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Thursday, 7-8pm on 105.7 The Hawk,

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S h o r e S p o r t s N e t w o r k Director k evi n.wil li ams@townsquareme dia.com

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Shore Sports Network Director High School Division ste ve.meyer@t ownsquar emedi a.com 7 3 2 - 2 3 3 - 4 4 6 0

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The only weekly radio and online show that covers Ocean and Monmouth County High School Football

Award-winning broadcasters Kevin Williams, Bob Badders and Ed Sarluca cover the entire Shore Conference from Matawan to Pinelands. Broadcast live each week the show features players, coaches and a preview of upcoming games.

Shore Sports Network Journal

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S S N T o p T e n . .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. Page 6 S S N P l ayer s to w atc h .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. Page 8 N ew F aces in N ew P lac es .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. Page I0 C las s A N o rth .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... ages 12 - 2I Colts Neck Freehold Freehold Township Howell Manalapan Marlboro Neptune

C lass A C entral

F eature S tory .............................Pages 48 - 50 C lass B N orth .............................Pages 52 - 66 Long Branch Manasquan Middletown North Middletown South Ocean Red Bank Catholic Wall

C lass B C entral ...........................Pages 68 - 77 Asbury Park Keansburg Keyport Mater Dei Prep

......................Pages 22 - 3I

Point Beach Shore

Holmdel

C lass B S outh ..............................Pages 78 - 90

Matawan Monmouth Regional

Barnegat

Raritan Red Bank Rumson-Fair Haven St. John Vianney

C lass A S outh ........................Pages 33 - 46 Brick

Donovan Catholic Jackson Liberty Lacey Lakewood Manchester Pinelands Point Boro

W eek-b y-w eek S hore C onference S chedule ...................Page 92 M onmouth C ounty F ield D irections .................................Page 94 O cean C ounty F ield D irections .................................Page 95

Brick Memorial Central Jackson Memorial Southern Toms River East Toms River North Toms River South

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he Shore Conference football season has arrived, and that means it’s time for the annual exercise in futility known as the Shore Sports Network Preseason Top 10. The 2016 season was another banner year for the Shore Conference, which saw five teams bring home sectional championships. The Shore will once again have some of the top teams and players in the state, and should be right in the thick of several playoff races in November. The defending sectional champions from the Shore are Asbury Park in Central Jersey Group I, Manasquan in Central Jersey Group II, Rumson-Fair Haven in Central Jersey Group III, Wall in South Jersey Group III and Mater Dei Prep in Non-Public Group II. The returning division champions are Manalapan in Class A North, St. John Vianney in Class A Central, Toms River North in Class A South, Middletown South in Class B North, Mater Dei Prep in Class B Central and Point Boro in Class B South.

Good luck to all the Shore Conference teams this season.

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M analapan

.

The Braves are loaded for a run at the Central Jersey Group V title with multiple starters back on both sides of the ball. Senior quarterback Luke Corcione, senior running back Naim Mayfield, fullback Chris Maksimik and senior wide receiver Scott Scherzer are among the standouts back on the offensive side while senior defensive end Trevor Radosevich, senior linebacker Sal Tardogno and junior linebacker Tommy Pearce power a defense that was third in the Shore last season.

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S t. J ohn V ianney

St. John Vianney has won 29 straight games versus Shore Conference teams and won three straight Class A Central division titles heading into this season. First-team All-Shore linebacker Johnny Buchanan and first-team All-Shore defensive end Nick Densieski lead a defense that was fourth in the Shore last season, while quarterback Haaziq Daniels and wide receivers Sam East and Zyaire Sterling return to spark an offense that averaged 32 points per game.

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R ed B ank C atholic

The Caseys are chock-full of talent and ready for a return to elite status in the Shore Conference. Quarterback Steven Lubischer, running backs Zack Bair and Nick Brusca, receiver Matt Ansell and tight end Kevin Bauman are among the returning offensive standouts, while Emmett McNamara, Conor Smith and Michael Griggs will lead the way up front.

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M ater D ei P rep

The Seraphs are coming off a 12-0 season and the program’s first sectional title, and they’re planning on adding even more hardware in 2017. Quarterback George Pearson, a four-year starter at quarterback who is committed to Central Michigan, leads the way along with linebacker Russell Ferrisi, defensive lineman Izaiah Henderson and wide receiver Kyle Devaney as Mater Dei continues its mission to build a powerhouse program.

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H o w e ll

The Rebels had a breakout season in 2016 by finishing 6-5 and reaching the NJSIAA South Jersey Group V semifinals. Senior quarterback Eddie Morales III is among the top returning quarterbacks in the Shore, and with standout senior Naz Brantley forms the top quarterback/wide receiver duo in the Shore. R u n n i n g b a c k N i c k C h a m b e r s , r e c e i v e r s R ya n Mazik and Pat Handy, lineman Scott Prendergast and linebacker Braedon Baldwin give Howell a ver y good group of returning starters who will go after division and state titles.

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With Ashante Worthy at quarterback the Colonials are as dangerous as any team in the S h o r e . Wo r t h y w a s u n c o n s c i o u s l a s t s e a s o n , i n cl u d i n g s e t t i n g t h e S h o r e C o n f e r e n c e s i n g l e g a m e r u s h i n g ya r d s a n d t o u c h d o w n s r e c o r d s . Along with receivers Matt Krauss and Javonte Hair and defensive end Qua’Jon Everett, the Colonials will tr y to carr y o ver their blisteringhot second half of 2016 to this season.

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M a n a s q ua n

The Warriors returned to glory last season with a 10-2 record and the Central Jersey Group II state title, the 12th sectional championship in program history. With running backs Connor Morgan and Canyon Birch, quarterback Tommy Antonucci, doit-all athlete James Pendergist and lineman Evan Hilla back in the fold, Manasquan has the goods to battle for the rugged Class B North title and defend its state championship.

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R um s o n - F a i r H a v en

The Bulldogs won their fourth consecutive state title last season and enter 2017 trying to join Manasquan as the only Shore Conference programs to win five state championships in a row. Several top players graduated, but the factory continues to churn out winning players. Tight end/defensive end Elijah McAllister, defensive lineman Chase Pfrang, running backs Peter Lucas and Alex Maldjian, linebackers Keegan Woods and Christian Lanzalotto and offensive lineman Justin Johnson are among the returning starters looking to lead the Bulldogs into the history book.

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F r eeh o l d

To m s R i v e r N o r t h

The Mariners graduated some incredible players, but the cupboard is far from bare for the Ocean County power. Senior running back/defensive end Daryn Blackwell, senior safety Mickey Maldonado Jr. and senior lineman Billy Dowd are among the key returners that plan to have Toms River North in the thick of division and state title races once again.

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M iddletown S outh

The Eagles are a perennial contender in whatever division or state bracket they reside in, but will have plenty of work to do with several new starters on the offensive side. Senior defensive end Jake Krellin leads an experienced group of defenders that also includes Matt Tardy, Jake Bancala, Chris Patterson and Adam Markmann.

Ot h e r T e a m s t o W a t c h Long Branch Central Brick Asbury Park Point Boro

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E

very year the Shore Conference has countless football players who light it up on Friday and Saturday during the football season, bringing crowds to their feet and giving us endless video highlights and topics to write about. This season is no different, with several players already committed to FBS schools and other standouts looking to cement their high school legacies. Here are some of the top players in the Shore Conference who you should make a point to see in person.

Q Uarter B ACKS ASHANTE WORTHY, Sr., Freehold Worthy was a human highlight film last year in combining for over 2,900 yards and 41 touchdowns between rushing and passing. He set the Shore Conference single-game rushing yards and rushing touchdowns records with 465 yards and eight touchdowns last season. n GEORGE PEARSON, Sr., Mater Dei Prep n EDDIE MORALES III, Sr., Howell

O ffensive/ D efensive L inemen

Kickers

JAKE KRELLIN, Sr., DE, Middletown South

Joey Cavanagh, Jr., K, Middletown North Sean Gould, Sr., K., Point Beach Will Forman, Sr., K., St. John Vianney Ryan O’Hara, Jr., K., Red Bank Catholic Shane Black, Sr., K, Central David Gelb, Sr., K, Manalapan

The reigning Class B North Defensive Player of the Year, Krellin had 109 tackles, 45 tackles for a loss and 15 sacks as part of an incredible junior year.

n JOSH LEZIN, Sr., DE, Lakewood

n ELIJAH MCALLISTER, Sr., DE, Rumson-Fair Haven n NICK DENSIESKI, Sr., DE, St. John Vianney

Others to Watch

n DARYN BLACKWELL, Sr., DE, Toms River North n JOE HURLE, SR., OL, Jackson Memorial

n LUKE CORCIONE, Sr., Manalapan

n BRANDON VOSS, Sr., OL, Central

n ZYHEIR JONES, Sr., Lakewood

n AUSTIN DEWISE, Sr., DL, Middletown North n TREVOR RADOSEVICH, Sr., OL, Manalapan

n MICHAEL GRIGGS, Sr., OL, Red Bank Catholic

R Unning B ACKS

n EMMETT MCNAMARA, Sr., DL, Red Bank Catholic

NAIM MAYFIELD, Sr., Manalapan Mayfield ran for over 1,700 yards and scored 23 touchdowns while averaging nine yards per carry, helping the Braves finish 11-1 and capture the Class A North division title. n CONNOR MORGAN, Sr., Manasquan

Linebackers JOHNNY BUCHANAN, Sr., St. John Vianney

n TONY THORPE, Sr., Brick Memorial

Buchanan is the leading returning tackler in the Shore after making 139 stops (92 solo) while also recording 10 tackles for a loss, 4 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries and 2 interceptoins. Buchanan also ran for 443 yards and 11 touchdowns.

n ZACK BAIR, Sr., Red Bank Catholic n DEVIN WOLLNER, Jr., Keyport

n SAL TARDOGNO, Sr., Manalapan

W ide R eceivers/ T ight E nds

n TOMMY PEARCE, Jr., Manalapan

n KEEGAN WOODS, Jr., Rumson-Fair Haven

NAZ BRANTLEY, Sr., Howell

n CHRIS PATTERSON, Sr., Middletown South

Brantley caught 46 passes for 773 yards and 11 touchdowns last season to help Howell reach the South Jersey Group V semifinals. He and quarterback Eddie Morales III form the most prolific quarterback/wide receiver duo in the Shore.

Defensive backs

n JUSTIN MARCUS, Sr., Marlboro

MICKEY MALDONADO Jr., Sr., Toms River North

n SCOTT SCHERZER, Sr., Manalapan n ZYAIRE STERLING, Sr., St. John Vianney n KAYMAR MIMES, Sr., WR, Long Branch n KEVIN BAUMAN, So., TE, Red Bank Catholic n SEAN MORRIS, Jr., TE, Barnegat

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A first-team All-Shore selection last season, Maldonado made 101 tackles with seven passes defended, one interception and two forced fumbles for the A South champion Mariners.

n TOMMY ANTONUCCI, Sr., Manasquan

n MATT ANSELL, Sr., Red Bank Catholic n JIMMY LEBLO, Jr., Brick

n A.J. CALABRO, Sr., St. John Vianney

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n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n

Chris Maksimik, Sr., FB, Manalapan James Fara, Sr., QB, Point Boro Steve Lubischer, Jr., QB, Red Bank Catholic Haaziq Daniels, Sr., QB, St. John Vianney P.J. Buccine, Jr., RB, Raritan Evan Burton, Jr., RB, Pinelands Luke Frauenheim, Sr., QB/LB, Point Beach Jonny Helff, Sr., RB, Marlboro Jason Giresi, Sr., RB, Lacey Coleton Klaus, Sr., QB, Lacey Tanner Gordon, Sr., RB, Point Boro Jalen Glenn, Sr., RB, Manchester Danny Vital, Sr., QB, Keansburg Connor Welsh, Sr., RB, Middletown North Canyon Brich, Jr., RB, Manasquan James Pendergist, Jr., WR/DB, Manasquan Chase Fairbanks, Sr., QB, Neptune Eddie Scott, Sr., QB, Wall Juwan Wilkins, Sr., QB, Long Branch Joe Fowler, Jr., QB, Central Ryan Clark, So., QB, Donovan Catholic Jack Hadley, Sr., OL/DL/LS, Donovan Catholic Ryan Mazik, Sr., WR, Howell Sam East, Sr., WR, St. John Vianney Kyle Devaney, Sr., WR, Mater Dei Prep Cole Groschel, Jr., UT, Brick Izaiah Henderson, Jr., DL, Mater Dei Prep Russell Ferrisi, Sr., LB, Mater Dei Prep Damian Rybaltowski, Sr., DE, Freehold Twp. Eric Quartey, Sr., DE, Freehold Township Chase Pfrang, Sr., DL, Rumson-Fair Haven Andrew Worthington, Sr., OL/DL, Ocean Mike Rosati, Sr., OL/DL, Shore Matt Tardy, Sr., DL, Middletown South Adam Markmann, Sr., OL/DL, Middletown South Evan Hilla, Sr., OL/DL, Manasquan Chevesse Covin, Sr., RB, Wall Brian Ewan, Jr., LB, Barnegat Jean Paul Rodriguez, Sr., OL, Lakewood Gil Goldsmith, Jr., RB, Shore Christian Lanzalotto, Jr., LB, Rumson-Fair Haven

/ VOLUME-IX / ISSUE-16 / 9/5/17


2 0 I 7 SHO R E C O N F E R E NC E P R ES E A S O N

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AL L - SHO R E FO O T BAL L T E A M

hore Sports Network is proud to unveil its first annual Preseason All-Shore team featruing some of the top players in the Shore Conference.

OFFENSE

n QB – GEORGE PEARSON, SR., MATER DEI PREP n RB – NAIM MAYFIELD, SR., MANALAPAN n RB – CONNOR MORGAN, SR., MANASQUAN n RB – TONY THORPE, SR., BRICK MEMORIAL n WR – NASIEM BRANTLEY, SR., HOWELL n WR – JUSTIN MARCUS, SR., MARLBORO n WR – SCOTT SCHERZER, SR., MANALAPAN n OL – JOE HURLE, SR., JACKSON MEMORIAL

n OL – BRANDON VOSS, SR., CENTRAL n OL – TREVOR RADOSEVICH, SR., MANALAPAN n OL – MICHAEL GRIGGS, SR., RED BANK CATHOLIC n OL – JEAN PAUL RODRIGUEZ, SR., LAKEWOOD n UT – ASHANTE WORTHY, SR., FREEHOLD n UT – ZYHEIR JONES, SR., LAKEWOOD n K – JOEY CAVANAGH, JR., MIDDLETOWN NORTH

SHORESPORTSNETWORK.COM

DEFENSE

n DL – JAKE KRELLIN, SR., MIDDLETOWN SOUTH n DL – JOSH LEZIN, SR., LAKEWOOD n DL – NICK DENSIESKI, SR., ST. JOHN VIANNEY n DL – AUSTIN DEWISE, SR., MIDDLETOWN NORTH n LB – JOHNNY BUCHANAN, SR., ST. JOHN VIANNEY n LB – SAL TARDOGNO, SR., MANALAPAN n LB – DARYN BLACKWELL, SR., TOMS RIVER NORTH n LB – TOMMY PEARCE, JR., MANALAPAN

n DB – MICKEY MALDONADO JR., SR., TOMS RIVER NORTH n DB – JIMMY LEBLO, JR., BRICK n DB – TOMMY ANTONUCCI, SR., MANASQUAN n DB – MATT ANSELL, SR., RED BANK CATHOLIC n UT – ZYAIRE STERLING, SR., ST. JOHN VIANNEY n UT – CHRIS MAKSIMIK, SR., MANALAPAN n P – RYAN O’HARA, JR., RED BANK CATHOLIC

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he Shore Conference welcomes SIX NEW head coaches this fall.

Wall Jackson Memorial

Vin a Mistrett

Mistretta landed his dream job when he was hired as the 10th coach in Jackson Memorial program history. A 2006 Jackson Memorial graduate, Mistretta was a starting defensive back on the 2005 Jaguars team that went 12-0 and captured the Central Jersey Group IV title. Mistretta was the defensive backs coach at Sayreville last season, helping the Bombers win the North 2, Group IV state title He was previously and assistant at Jackson from 2013-2015, including the defensive coordinator for the 2015 Central Jersey Group IV championship squad.

Neptune Holman comes to the Shore Conference after spending two seasons as head coach of his alma mater, Randolph, where he went 11-10, including a 7-4 record and an appearance in the NJSIAA playoffs last season. Prior to coaching at Randolph, Holman coached for two seasons at Trenton Central he guided the Tornadoes into contention with a 15-6 record and consecutive playoff appearances. Holman has also coached at Montgomery, South Brunswick and New Brunswick. His is a 1995 graduate of Randolph High School where he was a football and track standout. He went on to star as a defensive back for the University of Iowa and was in training camp with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before an injury cut his career short.

Tony ti Grandinet

Donovan Catholic The 2016 Shore Sports Network Coach of the Year, Curcione left Wall after three seasons to take the reins of a Donovan Catholic program that is looking to build a consistent winner. Curcione guided Wall to a 10-2 record and the South Jersey Group III title last season for the program’s first state championship since 2002. Prior to becoming the head coach at Wall, Curcione was an assistant at Toms river North.

Dan C u r ci o n e

T ar ig Ho lm a n

Pinelands

Monmouth Regional

L ar ry Ni k o la

Grandinetti was elevated to head coach following the resignation of Dan Curcione. Grandinetti was Wall’s offensive line coach last season when the Crimson Knights finished 10-2 and captured the program’s first sectional title since 2002. Prior to coming to Wall, Grandinetti was the defensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Haddon Township for one season and spent four years at Moorestown coaching the offensive line, defensive backs and special teams.

Nikola makes his head-coaching debut in the Shore Conference by taking over for Rich Mosca. Nikola was an assistant at Marlboro last season and has previously been an assistant at Colts Neck and the head coach at now-closed Cardinal McCarrick High School. He will look to guide a Falcons program that hasn’t had a winning season since 2006.

Ma tt Ful ler

Fuller was hired as the Wildcats head coach this offseason after Brian Wilkinson was not rehired after four seasons. Prior to becoming the head coach, Fuller was an assistant coach for the Wildcats, including being the offensive coordinator for four seasons. Before coming to Pinelands, Fuller was an assistant coach at Brick for two seasons under legendary head coach Warren Wolf. Fuller takes the helm of a Pinelands program that has been on the rise since a winless season in 2009, and returns several starters on both sides of the ball.

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READY TO P OUNCE

By

Matt Manley

Senior Staff Writer

A

grueling schedule to open the season prepared the Colts Neck football team to finish off the 2016 campaign on a three-game winning streak. With a similar challenge to open 2017, the Cougars are hoping a more intense camp will get them ready to win right away.

Coaching Staff

2017

S C H E D U LE Saturday 9/9 Friday 9/I5 Saturday 9/23 Thursday 9/28 Staurday I0/7 Saturday I0/I4 Friday I0/20 Friaday I0/27 Friday II/3

Howell @Freehold Twp Long Branch @Marlboro Manalapan Freehold boro @Central Reg @Monroe @Neptune

At A Glance B I G SHO ES TO FIL L: Joey Mauriello, RB/DB The Cougars featured a one-two senior punch of Carmen Catena and Vinny Gargiulo and replacing those rushing stats is going to fall primarily on Mauriello. Colts Neck also lost Matt Volk in the secondary, so Mauriello will have to fill part of the void there as well. Gargiulo was also a standout linebacker for Colts Neck, so the Cougars will miss him on multiple fronts.

X -FA C TO R :

Joey Lombardo, QB

Lombardo was thrown into action last year and showed a natural ability as a leader. With the offseason to work with his entire offense, Lombardo will have a chance to do some more damage with his arm and his legs while trying to build on the three-game winning streak that capped last season.

G LU E G UY: Chris Harrigan, OL/DL Colts Neck will have some questions to answer on both lines but the two things they have going for them on each side of the ball is their depth and a handful of experienced, capable players like Harrigan. The senior will definitely make an impact on the defensive side of the ball and with some openings on the offensive line, he might very well contribute there as well. iM PA C T NE WC O MER : Terry Williams, DB In his first year entering the season as a starter, Williams has stepped up as a senior leader in the secondary, which has certainly pleased Barnes. The 6-2 cornerback also brings an element of size and toughness to the position that should make him a good player, as well as a good leader.

PIV O TA L G A ME: Oct. 14 vs. Freehold Boro For the Cougars to improve on last year’s four-win campaign, they will have to do more damage in Class A North, which means beating one of the teams that beat them last year. Freehold Township might be a more winnable game for this year’s Colts Neck team than it was for last year’s, but Freehold Boro was within reach last year and should be a competitive matchup.

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Darian Barnes, 4th season

Head Coach:

C a r e e r R e c o r d : 7-15

A s si s ta n t C o a c he s :

(L-R

J U ST I N K AU F F M AN , J AY L AN D AWSO N , T E RY W I L L I AM S , J AM E S R O SC I AN O IV, K A U F F M AN , ( F RO N T ) S HAWN S C U L L Y , T Y L E R V E C C HI A SE L L I & J O E Y M A UT I E L L O

BA C K )

J AS ON

Coach Darian Barnes enters his third full season as the man in charge of the Cougars and while he has to keep an eye on the usual positional battles that come with replacing key starters like Vinny Gargiulo, Carmen Catena and Matt Volk, he is also trying to ramp up the intensity to prepare his team for a challenging seven weeks of football that the Cougars hope will result in a NJSIAA playoff berth. Last year, Colts Neck opened the season with three straight losses and 1-6 over their first seven games with an average margin of defeat of 19 points per game. Their first seven opponents this season are identical to the first seven of 2017, so Barnes and his staff are hammering the point home that there are no breaks in the schedule. “I think we have to feel good about ending the season the way we did,” Barnes said. “As a coach, you just hit the reset button and try to figure out what worked well later in the year, what didn’t work earlier in the year and how to best prepare the players for Week One against Howell.” “We have to have a better mentality in the first few games of the season,” senior defensive end Chris Harrigan said. “We didn’t play four quarters and it cost us so we have to be ready to go hard for the full four quarters from the beginning.” Colts Neck will have to turn its start to the season around with a group that includes some new starters at key spots. Carmen Catena and Vinny Gargiulo developed into a formidable rushing tandem last season and senior Joey Mauriello will take on the duties of primary ball-carrier out of the backfield after getting dose of work a year ago. “He was a good complement to (Catena) before he got hurt,” Barnes said. “He was also our starting safety by the end of the year so we feel really good about him having a bigger role this year.” Mauriello’s task is pretty difficult, but he’ll have help

on other parts of the field. Senior quarterback Joey Lombardo came on strong at the end of last year and is the unquestioned leader of the offense heading into his first full year as a starter. “He’s an exhilarating player to watch,” Barnes said of Lombardo. “He’s feisty. He plays with a chip on his shoulder. He’s just a really impressive kid.” The offensive line also has some of its top performers back from a year ago. Seniors Evan Imbesi (tackle) and Scott Wetzel (center) are returning starters, while Harrigan is also a capable blocker on the offensive side of the ball should Barnes decide he is okay with playing the senior on both the offensive and defensive lines. The other two spots have been a battle throughout camp, one that includes 6-5, 260-pound sophomore Kevin Wigenton. “We played a lot of juniors at the end of last year, so now that we’re seniors and we were able to have some success in the last three games, I think we’re a lot more confident,” Harrigan said. Colts Neck will also work in a new group of receivers after graduating Volk and Bryce Campbell. Senior Sabur Quddus and junior Alajah Dawson will be two of the team’s top receiver options, with Qudus playing his first season of varsity football and Dawson transferring from Mater Dei Prep. Senior Shawn Scully and Anthony Lombardo will also see time at receiver. The Cougars also bring back senior twins Justin and Jason Kauffman, with Justin playing wide receiver and Jason lining up at tight end. On defense, the Cougars have the makings of a strong front seven despite losing Gargiulo at linebacker. Senior Derek Victor will take over at middle linebacker, while the Kauffman twins will flank him on either side. Harrigan and senior Justin Fruscione will play the two defensive end spots and the offensive line candidates will rotate in at the defensive tackle position, with Imbesi and Wetzel leading the way.

