Jaguars boys soccer sporting new roster for next season



Jackson Memorial High School’s boys soccer team heads into summer workouts looking ahead to the official kickoff of preseason on Aug. 14 with a relatively new team from the past two seasons.

Among the 13 graduates off last year’s team are fixtures Garrett Muzikowski and Anthony Provini and goalkeeper Devyn Josko, who keynoted the team’s advance in postseason tournaments as a leading contender in Shore Conference A South.

Last season, Jackson Memorial was 13-6-3, losing to Monroe Township High School in the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV quarterfinals and to Holmdel High School in the Shore Conference Tournament (SCT) quarterfinals.

In A South, it finished a half-point behind Toms River High School North, which was 9-2-3 in the league. Jackson Memorial was 9-3-2 and 5-1-2 in overtime games.

Muzikowski is headed to American University in the fall to continue his soccer career. Provini will attend the University of Delaware, but he will not be playing soccer there. They were on the high-powered 23-2 team in 2012 that won A South and lost to the same two teams in the respective tournaments, falling to Monroe in the sectional finals and Holmdel in the SCT semifinals.

“The offseason has been pretty good. The success we’ve had makes these guys a little hungrier because when it comes to tournaments, we still haven’t won anything. These are year-round soccer players who were on travel teams, and I’ve seen a few of them play,” coach Steve Bado said. “But this team is not going to be senior-heavy. Actually, it’s junior-heavy.”

The Jaguars start with two workouts a week on July 15 and head to a Gettysburg College camp again this summer on July 26-30, where the players will spend time honing their skills with Tony Parks, who has coached professionally in Europe, and 18 coaches from various college levels. Bado realizes it will give the many players with enlarged roles for this upcoming season a chance to bond with their teammates.

The team resumes workouts on Aug. 4 before the official start of practice. Its first scrimmage is at Manchester Township High School on Aug. 22. Jackson Memorial opens its season on Sept. 6 at Middletown High School South and on Sept. 8 at Freehold High School before playing its A South opener on Sept. 12 at home against Toms River High School East. The following day, it plays in the Greater Middlesex Conference Central Jersey Showcase at Monroe against St. Joseph High School of Metuchen.

Senior Chris Juhasz, at 6 feet 4 inches tall, takes over in goal and is joined by a solid cast of players who saw spot action last season, including senior left fullback Jarret DiGiantomasso and juniors Andy Jozwicki (forward), Joe Mamola (center midfielder) and Joe Stoltenberg (forward). Nick Schlageter, a junior sidelined with an injury from the previous winter, is expected to step in at center midfield, and Bado said he “should be in full form.”

Many players stepped up their game last season when Dylan Greenblatt and highscoring Anthony Mendola, who were expected to play big parts in the team’s success, instead played with elite soccer academies.

Seniors Brian Scheno (fullback) and Will Kaminskas (sweeper) and junior midfielder Anthony Nappi will also be part of the rebuilding. Newcomers Tyler Kessler, a senior midfielder who excelled on the junior varsity team last season, junior center midfielder Chris Kinzler, and sophomores Christian Fryc (stopper) and Mike Schoener (forward) will also contribute.

As for the coaches, Kevin McQuade has been added to the Jackson Memorial staff as freshman coach. Joe Pienkowski goes from freshman coach to assistant with John Pejowski. Ray Cafara coaches the junior varsity team.