Sports

Softball seeks strong season start

Titans finished second in region last year

Softball_Facebook

The 2018 Titans softball players pose for a team picture at practice. Photo courtesy of: Facebook

By Connor Iapoce
Sports Editor

County College of Morris Titans softball looks to stay motivated as they open the 2018 spring campaign after last season’s 3-4 defeat in the Region XIX Championship game against Lackawanna College stopped ended their chances of reaching the College World Series.

Head coach Greg Wardlow is now in his 14th season coaching softball at CCM; under his command, the team started training beginning Thursday, Feb. 1, but irregular weather made it difficult to practice outside prior to the Titans’ Friday, March 9 season opener.

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Titans freshman pitcher Jonnalyn McClain warms up her arm during a team training session outside. Photo by: Brett Friedensohn

“We’re practicing on average like five days a week,” Wardlow said. “It’s tough in the Northeast because you are limited by the weather and the field conditions. We try to use the space available to work on what we can.”

The makeup of the team has changed since the previous year’s lineup with the team made up of mostly new players and five returning sophomores. A key addition to the Titans was the acquisition of four new freshman pitchers, replacing former Titans powerhouse pitcher Mary Mastriani who, after setting a CCM record for most wins for a softball pitcher at 43, now plays at NCAA Division I St. Peter’s University.

“Obviously, our pitchers can get in work in the gym just as well as they can outside,” Wardlow said. “So we put a premium on pitching development. We have four freshman pitchers this year all of which were pretty good high school kids. We try to maximize their development in February.”

In recent years, the program has found a solid footing with three trips to the Region XIX championship game in the past three seasons. The Titans won the region in 2016 but were unable to go back-to-back last season. Wardlow said he is optimistic about the team’s chances of reaching the game once more this season.

“We’re kind of optimistic going into this season,” Wardlow said. “We always have hopes of going to the World Series which this year is mid-May in Mississippi, so we try to promote that motivation and enthusiasm to the players. We talk about going to Mississippi; that’s our objective every year. It’s not easy. You have to win your conference, win the region tournament, and then you have to win the district tournament to get there. Two years ago, we came close. We won our region for the first time in 25 years, and we played the district championship, and we won our first two games. We just got beat, though. Once step short. Last year, we lost in the final of our region tournament. But, that’s our goal. We are excited to start the season.”

The Titans team has focused their sights on the end goal of reaching the region tournament and beyond. Many Titans returning sophomores are set on returning to the big stage to prove the team’s newfound talent, especially with their new bullpen.


“We try not to put too much of a premium on winning games early in the season. It’s all about development.”

Greg Wardlow Titans head coach


“Honestly, I hope to win regions because last year we came in second,” said Carly McDaniel, a sophomore shortstop. “I think that we have a better chance this year because we have four pitchers. Last year, we only had one”

Other returning sophomores are focused on proving their determination and collaboration as one core Titans unit.

“I think we’re going to do really well,” said Ally Tufaro, sophomore outfielder. “We have a lot of talent. Everyone gets along, which is very important on a team. We need to probably improve on consistent winning streaks.”

Wardlow said he knows the team must focus on the length of the season to stay consistent over the course of the 56-game season. He emphasized the team’s development over focusing on a winning record.

The Titans will have games against GSAC members and Region XIX rivals as well as a visit to Cocoa Beach, Florida punctuating the front half of the season. The team will match up with other junior colleges from around the country during the Florida trip with the outcome of the games still weighing on the overall season record.

“We try not to put too much of a premium on winning games early in the season,” Wardlow said. “It’s all about development. The conference schedule is a small portion of our schedule. We have 56 games scheduled between now and the end of April and only 10 of which are conference games. We’ll play games in Florida which count towards our overall record, but whether we win or lose those games is not all that important. We need to be over .500 to qualify. We want to be playing our best at the end, so you have to try to keep an even keel between now and the end and just try to keep getting better and better.”

Wardlow said softball was a part of his family when his daughters played, and when that ended, he continued his involvement of the sport at CCM.

“I make this part-time job into a full-time job which means that I enjoy it,” Wardlow said. “I come to school every day, and I enjoy every aspect of it. Whether it’s recruiting high school kids during the season or in the summer or coming out here and practicing every day. Obviously, I’m a competitor, so we try to build this program to win, but it’s also very rewarding to develop kids to help them not only in their athletic pursuits but academically as well. I think that’s probably what we take the most pride in as coaches is seeing these kids do well at their next stop.”

Tufaro said that she feels welcomed at CCM.

“It’s a very welcoming atmosphere,” Tufaro said. “I transferred from a different school that I played at, and I thoroughly enjoy this much better.”