20I7 FOOTBALL PREVIEW

Matt Finucane (Asst. HC/Special Teams), Kevin Gaul (Defensive Coordinator), Derrick Eatman (Offensive Coordinator/QB), Greg Elias (RB/DB), Chris Leroy (WR/DB), Eric Nussbaum (Athletic Trainer).

2016 Record: 4-6 (2-4 in Class A North)

“The chemistry on this team is really good,” Victor said. “We all work well with one another and we got a chance to get on the field as juniors last year and that really brought us together.” Mauriello will pair up with fellow senior Neal Patharkar to form the safety duo in the defensive backfield. Senior Terry Williams has won one of the starting cornerback jobs as a first-year varsity player and the other cornerback spots will be a rotation that includes Qudus, Scully, Lombardo and Jaylon Dawson. “Terry Williams is probably the most improved kid in our program since last year,” Barnes said. “He’s stepped in and not only done a good job with his assignments and technique, but he’s also been a leader to the younger guys, so we’re really impressed with him.” “I came in wanting to be able to help the team and try to make my teammates better,” Williams said. “I always worked hard, but I think I just put in a little more work this offseason and really made the extra effort.” Colts Neck could not keep up with Howell in Week 1 last year and the Cougars will once again have to put up with the Rebels in the opener on Sept. 9. Win or lose, the Cougars will have some idea whether they are more prepared to meet this grueling portion of the schedule to open the year. “Howell’s a great team so we’re excited,” Patharkar said. “We felt like we were right with them for most of the game and just ran out of gas. We don’t want to miss another opportunity like that so we’ve been working hard to make sure we’re prepared to get off the best start possible.”

/ VOLUME-IX / ISSUE-16 / 9/5/17


PRAI SE-WORTHY

B

By

Matt Manley

Senior Staff Writer

efore last season, Freehold head football coach Dave Ellis thought running back Ashante Worthy had a chance to be the best running back he has coached by the end of his senior year.

Coaching Staff

Dave Ellis, 8th season

Head Coach:

2017

C a r e e r R e c o r d : 26-35

S C H E D U LE Saturday - 9/9 Friday - 9/I5 Saturday - 9/23 Thursday - 9/28 Saturday - 10/7 Saturday - 10/I4 Saturday - 10/2I Saturday - 10/28 Saturday - 11/4

Freehold Twp @Howell Neptune @Manalapan Monroe @Colts Neck Marlboro Edison @Long Branch

At A Glance B IG SHOES TO FILL: Alex Verardi, OL/DL With some new starters on the offensive line and a dynamic quarterback to keep upright, an experienced lineman like Verardi will be key. The defensive line will also have some relative inexperience so the Colonials are looking for Verardi to join Bennett as a leader on the line.

X -FA C TO R :

Health

Freehold has a chance to knock off most teams on its schedule because of how much of a weapon Worthy is. Of course, keeping him healthy will be paramount and Everett will have to balance utilizing his best weapon with keeping him fresh. While the Colonials might love to maximize Worthy’s carries, he can’t be a weapon if he’s not on the field.

G LU E G UY: Matt Krauss, WR/DB Krauss was one of Freehold Boro’s top tacklers as a junior and will be a steady influence on the defense at his free safety position. He will also be one of several capable weapons in the passing game, which should be even better this season now that Worthy and his receivers have spent an entire offseason together in their current roles. iMP A C T N E WC OM ER : Ahmad Dixon, WR The younger brother of former standout running back Josh Dixon, Ahmad Dixon is aiming to make an immediate impact as a freshman. Freehold Boro should be pretty deep at the wide receiver position, but Everett would like to find a role for another talented up-and-comer for the Colonials.

P IVO T AL G A ME: Sept. 9 vs. Freehold Township For the second straight year, Freehold Boro’s schedule is front-loaded with the toughest opponents on its regularseason schedule, namely Howell in Week 2 and Manalapan in Week 4. Jumping out to a good start against Freehold Township would send the Colonials into the Howell game on a positive note and put them well ahead of last year’s 0-4 pace through four games.

(l-r) NA H

KRANSS, ASHANTE WORTHY, MATT DASILVA & JJ HAIR

Now that Worthy is entering his final high school season, Ellis has changed his tune somewhat. “He’s the best athlete I’ve ever been around,” Ellis said of Worthy. An early-season injury forced Ellis to move Worthy from tailback to quarterback, a move Ellis never would have imagined making were his hand not forced. It’s not hard to understand why considering that as a sophomore, Worthy logged 1,300 yards on the ground as a tailback. “We were having trouble getting him the ball so we just figured let’s snap it right to him and go from there,” Ellis said. “I wasn’t really thinking about him throwing the ball.” It turns out he can do that as well. “I’ve had running backs who can throw the ball enough to run a halfback pass and I knew he could do that,” Ellis said. “I had no idea he could throw the ball like he can.” “I could always throw the ball,” Worthy said. “It was just a matter of getting my I.Q. better and throwing the ball in the right spots.” In his first year playing quarterback since he was nine, Worthy threw for 838 yards and nine touchdowns. While that’s a pretty good year for a running back, the numbers he put up as a runner were flat-out staggering: 2,036 yards and 30 touchdowns. In a first-round win over Pennsauken in the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV Playoffs, Worthy set an NJSIAA record for most points in a playoff game by accounting for 10 total touchdowns. He rushed for 465 yards and eight scores while throwing for 71 yards and two more touchdowns. “Growing up, high school, college, coaching – I’ve never seen anybody who can kick touchbacks on a kickoff, who can kick a 40-yard field goal, who can punt it 40 yards, who can throw a fade 50 yards on the dime and who can run the ball like he does. I’ve seen people do one or two of those things, but to be

SHORESPORTSNETWORK.COM

A s s i st a n t C o a c h es : Mike D’Antonio (WR/Pass Game/OLB), Jason Blum (Run Game/OL/DL), John Kinzel (OL/DL), Matt Whalen (RB/DB), Mike Stoia (Freshman Head Coach), Nick Rice & Jim Lee (Freshman), Mike Stehl (Athletic Trainer) 2016 Record: 6-5 (2-4 in Class A North)

able to do all of those things is pretty amazing.” Now that Ellis knows Worthy’s skills on the football field aren’t limited to just running, he will be the Colonials quarterback from the outset in 2017, as well as the focal point of the Freehold Boro running game. He will operate behind an offensive line that will look to fill in around returning starters Tyler Bennett and junior Alex Verardi. Junior Vincent Manning, junior Zac Wiles, sophomore Jake Larsen, senior Dalton Burdge and senior Seth Linares all figure into the other three spots. Freehold will once again look to spread the formation with receivers, with Worthy as the lone backfield option on many of the team’s plays. Junior Quincy Davis, senior Matt Krauss and senior Jahvonte Hair have all built a rapport with Worthy over the offseason and return with a chance to impact the passing game even more this year. “We’re more up-tempo now,” Hair said. “We’re on the same page, so now we can just get to the line and go. Ashante’s a great player, so we just have to do our jobs.” A new weapon in the offense will be freshman Ahmad Dixon, whose older brother, Josh, ran for more than 1,500 yards in 2014, when Worthy was a freshman. Dixon can play wideout or in the backfield, which could give him a chance to take pressure off of Worthy the same way Worthy carried a part of the load for Josh. Senior Matt DaSilva, junior Savion Macon and sophomore Andre Kelly are also lined up for time at receiver. The strength of Freehold Boro’s defense will be in the secondary, which makes sense given the depth the Colonials have at wide receiver. Hair will man one of the cornerback positions, while Worthy, Macon and senior Lucas Staples will cycle in at the other one. Krauss returns as the free safety and DaSilva and fellow senior Yahsan Calhoun will play the two hybrid safety spots in Freehold’s 3-3-5 defense. Larsen, junior Knox Stokes, Zach Neely, Jaylin

Canada and sophomore Zach Rodriguez will account for the traditional linebacker spots, while Linares, Verardi, senior Kenny Tomkovich, junior Nelson Mejia and junior Quajon Everett comprise the rotation on the defensive line. “We’ve addressed some things on defense,” Everett said. “We were scoring some points at the end of last year, but defense wins championships. I’m not happy with how we played on defense last year and a lot of it wasn’t personnel. A lot of it was mental mistakes and that just goes back to being mentally tough.” Although Worthy and the Colonials made headlines late in the season, the team had a start to forget in 2016. Freehold Boro opened the season with four consecutive losses and have to claw its way back into the playoff picture, which it did. Although the Colonials once again face a difficult start to the season – its first four games are against Freehold Township, Howell, Neptune and Manalapan – they expect to be more prepared this time around and to put themselves in a better position for the second half of the schedule. “There were guys talking about giving up and how we don’t have a chance to make the playoffs,” Worthy said. “Coach told us, ‘That’s not true. Keep working hard at practice and we can make a run.’ Hot, cold, rain, snow, whatever: we came out and turned the season around.” As long as Freehold Boro can reach the postseason again, the Colonials should again be a dangerous team, as long as the offensive line can minimize the big hits its quarterback takes. If Worthy is relatively fresh heading into midNovember, the Colonials have a chance to build on their one playoff win last year and near-win at Brick in a 24-23 sectional semifinal loss. “We made plays last year and came up a little short,” Hair said. “This year, we’re fighting to get that ring.”

13


NEW PIECES T O THE PUZZLE

By 09-12-15 B o b B a d@d Freehold e r s Boro M a n a g i n g E d i t Manalapan or 09-18-15 @

09-25-15

@ Howell

10-16-15

Marlboro

n the first two seasons of Cory Davies’ tenure at Freehold Township the Patriots have made consecutive playoff appearances for the first time in program history and tied the single-season for wins. They’ll try to continue the upward trend10-02-15 in 2017, but the Middletown challengesSouth 10-09-15 Toms River East they’ll face are unlike anything they’ve dealt with the last two years.

I

Coaching Staff

2017

Cory Davies, 4th season (25th overall) C a r e e r R e c o r d : 101-124 A ss i s ta n t C o a c he s :

S C H E D U LE Friday - 9/9 Friday - 9/I5 Saturday - 9/23 Thursday - 9/28 Friday - I0/6 Friday - I0/I3 Friday - I0/20 Friday - I0/27 Friday - II/3

Freehold Boro Colts Neck @Marlboro Neptune @Perth Amboy Jackson Liberty @Howell East Brunswick Manalapan

At A Glance B IG SHO E S TO FI LL: Pat Laricy, Sr., WR/DB Laricy was a starter on defense last year, but on offense he’ll move into the No. 1 wide receiver spot that was occupied by first-team All-Shore player Anthony Lotti. Laricy will also shift from cornerback to free safety to assume Lotti’s role on defense.

X -FA C TO R :

Skill players The Patriots have new starters at quarterback, running back and all the wide receiver positions, so there are plenty of unknowns. In an offense such as theirs it’s all on them to come together and be productive.

G LU E GU Y: Eric Quartey, Sr., LB Quartey is one of six returning starters who will look to keep the Patriots in contention for a playoff spot and in Class A North. iMP A C T N E WC OM ER : Nick Reardon, Jr., QB Reardon gets the call to take over the Patriots’ most important offensive position.

P IVO T AL G A ME: Sept. 9 at Freehold “The Duke” will be on the line when rivals Freehold and Freehold Township meet in Week 1. There’s always momentum to be gained from winning a rivalry game, and knocking off a returning state semifinalist would be a huge boost t for the Patriots.

14

Head Coach:

(l-r) ERI C

QUARTEY, PAT LARICY & DAMIAN RYBALTOWSKI

The good news is the Patriots are coming off a 7-3 season and an appearance in the Central Jersey Group IV playoffs. The bad news is that to build upon that success they will have to break in new starters at almost every position, most notably all the skill players in their pass-heavy Air Raid offense. “The challenge has been just to get reps for them, because they’re athletic,” Davies said. “We have seven or eight wide receivers that can play and will get on the field and a young quarterback that’s learning the offense. The biggest thing is to get them battle-tested against live action. We think we have the ability to do well, but they’re young and there’s going to be growing pains.” Stepping in at quarterback is junior Nick Reardon. He’ll look to follow in the footsteps of Charles Sabbagh, who threw for 2,176 yards and 20 touchdowns last season. Sophomore Brendan Doel will be the backup. “I’m really excited for the upcoming season, me and the receivers have worked all offseason and have really clicked well,” Reardon said. “It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be a lot of work, but I’m ready for it.” “Reardon has a very good arm and he’s coming along, but we’ll see how well he does when he’s tested in real games,” Davies said. Senior Pat Laricy and Kevin Doherty, both of whom were starting defensive backs last season, look to be the top two receivers along with fellow seniors James Romeo and Artie Bader and juniors John Manfre, Anthony Simonelli, David Jolly and Ryan Tanner. It will be a running-back-by-committee rotation for the Patriots with seniors Mike

Cenname and Damian Rybaltowski, junior Gaven Ferraro, sophomore Nic Nasso and senior newcomer Ja’Zeem Foster. The offensive line features the only two returning starters on the offensive side as 6-foot1, 285-pound senior Jake White is the center and 6-foot-1, 235-pound junior Max Pirozzi will be at guard. Junior John Ferguson will be one of the starting tackles along with senior James Spucches, and senior Rob Lidondici, junior Lorenzo Pantano and sophomore Jarrid Markowitz will also see playing time. The Patriots have four starters back on defense where they will change their front to a 33-5 multiple stack look. Both Rybaltowski and senior Eric Quartey started along the defensive line last year and both have been moved back to stack linebacker. Cenname will start at middle linebacker. Junior Zach Barilka at middle linebacker and seniors Artie Bader and Derek Rivera at stack linebacker will also see playing time. “With the change in the defense I think it’s going to be very good with me and Damian coming off the edge and forcing pressure,” Quartey said. “Eric Quartey is a heck of a football player and so is Damian Rybaltowski,” Davies said. “We’ll move them around to get the most out of them.” Seniors Ryan Fiolek and Tom Haley look to be the starting defensive ends with Pantano, Markowitz, junior Andre Douyon and sophomore Jake Mollica also seeing time along the defensive line. The strong safeties/outside linebackers are seniors Rich Norton and Kyle Melone. Foster, Ferraro and senior Chandler

20I7 FOOTBALL PREVIEW

Derek Reichenbecher (def. coord./DL/RB); Gene Blanco (DB/WR); Bill Dague (OL/LB); Mike Burlew (freshmen HC); Brick Glick, Kevin Popek (freshmen); Ed Von Nessen (def. asst.); Ryan Davies (quality control/analyst); Cindy Carter (athletic trainer).

2016 Record: 7-3 (4-2)

Laricy and Doherty are both returning starters Cory Davies, 1st season (22nd overall) in the secondary after solid junior seasons. Doherty was tied for fourth in95-115 the Shore with four Career Record: interceptions last season and will return at cornerback. Laricy had three interceptions last season and will move from cornerback to free safety to replace four-year starter Anthony Lotti. Senior Eddie Bracey along with Manfre, Ferraro and Simonelli are competing for the other cornerback spot opposite Doherty. Junior Mike Woods will back up Laricy at free safety. Mortimer also see time. Head will Coach:

“Laricy and Doherty Photo are two pretty good by: Bill Normile defense backs, and billnormile.zenfolio.com we’re going to need them with some of the teams on our schedule,” Davies said. The Patriots will also have to replace firstteam All-Shore kicker Tyler Schulman, punter Shawn Poole and long snapper Jon O’Brien. Junior Carl Gilmartin will take over the kicking duties along with former soccer player Colin Taptich. Mortimer will be the punter and seniors Scot Lavelle and Nick Silveredes will compete to be the starting long snapper. With teams like Manalapan and Howell, the Ashante Worthy-led Freehold Colonials and an improved Marlboro team, it’s going to be an uphill battle for the inexperienced Patriots. But for the seniors, the goal is to go out on top. “Our goals are the same as anybody else’s: we want A North and we want that ring,” Quartey said. “Whatever people want to think is up to them, but we have our goals and we’re going to do what we have to do.”

/ VOLUME-IX / ISSUE-16 / 9/5/17


SHORESPORTSNETWORK.COM

15


GOIN G FOR GOLD

By

Bob Badders

Managing Editor

In the third season under head coach Luke Sinkhorn, Howell turned the corner in a 6-5 season that featured a return to the playoffs and a memorable postseason victory. Now, with one of the best passing games in the Shore Conference and several returning starters on both sides of the ball, the Rebels are ready to morph into a championship contender.

I

2017

Coaching Staff

S C H E D U LE

Saturday - 9/9 @Colts Neck Friday - 9/I5 Freehold Boro Saturday - 9/23 MiddleTown North Thursday - 9/28 Toms River North Friday - I0/6 @Neptune Friday - I0/I3 @Manalapan Friday - I0/20 Freehold Twp Friday - I0/27 @New Brunswick Friday - II/3 Marlboro

Head Coach:

Luke Sinkhorn, 5th season

C a r e e r R e c o r d : 37-45

A s si s ta n t C o a c he s : Joe Santopietro (off. coord./QB/DL); Bob Mussari (OL/LB); Ryan Klusewicz (special teams/OL/DB); Joe Migliore (RB/LB); Zac Cooper (WR/DL); Chris Provow (RB/DB); Sam Iacobone (freshmen HC); Shane Baldwin, Matt Wingo (freshmen); Amy Ghione (athletic trainer).

At A Glance B IG SHO E S TO FI LL: Brandon Van Bergen, Jr., WR/DB There isn’t one specific player Van Bergen is stepping in for, but he will see time at wide receiver and defensive back where Dan Cacciatore and Mekai Gandy excelled last season.

X -FA C TO R :

Stopping the run Howell’s weakness on defense was stopping the run, so if the Rebels can improve in that phase of the game it could be what elevates the team to the next level.

G LU E GU Y: Eddie Morales III, Sr., QB The top returning passer in the Shore Conference is also a two-year captain for the Rebels and the team leader. iMP A C T N E WC OM ER : Wendell Wright, Sr., OL/DL Wright played a little last season but will now start on both sides of the ball.

P IVO T AL G A ME: Oct. 13 at Manalapan Manalapan is the defending Class A North champion and a top-20 team in the state. This will be Howell’s chance to make a major statement and put itself in the driver’s seat for the division title.

16

(l-r) B RAE D ON B AL D W I N , R Y AN MAZ I K , ED D I E MOR AL E S, NASEIM BRANTLEY, MARK WELSH & NICK CHAMBERS “Our goals this year are to contend for A North and contend for a state championship, but we’ll take it week-by-week,” said senior two-way lineman Scott Prendergast. “We know what we have to do to attain those goals.” “We have a chance to be a great team,” said senior quarterback Eddie Morales III. Morales was one of the main reasons Howell went from 3-7 to South Jersey Group V semifinalists last year. Leading Howell’s spread offense, Morales threw for 2,259 yards and 26 touchdowns to emerge as one of the Shore Conference’s top quarterbacks. He returns for his third year as the Rebels’ starter.

“Eddie is very multiple in his athleticism and could probably be one of our top receivers or a top defensive back,” Sinkhorn said. “We need him touching the ball every play. But what he brings to the table even more is his leadership. He has the ability to hold everyone accountable and put a model out there for the team on how to work hard. He’s an All-Shore type of guy but he doesn’t act entitled or take anything for granted. To get that from your quarterback is crucial.” Morales’s top target is also one of the top returning receivers in the Shore. Senior Naseim Brantley was a second-team AllShore wideout last season after catching 46 passes for 773 yards and 11 touchdowns.

2016 Record: 6-5 (5-1)

The duo has a great relationship, and a unique one at that. “We live together, so we work out together all the time,” Morales said. “We have great chemistry. We’ve played with each other since we were probably six years old. It’s business out there but it’s also having fun, and for us it’s like playing backyard football.” “We work out together all the time, but it’s more than that,” Brantley said. “We do everything together whether it’s playing video games or just hanging out.” Seniors Ryan Mazik and Pat Handy are also returning starters at wide receiver, and the fourth wide receiver spot is between juniors

FOR SSN ADVERTISING INFORMATION Contact: Steven Meyer 732-233-4460 steve.meyer@townsquaremedia.com

20I7 FOOTBALL PREVIEW

/ VOLUME-IX / ISSUE-16 / 9/5/17


Peter Cantillo and Brandon Van Bergen. Senior Nick Chambers returns as the starting running back after rushing for 780 yards and nine touchdowns last season. Three starters return on the offensive line with Prendergast, a three-year starter, at right tackle, senior Steven Cannon at left guard and senior Mark Welsh at center. The left tackle is senior Wendell Wright, who played in a platoon last season, and the right guard is 6-foot-4, 260-pound senior Mike Klein. Senior Matt Mazauskas will also see playing time along the offensive line. Sinkhorn considers himself a defensive guy, and since he arrived at Howell it has always been his main point of emphasis. With an offense that should be among the best in the Shore, the Rebels know their defense holds the key to how successful a season they can have. Eight starters are back in Howell’s 4-3 defense, starting with Prendergast and Welsh at defensive tackle and Mazauskas at defensive end. Wright will man the other defensive end position. The middle linebacker is senior Braedon Baldwin, a returning starter while Chambers moves to outside linebacker after starting in the secondary last year. Either Cannon or senior Chris DeMarco will be the other outside linebacker.

S R . Q B E D D I E M O R A L E S III & S R .RB. N I C K C H A M B E R S

Brantley is a returning starter at cornerback and will be joined by Morales. Van Bergen will also see

SHORESPORTSNETWORK.COM

time at cornerback. Mazik is a returning starter at safety and Handy moves to safety after starting at linebacker last season. “We’re going into year four and from day one the push has been on the defensive side,” Sinkhorn said. “If we’re going to win – and our goals are A North and South Jersey Group V – the defense has to come to play. If we can have both (offense and defense) going it will be pretty fun.” Handy returns as the kicker and punter. He kicked the game-winning field goal in Howell’s thrilling playoff win over Vineland last season, a victory that showed the Rebels everything they are capable of. “I don’t think anybody thought we were going to win that game, but we learned we could compete with the best,” Morales said. “We learned to never give up and that anything can happen at any time,” Brantley said. “That’s what that game was really about.”

Photos by: Ray Rich Photography www.rayrichphotography.smugmug.com

17


F IN ISH ING TH E J O B

By

Bob Badders

Managing Editor

T

alent, experience; you name it and Manalapan has it. The Braves return a loaded roster one year after going 11-1 and falling just short of the program’s second sectional title, so the task this season is nothing less than finishing the job and bringing home the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group V title.

2017

S C H E D U LE Friday - 9/8

Friday - 9/15

Marlboro @Southern

Saturday - 9/23

Old Bridge

Thursday -9/28

Freehold Boro

Saturday - I0/7

@Colts Neck

Friday - I0/I3

Howell

Friday - I0/20

@Neptune

Friday - I0/27

Piscataway

Friday - II/3

@Freehold Twp

At A Glance B IG SHO E S TO FI LL: Patrick Jurczuk, Sr., DB & George Lombardi, Sr., DB The Braves graduated a pair of All-Division defensive backs in Sean Kinniburgh and Cody Weiner, and Jurczuk and Lombardi will step in behind returning starting cornerbacks Eli Avivi and Symir Blacknall.

