Honoring RFH Scholars, Athletes
Record number of sports teams excelled in 2013
More than 100 Rumson-Haven Regional High School (RFH) students have been honored by the school's Board of Education for outstanding academic achievement as well as unprecedented athletic success.
The students were presented with certificates and praised for their hard work in the classroom and on the turf at last week's board meeting.
"When I first became superintendent eight years ago, I was aware of how terrific an institution RFH was, and I remember joking that all I needed to do was not mess it up," Superintendent Peter Righi joked, according to a release. "Thanks to continued hard work on the part of all involved, including our Board of Education, things just continue to improve."
Three students attained perfect scores on sections of the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) and SAT II. Four fall sports teams — football, girls' cross country, girls' field hockey, and girls' soccer — attained state titles, the release said.
In addition, the football team student manager received the school's first Unsung Hero Award award from the Shore Chapter of the New Jersey Football Officials Association, it added.
RFH senior Matt Sheehan achieved a milestone for RFH by receiving the school's first perfect score of 800 on the U.S. History Sub-Section of the SAT II.
Senior Tucker Briggs attained a perfect score of 800 on the Math section of the SAT and RFH senior Nick Hawke received a perfect score of 800 on the SAT Writing section.
Both received certificates from Righi.
The Fall of 2013 set a precedent for the school's athletic program as well, as it marked the first time that four fall sports teams attained championship titles.
"I can recall having one or two sports teams attaining state championships during their seasons," said Righi. "But four teams is a first for us, and something we truly need to celebrate."
The student athletes in attendance received certificates from their head coaches.
The RFH Girls' Cross Country coaches, Tim McCloone and Henry Mercer, presented certificates to their team. The varsity runners won the A Central Division Shore Conference Championship and the NJSIAA Group State Championship. They also placed third in the NJSIAA Meet of Champions, marking the third consecutive year that the team has earned a top three slot.
"Henry and I never thought we would coach the number one team in the state," said McCloone, referring to the team's first Meet of Champions win during the fall 2011 season. "Every year since, our girls have decided to follow suit and impress us with their levels of competition."
McCloone noted that although cross-country is a highly demanding sport, interest in the program has grown to the point that over 40 girls competed this year at the freshman, junior varsity, and varsity levels.
"Although we end up with about seven girls running varsity at the end of the season, we want to thank all of our team members for pushing themselves and their teammates to always give their all," said McCloone. "We would not have enjoyed this level of success of not for the efforts of every one of our runners."
Girls' Field Hockey won its fourth consecutive A Central Division Shore Conference Championship and advanced to the semi-finals of the Shore Conference Tournament.
The team, which ended the season with an impressive 14-0-1 record, also won its second consecutive NJSIAA Group II Section II State Championship and advanced to the Group II Semi-Finals of the NJSIAA State Tournament.
"I want to thank this incredible group of girls for a terrific season," said Head Coach Julie Vaccarelli. "It was amazing to win the North II, Group II title for the second year in a row."
Girls Soccer Coach Mary Beth Tukis noted that her team truly beat some major obstacles to attain the NJSIAA Central Group II Championship. The team ended the season with an impressive overall record of 15-6-1.
"We were plagued by injuries, and we had only one senior on our roster," said Coleman. "Granted, she was a very special player."
Coleman was referring to standout senior Schuyler DeBree, who was named an Asbury Park Press Player-of-the-Year and was also the Monmouth Country recipient of the John Cobb Senior Excellence Award for Girls Soccer.
The John Cobb award recognizes athletic performance as well as academic excellence and volunteer activities.
Head Football Coach Bryan Batchler expressed gratitude to the RFH administration, community, Board of Education, parents, and his coaching staff for the stellar gridiron season that ended in a state championship and a record of 12-1.
"I would like to thank all of my assistant coaches," said Batchler. "They are great coaches, but even better people."
Batchler, who said he was grateful that his players embraced a "win it all" philosophy, coached his team to the school's second NJSIAA Group II State Championship and a record of 12-1.
The football team's manager, RFH junior Frank Delaney, was chosen for the "Unsung Hero" award given by the Shore Chapter of the New Jersey Football Officials Association (NJFOA) and funded by donations from the Manasquan Elks Lodge.
NJFOA Shore Chapter Trustee Mike Galbavy presented Delaney with the award, which is the first given to an RFH student in the history of the program.
"The RFH versus Shore Regional football game was one of the best I have seen in my 40 years of officiating," said Galbavy. "But what truly caught my attention and that of the other officials was the dedication of a young man working very hard on the sidelines to make sure that every player on that team had everything needed for success on the field."
Galbavy discovered that the young man, Frank Delaney, was the Team Manager for the RFH football team. Additional research proved that Delaney would most certainly be a worthy recipient of the award, which is given to only seven or eight students per year chosen from 47 participating high schools by the 155-member strong Shore Chapter of the NJFOA.
"We discovered that Frank Delaney has a true love of sports, and that he dedicates a lot of time to team management during all sports seasons — in fact, his favorite sport is 'whichever one is in season','' said Galbavy. "The Board was also impressed by his activities outside of RFH, which include volunteering for charitable organizations and graduating from the Cadet Program of the Fair Haven Fire Department."
Delaney, who someday hopes to become a team owner, will receive a commemorative football in addition to the award presented at the ceremony.
Senior midfielder Schuyler DeBree, who will play at Duke University in the fall, and senior forward Eamon Kitson, who will play for University of Vermont, were honored for their contributions to the RFH soccer program.
Junior Charlie Volker, a running back on the RFH football team, was named Offensive Player of the Year.
Captains of the Girls' Cross Country team are Jacqueline Gottuso, Megan Hellman, and Courtney Howley.
Assistant Coaches are Kaitlyn Flanagan and Catherine Satzke.
Captains of the Girls' Field Hockey Team are Catie Ebner and Bridget Miles.
Assistant Coaches are Kathleen Dunfee, Kristen Mahon, Enza Mazza, and Kasie Nurko.
Schuyler DeBree is Captain of the Girls' Soccer Team, and Assistant Coaches are Donna Dini and Jeff Herkimer.
Football Team Captains are Donald Bedell, Kevin Clayton, Chris Hubler, JT Jennings, Thomas Martello, Jamie Reeves, Peter Righi, and Sam Shaud.
Assistant coaches are: John Bellavance, Jerry Gagliano, Frank Gripp, Ryan Kirchner, Billy Lagroterria, Jason Lippart, Joe Murphy, Charlie O'Brien, Rob Orrok, Tommy Orrok, Charlie Pirrello, Chris Quinn, Jeremy Schulte, and Jerry Schulte.