County College of Morris Titans softball are a member of the Garden State Athletic Conference and NJCAA Region XIX at the Division II level. The Titans open their home season with a doubleheader against Rowan College at Burlington County starting at 12 p.m. Saturday, March 24.

Titans baseball prepare for 2018 season after last year’s success

By Connor Iapoce
Sports Editor

Coming off a season that saw them rocket up the standings to second place in the region and eighth in the nation, the County College of Morris baseball team is looking to continue that hot streak when its 2018 campaign kicks off on Saturday, March 3.

Titans men’s baseball is one of the more storied athletic programs at County College of Morris with three trips to the National Junior College Athletic Association World Series and more than 50 former players reaching the professional leagues. A successful 2017 season resulted in being crowned as the Garden State Athletic Conference Champions.

Head coach Brian Eberly said it is realistic the team will be able to win the region once more, possibly even heading to the NJCAA Division II College World Series.

“Our goal is to win the region and get to the College World Series,” said Eberly, who has been with CCM for the past eight seasons. “I think it’s very realistic. We won the conference last year. We’ve put more players into the big leagues than any other New Jersey junior college. We’ve been to the College World Series on three different occasions here and it’s got a strong history and we’ve done well recently as well.”

The makeup of the team has changed from last year, and this is reflected in the Titans being unranked by the NJCAA coming into this season, according to Eberly.

“We have a lot of new faces this year,” Eberly said. “We lost a lot of sophomores after last year. But I think we’re a little underappreciated going into this year. We went 41-8, finished eighth in the nation last year, and we are unranked to start the season this year. We’ve got a lot of proving ourselves to do.”

Eberly said he has placed an emphasis on strengthening the bullpen this year. The Titans lost a majority of their pitchers as last year’s sophomore pitchers graduated and moved on to four-year programs.

“We lost a large majority of our pitching staff, so we’ve been working hard at molding a lot of young guys and new guys,” Eberly said. “I think we’ll hit well. It’s just a matter of throwing strikes.”

Titans have begun preseason conditioning to get ready at the start of the season in March. The team exercises in the weight room together and pitchers are beginning to throw bullpen.

“Since I’m a pitcher, we lift four days a week and throw bullpen at least twice a week,” said John Lynch, sophomore right hand pitcher. “We get a lot of conditioning in … Last year, it was really good because we had a very successful season and this year, I’m just looking forward to being a leader and having another successful year.”

Sophomore infielder Jose Severino said he is pleased with last year’s results and hopes the success will follow into this season.

“We are pushing forward and trying to make it another strong year,” Severino said.

The baseball season consists of 40 plus games in the span of March to the beginning of May unless the team reaches the playoffs and more games are played later in May. Titans players must remain consistent, according to Eberly, in order to not lose focus on the end goal of reaching the playoffs.

“We play a pretty strong schedule which I think will help prepare us for our conference games,” Eberly said. “We’ve got a pretty good group as far as the way we practice and support each other and motivate each other. I think it helps to push guys to not slack off or go into deep slumps because there’s other guys around them available if needed.”

According to Eberly, many of the Titans sophomore players from last season were placed into four-year universities to further their career playing college baseball.

“I think we placed every one of our sophomores last year,” Eberly said. “We’ve got kids, not Division I in New Jersey, but DI elsewhere in the country and other schools in New Jersey.”

Eberly placed importance on his role as coach in the decision process for the players especially regarding the difference in support that occurs between players and two-year coaches versus a coach at a higher, four-year level.

“It’s sort of an even mix between college coaching where I’m recruiting and bringing talent in but also doing a lot to help promote kids to the next level and help kids pursue careers and college choices when they leave here,” Eberly said. “It kind of gives me more to do and more ways to help and influence.”

The Titans are members of the Garden State Athletic Conference and NJCAA Region XIX at the Division II level. Students can catch their home opener against Union County College  Wednesday, March 21 at the CCM baseball field near Parking Lot 9.

Men’s basketball clinches playoff berth

Titans end five season postseason drought with 76-71 win

By Brett Friedensohn
Editor-in-Chief

The men’s basketball team at County College of Morris advanced to the regional championship tournament for the first time since 2013 with a 76-71 win against Raritan Valley Community College Tuesday, Jan. 30.

After the regular season ends Thursday, March 1, the Titans will compete in the National Junior College Athletic Association Region XIX Division II championship tournament consisting of local community college teams; all eligible colleges are in New Jersey, Delaware, and eastern Pennsylvania.

