June 6, 2016 |
WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. - The quote in the locker room - written in big letters on a white board before the game - was: "You can't beat relentless. " In the end, it wasn't so much a battle cry for the game, but for the entire Shawnee girls' lacrosse season - a stretch in which the Renegades re-ignited one of the state's storied programs. There were doubters before the season. The team struggled the last two years. There was a new coach. A new goalie. Inexperience in spots all over the field.
April 30, 2016 |
Her introduction to the definition of teamwork - the real definition of teamwork - came late in her freshman year. That was the year Bianca Smith, No. 22 on the Shawnee girls' lacrosse team, learned an important lesson in perspective. It's a key ingredient to her incredibly positive attitude. And it has helped her answer those tired questions often asked by adults who lacked the perspective Smith gained when she was 14. Was she frustrated? Was she mad? Is it tough? How did it feel to be a Division I recruit but not a varsity starter on your high school team?
January 18, 2016 |
Shawnee's practices all begin the same way, with coach Joe Kessler pushing that big wheeled cage onto the floor and tossing the basketballs to the players. "Nobody else can do it," Shawnee assistant coach J.R. Gillern said. Shawnee's practices all end the same way, too, with the "white" team scoring a basket at the same end of the court. "Has to be the white team [first string, wearing the white jerseys], has to be at this end," Gillern said. When something works for Kessler, he sticks with it - whether it's the same turkey sandwich on game day, the same parking spot outside the Shawnee gymnasium, the same warm-up music.
December 10, 2015
FORWARD Tziarra King Winslow Township, sr. As most predicted, King, a North Carolina State recruit, turned in a historic senior season. In some games, she scored at will, pairing a stunning 51 goals with 14 assists. She had 17 multiple-goal games. Her 106 career goals were a Winslow school record. FORWARD Chelsea Fadio Audubon, sr. Fadio was again one of the most well-rounded offensive talents in New Jersey. She recorded 26 goals and 13 assists. After setting Audubon's career scoring record as a junior, Fadio set a new record with every goal she scored this season, finishing with 103. FORWARD May-Kate Ulmer Williamstown, sr. Ulmer stepped up for a Braves team replacing a ton of graduated talent entering this season.
December 6, 2015 |
Shawnee High School football coach Tim Gushue remembers driving back from a game at Penn State with his future star quarterback in the backseat, diagramming plays on a clipboard. "He was five years old," Gushue said of Mike Welsh, the Renegades' standout signal-caller. That would be a great story if that was the full reach of Gushue's connection with the athlete who will enter Sunday night's South Jersey Group 4 championship game with a chance to make history for himself and his team.
November 28, 2015 |
It was one of those moments, Michael Welsh said, when you're not exactly focused on the bigger picture. It was fourth and goal from the 1-yard line. The game was tied late in the fourth quarter. It was Thanksgiving Day - and across from Welsh was his Shawnee football team's oldest rival. Sure, the Renegades' have a bigger game on the horizon. They play Timber Creek next week for the South Jersey Group 4 championship. But somewhere along the line Thursday, an essentially meaningless showdown with Lenape turned into an emotionally charged, smash-mouth game.
November 19, 2015 |
NEPTUNE, N.J. - After the game, Lexie Palladino took a moment to sit on the turf alone, reluctant to walk off the field for the final time in a Shawnee soccer uniform. "We didn't want it to end," Palladino said after her team fell, 1-0, to Freehold Township in the girls' soccer Group 4 state semifinals. "It's heartbreaking because we know how close we came to our ultimate goal - a state championship. " Fate simply wasn't on the Renegades' side Tuesday at Summerfield school in Neptune.
November 14, 2015 |
In one sense, Lexie Palladino prepared for days to score the winning goal in one of the biggest soccer games of her life. "All week we worked on shooting low and hard to the corner," Palladino said after Shawnee's 2-0 victory over Eastern on Thursday in the South Jersey Group 4 championship game. "When I got my chance, I was like, 'All right, this is it. Just like we practiced.' " In another sense, the goal that secured the sectional title was four years in the making. "These seniors have worked so hard for this moment," Shawnee coach Drew Wagner said.
November 1, 2015 |
If you only knew David Gajderowicz's name from reading it, chances are you haven't figured out that the first syllable is pronounced like the word "gator. " "I guess that's why 'Gator' has been my nickname most of my life," the Shawnee senior linebacker said. It's sort of a fitting coincidence. If his last name was Smith, "Gator" would still make just as much sense as a nickname for the hulking, 6-foot-1, 230-pounder. On the field, Gajderowicz is equal parts slick and mean - all traits that were useful Friday night as Shawnee edged Seneca, 14-7, at home on senior night.
April 20, 2015 |
2015 Jeep Renegade Limited 4WD: A smaller, (allegedly) lower-priced Jeep for a new kind of customer. Price: The test model started at $26,995 and rose to more than $31,000 with options ($995 for lane-departure and collision warnings, and park assist; $595 for security with cross-path detection; $295 for keyless start; more below). A front-wheel-drive version can be had for as low as $17,995. Marketer's pitch: "Let instinct drive. " Conventional wisdom: Edmunds.com liked that it had "lots of character; agile handling; plenty of easy-to-use technology features; best-in-class off-road capability for Trailhawk model" but not its "middling fuel economy with 2.4-liter engine; tight rear-seat leg room.