|Middletown High School South|
900 Nut Swamp Road
|Type||Public high school|
|School district||Middletown Township Public School District|
|Enrollment||1,457 (as of 2017-18)|
|Student to teacher ratio||12.3:1|
|Color(s)|| Navy Blue and|
|Athletics conference||Shore Conference|
|Accreditation||Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools|
|Newspaper||The Eagle Eye|
Middletown High School South is a four-year comprehensive public high school located in Middletown Township, Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States, serving students in ninth through twelfth grades as one of the two secondary schools of the Middletown Township Public School District. The other school in the district is Middletown High School North. The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools since 1977.
As of the 2017-18 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,457 students and 118.5 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.3:1. There were 86 students (5.9% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 12 (0.8% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.
Awards, recognition and rankings
In its listing of "America's Best High Schools 2016", the school was ranked 497th out of 500 best high schools in the country; it was ranked 51st among all high schools in New Jersey and 34th among the state's non-magnet schools.
The school was the 92nd-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 339 schools statewide in New Jersey Monthly magazine's September 2014 cover story on the state's "Top Public High Schools", using a new ranking methodology. The school had been ranked 105th in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 95th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed. The magazine ranked the school 92nd in 2008 out of 316 schools. Schooldigger.com ranked the school 57th out of 381 public high schools statewide in its 2011 rankings (an increase of 17 positions from the 2010 ranking) which were based on the combined percentage of students classified as proficient or above proficient on the mathematics (91.5%) and language arts literacy (96.7%) components of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).
The Middletown High School South Eagles compete in the Shore Conference, an athletic conference made up of private and public high schools centered at the Northern Jersey Shore. All schools in this conference are located within Monmouth County and Ocean County, which operates under the jurisdiction of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA). With 1,054 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2015-16 school year as Central Jersey, Group III for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 822 to 1,068 students in that grade range.
In 2015, to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of football in Middletown, alumni of both schools played each other; The Middletown North Lion football alumni defeated the Middletown South alumni 6-3 at The Swamp, to claim the victory in what was the first-ever game of its kind in Middletown. Each year, students, parents, teachers, alumni, and administrators gather for the annual Thanksgiving Day football game between Middletown North and Middletown South. Through the 2015 season, South leads the series with a 27-11-1 record, including 14 straight victories in the Thanksgiving matchup.
The football team won the Central Jersey Group IV state sectional title in 1989, 1990, 1992 and 1995, and won in Central Jersey Group III in 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2006. Middletown South's football program holds ten state sectional championships, 17 Shore Conference Division Championships, 9 undefeated seasons and 29 state playoff berths. The football program holds the Shore Conference record for longest winning streak with 43 straight wins from 2003 to 2006, which was broken with a 19-14 loss in October 2006 to Ocean Township High School. In 2004, The Eagles were ranked #1 in the state of New Jersey unanimously by Gannett New Jersey, The Star-Ledger, and News 12 New Jersey polls. The team was selected again in 2005 and in 2015 as the winner of the Star-Ledger Trophy, recognizing the best team in the state. Middletown South's head coach is Steve Antonucci who had a career record of 149-34 as of November 2013. Middletown South was the high school of Knowshon Moreno, who was the 12th pick of the 2009 NFL Draft.
The field hockey team won the Central Jersey Group IV state sectional title in 1980, 1982 and 1995.
The Middletown South baseball program has also been recognized for their success in the 1990s. During Head Coach Steve Antonucci's tenure which started in 1996, the Eagles won two Central Jersey State Titles (1996 and 1999) and completed the first undefeated season in Shore Conference A-North history with a 14-0 record. The Eagles were led by Darren Fenster to a 25-3 record. The baseball team won the Group IV state championship in 1996, defeating Bloomfield High School in the tournament final. In 1999, the Eagles won the A-North, Monmouth County and Central Jersey state championships. The 1999 squad featured many talented players including Asbury Park Press Player of the Year Jarrett Sues, who set a school record with 21 home runs and earned ten victories on the hill. The Eagles offense was the most potent in the state including the single season home run record as a team. The Eagles were also led by All-State pitcher John Scala (10-1), and All-Shore selections Jon Klopacs (C) and Mark Fitzgerald (SS). Antonucci would continue to lead the Eagles until the conclusion of the 2008 season. The 2011 baseball team won the Monmouth County Tournament and the Central Jersey, Group III title, the program's first since 1999. In 2012, the Eagles clinched the A-North division title.
