Saint John Vianney athletic programs sending players on to collegiate programs

Scott Jacobs

Saint John Vianney High School produced a significant amount of collegiate athletes in the 2018-19 school year, especially in softball.

Saint John Vianney’s softball team had a great season in 2019, going 27-1, winning the Shore Conference Tournament and reaching the NJSIAA South Jersey, Non-Public A sectional tournament final. The Lancers were great because they had a lineup full of collegiate commits.

Five Saint John Vianney softball players, right fielder Gabby Polera of Freehold, second baseman Alexis Agrapides of Bayville, catcher Ally Jones of Holmdel, third baseman Jessica Campana of Brick Township and first baseman Jordan Pollak of Marlboro Township will all play at the next level. Polera will go to the University of the Sciences, Agrapides to Moravian College, Jones to Villanova University, Campana to Gettysburg College and Pollak to Bloomfield College.

Polera, Agrapides, Jones and Campana committed to their respective schools on Nov. 14, 2018, the NCAA’s National Signing Day, in Saint John Vianney’s main gymnasium. Pollak signed her letter of intent on Feb. 6, 2019, another NCAA National Signing Day, in the same location.

“They’ve done a nice job at SJV,” said Saint John Vianney coach Kim Lombardi. “This is the most seniors I’ve ever had on my team.”

Lombardi is confident in all of her seniors’ potential at the next level. But she is especially confident in Jones, who was a four year starter at Saint John Vianney.

“I think she’ll be an impact player at Nova,” Lombardi said. “She hits well, is clutch and has an unbelievable arm.”

Saint John Vianney had plenty of players in other sports commit to colleges as well. Seven other athletes, in addition to Pollak, signed letters of intent to play collegiate sports on Feb. 6.

Girls’ soccer player Emily Ruane, of Middletown Township, signed to play for Drew University. Girls’ basketball player Natalya Spinks, of Union Beach, signed with the Stevens Institute of Technology. Colts Neck Township native and boys’ lacrosse player Michael Noble selected The Catholic University of America.

Two Saint John Vianney baseball players, Brendan Martin of Matawan and Luciano Fabrizzi of Old Bridge Township, signed with collegiate programs in Catholic University and Stockton University, respectively. Two Saint John Vianney football standouts, Paul Liseno of Middletown and Andrew McGimpsey of Old Bridge, committed to Illinois State University and Marist College, respectively.

Saint John Vianney football coach Joe Martucci thinks Liseno and McGimpsey can succeed at the next level.

Liseno played right guard and nose guard for the Lancers. McGimpsey played tight end.

“Paul was all everything,” Martucci said. “And Andrew played very well at tight end. He could catch passes and he blocked well.”

But Martucci was especially bullish on another player who is committed to play collegiate football, but who didn’t sign on Feb. 6. Senior lineman C.J. Hanson will play collegiate football for Division 1 Rutgers University this coming fall.

Hanson, who hails from Jackson Township, was an elite high school lineman on both sides. He was also a very modern player in the sense that he combined strength with speed and athleticism. The 6-5, 305-pound lineman actually played in the field for Saint John Vianney’s boys’ lacrosse team in the spring.

“A full scholarship to Rutgers has to say something,” Martucci said. “He’ll fare well.”

“As you go from high school to college to the pros, the odds become more and more infinitesimal,” Martucci explained. “But he’s got a shot. Let’s just put it that way.”