A 75-73 loss to Lackawanna College Saturday, Feb. 10 gave CCM a record of 9-4 in region play and 16-8 overall where it remained at presstime when it was third in the division. The Titans closed last season with a record of 1-13 in the region and 5-20 overall.

Head coach Anthony Obery, in his fourth season, is set to lead a team into the playoffs for the first time in his CCM tenure.

“It feels good,” Obery said. “Our biggest strength right now is our mental toughness. I would say that my guys, no matter what situation that we’re in, our guys stay mentally tough throughout the game. That’s one of our biggest strengths, so if you’re down by a couple of points, you still bounce back, and you still come back and win the game.”

Sophomore center Ish Raymond poses his team’s highest three-point shooting percentage at 52.9 and its second highest points per game at 12.9, behind sophomore guard Lamont Williams at 14.5.

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Titans center Ish Raymond jumps over an opposing player for a layup against Cumberland County College. Photos By: Brett Friedensohn

“I’ve experienced it on both sides of the spectrum coming from where the team was last year,” said Raymond, a liberal arts major. “It’s amazing to be a part of this journey. I really appreciate the opportunity.”

Raymond said that he and his teammates are confident in their ability to win the region title.

“We’re just getting better with ourselves as a unit,” Raymond said. “That’s really a big focus amongst the team. That helps the mentality going against other teams. We know how to approach games. Yeah, there’s slip ups here and there; we do have flaws plenty, but for the most part, like I said, we really have a good intention to work on ourselves.”

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Freshman guard Abraham Kromah flies through the air in a 86- 78 home win against Cumberland County College

Obery said that to find success in the postseason, his team needs to stay consistent, especially on defense.

“We’ve got to stay hungry,” Obery said. “I tell these guys, ‘I know you can score the basketball. I’m not concerned about you scoring the basketball.’ We have to stay disciplined on defense. If we play defense, I don’t think nobody can hang with us.”

Students can see the Titans’ next home game against Raritan Valley at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27 in the Health and Physical Education building gymnasium.

Women’s basketball winds down rebuilding season on losing streak

By Connor Iapoce
Sports Editor

The women’s basketball team at County College of Morris are nearing the end of their 2017-2018 season on a three-game losing streak.

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Titans guard Kyara Ramirez looks to pass ball off to Titans team- mate Sophie Fisher after facing pressure from Manor College defender on Jan 27. Photo by Connor Iapoce

At presstime, the Titans were 3-14 in overall overall National Junior College Athletic Association play and 3-11 in Region XIX play. They returned to division play this season after finishing the 2016-2017 season 0-12 and facing a demotion to club status.First-year head coach Alexandra Katz said she has refocused her efforts on rebuilding the team up after last season’s demotion.

“This is a rebuilding year for us, so there’s a lot of things that we can improve on,” Katz said. “Every game, we find new things that we can get better at, so that’s definitely something that we can pull from here.”

The Titans’ 14th loss came from a home game against Manor College Saturday, Jan. 27. They entered halftime tied at 31 but would fail to overcome a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter and lose the game 49-63.

Freshman guard Christianna Miltiadous said she was disappointed with the home loss against Manor, citing mistakes on the court costing her team the game rather than being outplayed by the opposing team.


“This is a rebuilding year for us, so there’s a lot of things that we can improve on.”

Alexandra Katz Women’s Basketball Coach


“We obviously could have won,” Miltiadous said. “We lost because of our mistakes. I can’t really describe it. We should have won. I think we were in our own heads. I think if we really put our minds into it, we could have won, but we did it to our ourselves.”

Freshman guard Kayla Beal is tied with forward Marianne Enriquez for second highest shooting percentage on her team at 50. Forward Sophia Menola boats a shooting percentage of 62.5.

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Giovanna Harrigan jumps over a defender in game against Manor College on Jan. 27. Photo by Connor Iapoce

“I feel as though we should have played a lot better today,” Beal said. “We gave them the game at the end of the game. That’s pretty much all I have to say.”

Katz said she is looking forward to improving the team before next season and wants to concentrate on building groundwork for the seasons to come.

“I want them to just get better individually and us as a team and build for next year,” Katz said. “Laying the foundation of what we want and what’s important to us and then building off of that as we go forward. This year, it’s learning a lot, and next year, it will be a lot more advanced.”

As a former Titan, Katz said she aims to use her position as women’s basketball head coach to give back to CCM’s athletic programs. She played basketball and soccer during her time at CCM and continued her athletic career at Fairleigh Dickinson University.


“We practice really hard, and we give it our all. It’s just sometimes, we don’t get out of our heads.”

