OCHS Teams of the Century

Mike Scythes Raider Boys Runner of the Century!

Gazette Staff Writer

There were many good runners during the 29 years of Ocean City High School boys cross country during the 20th century. And many successful teams.

There were only two losing records among those 29 seasons while OCHS runners produced seven Cape-Atlantic League championships and were the best in Cape May County 21 times.

Among those runners, the first star turned out to be the brightest. Mike Scythes, who won the South Jersey Group 2 individual championship in 1975, was a dominant runner in the mid-70s. Still the only Raider to win the South Jersey title and a two-time Ocean City Most Valuable Runner, Scythes, now the cross country coach at Wildwood Catholic, is the choice as OCHS Runner of the Century.

But there were others with good credentials. Like Scythes, Brian McDonald was a two-time MVR (1979-80). So were Rich Vinnacombe (1989-90) and Don Martenz (1993-94). Bruce Welch and Dan Lowden came right behind McDonald. And Gene Watts later finished second in the South Jersey Group 3 meet. There was also Greg Kelly in the mid-80s, Zac Case in the early 90s and John Richardson, currently an OCHS sophomore, who will be the first big star runner of the 21st century.

The obvious choice for the Coach of the Century is Bill Moreland, whose teams won 219 of 285 meets during the last century. His 21st century teams should get off to a great start in the fall with most of the key runners returning from last season's team that produced an 11-2 record.

The outstanding single season of the century was provided by the 1980 team, the only undefeated team the Raiders produced during the century. That 18-0 team won the county title, was the CAL National Conference champion and finished second in the South Jersey meet. It was the first OCHS team to qualify for the NJSIAA state meet.

Leading that team, just the second coached by Moreland, were three members of the All-Century team - senior Brian McDonald, junior Bruce Welch and sophomore Dan Lowden. The other consistent scorers in 1980 were senior Kevin Perry, junior Jeff Welch, sophomore Eddie DiJoseph and sophomore Rob Perry.

The All-Century Raider Boys CC Team
Mike Scythes (1975)
Brian McDonald (1980)
Bruce Welch (1981)
Dan Lowden (1982)
Gene Watts (1983)
Greg Kelly (1986)
Rich Vinnacombe (1990)
Zac Case (1991)
Don Martenz (1994)
John Richardson (2003)
Coach Bill Moreland (1979-2000)

The 1980 Team - Best of the Century
Eddie DiJoseph
Dan Lowden
Brian McDonald
Kevin Perry
Rob Perry
Bruce Welch
Jeff Welch
Coach: Bill Moreland

Championship Teams
CAL-American title: 1991
CAL-National titles: 1983, 1982, 1981, 1980, 1979, 1973
Cape May County titles: 2000, 1996, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1991, 1990, 1989, 1988, 1987, 1986, 1985, 1984, 1983, 1981, 1980, 1979, 1978, 1977, 1974, 1973

20th Century Coaches Records
Bill Moreland (22 years).....219-66 [.768]
Jim Harris (5).....................73-33 [.689]
Bob Stowe (1)...................15-3 [.833]
Ted Klepac (1)...................4-2 [.667]