X -FA C TO R :

Staying healthy Manalapan has talent up and down the field and can win games in a variety of different ways. Injuries look like the only thing that could derail a successful season.

G LU E GU Y: Trevor Radosevich, Sr., OL/DL Radosevich is the leader along the offensive line and will also provide depth rotating in at nose guard on defense. iMP A C T N E WC OM ER : Dale Sieczkowski, Jr., TE/LB

The coaching staff is high on the third Sieczkowski brother to come through the program and expect him to be a contributor on both sides of the ball.

P IVO T AL G A ME: Oct. 13 vs. Howell The Rebels are a team on the rise and gave Manalapan a run for their money in a 41-34 Braves win last season. This could be the game that decides the Class A North division title.

18

(l-r) C HR I S M AKS I MI K , SA L T ARD O G RO , LU KE C O RC I ON E, TREVOR RADOSEVICH, NAIM MAYFEILD & SCOTT SCHERZER “Our goal right now is to win a state championship and that’s what we have our eyes on,” said senior lineman Trevor Radosevich. This year’s senior class has been a standout group since it entered the program, and was instrumental in the Braves capturing the Class A North division title and remaining undefeated going into the sectional final last season. Of the Braves’ 15 combined returning starters 13 of them are seniors. “We’ve had these same expectations since we were like seven years old watching the high school games,” said quarterback Luke Corcione. “Coach keeps stressing to us that this is our year and this is our team, that there is no more high school football after this so don’t leave anything on the field.” Eight starters return in Manalapan’s multiple-I offense that finished third in the Shore Conference at 36.2 points per game. Corcione is back for his third year as the starting quarterback after throwing for 1,699 yards and 26 touchdowns with just three interceptions. “He is so well prepared with his reads and where the ball is supposed to go,” said Manalapan head coach Ed Gurrieri. “He’ll make plays but he also doesn’t force anything. And if something breaks down in front of him he has the ability to create. We’re not going to be running the zone read or anything, but he can use his feet to his advantage.” Joining him in the backfield is first-team All-Shore running back Naim Mayfield, a Fordham recruit who ran for 1,785 and 23 touchdowns last season and is the top returning running back in the Shore Conference.

fullback Chris Maksimik. In addition to blocking for Mayfield to run for nearly 1,800 yards, Maksimik also scored nine touchdowns between rushing and receiving. “I always tell everybody that Maksimik is the best all-around player we have,” Gurrieri said. “Fullback is a spot on our team we take great pride in and he’s probably the best we’ve ever had at the position. We’ve had guys that have been good runners but just an okay blocker so we had to put someone else in for that, but he couldn’t catch so we had somebody else for that. We don’t have to take Chris out. He catches the ball as well as anybody on the team, he’s a great runner and he’s one of the best lead blockers we’ve ever had.” “Maksimik is unbelievable, there’s nothing he can’t do,” Radosevich said. “If we needed him to play offensive line he could do that too.” Radosevich (6-foot-3, 270 pounds) leads the offensive lineman as a returning starter at right tackle, while senior Jack McLaughlin is a returning starter at right guard. Senior Joe Ciraola returns as the starter at left guard, while the newcomers are 6foot-4, 270-pound senior Matt Mazza at left tackle and 280-pound sophomore Nick Cavallaro at center. Senior Scott Scherzer is the returning No. 1 wide receiver and is coming off a junior year where he caught 40 passes for 690 yards and seven touchdowns. Senior Symir Blacknall played receiver last season but will have a much larger role in the offense this year. Seniors Eli Avivi and Chris Pisano will also see time at receiver. “I think the guy that is going to surprise some people is Symir Blacknall,” Gurrieri said. “He really put in the work in the offseason and was our best player in 7-on-7s.”

“No matter what it always starters with the running back and the offensive line with us,” Gurrieri said. “Naim may be as good as anybody we’ve ever had, and that’s saying a lot. When you look at the whole package he might the most complete back we’ve ever had.”

The tight ends are juniors Alex Claro and Alan Presler with junior Dale Sieczkowski also pushing for playing time.

Leading the way for Mayfield is one of the most underrated players in the Shore Conference, senior

Manalapan’s defense was every bit as good as its offense and finished third in the Shore allowing 11.6

20I7 FOOTBALL PREVIEW

Coaching Staff Ed Gurrieri, 11th season C a r e e r R e c o r d : 87-26 A ss i s ta n t C o a c he s :

Head Coach:

Dan D’Avanzo (off. coord./QB); Dom LePore (def. coord./DB); Dom Pollifrone (special teams/DL); Joey Tetley (assoc. head coach/OL); Bill Smith Sr. (OLB/TE); Jim Papcun (WR); Bill Smith Jr. (freshmen HC); Andrew Jones, Corey DeCastro, John Harrison, Reggie Grant (freshmen); Shannon Tomasula (athletic trainer)

2 01 6 R e c o r d : 11-1 (7-0).

points per game. All three down lineman return in their 3-4 scheme with Ciraola as the nose guard and senior Antonio Deieso and junior Da-shon Taylor at defensive end. Radosevich and senior Juan Torres will rotate in at nose guard while Presler and 6-foot-4, 250-pound junior Nick Holowach will see time at defensive end. Manalapan boasts two of the Shore Conference’s best linebackers with senior Sal Tardogno and junior Tommy Pearce lining up at inside linebacker. Tardogno made 120 tackles last year and was selected as Class A North Defensive Player of the Year, while Pearce made 97 tackles despite missing four games. “This is going to be our third year together inside and we’re leaders on this defense,” Tardogno said. “We think our defense is going to be pretty good, and it all starts with those two linebackers,” Gurrieri said. “They are the quarterbacks of the defense.” Claro and Sieczkowski are the outside linebackers, and there’s always the possibility Maksimik will get some snaps at linebacker. He started four games at inside linebacker when Pearce was hurt last season and averaged over 10 tackles a game. Avivi and Blacknall are returning starters at cornerback, and will be joined by senior Patrick Jurczuk at strong safety and senior George Lombardi at free safety. Returning as both the kicker and punter is senior David Gelb. The pieces are in place for the Braves to accomplish all of their goals and bring another state championship home to Manalapan. The journey begins Week 1 against district rival Marlboro. “It’s all that’s on our minds right now,” Tardogno said. “All we’re thinking about is getting it done week to week and getting to that 12th game for a state championship.”

/ VOLUME-IX / ISSUE-16 / 9/5/17


GIVE EM HELFF

J

By

Matt Manley

Senior Staff Writer

onny Helff started his high school varsity career on a zero-win team at a program that had trouble simply keeping the score close.

Coaching Staff 2017

S C H E D U LE

Friday - 9/8 @Manalapan Saturday - 9/16 Pinelands Saturday - 9/23 Freehold Twp Thursday - 9/28 Colts Neck Friday - I0/6 @East Brunswick Saturday - I0/14 Neptune Saturday - I0/21 @Freehold Boro Saturday - I0/28 Toms River East Friday - II/3 @Howell

At A Glance B IG SHO E S T O FI LL: Alan Valant, C Riley Keating was a polished center who had a lot to do with the success of the running game, so if there is a spot on the line that will be under the microscope, it is likely to be at center.

A three-win season was not quite what Helff and his teammates on the 2016 Marlboro football team had in mind when they set out to turn around the program four years ago, but in many ways, it marked a turnaround that compares favorably to some of the best reclamations in the Shore in recent years considering the Mustangs’ divisional schedule. Although Marlboro finished 3-7, there were a few positive secondary headlines: the three wins were the most since 2012 and below the surface, there is more to like about what the 2016 team did vs. the 2012 squad. Last year’s team lost by more than two scores just once (on opening weekend vs. Manalapan), while the 2012 did so four times. The other thing to like about the 2016 team is that it had more players set to return in 2017, which brings us to present day. For all the starting lineup vacancies the Mustangs have to address, they are in just about the best shape heading into a season in a long time. “Personally, nothing is ever enough for me,” senior running back, linebacker, and four-year starter Johnny Helff said. “We could go 8-1 and I’d still want that one

game back. Foundationally, last year was an important year and compared to what the culture was when I got here, we have definitely built up a foundation and the program is in a position to take the next step. We just need to do it on the field.” It remains to be seen whether or not this year’s team will be better than last year’s team was, but they enter the season a more proven squad. Following a 49-12 openingweekend loss to Manalapan, the Mustangs were in the game against every team on the schedule and bring back a collection of players who now understand what it’s like to play a competitive A North season from start to finish. On the flip side, the Mustangs would like very much to start pulling some of these A North games out. They went 0-6 in the division last year despite boasting one of the best rushing attacks in the A North. “We took that step where we won a few games and we were in every game,” fifth-year Marlboro coach Jason Dagato said. “In years past, there were games where it wasn’t even a competition after the first quarter. Last year, we had shootouts, we had leads in the fourth quarter, things that haven’t been done around here all that often.

Jason Dagato, 5th season

Head Coach:

C a r e e r R e c o r d : 6-34

A s si s ta n t C o a c he s : Jim Papalia (LB/Special Teams), Reid Stapp (Defensive Coordinator/LB), Tom Caporale (DB/WR), Justin McGhee (QB), Alex Vasilenko (DL/OL)

2016 Record: 3-7

(0-6 in Class A North)

Marlboro Continued on page 20

X

-FA C TO R : Kyle Moore, QB Moore is a pro-style quarterback who enters this season more prepared to run the offense on opening day against Manalapan. If the senior signal-caller can find his groove early in the season, it will give the Mustangs a muchneeded extra dimension to the offense, which managed to put up points last year. G LU E G UY: Johnny Helff, RB/LB A four-year varsity starter, Helff was somewhat overshadowed by the season Cameron Caorsi had. Helff, however, did his part by turning in a 1,000-yard rushing season while also leading the defense as the middle linebacker, which he will do again this season. iMP A C T N E WC OM ER : Raheem Bolden, RB/LB Marlboro returns one half of its tailback tandem last year, but must replace the leading rusher of the two. Graves is the leading candidate to backup Helff as the tailback, but Bolden is the fit as starter because he can play fullback in front of Helff while also taking some carries.

P IVO T AL G A ME: Sept. 28 at Colts Neck The Mustangs made an incremental improvement with three wins last season and now they want to make more noise in Class A North play, in which they went 06 last year. Colts Neck and Neptune were the two teams right ahead of Marlboro last year and the first of those two that the Mustangs will play is Colts Neck. That game will be played just five days after another divisional game against Freehold Township.

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19


Marlboro

Continued from page 19

But we have to take the next step.” Marlboro graduated leading rusher Cameron Caorsi, but return the other head of the dragon in Helff. While Caorsi outrushed Helff 1,382-to-1,059 in 2016, he did so in 48 more carries. In fact, the average yards per rush for each back was nearly identical – 6.43 for Caorsi and 6.34 for Helff. This year, Helff will be the featured back in the offense and while that will certainly give his numbers a boost, Dagato would like to find another player to take some carries off of his potential workload. Senior Raheem Bolden, junior Eugene Graves and Steven Cassidy are among the candidates to play the role of No. 2 running back to Helff, with Bolden and Cassidy profiling more as fullbacks and Graves more as a tailback. Graves might be best suited as a second tailback, but Bolden and Cassidy might be on the field more since they could play fullback with Helff as the tailback. Of course, Helff, can also play fullback, which would allow Graves to share the backfield with him as well.

(l-r) JUSTIN

MARVUG, JONNY HELFF, ANTHONY DAMATO, KYLE MOORE & CHRIS MANGINELLI

“We’ll be able to pick up the slack in the running game,” Helff said. “Whether it was Cam running or me running, it was a collective effort in the running game. It was five guys working together to clear the way, I was at fullback kicking people out and he was able to finish the plays.” One way the coaching staff plans on taking some work off of Helff’s plate is by expanding the passing game, which will rest on the right arm of returning quarterback Kyle Moore. Last year, Moore took over the position early in the season due to injuries to Jaret Wright and Mike Wolff and held it for the rest of the year. With a better feel for the offense and a skillset more suited to a pro-style attack, Moore could end up leading an offense heavier on the pass than it has been in recent years. “I do think we gave him a full plate last year, but we’re still expanding the offense a little bit,” Dagato said. “He’s a real heady quarterback. His biggest attributes are his mechanics and his knowledge of the game. He’s been quarterbacking pretty much his entire life.” “I spent most of last year learning the playbook,” Moore said. “This year, I know everything that we’re doing. I know all the checks, I know all of the assignments, so I’m ready.” It also helps the prospects of the passing game that 6-foot-4 senior Justin Marcus returns at wide receiver. He projects as the No. 1 target in the passing game this year, while junior Neptune transfer Malik Carey, senior Mike Weiss and junior Alex Schutzer make up the rest of the wide receiver corps. Junior Billy Delaney and sophomore Dom Palumbo will compete for time at tight end. “I think we still have the opportunity to put up numbers and put points on the

20

board,” said Marcus, who was part of Marlboro’s program overhaul in boys basketball that culminated with a trip to the Shore Conference Tournament final last season. “Our personnel is different, but the guys who are back are better than we were last year and we have guys competing and stepping up at the other positions.” The offensive line has some question marks heading into the season considering how effective the group of graduates was last year, but two starters from that unit return to lead this year’s front. Senior Chris Manginelli is back as the starting left tackle while senior Anthony Damato returns at right guard. Sophomore Alan Valant won the center job and will replace Riley Keating on the line, while the left guard and right tackle spots could be written in pencil for at least a few weeks. Junior Jordan Hanley and senior R.J. Boyce have spent camp battling for the left guard spot, while junior Charlie Marinello and

SR. RB JONNY HELFF

20I7 FOOTBALL PREVIEW

senior Josh Margolies are the leading options at right tackle. “We have core experience coming back,” Maginelli said. “I’m back, the right guard’s back, the quarterback’s back, a running back is back – we’ve got the experience to do it and to show the other guys what to do. Last year, I had the senior to fill me in on what to do and that prepared me to do the same thing this year. That’s a big part of building a program.” Marlboro will be relying on a host of two-way players this year, although the Mustangs have enough competition on the offensive line to allow Dagato to run a rotation on the defensive line. Manginelli and Damato are likely to be regulars on both lines, but the other defensive line spot will be a rotation between the other offensive lineman, as well as Palumbo and Delaney. Helff will play inside linebacker along with a combination of Bolden and Cassidy, while the outside linebacker spots will be a share between Graves, senior Tom Chernivani and senior Dan Wein. Marcus and junior Josh Larys will be the safeties with Carey working in, while Weiss, Matt Budveit and Schutzer work at the corners. Last year’s team might have had more returnees in the fold, but Dagato and his staff hope this year’s group still has enough experience to build on a threewin campaign and the groundwork that last year’s team laid toward becoming a contender in A North and a qualifier for the NJSIAA Playoffs. “We had zero wins my freshman year, one win my sophomore year and three wins last year,” Helff said. “This year, we’re looking for anything four and up. The goal from day one was the change the culture and get this program on the rise and if the seniors leave here with that kind of improvement for the next wave of players to come in and build on, that’s something we can hang our hat on.”

Action Photo by: Ray Rich Photography www.rayrichphotography.smugmug.com

/ VOLUME-IX / ISSUE-16 / 9/5/17


“HOL” NEW TUNE

By

Matt Manley

Senior Staff writer

ootball has taken Tarig Holman around the country, from his days as a high school player at Randolph, to his time as a standout defensive back at the University of Iowa, to his training camp shot with the Tampa Bay Bucaneers, then back to five different high schools as a coach – both as an assistant and head coach.

F

2017

S C H E D U LE

Friday 9/8 @Middletown North Saturday 9/23 @Freehold Boro Thursday 9/28 @Freehold Twp Friday I0/6 Howell Saturday I0/14 @Marlboro Friday I0/20 Manalapan Saturday I0/28 Sayreville Saturday II/3 Colts Neck Thursday II/23 @Asbury Park

At A Glance B IG SHOES TO FILL: The Receiving Corps Kahmar Rice, Isaiah Calhoun and Marvin Morgan were the key producers in the passing game for Fairbanks last year and running back Malik Ingram moved over to Mater Dei after playing as a freshman for the Fliers last year. That means plenty of skillposition players will have to step up, particularly at receiver. Kevin Mabry, Da’jere Brown, Damir Williams and Nahzere Bullock have all competed hard early and have a chance to be reliable targets for their senior quarterback.

X -FA C TO R :

Chase Fairbanks, QB

A third-year starter at quarterback, the offense is going to lean heavily on Fairbanks to get the ball to the right spots on the field and keep the offensive moving in what Holman hopes will be a more up-tempo attack. With very few proven players coming back at the skill positions and the offensive line, Fairbanks will have to be on his game, but the Neptune staff can at least sleep well knowing Fairbanks’s experience gives him a good chance.

G LU E G UY: Thomas Best, RB/DB With a lot of senior skill players gone, Best is someone who can fill in a lot of different roles on a team, including running back. The senior will likely get a lot of carries, but he can also catch the ball and block as well. Defensively, he will be one of the leaders of the defense while playing safety. iMP A C T N E WC OM ER : Kobe Blake, DL Blake stuck to basketball in his first three years of high school before coming out to play football this summer. In his first high school season, Blake will line up on the defensive line and Holman expects he can make an impact on the inside or at defensive end.

P IVO T AL G A ME: Oct. 1 vs. Marlboro Both Colts Neck and Marlboro finished at the bottom of their respective divisions last year and both have state playoff designs in 2016. As always, the games prior to this one could make or break the season as well, but it’s possible one of these teams comes out of this game in prime playoff position.

For all of his travels, Holman back this year after gaining has never coached a game in some experience last year, the Shore Conference, which while freshman Isaiah Leeks was one of the reasons he was has also impressed enough so drawn to the opening at in camp to warrant some Neptune. carries. Malik Ingram stood out as a freshman running “It’s such a great opportunity back for Neptune last year, for somebody who loves but has since transferred to football and loves to coach,” Mater Dei Prep. said Holman, who has made head coaching stops at South The receiving corps is Brunswick, Trenton and most almost entirely new this year recently Randolph. “There is so following the graduation of much athletic tradition at Kahmar Rice, Marvin Morgan Neptune and the administration and Isaiah Calhoun. Junior is very supportive of the kids, Kevin Mabry has been an both athletically and early standout at receiver, academically. while seniors Da’jere Brown and Nahzere Bullock have “As far as the competition, also emerged as potential you’re not going to find a better weapons, most likely in the R H AS E AIRB A NKS conference than what there is slot. Sophomore Damir at the Shore. Every week, you’re Williams will also be a factor playing another big program in the passing game and has and it challenges the coaches a chance to establish and players to be at their best himself as one of the every day.” team’s best offensive Holman takes over a Neptune squad that went 3-7 players over the next overall in 2016 in the rough-and-tumble Shore three years. Conference Class A North division that could be even “I like the guys we tougher in 2017. In order to get the Scarlet Fliers have here,” Holman back to the postseason, Holman will have to work said. “A lot of them are with a mostly new starting lineup around a veteran new, but they have quarterback in three-year starter Chase Fairbanks. talent, they have speed “There are a lot of new starters this year, which is and they have a not always a bad thing when you’re a new head three-year starter coach,” Holman said. “You want to come in a set a them the E AD OA C H A RIG O LM A N throwing tone and create competition and sometimes it’s ball. Chase better to have a bunch of guys who are hungry and understands the ready to listen and do what it takes to see the field.” offense, he’s an Although most of the offense will feature either new starters extension of the coaching staff and he is going to give guys a or returning players in new roles, Fairbanks will be a constant chance to make plays.” at quarterback. Fairbanks is in his third full season as a starter Up front, senior tackle Billy Flood leads a mostly new and has had his share of individual success as a passer. In his offensive line into battle. While the line will have some new final high school year, he wants to go out a winner. starters, it will still be one made up primarily of seniors. The “We’re really pushing ourselves in practice with this new Fliers also bring back senior Chris Parland at center, while coaching staff,” Fairbanks said. “It’s all about learning to speed seniors Braeden Bradforth and Zion Bolden have seized jobs as things up and push through in practice because when we get in well. The fifth spot on the line is up for grabs. the fourth quarter of games, we want to be the team that still Flood will also be a leader on the defense while playing has fresh legs and is still playing with tempo and energy. I think either defensive end or outside linebacker depending on the we have the basics of the offense down and I know the position, formation. Bradforth will play defense as well, taking on one of but that mentality to finish off games is the next step.” the defensive tackle positions. Junior Sajjad Stathum is another Fairbanks will work with a new group of running backs and defensive tackle who can serve as a noseguard when Neptune receivers after most of last year’s units graduated or left the goes with three down lineman, while senior newcomer Kobe program. Senior Thomas Best will get more carries at running Blake has the size to play tackle and is also athletic enough to

S . QB C

H

F

C

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Coaching Staff Tarig Holman,1st season (5th overall)

Head Coach:

C a r e e r R e c o r d : 26-16

A s si s ta n t C o a c he s :

Brian Duffy, D.J. Catalano, Frank Iachetta, Ron Puryear, Nethanis Bean, Brandon Settles, Dallas Clem, Dan McHarris, Mysonn Leder, Dennis Tobin, Thomas Mandese

2016 Record: 3-7 (2-4 in Class A North)

work at defensive end. While the defensive line has some potential, the secondary is where Neptune houses most of its defensive depth. Best and junior John Burns will play the safety spots and Holman has a host of athletes to take on the cornerback position, as well as provide depth at safety. Bullock, Mabry, Brown, Williams and junior Hassan Worthy will all factor into the equation in the defensive backfield. “Neptune always has a lot of speed, so we’re catering our defense toward that,” Flood said. “We want to put those guys in the best position to use that speed and get after the ball.” “The safeties are more involved this year,” Best said. “Everybody is young, so we’re trying to call out reads and get everybody in the right spots. We’re just trying to lean on our strengths more.” The group of linebackers will be less experienced than any other part of the Neptune team, particularly when Flood lines up at defensive end. Senior Elijah Owens will be a new starter, while sophomores John Gannon and Colton Kimmy have earned early looks, with Gannon shoring up a starting spot. While the last two seasons have been disappointing seasons in the standings for Neptune, the Scarlet Fliers have remained competitive and will have a senior quarterback, plenty of speed and an accomplished head coach to help them try to turn some of the losses of the past two years into wins. “It’s important for everybody to buy into what the coaches are telling us and so far that’s been a big positive so far,” Fairbanks said. “I think that’s been one of our problems the last two years. Guys weren’t all in, but this year I think guys are ready to go to battle and keep pushing to get better.”

FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION Contact: Steven Meyer 732-233-4460 steve.meyer@townsquaremedia.com

SHORESPORTSNETWORK.COM

21


YEAR TWO

M

By

Matt Manley

Senior Staff Editor

ost teams wouldn’t mind having a whole bunch of returning starters heading into their junior year, and Holmdel is glad to be such a team this year.

Coaching Staff Jeff Rainess, 2 nd season

Head Coach:

C a r e e r R e c o r d : 2-8

2017

S C H E D U LE

A ss i s ta n t C o a c he s :

Friday - 9/I @Brearley Saturday - 9/9 @Monmouth Saturday - 9/16 @Spotswood Friday - 9/22 Rumson Thursday - 9/28 Red Bank Friday - I0/6 @St. John Vianney Friday - I0/I3 @Manchester Friday - II/3 @Matawan Thursday - II/23 Raritan

At A Glance B IG SHO E S TO FI LL: Mac Byrne, WR Byrne returns with experience as a varsity wide receiver and in the secondary and now that he is a junior on a junior-heavy team, he’ll be among the players expected to step up. One of the few seniors Holmdel lost to graduation was Vincent Vitiello at receiver and in the defensive backfield, so Byrne is a leading candidate to pick up the mantle and lead those two units.

