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IMG_8013Award winning storyteller David Gonzalez brought his storytelling skills to the Lower School students of RCDS in a visit last week.

Press release from Rumson Country Day School

On January 17, the nursery, pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first grade students of Rumson Country Day School were treated to the outstanding show Aesop Bops! by nationally acclaimed storyteller, musician and poet David Gonzalez. Using different voices, movements, and facial expressions, Mr. Gonzalez delighted the young audience with three tales told in the spirit of Aesop.

“Parent Council is so pleased to sponsor this event as a way to enrich the academic experiences of our youngest students,” said Parent Council President Jennifer Steiner Crowell ’88. “It’s never too early to expose students to the performing arts while reinforcing the RCDS philosophy.”

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P1200923Two River Little League president Chris Kelly (second from left, with t-shirt) is pictured in a file photo with TRLL board member John Caruso, Red Bank Regional athletic director Del Dal Pra, TRLL vice president Memone P. Crystian, and TRLL board member Bob Oakes.

From press materials furnished by Red Bank Recreation

Winter may still have the greater Red Bank green in its icy clutches — but for the organizers of the Two River Little League, it’s “put me in, coach…there’s new grass on the field.”

There’s still time for boys and girls to sign up for the newly created league, with the deadline for registration on January 31 — and a special public information session for Red Bank kids and parents scheduled for 7:30 pm this Friday, January 24, at Borough Hall on Monmouth Street.

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Rumson-Fair Haven High School junior Frank Delaney, manager of the school’s football team and recipient of this year’s “Unsung Hero” award from the Shore Chapter of the New Jersey Football Officials Association (NJFOA), is congratulated by RFH Superintendent Peter Righi.

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

Over 100 Rumson-Haven Regional High School students were recently honored by the school’s Board of Education for outstanding academic achievement, as well as unprecedented athletic success.

Proud parents and other supporters were in attendance during the ceremony that took place on the evening of January 7 in the RFH auditorium, where the students were presented with certificates and praised for their hard work, both in the classroom and on the turf.

Three students attained perfect scores on Sections of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and SAT II, and four fall sports teams — football, girls’ cross country, girls’ field hockey, and girls’ soccer — attained state titles. In addition, the football team student manager received the school’s first “Unsung Hero Award” award from the Shore Chapter of the New Jersey Football Officials Association.

RFH senior Matt Sheehan achieved a milestone for RFH by receiving the school’s first perfect score of 800 on the U.S. History Sub-Section of the SAT II.

Senior Tucker Briggs attained a perfect score of 800 on the Math Section of the SAT and RFH senior Nick Hawke received a perfect score of 800 on the SAT Writing Section.

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From press materials furnished by Belfer Communications

DawkinsIn an announcement made on Monday morning, the organizers of the 2014 Rumson St. Patricks Day Parade confirmed that Brigadier General Peter M. Dawkins, USA (Ret.) will be serving as Grand Marshal for the second annual event, scheduled for the afternoon of Sunday, March 9.

It’s a new feather in the cap of the longtime Rumson resident — a Heisman Trophy winner, decorated military commander, Citigroup vice chairman, and 1988 Republican candidate for one of the Garden State’s U.S. Senate seats. It’s also a not-insignificant honor in a career that’s seen the 1959 West Point grad and Rhodes Scholar serve with distinction on college gridirons and foreign battlefields; banking industry boardrooms and the worlds of academia, public policy and philanthropy.

Dawkins will be among the luminaries in attendance — joining Rumson Mayor John Ekdahl and parade MC JoAnn Pileggi of FOX 5 and My 9 News — during a press conference luncheon slated for January 17 at  local landmark Murphy’s Tavern. The fabled watering hole and former speakeasy will also be the setting for the first of several scheduled fundraiser events, an afternoon of music, food and socializing that happens on Saturday, January 18.

