The Student News Site of Cranford High School


The Student News Site of Cranford High School


The Student News Site of Cranford High School



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January CHS Sports Recap

January CHS Sports Recap

Boys basketball has atoned for their past transgressions with an incredibly impressive 2023-24 campaign, managing a 17-5 record, complete with their recent victory over New Providence in the Union County Tournament’s preliminary round. This playoff win brought their current win streak to 5, one off their last. They will look to match their total in the first round of the county tournament against Scotch Plains-Fanwood on 2/8. 

Their success has come on the back of Salve Regina commit Nick Amitie, who recently reached a historic 1000-point milestone. Amitie has averaged 23 points and 9 rebounds so far this season, nearly a double-double. Amitie’s standout performance so far this year came against Rahway on 1/30, when he managed a near season-high 33 points and a definitive season-high 23 rebounds. Supporting Amitie are seniors Chris Santarelli and Chase Teel, with underclassmen guards like Josh Ketschke and Dylan Aveno often rounding on the starting lineup. Teel typically cleans up the glass for the team, nearly matching Amitie’s mark of 172 rebounds with 171. Ketschke and Santarelli wantonly provide additional offense, but Ketschke stands supreme with 33 steals. 

Girls basketball is also incredibly successful this year, reaching a 15-6 record. They have won 6 of their last 7 games, including the first round of the county tournament against Rahway 53-21 in which Lily Costello racked up 17 points and the team managed 18 steals. Next they will face Summit on 2/9. 

Major players for the team have been junior Bella Curanovic, who is averaging 15 points and 6 rebounds so far this year, and sophomore Lily Costello, who is averaging 8 points. On the defensive front, senior Kristina Lowe is averaging 3 steals per game, integral to the team’s successes. Curanovic had a preeminent performance against South Plainfield on 2/3, managing a 16-point double-double in the Cougars’ 53-28 victory. This triumvirate has brought forth an incredible season for the Cougars, abandoning any remnant of their 2022-23 season that was below .500. 

Boys hockey started January hot, winning their first four games by a combined total of 7 goals. However, they eventually lost to a strong competitor in Governor Livingston 5-3 in the county semifinals, a team they have struggled tremendously against in recent years. Frustration seemingly set in, as the Cougars then dropped 5 of their next 7, bringing their record down to nearly .500. Nevertheless, they still have a chance at the McInnis Cup, where they will take on Livingston on 2/8. 

Despite their struggles, boys hockey still has some promising statlines, as junior Ryan Callahan now leads the team with 34 points, and fellow junior Christian Adamski is not far behind with 32. Jake D’Aquino, senior goalie, has been greatly efficient in net for the Cougars, tallying a 90% save percentage supplanted by two incredible shutouts. 


In their second season girls hockey has been vastly more successful, with their younger players becoming key contributors to the team. They honored the seniors in terrific fashion as well, shutting out Newark East Side in a 7-0 win. Emerson Murphy, Maren Pitts, and Sienna Griffin had two goals each, while Emma Yager managed a shutout in net. Murphy, a sophomore, and Pitts, a freshman, lead the team in points with 13 and 10, respectively. 

The girls will face off against Westfield, who they have lost to twice this year, in the Annis Cup semifinals on 2/11.

Tucked away in Cranford High School’s “R-wing” next to photography and graphic design is the wrestling room, often filled wall-to-wall with mats and wrestlers preparing for a match. While the athletes may seem like vagabonds in an unfamiliar land, the wrestling room is right at home, with neighboring photography students hoping one day to capture something as beautiful as a well-executed ankle pick or match-saving reversal.

Leading the team is coach Pat Gorman, who recently achieved his 207th win in his twelfth season as head coach, setting the school record for wins as a wrestling coach. Since taking over the position in 2011, Gorman’s program has become a winter powerhouse, reaching its 700th win on January 12 and its 9th straight Union County Tournament win on January 20. As a team, the Cougars have only dropped two meets, but have defeated teams like 18th-ranked Brick Memorial and undefeated Rahway as of late. Its popularity is evident each week on “Wrestling Wednesday,” a day on which students and teachers are encouraged to wear their wrestling merchandise in support of the team.

Gorman’s influence does not stop at Cranford High School, where he wrestled as a student from 1994-1997. He finds ways to work with younger kids as well, creating camps and programs for middle and grade school students interested in wrestling. His efforts are backed by the program’s community and sponsors, including local businesses and devoted families who have seen many wrestlers go through their program before.

Wrestling has grown in popularity since Gorman’s first year at the helm. The Cougars broke the school record for wins in 2012 with 21, only surrendering 5 matches. Gorman’s program broke that record again, with the 2022-23 team going 23-4 for the year. That year’s team saw their eighth-straight Union County championship and sent multiple wrestlers to the NJSIAA tournament in Atlantic City.

A pair of these Atlantic wrestlers have returned for the 2023-24 campaign: sophomore Ryder Connors and junior Jordan Chapman. Connors, who wrestles in the 126-pound class, is yet to lose a match at the midway point of the season, with half of his victories coming by decision or major decision. Chapman has wrestled at both the 165-pound and 175-pound weight classes, winning all of his matches, the majority by pin.  

The team continued their successes after Gorman’s record-setting win in the North 2 Group 3 Section Tournament. They defeated Warren Hills, who ousted them from the tournament last year, in the semifinals 41-32 before taking on West Essex in the final round. Jordan Chapman, recently committed to Rutgers, faced off against the opposing Doug Taylor in a succinct match that brought a permanent result, with Chapman winning the team’s 27th point via pin, ringing West Essex’s knell and winning Cranford’s first section title since the 2016-17 season. 

After their championship victory, Cranford wrestling will take on Hopewell Valley in the group semifinal round on 2/9. 

Cranford bowling has been on a meteoric rise since the struggles of yore, due in part to rising bowlers Matt Greene, Michael Kisly, and Mia Luna. Greene, one of the team’s many seniors, holds a high score of 299, one off the elusive 300 perfect game; he also took home an individual Union County title. Kisly, another senior, has been one of the team’s most consistent bowlers, providing high quality scores at each match, and tallying an average score of 204. Mia Luna, a junior, also won an individual Union County title. Finally, the team finished second place in the county tournament altogether. 

Boys swimming has had a record setting month, with the medley relay team (junior Arturo Gomez, sophomore Dominick Lotito, junior Charlie Otten, and sophomore Liam Soyka) setting the school record at 1:45.95 just to break it a few meets later with a best time of 1:43.24. The boys then turned towards the state relay first round matchup against Mendham, which they lost 106-64. 

Girls swimming has been much more successful, winning the majority of their meets in January, including a dominant victory over Union 136-24. Unlike the boys, girls swimming is still alive in the state tournament and they will meet Hopewell Valley on 2/8. 

Winter track and field has reached new heights of success, perhaps even passing the illustrious spring season, as multiple county champions were crowned, multiple personal bests were set, and a school record was broken. While the team was never able to win the county altogether, Ben Fossella (shot put) and Will O’Keefe (pole vault) each won individual titles, Fossella’s third and O’Keefe’s first. Kristen Fries (shot put) and Sanaa Wright (high jump) finished second in their contests. 

In the State Relays, Ben Fossella set a personal best and broke his own school record with a throw of 53 feet and 9 inches, good for first in his division. 

Cranford cheerleading has entered the pantheon of success, reaching first place in two meets, most recently in Brearly. 

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