the classroom and in their respective sport, provides support to the coaches and exceptionally maintains our athletic facilities for the college and community to enjoy.”

For more information on CCM’s sports teams, visit  youngtownedition.wordpress.com/category/sports/.

Originally Published in the 11-7-2018 issue of the Youngtown Edition

Volleyball team wins close game over Bucks County Community College

By: Anthony Ingham
Sports Editor

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The Titans dive for the ball in the 2nd game of the day. Photo by: Anthony Ingham

The County College of Morris volleyball team barely won out their game Thursday, Oct. 11 game over Bucks Community College, going winning three games and losing two to bolster the team’s record to three wins and eight losses. The scores for the games were 21-25, 25-22, 25-20, 20-25, and 15-13.

The roars of the crowd turned every point scored into an event as the team played out a close first but lost it after a late volley, losing 21-25 in the first game.

They went on to win the next two games, and even started the 3rd with a 7 point scoring streak. How the Titans won was more dominant as well, certainly being reflected in their game scores, being 25-22 and 25-20 respectively. This was not enough to stop the Bucks from coming back in the next round, also beating the home team 20-25.

Due to it being a fifth set in the match, this meant the game would be played till first to 15 with a two point lead, or until one was two points ahead of the other team afterwards (i.e 16-18). Both teams went back and forth, with neither one being able to stay more than one point ahead for too long.

When the game was 12-13, one of the Titans’ three liberos, Kyara Ramirez, made a miracle dive as the ball was inches away from the front left of their side of the court, saving the ball and allowing them to set up for a point. Along with the momentum of the crowd, the team scored after the next two rallies, putting them at 15-13 and winning the match.

Sophia Meola, team captain and outside hitter, commented on where the team stands as of right now.

“We’ve had a rough season, but we’re getting it together, albeit a little late,” she said.

Brittney Hanna, middle hitter, says that while the team is great, they can sometimes “lose communication,” leading to them playing worse than they normally would otherwise.

“This is the best time I’ve ever been on, and we practice really hard,” Hanna said. “But sometimes we don’t communicate as well as we should, and that tends to be our downfall.”

The team’s last regular season game will take place at the CCM health and physical education building at 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27.

Men’s soccer drops to 1-4 with loss to Brookdale

By Anthony Ingham

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Titans fight for control of the ball after going down 0-2 in the first half. Photo by: Brett Friedensohn

Sports Editor

The men’s soccer team at County College of Morris suffered a 2-0 loss at the hands of Brookdale Community College on Thursday, Sept. 27 regional home game.

This put the Titans, at 3-6 wins in their current season, with a record of 1-4 in region play.

Since that game, they have registered a region win and a loss which have put their record, at presstime, of 2-4 in the region and 4-7 overall. This places the Titans in 13th out of 17 total National Junior College Athletic Association Region XIX Division III teams. Ending the regular season with a .500 record will automatically earn them a seed in the Region XIX championship tournament.

Against Brookdale, they were coming off a three-game losing streak, with two of the games being in Region XIX competition, by beating Ocean Community College Saturday, Sept. 22.

“We were coming into this game pretty hyped, especially cause we felt like we won our last game against Ocean pretty convincingly,” said captain Kevin Pratt. “Especially since it was a home game, so we wanted to show how good we can be.”

At presstime, Pratt has registered three goals and one assist, placing him in second place in goals among Titans players as Forward Mike Lauria has earned 5. With seven in the points column, he is tied with center Chris Rubio and trails only forward Mike Lauria who has recorded 10.

“We’re not done yet,” said Pratt. “We’ve had a rough start, and our current record might not show our success, but it’s coming. And we’re only halfway through the season, so there’s a lot to come.”

Brookdale broke through the Titans solid defense and scored two crucial goals within the first 15 minutes of the game. They held this lead until the end of the game with some impressive passes and great communication between both teams and some excellent saves by both goalies.

“It’s pretty calm after games like this,” said Mario Vieira, captain and center back.  “We just talk about our mistakes and try to make them better before the next game.”

Vierra said that the team’s current record didn’t demonstrate how good the team actually was.

“We made a lot of mistakes today, so no one is too happy with our performance as a whole,” said Vieira. “But we know what we did wrong, and we’ll play better next game.”