X -FA C TO R :

Experience

Holmdel was as sophomore-heavy as any team in the conference last year, so in that sense, the Hornets have a chance to be significantly improved. It goes beyond just on the field as well. Holmdel has lacked continuity in the coaching staff in recent years, so the return of Rainess and his staff along with most of the players from last year give Holmdel an element continuity it hasn’t really had in a while.

G LU E GU Y: Johnny O’Beirne, RB/LB One of only seven seniors on the roster, O’Beirne is an established starter on both sides of the ball who leads both by example and his play. As the group of juniors continue to grow into what Rainess hopes will be a markedly improved team by next year, O’Beirn can help set the tone for a surprising season this year. iMP A C T N E WC OM ER : Alex Galarza, WR

Galarza is new to the program despite being a senior, but Rainess expects that he will be able to contribute as a receiver and perhaps in the secondary. Holmdel will again work off the triple option, but with an experienced quarterback and a handful of capable receivers, the ball could be in the air a little more often than it was a year ago.

P IVO T AL G A ME: Sept. 9 at Monmouth Holmdel improved over the course of last season and the hope among the Hornets this year is that the improvement will carry into the beginning of the schedule. Holmdel opens up against David Brearley and will follow that up with a trip to Monmouth Regional on Sept. 9. Monmouth defeated Holmdel last year, so if Holmdel can turn the tables this time around, it would signify notable progress.

22

John Principe (Def. Coordinator/Assistant Head Coach), John Gazerwitz (DB), Chris Germinario (DL), Drew Piscatelli (WR), Tommy Hennessey (RB), Steve Barry & Brian Schwarz (Freshman), Shannon Davis (Athletic Trainer)

2016 Record: 2-8 (1-5 in Class A Central)

JOHN MACKEY, JOHNNY CHRISTIAN JR., SCOTTI DUPONT & JOHNNY O’BEIRNE

(l-r)

Another reason for excitement in Holmdel camp is something that many other players in high school football might take for granted: the coach is back. Coaching turnover has plagued the Holmdel program for the better part of the last decade, so the fact that head coach Jeff Rainess and his staff return along with a slew of seniors would seem to bode well for a program looking to turn the corner in a difficult Shore Conference Class A Central division that houses the likes of St. John Vianney and Rumson-Fair Haven. “I’ve been coaching most of these guys since they were young so I felt comfortable with them as players when I took over (last year),” Rainess said. “The main challenge here was establishing a culture and a level of expectations – not necessarily about how many games we’re going to win or how far we’re going to go in the playoffs – but just in the commitment level. We want guys to understand what it takes to compete and I think the first year was about establishing what we expect from them on a daily basis: on the field, in the weight room, in the classroom – all of those things.”

“We know the coaches and the coaches know us,” junior Jack Tedeschi said. “We know what to expect from them every single day and they know what we’re capable of.” Junior Jeff DeCicco also returns after starting at quarterback last year as a sophomore. Holmdel ran an offense heavy on the triple option, which Rainess picked up as a player at Morris Knolls and plans to use going forward. Junior Dean Gallo will also join O’Beirne in the backfield as one of the options at running back. Like the rest of the team, the offensive line will consist of players with varsity experience. Juniors Brandon Saghafi and Tedeschi are back at the two guard spots, while juniors John Kipnis and Austin Fischer line up at tackle with Sean McCann, Jack Kapcsos and Mike Iulo in the mix as well. Seniors John and Ryan Mackey also figure into the offensive line, as does junior Chris Muldoon.

As much as the coaching consistency should help Holmdel this year, the returning players will have more to do with any step forward that the Hornets take this year. Johnny O’Beirne is a returning senior among the wave of juniors and he is in line to lead the team in carries while also anchoring the defense at linebacker.

Although Holmdel’s primary plan of attack involves keeping the ball on the ground, the Hornets have a collection of juniors to go with DeCicco that will make the passing attack more of a threat this year. Junior Mac Byrne saw significant time as a sophomore and has the potential to be a No. 1 weapon in the passing game, while seniors Scott DuPont and Johnny Christian also bring back experience at the position. Senior Alex Galarza is in his first year of varsity football and will see time as well.

“The transition between last year and this year has been so much easier,” O’Beirne said. “You actually know what to expect when you come to practice and that just makes it easier to focus on the game.”

“There is a huge difference for me between this year and last year,” DeCicco said. “We were so young as a team last year so not only was I learning the offense, but everyone around me was pretty much

20I7 FOOTBALL PREVIEW

getting used to it too. I feel like we started to jell late in the year and then when you add in an offseason, as a quarterback, it’s huge for your confidence to know everyone is on the same page coming in.” Holmdel’s defense starts with its collection of linebackers, which include O’Beirne, Saghafi and DeCicco, as well as Muldoon and sophomore Cameron LaMountain. DeCicco’s value at quarterback could limit his exposure on defense, so the Hornets will try to lean on depth. Tedeschi leads the defensive line from one of the defensive end spots, while Kipnis, McCann and Kapcsos figure into the equation at defensive end as well, along with juniors Dan Tempone, Mike Carella, Alex Starr and Nick Spinelli. Ryan and John Mackey, Iulo, Fischer and junior Marvin Ling are among the group of defensive tackles. The secondary consists of Byrne and DuPont at the safeties and the rest of the wide receiver candidates vying for time at cornerback. On the whole, the defense made strides over the course of 2016 and with so much of last year’s lineup back, the Hornets should make similar progress over the course of the next two years. The Hornets responded to a 0-5 start by winning two of their final five games, including a divisional win over Matawan and a non-divisional win over Manchester. “I can’t tell you how many games we’re going to win, but I expect we’ll continue to improve,” Rainess said. “No coach goes into a season hoping to go 2-8, but I think with the way we finished the year, we felt like things were definitely moving in the right direction. It sent us into our offseason on a high note and I think our guys had a positive message to take with them. Now, it’s our job to keep that going.”

/ VOLUME-IX / ISSUE-16 / 9/5/17


SHORESPORTSNETWORK.COM

23


TURNI NG BACK THE CLOCK

I

n hopes of proving last year was just an off year at 2-8, Matawan fully plans to turn things around and make a return to the postseason in 2017.

Coaching Staff John Kaye, 6th season (11th overall)

S C H E D U LE

C a r e e r R e c o r d : 60-38-1

St. John Vianney @Red Bank Monmouth Ocean @RFH @Raritan @Wall Manasquan Holmdel

At A Glance B IG S HOE S T O F ILL: Devin Williams, Jr., RB/LB There are a couple of voids to be filled this season, one being the loss of lineman Mike McCue and the other being running back Derek Wiley who rushed for nearly 1,000 yards for the team. If Devin Williams does well on both sides of the ball, the loss won’t be felt as much.

X

-F AC TO R : Line Play Kaye says it comes down to “blocking in the trenches”, and in order for them to do well this seasons Matawan will need to control the line of scrimmage. GLU E G U Y: Mike Karcyninski, Sr., OL/DL Kaye says Karcyninski is the one making all the calls up front and keeping things together. His leadership and determination could be what helps put Matawan over the top this season. i MPA C T NE WC O ME R: Ryan Rodriguez, Sr., QB/LB

His move from steady linebacker to quarterback this season has been a seamless transition in training camp and Kaye is confident in the new man under center. Rodriguez can make a huge impact by playing well and providing a spark to the offense.

P IV O TA L G A ME: Sept. 16 at. Red Bank Starting off well will be key for Matawan to reverse the script from last season and head back to the state playoffs. Should they fall to St. John Vianney in week one, playing at Red Bank week two becomes a mustwin game to avoid getting off to a slow start.

24

Vin Ebenau

SSN Contributor

Head Coach:

2017

Friday 9/8 Friday 9/I5 Saturday 9/22 Thursday 9/28 Friday I0/6 Friday I0/13 Friday I0/20 Friday I0/27 Friday II/3

By

A ss i s ta n t C o a c he s :

Jay Bellamy (def. coord.); Nick Citro (DB); Ken Mandeville (RB); Scott Davis, Sonny Jackson (volunteers); Charlie Marsh (off. coord.); Nick Christathakis (OL/DL); Nick Vasilenko (freshmen), Justin Bloss (freshmen); Matt Goetz (athletic trainer)

2016 Record: 2-8 (1-5)

(l-r) MICHAEL KARYCINSKI, A MIR LOEMAN ,

DAVID OGUNGBENRO, DEVONTE SANN & “We had an outstanding offseason and have trained very hard,” said head coach John Kaye, who is entering his sixth season at Matawan. “We’ve really taught our young men to be competitors in everything that they do.” “We’re working a lot harder than we did last year,” said senior lineman Mike Karcyninski. “The practices are going a lot smoother and there’s a better tempo.” “We’ve been doing a lot more pursuit drills and just flying around,” said senior nose guard Alex Calo. “When you see a guy in the hole, you have to hit him, you can’t let him go through.” Following the first losing season in the Kaye era, they’ll be relying on the returning starters’ continued development and on the ability of a new quarterback under center to power this team through a tough Class A Central division. “We’re putting in a new offense,” said senior wide receiver and defensive back Dave Ogungbenro. “Nobody knows what we’re going to do.” “Ryan Rodriguez is going to be our quarterback,” said Kaye. “He brings a sense of physicality to our quarterback position. He’s been a linebacker for us, so we’re a little more physical and tough with him in the backfield running the ball.”

DEVIN

WILLIAMS

Rodriguez has proven to be a quick learner and Kaye feels he’s ready to go for the season and has made all the adjustments not only to the playbook but to throwing or handing off the ball to his skill players. “These guys (skill players) have known Ryan for a long time and they have a lot of respect for him,” said Kaye. “As a leader he steps in the huddle and commands respect immediately. The offensive line will play a key role in guiding Rodriguez along and providing the protection needed to score some points. “We’ve been stressing our technique (in the preseason),” said Karcyninski. “For a good half-hour or 45 minutes a day we’re in the back of the end zone going through our plays and working on different drills and our techniques.” With St. John Vianney and Rumson FairHaven among other divisional opponents returning a heap of talent, Matawan will need to have a more explosive offensive season but one filled with guys flying to the ball on defense. “You’ve got to go at every game the same way and try to win,” said Kaye. “Whether it’s St. John Vianney, Rumson or whoever it may be. You’re in the A-Central, every week’s a battle. We’ll go out there ready to compete.”

hats on the ball and swarm like ants on a sugar cube,” said Kaye. “If we play aggressive like that, we’ll be fine.” Some of the players who’ve impressed him through the preseason include sophomore lineman Amir Cole, Ogungbenro, junior running back and linebacker Devin Williams and senior running back and defensive back Devonte Spann. “We’ve been working a lot on speed and agility and getting in the weight room everday,” said senior wide receiver Ishmael Brown, who says this is a group of players who play for each other. “Every practice is a family reunion,” said Brown. The team and the coaching staff are hungry to get back to the playoffs and win another title. “(Our goal) is to make it to the playoffs,” said Ogungbenro. “We’re as good as we make ourselves,” said Spann. “We have to work hard every day in practice.” “We’re going to go as far as our team takes us,” said Karcyninski. “If we make it into the playoffs, it’s going to happen…we’re Matawan.”

“We have to fly to the football, put eleven

20I7 FOOTBALL PREVIEW

/ VOLUME-IX / ISSUE-16 / 9/5/17


By

Matt Manley

NEW DIRECTION

Senior Staff Writer

ew Monmouth head coach Larry Nikola knows the challenge he accepted when he took the Falcons job, and that’s something he hasn’t shied away from. He coached at Colts Neck during the dawning of the program, spent time as the head coach at now-closed Cardinal McCarrick, and was the running backs coach at Marlboro last season.

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Coaching Staff

2017

S C H E D U LE Saturday 9/2 Saturday 9/9 Saturday 9/I6 Friday 9/22 Friday 9/29 Saturday I0/7 Friday I0/13 Friday I0/27 Saturday II/4

Ocean Holmdel Metuchen @Matawan @Pt. Boro Raritan @Red Bank @RFH St. John Vianney

At A Glance B IG SHO E S T O FI LL: Devon Johnson, WR/CB Elijah Walker was Monmouth’s top target at receiver and also an effective cornerback, so finding a worthy replacement to go with returning two-way talent Isaiah Brown. Johnson has emerged as the top candidate to work in at receiver and cornerback, although Monmouth is likely to employ onereceiver sets on offense that feature two tight ends and crowded backfields.

X -FA C TO R :

Team Speed

Nikola and his staff are certain there is enough speed in the Monmouth camp for the Falcons to cause their opponents problems this season. The task will be to put those players in positions to make plays, and the x-factor portion will be whether the new coaching staff can cook up the right scheme and how quickly the players can grasp it.

G LU E G UY: Jeremiah Clarke, LB/TE Clark looked like a possible running back option last year and has since evolved into a linebacker who can fill in at tight end or tackle on the offensive side of the ball. Clark’s willingness to play where he is needed and hard-nosed style are a big reason he heads into the season as a senior captain. iMP A C T N E WC OM ER : Ian Fitzgerald, QB After suiting up for Red Bank Regional as a sophomore, Fitzgerald transferred to Monmouth and did not play football last year. In his senior year, however, Fitzgerald will not only join the Falcons, but will also take over the quarterback position. Nikola praised Fitzgerald’s speed and intellect, which will help him jump right into the position on his new team.

P IVO T AL G A ME: Sept. 22 at Matawan Monmouth has a legitimate shot to open the season 3-0 and the third game of the season is against a Matawan team that beat the Falcons last year for their only win in Class A Central. If Monmouth is indeed going to make waves in 2017, a 3-0 start is almost a must. If the Falcons can do it, every week from that point on will be a big game.

Larry Nikola, 1st season

Head Coach:

C a r e e r R e c o r d : 0-0

A s si s ta n t C o a c he s :

(l - r) JEREMIAH CLARKE, ISAIAH BROWN, DEVON JOHNSON,

PATRICK BELLUCCI & IAN FITZGERLAD

Nikola has embraced fixer-upper teams before and will take over a program that has been looking for answers for the better part of a decade. “It’s been a long time since there has been a winner here and the kids who come here are fully aware of that,” Nikola said. “There is a stigma that you get stuck with when you lose a lot and it’s our job to get rid of that. The only way to do that is to be positive at all times and to convince the kids that what we’re teaching them is going to work.” As part of his new coaching staff, Nikola brought in former Toms River East head coach Charlie Diskin as his defensive coordinator and there is little doubt that the emphasis in camp has been on the defensive side of the ball. With the speed the new staff has seen on hand, Monmouth has a chance to evolve into a pesky defense with players who can fly to the ball and play in the trenches. It also helps that as last season began to get away, the returning seniors on this year’s team got to essentially take over the starting lineup, giving them a head start on the 2017 campaign. “We are returning every position except defensive end and a corner, so we feel like we’ve all played enough together to where we can expect results this year,” senior middle linebacker Anthony Guarino said. “Everyone knows what we’re doing, we have a whole new defense, and we’re hungry to win.” “I think we were all pleased when we got here and saw the talent that was on hand,” Nikola said. “There are legitimate athletes here. They just have to believe in themselves and believe in one another and with a little direction, they can be a special group.” Monmouth will feature plenty of speed in the secondary with cornerbacks Devon Johnson and Dayshawn Porter and safeties Isaiah Brown and

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Eli Rife. Porter and Rife will both be juniors this year and combined with the senior leadership of Brown and Johnson, the Falcons have a diverse group that could be in for a step forward. The senior linebacker tandem of Guarino and Jeremiah Clarke gives the Falcons a mix of athleticism and toughness at that level of the defense, with junior J.T. Plasteras joining them on the outside. Nikola has also liked the toughness he has seen from the front four, which includes senior defensive ends Ricky Voss and Rob Schumacher. Seniors Billy Schumacher and Bradley Pietz will lead the rotation of defensive tackles, most of whom will play both ways. “Last year, we definitely had a talented team, we just did not show it at times,” Clarke said. “On the practice field, you can see we’re going hard right now. We didn’t show it on gamedays last year but we know in our hearts that we’re good players. We just have to go show it to people.” Monmouth has remade its offense this season and will give the keys to senior Ian Fitzgerald. After beginning his high school career at Red Bank Regional, Fitzgerald transferred to Monmouth before his junior year, but did not play football. Nikola watched him play for the Falcons basketball team and convinced him to come back to the gridiron. “He’s strong, he’s smart as heck and he picks up the principles and the concepts very quickly,” Nikola said. “If he concentrates hard this year, he can be a Division I football player because of his speed, his strength and he’s smart. He gets good grades in school.” Fitzgerald will also be a primary ball-carrier for the Falcons, who will be working out of more big formations that feature multiple backs and tight ends and few wide receivers. Guarino and junior Patrick Bellucci will play the inside wing positions, while Voss, Blaise Moore and Porter work in at the halfback spot next to Fitzgerald.

Charlie Diskin (Def. Coordinator), Vince Tesi (OL), Ross Dickerson (WR/DB), Mike Dragonetti (OL/DL), Tye Coleman (LB/DB), Jared Morris (QB/DB), Drew Faccone (DL), Rob Micheliche & Matt Kempf (Freshman), Leeann Pearce (Athletic Trainer)

2 01 6 R e c o r d : 2-8 (1-5 in Class A Central)

Rob Schumacher, Plasteras and Clarke will comprise the tight end rotation while Brown and Johnson share the wide receiver duties. Billy Schneider and junior Rob Witkowski will start at guard while junior Tyler Collins occupies the center position. Pietz will lead the line as the left tackle and the right tackle could come from a number of sources, including the extra tight end within the trio of Schumacher, Plasteras and Clarke. “A lot of us have been playing together and we’ve seen each other have success,” Pietz said. “The last time this team won was in 2008 and they had talent back then. We think we have talent that can bring it too.” “We have 25 seniors in the program, so everybody is really buying into the program together,” Guarino said. “Hopefully the younger guys can help us to and it will lead to a winning season.” Getting over the hump in a Class A Central division that includes powerhouse teams like St. John Vianney and Rumson-Fair Haven, as well as decorated ones like Raritan, Red Bank and Matawan will be a tall order for Nikola in his first year. Despite the challenge, Nikola is preaching about doing the little things because he wants his new players to think big. “We want a 12th game,” Nikola said. “If you play 12 games, it means you reached a state championship game. So we’re telling them, if you improve week by week, you have a chance to play 12 games. If our guys put in the work and believe in themselves, why can’t it be them?”

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By

FIERCE COMPETITION

Bob Badders

Managing Editor

ith a good number of starting spots vacated by graduating seniors, the theme of training camp at Raritan has been intense competition. It’s a shift from the last two seasons where the Rockets had a lot of returning starters, but a situation that has actually been of great benefit to the team.

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2017

At A Glance B IG SHO E S TO FI LL: P.J. Buccine, Jr., RB Vito Aleo was Raritan’s starting tailback last year and ran for 1,231 yards and 15 touchdowns on 9.9 yards per carry. That’s a lot of production to replace, but Buccine seems more than ready to assume the role.

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-FA C TO R : Quarterback play Vanmeerbeke was solid in his three starts last year. Raritan’s running game looks to be in good hands, so if Vanmeerbeke can elevate his play as a fulltime starter the Rockets’ offense will be that much harder to contain. G LU E GU Y: Sean Greaves, Sr., OL/DL A returning starter on both sides of the ball, Greaves leads the way for the Rockets in the trenches. iMP A C T N E WC OM ER : George Burdick, Jr., LB

Anthony Petruzzi, 8th season C a r e e r R e c o r d : 26-36 A ss i s ta n t C o a c he s :

Head Coach:

Chris Damian (off. coord./RB); Jeff Struble (off. coord./QB); Matt Dempsey (OL); Mike Kinsella (WR); Dave Ernst (OL); George Gibson (DL); Jerome Dean (LB); Nicholas Pydeski (DL); Mike Nunes (freshmen HC); Joseph Schroeck, Nick Sparacello (freshmen); Mike DeSocio (athletic trainer)

S C H E D U LE

Friday 9/8 Rumson Friday 9/I5 @St. John Vianney Friday 9/22 Wall Friday 9/29 Donovan Catholic Saturday I0/7 @Monmouth Friday I0/I3 Matawan Saturday I0/28 @Spotswood Friday II/3 Red Bank Thursday II/23 @Holmdel

Coaching Staff

(l-r) R Y A N

GREAVES, JUSHH ACEVEDO, P.J. BUCCINE, VINNIE DICARLO & SEAN GREAVES

2 01 6 R e c o r d : 6-4 (4-2)

Godkin with junior Anthony Aquilano also rotating in. “The competition has been so good that it’s going to force us as coaches to make tough decisions, and that’s a good thing,” said Raritan head coach Anthony Petruzzi. “Last year we were coming off a state championship and had a lot of guys that were entrenched in their positions. Now it’s a bunch of guys fighting for playing time and they’re making each other better.” Coming off a 6-4 season and an appearance in the Central Jersey Group II playoffs, the Rockets are hoping they can plug in new starters alongside the veterans and made a run at division and sectional championships. Five starters are back in their multiple offense that will operate out of the shotgun. Senior Dan Vanmeerbeke takes over as the Rockets quarterback after starting three games last season when two-year starter Marc Carnivale had an injury. “Dan has been doing a great job so far,” Petruzzi said. “He is a guy that would be playing defense or wide receiver for us if not at quarterback because he’s a really good athlete. He throws a very nice ball. All we’re trying to do is get him to be him and play within himself. He’s starting to get on the same page with the receivers and understanding the blocking schemes. Even though he played last year, it’s different when you’re the guy now. There’s a learning curve.” Lining up next to him in the backfield is an emerging star running back in junior P.J. Buccine. As a sophomore he was a great compliment to 1,200-yard rusher Vito Aleo, using his physical style to rush for close to 800 yards and six touchdowns. Now it will be Buccine as the workhorse in Raritan’s running game. “P.J. plays the part of a football player,” Petruzzi said. “He’s physical, has quick feet and is cut in that old-school mode. He has

the ability to run past you or run you over. He’s a weight-room guy that had high 90 percentages in all his lifts. He’s done his job to fit the part of a tailback in the Shore Conference and is a guy that wants to be up there where our last two guys (Aleo and Derek Ernst) have been.” Junior Tyler Bruno will also see time at running back. The tight end is senior Justin Goggins, a returning starter. Senior Vinnie DeCarlo is a returning starter at wide receiver and will be joined by junior Nicholas Kenneally. Senior A.J. Erven and sophomore Danny Fiore will rotate in at the third wide receiver position. The Greaves brothers, Ryan and Sean, are the returning starters on the offensive line with Sean at left tackle and Ryan at right guard. There has been a competition for the other three spots with senior Tim Epple at right guard, sophomore Kevin Lind at center and senior John McCabe at right tackle. Junior Hunter Neville can play all three positions and is fighting hard for a starting spot. “Year in and year out coach Matt Dempsey does a great job with those guys,” Petruzzi said. “They have that mentality of ‘next guy up’. We’ve been switching about seven guys in and out and that has brought the best out of each guy to the point that players that weren’t on our radar at first are now potential varsity players.” Defensively, Raritan’s multiple 4-3 has Sean Greaves and Epple at nose guard, Ryan Greaves, Goggins and McCabe in a rotation at one defensive end spot and senior Pat Cooney at the other defensive end position. Junior Justin Acevedo is a returning starter at inside linebacker and will be joined by junior George Burdick. Junior Tom Dorsey will also play some snaps at inside linebacker. The outside linebackers are sophomore Dan McCormick and senior Matt

Senior Vinnie Hart is the lone returning starter in the secondary and will be at safety. DeCarlo played a little bit last year and will now start at cornerback alongside Erven. Seniors Andrew Bohal and Ryan Sphor will also be at cornerback in a rotation to give a breather to Erven and DeCarlo, who are both also playing on offense. Junior John Carton is the other safety. Kenneally and senior Joe Contino are also in the mix in the defensive backfield. “We don’t return guys that you’ll know their names, but they are all cut from the same cloth as tough kids that have an edge about them and will play with a chip on their shoulders,” Petruzzi said. “We’ve seen them get better each scrimmage and start to digest more. I think you’ll see a defense that gets better as the year goes on. They’re young and raw, but we’re excited about the potential on that side of the ball.” It has been a kicker-by-committee approach so far on special teams with Dorsey and sophomore Steve Caponi working at punter and Erven and senior Scott Springstead competing at kicker. The Rockets have a very tough first two games with RumsonFair Haven and St. John Vianney in Weeks 1 and 2. Last year’s team was able to overcome an 0-3 start to the season by following it up with a five-game winning streak to reach the playoffs. The Rockets aren’t planning on a similar start, but Petruzzi wants his team to be able to respond to adversity and continue to battle. “The nice thing about last year’s team is they started 03 and didn’t blink,” Petruzzi said. “They knew they could rally and the morale was still strong. We need to see how this team reacts to adversity, so you do worry about that and need to talk about that. Over the course of the season you can’t get too high or too low.”

