Don’t let her 5’0 ½ frame fool you — Alex Schlobohm is an effective competitor on the field for the New Providence Girls’ Varsity Soccer Team.
In recent games, Schlobohm, a junior who plays outside/center midfield and forward, has either scored or had an assist against each opponent. Against Kent Place on Sept. 20, Schlobohm had the assist on the only goal scored and the team won 1-0. The following day against Cranford, Schlobohm scored the only goal in the tied game that went into overtime.
“We went into overtime and no one scored. It counts as a tie. We are undefeated. It sucks to have the one tie, but we have one tie and the rest are wins,” Schlobohm told Patch last week. “[The Cranford players] were pretty physical. They have some really good players on that team. I think we could have played a little bit better and the goal they scored was kind of just a mishap between our goalie and our defense. It definitely could have been prevented.”
Against A.L. Johnson later that week, Schlobohm’s success on the field continued.
“I scored the goal, but really it was Kelly Carroll’s goal,” she said. “She worked really hard to get it there and I just kind of tapped the ball into the net. They were pretty physical as well.”
When Patch spoke with Schlobohm last week, she expected to have a win over Rahway and a tough game against Brearley. But when all was said and done, Schlobohm was able to assist the team in shutting out both teams. Against Rahway, where the Pioneers won 5-0, Schlobohm had an assist on one of the goals. She also had an assist against Brearley, where the Pioneers won 2-0.
This season, Schlobohm said the team dynamic has changed a little bit after losing two seniors to graduation.
“We had two freshmen that were added to the team that both get in. Erin Fay is one and Lisa Caprara, who is Gina’s little sister. Gina graduated last year. She was a big part of our team,” Schlobohm said. “I think it’s taken a few games, but I think from now on, we’ll just be progressing because I think this year, we have enough talented players to really go far and do really well, as long as we get organized and figure out each other’s strengths and weaknesses.”
The team does have the talent to go far, with most of last year’s Group I State Championship team members returning this season. Schlobohm said she is focused on repeating a Group I win this year.
During the high school soccer off-season, Schlobohm can be found competing on the varsity spring track team and with an elite club soccer team. Without an actual off-season, Schlobohm said she does get burnt out sometimes. But, she said she’s used to it.
“When I’m hurt, I almost get depressed if I’m not working out so much,” she said. “It’s weird if I’m not playing.”
In the future, Schlobohm has her sights set on playing soccer in college and majoring in business or finance.
After visiting with college camps over the summer, she said she’s narrowed down the colleges she’s considering attending in 2013.
“I guess my top choice would be Miami. I like the south a lot; I like Miami, I like Clemson, but I am going to visit Boston schools like Northeastern and BU,” she said. “I’m definitely going to a school that will offer me money. That will probably happen within the next few months. Right now is important. Soccer-wise, I’m pretty much done; they’ve seen all that they have to see, so it’s all based on if they like me and my grades, and visiting to see how I fit in with the schools.”
And while this is an important time for Schlobohm, she said one perk will be knowing where she’ll attend college a year before most students.
“That’s always a plus I think for me,” she said. “Giving up so much time to do so much work for soccer and everything, I get to know a year earlier.”
Siblings: Caroline (13) and Rachel (20)
Nickname: "They call me 'Schlobes.'"
Pet: A dog named Brodie
Favorite subject: Math
Favorite movie: The Breakfast Club
Favorite food: My dad’s pizza
Favorite TV show: Glee
Favorite New Providence hangout: Brenna’s house
Favorite athlete: Alex Morgan, #13 on the National Women’s Soccer Team
Something no one knows about me: My favorite place is the beach.
My biggest fans, biggest influences: My older sister
Song that pumps me up before a game: “Drop the world” by Little Wayne
Game philosophy: “Hope for the best, expect the worst.”
Coach Scott Murphy always tell me: “Work hard.”
What I am doing well this season: "Attacking the net, getting forward and creating opportunities."
Favorite moment with the team: Winning the State Championship last year.
During the off-season: Playing club soccer and running
In ten years, I’ll be: working in Finance
My teammates in three words: Supportive, funny and reliable
My coach in three words: Quiet, smart and encouraging
Up Next: Away game at Union Catholic on Thursday, Oct. 6
As the reigning Group I State Champs, the New Providence Varsity Football Team’s season is off to a stellar start with an undefeated record of 3-0.
Senior Running back/Linebacker Dave Barletta was instrumental in the first three victories this season and is one of the key players in the Pioneers’ ground game.
In the home opener on Sept. 9, Barletta carried six times for 42 yards, scoring one touchdown against Dayton, under the new Lieder Field lights. The Pioneers clinched a 48-13 victory over the Bulldogs.
“We thought it was going to be a really tough game because it’s always a tough game, but we were really pumped up and ready to go and once we saw that we could push it to them, we just kept going.”
Against Roselle the following week, Barletta led all rushers with 162 yards on 15 carries, and completed his only pass attempt for an 18-yard touchdown. The team beat Roselle, 33-24.
“We knew besides Roselle, Summit would be our next toughest. But Roselle was definitely up there so we wanted to show that we could play with the toughest, biggest teams,” Barletta said. “It was definitely a big way to show that we are, for not being the biggest team, that we can stick with big teams.”
