SJSW Notebook: Sights and stories from a busy opening week

South Jersey Sports Weekly is a publication that launched in April. It’s produced by Sun Newspapers and appears in the physical copy within the Suns throughout South Jersey (in Moorestown, Medford, Cherry Hill, Washington Township, Deptford, etc). each Wednesday. Most of the content also appears online. The weekly, online notebook will provide you with even more of the content within SJSW’s physical pages.

It may still feel like summer outside, but the fall sports season is officially underway. Most teams kicked off their schedules last week and South Jersey Sports Weekly was on hand for a number of opening week games.

For many teams, opening day was simply the start of a new season. But for teams such as Burlington Twp. and Timber Creek girls volleyball, their first matches meant so much more. Those two teams are just some of the South Jersey schools who’ve added girls volleyball  for the fall of 2019. SJSW was on hand for Burlington Township’s first match and caught up with Timber Creek as they prepared for their season debut last week.

***

Eastern senior Kara Heck, who racked up 156 goals and 78 assists in 74 games in her first three varsity seasons, watches from the sidelines during a game at Cherry Hill East. Heck, who will play at Boston College next year, is out for the entirety of her senior season after undergoing right knee surgery in June. (RYAN LAWRENCE, South Jersey Sports Weekly)

The start of a new season means changes for a lot of programs as they try to replace players who graduated the previous year. For Eastern field hockey, their top player from 2018, Kara Heck, didn’t graduate, but she won’t be on the field this year either after tearing her ACL in a lacrosse game in the spring. The team talked about the loss and how they plan to move forward. 

***

More Stories from Last Week

***

South Jersey Sports Weekly Player of the Week

Matthew D’Ottavi
Moorestown Friends Schools
Junior
Boys Soccer

It’s difficult to think of a better way to start the season then collecting a game-winning goal in double-overtime on the first day of the scholastic school year, and that’s exactly what D’Ottavi did. The talented Foxes junior captain tallied his second goal of the game in the second extra period against Princeton Day to lead Moorestown Friends to a 2-1 victory. D’Ottavi has been a consistent scorer at MFS since his arrival: he scored 25 goals in his first two seasons.

Quotable: “He has already proven to be one of the top finishers in South Jersey and seems poised to take his game to another level,” said Moorestown Friends coach Mike Schlotterbeck. “He scored two big goals in our opener and both required strength and technique before the opportunity presented itself. Matt is tenacious. He’s a hard-working player who is also versatile. Last year, he stepped in at center back when we had a starter go down to injury. He is also a leader and has been selected as a tri-captain by his teammates.”

***

Games to Watch
Wednesday, Sept. 11 – Tuesday, Sept. 17

Football: Rancocas Valley vs. Williamstown

Friday, Sept. 13
7 p.m. at Williamstown High School

Field Hockey: Eastern vs. Oak Knoll

Saturday, Sept. 14
10 a.m. at Oak Knoll in Summit

Girls Tennis: Moorestown Classic featuring, Moorestown, Haddonfield, Cherry Hill East and Moorestown Friends

Saturday Sept. 14 and Sunday, Sept. 15
Competition begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday and noon on Sunday

Boys Soccer: Cinnaminson vs. Holy Cross

Monday, Sept. 16
3:45 p.m. at Holy Cross

Girls Soccer: Shawnee vs. Bishop Eustace

Monday, Sept. 16
3:45 p.m. at Bishop Eustace

***

Scenes from Last Week

Colonial vs. Tri-County Boys Soccer Challenge at West Deptford Park
Clearview vs. Sterling
Haddonfield vs. Triton

(All photos: MIKE MONOSTRA, South Jersey Sports Weekly)

Cherokee at Washington Township
Football
(All photos: RYAN LAWRENCE, South Jersey Sports Weekly)

***

Have a story idea for South Jersey Sports Weekly? Email us at news@southjerseysportsweekly.com.