A wrestling standout, Burdick’s tough, physical style will be a welcome addition at inside linebacker where the defense has to replace AllShore player Ryan Dickens.

P IVO T AL G A ME: Sept. 15 at St. John Vianney The Lancers are the three-time defending A Central champs and have won 29 straight games against the Shore. If the Rockets have designs on claiming the division title for themselves the road goes through St. John Vianney.

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20I7 FOOTBALL PREVIEW

/ VOLUME-IX / ISSUE-16 / 9/5/17


READY TO RETURN

By

Ella Brockway

SSN Contributor

wo years after Red Bank’s historic season that ended with a division title and an appearance in the Central Jersey Group III state championship game, the memories are still fresh in the minds of the Bucs. This year’s senior class will be the last whose members were on the 2015 team, and they especially are eager to taste the success of that season again.

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Coaching Staff 2017

Head Coach:

Nick Giglio, 9th season (17th overall)

S C H E D U LE

Friday 9/8 @John F Kennedy Mem. Friday 9/I5 Matawan Friday 9/22 St. John Vianney Thursday 9/28 @Holmdel Friday I0/I3 Monmouth Friday I0/20 @RFH Friday I0/27 RBC Friday II/3 @Raritan Wednesday II/22 Long Branch

At A Glance B IG SHO E S T O FI LL: Colin Chatto, Jr., LB & Tyquann Crawford, So., LB Current Sacred Heart linebacker Chris Outterbridge finished with 196 tackles over the past two seasons and was an integral part of the Bucs defense for all four years of his high school career. Replacing him won’t be easy, but Chatto and Crawford are both strong candidates to fill that role.

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-FA C TO R : Makai Mickens, So., RB The “sky’s the limit” with Mickens’ ability and instincts, Giglio says. Mickens saw time in five varsity games as a freshman last season, and if he stays focused Giglio thinks he has the potential to become one of the top young running backs in the Shore. G LU E G UY: Quran Malloy, Sr., DE The similarities between Malloy and Outterbridge extend beyond their skills and positions on the field. Malloy is stepping up and becoming the voice of the Red Bank team in the same way that Outterbridge did as a senior, and he’ll be able to motivate the Bucs on both sides of the ball.

C a r e e r R e c o r d : 62-100

A s si s ta n t C o a c he s :

NICK ARN ONE, KEVIN WEISMAN, STEP HEN NAVITSKY, MICKENS, ANT HONY BUONANTUO NO & QURAN MALLOY

(L to R)

NOAH

“The bond (the 2015 team) had with each other has to be a huge reason they succeeded, aside from their talent,” said captain and senior quarterback Stephen Navitsky, who is one of eight members of the Class of 2018 who were on the varsity roster in 2015. “The tight knit and trust they had isn’t something that can be taught but it’s something that can be made.” The Bucs used the 2016 season as both a rebuilding year and an adjustment period in the wake of graduating nearly thirty seniors from the 2015 team and joining the competitive Class A Central division. This year, the focus is again on success, and using the lessons learned from 2016 and a batch of returning starters to make the playoffs after falling just short last season. “There’s still a lot of youth out here, but there’s confidence in the youth, and they gained that confidence in the offseason,” said head coach Nick Giglio. “We’re ready to take on what is going to be a tremendous task at hand, but at the same time we’ve got a good group behind us that I know is in it for the long haul.” Navitsky is one of the returning starters on a Red Bank offense that graduated nearly eight starters. The 5-foot8 senior makes up for what he lacks in size with speed and quickness. He will enter the season as the firststring quarterback after sharing time with Chris Brannagan for much of last fall. Navitsky threw for 193 yards and three touchdowns in the final four games of the season. “Coming out here we were all just trying to do our part, and as we keep going everyone just keeps

getting better,” Navitsky said. “Hopefully that’ll translate to the field.” Seniors Anthony Buanantuono and Michael Eulner return on the offensive line. Eulner, a 5-foot-11, 220pound center, was forced to sit out for the entire season after suffering an injury in the 2016 season opener. The Bucs’ biggest strength of their run-oriented offense this year will come from the backfield. The options at running back run deep: sophomore Makai Mickens, juniors Kashaun Turner, and Nigel Mitchell, and senior Noah Mickens each saw time last season. Seniors Nick Arnone and Quran Malloy, who both stand at 6-foot-3 and line up at tight end, will lead the Red Bank receiving corps. On the other side of the ball, Malloy will fill the hole in the Red Bank defense left by Chris Outterbridge. Outterbridge, an All-Shore linebacker now at Sacred Heart, was a three-year starter and a key leader for the Bucs. Giglio is looking to Malloy to follow in Outterbridge’s footsteps and become the next talented frontman of the Bucs’ defense “Defensively, Quran Malloy just keeps getting better and better,” Giglio said. “He has a tremendous amount of talent in him and we keep getting more and more of that out of him. He is a special kid for us at defensive end.” “As the summer has progressed and the weeks have gone by we’re getting better and learning what we’re supposed to do,” Malloy said. “Especially since we don’t have the same players that we had last year, like Chris [Outterbridge] and other seniors that were a big part of

Steve Turner (co-off. coord.); Dan Mendoza (co-off. coord.); Phil Greene (QB/LB/special teams); Matt Norman (DB/TE); Scott Lakatos (DB); Jeff Mass (OL); Adam Bobertz (freshmen); Richie Germaine (freshmen); Christina Emrich (athletic trainer)

2016 Record: 4-6 (3-3)

the team last year. We have to have the younger kids step up and do their part.” The Bucs will set up in a 3-4 front on defense with Malloy, returning starter and senior Kevin Weisman and returning starter Kashaun Turner along the defensive line. The defensive secondary, led by Mitchell and the Mickens brothers, is set to be a strong point of improvement for a defense that allowed 21.7 points per game last year. Red Bank witnessed firsthand the toughness of the A Central division last year and has spent this offseason preparing to face that level of competition again. The lessons they learned about never taking a week off when recent state finalists like St. John Vianney, Raritan, and Rumson-Fair Haven are on the schedule in nearly consecutive weeks have translated into positive signs on the practice field and, the Bucs hope, into success come Week 1. “We know what we have to face every week, and we can’t take a day off,” Giglio said. “If we build, then I know that we’re going to be ready for those teams as we go. If we constantly stop and go backwards, we’re going to be in trouble versus that kind of schedule.” “We know that we’re playing bigger teams and that we’ve got to be sharper and play tougher and be better mentally,” said Navitsky. “We love the challenge.”

iMP A C T N E WC OM ER : Kashaun Turner, Jr., RB/DT The Bucs bring a loaded (and young) running back corps to the table. Turner was a defensive starter last fall and has shown promise lining up in the backfield during camp. The Bucs will look to capitalize on the 6-foot-1 junior’s size and strength on the offensive side of the ball this year.

P IVO T AL G A ME: Sept. 22 vs. St. John Vianney The Bucs were handed their first taste of A Central football in Week 3 last season with a 37-0 loss on the road against the Lancers. This year’s matchup will be a true test to see how well the Bucs have adapted to face the three-time defending division champions.

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27


THE DRIVE FOR FIVE

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By

Ella Brockway

SSN Contributor

ast year, the slogan on the back of the Rumson-Fair Haven team t-shirts was “Follow the Line to Greatness.” Two years ago, it was “Not Done Yet.”

This year, it’s “Perfect the Process.”

Head Coach:

Jerry Schulte, 2nd season

A ss i s ta n t C o a c he s :

S C H E D U LE

@Raritan @Holmdel Middletown South Matawan @St. John Vianney Red Bank Monmouth @Carteret Shore

At A Glance B IG SHO E S TO FI LL: Keegan Woods, Sr., LB & Chris Lanzalotto, Sr., LB All-Shore linebacker and current UMass inside linebacker Mike Ruane finished with the fifth-most tackles (120) in the conference last year. His shoes and his role in the defense won’t be easy to fill, but Woods and Lanzalotto flanked Ruane all last fall and learned from him about what it takes to be a premier linebacker in the Shore.

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-FA C TO R : The running game For the past four years, the bulk of Rumson’s offensive production has come from strong running backs, like Charlie Volker (Princeton) and Matt Vecchiarelli (Holy Cross). Senior Peter Lucas and junior Alex Maldjian combined for 450 yards on nearly 50 carries last year, and they have the potential to join the ranks of the great Rumson running backs of the past ten years. G LU E GU Y: Elijah McAllister, Sr., WR/DE Though McAllister wasn’t out in pads on the field last season, his leadership and commitment to this program were evident, even from the sideline. As McAllister is one of the few players in Rumson’s two-platoon system who plays offensively and defensively, the Bulldogs will benefit from his presence on both sides of the ball. iMP A C T N E WC OM ER : Ian O’Connor, Jr., TE/DE O’Connor was a talent for Rumson’s basketball team last winter, averaging 12.3 points per game for the Bulldogs, and now he’s looking to translate that success on the hardwood into success on the field. If McAllister begins the season playing mostly on the defensive side of the ball, that could open up a spot for O’Connor to step up at tight end and have a strong season.

P IVO T AL G A ME: Sept. 28 vs. Middletown South Last year’s matchup between these two Shore Conference powerhouses came down to the wire and ended in a 14-13 Middletown South victory. Both teams graduated their core group of seniors, and coming off its bye week, Rumson will be looking to even the score.

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(17th overall)

C a r e e r R e c o r d : 68-81-1

2017

Friday 9/8 Friday 9/22 Thursday 9/28 Friday I0/6 Friday I0/I3 Friday I0/20 Friday I0/27 Friday II/3 Thursday II/23

Coaching Staff

John Corneliusen (QB/off. coord.); Joe Murphy (OL); Chris Quinn (WR); Frank Papalia (TE); John Andl (RB); Jeremy Schulte (DL/special teams); Bill Lagroterria (DL); Rob Orrok (DB/strength); Jerry Gagliano (freshmen); Jason Lippart, John Belivance & Mike Roberto (freshmen); Joe Lagrotteria (sideline); Chris Alworth (technical); Frank Gripp (K/P); Jack Velcamp (manager); Alex Stein (athletic trainer)

( l - r ) P e t e r L u c a s , C h a s e P f ra n g , E l i j a h M c A l l i s t e r ,

2016 Record: 9-3 (5-1)

Justin Johnson, Dan Harby & Ian O’Connor “That’s just us going out and getting better every single day,” said senior Elijah McAllister. “It doesn’t matter who makes the plays as long as you get them done and you get a win at the end of the day.” The Bulldogs ended the 2016 season in historic fashion, celebrating their fourth consecutive state title with a 27-22 win over South Plainfield. The win cemented a place for Rumson in the pantheon of Shore Conference greats, joining Middletown South and Manasquan as the only Shore Conference programs to win four straight NJSIAA state sectional championships. This year they’ll seek to enter into even more prestigious ranks and become just the second team in Shore Conference history to win five consecutive state titles. This season’s goal of a half decade’s worth of titles is a testament to the program’s versatility and durability. “This is a program, not just a team,” said head coach Jerry Schulte, who is in his second year at the helm of the program after serving as its defensive coordinator for 15 years. “Teams are good every couple of years and then you don’t hear from them. It’s going to be a little bit different each year because we have to tweak a little bit because of things that this kid could do that this kid couldn’t do, but it essentially stays the same.” Replacing the 27 graduated seniors who built the core of last year’s team is no easy task, but Rumson is not one to turn down a challenge. The Bulldogs will return Elijah McAllister, the senior defensive end/tight end, this season after he was forced to sit out the entirety of last season with an ACL injury. The 6-foot-6 senior, who already has collected 20 FBS offers, hasn’t played a down of Shore Conference football since December of 2015, but Schulte has liked what he’s seen so far. “He’s one of the biggest players around,” Schulte said. “Offensively, he provides a nice target for the quarterback. Defensively, his wingspan and his ability to get outside should help us a lot.” McAllister caught 13 passes for 149 yards and four touchdowns during his sophomore season, in which he helped lead Rumson to its third straight state title. He’s eager to step back onto the field, and his length, size, and agility will add another dimension to the Bulldogs’

multiple-pro offense. “You’ll see it on Friday nights, but I think we’ll have a very good and a more balanced offense this year,” said McAllister. “I love being a leader and a role model to the young guys and my fellow upperclassmen as well.” The Bulldogs will have to replace quarterback Mike O’Connor and running back Matt Vecchiarelli, who combined for 32 touchdowns last fall. O’Connor, who is now at Bryant University, spent three years as the signalcaller for the Bulldogs and finished his career with over 1,600 passing yards and over 2,700 rushing yards. Finding another dual-threat quarterback to amass those kinds of numbers won’t happen overnight, but seniors Dan Harby and Stephen Edler will be solid options at the quarterback position heading into the season. Senior running back Peter Lucas and junior fullback Alex Maldjian will take the place of Vecchiarelli, who will be suiting up this fall at Holy Cross after totaling more than 2,100 rushing yards in his career at Rumson. Lucas saw time in eight varsity games last fall, rushing for 258 yards on 25 carries, while Maldjian rushed for 192 yards on 26 carries. Returning alongside Lucas on the offense is junior Ian O’Connor at tight end. Senior Justin Johnson also returns to command the offensive line, and is joined by 6-foot-5, 240-pound junior Ryan McCann and 6-foot-4, 230-pound senior Jack Kelleher. Rumson had one of the Shore’s strongest defenses again in 2016, allowing just 9.75 points per game. This season, though, they’ll be tasked with replacing several defensive standouts, most notably Shore Sports Network Defensive Player of the Year Mike Ruane. “What we tell our kids is, ‘You’re playing a position now that we had an All-Shore kid in last year’ and I don’t want that new kid to feel like he has to be that kid, so we never say, you’re the new so-and-so. This is your position, (and) if you want it, you make it work,” said Schulte. “We tell all the players the same thing. ‘You’re not last year’s kid. You’re you. And we expect you to play your way, and we’ll work around you.’”

corps in Christian Lanzalotto and Keegan Woods, who flanked Ruane last season as weak-side and strong-side linebackers, respectively. Lanzalotto, who stands at 6foot-3, had 67 tackles on the year last fall, and Woods finished with 84 stops. The entire Rumson defensive line will also return to the team’s 4-3 defense, led by senior Chase Pfrang and including juniors Joe Afflito, Henry Sullivan, and Isaac Vernon while adding McAllister to the group. The defense is rounded out by a young secondary unit that will have to replace All-Shore safety and current Lafayette defensive back Mike Murdock. Seniors Jack Shebell, Wyatt Feinberg, Liam Donahue, and Gavin Pomphrey all saw varsity action last season. “We always have a great defense, so I’m expecting that again,” said McAllister. “On the defensive line we’re very long, very athletic. In the linebacking corps, we’ve got a lot of guys who got a lot of snaps last year so we’re ready, and in the secondary we’re athletic as well, so obviously I think we’ll have a great year.” Juniors Quinn Doherty and James Hempstead will handle the kicking duties for the Bulldogs following the graduation of three-year starter Thomas Chapin. Last year’s senior class etched their names into the record book by becoming the first group in school history and one of just three in Shore Conference history to take home a state championship ring in each of their four years. This year’s seniors are looking to do the same thing. But to get there, they’ll have to make it through a schedule that includes state semifinalist St. John Vianney and a Middletown South team that handed the Bulldogs one of their three losses last season. “Every year we have the same motto as well: 1-0 in the first game and 1-0 in December,” said McAllister. “If we can do that, obviously we’ll come out as state champions.” Rumson knows the process. Now, it’s time for them to perfect it.

The Bulldogs return two-thirds of their linebacking

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AL L O N TH E LIN E

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By

Matt Manley

Senior Staff Writer

he St. John Vianney football team earned a reputation as an explosive, high-scoring, spread-offense team in 2015 and changed into more of a smash-mouth attack in 2016.

Coaching Staff

2017

S C H E D U LE

Head Coach:

Derek Sininsky, 3rd season

Friday 9/8 @Matawan Friday 9/I5 Raritan Friday 9/22 @Red Bank Friday 9/29 Brick Township Friday I0/6 Holmdel Friday I0/I3 Rumson Friday I0/20 @Red Bank Catholic Friday I0/27 MiddleTown South Saturday II/4 @Monmouth

C a r e e r R e c o r d : 51-62

A ss i s ta n t C o a c he s :

Jim Reid (Offensive Coordinator/WR/DB), Mike Tedeschi (Def.,Coordinator/Slot WR/Outside LB), Eddie Hernandez (Special Teams/RB/LB), Tm O’Keefe (QB/DB), Jason

At A Glance

Wombough (OL/DL), Keith Rescorl (OL/DL), Rich Lamberson (WR/LB), Tom Dinetta

2016 Record: 10-1 (6-0)

B IG S HOES TO FILL: C.J. Hanson Right Tackle Micah Clark left some rather large shoes to fill for his replacement, but Hansen has some large shoes in his own right. The 6-5, 293-pound junior has impressed the coaching staff to the point that Sininsky expects this offensive line to be the best in his three years with the program.

X

-FA C TO R : Offensive Line With the exception of running back Chris Chukwuneke, St. John Vianney returns its marquee skill position players this year, as well as its secondary and linebackers. Losing Micah Clark and Jamaal Beatty off the line represents a big hit, but the coaches are excited about what returns. If that excitement is warranted, the Lancers have a chance to have a special season, maybe even better than either of their last two. G LU E GU Y: Johnny Buchanan, RB/LB Buchanan also has a void to fill in taking over at tailback for Chukwuneke and leading the linebackers, but he has answered the call in camp and looks prime to build on a strong junior year. According to Sininski, he has FCS scholarship offers from Delaware, Bucknell and Albany. iMP A C T N E WC OM ER : Paul Liseno, Right Guard Most of the starting lineup on either side of the ball returns after playing in some capacity last season. Liseno is an exception having transferred from Keansburg to take over at right guard on the Lancers offensive line while also contributing in the defensive tackle rotation.

(l-r) C H A R L E S

JOHNNY

HANSON, PAUL LISENO, ALEC LARSEN, BUCHANAN, DOMINICK SPANO & DONOVAN REISER

By the end of 2017, the Lancers would like to add one more word to describe themselves: champions. Over the past two seasons, St. John Vianney has graduated some top-level FBS talent as well as some noteworthy FCS talent. Despite all of those losses, the players and coaches on this year’s team think the 2017 season has a chance to be the best in the history of the program. “It’s been two years in a row now where we went undefeated and lost in the playoffs, which feels like a slap in the face,” senior running back and linebacker Johnny Buchanan said. “I look at it as a wasted season. So this year, our bar is nothing less than a state championship. We want to go undefeated and get that state title.”

Just to be better than the 2015 or 2016 team, this year’s Vianney squad has almost no margin for error. Both teams began the season on doubledigit winning streaks before losing in the NJSIAA Non-Public Group III Playoffs. The 2015 team won 11 straight before losing to DePaul in the NonPublic Group III final and last year’s team reached the sectional semifinal 10-0 before falling to eventual champion St. Joseph of Montvale. The only way to unequivocally prove it is better than the teams that came before it, this year’s Vianney team will have to finish the job in the state playoffs – no easy task in a bracket with St. Joseph Montvale, DePaul, Pope John and Red Bank Catholic. “We started last year 10-0 and I don’t even think

we were as good as we should have been,” senior receiver and defensive back Zyaire Sterling said. “We probably fooled around a little more than we should have and maybe if we were more focused, we could have beat St. Joe’s.” On top of those roadblocks, the Lancers will have to replace two FBS linemen in Rutgers freshmen Micah Clark and Jamaal Beatty, as well as Villanova commit and 2016 leading rusher Chris Chukwuneke. Ultimately, however, they feel they have the pieces to take on the challenge. Nearly all of St. John Vianney’s receivers are back this year along with senior quarterback Haaziq Daniels. After starting as a freshman and sophomore at Edison, Daniels transferred to St. John Vianney as a junior last year and jumped into the starting job. Behind a dominant offensive line and a collection of talented junior classmates running and catching the ball, Daniels made a seamless transition to the Shore Conference.

P IVO T AL G A ME: Oct. 20 at Red Bank Catholic The Lancers will face a three-week stretch that include showdowns against Rumson-Fair Haven, Red Bank Catholic and Middletown South, the second of which is non-public battle against RBC at Count Basie Field. While the Rumson game is almost certain to be for the Class A Central title, the game against RBC could very well impact the No. 1 ranking in the Shore Conference and is also important for the reputation of each program given that they hope to attract many of the same players.

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“Last year, a lot of what I had to do was off-the-field-type stuff,” Daniels said. “I had to get to know the coaches, my teammates. I needed to learn their personalities and still know how to run the offense. This year, it feels like family for me now, which means I can concentrate more on football.” “We’ve grown a lot together away from the field,” East said of himself and Daniels. “That’s my brother. His success is my success. His gain is my gain. We feed off of each other.” Daniels will again be throwing the ball to Sterling, Sam East, A.J. Calabro and Nick DeGennaro, the first three of whom are also seniors this year. Sterling was a Shore Sports Network All-Shore Second Team selection as a utility player and East was among the nominees for the SSN Fan Vote for the final wide receiver spot. DeGennaro, meanwhile, is the lone junior in the group.

Vianney also returns a physical duo in the backfield despite losing a physical back in Chukwuneke. Senior Johnny Buchanan will take over the No. 1 tailback job, while senior Josiah Walker returns at fullback with a chance to assume more work carrying the ball. The backs and Daniels will operate behind an offensive line that is down its two most important players from a year ago, but returns a stable of blockers who could still measure up to last year’s group and then some when all is said and done. Senior center Alec Larsen, senior right tackle Donovan Reiser and senior right guard Dominick Spano all return after starting last year, while the right side of the line will be where the new blood plays.

Head coach Derek Sininsky will also be giving Daniels the green light to run the no-huddle offense, which he was not quite ready to do as a junior. “I think more weight fall on my shoulders this year,” Daniels said. “We’re going to be a little more balanced this year and I definitely expect the ball is going to be in my hands more. I was confident last year, but with Chris, Micah and Jamaal, I didn’t have to do as much. Now, it’s time for me to take more control as an offense.” “Kids want stats and we’re going to give them stats,” Sininsky said. “The game is not actually about that, but more about giving our offense more opportunity to score. When you have talented kids, the best thing to do is let their talent play.”