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Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

“When I immigrated to this country from Ireland and attained my first job, my Manager was an Eagle Scout,” said Jennifer Gallagher. “I came to greatly admire this man, and I decided that if I were someday blessed with a son I would want him to become an Eagle Scout.”

CLASS-ACT_RUMSON-209x220Gallagher’s wish, which she shared as part of her “Parent’s Remarks” during a recent ceremony, came true as her son Vincent received his Eagle Scout award in front of a crowd including fellow scouts, scout leaders, parents, and distinguished guests.

At the Boy Scout Troop 125 “Court of Honor” held on the evening of December 5 at Christ Church United Methodist in Fair Haven, Robert (Robbie) List was also awarded the Eagle Scout pin.

Shawn Chasmar, Brian Lenahan, William (Billy) Perkins, and Matthew (Matt) Valko also were awarded the rank of Eagle Scout at an Eagle Court of Honor held on August 3 at the Church of the Nativity in Fair Haven.

The six scouts are Rumson-Fair Haven High School students and graduates and are affiliated with Boy Scout Troop 125, which is hosted by Christ Church United Methodist in Fair Haven.

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RCDS spellingRumson Country Day School eighth grader Cole DeMeulemeester (at right, with runner up Chester English of Locust) led the field in the annual RCDS Geographic Bee, a win that moves the Red Bank resident one step closer to a $50,000 College Scholarship.

By KRISTIN ARRAMBIDE, Rumson Country Day School

In the end, it was the answer “Chesapeake Bay” to the question “The Potomac River empties into what large bay?” that won gold for eighth grader Cole DeMeulemeester ’14 (Red Bank) during the final moments of the exciting RCDS Geography Bee held on Monday, December 9, 2013. Cole battled it out with runner-up seventh grader Chester English (Locust) in a packed house school event.

Winning the school-level competition of the National Geographic Bee gives Cole the chance to compete for a $50,000 college scholarship. The school-level Bee, at which students answered oral questions on geography, was the first round in the 26th annual National Geographic Bee. This year’s Bee is sponsored by Google.

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Bull Dogs Celebrate 1The gridiron Bulldogs of Rumson-Fair Haven captured their second sectional championship in four years, with a 14-6 victory over Weequahic High School in post-season play.

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

In front of a packed stadium at Kean University in Union, the Rumson-Fair Haven High School football team defeated Weequahic High School with a score of 14-6 to capture the NJSIAA Group II State Championship for the second time in four years.

The RFH Bulldogs were also named the Central A Public Champions in the Shore Conference, and finished the season with an overall record of 11-1.

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KateShermanIn a local event recorded for the ABC program 20/20, RFH senior Kate Sherman recently participated in an open forum with former Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice, who was fired from the program earlier this year for bullying behavior. (click to enlarge)

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

The Central Jersey Chapter of the Gay Straight and Lesbian Education Network (GLSEN) recently presented a unique opportunity to local students. GLSEN planned to host an open conversation between New Jersey students and former Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice on November 9, with the forum taking place that morning at Hoops, a recreational basketball facility located in Neptune. The network TV news show 20/20 planned to air segments of the conversation.

Local GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) Advisors were asked by GLSEN to put a clarion call out to their student members. One of these was art teacher Kate Okeson of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School.

Would any of the students in her organization be willing to make the trip to Neptune and back, early on a Saturday morning, for the possibility of having a face to-face conversation with Rice?

As it turns out, she didn’t have to ask Kate Sherman twice.

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RFH soccerThe Boys Soccer squad at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School celebrates their recent Divisional Championship win — a finale to a season that also saw the team netting Player of the Year and Coach of the Year honors. (click to enlarge)

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

Eamon Kitson, senior Co-Captain and forward for the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School Boys Soccer Team, was recently named “Player of the Year” by the Asbury Park Press, and by the Jersey Shore Sporting Network.

Jersey Shore Sporting Network also named first-year Head Coach Will Gould “All-Division Coach of the Year.”