The girls' track team won the Group III state indoor relay championships in 1997 and 1998.
The girls' cross country team won the New Jersey All Group Meet of Champions in 1998. They won state sectionals for three consecutive years, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
The boys' basketball team did not win a single game in the 2004-05 season. Three years later, during the 2007-08 season, second-year head coach Kevin Cullen led the team to the Central Jersey Group III Sectional Championship with a win over Neptune High School 45-33.
South's softball team won the Group III state championship in 2015, defeating Sparta High School by a score of 8-1 at Kean University, to win the program's fifth overall group championship. Softball coach Tom Erbig retired at the end of the 2016 season having led the team to 16 sectional championships and five group titles; his career record of 743-231-1 made him the winningest softball coach in the state, a title he earned in 2015 with his 722nd win, surpassing Pete Fick of Hunterdon Central Regional High School.
Middletown South and the Middletown School District received national attention in the fall of 2001 when its teachers, members of the Middletown Township Education Association, went on strike for the second time in three years. The strike disrupted classes for several days, and hundreds of teachers were jailed. 228 teachers and other school workers were sent to jail in December 2001, marking that largest such action against school staff in over two decades, though they were released after agreeing to submit their differences with the school district to non-binding arbitration. After the strike, many members of the union leadership stepped down. There has not been a strike since 2001.
In October 2006, the Board of Education of the Middletown Township Public School District voted on a random drug testing procedure that would require all students in extracurricular activities or with a parking space at the high school to submit their name to a pool for random selection.
The school's principal is Matt Kirpatrick, whose administration team includes three assistant principals.
- Howard Barbieri (born 1987),former American football guard.
- Nicole Byer (class of 2004), comedian.
- Peter Dobson (born 1964), actor who had a cameo role in Forrest Gump as Elvis Presley.
- Darren Fenster (born 1978, class of 1996), manager in the Boston Red Sox minor league system.
- Jeff Kunkel (born 1962), former MLB shortstop who played for the Texas Rangers '83 - '91 and Chicago Cubs '92; 1983 1st Round MLB Draft pick (3rd selection overall).
- Rick Lovato (born 1992), long snapper for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL).
- Brian Lynch (born 1973), film and comic book writer best known for writing the screenplays for Minions and The Secret Life of Pets.
- Melanie McGuire (born 1972), responsible for the "suitcase murder" of April 2004.
- Knowshon Moreno (born 1987), former NFL running back.
- Olivia Nuzzi (born 1993), political journalist.
- Christian Peter (born 1972), former NFL defensive tackle.
- Jason Peter (born 1974), former NFL football player.
- Moqut Ruffins (born 1984), offensive lineman for the Jacksonville Sharks of the Arena Football League.
- Scott Simonson (born 1992), NFL tight end who has played for the New York Giants.
- Administration Directory, Middletown High School South. Accessed November 9, 2019.
- School data for Middletown High School South, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed November 9, 2019.
- Middletown High School South, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 28, 2015.
- Middletown High School South, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools. Accessed February 8, 2018.
- Staff. "America's Best High Schools 2016", Newsweek. Accessed November 11, 2016.
- Staff. "Top Schools Alphabetical List 2014", New Jersey Monthly, September 2, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
- Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed August 29, 2012.
- Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed May 12, 2011.
- School Overview; Click on "Rankings" for 2003-11 HSPA results, Schooldigger.com. Accessed March 8, 2012.
- Member Schools, Shore Conference. Accessed August 12, 2017.
- League Memberships – 2016-2017, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed January 10, 2017.
