The National Division race is shaping up to be quite a battle, with defending state champion Christian Brothers Academy hoping to hold off Don Bosco and an improved Delbarton squad. Princeton Day School swaps divisions with Seton Hall Prep for this season. Both St. Augustine Prep (Roman Ammirato) and Gloucester Catholic (Matt Gaudreau) have new coaches.
CHRISTIAN BROTHERS (27-0-3)
Coach: Andy Gojdycz
It was an outstanding run for the Colts, culminating in the NJSIAA Parochial School title. A solid group returns.
Sparkplugs up front for coach Gojdycz should be senior Leighton Biesiadecki (35 pts) and junior Christian Chouha (34 pts). Also back for antoher run are seniors William Thygeson, Aidan Kane and Elliot Berg, juniors Thomas Mantellino, Sean Guinnessey and Luke Delaney, and sophomore Logan Kenney.
Six rearguards return as well in seniors Michael Gravina (10 pts), Jack Cella and Jack Skorupka, and juniors RJ Sun (10 pts), Derek Fiore and Connor Gagnon.
A key for CBA will be to develop a new starting goaltender.
Coach: Bruce Shatel
The Green Wave have won 11 state titles in the Coach Shatel era, but haven’t been at the top of the heap since 2018. With great depth in the forward group, could this be the year Delbarton gets back to the top?
Senior Trip Pendy (34 pts), senior Nick Facone (25 pts), senior Duncan Stewart (17 pts) and junior Max Pendy (17 pts) should be regulars in the scoring department. Other varsity veterans back are seniors Jack Olsen, Peter Lease, Jack Fidacaro and Hayden Bright, and sophomore Jack Gerne. A freshman who could contribute right away is Liam Donnelly.
On defense, senior Tim Galvin (19 pts) will be an anchor, heading a group that will also feature junior Michael Padula and sophomores Dante Rodriguez and Brandon Shaffer.
Delbarton will have one of the state’s top netminders with senior Jason Cai (1.25 gaa) back in the fold.
DON BOSCO PREP (20-7-1)
Coach: Greg Toskos
After losing in the Gordon Cup Finals last year, and coming up short in a state championship run, the Ironmen feel they have some unfinished business this season.
A talented forward group is highlighted by captains senior Ty Oller (33 pts) and junior Dean Toskos, who missed the bulk of last winter with an injury. Senior Kris Krumins (30 pts) is a University of Vemont commit. Juniors Massimo Monteleone is coming off a 28 point season. New junior Daniel Kelly, a transfer from Seton Hall Prep, will help out.
Captain Liam St. Pierre and junior Kenny Kalman are defensive cornerstones. Coach Toskos feels he has two of the top goaltenders in the state in senior Ethan Marich and junior James Tarabocchia.
BERGEN CATHOLIC (8-7-5)
Coach: Tom Keough
Young and talented, the Crusaders look to be in the mix for a conference title, and be a player in the state tournament.
Production should come from the likes of returning juniors Declan Quinn (21 pts) and Matthew Maglio (14 pts), and senior Cory Robinson (12 pts). Junior Alex Frassetto and sophomores Christian Gallagher and Niko Smilovic return as well. Newcomers hoping to open some eyes include junior Kyle Kotary (Avs 18), junior Harrison Udis (Trinity Pawling) and freshmen Thomas Keough (LI Gulls) and Eddie Brown (NJ Avs).
Defense will be deep with seniors Matt Desiderio (22 pts) and Ethan Leja, junior Jacob Carver and sophomores Max Wright, Mark Pych and Dean Gasser all back. Jay Parmar, a new senior from the NJ Avs organization, will help as well.
In goal, sophomore Daniel Dmitrievsky and senior Gavin Shornstein both saw solid time last year. Also in the netminding group is senior Ryan Henry.
GLOUCESTER CATHOLIC (9-10-1)
Coach: Matt Gaudreau
New head coach Gaudreau takes over the reins of Rams and looks have his team competitive from the outset.
Key forwards project to be senior Billy Sheridan (27 pts) and senior Casey Johnson (19 pts). New sophomore Nick Basile hopes to have an impact.
