Knights' Korner

Knights' Korner is a weekly post highlighting this week in Wall High School Athletics. This edition is a preview for the winter sports.

Wall Boys Basketball: After finishing 8-19 last year, head coach Mike Puorro has issued a youth movement. Puorro only took four seniors for the team this year: Alan Burdge, Connor Nichols, Richard Tyas and Kevin Waters. Nichols didn’t play last year because of a prestigious club soccer team, and has decided to rejoin for his senior year. The team will lean heavily on sophomores Brenden Barcas and Trent Mitchell. The two will likely be starting alongside seniors Waters and Tyas, and junior Geoff Horwitz. All starters got good time on varsity last year, bringing experience to the court. Burdge will likely be the sixth man, adding energy, suffocating defense and an experienced ball handler.

Wall Girls Basketball: Colleen Kilmurry enjoyed a solid 12-12 season last year in her first as head coach of the program, but will be looking for more this year. Seniors Kelsey Thompson and Madi Mitchell will be the engines that drive the team forward. Juniors Samantha Darby, Sydney Darby, Casey Darley and Amanda Karabin will be a big part of the team with only two returning seniors. Christina Tricarico is the lone returning sophomore. 

Wall Wrestling: 2011/12 was a down year for Coach Brian Fischer’s Knights, 8-10, but the glass is half full for this season. The team will go as far as seniors Drew Donner and Dan Kinsella take them as they look to knock off B North favorites Ocean and Long Branch. Donner was 12-7 last year and Kinsella was 23-6. The duo both were  second in the District last year, with Kinsella getting top 6 in the Region. Returning juniors Tyler Romanelli, Tom Wishart and Aldo Guisse will be pushing right behind the seniors. The Knights deployed two freshman last year, Denzel Tovar and Jack Wishart, and they are two of the top up and comers in the Shore. Tovar had a 17-7 record last year, and though Jack Wishart had just an 8-11 record, he said he is ready to be much better than that, and that he missed out on opportunities last year. 

Wall Ice Hockey: The team will be looking to four year varsity starting goalie Troy Klahre and four year varsity star Tom Panico. Panico, a defender, is going to be one of the best players in the Shore Conference this year, and possibly the state. In his junior year he came second in the state in points. He made the first team all-Shore. Panico and Klahre may miss some games due to club teams, so when they're out the team will look to sophomore Jeff Morgan to chip in with some goals in his second year on varsity. The Knights are projected to win the B North division and they hope to conquer that, then make a run in the Shore and State tournaments. They will start that journey this Saturday at 8:15 away against Red Bank Regional.

Wall Swimming: For the girls, last year as a freshman Danielle Griggs took the Shore Conference by storm. Griggs won the 100 butterfly in the Shore Conference Championships, and came in second in the 50 freestyle. Her name is already all over the Wall Swimming record books, with her name attached to the 50, 100, 200, 500 freestyle, 100 butterfly, and 200 individual medley. The scary part is that she still has three years left. Last season will be a tough act to follow for Griggs, but she will be the marquee swimmer for the girls. As for the boys, beloved coach Greg Grober will look to stay competitive and beat their rivals. Some of the students who join Grober’s team are people who don’t know much about the sport, but just want to be on his team. Grober could have the guys smiling and laughing even if they were to never win a meet. Fortunately, they will win some.

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