And that was just the icing on the cake for this year’s team, which ended the school’s best season ever with a record of 19-3-1 and won the 2013 “Central A” Divisional Championship.

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RFH FHFive players from the Rumson-Fair Haven Field Hockey squad were named to the Press All-Shore teams, as the RFH girls earned their fourth consecutive “Central A” Division championship. (click to enlarge)

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

It’s been said that “the third time is the charm,” but the fourth time was also the charm for the Girls Field Hockey Team at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School.

They recently captured their fourth consecutive championship in the highly competitive “Central A” Division with undefeated conference play.

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P1200923Several of the people who were instrumental in establishing the Two River Little League (TRLL) — a new chapter of Little League International encompassing Fair Haven, Little Silver, Red Bank, Rumson and Shrewsbury — are (left to right):  TRLL Board Member John Caruso; TRLL President Chris Kelly; Del Dal Pra, Athletic Director Red Bank Regional High School; TRLL Vice President/Softball Memone P. Crystian, and TRLL Board Member Bob Oakes. (click to enlarge)

From press materials furnished by Marianne Kligman

The towns of Fair Haven, Little Silver, Red Bank, Rumson and Shrewsbury have formed a new charter as part of Little League International.  Known as the Two River Little League, boys and girls ages 9 to 16 can begin signing up January 1 to play baseball and softball this spring. The registration period extends through February 1, and can be accessed at each town’s website. or by visiting the recreational department for each town for registration forms. Younger children ages 5 to 8 will continue to play with their town’s recreational leagues in the existing Peninsula League.

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RFH signing dayRFH senior athletes who signed their Letters of Intent to participate in college programs are, clockwise from top left, Ryan Campbell, Kate Edwards, Bridget Curran, Nicolette Dunphy, Mary Scarrone, Shane McCarthy, Chris Hubler, Conner Phillips, Dominic Padula, and Colin Shea.

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

Flanked by proud parents and supportive coaches, eleven student-athletes from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School recently took a significant step toward turning their dreams of playing on a college sports team into reality.

After being recruited by sports programs and making verbal commitments to colleges and universities, the students “sealed the deal” by signing their letters of intent in the RFH Library on November 20.

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RFH ChinaRFH staff and students recently welcomed visitors from Hanzhou Entel Foreign Language School in Hanzhou, China. Pictured from left to right are RFH Chinese Teacher Matthew Yang, RFH Supervisor of World Languages, Visual and Performing Arts, Business, and ESL Michel Salazar, Hanzhou Entel English Teacher Hu Yeubo, RFH Chinese Teacher Rebecca Wang, and Hanzhou Entel Chinese Teacher and Vice Principal Zheng Minfeng.

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

Teachers Hu Yuebo and Zheng Minfeng recently had an unusually long commute to school. They traveled from Hanzhou, China for a week-long visit to Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School.

While at RFH the two observed lessons, interacted with students and teachers, enjoyed dinners in their honor, participated in a bowling event, and even ate lunch in the RFH cafeteria.

“The chicken fingers were highly recommended by the students,” said Yuebo, who teaches English at Hanzhou Entel Foreign Language School, where Minfeng teaches Chinese and is the Vice Principal.

But this visit was about a lot more than chicken fingers. It represented a big step forward for the Study Abroad Program at RFH, which received its official approval by the RFH School Board at a meeting on November 12.

The inaugural study abroad trip for the new language immersion-based program, which took root at the high school in 2007, is planned for April 9-21, 2014.  That is when eleven RFH students will travel with two chaperones to the Hanzhou Entel Foreign Language School in Hanzhou, China.

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Sky SSOA Award 007From press materials furnished by Rumson-Fair Haven Regional HS

The Shore Soccer Officials Association announced that Rumson-Fair Haven Regional HS senior Schuyler DeBree (pictured) has been selected as the 2013 recipient of the John Cobb Girls Senior Excellence Award.

