Middle Township, NJ Continues to Impress in High School Sports
This is our fourth edition of the South Jersey High School Athletics Spotlight series and we take a closer look at Middle Township High School.
While Middle Township High School has a smaller student population compared to other regional public schools, like Ocean City High School and Mainland Regional, their facilities and community support are on par with the other schools in the Cape Atlantic League. Located adjacent to the Garden State Parkway, Middle Township High School is connected to the Performing Arts Center in Cape May Court House. It's just a few minutes walk from "The PAC" to the Basketball Gym where the Boys and Girls Basketball teams play.
Located in the heart of Cape May County, Middle Township Athletic Facilities and Fields are just a few minutes off the Garden State Parkway and in the world before the COVID-19 Lockdowns, this was a great asset for the School. Middle Township Assistant Principle of Athletics Dr. Sharon Rementers spoke about how the school is trying to get back to normal as much as possible compared to last year:
Last year geography was said to be a factor with [playing] games, thus [Middle Township played] Cape Atlantic League schools only in our areas. But this year we played everyone we could and tried to operate as normal [and] as best we could. We owed it to the kids to give them the best we could and I believe they appreciated the efforts. The fans were back, the parents were there, the student sections were back. The fall season was a success; The kids and coaches just wanted to play and they did just that.
Middle Township High School understands school sports are about the students first and athletics are to enrich the student's experience in their development.
In the aftermath of the COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020, it is a delicate balance for schools to give their students the best experience with athletics while also keeping up with all the COVID-19 protocols that must be enforced by state law. Dr. Rementers talked about how Middle Township plans on striking this delicate balance for the Winter Sports season:
"Our job as Athletic Directors first and foremost is to provide a safe environment for the athletes and fans. Winter in a normal year brings upon different challenges in general anyway and tack on COVID concerns, the stress mounts. However, at Middle Township we are operating as normal the best we can. Fortunately, we plan to stream most winter sporting events so if you are not comfortable coming into the building (with a mask on) then you have the luxury of watching the game in the comfort of your own home."
This winter sports season at Middle Township will have many eyes on Basketball; The Boys' Basketball team is starting a new era with former Panthers Star Player LaMarr Greer taking over for one of the winningest coaches in South Jersey history, Tom Feraco.
LaMarr is not only an amazing person but he is completely invested in the program, the student-athletes, and the community. When you have a coach of his level it's an obvious decision. I can't wait to see his successes this year and beyond.
Girls' Basketball Coach Leahy won his 300th game just a couple of months before the COVID-19 Lockdowns in 2020.
The 300 win mark is a program accomplishment in my opinion. I have been very fortunate to have an outstanding group of assistant coaches through the years and have coached some great kids. We have tried to establish a winning culture and when you have success as a team, the individual accolades usually follow. I have a tremendous support system and I'm very proud of the program we have built at Middle Township...[In] recent years, female athletics have gotten way more notoriety across the board at all levels...[The] Middle Township community has always been supportive of female athletics.
Panthers Football Program with Head Coach Frank Riggitano has been at Middle Township High School as either teacher, coach, or administrator since 1986. The 2021 Panthers Football team started 3-0 this year, it was the first time they started a season 3-0 since 1992, and Coach Riggitano coached that team too!
...This team is not a “me first” group and reminds me so much of the teams I coached in the early 1990s...Television and social media apps have made this job more difficult. Some parents and players just don’t understand how hard it is and the commitment it takes to play college football at any level, not just Division 1. It is a full-time job and requires so much time and effort, it always has.
The 2021 Middle Township Football season came to an end in the Central Group 2 Quarterfinal Round of the NJSIAA Playoffs with a loss to Haddonfield after an impressive 6-1 season.