Gabe Lazarre, forward and captain, said that the season has been incredibly hectic and filled with unexpected detours.

“We’ve had our ups and downs; it’s been a rollercoaster,” he said. “We’ve had some tough games, we’ve had some crazy games, and I would definitely call this one of the tough ones … We have talent, we just gotta go get it.”

The men’s next home game will be a regional contest against Union County College at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 15.

CCM women’s soccer picks up 19-0 blowout win

Titans open season 1-2 after defeating Manor College

By Anthony Ingham
Contributor

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CCM women’s soccer mid elder Samantha Corrales takes part in passing practice Wednesday, Sept. 19. Photo by Brett Friedensohn.

    The women’s soccer team at County College of Morris bounced back from losing its first two matches with a 19-0 blowout against Manor College Saturday, Sept. 15, setting their record to 0-1 in the region and 1-2 overall at presstime.

The Titans lost their season opener Saturday, Sept. 1 to Harcum College 1-0 before dropping their next match to Bucks County Community College 7-3 Thursday, Sept. 13.

Midfielder Samantha Corrales, who led the National Junior College Athletic Association Region XIX Division I in goals with 17, returned this year as a captain.


“So we ended up at halftime being up 8-0, but the game was still not being played very well by us.”

Vincent Catizone Women’s soccer head coach


“It’s been a little tough, cause we started off this semester with nine players, but we’ve slowly been able to accrue more and more teammates over these last few weeks,” Corrales said. “With nine players, the team couldn’t even scrimmage between themselves, as a 5-v-5 is the smallest the team could do so and be competitive. On the field, at least 11 players are required to have a full team, so they couldn’t even play against other teams.”

At press time, Corrales led her team in the goals and points columns with eight and 20 respectively.

“Having nine players definitely made us very negative, cause we didn’t think we were going to have a season, so we had our heads down,” she said. “After getting a few more players, we just brought our heads back up.”

All this changed on Sept. 15 at home against Manor College. After the team’s earlier struggles with mentality and how many were on the roster, the group came into this game and dominated Manor in a 19-0 stomp, setting their season’s goal differential to 14 as goalkeeper Kelisha Chambers has been scored on eight times. The team has since recruited four players.

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CCM women’s soccer goalkeeper Kelisha Chambers makes a save during practice Wednesday, Sept. 19. Photo by: Brett Friedensohn

“We actually started off really slow,” said head coach Vincent Catizone. “So we ended up at halftime being up 8-0, but the game still was not being played very well by us, so we had 20 minutes of good soccer to turn that around, and our girls definitely woke up and went on a scoring fury and scored 11 goals.”

Every player scored at least one goal, according to Catizone.

“Our confidence has really changed since the beginning of the season,” Corrales said. “In ourselves, in our players, everything’s changed since now we actually believe that we’re going to have a season.”

Midfielder Caitlyn Komatsu, another second-year captain, has scored two goals and earned one assist.

“Everyone who is here wants to be here, and we all get along,” she said. “There’s no cliques, and we’re always together, and we all get along, on and off the field.”

Komatsu also said that her coaches have pushed the players to achieve at their highest potential.

“It’s amazing,” she said. “I love the coaches, they drive us to do our best every game, and I love my teammates as they put everything they have out on the field. Just being with everyone playing the sport I love is honestly the best feeling in the entire world.”

Students can see CCM women’s soccer’s next home game at 12 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29.

CORRECTION: THE CCM GOLF TEAM’S MOST RECENT REGION TITLE WIN WAS IN 2014, NOT 2007. WE APOLOGIZE FOR THE INCONVENIENCE THIS MAY HAVE CAUSED.

Student athletes split on Nike’s Kaepernick ad

By Lianna Del Corpo
Contributor

For the 30th anniversary of the “Just Do It” campaign, Nike made the decision to feature the former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick as the new face, and at County College of Morris, student athletes have varying opinions on the matter.

Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback from 2011 to 2016, began kneeling for the Star Spangled Banner before games in the 2016 preseason and continued during the regular season; he told NFL Network that he was protesting police brutality against minorities. Soon afterwards, players on the 49ers and other teams followed suit, and over the 2018 offseason, the league announced a ban on players kneeling during the anthem.

Kaepernick is now suing the National Football League’s owners, accusing them of conspiring to keep him out of the league for leading the protests as no team has signed him since the 2016 season.