Junior C.J. Hanson will take Clark’s former right guard spot and at 6-foot-5, 293 pounds, he has the size to dominate the high school game weekto-week in a similar fashion to Clark. Fellow junior Paul Liseno will play next to Hanson at right guard after transferring from Keansburg. “I’m more confident in our o-line this year than I have been in any other year since we got here,” said Sininsky, now in his third season as the Lancers head coach. “We’ve never been bigger and we have two juniors in the starting group. Even though we had Micah and Jamaal, it still wasn’t a better overall unit than what we have now.”

Sr . R B / L B J O H N N Y B U C H A N A N

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If the Vianney offense has the makings to be as good as last year, the defense could be even better. Senior defensive end Nick Densieski tied for the Shore Conference lead with 15 sacks during his First-Team

All-Shore campaign as a junior. He and Walker will bookend a rotation of defensive tackles comprised mostly of lineman who don’t get starter snaps on the offensive side of the ball. Buchanan will be the middle linebacker behind the Lancers front five and will play the inside linebacker spot with senior Dylan Stoppiello in a 4-4 look, which would require Walker to move from defensive end to outside linebacker. In the 5-3-3 formation, Stoppiello and senior Cooper Pflug will play the two outside linebacker spots. Calabro returns as the lone safety on St. John Vianney’s defense, while East and Sterling handle the cornerback duties. St. John Vianney also returns an All-Shore Second Team kicker in senior Will Foreman. For the second straight year, St. John Vianney will be challenged outside of the Class A Central division with games against Brick, Red Bank Catholic and Middletown South. Throw in a divisional showdown against Rumson-Fair Haven and there is plenty to keep the Lancers coaching staff up at night during the regular season as the players hope to build toward a championship run. “This is the tightest-knit group we’ve had in my three years here,” Buchanan said. “All of us are close off the field and that bond we have off the field comes as second nature on the field. I think that chemistry, that’s the biggest difference for us this year. You’re not going to see a team centered around one guy. We have a group of determined guys who are going to work together to achieve that goal.” “We’re undefeated in the Shore, and that’s still a goal, but now it’s about that big picture,” East said. “We’re trying to finish it at the end.”

Photos by: Paula Lopez Photography www.palimages.com

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BACK IN THE SADDLE

By

Bob Badders

Managing Editor

he 2016 season was just one of those years where not much went right for Brick Memorial. Coming off an appearance in the 2015 Central Jersey Group IV final, the Mustangs had to deal with massive losses to graduation, and things never came together. The result was a 2-8 season and a rare sub-.500 record for a program that has been a consistent championship contender for the past 15 years.

T

Coaching Staff 2017

Head Coach: Walt Currie, 11 th season. C a r e e r R e c o r d : 61-47

S C H E D U LE

Saturday 9/9 @Brick Township Saturday 9/I6 @Toms River North Friday 9/22 Toms River South Friday I0/29 @Sayreville Friday I0/6 Central Friday I0/I3 Toms River East Saturday 10/2I @Southern Friday 10/27 South Brunswick Friday 11/3 Jackson Memorial

At A Glance B IG SHO E S T O FI LL: Jameson Whaley, Jr., OL This could really be any of the new starters on the offensive line, but we’ll go with Whaley because he is slated to play right guard where 6-foot-7, 260-pound Justin Szuba started last year. Szuba is currently a freshman at Monmouth University.

X -FA C TO R :

A s si s ta n t C o a c he s :

(l - r) G R A N T M C K E L V E Y , T Y L E R G O N Z A L E Z , BLAINE NETTERMAN, TONY THORPE & WILLIE GARNER With key players returning on both sides of the ball, including one of the top running backs in the Shore Conference, the Mustangs are confident this fall will bring about a return to their winning ways.

that Hans does.”

“Last year we struggled a lot and it left a bad taste in our mouths,” said senior Blaine Netterman. “Some teams are rebuilding in A South and we have a good senior class, so we’re looking forward to this year.”

“We have a lot of threats in the backfield,” Netterman said. “Jeff Lavarin has a lot of speed, Tyler and Justin are battling for quarterback right now and of course Tony. He’s a big part of this team and we expect him to lead us.”

“We have to stick together as a team and have the same mentality, to be all-in and go in one direction,” said senior Tony Thorpe. “We all need to have one goal and strive for that goal.” Having Thorpe back as the “A” back in their flexbone offense is a great place to start. Thorpe ran for 1,002 yards and 12 touchdowns last season and had over 1,300 yards as a sophomore. He’s a punishing, physical back whom the Mustangs can count on to carry the load each week.

Quarterback play If Hans or Sindel emerge as a solid quarterback then Brick Memorial’s offense should be back in business. If not, it will be difficult for the Mustangs to find any traction in an always-tough division.

The wing backs will be Netterman and junior Jeff Lavarin, a Neptune transfer. Netterman is a returning starter. The quarterback position, the most critical in a triple-option offense, is a competition between senior Justin Hans and junior Tyler Sindel. Hans saw some time last season and was also a starter on defense.

G LU E G UY: Blaine Netterman, Sr., RB/DB Netterman is a lead-by-example type of captain who will enter his third year as a starter at safety and his second year as a starter at wing back.

“Both of our quarterbacks are doing a real nice job of not just playing the position, but being a quarterback, being a leader on the field,” said Brick Memorial head coach Walt Currie. “Hans has more experience being in the offense for a while, and he’s also a returning starter on defense, so he’s competed at the varsity level. Tyler is a little faster, has just as strong an arm and is a very good athlete, he just doesn’t have the experience under center

iMP A C T N E WC OM ER : Jeff Lavarin, Jr., RB/DB A transfer from Neptune and the cousin of 2015 Brick Memorial graduate Eli Lavarin, Jeff Lavarin will start at both wing back and cornerback.

Senior Grant McKelvey is a returning starter at wide receiver and will be joined by the combo of senior Billy Mullen and sophomore Sal Lepore.

The offensive line has a pair of returning starters and another with experience. Senior bookends Joe Castellano at left tackle and Willie Garner at right tackle return after starting as juniors, while senior Keidon Roettger, who saw time last season, is the left guard. Junior Logan Baxter is the center and junior Jameson Whaley is the right guard. Brick Memorial was near the bottom of the Shore in points allowed last season, yielding 30.1 points per game, so a major emphasis throughout the offseason has been finding a way to regain its defensive edge. “We wanted to make adjustments so we went out and researched and got some ideas on how to utilize our talent better,” Currie said. “Now it’s just a matter of playing tough and physical, and that’s what Brick Memorial football players have been known for well before I got here. We’re at our best when we’re playing physical.” Seven starters return in the Mustangs’ 3-4 front, including all three defensive linemen. Castellano is the nose tackle while Garner and senior Tyler Gonzalez are the ends. McKelvey and junior Kyle McBride are returning starters at inside linebacker while Hans is a returning

Mike Cintron (def. coord.); Pete Brennan (DL); Jimmy Bright (OLB); Micah Bender (ILB); Rob Brown (DB); Mike McArthur (OL); Bill Brunner (OL); Keith Farr (WR/wing backs); Alex Zulewski (A-backs); Rob Merola, Ryan Graham, Brian Hibbs (freshmen); Sue Penrod (athletic trainer).

2 01 6 R e c o r d : 2-8 (1-6)

starter at outside linebacker. If Hans ends up as the starting quarterback he won’t play defense full time. Thorpe will see action at outside linebacker for the first time with Neptune transfer Najiere Hutchinson, a junior, starting as the other outside linebacker. Logan Baxter and Alex Vonderlinden will also see time at inside linebacker. “I’m pretty excited about being on the field more,” Thorpe said. “It’s different but very exciting. I get to crack some more people.” Lavarin and Mullen are the cornerbacks while junior Ja Billingsly is the free safety. Netterman is back for his third year as the starting strong safety after making a team-high 76 tackles last season. “We switched up some things, defensively, and our main goal is to play fast and get after the ball,” Netterman said. “I like the way we’re looking.” In what looks like a fairly wide-open Class A South division, Brick Memorial can get back to contender status if all goes well. The path to what the Mustangs hope will be a bounce-back season begins on Saturday Sept. 9 against rival Brick. “We had a good offseason and we all worked hard,” Netterman said. “We know there isn’t one team that’s looking like they’re going to run away with it. Every team is pretty even and we feel like we have a good shot.” Everybody is real excited for it,” Thorpe said. “We’re counting down the days and making those days count.”

P IVO T AL G A ME: Sept. 9 at Brick There are several good rivalries between the A South teams, but when crosstown rivals square off in Week 1 it’s hard to go against that. Brick has won the last four meetings so the Mustangs are hellbent on snapping the losing streak.

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By

PREPARED FOR THE GRIND

Bob Badders

Managing Editor

W

ith a winning tradition as good as any program in the Shore Conference, saying Brick has the look of a classic team is quite the compliment. The traits that made Brick a football dynasty – toughness, commitment, camaraderie – seem to be present in the 2017 version of Green Dragons football as they enter the season with the same goal they’ve had for the last 60 years.

2017

S C H E D U LE Saturday 9/9 Friday 9/I5 Friday 9/22 Friday 9/29 Saturdat I0/7 Friday I0/I3 Friday I0/20 Friday I0/27 Friday II/3

Brick Memorial @Jackson Memorial Toms River North @St. John Vianney @Toms River South Southern Lakewood Central @Toms River East

At A Glance B IG SHO E S TO FI LL: Cole Groschel, Jr., WR/RB/DB Groschel is a returning starter on both sides of the ball but the coaching staff is hoping to use him in a similar role they had for star Ja’Sir Taylor, who is now at Wake Forest. They’re not asking Groschel to be Taylor, but his dynamic skill set gives him the ability to be the Dragons’ Swiss Army knife.

X

-FA C TO R : The offensive line There’s a reason one of the biggest football clichés is “it all starts up front”. A lot will depend on how well – and how quickly – the five new starters on the offensive line come together. G LU E GU Y: Patrick Giesler, Sr., OL/DL Brick doesn’t have many experienced seniors and Giesler is one of them. He has put up some legendary weight room numbers over the past couple years, and that kind of work ethic is something that tends to rub off.

who started two games last season, has also been working at end. defensive Senior Joe Gajewski should also see

“We want to win states every year,” said standout junior Jimmy Leblo. “We have the highest goal and we work with 100 percent effort to get there, no matter what.” The names on Brick’s roster are largely nondescript. There is no FBS recruit like they had with Ja’Sir Taylor over the last four years, no record-setting quarterback like Carmen Sclafani. There’s talent, no question, but what defines this team will go beyond athletic skills.

some playing time along the defensive line.

Head Coach: Len Zdanowicz, 3 rd season C a r e e r R e c o r d : 16-6 A ss i s ta n t C o a c he s :

Brian McNamara (def. coord./DB); Kevin Stockhoff (off. coord./QB); Chris Blackburn (DL); Donovan Brown (LB); Bill McDonnell (LB); George McNamara (def. asst.); Sam Turner (OL); Scott Lloyd (TE); Dave Christopher (RB); Jay Groschel (WR); Al Saner (asst.) Jared Kight (asst.); Kurt Weibolt (K/special teams); Don Marino (head freshmen); Chad Dougherty, Scott Karos, Dan Dornacker, Karl Rex (freshmen); Jim Barber (athletic trainer).

Junior Richie Tallmadge returns as the starting middle 2 01 6 R e c o r d : 8-4 (5-2) linebacker with junior Dylan DeAlmeida backing him up. Junior Joey Carchio, who became a starter toward the end of last season, is back at strongside linebacker. The weakside linebacker spot is between senior J.T. Carey and junior Cole Ortner. Sophomore Johnny Costanza is also in the mix at linebacker.

“You have to play as a team and that’s what we are, we’re a big group of friends,” said doit-all junior Cole Groschel. “If you’re together you can beat anyone. We’re just going to be Brick.” Brick graduated an excellent senior class that lead them to an 8-4 record and an appearance in the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV final last year, so the challenge will be to integrate several new starters and key reserves. The bulk of that will come from a tremendous junior class that has 10 players who started on either side of the ball last season.

The defensive backfield features standouts Groschel and Leblo at cornerback and strong safety, respectively. Leblo had a dynamite sophomore season with 94 tackles and four interceptions while Groschel made 60 tackles. The other cornerback spot will be manned by junior Mike McGuigan Jr. Senior Tyler Giesler and junior Damian Bonafide will rotate in at cornerback. Playing opposite Leblo at strong safety will be junior John Strich and senior Nick Malta in a rotation.

“Our junior class is a special group of kids and our senior group has been mostly JV players who are hungry,” said Brick head coach Len Zdanowicz. “That has created a nice storm for us where we have a bunch of seniors who are hungry to play and a bunch of juniors pushing them. If they don’t work hard they won’t get on the field, so there’s been great competition in camp.” From an experience standpoint, Brick’s defense enters ahead of the curve with R OLE ROSCHEL seven starters back in its 4-3 base. Juniors Cory Englehardt and Christian Malta are returning starters at defensive end while senior Patrick Giesler returns at defensive tackle. Seniors Jake Meehan, Dylan Poppe and Rahmi Halk have been working in at the other defensive tackle spot while senior Cris Hirtes,

J . DB C

Coaching Staff

G

Last year Brick started six sophomores on defense, which didn’t look like a good sign on paper. Instead it ended up being a blessing. They all performed well and now, as juniors, have a 12-game season under their belts. “Everyone used to say chalk up a loss for every sophomore

iMP A C T N E WC OM ER : Anthony Prato, So., QB There’s a good chance Prato is the Dragon’s starting quarterback Week 1 against Brick Memorial. He has the talent and athleticism to shine as a sophomore.

P IVO T AL G A ME: Oct. 1 vs. Marlboro Both Colts Neck and Marlboro finished at the bottom of their respective divisions last year and both have state playoff designs in 2016. As always, the games prior to this one could make or break the season as well, but it’s possible one of these teams comes out of this game in prime playoff position.

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you play, and last year we started 10 of them and ended up going to a state final,” Zdanowicz said. “We kind of bucked the trend there. We were lucky enough to have such a good class. They weren’t handed the starting spots, they beat out juniors and seniors and were just better than the kids in front of them.” Flipping over to the Dragon’s multiple offense where only two starters return, the challenge has been to find out who fits where and smooth over any rough edges. There has been a quarterback competition between Leblo and sophomore Anthony Prato. Malta is a returning starter but is switching positions from offensive line to fullback. Carchio will be the tailback. Englehardt and Hirtes will split time at tight end alongside an offensive line that has five new starters. Meehan or senior Mike Nardoza will be the left tackle, senior Casey Vargovcik is the left guard and either Poppe or junior Zach Piscope is the center. Giesler is the right guard and the right tackle spot is between Halk and senior Anthony Scardelli.

(l-r) C O R Y E N G L E H A R D T , R I C H I E T A L L M A D G E , J O E C A R C H I O , C H R I S T I A N M A L T A , CRIS HIRTES, COLE GROSCHEL, PATRICK GIESLER & RAHMI HALK

Helping to mold the inexperienced offensive line is veteran Shore Conference coach Sam Turner, who was a longtime assistant at Matawan. “Sam has been a great pickup. He’s intense and he gets the kids fired up,” Zdanowicz said. Groschel is a returning starter at wide receiver but was used all over the field as a sophomore. Expect him to be deployed in a similar fashion with snaps at wide out, slot, running back and maybe even quarterback. “The more positions I can play the more I can help the team,” Groschel said. “Graduating a kid like Ja’Sir Taylor, we’re hoping Cole can grow into what that role was,” Zdanowicz said. “We’re not trying to put more pressure on him but the kid has always been special. I’ve known him since he was born. I’ve seen the kid grow up and he’s

Leblo also had some playing time at receiver last year, and if the coaching staff goes with Prato at quarterback Leblo would slide into a starting wide receiver role.

to be one team that stands above the rest, making every week a critical game because of the uncertainty of how things will break. Brick also has a very tough nondivisional schedule with three-time defending Class A Central champion St. John Vianney and Class B South contender Lakewood.

“Jimmy is a special athlete out there too,” Zdanowicz said. “He can do so many different things.”

It won’t be hard to stay focused on Week 1, however. Not as long as the opponent is archrival Brick Memorial.

Tyler Giesler, Nick Malta and senior Colin Geber round out the receiving corps with junior Jake Weatherspool pushing for playing time at tight end, as well.

“We know what we have ahead of us, but right now these kids have one thing in mind and that’s beating Brick Memorial,” Zdanowicz said. “It’s driven our whole offseason. We know it’s going to be a battle out of the gate.”

always been that type of player. We’re hoping he can blossom into that dominant type of player for us on both sides of the ball.”

On special teams, the kicker will be either Hirtes or Prato while Carchio is the punter. Class A South is usually one of, if not the, most competitive divisions in the Shore Conference. This year there doesn’t appear

SHORESPORTSNETWORK.COM

Photos by

Paula Lopez www.palimages.com

35


By

Kevin Williams

B U I LD ING A P RO GRA M

SSN Director

aha Men’s “Who Let the Dogs Out”, Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love” and Carl Douglas’s “Kung Fu Fighting” are all famous for being one-hit wonders. While Central Regional’s 7-2 record in 2016 was one of the Shore Conference’s true surprises, it was the kind of season secondyear head coach Justin Fumando knows you need to have annually if you want to build a consistent winning program.

B

Coaching Staff

2017

S C H E D U LE Friday 9/I Friday 9/8 Friday 9/I5 Saturday 9/23 Friday I0/6 Friday I0/I3 Friday I0/20 Friday I0/27 Friday II/3

Southern @Toms River East Wall Jackson Memorial @Brick Memorial Toms River South Colts Neck @Brick Township @Toms River North

At A Glance B IG SHO E S TO FI LL: Kavon Chambers, So., RB Replacing the school’s all-time leading rusher Mike Bickford is about as big as the shoes get. Chambers averaged over six yards per carry in limited action last fall as a freshman and has shown some spectacular flashes during practices and scrimmages. He will need to give Central a consistent ground game which will open things up for Fowler and the passing game.

X -FA C TO R :

Offensive Line They don’t get the headlines but the offensive line last season was a big reason why the team averaged about 270 yards rushing per game. However, with four of the five graduated early in the season it will be up to the lone holdover, All-Division senior Brandon Voss, to help nurture the new guys.

G LU E GU Ys: Lino DelGiudice, Blake Horgan & Jonathan Gonzalez Central is a two-platoon team but these three though will see action on both sides of the ball with Horgan a two-way starter who won’t leave the field much. i M P A C T N E W C O M E R : Imre Homoki, Sr., DE The 6-foot-6 volleyball player is making his football debut as a senior and will need to protect the edge, which Denis Corbin did so well last year. He’ll also be counted on to provide a pass rush from the outside and use those long arms and jumping ability to make an immediate impact.

P I V O T A L G A M E : Oct. 6 at Brick Memorial You can really take your pick in a wide-open Class A South division, but a mid-season road game against what should be an improved Brick Memorial squad could be crucial to Centrals playoff hopes.

36

Justin Fumando, 2nd season

Head Coach:

C a r e e r R e c o r d : 7-2

Assistant Coaches:

(l-r) B RA N D ON

VOSS, JONATHAN GONZALEZ & BLAKE HORGAN

Fumando knows what building a winning program is all about having been a part of one as an assistant at Manalapan before taking the Central job and turning around the Golden Eagles’ fortunes in just one season. Many will likely expect a bit of a dip with the graduations losses of record-setting running back Mike Bickford and two-way standout Denis Corbin, but Fumando is not one of them. Sure, the duo was a big part of Central’s success, but a full offseason in the weight room and a taste of winning have the returning Golden Eagles looking to fly high again this fall. Fumando is a big believer in offseason strength and conditioning programs and he only had a few months to implement one before last season because he was hired in the spring, but it was a different story this winter and spring and many Central players have reaped the rewards of that work. Right at the top of the list is junior quarterback Joe Fowler, who has added about 30 pounds of “good weight” and at 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds is an imposing sight behind center. Fowler threw for 722 yards and seven touchdowns as a sophomore and with Bickford’s 1,737 yards on the ground taken to Kean University, expect those numbers to rise. His main targets will be junior Darius Martorano and converted quarterback Eli Allen, a talented athlete who coaches had to get on the field. The tight end position is a strength with 6foot-2, 230-pound senior Blake Horgan and impressive freshman Danny Taris. One of the big reasons for Central’s success last year was its offensive line, but four of the

five starters graduated so the group is a bit of work in progress. The good news is the return of senior Brandon Voss, a ferocious 6-foot-2, 290-pounder who has been moved from guard to right tackle where he should be among the best in the Shore Conference. Voss will need to show leadership for his new line mates, including junior center Derric Esporrin and junior guards Raul Rivera and Nick Provenzano. Battling for the starting left tackle spot is a trio of seniors in Brandon Stevens, Trevor Barber and Vance Pelino. The featured running back in the Golden Eagles’ Power I formation will be sophomore Kavon Chambers, a speedy and shifty tailback who saw action as a freshman and could be one of the top breakout performers in Class A South. Chambers will not have to do it alone as senior Lino DelGiudice and sophomore Landon Richardson will get their share of touches. Defensively, Central will line up in a 3-4 with senior Royal Parks manning the nose guard spot and flanked by Imre Homoki, a 6-foot-6, 255-pound senior volleyball player making his varsity football debut. The other defensive line position will be filled by sophomores Elijah Copes, Hunter Dasti or Kyzion Collins and pencil in junior Troy Warren for some quality time as well. The back eight should be the strength of the defense with DelGiudice and junior Cody Anderson filling the inside linebacker spots and Horgan and senior Ryan Emmetts taking care of the outside. All four are sure tacklers who can fill gaps and cover the outside as well.

20I7 FOOTBALL PREVIEW

Chris James (off. Coord./QB); Jarrett Pidgeon (def. coord. /ILB); Matt Kiefer (OL); Dennis Pidgeon (defense); Terrance Hardy (DB); Tom Tarver (WR); Pat Reilly (TE); Raul Rivera (OLB); James Plummer (RB); Rocco Manfre (freshmen HC); Connor Heil, Walter Karasiewicz, Shawn Darling (freshmen); Devin Slovenik (athletic trainer)

2016 Record: 7-2 (6-1)

Fumando is high in his praise of senior safeties Jonathan Gonzalez and Neil Harrington, who can come up to stop the run and cover the deep pass as well. The cornerback rotation is made up of seniors Jonathan Banks and George Britting along with sophomore Jamar Lively. The kicking duties will be handled by senior Shane Black, who is solid from about 40 yards and was 24-for-28 on extra points last season. He will also be the punter. The Golden Eagles swing into action early, hosting Southern in Week 0 on Friday, September 1st. It was a come-from-behind win over the Rams last year in the season opener that set the stage for a 7-2 season which saw Central face Toms River North in the regular season finale for the division title. Central lost that game, but the fact they were in that position was quite an accomplishment for Fumando and his rather young staff. Winning has also attracted about 20 more players into the program this season, which should help with depth. A “program” was precisely what Fumando wanted to build most when he took over as Central’s head coach and there’s a feeling that’s exactly what is being accomplished. No one-hit wonders for the Golden Eagles.

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37


TRANSITION IN THE JUNGLE

A

lot has changed in the Jackson Memorial football program over the last few months.

