Several local student athletes continued their academic as well as athletic careers at the collegiate level here in New Jersey and beyond
Hunter Silvernail, formerly of Pope John High School, used his time as a graduate student at Steven’s Institute of Technology playing catcher and a utility player the college’s baseball squad this past season. Silvernail started in 41 games, had a .300 batting average with seven doubles, and a team-leading eight home runs. He also scored 29 runs and had a team high of 36 RBIs.
The Ducks tallied an overall record of 29-16 with a mark of 19-4 at home. In the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) the team went 14-7. They advanced to the MAC Freedom Championships where they went 1-2 versus Misericordia University in games held in Dallas, Pennsylvania. From there they competed in the NCAA Division III Championships where they were defeated by Catholic University and Saint Joseph’s College Long Island in games held in Winchester, Virginia. Silvernail is listed as an information systems major.
Gianna Macones, a Sparta High School graduate, competed for Bucknell University in her senior year, performing hurdles, sprints and jumps for the women’s track and field program this past season. Macones placed second in the long jump and was part of the 4-by-100 relay team that placed second at the Patriot League Championships held in Annapolis, Maryland. The Bison finished in fourth place at the Patriot League Championships. Macones is listed as a biology major.
Kevin Putsky, also a Pope John High School alum, played as a junior outfielder for the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s baseball team this year. Putsky played in 30 games and started in 21 of them for NJIT. He had a .327 batting average with 26 hits, including five doubles, two triples and three home runs. Putsky also scored 16 runs and had 15 RBIs.
The Highlanders posted an overall record of 27-28, with seven wins on their home field and 15 wins in the America East Conference. They advanced to the America East Conference Tournament where they went 3-2.
Lauren Neufeld, a graduate of Sparta High School, was on the roster as a junior for the East Stroudsburg University women’s lacrosse team this spring season. Neufeld played in 21 games and posted 16 goals and two assists for East Stroudsburg. The Warriors netted an overall record of 20-2, with 11 victories at home. In the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) they went 11-1. They advanced to and earned the title at the PSAC Championships with wins over Mercyhurst and West Chester. From there, ESU advanced to NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional where they went 3-1 with victories over Mercyhurst, West Chester and Queens and a loss the University of Indianapolis.
Nick Matkiwsky, also formerly of Sparta High School, played for The College of New Jersey’s men’s tennis program this spring during his senior year. Matkiwsky went 10-2 in singles competition and had 14 wins in the doubles competition. He was an All-New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) doubles player and an NJAC East Player of the Week in 2022. The Lions had an overall record of 13-3 with a 10-1 mark on their home courts. In the NJAC they were 3-0. Matkiwsky is listed as a biology major.
Brett Coyle, another Sparta High School grad, played outfielder for the William Paterson University baseball team in 2022, his sophomore year. Coyle played in nine games and had two hits, including a double, five runs scored and three RBIs. The Pioneers tallied an overall record of 31-15 with a 15-4 mark on their home field. In the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) they went 12-6. They advanced to and won the NJAC Tournament with triumphs over Kean University, Montclair State University and Ramapo College. WPU then competed in the NCAA Division III Tournament where they went 1-2 in contests held in Granville, Ohio. Coyle is listed as a finance major.