The ad consisted of an up-close image of Kaepernick with the statement bolded across the middle, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” This resulted in an initial loss of 3.2 percent of Nike stock and thousands of loyal customers aggravated. The people took to social media to show their disdain by burning sneakers and cutting the Nike symbols off socks and clothing. All accompanied by a caption with a popular hashtag #NikeBoycott which was tweeted over 30,000 times. Nike responded to the backlash by publishing instructions on “How to burn our products safely.”

While Nike’s new ad campaign sponsoring Colin Kaepernick has caused quite the controversy, their shares have increased 27.5 percent, so far this year. Their stocks actually closed at $83.47 Thursday, Sept. 13th, an all-time high for Nike. Even though their stocks have rebounded, it looks like Nike will lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in cancelled contracts and deals.

“I will not be burning my Nike things, but I will not continue to buy Nike clothing because of the support of Colin Kaepernick,” said women’s soccer defender Heidi Krueger.

Softball outfielder Katlyn Lloyd said that she will not boycott the brand even though she doesn’t agree with Kaepernick.

“I will continue to buy Nike products, but I do not support Colin Kaepernick,” Lloyd said.

Baseball pitcher Sean Roberts said that Kaepernick’s protests were disrespectful.

“I understand what he’s doing and the way he’s doing it, but it’s just completely disrespectful to our country and our military,” Roberts said. “And especially because 9/11 just passed, it was just completely disrespectful. I get why people are upset with him, but I don’t think it gives any reason to stop wearing Nike or burning your stuff, and the reactions from it I just think are pointless. I mean, if you like Nike, wear Nike, whether who they use for their ad doesn’t matter to you.”

Sophie Connell and Alexa Wyszkowski contributed to this story.

CCM golf wins region, conference titles, place fifth in national tournament

By Brett Friedensohn
Editor-in-Chief

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CCM golf placed fifth in the national tournament at Chautauqua Golf Club in Chautauqua, New York. Left to right: Tommy Apostolico, Ricky Christensen, Ryan Ruben, Kyle Kepler and Nick Axelson. Photo Courtesy of: Twitter

The golf team at County College of Morris capped off a 36-1 season by sweeping both the region and conference championships and finishing the national title in the fifth seed, the highest ranking in the program’s history.

 

This marks the first region title at CCM since softball in 2016 and the first for golf since 2014.

The Titans clinched the top honor of the National Junior College Athletic Association Region XIX at an outing Monday, May 7 and Tuesday, May 8 when they racked up a team score of 314 at Galloping Hill Golf Course in Kenilworth, New Jersey.

They earned the Garden State Athletic Conference Championship when they scored 310 also at Galloping Hill where freshman Kyle Kepler earned the tournament’s best individual score at 74.

The team then secured the fifth spot out of 12 community colleges with a score of 317 at Chautauqua Golf Club in Chautauqua, New York Friday, June 8.

CCM freshman Nick Axelson shot the 14th overall best score of the tournament at 313; he also earned a spot as an NJCAA third team All-American for the 2018 season.

“It comes down to a lot of different factors, obviously, but overall, it was just a good group of guys,” Axelson said. “I mean, we really got along together well as a team. We built off each other’s competition as well as amongst ourselves as well as the other teams we were facing.”

Axelson also said that head coach Jim Chegwidden kept the team focused on and committed to the sport.

“He was very much a leader for all of us and somebody that we can strive to be, like somebody that we almost want to emulate for his seriousness and doing everything the right way, no cutting corners and just really putting in the time and the effort, and that goes all the way back to preseason and the fall in just getting us into the gym, getting us a place to play schrimaches, getting us lessons with our assistant coach Mikey [Mrugal],” Axelson said. “We weren’t just screwing around just having fun. We were going in competitive trying to win.”

After the region title win and before nationals, Chegwidden said that this team was his best since 2007 when Morris won the region title and placed eighth in the country.

“Anything below eighth is going to be a good year; anything below fifth is going to be a great year,” Chegwidden said. “I think we’re going to need a lot of luck. The second thing is everyone’s going to have to understand that we’re going to get some bad shots. You have to get past that and just deal with what’s in front of you and not worry about what’s behind you. That’s why I like golf so much … It’s like life. If you worry about yesterday, then you can’t take care of things today, so if you hit a bad shot, and you let it affect the rest of your round, then you’re going to have a bad day.”