Christianna Miltiadous Titans guard


“They’re really great kids,” Katz said. “I’ve really enjoyed every second of coaching them. I’m really happy to be here because I’m a CCM alumna, and this place helped me move on. So I’m happy to give back to them, and they’re just really good people.”

Some of the Titans players are focusing on mental improvements to their game and continuing to work hard to make smarter plays on the court.

“We should get out of our own heads,” Miltiadous said. “We practice really hard, and we give it our all. It’s just sometimes, we don’t get out of our heads.”

Others are focused on strategies to improve the technical details of their game to find more success during each quarter.

“Passing the ball more,” Beal said on finding success in games. “Talking on defense, running our plays right, running our offense, using the clock, getting back on D.”

The Titans are set to finish the 2017-2018 season away against Lackawanna College at 12 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10.

Assistant athletic director, veteran coach looks to increase transfer rates to NCAA

By Connor Iapoce
Sports Editor

County College of Morris women’s Soccer head coach Roger Stephens says he is not the cliched soccer coach screaming from the sidelines of a soccer pitch during a close match; if you watch him on the field, he is mostly taking notes to discuss key improvements with his team during halftime.

Stephens, who also works as the assistant athletic director, has his own room in the athletic department’s main office the Health and Physical Education building, adorned with newspaper articles, pictures of past soccer teams, and plaques detailing athletic accomplishments. His name has been a staple of CCM athletics for three decades as he has been involved, on-and-off, within the Titans athletics department since 1985 having led both the men’s and women’s soccer programs at various points of his CCM career.

The players he has coached include 13 All-Americans and five regional players of the year. Stephens has also taken pride in academic success, with many of his players keeping above a 3.0 GPA. At the end of 2011, Coach Stephens left a 21-year career as the CCM men’s soccer coach with a record of 244-102-17 or a .696 win percentage.

Soccer has not always been the main focal point of Stephens’ life. During his childhood in New Jersey, the sport was not offered around his town. It was in high school that he subsequently decided to focus on soccer. Ultimately, it came down to his athletic future in college.

“Once I got to my senior year in high school, I made the decision that soccer was the sport I really wanted to play,” Stephens said. “A buddy of mine and I went down to visit Duke University in North Carolina, but we both decided to commit to Trenton State, which is known as The College of New Jersey now. The coach from TCNJ went up to see us, and we had visited the school. They were just coming off a national championship. That’s when I kind of made the decision. I actually went out for track that year just to increase my fitness before college, and that was a good move.”

As a midfielder and outside back starter for the TCNJ Lions, Stephens won the New Jersey Athletic Conference and reaching the National Collegiate Athletic Association national quarterfinals. He decided to stay on the Lions team as a graduate assistant coach, working under his head coach who was one of the first in the state to receive a coaching certification.

This prompted Stephens to pursue a certification as well, which he relates as the moment he decided to become a coach, leading to him starting his CCM tenure as the head coach for the Titans men’s soccer team.

“We actually lost my first two games as coach in 1985,” Stephens said. “It was funny because I could see that we were going to have a decent team, and I had a little bit of an idea of what the level of competition was out there. We only lost, I think, one in overtime, and one was lost by a goal. We could see we were going to be decent that first year. They had only won two or three games the year before and we got it back to .500 after that following year. We went to like 13-4-1 at season’s end.”

Stephens coached the men’s team for 21 seasons and let them to the National Junior College Athletic Association Region XIX finals six times to with three titles. The Titans made it to the national tournament twice, including the national semifinal in 2008 where the team finished in third place. Stephens would receive four regional Coach of the Year awards.

Ivan Maldonado is a current player on the men’s soccer team at CCM but got to know Stephens in middle school when he helped coach the team. He credits Stephens for much of his success as a soccer player.

“Coach Stephens made me more than just a better soccer player,” Maldonado said. “He knows how to treat his athletes with respect and has a great understanding of the game. I believe that one thing I’ve learned from him is to always be humble. Even after all he’s done, he has found a way to keep his feet grounded. If it wasn’t for him at the right time and place, I don’t think my game would have developed the way it did.”

Stephens took the position as the head coach of the NCAA Division II Felician University men’s soccer for two seasons in 2012 and 2013. He would later return to CCM under a different role, assistant athletic director.

Athletic Director Jack Sullivan was pleased with the hiring of Stephens and believed he was the best man for the job.

“When we had an opportunity for him to come back as assistant athletic director, I knew his track record,” Sullivan said. “His professionalism then always resonated with me. I knew how hard he worked, and I knew the benefit to the college to get him. When he applied, I was elated, and when he got the position, I was extremely happy. We have a good working relationship, our camaraderie is outstanding in my opinion, and we rely on each other heavily.”

