May CHS Sports Review


Dylan Falk, Writer

This information is current as of 5/22. 

Never failing to surpass expectations, however lofty they may be, Cranford baseball has continued their vast success with wins against highly competitive teams in and out of Union County. In Union County, Cranford handedly defeated Westfield in the UCC semifinals, managing 9 runs against a well-respected pitching staff in New Jersey. Starting for Cranford was fellow senior Sean Woodruff, who managed to secure the win and four strikeouts in only three innings. Cranford then moved on to face Governor Livingston in the UCC finals at Kean. 

Woodruff also pitched in this game, holding GL to just four hits and not allowing a runner to reach third base until well into the later innings. In spite of a similar performance from GL’s starter, freshman Brayden Fry was able to walk the game off for Cranford in the bottom of the seventh, taking advantage of a hanging curveball and driving it into the gap, which allowed pinch runner Matt Chapman to score and give the Cougars their 11th county championship since 1999. Fry’s hit was the only extra-base hit for the team that game and a moment that many players far older than him have chased for years. 

          After their win against Governor Livingston, Cranford also took on Middletown South and St. Joe’s in a doubleheader. Both games were victories for the Cougars, and provided a much needed boost to their track record for the upcoming state tournament. Another win came against Rahway in the first round of the North 2 Group 3 state tournament, in which Cranford, as the 2 seed, scored 6 runs and held their opponents to 0. Their six runs were as a result of a stellar day for shortstop Shea Grady, who went 4-for-4 at the plate and stole 5 bases. Starting for Cranford was senior Ben Monahan, who dismantled the Rahway offense with just 47 pitches in 5 innings, surrendering just one hit. Cranford will take on Ferris in the second round on 5/24. 

Softball’s Lady Cougars took on their own Union County Tournament, and were even more dominant, not allowing a single run until the finals against none other than Governor Livingston. Cranford was ranked 15th in the state coming into the county tournament, and proved their worth, mercying the first three opponents they saw 10-0. Standout performers in these games were junior Sophia DeMarco, who tallied a home run in all but one of the games, and senior Avery Toddings, who pitched the last three rounds for Cranford. 

DeMarco’s offensive tirade culminated in a bottom of the sixth blast which tied the game against Governor Livingston in the UCC final, and was the Lady Cougars’ only extra-base hit that game. DeMarco’s pivotal home-run was accompanied by Toddings’ 11-strikeout performance in which only two batters reached base after an unusually difficult first inning. This was Toddings’ third performance of the tournament, and second in which she managed double-digit strikeouts. This county championship cemented a three-peat for the Lady Cougars, and allowed them to begin the chase for their first group championship. Doing so will cause them to face Mendham in the first round of the North 2 Group 3 tournament. They are, much like the baseball team, the 2-seed in the tournament.

Cranford boys’ lacrosse team has performed well above average, amassing an 11-7 record this season, complete with a county tournament run that ended in the semifinals. Their May record of 5-3 has been led by junior Joey Brodbeck, who has totaled 53 points on the season, including a team-leading 36 goals. Not far behind are senior Will Troiano and sophomore Ryan Gregersen, who have 24 and 20 goals, respectively. Also of note on Gregersen’s resume is a team-high 21 assists. In net for the Cougars has been senior Ryan Littler, who boasts a rock-solid 66% save rate. The lacrosse team looks towards the South Jersey, Group 2 tournament’s first round, in which they will take on Barnegat on 5/25. 

The girls’ lacrosse team has seen similar results, with a 10-7 record on the year. Their county tournament, however, did not make it out of the first round after falling to Scotch-Plains Fanwood in a heartbreaking 10-8 loss. Throughout May, many players achieved career milestones, including Kate Zambito, Shea Matheson, and Sofia Lijo all reaching 100 points. Ashlyn Quigley tallied 100 saves and Lylah Wilhelm attained 100 draw controls. Kate Zambito received athlete of the week honors for her performance this year, which includes leading the team in assists, as first in points and goals belonging to Shea Matheson. Among these individual records, the team as a whole will be taking on Parsippany Hills in the first round of the North Jersey, Group 2 tournament on 5/25. 


Cranford golf has been incredibly successful in 2023, posting a 10-2 record overall and an undefeated record in UCC Group B. Golf did not lose a regular season game in May, even defeating a team they had previously lost to in Oratory. Cranford finished third in the Group 2 tournament, only seven points behind Madison in first. Individually, Brandon Quach placed second with 79 and Derek Gutierrez sixth with 81. The team then moved on to the NJSIAA championships, in which Quach finished tied for 19th with 77. Golf’s season may be nearing its end in competitive play, but the team has nothing to be ashamed of with only two losses in regular season play, and consistent top performances from multiple golfers in playoff tournaments. 


Track and field partook in multiple relays in May, and took home more medals than should be allowed. The Union County Relays were all Cranford, with boys and girls, throwers and sprinters alike, all claiming medals, gold to bronze. Isa Alvarez-Gomez and Owen Usinowicz both took home athlete of the week honors, going a perfect 4-for-4, with four medals in four events. In the Union County championships, Kristen Fries placed first in the discus competition, with a distance of 94 feet and two inches. Ben Fossella also won the boys’ discus competition. Both competitors, along with the runners and jumpers, aided Cranford in taking home yet another Union County Conference championship, repeating their performance from last year.