Chegwidden said that his ability to rely on all five team members helped lead to his team’s success.

“I think the fact that we had five guys that could step it up at any time, and anyone could step it up and be a leader this year,” Chegwidden said. “The No. 5 guy Ryan Ruban from Florida, when we were playing in the region qualifier in Hybrid Hills back on May 2, he really stepped it up, and he was the one that got us in the No. 1 seed, and then, the first day of the region tournament, we took a 10-stroke lead, and the second day, we got another 10-stroke lead. We ended up winning by 20 strokes, and Ricky Christiansen, a freshman from Little Falls, he stepped it up. At the region tournament, he placed third in the region tournament. So in the beginning of the season, Nick Axelson from Roxbury, he carried us for the first part of the year, and then, Kyle Kepler from Wharton started playing really well towards the end of the season … And then,  you had Tommy Apostolico steady throughout the whole season. He was just right around 80 all year long.”

Athletic director Jack Sullivan said that the team would have likely improved on their standing if given more time at nationals.

“They all shot better as they tournament went on, so I think if the tournament had a few more rounds, they would have even improved upon a fifth place finish,” Sullivan said. “I always think passion and desire to build a quality program comes from the coaches, and they have a personal connection to the school and the program.”

Axelson said that he probably played his best golf last year, his senior year playing at Roxbury High School. During the fall 2017 semester, he attended Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina to play golf and study professional golf management, but when he found that he did not play as much as he had hoped, he transferred to CCM. He said that the lack of golf played between high school and CCM has hindered his game, and he hopes to practice more in preparation for next season to rebound.

“I’ve got a lot of parts of my game that could use much improvement especially my short game,” Axelson said. “I think my putting let me down a lot this year, but just playing mid-season when you’re playing almost three, four times a week competing, your game surprisingly gets so much better so fast constantly playing and putting in that repetition. I guess that’s the one thing about next season is playing a lot of golf as a team and putting ourselves in situations with pressure and experiencing that before we have to deal with that is the biggest thing, the preparation.”

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that CCM golf’s most recent region title before 2018 was in 2007. While the Titans did win the title in 2007 and 2018, their most recent region title before this year was in 2014. The current version reflects that.

Soaring season sees CCM softball clinch playoff berth

By Connor Iapoce
Sports Editor

The 2017-2018 Titans softball team found a rhythm early in their season with a 13 game win streak, but the schedule has had its bumps due to weather cancellations in their last four matchups.

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Titans freshman Hannah Brizek fouls off a ball during an 11-0 win in the rst game of a doubleheader against Sussex County Community College. Photos by Brett Friedensohn

Meanwhile, injuries sustained in games have impacted the team’s lineup with key players being injured for a stretch of time. The Titans at presstime sit on a record of 23-6 with a five-game win streak and are currently in the third spot of the Region XIX Division II standings and clinched the playoffs with an 11-0 win over Sussex County Community College Wednesday, April 18.

The Titans trip to Florida over spring break found them finishing with the best record of any Titans program at 12-0. Head Coach Greg Wardlow said he was excited about the way the Titans competed in the tournament against strong nationally ranked teams.

“We beat really strong national programs,” Wardlow said. “We beat Iowa Central Community College twice, who were ranked in the top 12 in the country at the time. We beat Parkland College, who was a national runner up a few years back. We beat a couple of other Midwest powers, St. Louis Community College and Spoon River College. When we looked at our schedule going down to Florida, we pessimistically said ‘Hey we’ll have a time tough with these games,’ but we won them all. We played very well.”

The lossless streak continued with a 9-0 victory against nationally ranked Brookdale Community College, but the Titans were plagued by a group of injuries to the core team during these 13 games.

“Along the way we suffered a couple of injuries,” Wardlow said. “We didn’t have a lot of depth to begin with, having only 13 players on the roster. In Florida, we lost our lead off hitter, starting outfielder, number 4 pitcher Hannah Brizek. She had a labrum tear in her shoulder. One of our leading hitters in Florida, Melissa Ackerman, in her first game back against Brookdale suffered a meniscus sprain in her knee, running out a hit to first base. So we were down a couple of kids.”

