OCEANPORT, NJ - The Spotswood High School girls varsity basketball team didn't let dark clouds and the occasional shower dampen their first annual Day at the Races on Saturday. The team along with the coaching staff, family and friends headed to Monmouth Race Track to enjoy a fun day of horse racing and more.
Monmouth Park is located in Oceanport. The racetrack first opened its gates in 1870. The track closed in 1894 and did not reopen for another 50 years. It reopened in June of 1946. The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority brought the racetrack in 1986, helping to keep this Jersey Shore tradition alive and running.
All of the proceeds from the family-friendly event will go to support the Spotswood High School girls varsity basketball program. The 2017-18 basketball season was a stellar one for the Chargers who were the Greater Middlesex Conference co-champs along with Middlesex High School this season. Spotswood had an impressive 13-1 conference record while Middlesex was 14-1 in division play. Their only losses came against each other. Last season also marked another milestone for the Chargers with head coach Jill Hetzler earning her 100th victory as a head coach on January 27.
"This years team is very balanced in ability and contribution," Hetzler said of the success of the 2017-18 squad. "Everyone is important to the win. We have scoring coming out of different positions and leading scorers change nightly, which is a great testament to unselfish play and really finding the open women. Part of the balance is also having strong inside presence both on the glass and with defensive blocks and shooters on the outside. The other great advantage is how well the team gets along. They truly care about one another and spend time together as friends and not just teammates."
The Chargers lost key members, Sarah Marotta, Courtney Potter and Erin Malin, to graduation, but have a strong core of players remaining as well as incoming players set to join the program. The girls have been working hard this summer on the court and off with many players taking part in workouts, summer leagues, camps and clinics.