The return of Stephens to CCM as the assistant athletic director occurred at a time when the men’s soccer team already had a head coach, but there was an opening under the women’s team.

“When I came back, Jack asked if I would be interested in coaching the women,” Stephens said. “I had coached women at the club level, not at the college level, so that was how that all unfolded.”

This past fall 2017 season found the Lady Titans under Coach Stephens finishing with a 6-5-1 record and a run in the NJCAA Region XIX playoffs when they lost in the Division I semifinal 3-1 to Essex County College.

“We’re excited right now,” Stephens said. “We’ve already had three girls sign which is the most we’ve ever had at this point in time. We had four players visit this past Friday, so we are really kind of excited about what the future holds right now. It is all about recruiting.”

Stephens has taken specific pride in seeing his players succeed academically and move on to four-year universities to continue playing the sport.

“To me, the success of a program is reflected in how many student athletes you have moving on to four-year levels,” Stephens said.

Male athletes that have played under the coach have moved on to NCAA schools ranging from Division I to Division III including Rutgers University, Seton Hall University, Iona College, and East Stroudsburg University. As the women’s coach, it is just starting to take place.

“We had players going down to Tennessee and East Stroudsburg,” Stephens said. “That is one key to success is just the fact you are putting players out there. It just started happening on the women’s side so that is what we are pretty pleased with.”

As the current women’s coach, Stephens aims to get more women playing college soccer.

“We did so much on the guy’s side and we are just starting to break the bubble, so to speak, on the women’s side and getting more women playing college soccer,” Stephens said. “That is going to be the key to be successful is having them move on and be successful and complete their four-year degrees while also being able to continue to move on and play at whatever division levels.”

As his role of assistant athletic director brings him more responsibility, Stephens is aiming to change the view of CCM athletics and bring the support from administration back. He wants to work with the college so that athletics remain important, but the student athletes take priority, so the school is able to help foster success to move on to a four-year-university.

“His biggest strength is his love for this institution and soccer,” Sullivan said. “When you put the two together combined with his work ethic, it is second to none. Top to bottom, Roger Stephens runs a first-class organization program, and I think he’s going to get to nationals with this team very soon.”

Men’s basketball begins back half of season

Pair of losses punctuate start to new year

By Connor Iapoce
Sports Editor

County College of Morris’ men’s basketball team began 2018 on a two-game losing streak with a National Junior College Athletic Association Region XIX home loss against Mercer County Community College Tuesday, Jan. 9 and an away loss against Harcum College Saturday, Jan. 13.

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Titans guard Lamont Williams goes up for a layup over Delaware Tech players in a 98-66 win. Photo by Connor Iapoce

Assistant coach Anwar King said the team is facing one of the toughest schedules in the conference and is focusing on taking the season one game at a time.

“Conference games are always the toughest, especially against a team you have already played against,” King said after said after the game against MCCC.  “Nobody comes back the same second semester as they did the first semester. Mercer is one of the toughest teams, and today, they overworked us.”

The team went down in the first half 35-43, but outscored the opponent in the second half 46 to 38. Despite this, the Titans lost the game 81-86.

“We could have came out stronger,” said freshman guard D’Ondre Dent. “We missed a lot of easy layups, couple second chance points, and they killed us on the backdoors. We just have to come back with harder defense. We also are missing a couple of guys, but that’s not an excuse. We were still right there.”

Despite the two most recent losses, the Titans’ overall season record is 8-7, with a 4-3 Region XIX record, and they held the fourth spot in the region’s Division II at presstime.

“I mean we came out and we played,” said freshman guard Anthony Lopez. “We could have played better though, it’s just a tough loss. We just gotta work harder and work hard at what we’ve been doing.”

King said his team consists of freshman who are still learning how to cope with the increasing responsibilities of leading the team.

“It’s hard for freshman to come in and learn so much and have a lot of weight on their shoulders,” King said. “Now their accountability is held against them. It’s just a major adjustment all of them have made.”

Despite this, the team has found success this season with four region conference wins.

“The key strengths for this season is just everybody coming to play,” King said. “We’ve got loads of talent from start to finish, and it’s just a matter of who comes to play which game. There’s no high expectations, no nationals, nothing like that. Everything that we’re doing is taking it one game at a time.”

The loss against Del Tech Stanton marked the largest deficit of the season for the Titans with a 19 point loss. The team went down 42-58 in the first half and was unable to take the lead in the second half, losing the game 89-108.

“Since we lost five games in the first semester, we don’t want to lose five games in the second semester,” Dent said. “That’s the goal. As a team, I think we can get to the national championship.”

