ROXBURY, NJ - School's out for summer, but before that happened the Roxbury School Board took some time to hear from, and congratulate the educators and athletes involved in Roxbury High School's spring sports successes.
At the recent meeting, Roxbury Schools Director of Athletics Stuart Mason attributed part of the success to the way the school's coaches mix coaching and teaching.
“Coaching and teaching are one in the same," he said. "You can’t be a great coach unless you’re a great teacher. We are so fortunate here in Roxbury to have outstanding educators that are coaching our teams. Tonight we have four outstanding educators here to help present these championship awards. They really do an outstanding job because coaching is teaching.”
He noted that, while some high schools are known as lacrosse schools or softball schools or tennis schools, "Roxbury, this year, had the champions in our baseball program, softball program, our track athletes and our golf program."
He noted that the school's girls lacrosse program tied the season record for the most wins in school history. "Our boys lacrosse program, at one point in the year, was ranked as high as 18th in the state, so we really do have outstanding athletes, outstanding parents supporting them and an outstanding job this year for Roxbury,” said Mason.
Track and Field
Roxbury Track and Field Coach Derek Bischoff recognized the outstanding season of senior Kevin Sembrat. His accomplishments with the Gaels this year and throughout this high school career are numerous.
“Kevin’s accomplishments include being NJ Group 3 State Champion in the 400 Meters," said Bischoff. "Before that point, this season alone he won the conference championship in two different events. The county championship in two different events; the state sectional championship in two different events. He qualified for the group championship in four events, which only has four events in Track and Field to compete in. It is very hard to compete in those four events. Even less people actually compete in all four.”
Sembrat, said the coach, went on to win a Group 3 State Championship in the 400 Meters. "He did so by beating his opponents by eight meters," Bischoff said. "There was no one even near him. He reset his own school record and - even more impressive - he broke a 28-year-old county record; the fastest person ever in the 400 meters in Morris County history. He leaves here with eight county championships, eight sectional championships. He has the school record for Indoors in the 200, 300, 400, 600, 4x2, 4x4 and outdoors in the 200, 400, 4x1, 4x2, and 4x4 relay teams. When his banner arrives in the next couple of days it will be in the gym with the greatest athletes in Roxbury’s history.”
Sembrat will continue his athletic and academic career at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point where he will run track and serve our country, noted the coach.
The Roxbury High School Golf Team is the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference National Division Champion for the third year in a row. Coaches Dave Monaco and Nolan Erickson, along with senior Zack Zieba, juniors Brendan Berman, Tyler Marston, Ryan Sclar and sophomores Will Fulton, Cole Brembs and Robbie Sarafin were recognized for their achievement.
“They really have become a force to be reckoned and have entered their names with the elite in Morris County,” said Mason.
“We finished with a solid season with a 10 and 5 record, 8-0 in the conference," said Monaco. "And not only that, but in two of those loses, we actually lost two very close matches to two top-ten teams in the state - the number five team and the number six team in the state - by only three strokes and six strokes which is not a lot in golf. The best part is six of these people are coming back next year.”
In introducing this year’s softball team, Mason said, “Our softball program at the high school got to do something this spring that not many get to do at this level. They got to win a share of the conference championship on the final game of the year. Even better they got to win that share of the championship against Randolph on our home field. They ended the season in a great way.”
Roxbury Softball Coach Diane Naugle said the best way to come out and support the young ladies is to come out to the field and watch them play. “These are some of our top students in the building, she said. "They are amazing athletes. They volunteer their time and they hold down jobs. They are just amazing women in what they are able to do.”
The team ended the season with a 13-9 record and 6-2 in the conference. The team was this year’s co-champion for the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference National Division. Coaches and players recognized were Coaches Naugle-Douglas, Paul Critelli and Brett Douglas along with seniors Hailey Womer, Madison Ketch, Emily Song, Maddie Amdur, Nat Decena, Jess Michaels, juniors Vanessa Dash, Cassie Batta, Hannah Legotte, and sophomores Toni Cacopardo, Kersti Svenningsen, Alexis Amendolaro, and Camryn Lang.
The next group recognized was the baseball team with Mason sharing. “They had an outstanding season and one of their trademarks is they always find a way to play the best baseball at the end of the season when it matters most. There is a lot of clutch play from several different players and they did a tremendous job this year in a run for a state championship.”
Roxbury Baseball Coach Greg Trotter echoed those remarks. “We put together a great run at the end of the season to move on and to win a state sectional championship out on our field on a Friday afternoon," he said. "It’s a moment these guys are never going to forget. I’m really impressed with the way these kids showed resiliency and I demand a lot of out of them. I ask a lot out of them and they continue to come in every single day and they’re great teammates, great people and I couldn’t be more impressed with these guys.”
Trotter said winning championships "is awesome and something that we really strive for and try to do." He said he was "really impressed" with the fact that the team wasn't at the all-conference meeting because it was playing in the Group 3 semi-finals. "I didn’t realize it until I saw it in the paper the other day that these guys won the sportsmanship award in our conference," he said. "That is the fourth time in the last five years that these guys have won this sportsmanship award in our conference so that’s pretty impressive.”
The baseball team - the North 1, Group 3 State Champions - was composed of coaches Trotter, Justin Spargo, Matt Scheneck, Kevin Murray, and Ryan Roumes along with seniors Andy Axelson, Michael Roumes, Donovan Brady, Connor Hagender, Darren Wyse, Erik Simonson, juniors Brendon Hoagland, Brian Dachowski, William Findlay, CJ Danna, Ryan Ditrolio, Nick Danna, Joe Otto, sophomores Chandler Keith, Matt Dettlo, Jared Schimenti, and freshman Jack Findlay.
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