The Titans’ win streak earned them a national rank of 14 in the country in the NJCAA, marking the first time the team had never been ranked since Wardlow started coaching at CCM in 2005.

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Titans freshman pitcher Jonnalyn McClain throws a strike against a Sussex batter.

“They started out very strong down South, went 12-0 and reached 14 in the country in the NJCAA, which was very promising,” said Jack Sullivan, CCM athletic director.

The middle half the season was impacted by the appearance of miserable weather in the Northeast, consisting of snowstorms that made it hard for the team to practice outside. It ultimately impacted the team’s return to play when they came back Thursday, March 15, as the team was unable to practice. More injuries would hurt the Titans lineup, including a meniscus sprain, bone bruises, and a broken nose in subsequent games following the return.

“We played some key games not at full strength, but that’s no excuse,” Wardlow said. “Everybody suffers injuries.”

The Titans would win eighth more games and lose only six, leading Wadlow to believe the Titans have clinched a postseason berth according to their record. Four teams make the playoffs with a double elimination style tournament. The Titans have made the final four the past 9 seasons.

“We have to keep our kids motivated, because we think we have a very good team and we have a pretty good chance,” Wardlow said. “We just need to put it all together when it counts at the end and work on things over the next couple of weeks. It’s anyone of the four teams that qualify are going to have a chance, so it’s who’s playing well.”

The Titans have proved their strength and consistency during the long season, event with the difficulties resulting from the numerous postponements and cancellations. They have not lost a game by more than two runs and Wardlow attributes this to the players themselves.


“We have to keep our kids motivated, because we think we have a very good team and we have a pretty good chance.”

Greg Wardlow Titans softball coach


Freshman pitchers Nicole Carter and Kellie Faber are 11-3 and 9-3 respectively, with Carter pitching a perfect game in the first game of a doubleheader against Northampton Community College and Faber striking out ten in the first game of the doubleheader.

Freshman Kaitlyn Lloyd has an average of .526, earning the title of GSAC player of the week for the second consecutive week Wednesday, April 28. Lloyd leads the team is stolen bases with 21, putting her in the top 10 all time for a CCM player during one season.

“We have a really good record and a really talented team,” said Ally Tufaro, a sophomore outfielder and fine art major. “I think we can make it to [nationals in] Mississippi. That’s like our one goal for the entire season. I would say that’s where I see our team at the end of the season.”

Wardlow said he has the team practicing to deal with the lack of depth that has occurred as a result of the injuries. The team was averaging double figures in Florida but have not scored as many runs as the beginning half of the season.

“Right now, we’re just not scoring as many runs anymore,” Wardlow said. “Some of it is because our lineup has been depleted a little bit, so the lack of depth hurts so we do have to work on getting back into a groove hitting. Our pitching has been pretty consistent and strong. None of the four teams that we play at the end have dominating pitching, so we’re going to have to score runs to win. We’ll certainly work on hitting in the next couple weeks. A couple of things we noticed during games are kind of hard to correct in-game. There is not a lot of chances for practices, because we are always playing games. But certainly things we will try to tighten up in those last couple of weeks.”

The Titans stand in third place of the top four teams who are in positions to make the tournament. Sullivan said he thinks the end of the season will come down to the wire to determine the fourth team.

“It’s going to be a mad rush to see who makes the final four team for the tournament,” said Sullivan. “As we stand, we are 3rd and the top four teams make it to the semifinals. We are looking at Mercer in first place, Lackawanna in second place, and Morris in third. Burlington is in fourth, but Del Tech Owens has an outside chance. That wouldn’t be our problem right now.”

The success of the rookie Titans have the team looking forward to next season, but with a shifting sophomore class, the team has also focused on recruitment efforts. A big effort is their sophomore


“They started out very strong down South, went 12-0 and reached 14 in the country in the NJCAA, which was very promising.”

Jack Sullivan CCM athletic director


“Next season we’ll retain all of our pitchers and all of our pitchers are freshman,” Wardlow said. “We lose a lot of offense and a lot of players on the field which is going to impact us for sure. We have two kids signed for next year, but we know we need more and we have to build up our roster size and depth. We’re always trailing in recruiting compared to four-year schools, but we have to work hard in April and May to get the right kids. That’s one of our focuses, even though we’re playing right now, to actively recruit at high school games and continue to push for that in the next month or so. We do need to build up our numbers for next September.”

