The Millstone Times June 2021

7 TH & 8 TH GRADE MILLSTONE LACROSSE TEAM Wins the Championship By Pam Teel

The Millstone Lacrosse travel program, which has both male and female teams, has been around for many decades. It’s home to both serious players who want to take it to the next level and those who like to play without a major commitment. One special group of boys, most of who have been playing together since second grade, have excelled in the sport and taken it as far as they could go. With a great blend of talented attack players, great face off and midfields, who controlled the game, a big group of defensive players, and an attentive goalie there to help bail them out, the seventh and eighth graders on the team were able to win the Central Jersey Youth Lacrosse League Championship not just once but three times. Having won the CJYLL Championship in 2019, 2020, and now 2021, they are one of the top teams to ever come out of Millstone! The team was led by Head Coach Scott Stelmach, and assisted by Mike Pellegrino (attack coach) and Scott Bern- stiel (Defensive Coordinator). They also coached a great group of 2/3/4th graders simultaneously.

This year’s team had 17 players who came together and put up an outstanding record of 25-2 for the season. This team has been together since second grade and that continuity is a big reason for their success. They are some of the best athletes in town and in the region, always challenging themselves to be the best they could be and only getting better with time. This year was no exception. The boys put their all into their games. Millstone started the season against top town programs such as Toms River and Princeton, and went 1-1 on the day, something they would avenge in the finals, but was a great way for them to see how much work they had ahead of themselves. Millstone then rattled off 19 straight wins beating rivals along the way, Jackson, Clark, Hopewell Valley, Howell, and Allentown. They rolled into the State Tournament as the top seed even with an early loss to Princ- eton who was given the number 2 seed. They had a bye in the first round and handled East Brunswick in the quarterfinals. In the semi finals they drew Robbinsville who has also been a strong competitor over the years. Millstone controlled the game, but Robbinsville hung around; in the end Millstone was too strong, which set up a rematch with Princeton. The final was a highly anticipated rematch and did not disappoint. It was a highly contested game, and it was close until the 4th quarter when Millstone was able to wear down the Princeton defense. Princeton took 4 straight penalties and Millstone cashed in each time. Millstone went on to win 10-3 and capture another CJYLL Championship. Many of the eighth graders will be moving on to high school next fall. Many will be playing for their new school’s team, but the strength and the spirit of these boys and what they accomplished will live on forever. Congratulations to a great group of young men and to the coaches who guided them along and passed on their knowledge of the sport. Coach Mike Pellegrino said it best, “Scott Stelmach, Scott Bernstiel and I could not be happier to have been a part of their lives. Congratulations to a great group of champions who never wavered and built something special for themselves and our home town Millstone. Best of luck boys in everything the future holds!” Midfielders: Sean McCaffery 8th, Brian McCaffery 7th, Brett Stelmach 8th, Ryan Bernstiel 7th,Charlie Duffy 8th, Matt Schweitzer 8th

Attack: Ryan Pellegrino 8th, Petey Marucci 8th, Pat Lomma 7th, Jack Grau 7th, Wyatt Zhao 8th Defense: Nick Bonavita 8th. Josh Matchin 8th, Lorenzo Wagner 8th, Matt Ruiz 8th, Joe Dona 8th Goalies: Kyle Simels 8th, Brian McCaffery 7th

The Lacrosse program starts up in early March and runs through mid May. Millstone has always had very competitive teams on both the girl’s side as well as the boys. Thinking of joining the team, go to: (The Millstone Lacrosse Club) The league they play in is the Central Jersey Youth Lacrosse League (CJYLL)

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