Bob Badders

Managing Editor

Coaching Staff Head Coach:

Vin Mistretta, 1st season

2017

S C H E D U LE Friday 9/8 Friday 9/I5 Saturday 9/23 Friday 9/29 Friday I0/6 Friday I0/I3 Friday I0/20 Friday I0/27 Friday II/3

By

C a r e e r R e c o r d : 0-0

Jackson Liberty Brick Township @Central Toms River South @Southern @Toms River North Toms River East @Old Bridge @Brick Memorial

At A Glance B IG SHO ES T O FILL : Leo Shimonovich, Jr., RB/DB It doesn’t get much bigger than stepping into the starting spot left vacant by the program’s all-time leading rusher. Jackson doesn’t need Shimonovich to be Mike Gawlik, but they do need him to be productive.

X -FA C TO R :

A new playmaker emerging Whether it be Shimonovich at running back, one of the quarterbacks or wide receivers or a defensive player, the Jaguars need someone to step forward and be that player whom opposing teams have to account for in their game plan.

G LU E GU Y: Joe Hurle, Sr., OL/DL Hurle is a three-year starter on the offensive line and a two-year starter on defense. He was a starter on the 2015 state championship team and is a valuable senior who knows what it takes to win a championship.

A ss i s ta n t C o a c he s : Keith Anderson (off. coord./RB); Jeff Brown (OL); Brandon Vega (WR); Sal Mistretta (QB); Chris Rash (DL); Vin Mistretta (DL); T.J. Tkac (LB); Arnell Cozart (LB); Mike McCarthy (DB); Nicole Figaro (athletic trainer).

(l-r) LEONARDE

2016 Record: 6-5 (3-4)

MATT D’AMORE, TOM PELLONE, SHIMONOVICH & AJ TOLMACHEWICH

The program’s all-time leading rusher, Mike Gawlik, is now a freshman at Monmouth University. A coach that led the Jaguars to two state titles in the past three seasons has resigned. But if you think the Jaguars have any kind of identity crisis, well, think again. “Our goal is always to win a state championship,” said senior two-way lineman Joe Hurle. “We lost some players, and Mike Gawlik was a big loss for us, but we want to show it wasn’t all him. We have a lot of guys back this year and we know we’re going to do well.” Aside from it being the post-Gawlik era at Jackson Memorial, the Jaguars welcome a new head coach as former player and assistant Vin Mistretta takes over for Walt Krystopik. Mistretta coached at Sayreville

last season and helped the Bombers win the North Jersey 2, Group IV sectional title. Two years ago, he was the defensive coordinator when Jackson captured the Central Jersey Group IV title. He was a defensive back on the 2005 Jackson team that won the Central Jersey Group IV title. “It’s been a lifelong dream of mine and it has all come together,” Mistretta said. “Now that I have the job it’s time to go to work and do what we do.” “He was here two years ago and he’s a Jackson guy, so it’s been a pretty easy transition,” Hurle said. “Not much has changed.” It all starts with the running game in Jackson Memorial’s multiple-I offense, and

that’s why moving on from Gawlik is such a big undertaking. He led the Shore in rushing last season with over 2,200 yards and was an incredible big-game player on two state championship teams. There isn’t one player that is going to replace his production, so the Jaguars are more focused on remaining efficient in what they do. “What we have is a bunch of guys working their butts off to replace some of that production, and we have three or four guys we can give the ball to and feel comfortable,” Mistretta said. Junior Leo Shimonovich will take over as the team’s starting tailback and will run behind an offensive line that features three returning starters. Hurle is a three-year starter and will be at right tackle, senior

iMP A C T N E WC OM ER : Joe Maffei, Jr., WR/LB Maffei is in the mix at wide receiver and tight end and is slated to start at outside linebacker.

P IVO T AL G A ME: Sept. 23 at Central The Jaguars will head to Bayville for a game against a Central team that stunned them last season. The Golden Eagles figure to challenge for the division title, so this will be another good test for Jackson.

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Devin Martinez is at left tackle and senior Brandon Giuliano is the left guard. Senior Luke Smith is the starting center and senior Naj’zir Humbert is the right guard. Junior Sean Sharo could also see playing time at center. Senior Tom Pellone is a returning starter at fullback and will be spelled by fellow senior Justin Martin-Culet. The tight ends are senior Brandon Hirsch and junior Chance Benjamin. “We always want to play fast and physical up front,” Hurle said. “We want to play as mistake-free as possible, but if nothing else we’ll be physical and pound the ball down team’s throats.” Working in at quarterback have been seniors A.J. Tolmachewich and Andrew McCarthy. The wide receivers are senior Matt D’Amore and junior Steven Vigliarolo with junior Joe Maffei and sophomores Jake McKown and Zack Novak also working in.

Whereas the running game is the identity of Jackson Memorial’s offense, a punishing, hard-nosed style is the calling card of its defense. Three starters and two others players who saw varsity time return in the Jaguars’ 4-3 base. Hurle is a returning starter at defensive tackle while Hirsch is back at defensive end after starting toward the end of last season. Humbert is the other defensive tackle and sophomore Colin McCarthy is the other defensive end.

time they can step right in and play at the varsity level.”

Martin-Culet returns as the starting middle linebacker and will be flanked by Benjamin and Maffei. Benjamin saw time last season as a sophomore. Tolmachewich returns at cornerback after getting some playing time last season, and senior Elias Wilson will line up at the other cornerback spot. The safeties are Shimonovich and junior John Ghigna.

“If they’re listening to me they’re going to have a chip on their shoulders,” Mistretta said. “Expectations around the Shore and the state are down for Jackson Memorial, and that’s fine. We’re going to take it one week at a time and try to win more games than we lose. Hopefully we’re back playing football at the beginning of December.”

On special teams, the kicker is Justin Burkert and the punter is McKown. Outside expectations for the Jaguars will vary from person to person, and Mistretta knows most will probably assume that without Gawlik, Jackson will take a step back. He hopes that notion drives his players.

“We try to simplify it for them so they’re playing the same defense every year,” Mistretta said. “That way when it’s their

SHORESPORTSNETWORK.COM

39


J US T W INGING IT

By

Bob Badders

Managing Editor

new offense and a daunting early-season schedule translated into an 0-3 start for Southern last season, but the Rams were able to win five of their next six games to get to the playoffs and set the tone for what they believe will be an even better 2017 season.

A

2017

Coaching Staff

S C H E D U LE

Friday 9/I @Central Friday 9/8 Toms River North Friday 9/15 Manalapan Friday 9/22 @Toms River East Friday I0/6 Jackson Memorial Friday I0/I3 @Brick Township Saturday I0/2I Brick Memorial Saturday I0/28 @Lacey Friday II/3 @Toms River South

At A Glance B IG SHO ES T O FI LL : Zach Otte, Sr., OL & Matt Mackanic, Sr., OL Both Otte and Mackanic are newcomers to the offensive line where last year Southern had All-Division selection Dylan Smith.

X -FA C TO R :

Defense

Southern’s offense turned the corner in the second half of last season to get the team to the playoffs. The defense was uncharacteristically porous last season and will need to get back to its stingy ways in order for the Rams to challenge for the Class A South title.

GL U E GU Y: Joe Miele, Sr., FB/LB Miele is a four-year starter who has seen a lot throughout his career. Not only is he the Rams’ most experienced player, he’s also one of their most talented. i MP A CT N E WC OM ER : Dupreme Holland, Jr., RB/DB

The transfer from Red Bank Catholic will slide into the starting lineup as the team’s center, boosting the Cougars front line while giving them some more comfort playing in the shotgun.

P IVO TA L GA ME : Sept. 8 vs. Toms River North Depending on what happens in Week 0 vs. Central, the Rams will either be trying to move to 2-0 or trying to get into the win column before facing top-ranked Manalapan. Either way it’s going to be a big game against the defending Class A South champions.

Chuck Donohue Sr., 20th season (44rd overall)

Head Coach:

Career Record: 245-172-4

Assistant Coaches:

( l -r )

ZA CH OTTE, MA TTHE W BA RNE TT, JOHN DOL PHIN & BILL Y BAR NET T

It took a while for Southern’s newly-installed Delaware Wing-T offense to gel last season, but when it did it produced wins over Jackson Memorial, Brick Memorial and Lacey to power a run to the South Jersey Group V playoffs. With a year of experience in the Wing-T, several returning starters and a 23-member senior class, the Rams are looking to challenge for the Class A South division title and return to the NJSIAA playoffs. “The biggest problem, I feel, we had last year was just the way the schedule hit us,” said Southern head coach Chuck Donohue Sr. “We had a nice Central team and then a really good Toms River North team and a real good Manalapan team. With a new offense, executing against those teams was just hard to do. I feel we’re going to come out of the blocks much better than last year and be much more formidable.” “With changing the offense last year it took a lot of adjustment,” said senior running back John Dolphin. “Once we got it down, and because we do have good depth at back, we’re able to run it pretty well.” “Everybody didn’t hit their stride until a few games in and now we’re levels beyond that,” said senior Joe Miele. Southern averaged 20.2 points per game last season and returns six starters on offense. Twin brothers Joe and Vin Miele will split time at fullback while Dolphin and fellow senior Matt Barnett are back as the wing backs. Barnett ran for 607 yards and eight touchdowns last

season while Dolphin had 602 yards and three touchdowns. Junior Dupreme Holland, a Barnegat transfer, and junior Pat Scully will also see time in the backfield.

Matt Abbato (def. coord.); Andrew Beckett, C.J. Tomelden, Eric Fierro, Eric Sharkey, Dylan Larson; Joe Fleck, Dan Roy (freshmen); Evan Osborne (volunteers); John Kaszuba (Director of Football Operations); Rob Barrett, Jason Lister Dan Abbato (middle school); Nick Scaramazza, Art Margulies (athletic trainers).

2016 Record: 5-5 (4-3)

The Rams’ new quarterback is senior Sean Distelcamp with junior Carmen Deo battling for playing time. The tight ends are senior Nate Farina and junior J.T. Cornelius while the wide receivers are seniors Mike Martin and Billy McCallion with senior Hunter John and junior Schneider Juste also scheduled to see time. Along with the stable of running backs, the offensive line looks to be a strength of Southern’s offense. Three starters return and the two new players were both starters on defense last year. Senior Dave Lowman is a returning starter at left tackle, senior Billy Rolenc is back as the starting center and senior Mike Levine returns to start at right tackle. Joining them will be senior Zach Otte at left guard and senior Matt Mackanic at right guard. Senior Ryan Goganzer could see time at tackle and senior Terrick Grace may play some snaps at guard. Southern’s defense allowed 26.1 points per game last season and has not performed up to its standards over the past couple seasons. Getting that side of the ball turned around has been a major focus throughout the offseason. “We haven’t been playing good defense the last couple years so my concerns are much more on that side of the

ball,” Donohue said. “We have to fix that.” Six starters return in the Rams’ 5-2 front with Otte and senior Derek Wilson back at defensive end along the line. The nose guard will be either Mackanic or sophomore Sebastian Cervetto, and the tackles are Grace, Rolenc, Levine and Lowman in a rotation. Back as the starting inside linebackers are the Miele brothers with Scully and junior Joe Guglielmo backing them up. Dolphin and Barnett return as the starting cornerbacks, while juniors Luke Galan and Zack Hem are the safeties. Junior Robert Gunnell will see time at cornerback while Holland and McCallion should see snaps at safety. “Our defensive expectations are much higher,” said Joe Miele. “I think we gave up a lot more points than we should have last year. I’m trying to take control as one of the returning linebackers to get us back to getting shutouts and holding teams to low scores every week.” On special teams, Hem will be both the kicker and the punter. The schedule is once again tough early with Central in Week Zero followed by Toms River North and Manalapan, but the Rams are much more equipped to be competitive week to week and avoid the pitfalls of last season. “I think we’re ready,” Barnett said. “We made a playoff appearance last year and built momentum. We just want to keep working off that.” “Ever since seventh grade this group has been together,” Joe Miele said. “We’re still focused, but I think this is going to be a fun year.”

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41


TRU STING TH E P RO C ESS

I

By

Vin Ebenau

SSN Contributor

t has been eight seasons since the Toms River East Raiders had a record over .500, dating back to the 2009 team which went 10-1 including a Constitutional Division championship.

2017

S C H E D U LE

Friday 9/8 Central Friday 9/I5 @Toms River South Friday 9/22 Southern Friday 9/29 @Manchester Friday I0/6 Toms River North Friday I0/I3 @Brick Memorial Friday I0/20 @Jackson Memorial Saturday I0/28 @Marlboro Friday II/3 Brick Township

At A Glance B IG SHO E S TO FI LL: Linebackers While it looks to be a mix-and-match situation in the linebacking corps, this set of linebackers will seek to collectively fill the void left by Jake Gilligan who graduated after last season.

X -FA C TO R :

The entire team playing as one Sandberg says last year, “we had a lot of individuals, we had a lot of kids that tried doing their own thing because they wanted to get a W.” He says if they execute “heart and will and desire” they’ll turn the corner towards getting some wins this year.

G LU E GU Y: Tommy Ferrante, Sr., FB/LB The senior running back and linebacker has been on the varsity team all four years of high school and is one of its most dynamic athletes. With Ferrante’s leadership and the hunger to win, Sandberg says he could be one of the seniors who helps lead the way to victory.

Coaching Staff

Now in his second season as head coach, Kyle Sandberg looks to steer the Raiders ship back towards the left side of the win-loss column.

Kyle Sandberg, 2nd season

Head Coach:

C a r e e r R e c o r d : 0-9

A ss i s ta n t C o a c he s :

His message to his players this season is simple: “stop telling me, show me”. Everyone wants to end the losing but Sandberg says it’s about executing.

Mike Nemeth (off. coord.); Matt Madeo (RB); Tim Gilmartin (OL); Vinnie Arminio (WR); Frank Giannetti (DL); Joe Arminio Jr. (freshmen HC); Eddie Goodman, Kevin Kanarkowski (freshmen); Jake McCartney (athletic trainer).

2016 Record: 0-9 (0-7)

“A lot of people are waiting to see a different outcome, ‘so show us that you’ve changed, show us your mentality, your effort, your attitude and that you care’,” Sandberg said. “And that’s something they understand.” “They’ve got to trust the process,” said Sandberg. “They understand that they have to listen to what we are saying. What you did last year and doing it your own way doesn’t work.”

kids though because they are hungry. It’s been a long time since we’ve won here in the regular season.”

S r . R / L B B T OMMY F ERRANTE

While losing 14 seniors to graduation after last season compared to 22 seniors the year before, there were a lot of sophomores and juniors who saw significant varsity playing time last season. Sandberg feels that

It takes time to turn things around towards not only winning games, but then a division and one day competing for a state title. Sandberg says changes are coming.

experience of playing and mastering the playbook will pay dividends this year.

“I want to see us do well both offensively and defensively,” said Sandberg. “Tackling needs to change and just the whole defensive atmosphere and that’s how you win games. The offense has also changed and we’re doing different things now.”

“This year I’m excited about who I have coming back. They understand my mentality, my philosophies and what we’re looking to do,” said Sandberg. “I’m excited for these

Among the changes is the offense moving away from the Wing-T formation to a twoback pistol while the defense will change from a multiple set look to a 4-3 formation

iMP A C T N E WC OM ER : Marc Rothman, Sr., FB/LB Rothman is one of the players who continued to impress the coaching staff following last season and into the preseason. If he continues to develop the way they see, Rothman and Ferrante could make for a solid duo and be a real strength on the defensive side.

P IVO T AL G A ME: Sept. 8 vs. Central The Raiders will take on the Central Regional Golden Eagles in Week 1 where they will seek their first divisional win in three years. An upset here could mean a huge momentum shift towards steering the Raiders ship back to winning.

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(l-r) M A T T G A N N O N , T O M M Y F E R R A N T E, STEVEN KON TAG IANN IS & SEAN TURSI Another sign things may turn out differently this season is Sandberg saying that there are no returning starters from last years team, which means open competition for every position on the field. Anyone who did start last year will have to earn their job back by. “Everything out here is an open competition, no one’s entitled anymore, those days are done,” said Sandberg. “They need to come to work and prove that they want to be here and win, and win a job.” “We have to stay the course this year,” said senior Louie Gallo. “When things have gone wrong, we tended to deviate from the plan. If we follow the coaches and stay together as a unit, we’ve got a better shot this year.” They have another tough schedule ahead in Class A South, but Sandberg says it’s about taking it one game at a time and that the players always give their best. “Our goal is to come together and win,” said senior Evan Otten. “We can get back to winning by working hard everyday, like we’ve been doing in the offseason and preseason,” said senior Matt Gannon. “I can really see the difference in how serious everyone is this year compared to the last few years. Everyone’s coming in

every day ready to work and looking to get better.” “We’ve grown a lot closer as a team,” said senior Peter Wilenta. “In part because a lot of us grew up together playing with the Angels (Pop Warner team) and along with the new kids, we’ve become tight friends.” “We can do a lot more this year because we’re much more of a team this year,” said senior Steven Kontogiannis. “Last year we were just individuals, but this year we’re playing more as a team.” “I think with all the speed and skill players that we have, we can put some points on the board and win some games,” said senior Jack Goodall. Central Regional is one of those teams on the schedule and it’s their week one matchup at Vincent J. Dvorak Field. After last seasons contest became heated, Sandberg says the bad blood is no more. “That’s done, that’s in the past,” said Sandberg. “The coaches and the administration at Central were great as it was here. You’ve got to move on. It’s not motivation, it’s done. We don’t event talk about it anymore. We ended that right after it happened.”

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TOUGH ACT TO FOLLOW

By

Bob Badders

Managing Editor

sk fans around the Shore Conference what they think of a particular team and you’re bound to get a slew of different answers. In the case of Toms River North, most people would say they don’t know how good the Mariners are going to be, but there’s no way they can be as good as they were in 2016.

A

Coaching Staff

2017

S C H E D U LE

Head Coach:

Dave Oizerowitz, 5th season (6th overall)

Friday 9/8 @ Southern Saturday 9/I6 Brick Memorial Friday 9/22 @ Brick Township Thursday 9/28 @ Howell Friday I0/6 @ Toms River East Friday I0/I3 Jackson Memorial Friday I0/20 Middletown South Friday I0/27 @ Toms River South Friday II/3 Central

At A Glance B IG SHO E S TO FI LL: Gennaro Guardascione, So., QB/Matt Spalletta, So., QB Whoever wins the starting job will be taking over for Mike Husni, the record-setting SSN Offensive Player of the Year from 2016 who accomplished things no quarterback in Shore Conference history had previously done. The coaching staff doesn’t expect either player to replace him, but they do need someone to take the reins of the position and stabilize the offense.

X

-FA C TO R : The Offense Toms River North graduated so many top players from its electrifying offense that it will be interesting to see how all the new pieces fit together and if they can remain one of the better offenses in the Shore. G LU E GU Y: Daryn Blackwell, Sr., RB/DE Oizerowitz described Blackwell as “a great leader and the undisputed captain of the football team”. He’s a three-year starter on defense and a versatile player on offense whom the Mariners will rely on greatly.

C a r e e r R e c o r d : 40-25

A ss i s ta n t C o a c he s :

(l-r) MICKEY MAL DONADO JR. , DARYN BLACKWELL & AMDREW DANIL UK It’s a logical thought, and Mariners coach Dave Oizerowitz understands why people would come to that conclusion. Toms River North graduated an incredible senior class that included two FBS wide receivers, an alltime Shore Conference great at quarterback, a 1,500-yard running back, a tackling machine at linebacker and a few standout linemen. You don’t just replace those players and move forward without a hitch, but that doesn’t mean the expectations have changed for the defending Class A South champions. “We’ve talked about the fact that outside the program people think we’re going to fall off and not be as competitive, but the expectations have stayed the same,” Oizerowitz said. “These kids are winners. They have won at every level all the way

down to youth football. We’re not trying to be better than last year’s team, we just have to be the best version of ourselves.” Last season Toms River North finished ranked No. 1 in the Shore Sports Network Top 10 with an 11-1 record behind an offense that averaged 44.3 points per game. To expect this year’s team to duplicate those numbers would be unrealistic, but the expectation for the 2017 team to challenge for championships the same way the previous group did is what defines the program. “We look at it as trying to be a dynasty,” said senior Daryn Blackwell. “It’s in our heads that we’re Toms River North, and we’re supposed to be good. That’s motivating. The

Mike Oizerowitz (off. coord./WR); Rich Malek (def. coord/DB); Gabe Roonan (LB/special teams); Bill Dowd (OL); Bob Cassidy (DL); Charlie Monanian (DL); Nick Zaza (QB); Chris Gold, Bill Wilbert (freshmen); Kendall Hostnick (athletic trainer).

2016 Record: 11-1 (7-0)

young guys learn from the older guys what it means to win and work hard, and they see how it’s done and know they can get there when it’s their time.” “We don’t have big names this year but we have people that will step up to the plate and get things done,” said senior Andrew Daniluk. Let’s not get it twisted, however. Toms River North is still a very talented team that should once again be in contention for the Class A South division title. Players like Blackwell and Mickey Maldonado Jr. are among the best in the Shore at their respective positions, and combined with a promising sophomore class and a junior

iMP A C T N E WC OM ER : Jarred Pruitt, So., DB Toms River North will have several new starters and and the coaching staff is high on the sophomore class. Pruitt will step into a starting job at cornerback.

P IVO T AL G A ME: Sept. 22 at Brick You could pick any of the Class A South games in what figures to be a very competitive division race. The Mariners and Dragons have had some great games the last few years, and Brick will be out for revenge after Toms River North dropped 62 points on them last season.

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class that is beginning to turn the corner, the Mariners shouldn’t fall as far as some may think. It has been a quarterback competition between sophomores Gennaro Guardascione and Matt Spalletta, and whomever ends up winning the job and directing Toms River North’s power spread offense has to follow in the footsteps of one of the greatest quarterbacks in Shore Conference history. Mike Husni capped a record-setting career by throwing for over 2,000 yards and rushing for over 1,500 yards while scoring a combined 44 touchdowns. He is the only quarterback in Shore Conference history to run and pass for over 1,000 yards in three straight seasons. “We’re not looking at is as replacing Mike because he’s an all-time player, not just here but in the Shore,” Oizerowitz said. “We know what we’re looking for within our scheme at the quarterback position and they both fit the profile. Gennaro was up with us as a freshman learning and playing JV under Mike, while Matt quarterbacked a 9-0 freshman team and is very talented in his own right.” Senior Erik Kelly is the fullback with sophomore C.J. Niedzielski and junior Erik Navarro also at the position. Blackwell will play tailback with Maldonado and sophomore Nasir Calhoun also slated to get carries. The tight end is 6foot-6, 285-pound sophomore Najae Hallenback, who is a relative of former Lakewood star Thomas Carroll. Daniluk is a returning starter and leads a receiving corps that includes senior Anthony Urso, juniors Aaron Craig, Dashawn Wilder and Will Marsh and sophomore Dominick Jacob. A pair of starters return along the offensive line with 6foot-4, 290-pound senior Billy Dowd at center and 265-pound senior Bryan Schlesinger at left guard. The newcomers along the line also boasts good size as 6-foot-2, 275-pound junior

Stavon Drew is at left tackle, 6-foot-1, 255-pound junior Nick Renda is at right guard and 6-foot-2, 255-pound junior Dan Crow is at right tackle. “The primary concern for us is we have to win the line of scrimmage on both sides, and there’s a certain way we go about doing it,” Oizerowitz said. “The names change but the execution of it has to remain the same. There will be some growing pains, but we think we have the talent up front to mold into a line that will give us a chance to win football games in the fourth quarter.” Defensively, the Mariners will try to improve upon a defense that yielded 21.2 points per game last season. Six starters return in their 3-4 front, beginning with Blackwell and junior Tom Monica at defensive end. Blackwell played outside linebacker last season, but will be moving back to a position he played as a sophomore. “He’s a real big Swiss Army Knife for us,” Oizerowitz said. “On offense he’s played tight end, H-back, tailback; he’s a tremendous blocker. Defensively he played end as a sophomore and last year we moved him to overhang where he was one of the better players in the Shore. This year we’re asking him to move back to weakside end, and he’ll do whatever it takes. He’s the consummate teammate and will do whatever he can to help the team.” Senior Jose Hernandez rounds out the defensive line at nose tackle. Senior Ian Briggs is a returning starter at outside linebacker and junior Jordan Johnson is a returning starter at inside linebacker. Sophomore Vinnie Palmieri will start at the other inside linebacker spot with junior David Sklenar also in the mix. The other outside linebacker position will be either junior Ryan Holland or junior Anthony Colon.