- General Public School Classifications 2015-2016, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, as of December 15, 2015. Accessed December 12, 2016.
- Zedalis, Joe. "Football: Middletown South, Middletown North alumni ready to renew old rivalry", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, August 13, 2015. "Middletown North versus Middletown South is one of the most heated Thanksgiving Day rivalries in the Shore Conference. Saturday, 7 p.m., at South's sunken treasure known affectionately as 'The Swamp,' former Lions and Eagles meet in the first Middletown North-Middletown South alumni game.... The alumni game, promoted by OT Football, figures into the celebration of 100 years of football in Middletown."
- Goldberg, Jeff. NJSIAA Football Playoff Champions, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 19, 2015.
- Middletown South Eagles, Dridiron New Jersey.
- Badders, Bob. "Streak busters", Asbury Park Press, October 28, 2006. Accessed July 21, 2011. "Behind a punishing ground attack and a defense that was swallowing ball carriers left and right, the Spartans pulled off the upset of all upsets by defeating Middletown South, 19-14, to end the Eagles' Shore Conference record 43-game winning streak Friday night at The Swamp."
- Quick, Mike. "Final Top-10 Football Poll of 2005" Archived 2012-03-28 at the Wayback Machine, MSG.com, December 6, 2005. Accessed July 21, 2011. "South is a terrific football team. And what Steve Antonucci has done down at the Shore Conference school is mind-boggling. A Shore-best 36-consecutive game win streak, three consecutive state titles, and No. 1 finishes in this and last year's Star Ledger, Gannett, and News 12 State Polls. Not everybody sees it the same way."
- Staff. "Editorial", Asbury Park Press, December 10, 2004. Accessed July 21, 2011. "And one of those teams, Middletown South, ranked first in the state in the final Gannett New Jersey and Star Ledger polls. Middletown South shut out another Shore team Wall 14-0 to claim its second consecutive NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III crown and 24th straight win."
- Kinney, Mike. "NJ FOOTBALL: Middletown South rejoins Top 20, West Deptford debuts", The Star-Ledger, November 22, 2010. Accessed July 21, 2011. "Middletown South (8-2) advanced to its ninth sectional final since 2001 with a 21-13 win over Hamilton in the Central Jersey, Group 3 semifinals.... Middletown South will seek its sixth title since '01 and 10th overall when it battles Freehold Borough in two weeks.... The Eagles scooped up consecutive Star-Ledger trophies in 2004 and '05 as the state's No. 1 team."
- Ryan, Chris. "The final NJ.com football Top 20, 2015", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, December 9, 2015. Accessed May 2, 2016. "After capping off a perfect 12-0 season with a convincing 35-7 win over Phillipsburg in the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4 final, Middletown South is the No. 1 ranked team in the final Top 20 and is the NJ.com Team of the Year for 2015. Middletown South is the first public school to finish No. 1 in the rankings since 2005, when Middletown South also held the top spot at the end of the season."
- van Esselstyn, Drew. "Middletown South's Knowshon Moreno selected No. 12 overall by Denver Broncos", The Star-Ledger, April 25, 2009. Accessed July 21, 2011. "This time it was former Middletown South star running back, Knowshon Moreno. Moreno, who garnered national attention while at Georgia, was expected to go much lower in the first round. But the Denver Broncos snatched him up with the 12th pick in the first round."
- History of the NJSIAA Field Hockey Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 27, 2016.
- History of the NJSIAA Baseball Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 27, 2016.
- Staff. "Where Have You Gone, Jarrett Sues?", Minor League Baseball, November 15, 2008. Accessed July 21, 2011. "Sues' road to professional baseball started right where he is back at today: on the New Jersey shores. He was as good at the bat as he was on the mound in high school at Middletown (NJ) High School South, where his senior year in 1999 saw him belt 21 homers at the plate in addition to his ten wins on the mound. He was named by the Asbury Park Press newspaper as its '1999 High School Baseball Player of the Year.'"
