Isaiah Morton and Charlie Monaghan led the St. Augustine Prep boys basketball team to a state title.
Then, they led the celebration.
The Hermits mobbed Morton and Monaghan after beating Seton Hall Prep 71-60 to win the state Non-Public A championship on March 12. The St. Augustine student section roared as Morton lifted the state championship trophy over his head.
The victory gave St. Augustine its first state title since 2004.
"This was my favorite year of basketball in my life," Monaghan said.
A lot of other local athletes could say the same about the seasons they had in their respective sports this winter.
St. Augustine's basketball success was one of the winter's highlights.
Local athletes performed at some of the region's biggest and most prestigious venues.
The St. Augustine Prep ice hockey team reached the state Non-Public final, losing to Delbarton 3-2 in overtime at the Prudential Center in Newark on March 13.
Distance runner Miles Schoedler of Ocean City High School finished fourth in the high school boys mile at the Millrose Games on Jan. 28 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
The state individual wrestling tournament drew more than 38,000 fans to Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City from March 4-6. Kyle Casaletto of Southern Regional High School finished second at 125 pounds.
There were other outstanding individual accomplishments. Morton scored 2,289 career points - fourth best in area history.
Swimmer Colleen Callahan of Atlantic City won the 200-yard individual medley and the 100 breaststroke at the Meet of Champions in record times.
Erik Johnson of Ocean City won the 1,600 run at the indoor track and field Meet of Champions.
Tim Wolchko of Egg Harbor Township may have been the winter's most unlikely state champion. EHT doesn't even have a bowling team, but that didn't stop Wolchko from
winning the state individual championship.
And then there were the team championships.
The Vineland girls basketball team won the Cape-Atlantic League for the first time since 1998. The Oakcrest track team won a state team relay title. The Ocean City boys track and field team won a state title for the first time in the program's history.
"That's something I'll take with me forever," Schoedler said of the state championship.
A lot of local athletes will remember the achievements the winter season of 2010-11 for what they achieved.
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