Vernon golf, lacrosse seasons end

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VERNON — Two seasons, golf and boy’s lacrosse, more accurately two seasons full of good moments and achievements are now complete for Vernon High School.

The Vikings were a force on the links as they tallied 11 total victories in dual matches.

“The contest that stood out the most was probably the KGolf Classic,’’ Vernon head golf coach Joe Byrne said. “We finished sixth out of 19 teams and finished ahead of a number of very good golf teams in the area. It showed us as a team that we can be competitive with the best teams around.’’

There were student-athletes on the roster who demonstrated valuable leadership abilities for the Vikings.

“Dan Kondel has been a huge part of the golf team since his freshman year and he continued to be a leader for our team," Byrne said. “Ayden Steinbach played consistent golf throughout the year, which really helped us. We knew Ayden was a good golfer coming into the season, but his consistency and growth throughout the year made a huge difference, especially in close matches."

Kondel and Steinbach are among the golfers returning for Vernon next spring.

“We have four of our top six scorers returning next year," Byrne said. “Including two First Team All-Conference players in Dan and Ayden and Shane Brennan, who received Honorable Mention (All-Conference)."

Boys' lacrosseThe Vikings tallied nine overall victories this year and the student-athletes on the roster have sent veteran and accomplished head coach Harry Shortway out on a good note. Vernon advanced to the quarterfinal round of the NJSIAA North 1 Group 2 Sectional Tournament, where they were defeated by a powerhouse Chatham team.

“The sun has set on my high school coaching career,’’ Shortway said. “It has been an incredible journey. We started the lacrosse program 20 years ago at Vernon High School. Thank you to the many officials, parents, my wonderful assistant coaches, and the high school staff, my family who always stood with me and picked me up when I stumbled, but most of all my players. They gave me so much more than I could have ever hoped for. For my players, I pray that their life travels contain the same love and loyalty that they provided me."

Coach Shortway recalls some of his team’s best performances from this spring season.

“Our victories against West Essex, Montville and Jefferson-all three were come from behind wins in the last minute of the competition or in overtime,’’ Shortway said. “Cole Genneken was the go to guy both offensively and defensively. Kevin Parisi played every position except goalie without complaint, he is an exceptional leader. Pat Graham, didn’t wear a C (designating a captain) on his jersey but always Mr. Reliable.

“Mike Walker, reserved and humble but always had his teammates’ backs with tremendous slides. Brandon Lewis just made things happen when he dodged from X. Matt Musciotto always earned difficult defensive assignments and off the field he designed Vernon boy’s lacrosse new uniforms and warm-up packages. All were unselfish. JT Doyle our goalie developed into a true varsity goalie, fearless and able to come out of the goal to clear the ball."

Shortway feels that the Viking program will be formidable moving forward.

“JT Doyle will return as goalie," Shortway said. “Zack Biango developed his face-off skills and will be a returning two year starter. Ryan Mihalko and Zack Lis are juniors who were varsity starters both have great potential."

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