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The Journal magazines are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Sep 13, 2021

Ranney School Sailing Team Ready to Compete

By Shanna O’Mara

From left: Brooke Schmelz, ’21, in the skipper position and Ashley Abboud, ’22, in the crew position

While many high school sports teams will take to the fields, courts and courses this year, one talented group will take to the water. The Ranney School sailing team is set to make waves this fall with a large group of returning athletes and even some new faces aboard. 

“This year, we have 14 team members with a modest influx of freshmen,” parent liaison Cathy Abboud said. She and Carrie-Lynn Whitman will lead the team, making sure the students are comfortable on the water “so that they are able to learn and improve as much as they can with each practice session and race. We are determined to deepen their love of the sport and sharpen their skills.”

With skills sharpened, the sailing team hopes to dominate at state and national competitions as it has in years past. In 2019, then-coach Clay Johnson led the team to the National Mallory Championship in Seattle, Washington. In 2020, Kyle Magno coached the sailors during another successful season.

“We have a lot of young talent coming in that we look to train up hard and get them back to winning regattas as the team was able to do last year,” Magno said. “I think the team is in a great position to put up some quality regatta results.”

The student-athletes practice each Monday and Friday at the Toms River Yacht Club. They compete at Wednesday and Saturday regattas, battling other area high school sailing teams. 

“The team’s goals are to sail at their best and to be highly competitive this season as they have been in the past,” Abboud said. “The competition schedule this year looks like it will be returning as close to a pre-COVID-19 era as possible.”

Leading the team this year will be returning sailor Ashley Abboud. Last year, she received the NJISA First Team Crew Award and was part of the duo that placed first at the NJISA Girls State Championship. Fellow senior Alexa Whitman received the NJISA Second Team Skipper Award and will also return to the team this fall.

Rounding out the team are senior Alex Forrest; juniors Jack Whitman and Grace Bray; sophomores Rowan Johnson, Tomas Mora and Alexander Ge; and freshmen Anthony Abboud, Sophia Behar, Kieran Collins, Matthew Dupree, Katelyn Weiss and Christopher Vidal.