Presented each year since 1993 to one female and one male soccer player from Monmouth County, the awards are based on nominations from the honorees’ coaches, and are bestowed upon students who are “proven to embody the finest qualities of a scholar/athlete including demonstrated sportsmanship, playing ability, and scholastic achievement.”

Schuyler received the award plaque at a ceremony held on Thursday, November 14 at Hemingway’s Cafe in Seaside Heights.

RFH Girls Soccer Coach and Physical Education Instructor Mary Beth Coleman, who nominated Schuyler for the award, lauded her leadership qualities and commitment to community service.

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Pet Food Drive...HalfacreSenior Matt Halfacre displays a few of the items collected as a result of the “Dawgs for Dogs … and Other Pets Too,” an initiative now taking place at RFH. Items will be delivered to pet owners in need by the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties.

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

“Dawgs for Dogs … and Other Pets Too,” a new initiative to provide items for the care and comfort of four-legged friends in the local area, is now taking place at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School.

Named in honor of the school’s bulldog mascot, the collection and distribution effort will assist local pet owners who may experience financial hardship in the coming winter months.

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Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

Expanding access to Advanced Placement (AP) classes while improving student performance on end-of-course AP exams is a difficult balancing act. By achieving this feat, Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School has once again been selected for recognition by the College Board.CLASS-ACT_RUMSON-209x220

RFH is one of 36 schools in New Jersey to be placed on the Fourth Annual AP District Honor Roll — the second consecutive year that RFH has been recognized by the College Board for this achievement.

A total of 477 schools from across the U.S. and in Canada were selected for AP District Honor Roll Status. Each of these schools has successfully offered AP courses to a more diverse group of learners while simultaneously maintaining or improving students’ scores on AP exams.

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The Rumson-Fair Haven Community Alliance, in collaboration with Prevention First, has opened a Resource Room in the Charles S. Callman Court House at 80 East River Road in Rumson that provides resources on bullying, violence and substance abuse prevention and treatment, parenting, self-help and more, to the communities of Rumson and Fair Haven.

The goal of the Rumson-Fair Haven Community Alliance is to devise and implement strategies to assist the community in solving the issues of abuse of alcohol, and both legal and illegal drugs. The Alliance comprises the Boroughs of Rumson and Fair Haven, and the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, Fair Haven and Rumson School Districts. The Alliance’s primary effort consists of providing education and awareness to all members of the community, but also includes specific information about resources and options available when a problem arises.


Acting MC Prosecutor Christopher GramiccioniMonmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni will address the area’s heroin epidemic tonight, November 18, during a presentation at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School entitled “It’s Time to Talk.”

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

According to local law enforcement officials, “It’s Time to Talk” about the alarming rise in heroin-related deaths in Monmouth County.

The general public is invited to participate in a conversation with Acting Monmouth County prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni, inside the auditorium at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School tonight, November 18.

RFH is sponsoring the  7 pm event, along with Red Bank Regional High School and the elementary school districts of Fair Haven, Little Silver, and Shrewsbury.

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tartuffeKatherine Kennedy (Avon), Alicia Moeller (Shrewsbury), and Eliana Swartz (Little Silver) rehearse the female lead roles in the Red Bank Regional Theatre Company updating of Moliere’s classic comedy TARTUFFE, opening Wednesday, November 20.

One’s a re-imagining of a French adventure classic, that’s more about the slapstick than the swashbuckle. The other takes the most timeless of comedies by the 17th century French playwright Moliére, and transplants it to the 21st century. When two area high schools present their fall drama productions this month, a couple of beloved tales from the land of the baguette promise to pick up more than a few laughs in the translation.

