ALJ High School seniors celebrate signing day

Student-athletes sit at a table in Arthur L. Johnson High School’s auditorium as they take part in signing day. The student-athletes are honored for their years of service to Crusader Athletics and commemorate their moving on to continue their athletic and academic careers as NCAA collegiate athletes.

CLARK, NJ — On Tuesday, May 17, various staff members and administrators at Arthur L. Johnson High School participated in a signing day ceremony to honor multiple student-athletes for their years of service to Crusader Athletics and commemorate their moving on to continue their athletic and academic careers as NCAA collegiate athletes.

The following student-athletes were honored:

• Jack Bencivenga, who will play DIII lacrosse at Neumann University in Aston, Pa. Bencivenga is a smart two-way midfielder who embraces the lead-by-example captain’s role. His smooth ability to break down and dodge middies has proven to be one of his greatest strengths this season and throughout his high school career. Bencivenga currently has 26 goals and 38 assists, for 64 total points. In addition, he has 61 career ground balls and has played a vital role on the ALJ lacrosse team over the last four years.

• Joseph Carney, who will play DIII basketball at Fairleigh Dickinson University, in Madison. Carney is a one-time honorable mention and two-time first team all-conference player. Carney is a four-year gold letter winner and two year starter, as well as being named team captain for his senior season. Carney finished in the top 10 in points, blocks and rebounds in Union County during his senior season. In addition, he averaged 15.9 points per game. Academically, Carney has a 4.2 grade-point average and is in the National Honor Society, is an honor roll student, received the ALJ Alumni Award, is involved in the Peer Leadership Program and is a member of the National English Honor Society.

• Hector Castro, who will play DII soccer at Berkeley College, New York, N.Y. Castro’s ALJ soccer accolades include scoring a total of five goals and eight assists in the past two seasons, which included leading his team into the NJSIAA state playoffs each year. His efforts had him selected to first team all-conference in both his junior and senior years.

• Samantha Gonzalez, who will play DIII softball at Penn State Harrisburg, Middletown, Pa. Gonzalez has done a tremendous job on the field and truly enjoys helping the younger girls whenever she can, both on and off the field. Gonzalez has been a constant in the lineup in the past two seasons, coming up with several huge clutch hits. Her career batting average is .354, which includes 45 hits, 11 doubles, 26 RBIs and four home runs.

• Aidenn Gorombey-Kelly, who will play DIII basketball at Middlesex College in Edison. Gorombey-Kelly is a one-time honorable mention and three-time first team all-conference player. In his junior season, Gorombey-Kelly finished the year as the top three-point shooter in Union County and in the top 10 three-point shooters in the state. In addition, Gorombey-Kelly was in the top 10 in the county for scoring his junior and senior seasons. During his senior season, he reached the career milestone of 1,000 points and finished with a career total of 1,049 points. Academically, Gorombey-Kelly has a 3.0 grade-point average.

• Jasen Hernandez, who will play DIII football at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison. Hernandez commanded the Crusader offense this past season, as well as playing safety on defense. He was a two-way starter this past year and he never came off the field. He worked hard each and every day to improve. Hernandez was a captain of the team, as well.

• Dante Montuori, who will play DIII football at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pa. Montuori was the anchor on the defensive line and showed immense improvement throughout his high school career. That improvement is a credit to all of his hard work, which is why he earned the Most Improved Player award for the football team at the annual football banquet this past season.

• Sarah Scepkowski, who will be on the track-and-field team, a DIII program, at The College of New Jersey in Ewing Township. Scepkowski is a member of Heroes and Cool Kids, the Key Club and the Student Movement Against Cancer. Scepkowski was inducted into the National Honor Society and is vice president of the Student Council. Her academic accomplishments should also not go unnoticed. This school year, Scepkowski was awarded the honor of ALJ April Crusader of the Month; she earned this by exemplifying educational and athletic excellence. In addition, Scepkowski was the recipient of the 2021 Fall Student Athlete Award, given out each athletic season to a student athlete who is a champion both on the field and in the classroom. Additionally, she is captain of the soccer team, basketball team, and the track-and-field team.

• Ben Weintraub, who will play DIII lacrosse at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison. Weintraub is a smart and hardworking individual who always puts the team first. His lacrosse IQ and desire to continue to develop as a player have been strengths throughout his career, and his selflessness is a big reason for the success his team had this past season. Weintraub finishes his career with 30 ground balls.

• Alison Wysocki, who will be playing DIII softball at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison. Wysocki has put together a great career for the Crusaders, and her work ethic has not gone unnoticed. Her dedication to improving her craft on a daily basis has been impressive. Wysocki always puts the team first and does everything that is asked of her. Her hard work has led to several big hits and impactful plays in the past two years. Her career stats include batting .336, with 41 hits, eight doubles, 19 RBIs and three home runs.

• Lucas Zamboni, who will be playing DIII basketball at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y. Zamboni is a one-time honorable mention and one-time first team all-conference player. Zamboni was named team captain for his senior season. Zamboni finished with more than 100 career assists, as well as finishing in the top 10 in steals, assists and three-point shooting in Union County this past season. Zamboni hit some of the biggest shots in recent memory during his senior season, none more important or memorable than his buzzer-beater to beat Governor Livingston in the Union County Tournament.
In addition, Zamboni is a four-year gold letter winner. Academically, Zamboni has a 3.9 grade-point average, along with being an honor roll student and a member of the Key Club.

“All of these student-athletes have been an integral part of the success of our athletic programs while competing at Arthur L. Johnson High School the past four years,” said Gus Kalikas, athletic director at Arthur L. Johnson High School. “More importantly, they have been model student-athletes that did things the right way both on the fields, in the classroom, and throughout our community. Although it will be sad to see them leave, the Crusaders’ loss is their respective colleges’ gain, and we look forward to following their successful collegiate athletic careers over the next four years.”

Photo Courtesy of Gus Kalikas

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