Sullivan said he wants the team focused on the rest of this season, before worrying about next year but believes that under coach Wardlow’s leadership, the Titans will find success.

“Coach does a great job finding talent and making it translate to team chemistry, on the field and off the field,” said Sullivan. “There is solid leadership this year from Carly McDaniel and Olivia Feiger and the rest of the sophomores, they’re the core. I’ve always said in junior college, you are led by sophomores. They have been through the league before and they know what’s expected of them. They are all quality sophomores, and we have an outstanding group of freshman that came in, learning their way and by this time, I think they’re all ready to roll.”

Katlyn Lloyd, a freshman was hitting .526 at press time and was Player of the Week in the conference in the second consecutive week April 18.

“She does everything, she has 21 stolen bases already which is already in the top 10 for CCM in a season,” Wardlow said. “She hits with power, she’s the fastest kid on the team, and an all-around terrific player with a great season … Both our top two pitchers, Nicole Carter and Kellie Faber, have done very well as freshman. Carter is 11-3 right now and on Saturday, she pitched a perfect game in the second game of a doubleheader against Northampton Community College. Kellie Faber is 9-3, she struck out 10 in the first game of the doubleheader on Saturday. Both of those are certainly keeping us in game. We lost six games. The six losses, we lost 2-4 against Orange, we lost 5-6 to Lackawanna, we lost 3-5 and 2-3 to Mercer, we lost 4-6 to Del Tech, and we lost 0-2 to Western Connecticut. Those are our six losses and none of the ever by more than two runs. A little luck and maybe less injuries, our 21-6 is a lot loftier.”

County College of Morris will host the Region XIX tournament on April 28 and 29 at the softball fields near Parking Lot 1.

Titans golf drives, chips its way into a new season

CCM places in top two seeds in both opening tournaments

By Connor Iapoce
Sports Editor

The County College of Morris Titans golf team worked on their game in the winter offseason hoping to come out swinging strong when the 2017-2018 season started Monday, March 19.

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The 2018 CCM Titans golfers practice their swings at a pre- season session at the driving range. Photos courtesy of Twitter

Now, under head coach Jim Chegwidden in his fourth season at CCM, they have opened up their season placing second of six in their first match on March 19 and first of four in their second match Monday, March 26. A team consisting of three freshman and two sophomores continue to drive to reach the NJCAA National Golf Championship in Chautauqua, New York.

The Titans’ first match was a Garden State Athletic Conference matchup against Rowan College at Burlington County at Deerwoods Country Club. The Titans combined for a total stroke score of 317, the lowest opening round score for the team since the 2007 season. Freshman Nick Axelson shot 75, the team’s lowest score, to lead CCM to second place in the match, combining with the other top three scores from freshman Jerome Beyer who shot 78, sophomore Tommy Apostolico who shot 80, and returning sophomore Kyle Kepler who shot 84.

Kepler said he had desire to get back into the competition of the golf season and play against other skilled players and spent the offseason working on his game, putting emphasis on his hopes of reaching the national tournament.

“I am looking forward this season to competing at a competitive level against some really skilled players and reaching our team goal of getting back to the national tournament,” Kepler said. “This offseason and spring, I’ve been dedicating a lot of time at the driving range working on my swing and short game. I’ve been getting some good practice rounds in on the course to find a rhythm in my game which I felt was a missing component last season.”

The Titan’s second match saw the team finish first against Delaware Technical Community College at Baywood Greens. The team shot 346 under hazardous conditions with low temperatures and 30 mph gusts of winds. Axelson led the team once more shooting with Apostolico shooting 86, Christensen shooting 89, and Kepler shooting 91.

“Being my first year on the team, I’m looking forward to nearly every aspect of our season,” Axelson said. “Each event is an opportunity for me to perform for our school.”

Head coach Chegwidden said he has a lot of faith in a team made up of mostly new recruits, where the composition of the team seems to change every season.

“It’s always difficult to recruit at the two-year level,” Chegwidden said. “It’s almost like every season you have to bring a new team. Attitudes are great, however. I really think that these guys really believe we could win it all this year. We have the ability from golfers one through five because anyone of those guys could shoot in the 70s. It makes it nice since I don’t have to worry about the lineup. They take care of themselves.”

