South Jersey Sports Report: The Top 10 Cape-Atlantic League Sports Stories of 2020
With the calendar year over, it is always a good time to look back on the top CAL sports stories. Here are the 10 that seemed to generate the most interest among Cape-Atlantic League fans in 2020:
1. The impact of COVID-19, including the cancellation of the entire spring sports season, limited attendance at all fall high school events because of the virus and not a single sports event in December.
2. The boys basketball teams from Wildwood Catholic, St. Augustine and Atlantic City and the Ocean City girls basketball team all unable to play their state finals because the season ended suddenly.
3. An undefeated season and No. 1 ranking in South Jersey by the Holy Spirit football team, led by Patrick Smith’s memorable performances running the ball.
4. The end of Claudia McCarthy’s remarkable 50-year career as Millville field hockey coach. She finished her career with a 610-238-121 record, a total of 969 games. And to make it more memorable for her, granddaughter Casey Etter set a new Millville record for career goals with 91.
5. The selection of Mainland’s Kylee Watson as the CAL’s first-ever girls basketball player to be named a McDonald’s All-American and the Gatorade New Jersey Player of the Year.
6. Ocean City’s Faith Slimmer scoring her 100th career soccer goal, earning her fourth straight selection to the CAL first team all stars and her second straight all-state first team choice while leading the Raiders to a 34-game unbeaten streak.
7. A South Jersey cross country championship by the Mainland girls, led by freshmen Claudia Booth, Gillian Lovett and Chloe Malone.
8. St. Augustine’s Mike Misita winning a district and region wrestling championship and finishing third in the state at 195 pounds.
9. Nay Nay Clark of Oakcrest leading South Jersey girls basketball in scoring, the first Falcons player to do that in 46 years. And Ocean City’s Gannon Brady leading Cape-Atlantic League boys basketball scoring, only the fifth OCHS player to do so in the last 60 years. Both Clark and Brady return for the 2021 season.
10. Another great season by the Egg Harbor Township boys swimmers, led by Joey Tepper and Brandon Bell. The Eagles, ranked No. 6 in the state, only lost to No. 1 Cherry Hill East.
Lets hope there will be less problems but more great memories coming up in 2021. To make it more likely, please wear a mask, stay 6-10 feet apart and wash your hands often.