Catching up with Sparta, Pope John grads’ amazing athleticism

SPARTA. Several local students have continued to triumph at the college level.

Sparta /
| 18 Jul 2022 | 11:45

After excelling at sports at the high school level, several area students have continued their athletic prowess while studying at college.

Sparta High School alum Brianna Falco played as a junior defender for the Monmouth University women’s lacrosse team, the Hawks, this year. Falco started in all 19 games and earned a team high of 47 ground balls for Monmouth. Falco was a member of the All-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Second Team.

The Hawks had an overall record of 12-7 with a mark of 4-2 at home. In the MAAC they had a record of 6-2. The team advanced to the MAAC Tournament in Loudonville, New York, where they defeated Manhattan in the semifinal round before losing a three-goal game to Fairfield in the championship round. Falco is listed as an operations and supply chain management major.

Justin Melick, also a graduate of Sparta High School, played as a senior catcher for Drew University’s baseball team, the Rangers, this past season. Melick played in nine games and started in one of them for Drew and tallied an RBI.

The Rangers posted 10 overall wins, seven of which they earned at home. They had two victories in the Landmark Conference. Melick is listed as a business major.

Pope John High School alum Claudia Frye played as a senior defender for Montclair State University’s women’s lacrosse team, the Red Hawks, this past season. Frye started in all 14 games and earned 21 ground balls for Montclair State.

Red Hawks women’s lacrosse tallied an overall record of 7-7, with four triumphs on their home field. In the New Jersey Athletic Conference, they had three wins. Frye is listed an exercise science major.

Matt Emering, also formerly of Pope John High School, played on Fairleigh Dickinson University’s roster as a junior midfielder for the Devils men’s lacrosse team this year. Emering competed in four games for the college this spring.

The Devils had four overall wins, three of which they earned at home. They had two wins in the Middle Atlantic Conference Freedom Division. Emering is listed as a QUEST history major.

Emily Jacobs, a graduate of Sparta High School played during her freshman year at Montclair State University as an infielder for the college’s softball team in 2022. Jacobs played in 24 games and started in three of them for Montclair State. She had three hits and scored six runs this year.

Red Hawks softball collected an overall record of 23-18 with a mark of 14-8 at home. In the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) they had seven victories. They advanced to the NJAC Softball Championships where they toppled Rowan University before losing a two-run game to Stockton University.

Sparta High School alum Aidan Maxwell spent his sophomore year playing attack for the Montclair State University men’s lacrosse program this past season. Maxwell competed in all 17 games and had two goals and two assists for Montclair. He also earned 27 ground balls.

Red Hawks men’s lacrosse netted an overall record of 12-5 with a perfect mark of 8-0 on their home field. In the Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) they went 5-1. They advanced to the CSAC Tournament where they topped Kean University in the semifinal round before losing to Stockton University in the championship round. Maxwell is listed as a television and digital media major.

RJ Duthaler, also of Sparta High School, spent part of his freshman year at Kean University playing attack for the school’s men’s lacrosse team, the Cougars, in 2022. Duthaler played in nine games and started in one of them. He had seven goals and an assist, and earned 10 ground balls.

The Cougars had an overall record of 10-6 with a mark of 5-3 at home. In the CSAC, they went 4-2. Kean advanced to the CSAC Tournament, where they were defeated 12-11 by Montclair State University.