APAC Previews

The Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference beginning its fourth season with The Hun School joining Holy Ghost Prep, La Salle, and St. Joseph’s Prep. Each team will play eight conference games this season. 

Holy Ghost Prep

Coach: Gump Whiteside (13th season)

Last year: 7-7, 3-3-0-3 in APAC

Key players: Sr. Brian Butler (D); Sr. Colin Moore (D); Sr. Luke Panepresso (D); Sr. Sean Marshall (F); Jr. Brady Baesher (F); Jr. Landon Stout (F); Jr. Shaun Moore (F); JrKieran Mulholland (F)

There is veteran experience on the blue line with veterans Butler, Moore, and Panepresso. Baesher, a first-team all-conference selection a year ago, is being counted on up front along with Stout, Marshall, Moore, and Mulholland, who will provide experience and quickness.

Whiteside is also expecting to get contributions from a talented group of underclassmen.

The Hun School

Coach: Ian McNally (11th season)

Last year: 0-3

Key players: Sr. Jack Borek (G); PG Nick Dimatos (D); Sr. Christian Clover (D); Sr. Riley Frost (F)

Outlook: The Raiders are the newest members of the APAC. They won’t begin on-ice practices until November 8 and won’t play a game until Thanksgiving Weekend.
Damatos, a post grad, is an offensive-minded defenseman. Clover is more of the stay-at-home mold. Frost is being counted on up front after not playing much hockey the last two years because of Covid and injuries while Borek is experienced in goal.

“It will be interesting to see what we actually have here,” McNally said. “We were only able to play a few games over the course of one week last year so were never able to see what are new players were actually capable of.  Anyone who was a part of our team two seasons ago will return much older and presumably bigger, faster and stronger.  I think there is the potential to have a pretty strong season this year, but we will learn a lot about our identity over these first weeks.

La Salle

Coach: Wally Muehlbronner (24th season)

Last year: 10-5, 6-3 APAC; conference co-champions

Key players:  Jr. Aries Carangi (G), So. Willum Braun (G), Sr. Gavin O’Connell (D), Jr. Chase Hannon (D), Sr. Daniel Whittock (F), Sr. Keenan Schneider (F), Sr. Max Maddalo (F), Sr. Chris Wnek (F)

Outlook: La Salle returns 13 players from a team that shared the APAC and reached the Class AAA Flyers Cup final.The lineup features experience and balance. Carangi saw quality time in goal a year ago and O’ Connell and Hannon are solid on the blue line. Whittock, Schneider, Maddalo, and Wnek all have demonstrated ability to put the puck in the net.
The Explorers will be trying to keep a streak alive; they shared the first two APAC titles before sharing the crown last year.

“We’re excited to hit the ice,” Muehlbronner said.

Malvern Prep

Coach: Bill Keenan (third season)

Last year: 15-1, 5-1-3 in APAC; conference co-champions, Class AAA Flyers Cup and Pennsylvania State Champions

Key players: Sr. Anthony Perti (G); Jr. Brandon Novabilski (G); Sr. Quinn Dougherty (D); Sr. Travis Buckley (D); Jr. Steven Getsie (D); So. Brady Doyle (D); So. Jack Sharer (D); Sr. Matt Harris (F); Sr. Pierre Larocque (F); Jr. Jimmy Jacobs (F); So. Jeremy Jacobs (F); 

Outlook: Much of last season’s Flyers Cup and state championship team returns and lineup is deep and talented, led by Perti and Harris, who were first-team all-conference selections last season. They’ll be joined by the likes of Dougherty and Buckley on defense along with Larocque up front.

The Friars will be trying to become the first Class AAA team in 13 years to successfully defend both the Flyers Cup and state titles.

“We are excited to get back to playing hockey,” Keenan said. “We have a good group of leaders returning as well as some younger guys filling in some gaps in the lineup. We are ready to get out there and compete and to have fun.”

St. Joseph’s Prep

Coach: David Giacomin (ninth season)

Last year: 4-10, 1-8 in APAC

Key players: Jr. Rocco Bruno (G); So. Ajay White (G); Sr. Nick Sorti (D); Sr. Declan Pierce, Sr. Michael Ahearn (D); Sr. Christian Short (D); Jr. Dante Passio (D); Jr. Jeffrey Hammond (F); Jr. Joey Samango (F); Sr. Quinn Egan (F); Sr. Charlie Maratea (F); Sr. Liam Mooney (F)

Outlook: The Hawks’ biggest strength will be in goal, where veteran Bruno and White will share responsibilities, and on defense. There is a veteran presence on the blue line in Pierce, Ahearn, and Short, and up front with Hammond and Mooney.

The Hawks often found themselves shorthanded last year in terms of numbers, which led them running out of gas late in games. Giacomin anticipates having more depth on hand this season and is looking for the added manpower to allow his team to play at a quicker pace in all three zones.

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