SJSW Notebook: Don’t look now, but playoff season is coming

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.

Moorestown Friends senior Renna Mohsen-Breen is the No.1 seed in the NJSIAA State Singles tournament, which begins this weekend. (RYAN LAWRENCE, South Jersey Sports Weekly)

The high school sports season moves pretty fast. If you don’t look around once in a while, you could miss it.

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It’s already October, which means we’re in the month when some serious hardware will be awarded to fall athletes. In girls tennis, the NJSIAA State Singles tournament gets underway this weekend and South Jersey’s own Renna Mohsen-Breen of Moorestown Friends is the tournament’s top seed.

Mohsen-Breen is one of five South Jersey players among the top 32 seeds in the tournament. Among those five, there’s even a freshman: Shawnee’s Samantha Tepes.

Tepes, who was placed in the 17-32 seeding bracket when seeds were announced earlier this week, had a remarkable first month of varsity play. She announced her arrival onto the varsity sports scene in her first month of high school competition by winning the Olympic Conference American Division singles championship last week and also as the only freshman to advance to the quarterfinals of the South Jersey Interscholastic Championships. Tepes avenged her only loss of the season by beating a formidable opponent in Cherry Hill East’s Pallavi Goculdas, 7-6 (7-2) 6-3, in the Olympic American final, and on her 15th birthday no less.

Shawnee High School freshman Samantha Tepes earned South Jersey Sports Weekly Player of the Week honors by winning the Olympic Conference American Division singles championship.

Samie came off the court and said, ‘That’s the best I ever played,’” Shawnee coach Sarah Fitzgerald said. “Samie did not take any points off, her serve and her ability to return Pallavi’s mixture of shots was incredible, she took her game to the next level and I could not have been more proud of her.  … From Day One, I knew Samie was going to be a star. Not only does she have the skills, she has the athletic ability, quickness and the poise of a great tennis player.

“She is humble but competitive and is always looking forward to the next match to take on another opponent. I have seen Samie grow as a player, teammate and as a person in the past six weeks. She is only a freshman, but her teammates look up to her. Her hard work, competitive nature, kindness and resiliency has forced the entire team to raise the bar.”

Tepes earned South Jersey Sports Weekly’s Player of the Week honors for the final week of  September. Shawnee (8-1 entering play on Oct. 3) is seeded No.2 in the Girls Tennis Team Tournament’s South Group 3 bracket, which also came out this week. If they (pun intended) hold serve, Shawnee would face top-seeded Moorestown for a sectional championship on Oct. 15.

Other top-seeded teams in South Jersey Sports Weekly’s coverage area: Haddonfield (South Group 2), Cherry Hill East (South Group 4), and Moorestown Friends (Non-Public South B).


Games to Watch: Oct. 2 — Oct. 8

Wednesday, Oct. 2
Boys Soccer: Shawnee vs. Cherry Hill East
3:45 p.m. at DeCou Field Complex, Cherry Hill

Thursday, Oct. 3
Girls Soccer: Delran vs. Burlington Township
6:30 p.m. at Westampton Sports Complex

Friday, Oct. 4
Football: Timber Creek vs. Highland
7 p.m. at Highland Regional High School

Saturday, Oct. 5
Cross Country: Shore Coaches Invitational
9 a.m. at Holmdel Park

Tuesday, Oct. 8
Boys Soccer: Williamstown vs. Clearview
4 p.m. at Clearview Regional High School


ICYMI: More Stories From Last Week

(Mike Monostra, South Jersey Sports Weekly)
(RYAN LAWRENCE, South Jersey Sports Weekly)


Scenes from Last Week

Girls Soccer
Eastern vs. Lenape
(All Photos: RYAN LAWRENCE, South Jersey Sports Weekly)

Field Hockey
Highland vs. GCIT
(All Photos: MIKE MONOSTRA, South Jersey Sports Weekly)

Boys Soccer
Cinnaminson vs. Paul VI
(All Photos: RYAN LAWRENCE, South Jersey Sports Weekly)


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Ryan is a veteran journalist of 20 years. He’s worked at the Courier-Post, Philadelphia Daily News, Delaware County Daily Times, primarily as a sportswriter, and is currently a sports editor at Newspaper Media Group and an adjunct journalism instructor at Rowan University.
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