The Student News Site and Newsletter of John F. Kennedy Memorial High School

The Torch

The Student News Site and Newsletter of John F. Kennedy Memorial High School

The Torch

The Student News Site and Newsletter of John F. Kennedy Memorial High School

The Torch

New coaching lineup energizes Mustangs for 2024

Coach Arthur Davis promoted, John Neuhoff, Bryan Molina and Justin Silva hired
Jeremy Fishman
Newly appointed Coach Davis outside of the John F. Kennedy Memorial field house


Ahead of the 2024 high school baseball season, the John F. Kennedy Memorial Mustangs promoted Arthur Davis to fill their head coach vacancy and hire John Neuhoff, Bryan Molina and Justin Silva.

Davis has been around the game of baseball for all of his life. He played in North Carolina from 5-years-old until he finished college at North Carolina A&T State University. As soon as his collegiate career finished, Davis began to coach. He coached in his home state of North Carolina for 11 years before moving to New Jersey. After moving north, he coached another five years and spent his most recent four seasons as an assistant varsity coach.

Davis’ promotion wasn’t the only coaching change made for the Mustangs. Three new coaches were brought in to fill out the coaching staff. 

“I had a goal of hiring a pitching coach and hiring two JV coaches,” Davis said. “I found a pitching coach in Justin Silva. He’s a local guy who grew up in Woodbridge, pitched at Woodbridge High School, went on to play at Montclair State [University], [and] had a successful career there.”

Silva currently gives pitching lessons and still plays baseball for an independent league. Davis hopes Silva can apply new-age pitching strategies to the pitchers and bring lots of energy to practices.

“The [head] JV coach, John Neuhoff, is another guy in the building…that has a baseball background,” Davis said. 

Mr. Neuhoff played high school baseball and a little bit of junior college baseball but has been away from the game recently.

“[Mr. Neuhoff] is very eager to get back into coaching baseball,” Davis said. “Just that eagerness to get back into [baseball], I think he’ll bring a lot of energy to JV.”

During his search for coaches, Davis paid attention to the demographics of his team. The Mustangs have many Spanish speaking players, who had trouble understanding the instructions and guidance from the English speaking coaches.

“I think one thing that [will] benefit our program is having someone on staff who speaks Spanish,” Davis said. “That was one of my goals.”

Davis named Brian Molina, a former Hudson Catholic High School baseball player and current WHS teacher, as the assistant JV coach. Molina, a Spanish speaker, fulfilled Davis’ vision of having a Spanish-speaking coach on the staff.

Davis is taking over the Mustangs after they finished the 2022-2023 campaign 13-13, their best record in 10 years, and went 8-4 in division games. However, the new head coach isn’t only focused on the team’s record.

“Expand on it not in a win-loss record way, but expand on it as far as having that feeling on winning,” Davis said after being asked how he plans to expand on last season. “You get that itch for winning, and now you have players who get used to winning, so now you go into games … expecting to win. [When you expect to win]  you should have better practices, you should go about your business a little bit better, you become better players [and] better athletes. This year, we want to focus more on how we play baseball as opposed to what the results are.”

If we do what we’re supposed to do in the classroom, do what we’re supposed to do at practice, do what we’re supposed to do everyday, taking care of ourselves, making good choices, we’ll end up having a very successful season.

— Arthur Davis

One key challenge the Mustangs will face is playing without four key players from last season. 2023 senior captains Donovan Claiborne, Gabriel Perez, Jeremy Ricourt and Justin Rodriguez combined for 78 runs, 60 RBIs, and a 0.342 batting average last year. Ricourt himself had 41 hits, breaking the school single-season hit record. However, the Mustangs have players across each grade level ready to step up and fill the roles.


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About the Contributors
Jeremy Fishman, Editor-In-Chief
Jeremy Fishman is a 17-year-old senior at John F. Kennedy Memorial High School. The Editor-In-Chief also serves as a sports journalist for NR Media. Conducting in-depth interviews with professional athletes for their podcast and crafting engaging articles for their website, Fishman finds joy in traveling to cover professional and collegiate sports games. Dedicated to pursuing journalism, Fishman is committed to the University of Tampa for next fall. Through his writing, Fishman aims to tell stories and leave a lasting impact on the sports media world. When not carrying around a pen and paper, Fishman can be found on the  baseball field, playing his favorite sport. 
Dylan Driz is a junior at John F. Kennedy Memorial High School. He is in his second year of journalism and is excited to continue contributing to The Torch. Dylan is a varsity football player and wrestler for the JFK Mustangs. Since he can’t be outside all of the time, Dylan also enjoys cooking and playing chess. Just like any other athlete, Dylan has big dreams but ultimately would like to major in some sort of psychology field.
Gabriel Rodriguez is a high school student in the middle of his junior year. This is his second year in journalism where he likes to cover and read political and government articles and books. Born in Manhattan, New York, he lived in Newark, New Jersey for some time but now he currently lives in Woodbridge, New Jersey, and attends John F Kennedy Memorial High School. Gabriel plays football for his high school and likes to snowboard and ski. He hopes to pursue a career in law and follow in his mom's footsteps. Gabe likes to travel a lot and has visited many countries in Western Europe and the Caribbean. Gabriel is in a family of seven, primarily from the Dominican Republic. He hopes to attend Penn State and have a good career in law.

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