The Titans men’s basketball team competes in the Division II level in the Garden State Athletic Conference as well as in the NJCAA Region XIX.

Their next home game is at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27 against Manor College in the Health and Physical Education building.

Men’s basketball earns blowout victory in season opener

By Connor Iapoce

Sports Editor

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Titans guard Lamont Williams jumps over Delaware Tech players for a layup in a 98-66 win. Photo by Connor Iapoce.

The County College of Morris men’s basketball team opened its 2017-2018 season  Saturday, Nov. 11 with a 98-66 home win against Delaware Technical Community College.

Led by Anthony Obery in his fourth season as head coach, the Titans coaching staff consists also of recruiting assistant Anwar King in his second season, assistant coach Antoine Obery in his second season, and assistant coach Kory Roberson in his first season.

“It was a pretty good game,” said freshman point guard Abraham Kromah. “It was nice to get my guys involved. Everybody played hard today. It was good competition.”

The Titans came out strong offensively in the game to put up 48 points in the first half. The team also dominated the second half with 50 points. They restricted Delaware Tech to only 33 points per half.

“At times we lost intensity, but we brought it back up,” said sophomore guard Lamont Williams. “That’s why we had a 30 plus point lead in the win tonight. It was a good game.”

Key offensive players in the win against Delaware Tech include Lamont Williams and Ranell Bell with each putting up a team-leading 20 points and Abraham Kromah adding 13 points total. Nicholas Whitaker was a key defensive player with eight defensive rebounds, three blocks, and four steals.

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Forward Andrew Sciancalepore sinks a basket in a win against Delaware Tech. Photo by Connor Iapoce.

“I feel like we did what we were supposed to do,” said assistant coach Anwar King. “A lot of people don’t know about County College of Morris on a regular basis, but this is a totally different team.”

The Titans statistics thus far into the season include a 44 field goal percentage, 50 three-point field goal percentage, 67.9 free throw percentage, and 51 rebounds per game.

“The key to success is just to bond,” Kromah said. “We have to play hard together, play good defense, and everything will fit for the team to succeed.”

Williams said that the team needs to work as a cohesive unit to be as efficient as possible.

“We just have got to love each other on the court and off the court,” Williams said

Assistant coach Anwar King is not looking forward to any specific game, as he believes that every game will matter this season.

“Nobody is used to County College of Morris being a name in the junior college scene,” King said. “The coaching staff and the athletic staff has done a lot of work to change things around here. We are looking forward to every game.”

King said that he is confident in various players to step up when needed.

“Every game is going to have somebody different that’s going to step in when we need them to get us over those humps,” King said. “We have loads of talent at literally every position.”

Some of the team members are hoping that they will be able to earn a spot in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II National Championship tournament in March in Danville, Illinois.

“We are going to nationals,” Kromah said. “Of course we are going. Nothing less for this team.”

King believes the only thing that will stop this Titans team is themselves.

“As far as expectations on the season, I don’t see anybody stopping us but us,” King said. “The sky’s the limit for us this year. As long as my guys compete on a day-in, day-out basis whatever happens is what happens. I know we’re not going to be the same team that everybody knows us for.”

CCM Titans men’s basketball team competes in the Division II level in the Garden State Athletic Conference as well as in the NJCAA Region XIX.

The Titans next home game is at 3:00 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 9 against Valley Forge Military College on the basketball court in the Health and Physical Education Building.

William Paterson student arrested, suspected of theft on CCM campus

By Caroline O’Brien

Contributor

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CCM’s Health and Physical Education building. Photo by Arianna Parks.

Two students of County College of Morris helped to identify to police Jeffrey Yuen, a 22-year old William Paterson University student, who is suspected of stealing a wallet from the men’s locker room Health and Physical Education Building and was arrested Wednesday, Oct. 18, according to a report by the Randolph Police Department.

Yuen was arrested on CCM campus for alleged theft as well as alleged possession of marijuana and use of paraphernalia.

Yuen allegedly stole men’s soccer defender Bektesh Hadzovik’s wallet from an open gym locker Monday, Sept. 25 and used a debit card from the stolen wallet to pay for a meal from Nathan’s Famous in the Rockaway Mall food court. Hadzovik was notified by his PNC bank application and contacted the establishment for information. An image from the establishment’s security cameras was used to identify the suspect three weeks later in the HPE building.

Hadzovik filed a police report the day Yuen was accused of stealing his wallet. Using only the fuzzy, pixelated security image from Nathan’s Famous, Hadzovik and his soccer teammate, goaltender Gabe Lazarre, identified the suspect in the locker room three weeks after the initial incident. The students then notified a concerned faculty member who promptly alerted public safety.