- Lerner, Gregg. "Middletown South (7) at Brick (1), NJSIAA Tournament, Final Round, Central Jersey, Group 3 - Baseball", The Star-Ledger, June 3, 2011. Accessed July 21, 2011. "By working batters away, then challenging them on the inner half of the plate, he neutralized Brick's collection of dangerous hitters while reaping the benefits of a balanced Middletown South offense on the way to a 7-1 triumph in the NJSIAA/Star-Ledger Central Jersey, Group 3 final yesterday in Brick. The victory gave Middletown South (19-8) its first sectional title since 1999 and second championship in less than 24 hours. It scored an 8-5 decision over No. 3 Red Bank Catholic on Thursday night in the Monmouth County Tournament title game."
- History of the NJSIAA Indoor Relay Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 27, 2016.
- 2015 Soccer Championships Program, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, as of December 15, 2015. Accessed December 26, 2016.
- Costa, Brandon. "Coach Cullen took Eagles to new heights", Asbury Park Press, March 15, 2008. Accessed December 28, 2016. "In the fall of 2006, Cullen inherited a boys basketball program that had won only three games in its previous two seasons, including a winless campaign in 2004-05."
- 2008 Boys Basketball - Central, Group III, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed March 12, 2008.
- Rosenfeld, Josh. "Dougher helps Scotch Plains capture crown" (substory: "Middletown South prevails behind Callori"), The Star-Ledger, March 5, 2008. Accessed March 12, 2008.
- Staff. "Neptune (35) at Middletown South (38), NJSIAA Tournament, Final Round, Central Jersey, Group 3 - Girls Basketball", The Star-Ledger, March 11, 2014. Accessed December 11, 2014. "Stephanie Karcz scored a game-high 15 points and pulled down seven rebounds to lead Middletown South past Neptune, 38-35, in the Central Jersey, Group 3 final in Middletown."
- Evans, Bill. "Softball: Middletown South rolls over Sparta, 8-1, to win Group 3 title", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, June 5, 2015. Accessed November 28, 2015. "The Middletown South High School softball team won its NJSIAA/Blue Ribbon Awards state Group 3 semifinal over Delsea, 2-1, in 10 innings Wednesday and dropped the Shore Conference final, 1-0, against rival Middletown South in nine innings Thursday. In Friday's state final against Sparta, the Eagles left the drama behind, rolling past Sparta, 8-1, for the fifth state title in school history and first since winning back-to-back state titles in 2009 and 2010."
- Evans, Bill. "Tom Erbig, winningest softball coach in state history, retires after final", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, June 11, 2016. Accessed January 3, 2017. "Erbig passed former Hunterdon Central coach Pete Fick this season as the winningest coach in state history with his 722nd win and could be passed in the next few years as long as South Plainfield's Don Panzarella keeps coaching.... Erbig finished his career 743-231-1 with his 16th sectional title this season. He won five state titles with the Eagles, including last season."
- Staff. "Middletown NJ Teachers, Secretaries Released From Jail" Archived 2011-07-23 at the Wayback Machine, Wisconsin Education Association Council, December 6, 2001. Accessed May 12, 2011. "During the week, 228 teachers and secretaries had been sent to jail for violating a judge's order that they return to work. It was the nation's biggest mass jailing of striking teachers in 23 years."
- Herget, Alison. "School board approves random drug-testing policy", Asbury Park Press, October 24, 2006. Accessed May 12, 2011. "The random drug-testing program in Middletown comes roughly a year after then- acting Gov. Richard J. Codey signed a bill test for drugs 9th- through 12th-graders involved in extracurricular activities."
- Stephenson, Colin. "Rutgers' Howard Barbieri is a jack of all trades on the offensive line", The Star-Ledger, August 30, 2009. Accessed August 28, 2019. "One other thing: Barbieri also spent time last year as a backup tight end. Not bad for a walk-on who played almost only on the defensive line at Middletown South High School."