It all starts at 7 pm on the evening of Wednesday, November 20, when the Red Bank Regional High School Theatre Company presents a new take on Tartuffe, the play-in-rhyme by Molière that remains timeless due to its scenario of a con artist who hides behind the persona of a man of the cloth; the better to cheat a rich man out of his fortune and his frau. Set in the world of the 21st century, the 1664 classic (transplanted to a Dallas-like setting when it was staged by Two River Theater Company several seasons back) continues inside the school’s Red Bank Regional Theatre with 7 pm showtimes on Thursday, November 21 and Friday, November 22. Audiences can choose from either of two shows (2pm and 7 pm) on Saturday, November 23, and a final 3 pm matinee will be presented on Sunday, November 24.  Tickets are $12 ($7 for students and seniors) and can be purchased directly on the school website, at by calling 732-842-8000, ext. 227.

Over at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, the RFH Tower Players get set to raise the curtain on “a hilarious retelling of the classic Dumas tale of derring-do,” when they unveil The Three Musketeers: All Swash and No Buckle.”

Set in 17th century Paris and written by playwright Pat Cook, the story follows a young D’Artagnan (Christopher Brodsky) as he meets up with the Three Musketeers — Athos (John Chiarella), Aramis (Andrew Maris), and Porthos (Laurence Morales).

D’Artagnan desperately wants to join the Musketeers troupe, but first he must prove himself by winning a sword fight and attempting to preserve the reputation of the Queen (Jackie Dixon) by helping the Musketeers finding her “missing” necklace — which she had gifted to her love interest, the Duke of Buckingham (Matthew Hughes).

Will D’Artagnan prevail to earn the respect of the Musketeers and the love of the Queen’s Lady-in-Waiting, Constance (Mallory McGill)? With the help of some seriously silly narrators, audiences will find out as they follow the misadventures that occur on the roads leading from France to England and back again.The hijinks include sword fights, several star-crossed lovers, a race on stick-horses, a blackmailing Cardinal (Sean Loughran) and his equally conniving assistant (Christopher Tuttle), a fund-raising telethon, and a cast filled with zany characters.

Over 45 members of the Tower Players troupe will be featured in the ensemble of the production, with Suzanne Sweeney at the helm as Director. Props and costumes are under the direction of Carole Malik, and set design under the supervision of Dino Pagano. Sound and lighting are under the direction of Matthew Leddin. Students participating in Stagecraft, a course offered at RFH, are also creating the set designs.

The Three Musketeers: All Swash and No Buckle will be presented in the school auditorium on the evenings of November 22 and 23 at 7:30 pm. The Sunday matinee will be featured on November 24 at 1 pm. Admission $10 for the general public, and $6 for students with ID cards.

Tickets will be sold in the lobby of the RFH auditorium for an hour and a half before each performance. Tickets may also be purchased in advance at the Box Office, which is located in the RFH lobby and will be open to the public from 3:30 to 5:30 pm. on November 11, 18 and 21.


Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

Anthony Nemati, who has found success on the ice as a hockey player and as a coach, has been announced as the Ice Hockey Coach at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School.  anthonynemati

“RFH has established a reputation for great academic and athletic excellence, and I look forward to working with the hockey program’s talented roster of student athletes,” said Nemati. “It is a privilege to work with the exceptional faculty, staff, and student body.”

Nemati, who is certified as a USA Hockey Level Four Coach, began playing ice hockey on a travel team at the age of six and has played for the New Jersey Devils Youth and American Eagles Hockey Clubs.

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rfh meritRFH students recently honored by the College Board are, clockwise from top left, William Kyle Burnett, Reghan Pattwell, Ralph DelNegro, Jacqueline Gottuso, Connor Swikart, and Leela Srinivasan. (click to enlarge)

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

Six students attending Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School have been honored by the College Board for their scores in the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).

RFH senior Leela Srinivasan has been named a Semifinalist in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program. The nationwide pool of 16,000 Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.

Seniors William Kyle Burnett, Jacqueline Gottuso, Ralph DelNegro, Reghan Pattwell, and Connor Swikart have been named Commended Students in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program.