“It took a long time to catch him,” Hadzovik said. “He showed up at school, and we realized it was him.”

Hazovik and Lazarre waited outside the locker room for public safety. Yuen snuck out through an emergency exit in the back of the building and ran right into two public safety officers. The public safety officers kept Yuen there until police arrived several minutes later.  Yuen was arrested and transported to Randolph Police Headquarters. The defendant was fingerprinted, processed, and served with a complaint summons. Yuen was released pending a first appearance at Central Judicial Processing Friday, Nov. 3.

“We were standing here, and we saw him run past the building, but public safety and cops already had it blocked off,” Lazarre said.

The two athletes said they will be more careful with their belongings and use locks in the locker room; they encourage other students to do the same.

Editor’s Note: Tips and suspicious activity can be reported to the public safety department on its 24/7 line at (973) 328-5550 or at publicsafety@ccm.edu. Anonymous witness report forms can be filled out at http://www.ccm.edu/public-safety/ .

Women’s soccer season cut short at region semifinals against Essex

By Brett Friedensohn
Editor-in-Chief

A region title push by the women’s soccer team at County College of Morris ended when the Titans lost 3-1 to Essex County College in the National Junior College Athletic Association Region XIX Division I semifinals Saturday, Oct. 21.

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Midfielder and defender Amanda Lawrence. Photos Courtesy of CCM Athletics

CCM finished its season 1-4-1 in region play and 6-5-1 overall.

The bottom seed in the four-team Division I tournament, the Titans met the top seeded ECC who later won the region title 1-0 against Sussex County Community College Saturday, Oct. 28, advancing to the district tournament with a record of 6-0-1 in the region and 10-2-1 overall.

CCM met ECC one other time in the fall 2017 season, a 7-1 defeat Thursday, Sept. 21. Before the region semifinal, Athletic Director Jack Sullivan guaranteed that the result of the rematch would not be a similar blowout.

“I think that our team was not really as cohesive as they are now,” Sullivan said. “It was the toward the beginning of the year, and you’re facing an athletic team that may have a bit more speed. And you’re not prepared, and you’re not on you’re not on your A-game, I think that you’ll get a score like that. I guarantee that it won’t be 7-1 this time.”

Forward Samantha Corrales and midfielder Stephanie Williams earned a spot on the Division I first all-region team, and defender Reanna Cope made second team all-region

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Defensive back Raenna Cope.

Corrales lead the division in goals with 17, eight more than the division’s second-leading goal scorer Gabby Sarni of Sussex County Community College. Corrales also ranked 38th nationally in goals scored for NJCAA Division I teams. Williams, the Titans’ second-leading goal scorer, recorded four goals and led her team in assists with 10.

Goalkeeper Kayla Beal, who made an starting appearance in the net in 12 of her team’s 13 total games, finished the season with 1.47 goals against average.

“To be honest, I wasn’t expecting any of this at all,” said Corrales, a criminal justice major at CCM. “I wasn’t expecting to have these awards. I wasn’t expecting any of this. I’m very proud of myself because I was out for one year for ACL surgery, so when I came back, it was more of me, myself, I did this, and I’m happy. But I couldn’t have done this without my team, and I can’t take all the credit for it. My team supports me. So I’m very proud of myself, and I’m also very proud of my team for helping me get to where I was.”

Corrales said unlike the region semifinal, her team was not prepared for ECC in the Sept. 21 match.

“It was 80 degrees outside, so it was really hard to keep up with them,” Corrales said. “We weren’t prepared for their skills. And then, the second time we played them, the week before, we had a really good week of practices. We ran; we did sprints; we did agility work, skill work, and then, when we came to the field, we knew that they weren’t ready for us as we weren’t ready for them last time. When we were playing, we moved the ball very well. We played as a team.”

Head Coach Roger Stephens said that he thinks the Titans would have advanced past the region semifinal had they not faced ECC in the first round.

“If we had any other round in that tournament, we probably would have gone to finals,” Stephens said. “They played great against Essex. The only thing is when you play a team that’s that good, you not only need to be playing their best, which they did. You need to have a little luck, too.”

Stephens said that Williams, a two-time all-region player, was probably his team’s best all-around player this season.

“The great thing about this team was they got better game in and game out,” Stephens said. “They were a far better team at the end of the season than they were at the beginning of the season, naturally, a compliment to them as players, and they bought into everything we did. And they had a great focus and enthusiasm. They took care of business. It was a nice team to coach this year. It really was.”