- "DOE Co-Sponsors 24th Annual Governor’s Awards in Arts Education", New Jersey Department of Education, press release dated May 26, 2004. Accessed January 14, 2019. "Nicole Byer - Lincroft - Middletown HS South"
- Chesek, Tom. "Archive: A Sneak Preview in Circuit City", Upper Wet Side, April 22, 2011. Accessed September 22, 2015. "Red Bank area native, movie actor and filmmaker Peter Dobson directing his project EXIT 102, which climaxes a daylong REELS & WHEELS event at various venues in Asbury Park.... PETER DOBSON: I was born in Riverview Hospital; lived on West Front Street out by River Plaza.... I went to Lincroft Elementary, Thompson Junior High and Middletown High School South — where I spent two years in tenth grade. I also lived for a while in Loch Arbour, so I have very vivid memories of hanging out in Asbury Park."
- Darren Fenster - Assistant Coach, Rutgers Scarlet Knights baseball, backed up by the Internet Archive as of January 9, 2011. Accessed August 28, 2019. "A native of Middletown, N.J., Fenster is also a part of four appearances in the NCAA Tournament, including three as a player.... A 1996 graduate of Middletown High School South, Fenster was inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007. He currently resides in Neptune."
- Jeff Kunkel, The Baseball Cube. Accessed February 3, 2008.
- Edelson, Stephen. "Middletown's Rick Lovato Jr. signs with Packers", Asbury Park Press, December 23, 2015. Accessed December 27, 2015. "Middletown's Rick Lovato Jr. was signed by the Green Bay Packers on Tuesday.... A former player at Middletown South, Lovato was an FCS All-American long-snapper at Old Dominion."
- Malwitz, Rick. "Author to sign copies of Melanie McGuire book", Courier News, November 26, 2008. Accessed November 24, 2014. "For example, according to Melanie's brother, when his sister, the former Melanie Slate, was attending Middletown South High School, she boasted about affairs with two married teachers."
- Wilno, Don. "Jump gets jump on Wesley College; Sanderson helps bowl over Temple", Asbury Park Press, September 29, 2007. Accessed October 17, 2007. "Redshirt freshman Knowshon Moreno, a graduate of Middletown High School South, tied senior starting tailback Thomas Brown with 74 yards rushing in the University of Georgia's 26-23 overtime victory over Alabama at Bryan-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala."
- Burton, John. "What It's Like on the Campaign Trail: Middletown's Olivia Nuzzi Reports for the Daily Beast", The Two River Times, February 25, 2016. Accessed August 1, 2017. "Nuzzi grew up in the River Plaza section of Middletown, where her mother still lives, and graduated from Middletown High School South."
- Christian Peter profile Archived 2007-09-29 at the Wayback Machine, database Football. Accessed August 1, 2007.
- Finley, Bill. "IN PERSON; When the Cheers Aren't Enough", The New York Times, February 12, 2006. Accessed November 24, 2014. "'I am able to look my mom, my dad, my brothers and sister in the eye and say I am fine,' said Peter, a former football star at Middletown South High School, who these days is living in Huntington Beach, Calif., trying to put his life back together."
- Staff. Moqut Ruffins Returns To Renegades, Our Sports Central, December 12, 2007. Accessed May 2, 2016. "Louisiana Tech recruited Ruffins after a solid high school tenure at New Jersey power Middleton High School South, where he was part of two (2000,2001) Central Jersey Group 3 titles."
- Politi, Steve. "Meet the Super Bowl 2016 player from New Jersey who saved his sister's life", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, February 3, 2016. Accessed December 24, 2018. "Because this weekend is, and against long odds on an athletic level -- we'll get to that part of this Jersey underdog story soon enough -- Scott Simonson will take the field as a special teams player and a third-string tight end for the favored Carolina Panthers.... But the Red Bank native who played for powerhouse Middletown South will be there at Levi's Stadium, and so will a family that includes the sick little girl he helped save."
- Middletown High School South website
- Middletown Township School District website
- Middletown Township Public School District's 2015–16 School Report Card from the New Jersey Department of Education
- School Data for the Middletown Township Public School District, National Center for Education Statistics
- DigitalSports Middletown South Homepage
- Middletown South Eagles Football