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Buc Sports Weekly: October 31-November 5

Girls' Cross Country celebrates its big performance at the NJSIAA Sectional Championships this weekend. Photo courtesy of @RBRGirlsXC.

BY ELLA BROCKWAY, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ’17

This is the third edition of the Buc Sports Weekly, your recap of this week in RBR sports.

Girls’ Soccer (5-12, 3-9)

The Bucs closed the 2016 season with a 4-1 loss to Mendham in the first round of the North Jersey Section II Group 3 state tournament. Senior Jenna Holly scored the lone goal from the Bucs on an assist from senior Grace Dengler, and junior keeper Tyra Vaughn had a game-high 15 saves on the day. The Bucs finish the season with a 5-12 record on the year, going 3-9 in one of the most competitive divisions in the Shore. The future looks bright for this group, though. The Bucs will lose a key part of their goal-scoring front as they lose senior forwards Bella Conti and Grace Dengler to graduation, but there is a lot of experience that will return. Tyra Vaughn, who had 115 saves on the season, will return in net as a senior leader next fall, along with a load of underclassmen with varsity experience: Alexis Disbrow, Maggie Cahill and Liva Helt will all be back for the Bucs next fall, and will look to build on the efforts of this season.

From the field: “This summer, we had many great workouts which brought excitement to our season. We practiced really hard all season, and brought effort and enthusiasm every day. We were like a family (that) had gone through ups and downs, but by the end of the season, we pulled through with some wins.” – senior forward Grace Dengler

A Central rank: 6th

Football (3-5, 3-4)

In their last divisional matchup of the season, the Bucs faced off against Raritan at home on Friday night. The Bucs fought through the first half and the early second half to stage a comeback, but couldn’t handle Raritan’s strong offense and fell in a 41-13 loss. The Bucs’ lone offensive touchdown came on a 13-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Stephen Navitsky to senior running back Chris Outterbridge at the end of the first half to put the Bucs on the board.

Senior Chris Brannagan had his second touchdown off of a kickoff return this year, taking Raritan’s opening kickoff in the third quarter 90 yards to the end zone for a score. Brannagan had a game high of 166 all-purpose yards. The Bucs will look to overcome the setbacks of the past three weeks in a Central Jersey Group 3 regional crossover game on the road against Hopewell Valley.

A Central rank: 4th

From the field: “We took a tough divisional loss on Senior Night to Raritan. We didn’t have such good attendance throughout the past week due to injuries, and (we) needed younger kids to step up to the plate taking on new roles. We are looking forward to capitalizing this Thursday in our consolation game. (It’s a) short week of practice, which is something we have to manage as a team! Taking everything day by day! It’s how bad we want it! #Humble&Hungry.” – senior running back Tyrese Morris

What’s next: at Hopewell Valley (state regional crossover game, 11/10, 7 P.M.)

Boys’ Soccer (7-9-2, 5-5-2)

The Bucs ended the 2016 season with a 4-0 loss to West Windsor-Plainsboro North in the first round of the North Jersey Section II Group 3 state tournament. Junior keeper Jack MacPherson had five saves in the game. The season may have ended in a loss, but there are lots of reasons to remain optimistic heading into next year. The Bucs will return a load of key players to the field next fall. Jack MacPherson and fellow junior keeper Colin Baker combined for 60 total saves this year, and will both return to split time in net again. The team’s two leading scorers, sophomore Robbie DeMarco (4) and junior Kevin Gomez, will provide some good experience on the attack next season, and freshman Aden Castell, who led the team in assists this year with seven, will capitalize on this year’s breakout season. The Bucs had the added difficulty of a rough schedule in their first year in the competitive A Central division, so after this year’s adjustment period, things should be easier schedule-wise come next fall.

A Central rank: 5th

Boys’ Cross Country

The Bucs finished 6th overall in Group III at Saturday’s NJSIAA North II Sectionals, one place shy of qualifying for the Group Championships. Senior captain Ryan Humelsine closed out his high school cross country career with a 20th place individual finish, running a 5K of 16:20. The Bucs ran an average team 5K time of 17:09. Sophomore Tyler Schwinn (27th, 16:57), freshman Teddy Purdon (34th, 17:17) and juniors Sam Goldzweig (40th, 17:22) and Trey Soya (46th, 17:27) all placed in the top 50. The Bucs also tied for the A Central division championship this year, their first in the A Central division, and will try to hold onto that title next season, as they return three of their four top runners, and continue to send shockwaves through the Shore Conference and the state cross country world.

Girls’ Cross Country

The Bucs had an outstanding 5th place finish in Group III at Saturday’s NJSIAA North II Sectionals. The team’s top seven–junior Charlotte Cochrane, sophomore Heather O’Donnell, freshmen Faye Porter, Paige O’Connor, and Claudia Kelly, and seniors Kristen Haynes and Edith Torres–ran an average 5K time of 20:25. 

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Top row: Kristen Haynes (Sr.), Claudia Kelly (Fr.), Heather O’Donnell (So.), Catherine Wimmer (Fr.) Bottom row: Edith Torres (Sr.), Charlotte Cochrane (Jr.), Faye Porter (Fr.) Photo courtesy of @RBRGirlsXC

Cochrane had the team’s best finish, coming in seventh place overall with a time of 19:19. Six of the Bucs finished in the top 50. The fifth-place team finish means that the Bucs will head to the Group Championships next weekend. If they qualify after Groups, they’ll head to New Jersey Meet of Champions.

From the field: “Girls XC fought hard (this week), with tons of support from our teammates. We’re happy to push again to add another week to our States season.” – senior Edith Torres, who finished 33rd overall with a time of 20:47

What’s next: NJSIAA Group Championships (11/12, Holmdel Park)

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