#1 Howell Rebels (32-0)
The Rebels go wire to wire. No debate here, as the domination came early (from their takeover of the Paulsboro Tournament in December) and often. The Rebels won their 4th Sectional Title in another great bout with Hunterdon Central, and went on to defeat Southern Regional for their 2nd consecutive Group 5 Championship. They also added their 22nd Divisional Title, and their 13th District Title, and sent a small army to the individual State Tournament, where they cam home with three medals.
#2 Southern Regional (19-3)
I went back and forth on this spot a couple times, but ultimately, I have to give the nod to the Rams. Southern advanced to the Group 5 Finals, after claiming their 12th Sectional Title. The key for me was the SJG5 win over Kingsway, who defeated St. Augustine, who knocked off SJV. The Rams also claimed their 20th District Team Title, and their 10th Divisional crown.
#3 St John Vianney (14-2)
While Vianney won a pair of Sectional Titles in 1995 and 1996, and a Group Title in 1995, the Parochial fields were a bit lighter than what they've become today. So with that said, you have to say that SJV's 2018 campaign was the greatest in program history. They won the team title in the first ever Shore Conference Tournament under the individual format, and claimed the first ever Divisional and District Team Titles in program history.
#4 Raritan Rockets (27-3)
Raritan buzzsawed their way to their 3rd Sectional Title, tuning up the recent thorn in their Sectional side, Delaware Valley, 50-9 along the way. They advanced to the Group 2 Finals, where they came up just short against High Point. The Rockets also made it back-to-back in District 20, earning their 9th District Team Title.
#5 Long Branch Green Wave (23-4)
The Green Wave won their 6th State Sectional Title, and advanced to the Group 4 Finals where they fell to Phillipsburg. They added their 21st B-North Title, and their 12th District Team Title to the trophy case.
#6 Pt Boro Panthers (19-2)
The Panthers put together won of the best seasons in school history, winning the 2nd Sectional Title in program history, their first District Team Title, and 5th overall, since 1991, and their 14th Divisional Crown.
#7 Middletown North Lions (17-7)
So, so, many close calls for the Lions this season. A 3-point defeat to Long Branch for the B-North Title, a 9-point loss to Hunterdon Central despite a 7-7 bout split, a 2-point loss to Phillipsburg in the Sectional Finals despite winning 8 bouts. Just a couple breaks, and this could have been a monster season for the Lions.
#8 Brick Memorial Mustangs (19-3)
The Stangs came so close to winning their 16th Sectional Championship, dropping a criteria decision to Long Branch in the SJG4 Finals. The avenged an early season loss to Jackson Memorial in the Sectionals, and placed 2nd in District 21, to land themselves in the #8 spot in the Shore.
#9 TR North Mariners (18-7)
While the Mariners had some good wins on the resume, including W's over Jackson Memorial, Colts Neck, and Monroe, just as impressive is how they hung tough against teams like High Point, Delsea, and Southern, all Sectional Champs, as they continue to rise in the Shore Conference. They closed team competition by winning their 1st District Team Title since 1971, when they crowned four champs on their way to the District 28 Team Title.
#10 Colts Neck Cougars (16-7)
I admit, the Cougars were kind of off my radar to begin the season, but a win over Manalapan got them into the Top
10 11, and they held their spot all season.
#11 Manalapan Braves (23-4)
Key wins over Lacey and Ocean Township were good enough to give the Braves the final spot in this year's Top
HM: Ocean Township, Jackson Memorial, Lacey
2. St John Vianney
4. Long Branch
5. Middletown North
6. Colts Neck
8. Ocean Township
9. Freehold Twp
10. Shore Regional
2. Pt Boro
3. Brick Memorial
4. TR North
5. Jackson Memorial
7. Pt Beach
8. TR East
9. Jackson Liberty
10. Brick Twp