The golfers compete for the top two spots on the team, and the player with the top score during a match will tee off first the next match for CCM.

“The golf team this year is a special group of guys that includes two experienced returning players and three really good incoming players that will have a key role in the team this year,” Kepler said. “It’s really enjoyable being part of a team where we all want to win and compete at a high level.”

Chegwidden said the Titans have grown closer through weekly golf specific workouts in the fitness center during the off center, based on exercises he saw on The Golf Channel.

“I really believe that when you make your body stronger, your mind gets stronger,” Chegwidden said. “And vice versa. You see golfers nowadays, and it’s not like back in the 70s where guys were totally out of shape smoking cigarettes and drinking a beer. You see guys like Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy who are all ripped.”

The training allows the golfers to practice their skills as a team, especially for newcomers such as Axelson.

“Utilizing practice facilities as a team has helped me build strong relationships with teammates and also improve my overall game,” Axelson said.

The Titans have experienced success in the past including the GSAC and Region XIX championships in 2007. They were the runners-up in the region in 2013 and earned a place in the national tournament last year.


“I really think that these guys really believe we could win it all this year.”

Jim Chegwidden Titans golf coach


“Our goal every year is to win the conference championship, to win the region championship, and to qualify for the national championship as a team,” Chegwidden said. “We’ve done that pretty well as over the past 13 years we have qualified 10 times. We have a very good chance, but there’s some good teams this year. Last year, I’m going to say, was a down year. I was a little surprised that we made the national tournament last year. But it was a pleasant surprise.”

College golf matches involve many different aspects of the sport, including different rule systems and properly marking a ball. The matches usually take between four and a half to five and a half hours, so it is an all day event for the team.

“At the end, the kids all come in and they all have to go over their scores in each group, hole by hole,” Chegwidden said. “That’s the most important part of the scoring. It doesn’t matter really what the final score is, it’s their hole by hole score. Once they do that, they sign their cards, and if they sign for a lower score and their score happens to be wrong and it’s a higher score, they get disqualified. If they sign for a higher score, they don’t get disqualified.”

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Titans sophomore Kyle Kepler chips a ball on the green during a match.

Meanwhile, Chegwidden emphasized the bonding a golf team will experience during a season despite it often considered an individual sport.

“I actually just sent one of my kids a text message last night,” Chegwidden said. “I said to him, you know, I’m glad that you’re with us, and I hope that your experience here helps you with not only your golf experience, but your life experience. The best part about coaching at CCM is that I still get to see a lot of my former players because golf is a social sport. I still have a lot of players that call me to go play. I see a lot of them that work in the golf industry.”

The Titans will host a home tournament noon Monday, April 16 at Farmstead Golf Club. They are members of the Garden State Athletic Conference and Region XIX of the NJCAA.

Men’s basketball ends playoff run with division title loss

By Connor Iapoce & Brett Friedensohn
Sports Editor, Editor-in-Chief

The men’s basketball Titans at County College of Morris fell short of glory after winning the Garden State Athletic Conference championship and reaching the championship game of the Region XIX DII tournament, where their season ended in a heartbreaking 74-76 loss against Ulster County Community College.

The Titans concluded the 2017-2018 season with an overall record of 21-9 and a conference championship under their belt.

CCM athletic director Jack Sullivan disagreed with labeling the game as a Region XIX championship loss due to technicalities about the designation of the game.

“Technically, it was a district championship, not the region title,” Sullivan said. “Ulster is from outside the region. It was a district game to see who goes to the national tournament. Technically, we were on top of the Region XIX, so we won the Region XIX, but it didn’t give us an automatic bid. I guess we’re the regular season Region XIX champions and Garden State Athletic Conference Champions, 21-9.”

Meanwhile, the Titans are still dealing with the shortened end of a successful season, with the second half of the season consisting of 13 wins and three losses. The Titans entered the Region XIX championship on a five-game win streak.

“I think that we all bought in,” said D’Ondre Dent, a freshman guard. “We came together, there was a lot of leadership skills by [sophomores] Ishmil Raymond and Ranell Bell. We bought into what the coach has been teaching us, and I know we came together, and everything became easy. Once you do everything you’re supposed to do, it became easy. That’s why you saw that win streak.”