Returning senior Mike Hoffner (18 pts) will be an anchor on the Gloucester Catholic blue line. Sophomore Jay Campanella looks to make the jump.
Junior Billy Stuski is a returning goaltender.
PRINCETON DAY SCHOOL (6-7-6)
Coach: Scott Bertoli
Ready to embark on their second season in the Gordon Conference, the Panthers welcome back a host of talented forwards, so offense should be a strength.
The offensive nucleus includes seniors Ryan Vandal, Roshean Nissangaratchie and Ace Ewanchyna, and juniors Riley Schmidt (15 pts) and Liam Jackson (11 pts). Two freshmen to watch are Brady Logue and Jake Harrison, both from the Mercer Chiefs program.
Defensive leaders are juniors Connor Stratton and Han Shin.
Junior Mason Watson and sophomore Calvin Fento will battle it out for the starting goaltender’s job.
POPE JOHN XXIII (7-10-7)
Coach: Ryan Brown
A stout and good-sized blue line, along with two solid lines, will go a long way into any success the Lions have this winter. Coach Brown feels his club has the potential to be a Top 10 team in the state.
Senior Nathan Meola (32 pts), senior Emporio Ienciu (20 pts) and junior Matt Hughes (23 pts) are offensive catalysts. Other key returners are seniors Owen Lapinski, junior Robbie Myshkoff and sophomores Luke Jarosiewicz and Jack Jarosiewicz.
On the blue line, senior Jack Kelmer (12 pts) and junior Declan Murphy (10 pts) should log a bunch of minutes. Junior Johans Bars and sophomore Magnuss Bars will be factors. A new defenseman is senior Gavin O’Hara, from the Vegas Golden Knights U16 program.
Both goaltenders – seniro Tyler Paluzzi and junior Soren Torlucci – both saw varsity time last winter.
ST. JOSEPH REGIONAL (8-17-1)
Coach: Larry Mahurter
The Green Knights could be the conference’s youngest team, with 15 of 23 active players either freshmen or sophomores. Nevertheless, veteran coach Mahurter believes there is plenty of talent to go around.
Forward play should be a strongpoint, with the return to lineup by senior Michael Chang, juniors Frank Perrone and Carmine Coiro, and sophomores Shane Tobin, Logan Hughes, Andrew Chiarello and Paul Giblin. Newcomers looking to crack the lineup are sophomores Ryan Beanland and Hunter Beanland, and freshmen Dante Gallucci and Kyle Kondratwizc.
A rebuilt defense will look to solid play from young guys like sophomore Landon Albano, and freshmen Dante Mangarelli and Ryan Vicari.
In goal, senior Joseph Monte is ready for a big year.
ST. PETER’S PREP (7-12-5)
Coach: Brendan Roche
With experience on the back size and between the pipes, the Marauders feel that will be a strength, especially with the shorter turnaround between games with the new compressed schedule.
Coach Roche needs to replace his top line that accounted for half of the team’s points last year, so returning guys like senior Ryan Byington, Matt January, Will Arnone and Enzo Capano will need to produce. New junior Aidan Fojas hopes to crack the scoresheet.
Senior Oliver Harag and sophomore Aneel Ward will be book-ends on defense, while freshman Haiden Grenier is looking to be a factor.
Two senior goalies are back in Santo Petrocelli and Michael Lemanowicz.
ST. AUGUSTINE PREP (7-8-5)
Coach: Roman Ammirato
The Hermits turn to alum Roman Ammirato to take over as head coach, replacing long-time mentor Tim Fingerhut.
No information was available as of post-time.
SETON HALL PREP (10-12-2)
Coach: Mike Atkinson
Some good numbers return for the Pirates, who move divisions in the Gordon Conference for this winter.
The offensive nucleus for coach Atkinson will be seniors Nick Schneider and Rocco Medoza, junior Chris McIntyre and sophomores Matt Smith and Dylan Gibbs.
Senior Owen Waivada, senior Jack Laferriere and junior Hudson Rocheville are key components on defense.
SHP also returns three goalies in seniors Darren Keaveney, junior Luke Miles and sophomore Zac Calveric. Of the three, Keaveney saw the most time a year ago.