On Sept, 23, the Pioneers defeated Bound Brook, 47-6. Barletta carried seven times for 103 yards and scored 3 touchdowns. On one of the Bound Brook kickoff returns, Barletta made a 40-yard run and one of his touchdowns came within the minutes that followed.
“The kick off wasn’t that greatest, it kind of bounced through my hands and went back to the 1,” Barletta said. “I just picked up the ball, turned around and saw guys running and was able to make a scurry out to the sideline and get like forty something yards out of it.”
Barletta said the Pioneers underestimated Bound Brook going into the game.
“We came out in the first half a little weak because we thought it was just going to be a pushover game, but they definitely proved us wrong and gave us a tough fight,” he said.
Barletta is also a key player in the team’s Wing-T offense this year, which was modified last year into what’s called a “Spinner Series” where the quarterback does a series of spins during each play.
“He’ll do 360s or a 180 and go the other way. He always turns so no one can see the ball,” Barletta said. “When you have two Running backs back like the Wing-T, you can either go left, right, straight back for a pass. It really gives different directions for every kind of play.”
Barletta said he’s mainly on the left side, but the handoffs are often distributed evenly between him and a few other players, and he normally averages 9 or 10 carries each game. But he said he also steps in as a quarterback at times.
“So when I’m back there [as quarterback], people will think I’ll probably run this way or the other way, but even though I’m back, I can still hand it off or still pass it,” he said. “It won’t be the greatest pass, but it’ll get there.”
As the reigning Group I State Champs, Barletta said there is pressure on the team to repeat again this year.
“More teams want to come after us because they know we’re reigning champs and we’re doing well,” he said. “I want to go out and go big. I want to try to do as much as I can to make us go as far as we can.”
And the team may be closer to repeating as State Champs with a stronger team dynamic this year.
“One thing that we do have that I don’t think we had last year is we have great team chemistry. Not to say that we didn’t have it last year, but it wasn’t as good as this year,” he said. “Everyone is up on each other about everything, but it’s also in a good way. If someone’s doing something wrong, and you know someone’s saying it, you know they’re only saying it in a good way. We don’t have any guys lashing out against each other. Anyone can go to anyone about anything. We’re a very close knit team.”
The team dynamic has also changed this year with the retirement of Frank Bottone, who was the head coach for 48 years. But Barletta said Head Coach Art Cattano’s coaching style is similar to that of Bottone’s and he was the “best choice for the job.”
“Bottone was always there as a coach, but also as such a big figure and symbol for our team and we know that we have good coaches to fill in behind him. But there’s always that sense that Bottone’s not there to tell you what to do or what you’re doing wrong,” Barletta said. “But Cattano is filling in perfectly.”
Barletta said Bottone has been at the first three games this season and although he’s officially retired from coaching, that didn’t stop him from giving his former players a few pointers.
“As we were walking out to the second half [at one of our games], we were winning 26-6, but Bottone’s even out there, screaming at us, which we would expect because we were not playing that well. But he’s been there and he’s also been motivating us,” Barletta said. “I know against Dayton or Roselle, he came in at halftime. He even gave me a few words on what to do, what I was doing wrong, so it’s always good to have him there.”
Next fall, Barletta said he’s looking forward to playing football in college and has already given Fordham, a Division I-AA program in the Patriot League, a verbal agreement.
“I got a full scholarship offer. It’s a great academic school with great connections, and it’s also close by so my mom’s happy about that,” he said. “I want to go Pre-med. I want to continue the doctor in my family. My sister is going to become the dentist, I want to take a different route.”
For now, Barletta is focused on playing against Brearley at Lieder Field on Thursday, Oct. 6 at 6 p.m.
“Brearley’s always a tough game,” he said. “We always want to go out and beat each other. Just like Bound Brook, we don’t want to underestimate them because they don’t have the greatest record or team, so we just want to go out strong.”
Stats: 10 yards per carry, 8 tackles per game, 5 scores in the last 3 games, more than 300 yards so far this season.
Siblings: Two brothers and two sisters: Amanda (23), Priscilla (21), Daniel (20), Jack (11)
Pets: A cat, Neela. “My dad is really into Star Trek and I went to Cooper’s town in seventh grade and my mom got a Star Trek book and opened it up, and the first name she opened it on would be what we named our cat. She got it for [my dad]. So her name is Neela.”
Favorite subject: Science
Favorite movie: Rocky IV
Favorite food: Steak
Favorite TV Show: ESPN
Favorite New Providence hangout: A friend’s house
Favorite team: Green Bay Packers
Something no one knows about me: “In the summer, I’m on a swim team with the Crestview Club.”
My biggest influences: My mom, dad and grandfathers.
My biggest fans: "My friends, Seth Keller and Mike Herrigel, always say they’re my biggest fans. They always go to the games and have my number on."
Song that pumps me up before a game: “When I’m Gone” by Eminem
Game philosophy: “Do whatever is necessary.”
Coach Art Cattano always tell me: “Be a team. Work as a team, win as a team.”
What I am doing well this season: Helping to lead the team.
During the off-season: A lot of training and playing other sports, including varsity basketball and lacrosse.
In ten years, I’ll be: “I hope to be a successful doctor in some field. I’m thinking more of psychiatry.”
My teammates in three words: Hardworking, dedicated and trustworthy
My coach in three words: Smart, influential and reliable
Up next: Home game vs. Brearley on Thursday, Oct. 6 at 6 p.m.
Congratulations, Alex and Dave!