The loss from an out of region team was especially disappointing for Dent, who said he saw it as a stolen win in a game that should been theirs to win.

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Titans forward Ish Raymond puts up a layup in a 99-55 win against Prestige Prep.

“The team we lost to, they weren’t in our region,” Dent said. “They came in and took our trophy. Now, they’re probably dancing in Danville right now. I’ll never forget that feeling. I didn’t play the game, I got hurt the game before so watching them, that was my first time. Watching them and to lose by two, that hurt so I’m definitely using that as motivation for next year.”

The championship game against Ulster came down to the wire for the Titans, with a two-point difference deciding the winner. The Titans were leading Ulster 35-31 entering halftime, but the team was ultimately outscored 45 to 39 in the second half, with the final score of 74-76.

“It hurt,” Dent said. “The team was good, but we definitely shot ourselves in the foot. Hopefully, we’ll work hard. We’re in the gym, and we’ll work hard. We are already in the gym and took a week off for spring break, so we’re focused on next year. Get to that same position, but have a different outcome.”

Before this playoff run, the Titans had not reached the Region XIX playoffs since the 2012-2013 season.

“We were the second seed going into it which is huge because it hasn’t happened in years, forget about us even going in,” said freshman red shirt Andrew Sosna. “So, we made it very far in that regard. We played our hearts out; I know the guys were frustrated with the loss. I think that we got in our own heads, and I think that’s why we couldn’t deliver. When this team plays at optimum capacity, we are unstoppable.”

The two championships were the first at CCM for head coach Anthony Obery, who is in his fourth season as a CCM coach and third season as the head coach.


“They came in and took our trophy. Now, they’re probably dancing in Danville right now. I’ll never forget that feeling.”

D’Ondre Dent
Titans guard


Sosna said he has been waiting all season for a chance to join the team and is hoping next season can capitalize on this year’s success.

    “I think a lot of our sophomores are leaving this year, which is upsetting, but good for them,” said Sosna. “I know they’re going on to bigger, better things. I think we have a team that’s ready to work, we have a good program, and we have coaches that are ready to kick us into high gear. I’m excited. I’m super excited. I’ve been waiting all year for this, honestly. I think we can deliver again.”

Sullivan is also confident the team will be able to find success again next season.

“I like the freshman we have coming back,” Sullivan said. “I thought they were outstanding. I think that they can go from there. I think there’s a lot to be excited about.”

Students of varying cultures excited for upcoming World Cup

By Mahadye Paniahie
Contributor

While the United States failed to qualify for this year’s World Cup, many students at County College of Morris plan to embrace other cultures and watch the soccer matches rooting for the countries of their backgrounds.

This summer, men’s soccer teams from all over the globe prepare to meet in Russia for the 2018 Fifa World Cup, looking to battle it out in the tournament and seize the mantle from the  returning 2014 World Cup champion Germany.

“I cannot wait till the World Cup starts and watch my beautiful people of Colombia gather together and wish for the same goal which is to win the World cup,” said Erika Pineda, an exercise science major at CCM. “I hope we do good like last World Cup, except win it this time.”

Pineda and her family are from Colombia, and their national team lost in the quarter-finals last World Cup to Brazil.

For others, the excitement exists more because their nation qualified and will participate this World Cup after failing to do so last tournament. For example, Peru has not qualified for the World Cup since 1982.

“I am so happy that Peru did qualify this time so my family and I can actually have that joy and happiness watching,” said Marcello Rivera, a design major at CCM.

Marcello said he is hoping Peru could make an impact in this upcoming tournament and is excited to watch them play.

“Peru is an underdog team, and watching them play might shock some people this year in the World Cup, but it won’t shock me if they go far because I know they are capable of doing so,” Marcello said.

As much as excitement there is for this upcoming World Cup, there may be as much revenge from the previous World Cup.

Matthaus Rivera was born in Argentina and said he has been a fan of Argentinian soccer since he was a kid.

“Last year, my people of Argentina were thrilled to reach the World Cup finals, but were so heartbroken when we lost,” said Matthaus, a criminal justice major at CCM. “I feel so frustrated knowing how close we were to winning it last time, so I won’t be satisfied with anything less than first place this World Cup.”