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Press release from Rumson Country Day School

The Rumson Country Day School announced recently that Whitney C. Slade will become the seventh Head of School in its 87-year history. Mr. Slade will succeed Chad B. Small—who is in his 25th year as RCDS Head of School—for the 2014–2015 school year. Mr. Slade is currently in his 16th year as head of St. Michael’s Country Day School in Newport, Rhode Island.WSlade2

“The RCDS Board of Trustees voted unanimously to offer Whitney Slade the position, and we couldn’t be more pleased that he accepted,” says John Devlin ’83, who chaired the school’s nine-person search committee. “Competition for the best talent was particularly fierce this year, and we know Whitney was a finalist at a number of schools across the country. RCDS was on the top of his list when he began this process, and at the end of the process he was on the top of ours. How often do things work out that way?”

Mr. Slade, who is originally from Marblehead, Massachusetts, is a graduate of Tufts University. He received his Masters in Education from Harvard University in 1986. He and his wife, Ellen, a reading specialist, are avid sailors. They have two grown children.

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Large GroupRumson-Fair Haven Regional High School students and volunteers from the Long Branch Housing Authority are hoping to top last year’s impressive total of 52 Care Packages sent to U.S. Troops in Afghanistan.


The Character Education Club at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School is once again “rallying the troops” for the sake of our troops overseas.

The Annual Care Package Drive is now underway at RFH, and the student volunteers hope to collect enough donated items to surpass last year’s impressive record.

“The Care Packages are always eagerly anticipated and greatly appreciated by U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan,” said Jason Lippart, RFH Freshman Guidance Counselor and Advisor to the Character Education Club. “Sending out even more boxes out this year would be terrific for the troops and would also mean the world to our hardworking students and other volunteers.”

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Peer Leadership Pic Oct 2012Student Peer Leaders at Rumson-Fair haven Regional High School met last year to discuss the Mix It Up at Lunch” event and other activities associated with friendship and respect. Similar activities are planned for this year as well. (click to enlarge)

Students at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School will once again join more than one million others across the country by taking part in the 12th annual “Mix It Up at Lunch Day” on October 29.

RFH has participated in the event, designed to help break down social and racial barriers, since its inception in 2002.

‘Mix It Up at Lunch Day’ is a great way to meet students who you’ve never met before and make new friends,” said Jeremy Susser, a Senior at RFH and a member of the Peer Leaders student organization.

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JesseRigbyCarolineHeinsCaroline Heins and Jesse Rigby were announced as winners at the Monmouth County Girls Tennis Tournament on September 21 and 22.

A major first place finish for the girls’ cross country team this past weekend, and a recent doubles victory in the Monmouth County Girls’ Tennis Tournament, brought home the glory to the girls’ athletics program at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School.

Senior Carolyn Heins and junior Jesse Rigby, who play as number two doubles on the Varsity Tennis Team at Rumson Fair Haven Regional High School, prevailed in the semifinals over Manasquan High School, at the Tournament held September 21 and 22 at Tindall Park in Middletown. Heins and Rigby were down 8-3 in the 10-point tiebreaker of the third set, and came back to win with a score of 10-8.

Also making it into the semifinals of the tournament were freshman Katie Foos and junior Phoebe Short at number one doubles; junior Sophie Pavluk at number two singles; sophomore Katie Kane at number three singles; and Abbey Weis and Tara Sulak at number three doubles. Freshman Camryn Short, a number one singles player, made the quarterfinals.

The RFH tennis team also made an impact with a 3-2 victory over Marlboro in the Shore Conference Girls Tennis Tournament on September 26, which included a first singles victory by Short over Marlboro’s Hayley Barnett with scores of 6-3 and 6-4. The number-five seeded RFH team prevailed over the fourth-seeded Marlboro team to earn a trip to the semifinals, where they faced the top-seeded team from Holmdel High School. Holmdel prevailed in that match where, according to RFH Tennis Coach Maria Manley, “Our girls played tough and I think we gave Holmdel a scare.”

“As the season progresses, I only see us getting better as a team,” said Manley. “Our net game is improving with every match, and that is what will make the difference.”

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