Spring sports get under way at Sparta High School

SPARTA. Sparta High School’s baseball team is scheduled to take on Passaic on Thursday.

Sparta /
| 05 Apr 2023 | 12:28

The spring season for high school sports was set to commence April 3. Here is a look at what’s coming for Sparta High School’s teams:


The Spartans, coming off a 13-12 record a year ago, were scheduled to play at Passaic at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 6 before traveling to Morris County to take on West Morris at 4 p.m. the next day.

Senior Tanner Blendinger (21 runs, 14 RBI, 12 walks) and junior Josh Brancy (44 hits, 29 runs, 20 RBI, eight doubles) return for head coach Sam Slobodzian.


Sparta enjoyed a 16-8 season last year, reaching the championship game of the Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex Tournament under head coach Dave Roman.

Seniors Mason Munier (19 runs, 11 RBI, four home runs) and Rylee Munier (13 RBI, 13 runs); juniors Alexa Berry (13 RBI, four home runs) and Gabrielle Heim (13 hits); and sophomore Maya Laliker (15 hits) return to pace the offense.

The Spartans are scheduled to play at West Essex at 4 p.m. April 6 before playing host to Mount Olive at 10 a.m. Friday, April 7.

Boys lacrosse

Sparta compiled a 14-5 record a year ago, reaching the semifinal round of the Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex and New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) North Jersey, Group 2 tournaments.

The Spartans, who scored 201 goals last season, will benefit from the return of one of the area’s most prolific scorers in senior Ryan Rossi (44 goals, 39 assists). Junior Mason Lindsay (29 goals) and senior goalie Joe Buono (200 saves) also return for head coach Sean Peterson.

Sparta was scheduled to play host to Morris Knolls at 4 p.m. April 6 before playing at Kittatinny at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 8.

Girls lacrosse

The Spartans were slated to play host to Morris Knolls at 4 p.m. April 6 before playing at Kittatinny at 10 a.m. April 8.

A year ago, Sparta went 12-7 and reached the semifinal round of the H/W/S tournament as it was seeking the first tri-county title since 2018.

Uma Kowalski had one of the most prolific freshman seasons in history last year, totaling 87 goals and 31 assists while forcing 36 turnovers in earning All-Group 2 Third Team honors.

Seniors Aine Byrne (38 goals, 23 assists) and Leah Moore (50 goals) also return to an offense that amassed 233 goals last year.

Boys tennis

A year ago, Sparta went 7-10 and finished second overall in the Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex tournament.

Senior Thomas Schottland is back at first singles after winning the H/W/S title and also being named Most Valuable Player of the tournament.

The Spartans are not scheduled to play until Wednesday, April 12, when the team travels to Somerset County to meet Ridge at 4 p.m.


The Sparta boys team began its 2023 season with an 183-187 victory over Newton on March 29 at the Newton Country Club.

Ryan Grycuk led the way by shooting a match-low 43 followed by Ian Bellush (45), Nick Ryan (46), Jack Hill (49), Sawyer Salvigan (49) and Jason Bischoff (51).

Sparta, which was 13-6 last year, was set to meet Jefferson at 4 p.m. April 6 at the Bowling Green Golf Course in Oak Ridge.

The girls team defeated Newton, 244-255, in its season opener March 29. It was steered by Erin Takach, who carded a match-low 58, Caroline Mastandrea (60), Alex Kettle (61), Alexis Krauss (65), Eliana Gianinno (67) and Courtney Askin (67).