Coach Karpell always tries to pit her Lady Lances against the best competition they can find. While most sane schools would take a year off to regroup after losing 4 D1 players.  Coach Karpell is throwing her team right back into the fire. SJV finished 4th in the entire country last year. Some believe if Kelly Crouch and Kelly Campbell had played in their OT lost in Florida, (their only loss of the season) SJV would have won the mythical National Title. The 2016-17 team has a mega superstar in Kimi Evans, U of Hartford commit Courtney Dobrzynski  and Julia Ramos, who was brilliant when both Kelly’s missed the month of July. Throw in Sara Karpell who was thrown into the fire as a freshman and showed she is a future superstar; and that’s it for returning players who have been in the wars. These four will be asked to lead the charge against some real high school heavyweights at BEST OF MARYLAND. It’s a double edge sword even for SJV, because confidence is everything for players stepping into new roles. If the vets and the new comers plays well, it will no question send a message that SJV is … well SJV.  But there is real chance that with so many inexperienced players, things could get dicey for this SJV team,  at such a high profile and competitive event. There could be some real doubt for even such talented kids, being asked to step up on such a big stage. But Coach Karpell has a built in advantage that no other coach in her situation has; her track record. So putting the pieces together if things don’t go well should not be a major problem. But it’s one I’m sure she wants to avoid.


What Joe Whalen has done at St. Rose is almost surreal, taking over a program that many thought was dead and turning into one of the best programs in the entire country. St. Rose has been preparing for THE BEST OF MARYLAND since the season ended. They get up as a team and shoot at 6 am on the shooting gun, they recently when on team building Navy Seals boot camp retreat. They even bringing along their incoming 9th graders to the BEST OF MARYLAND, not so much to play, but to learn the St. Rose and Joe Whalen way. This event is huge for this program, why? Because if they do win it, St. Rose could enter the season as a Top 3 team in the entire country next season. This is a team where all five starters will be D1 players. Mikayla Markham is now considered one of the best young point guards on the east coast. Lucy Thomas who committed to Monmouth, just may be the best young post player in New Jersey. Elizabeth  Marsicano has offers on the table including an A-10 school. These 3 are only juniors. The two starting wings are Jen Louro their most complete player and Ellyn Stoll are as good as any wing combination on the east coast. There most talented player comes off the bench, Sophomore Lauren Lithgow. This event also is an opportunity for St. Rose to show they can play quality competition day in and day out. St. Rose schedule during the high school season leaves a lot to be desired. But playing in such a high profile event AGAIN.  Gives them a chance to show they are the real deal. But there are some risk tied to this event this year. First, they have two seniors looking to showcase and that could be a problem. Because unlike an AAU event this event is truly more about team and winning. Personal goals in this event take a back seat. Trying to find that balance will be very important to this team’s morale down the role. This group has marked this date on their calendar long ago and nothing but a good showing will be a major disappointment. There is one thing this group knows they can count on….JOE WHALEN!

rbc joeRBC LOGO

The Yankee’s will make an appearance at BEST OF MARYLAND. This is a bit of surprise because I can never think of a time, Joe Montano has participated in such an event. But year is different that most, for a lot of reasons. This group has now been together for 3 years. Why is that important? Check the track record of Joe Montano teams when they are together as a group after a few years. They are at times unbeatable. Nobody, I said NOBODY, is better at bringing a group of young players along and turning them into a team like Joe Montano. No coach is in more control of his parents and players like Coach Montano, it is a drama free zone program. But this will different, because this year, Joe Montano will try and speed up the clock. While seniors Tia Montange, Jose Larkins and Maureen Coakley will lead the way. The real success of this team is will depend on the junior class stepping up this year. The BEST OF MARYLAND will be a real good early test for this group. A good showing and people will start talking about a SCT title or TOC run. Right now, most feel RBC is a year away. There are considered in that group of schools, just below Manasquan who are the heavy favorites with the addition of Lola Mullaney and return of Victoria Galvan. This event appears to be the perfect test for RBC on paper and appears to be a brilliant move by the future Hall of Famer. But RBC would be wise to pay close attention to what I’m about to say. This event is loaded with talented teams and lots of coaches will be on hand. This adds an element pressure to everyone involved. If they fall apart it will be a clear sign this team, just may not be ready. Joe Montano is not one to take his team anywhere and not be prepared….his players would be wise to follow his lead.


Dave Callahan is showing everyone right off the bat he plans to challenge his team. No question he is taking a big risk in attending THE BEST OF MARYLAND. The teams that participate in this event have a few things in common. They have Division 1 players up and down the roster, they are deep teams, and they have seasoned players with track records. RFH has exactly 4 players with any real experience. Mega star Tori Hyduke and Bryant commit Hannah Scanlan played major roles in helping RFH finish the year as the #4 team in the state. Returning role player’s Kaite Foos and Megan Volker, will be asked to become prime time players. Nobody else on the roster saw any real time.  If there is a year to dial this back, this is the year. Reports are the Coach Callahan, has been a hit with the players and the parents. But he is taking over the least talented RFH team in 10 years. Starting his coaching career at The BEST OF MARYLAND, is a signal to all he expects RFH to remain among the elite. But there are some risk involved with such a bold and gusty move. If RFH  plays great, Coach Callahan is going to look like a future star and he will have the parents and players in his back pocket. Be competitive and there will be much hope going into next season. But is if Rumson Fair Heaven gets rolled at BEST OF MARYLAND, Coach Callahan will find out very early, why RFH is easily the toughest job in the shore. Coach Callahan is taking the same approach he took in helping build a great boys program at RFH. Bring attention to the program and generate excitement again .. think of the gains if it pays off!

Let’s face it, much is on the line for these teams so early before next season starts…but it’s why the shore is the best conference in America….they like challenges!


NBS CAMP TWO STARTS AUGUST FIRST…Here is some advice, end you summer strong, be gym rats. NBS is a great way to see where your game stands and build your name recognition. All players attending will receive a spot in the fall NBS session…BE SMART

  • please remember while all are welcome NBS is for the advanced player


ACADEMIC ELITE 20 POSTS WERE ADDED…15 OF THOSE NEW SPOTS WHERE STILL OPEN AS OF YESTERDAY…currently there are 72 college coaches attending this event.

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