St. John Vianney seniors to graduate with associate degrees before high school commencement

By Mary Morrell and EmmaLee Italia | Correspondents

HATS OFF • Students celebrate graduating from St. John Vianney High School, Holmdel, in 2017. This year, nine St. John Vianney seniors will be tossing their caps in the air to celebrate not one graduation, but two, as they will have also earned associate degrees from Brookdale Community College, Lincroft. John Blaine photo

The Christian Brothers Academy varsity sailing team celebrated its 10-year anniversary as a school-sponsored sport June 2 with a special anniversary regatta event in Toms River.

The regatta saw alumni from the past 10 years joining with the current varsity team in highly competitive, but lighthearted battles between former teammates. Joe LaForgia, Class of 2017, a current University of Pennsylvania sailor, and John Cocozza, Class of 2020, emerged victorious.

The CBA administration gave the sailing program the green light during the 2007-08 school year, and today, it joins more than 26 schools throughout the state that are registered with the New Jersey Interscholastic Sailing Association, which was incorporated in 2010 to govern high school sailing in the state.

Over the years, CBA has won two state championships, multiple NJISA league titles, qualified for three Singlehanded National Championships and qualified for the overall U.S. High School National Championship in 2017. The team has also qualified for the most Mid-Atlantic District Championships of any New Jersey school since 2008 and has not been ranked outside of the state’s top-three in the past six years.

“We have won state titles and had national championship appearances, but we’ve also grown into a program with a lot of character,” CBA coach Jason Lutz said. “All the kids on the team are close, our alumni remain good friends, and our parents are super supportive. That’s the dream program right there.”

The current varsity team typically consists of 16-20 sailors, which is the largest varsity sailing team in New Jersey. Dozens of CBA sailors have gone on to sail at colleges – some nationally ranked around the country.

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