Seven players on the Titans’ roster played their second season this year and will therefore be ineligible to play next season. Corrales, a freshman who plans on returning in 2018, said that her team will need to replace the sophomore players to move past the region semis next year.

“I think we’re going to have to find players of the same skill work that we had this year because we lost very good players this year, players will skill work, ball movement, speed,” Corrales said. “And we just have to start from the beginning. We can do this. We want to get to districts. We want to go to semis. We want to go to [nationals in] Florida.”

Men’s soccer ends winning season with loss in playoffs

By Connor Iapoce
Sports Editor

The men’s soccer team at County College of Morris concluded its fall 2017 season Saturday, October 21 with a 3-0 loss against Ocean Community College in the first round of the playoffs.

The Titans finished with a record of 7-5-5 in overall conference play and 3-5-4 in National Junior College Athletic Association Region XIX play.

They had a 2-1 home win against Ocean at the end of September already on the record.

At the time of the win, Ocean was leading the conference while the Titans were attempting to break a six-game winless streak.

 

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Defender Liam Coffey fights for the ball in the game against
Sussex County Community College on Tuesday, Sept. 12. Photo by Brett Friedensohn

“The game that stood out for me the most was the game where we played Ocean at home,” said Liam Coffey, Titans right back defender. “It was super disappointing when we lost to Ocean in the playoffs and realized our season was over. We all thought we were capable of accomplishing a lot more.”

The playoff loss followed a seven-game undefeated streak following the first Ocean game, with four wins and three draws making up the record.

During the playoff game, the Titans went down a goal early in the first half at the three minute mark and it was an uphill battle for the rest of the game. Ocean would score another goal at the 20 minute mark and a third, final goal in the 50th minute of the game. The Titans were unable to answer offensively, with eight shots total and only six shots on goal.

“We gave ourselves a good opportunity,” said head coach Kevin Rosenberg after the playoff loss. “We drew a seed in a matchup against a team that we had already beaten. We felt pretty good going into the game with a good three days of training in preparation for it. Then, we had an unexpected injury with Bektesh Hadzovic, and we had to shuffle around a couple things lineup-wise.”

Despite the tough playoff loss, the Titans ended the season with a win percentage of .531.

“The lineup changes threw us for a little bit of a loop and we got off to a little bit of a slow start and then that was it,” Rosenberg said. “We couldn’t recover from our slow start with the early goal. We kind of had to chase the game the rest of the way, and it didn’t work out as well as we would have liked.”

In his first year as head coach, Rosenberg admitted to the struggles faced with a two-year soccer program as opposed to a four-year in terms of getting all of the players, both rookie and veteran, on the same page in a shorter period of time.

“None of the players have been there for a long time and when a new coach comes in, there is very little stability in what is going on,” Rosenberg said. “So getting everybody on the same page as quickly as we did was a challenge for all of us. It was something that we never had to do before. I thought that we did it fairly effectively.”

The returning sophomores were a big help in the turnaround of the team, invoking leadership roles to teach first season freshman the workings of college soccer, according to Rosenberg, who said that after a tough season last year, the returning sophomore players stepped up and Rosenberg believes “deserve a pat on the back.”

Overall, Rosenberg said he is satisfied with his first season as head coach and particularly, the development of the team from beginning to season end.

“I am very pleased with the development of the team this year,” Rosenberg said. “Obviously, we were not pleased with the way that it ended, but very rarely, unless you win the whole thing, are you pleased when it ends. Throughout the course of the season, I think that we set ourselves up pretty well. We got the program back on the right track.”

Rosenberg and Athletic Director Jack Sullivan both believe the future of the program is strong in terms of recruitment and work ethic.

“They’re a great group of young men, and I believe we have the right man in position right now,” Sullivan said. “He’s going to do a great job bringing in quality student athletes. I’m impressed with the work ethic. I think the coach has established a very nice culture. They worked very, very hard, and they were serious about what they were doing this season.”

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Right winger John McEvoy dribbles the ball down the field against SCCC. Photo courtesy of CCM Athletics  

Recruitment efforts to find the next wave of student athletes is underway under the guidance of Sullivan and Rosenberg.

“I don’t think it will take a Herculean effort to get the program going in the right direction,” Sullivan said. “Morris County is great at soccer, so I think right at our doorstep, we have to get kids to come here and commit and keep working hard.”

Seven starting freshmen will act as veteran returners on the team next season.

“All of those kids got very valuable experience; they’re hard workers and I think they got a taste of success this year,” Rosenberg said. “Hopefully, it leaves them hungrier for more and I think we are going to have a tremendous recruiting class coming next year. The sky’s the limit, to tell you the truth.”