The 2019 NFCA New Jersey High School Leadoff Classic, held April 6-7 at Essex County Branch Brook Park in Newark, N.J., was an immediate success as Immaculate Heart Academy (N.J.) and Caravel Academy (Del.) captured their respective brackets. It was fitting that IHA came away with its title as the inaugural event was in honor of former Blue Eagles head coach and 2019 NFCA Hall of Fame inductee, the late Anthony LaRezza.
IHA and Caravel (pictured above) each posted undefeated marks. The Blue Eagles knocked off Morris Knolls High School (N.J.), 8-5, in the title game, and earned a 10-3 semifinal victory over Donovan Catholic High School (N.J.). IHA advanced through the first round following a no contest with St. John Vianney.
Front page photo: Anthony's brothers- Allen (blue) throws out first pitch to Joe (maroon)
The Buccaneers edged Sussex Tech (Pa.), 3-2, in the championship contest and also earned victories over Mt. Saint Dominic High School (N.J.), 4-1, and Tunkhannock High School (Pa.), 6-5.
Tournament runners-up, Morris Knolls and Sussex Tech, each finished 2-1. The Golden Eagles posted wins over Blair Academy (N.J.), 6-5, and Ramsey High School (N.J.), while the Ravens defeated Toms River High School North (N.J.), 10-1, and Cedar Grove High School (N.J.), 5-1.
Additionally, Cedar Grove, Donovan Catholic, Mt. Saint Dominic and St. John Vianney all engineered two wins apiece.
Ariyonna Alves, Kearny
Emma Cunningham, Ramsey
Mia Faieta, Cedar Grove
Karina Gaskins, Donovan Catholic
Sophia Kiseloski, Mt. St. Dominic
Chelsea Manto, Robbinsville
Gabby Polera, St. John Vianney
Gwen Safin, Blair Academy
Savannah Sheats, Caravel Academy
Emily Schultz, Tunkhannock
Abby Tabaka, Immaculate Conception
Kayla Turcios, Morris Knolls
Abby Warner, Toms River North
Ryleigh White, Immaculate Heart Academy
Kaylee Whittaker, Steinert
Taylor Wroten, Sussex Tech