By Ryan Sy
A Wall High School football player has been named to the All-American roster.
Crimson Knights’ senior long snapper Joe Shimko signed a letter of intent with the University of North Carolina State. The All-American roster is a highly elite group of high school football players who are considered the best of their respective positions.
“Being on the All-American roster is amazing,” Shimko said. “Just knowing that I’m a part of the best 100 players in the country is a dream come true. I was putting in many hours every day in the weight room to gain the weight I needed to gain to get interest from colleges and, after lifting and practicing, I would still snap at home. I snapped 375 balls every day just to get my muscle memory and then after that I took off and got to where I am today.”
The long snapper snaps the football either to the punter or the kicker depending on the the situation. Usually within the 20-yard line on the opponent's side of the football field, the team with the ball will attempt a field goal. A long snapper snaps the ball to the place holder so he can hold it for the kicker to attempt to kick it through the field goal post.
Another common situation is the offense has reached 4th down which is the last down to get past the necessary yards to gain a 1st down. If failed, then the opponent will get the ball where the offense left off. Most teams will punt in that situation, depending on field position and yards to gain. The long snapper will snap the ball to the punter, who is about 10-15 yards away from the line of scrimmage. The snap is crucial so that the punter is able to secure it and kick down field without being rushed or worrying about a bad snap.
This position is not the most well known, but is still important. It is also very difficult, especially with pressure on the line in certain game situations.
“It means a lot to have someone like Joe teaching me the the techniques of snapping and he motivates me to try to be like him,” said Wall sophomore Ryan Legere, the second-string long snapper for the Knights, who will look to fill into the role of long snapper next season. “He has taught me almost everything I know about snapping up to this point.”
Being named to the All-American team is an amazing achievement for Shimko and the Wall football program to be recognized for his outstanding play on the football field. It also shines the light on football coaching and player development for producing another top-tier player who is looking to play on Sundays in the NFL after college.
By Ryan Sy
In the space of 10 days, two Wall High School senior basketball players etched their names in the all-time record books.
Lauren Karabin and Stephen Geis entered an elite club this season when they scored their 1,000th points. Karabin joins seven other girls to score 1,000 points, a list which includes her head coach Mrs. Colleen Wisher. Geis joins 10 other boys to have achieved the milestone at Wall.
“It is cool because that banner is never going to leave,” Karabin said. “Cool because Coach [Wisher] is up there.”
Even though Karabin scored her 1,000th point, she began playing basketball just to stay in shape. Her main focus is soccer and that is what she is going to play in college. Even though her beginning goal was to stay in shape for her primary sport, she thrived as a basketball player and joins a select group of girls basketball players.
“She came in as a young self-conscious freshman and grew into a confident senior leader,” Coach Wisher said. “It is an honor to have her on the banner with me.”
Karabin surpassed the millenium mark in a game on Mon., Jan. 29, against Ocean. Wall won the game 55-24.
Geis achieved his feat in a game on Fri., Jan 19, against Freehold Borough. Unfortunately, Wall lost by a score of 60-49.
“He came in as a pass-first guard and now leads the state in scoring,” said boys coach Mr. Matthew Kukoda, about his player who has scored 700 points in 25 games this season for an average of 28 per game. “We talk about individual goals around team goals each season.”
“I feel honored to be a member of the 1,000 point club at Wall High School and join many great Wall basketball alumni,” Geis said. “Working on my game for countless hours in the gym has helped me achieve this milestone.”
By Ryan Sy
Wall High School girls basketball coach Mrs. Colleen Wisher won her 100th career game against Ocean on Wed., Jan 10, by the score 48-24.
Mrs. Wisher was a varsity player at Wall years ago and scored over 1,000 points in her career and led a successful Crimson Knights’ team in her four years at the high school. She played from 2001-05. Now she is a successful coach for Wall girls basketball currently on her eighth season.
Mrs. Wisher joins 18 other coaches who have won 100 games in whatever sport they coached. She joins her old head coach, Athletic Director Mr. Tom Ridoux as the only girls basketball coaches to win 100 games or more. She also joins longtime field hockey coach Ms. Nancy Gross as the only girls coaches to win over 100 games in a single sport in their careers.
“I tell the kids to play hard and play with heart,” Mrs. Wisher said. “I love giving back and it is very rewarding.”
Senior Lauren Karabin scored 14 points in the win against Ocean. Sophomore Nikki Russo added 10 points in the game as well. Those two players contributed for half of 48 points scored by Wall.
“It’s really nice playing for Coach because she always has us going into every game believing we can and, even if we lose, all she wants us to do is work hard because we are known as a team that never gives up,” Russo said. “What makes Coach Wisher successful is the work she puts into this team.”
The win was dominating for Wall and the Knights doubled the opponents’ score in the game.
As a player, Mrs. Wisher played on the 2001 Central Jersey Group III championship team. She was a major contributor as a freshman to that championship team.
Wall will continue to play behind Coach Wisher and look to make a playoff run in the coming weeks.
By Ryan Sy and Catherine Prasad
The whistle blew and a champion was crowned, the Wall High School girls soccer team won the Group II championship for the first time outright after being co-champions last school year.
The Crimson Knights defeated Westward 4-3 for the Group II championship on Sat., Nov. 18. The win was the second straight for the Knights and the second championship for a group of seniors that have led this program to the top.
“The girls did not want the season to end,” said Mr. Michael Juska, the girls soccer coach who was Coach of the Year in 2016 following his first championship. “The seniors went above and beyond.”
In overtime, senior Hailee Reinhardt put in the game-winning goal and secured the Group II title for the second straight season for the Knights.
“Tying with the state finals last year left a bad taste in all the girls’ mouths,” Mr. Juska said. “I know they wanted to be outright champs this year.”
The first goal of the game was scored by senior Sarah Gordon. Then another senior, Jenna Karabin, scored after Gordon. Before halftime, however, Westward put in two goals to even the score. Then in the second half, Gordon added her second goal it make the score 3-2. Westward evened up the score. At the end of regular time, the score was tied at three, then the game went into the overtime period.
“After halftime, we got back into our groove,” said sophomore Jordan Cheche, Wall’s starting goalkeeper. “I was the only starter who was not a senior.”
This win is huge for the seniors, who came away victorious in the final game of their high school career. It also makes this win so sweet for them to finish as champions.
Next season, Wall will look to fill the void that the seniors are going to leave behind. The Knights will lose Cara Capra, Isabella Cavazzoni, Meghan Corbran, Jamie Iorio, Katie Kile, Morgan Knight, Amy Paternoster, Joan Scheit, Margaret Wishart, Jenna and Lauren Karabin, as well as Gordon and Reinhardt. Those 13 seniors positions will need to be filled for next season.
The victory ends a season where the Knights’ final record of 24-1-2 and a first-place finish in the Shore Conference B North Division.