Working Together for a Bright Future

Eight seniors vie for the title of Mr. Vineland 2022

Eight Vineland High School seniors will vie for the title of Mr. Vineland 2022 when the annual pageant is held on Thursday, Jan. 20, at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of VHS South.

Tickets for the contest are $5 and can be purchased from contestants or Ms. Haydak at Tickets must be purchased in advance - there will be no reserved seating and no tickets will be sold at the door. Due to social distancing, only 180 tickets will be available. Calendars of the contestants will be sold both prior to the show and at the door for $5. 

Funds raised at the event help defray the cost of the senior prom. Mr. Vineland receives a crown, trophy and the right to wear the Mr. Vineland sash.

The new Mr. Vineland will be chosen from a field of five finalists. Each contestant will be scored equally in the following areas: Casual attire, talent, and formal attire. The finalists will then answer a final question.

The eight contestants were selected by female members of the senior class from more than two dozen applicants.

The finalists are:

Mr. January: Jalen West

Jalen West is the son of Tameaka and Maurice Durham. He is team captain for VHS track and field. Outside of school, Jalen is an AAU All American for Track and Field. After graduation, he will attend a four-year college majoring in Professional Physical Therapy while continuing Track and Field at the collegiate level.

Mr. February: Zander Romanini

Zander Romanini has been a part of the Vineland High School Track and Field team for two years. His main event on the field is sprinting and has recently participated in the New Jersey Relay State Championships. Outside of school, Zander is a self-taught guitarist in alternative rock and works at Heritage's Dairy Store. Zander enjoys spending time with family and competing with friends in online gaming.

Mr. March: Alex Rodriguez 

Alex Rodriguez, otherwise known as Arod, is the son of Hector and Lourdes Rodriguez. He plays baseball and is going to attend West Virginia Wesleyan College to further his academic and athletic careers. In his free time, he likes to work out, travel, chill with his friends and family, and try new things.

Mr. May: Ryan Russo

Ryan Russo is the son of Michael and Lori Russo. He is a member of the National Honor Society, completing many hours of community service. Ryan is also an athlete on the Cross Country Team, Captain of the Swim Team, and also throws the Javelin for the Track and Field Team. Ryan is known for his sense of humor and enjoys making people laugh.  Outside of school, he enjoys spending time outdoors, playing video games with his friends and being with family. His favorite hobbies include boating and riding four-wheelers.  After graduation, Ryan would like to attend college and major in Physical Therapy.

Mr. June: Rodrick-Josh Zapanta 

Rodrick is a senior at the Applied Math and Science Academy, where he is working on his Associate's Degree in Mathematics and Science. He is the Team Captain for the Varsity Boys Tennis team, President of AMSA's Student Government, and Treasurer for the VHS National Honor Society. Outside of school, Rodrick is a Cadet Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force Auxiliary and is a 1st Degree black belt in mixed martial arts. After graduation, his goal is to pursue a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering.

Mr. July: Justin Roig

Justin Roig is a proud member of the Vineland High School Marching band, the Velocity 5420 First Robotics team, and enjoys music, community work, and learning about infrastructure and history. His goals for the future are to go to Temple University to study Geography and urban studies and journalism and get a job in the urban planning field. He is the vice-chair of the YES Caucus of New Jersey, the youth wing of the Green party, a group advocating for social justice issues especially in regards to climate change and equity related issues. He was able to attend KYW News Radio’s Newstudies program and received the best use of sound award from the program. 

Mr. August: Braylon Blakely

Braylon Blakely is the son of Robert and Dana Blakely. He is a former player for the Vineland football team and is going to attend the College of New Jersey to continue chasing his dream. Outside of school, Braylon details cars and he is looking to run his own business someday. His goal is to play all four years of college football and get a master's degree in business administration.

Mr. October: Leonardo Luciano

Leonardo Luciano is the son of Brooke and Bill Luciano. He has been the school's mascot for the past four years and has been a cheerleader for about a year. He is also a member of the yearbook club and the historical committee. Outside of school, Leo dances for the Vineland Regional Dance Company. Hobbies include collecting records, cassettes, and 8-tracks as well as playing banjo and going on bike rides. After graduation, his long-term goal is to make a living off of acting but will go to college in New York to get his business degree.

The program will be videotaped by VPS TV and broadcast on Comcast Channel 9, Verizon FiOS Channel 41 and the district YouTube Channel, VLDSchoolsTV, at a later date.

Click on the link below for a gallery of the eight contestants.