SHORESPORTSNETWORK.COM

The cornerbacks are senior Brandon Indelicato and sophomore Jarrod Pruitt, and the safeties are both returning starters with Maldonado at strong safety and senior Bishop Curry at free safety. Sophomore Ray Carlson and junior Sean Aguiar will also see time in the secondary. Maldonado was a breakout star last season with 101 tackles en route to a firstteam All-Shore selection. “Last year I thought Mickey was as good a player in the secondary as there was in the Shore,” Oizerowitz said. “He’s a multi-dimensional athlete who can play quarterback for us, is a slasher with the football in his hands and is a lights-out safety. We’re expecting big things from Mickey, for sure.” “One thing I like about our secondary is we don’t stop, we go get the ball,” Maldonado said. On special teams, the kicking and punting duties will be handled sophomore Sergio Borda. Toms River North has a rugged Class A South schedule to deal with plus nondivisional games against Middletown South and Howell, so it won’t be an easy road. The Mariners might not be able to duplicate the high-flying offense of last year, but they still plan on remaining one of the top teams in the Shore Conference. “We’re seeing our juniors blossom with our sophomores pushing them, and between those two classes with some really good seniors, we have the opportunity to be a tough, physical football team in the mold of Toms River North teams we’ve always had,” Oizerowitz said. “The expectations are the same: win the division and get into the playoffs with a good seed.” “The names may be different, but these kids expect to win.”

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ARROW ’S

UP

By

Kevin Williams

SSN Director

here is nothing like a Friday night football game at Toms River South’s Detweiler Stadium, which provides one of the truly great atmospheres at the Shore. Even in times when the Indians are struggling, students and alumni fill the home stands and signs of school spirit are everywhere.

T

Coaching Staff

2017

Ron Signorino Jr., 7th season C a r e e r R e c o r d : 25-26 A ss i s ta n t C o a c he s :

Head Coach:

S C H E D U LE

Saturday 9/9 @ Lacey Friday 9/I5 Toms River East Friday 9/22 @ Brick Memorial Friday 9/29 @ Jackson Memorial Saturday I0/7 Brick Township Friday I0/I3 @ Central Friday I0/27 Toms River North Friday II/3 Southern Thursday II/23 @ Lakewood

At A Glance B IG SHO E S TO FI LL: Senior Leadership Todd Stueber, Nick Page and Cooper Guzzi were not only standout two-way starters but team leaders, and their graduation leaves a void. Several seniors need to step up and fill that.

X -F ACT OR: Sam Akinlolu, Sr., RB/S; Teddy Suarez, Sr., RB/DL For the flexbone to be successful the “A back” has to put up numbers, and these two are the guys being counted on. They are also defensive standouts.

G LU E GU Y: Sam Conover, Sr., QB/S/K He emerged last season as a real bright spot considering he was not even among the top 3-4 quarterbacks when the season began. One of those guys that coaches are counting on. iMP A C T N E WC OM ER : Sylas Young, So., RB/DB A transfer from Pemberton who will likely get playing time on both offense and defense.

(l-r)

HUNTER ROBERTS, SAM AKINLOLU & SAM CONOVER

Seventh-year head coach Ron Signorino Jr. grew up wearing the maroon and white, and following a 2-8 season is hoping for a quick turnaround so the home fans have more to cheer about. South enters this season on a seven-game losing streak but with optimism surrounding a strong group of underclassmen and feeling that good times are not far away. Junior quarterback Sam Conover was an unknown commodity at the start of last season but gained valuable experience running the flexbone offense due to injuries and ineffectiveness. Signorino has complete confidence in Conover to make the right decisions and reads, and also lead the offense. The staff is also high on 6-foot-2 freshman Jack Huber, who will likely be with the varsity team from the start. The featured “A back” will be junior Sam Akinlolu, a tough, hard-nosed player and team leader, but getting his share of carries will be 215-pound senior Teddy Suarez, who shines on the defensive line and will add a different dimension on offense. The slot backs figure to be senior Anthony Coston, who did not play football last year, Jalen Hibbert, who missed all of his sophomore season with an ACL injury, and sophomore Sylas Young, a transfer from Pemberton. The starting wide receivers will be junior Jorien Harris and 6-foot-2 senior Hunter Roberts. Seniors Angelo Louis and Armani Vasquez, the latter of whom is playing high school football for the first time, are also in the receivers

rotation. Figuring into the offensive game plan somewhere will be senior T.J. Scuderi, who was the starting quarterback as a sophomore before taking last season off to concentrate on baseball. A pair of three-year varsity players in senior center Nick Florio (6-foot-2, 270 pounds) and guard Andre Knowles (6-foot-3, 240 pounds) anchor what looks like a solid offensive line. Senior Tavis Smith (6-foot-2, 265 pounds) and junior Shane Coffee (6-foot-2, 240 pounds) are battling for the other guard spot while the left tackle will be 6-foot-4, 265-pound senior Isaiah Guthridge, a promising college recruit. The right tackle position appears to be a battle between seniors Justin Minniti (6foot-2, 235 pounds) and Evan Raichle (6-foot-1, 225 pounds), and 6-foot-4, 220-pound junior Keith Calloway. Many of those same names will also line up on the other side of the ball with Guthridge, Knowles, Smith and Suarez part of the defensive line rotation along with seniors Corey Conner, Eric Appignani and Victor Butler. All have good size, and the added depth should be a big help as this year’s team is much deeper than a year ago. Minniti, Calloway, Raichle and juniors Kenney Johnson and Dominic Spedaliere head up the group of linebackers. The Indians line up in multiple defensive formations but more often than not will go with a fourman front. The defensive backfield may be the strength with Conover and Akinlolu both very capable safeties who will be backed up by Hibbert and senior Damere Randolph. Among those at the cornerback spot are Roberts, Harris, Louis, Coston, Young and junior Nyshawn

Matt Martin (def. coord.); Bill Rankin (slots/special teams); Kyle Austin (OL); Joe Kelly (LB); Bill Malast (OL/DL); Dan Cicala (DB); Jim Drackowitz (DL); RJ D’Anton (DB); Brian Elias (WR); Ron Signorino Sr. (RB); Ricky Maldonado (RB/strength & conditioning); Brett Hardie, Dave Fanslau, Trevor Signorino, Joey Meyers (Freshmen); Dan Crashewsky (athletic trainer)

2016 Record: 2-8 (2-5)

Small. Scuderi will also likely earn time somewhere in the secondary. Roberts will be the punter and the busy Conover will handle the kicking chores. While the majority of the Indians’ players will play on both sides of the ball Signorino is encouraged by having more quality players on this team who he can get onto the field, and hopefully that will allow the key players to get more rest. He also has renewed excitement having moved into the role of offensive coordinator with Matt Martin now running the defense. He admitted that over the past few years he served more like a general manager but likes calling the offense, which he did for many years as an assistant before taking over the Indians program. South opened last fall 2-1 before the collapse began, and ending the losing streak sooner than later would go a long way towards getting the program headed back in the right direction. The season opener at Lacey will provide a stern test, and how quickly the group of underclassmen come together figures to be the key to making Detweiler Stadium an unfriendly place for visiting teams.

P IVO T AL G A ME: Sept. 15 vs. Toms River East Winning at Lacey in the opener will be a tough task so potentially ending the losing streak or moving to 2-0 the following week against a sister school will be a must if the Indians are to turn it around.

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SHORESPORTSNETWORK.COM

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By Bob Badders - Managing Editor

T

HERE’S DENYING THAT HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SEASON IS A SPECIAL TIME OF YEAR.

The summer has concluded and school is back in session, and there’s a sense of optimism in the air at programs up and down the Shore, from Aberdeen to Tuckerton. The Shore Conference has a long and storied tradition along with passionate fans who will gladly bring up ‘the good old days’. They’ll reminisce about championship teams and star players, even arguing which team would win a fictional matchup and which player was better.

The names in those conversations are timeless. Football presents an opportunity for a high school athlete to make a name for himself and accomplish things so memorable they will be talked about for years to come. That’s why high school football season holds such reverence in this area. An ordinary kid from a Shore town can become a legend with a few months of glory played out on the gridiron. The 2016 season was a historic year in the Shore Conference with multiple records being broken and five teams winning NJSIAA state sectional championships. Several of those players are back this year to wow crowds week after week and accomplish goals they’ve dreamed about since youth football. These are the players you don’t want to miss, the ones who have a chance to become legends of the fall.

sophomore, but as the Braves’ starting tailback last season he took the offense to another level. His 1,785 yards rushing was the third-highest total in the Shore Conference and his 26 total touchdowns between rushing and receiving were second best in the Shore. Even more incredible was the fact that he averaged nine yards per carry and had 100-yard efforts in nine of Manalapan’s 12 games. Some of his stat lines were absurdly good to the point where you had to check the box score twice. He started last season by rushing for 106 yards and two touchdowns on just nine carries while also catching three passes for 123 yards and a score in a season-opening victory over Marlboro. He averaged a ridiculous 14.6 yards per carry with a 190-yard, three-touchdown effort in a win over Old Bridge in Week 3, but that wasn’t even close to his best game of the year. In a 49-0 shellacking of New Brunswick in the first round of the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group V playoffs, Mayfield ran for 274 yards and four touchdowns on just 11 carries, averaging 24.9 yards per carry. You read that correctly. Every time Mayfield touched the ball that day he was good for covering one quarter of the field. Video-game numbers are fun, but sometimes they can be hollow. Not in Mayfield’s case. He was at his best in Manalapan’s biggest games, rushing for 154 yards and a score in a 14-0 win over rival Freehold and putting the offense on his back with a 25carry, 203-yard performance in a wild 41-34 victory over an upsetminded Howell team. He powered for 174 yards and a touchdown in a crucial regular-season win over Piscataway and detonated nemesis South Brunswick to the tune of 228 yards and three touchdowns in the sectional semifinals. Manalapan’s bid for a perfect season was dashed by Piscataway, 34-13, in the Central Jersey Group V final, but Mayfield still came through with 160 yards and two scores. The only time he didn’t rush for over 100 yards was in blowout victories where he was out of the game by halftime.

THE G.O.A.T.

“With us, it always starts with the run no matter what,” Gurrieri said. “It’s what we do, and we’ve had some very good running backs come through here. When you look at the whole package, size, speed, power, he might be the most complete back we’ve ever had.”

Manalapan head coach Ed Gurrieri is one of those coaches whose words carry weight. He has commanded one of the Shore Conference’s most consistent programs over the last 10 years and has had tremendous players come through his program. When Gurrieri speaks highly of one of his players, you take notice.

What makes Mayfield even more dangerous is his ability to change the game as a receiver and on special teams. He is a touchdown waiting to happen on screen passes, and if teams are willing to punt to him he is willing to bring it all the way back. He did that twice last season with a 65-yard return touchdown against Southern and a 60-yard return touchdown against Colts Neck. Teams wisely kept the ball away from him after that.

“We’ve had some good ones, but Naim Mayfield may be as good as any running back we’ve ever had,” Gurrieri said. It’s a bold statement, but one that shouldn’t be that surprising if you’ve seen Mayfield play. The Braves operate a balanced offense, but one that will always be run-first. Mayfield showed flashes of brilliance in limited action as a

48

Naim Mayfield

Mayfield is part of a loaded senior class that has one goal: deliver Manalapan its second sectional title in program history. He is one of many weapons on the Braves’ offense, but there’s no doubt he is the focal point. Manalapan has a legitimate chance to go 12-0 this season, and to do so they will need Mayfield to be as good or better than he was last year. It’s hard to top a season where you average nearly a first down on every carry, but Mayfield just might do it.

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by the coaches and was an easy SSN first-team All-Shore selection. “He has a non-stop motor and he loves the game,” Antonucci said. “He’s physical and he’s fast, and he’s extremely athletic for a kid that’s 210, 215 pounds.” Middletown South is breaking in several new starters on both sides of the ball, but the Eagles know they are in good hands with Krellin on their side. His presence forces teams to adjust, and gives Eagles defensive coordinator Al Bigos options on how to attack opposing offenses.

THE MACK TRUCK

“It’s a good thing he’s on our team,” Antonucci said. “He is a guy you have to set your protections to and know where he is on the field at all times. If you don’t know where Jake is he’s going to be a handful, and it’s going to be a long day.”

Steve Antonucci has coached many great defensive players over his 20 seasons as the head coach at Middletown South, so he tends to know a potential star when he sees one. He had that feeling when Jake Krellin began to challenge for a varsity spot in 2015.

“He came in as a running back/linebacker type of kid, and right away we weren’t too hip to him playing running back,” Antonucci recalled. “But when we saw him flying around and how aggressive he was on defense, we knew immediately he would fit right into the mold of what we do.” Krellin started every game as a sophomore, helping Middletown South go 12-0 and finish as the No. 1 team in New Jersey. At that point he was still overshadowed, to a degree, by the upperclassmen, players like linebackers James McCarthy and Kevin Higgins, defensive lineman Will Gulick and safety Maxx Imsho. That would change quickly in his junior year. On a 2016 Middletown South team that featured some very good defenders, it was Krellin who stood above the rest, morphing into an utterly dominant force off the edge whom no team could stop. It was clear as day the kind of impact he was having on every game. You didn’t need a box score for that. But when the final numbers rolled in it really painted the picture as to how unstoppable Krellin was. Krellin tied for the Shore Conference lead with 15 sacks, a great number by itself. He also made 109 tackles with – and here’s the craziest stat – a whopping 45 tackles for a loss. He basically lived in the opposing backfield and added 16 quarterback pressures, one interception, four pass breakups, three forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and two defensive touchdowns. He was rightfully selected as the Class B North Defensive Player of the Year

Jake Krellin SHORESPORTSNETWORK.COM

Krellin is on the short list of Shore Conference Defensive Player of the Year candidates, and joining him is another star defensive lineman who has been giving Ocean County coaches nightmares since he burst onto the scene.

THEE TH Ga me-w GAM E-WRrecker ECKER If you’re an offensive coordinator in Class B South, there’s a good chance Lakewood’s Josh Lezin has ruined your weekend at some point over the last three years. A 6-foot-1, 260-pound force of nature, Lezin is the reigning Class B South Defensive Player of the Year after a monster junior season where he helped the Piners to an unprecedented fifth straight NJSIAA playoff appearance. Lezin made 82 tackles, including a staggering 31 hits for a loss, on a defense that allowed 16.6 points per game. Lezin’s 13 sacks were the third-best total in the Shore, and he added four forced fumbles and eight pass breakups, as well. Another area where Lezin made a name for himself was on special teams. No, he wasn’t returning kicks, just blocking them. He had two blocked punts and two blocked field goals on the season, including a blocked punt that was returned for a touchdown in a thrilling come-from-behind win over Lacey. It can be easy for players to get overlooked playing in Class B South, but Lezin’s play was too loud not to notice from the time he was a sophomore. He has generated FBS interest and with another big year could have offers pouring in. For now, he’ll just continue to wreck opposing offenses.

See

LEGENDS

page 50

JOSH LEZIN 49


LEGENDS

from page 49

several impact transfers last year, it was still a huge surprise to see the Seraphs turn it around so quickly to the point of going undefeated. It wasn’t surprising to see Pearson leading the way, however.

EDDIE MONEY

Pearson began his career at Matawan where all he did was lead the Huskies to the Central Jersey Group III championship as a freshman. After another big year as a sophomore he transferred to St. Joseph (Montvale) before coming back to the Shore via a transfer to Mater Dei. This year he has a chance to win a third state title and continue the ascension of Mater Dei into a state power.

At the start of the 2016 season, Howell quarterback Eddie Morales III was nothing more than a returning starter trying to do his best to help his team turn the corner. By the time late November rolled around, Morales was one of the top quarterbacks in the Shore leading a dynamic offense on an up-and-coming team.

Pearson is also an FBS recruit having verbally committed to Central Michigan during the offseason.

THE RECORD-BREAKER

Morales was arguably the top breakout player in the Shore Conference last season, throwing for 2,259 yards and 26 touchdowns to lead Howell back to the playoffs and to a thrilling victory in the first round of the South Jersey Group V tournament. It started with a 238-yard, three-touchdown performance in a season-opening win over rival Colts Neck, and from there Morales never slowed down. With his best friend and favorite target Naz Brantley leading the Rebels receiving corps, Morales directed Howell’s spread offense to average 29.9 points per game, the fifth-best mark in the Shore. He had six games throwing for 200 yards or more and a pair of 300-yard games. He was nearly flawless in a regular-season finale win over Marlboro by going 28-for-30 for 303 yards and six touchdowns. The following week he led a road upset of Vineland in the playoffs with 300 yards and three touchdowns. Even in a loss to Toms River North in the sectional semifinals Morales was brilliant, throwing for 214 yards and a score and rushing for 153 yards and two scores.

The story of Ashante Worthy’s record-setting junior year is a good one, but the story of how it was set in motion is just as interesting. Worthy has been a starter in the backfield for Freehold since his freshman year, and he entered the 2016 season as one of the top returning running backs in the Shore. He finished the season as one of the top quarterbacks in the Shore. Three games into the season Freehold was staring at an 0-3 hole and didn’t have many options. They also had to face a stout Manalapan team the following week. The season was halfway down the drain when Freehold head coach Dave Ellis threw up a Hail Mary and moved Worthy to quarterback. It was the best football decision he’s ever made.

Eddie Morales

This season Howell has its sights set on dethroning Manalapan in Class A North and making a run at the South Jersey Group V title. Both will be Herculean tasks, but with Morales at the helm the Rebels have as good a shot as any.

GEORGE THE GREAT If you were looking for off-the-wall statistics during the 2016 season, George Pearson’s line wasn’t going to do it for you. But if you wanted wins and an epic ending to a state championship game, Pearson had that covered. Mater Dei Prep did the unthinkable in 2016, going from an also-ran team in Class B Central to undefeated state champions. The school went from nearly closing a year earlier to fielding the Non-Public Group II champions for the first time in program history, and Pearson was right in the middle of it. He threw for 1,426 yards and 24 touchdowns in limited action because Mater Dei was blowing the doors off of every team by halftime, and his state-championship winning touchdown pass on a hook and lateral from Kyle Devaney to Eddie Lewis as time expired will go down as one of the most memorable plays in Shore Conference history.

Freehold dropped a 14-0 game to Manalapan to fall to 0-4, but the Colonials had found something. The following week Worthy exploded for 288 yards rushing and five touchdowns and 202 yards passing and two touchdowns in a blowout win over Monroe that ignited an incredible run by the Colonials. Freehold would win its next five games to qualify for the playoffs with Worthy putting up monster game after monster game. But it was his performance against Pennsauken in the first round of the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV playoffs that defined his season. In a crazy 69-56 win that set the NJSIAA record for combined points in a playoff game, Worthy broke the Shore Conference single-game rushing and singlegame touchdown records with 465 yards and eight touchdowns on 43 carries. He added 71 yards passing and two touchdowns to finish with a Shore single-game record 10 total touchdowns. He concluded the season with 2,066 yards rushing and 30 touchdowns on an average of 8.3 yards per carry and threw for 838 yards and nine touchdowns. His 41 total touchdowns were four away from breaking the single-season of 44 by Mater Dei Prep quarterback Christian Palmer and Toms River North quarterback Mike Husni. Considering Worthy only played eight games at quarterback and seven in the offensive system that produced the monster numbers, expectations are even greater in 2017. That is a ridiculous statement to type, but it’s true. There’s a very real possibility Worthy could re-write the record book once again this fall.

Ashante Worthy

Even though Mater Dei brought in proven winner Dino Mangiero as head coach and had

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51


SENIOR WAVE

I

By

Matt Manley

Senior Staff Editor

n other divisions, in other years, the 2016 Long Branch football team might have had a chance to lay the groundwork for a successful two-year run with its junior-heavy roster.

Coaching Staff

2017

S C H E D U LE

Head Coach:

Dan George, 21st season

Friday 9/8 Manasquan Saturday 9/23 @ Colts Neck Friday 9/29 @ Wall Friday 10/6 MiddleTown South Saturday 10/I4 @ Red Bank Catholic Friday 10/20 Ocean Friday 10/27 @ MiddleTown North Saturday 11/4 Freehold Boro Wednesday 11/22 @ Red Bank

At A Glance B IG SHO E S TO FI LL: Jermaine Corbett & Jah'kwan Gordon, RB The only noteworthy loss on offense for the Green Wave was Keith Cooper at tailback, so it stands to reason that the position most in question until proven otherwise is running back. Then again, Corbett and Gordon have looked ready to roll in camp, so the effectiveness of the offense may have more to do with the continued development of the offensive line and Wilkins at quarterback.

X -FA C TO R :

Marc Dennis, QB/WR

Wilkins is set to be the starter at quarterback, but Dennis is versatile enough to find a niche in the offense even if he is not playing his primary position. Whether it’s at quarterback, out of the backfield, in the slot or on defense, Dennis can make a difference and how George and the staff decides to use him will be a factor in the Green Wave season.

G LU E GU Y: Kaymar Mimes, TE/DE Mimes has not put up huge numbers as a high school player and while that makes his impact less measurable, it doesn’t diminish it. He is a dominant blocker in the runner game and his size commands double teams as both a receiver and a defensive end. Now that he’s a senior leader playing on a senior-heavy team, the production should follow.

C a r e e r R e c o r d : 134-79

A ss i s ta n t C o a c he s :

John Jasio (DL), Chad King (DB), Terry King (RB), Kris Parker (WR), Nick Tranchina (Def. Coordinator/LB), Ben Woolley (OL), Sean Brown (Freshman), Greg Penta (Freshman), James Reilly (Freshman) In the Shore Conference Class B North, however, the Green Wave juniors could not stand up to the day-in, day-out grind against teams like Middletown South, Manasquan, Red Bank Catholic, Middletown North, Ocean and Wall. The good news for the Long Branch players is that those coming back for 2017 will get another shot at solving B North and making the NJSIAA Playoffs this season now that most of the team – particularly at the skill positions – is comprised mostly of upperclassmen. “Going against the best seniors last year and coming back as seniors this year – it just feels like it’s our year,” senior tight end and defensive end Kaymar Mimes said. “We lost some tough games against some really good teams, but it always felt like we were getting better. Everyone has been excited about this year and we’ve but a lot of work in, so we’re all looking forward to it.” The Green Wave finished 2-8 a year ago with

a host of juniors on the field, but the one prominent spot in the lineup that will be open is tailback. Keith Cooper did an admirable job replacing 2014 Shore Sports Network Offensive Player of the Year Dahmiere Willis and now it will be a pair of sophomores who attempt to carry on the legacy of quality running backs. Coincidentally enough, one of those young guns is Jermaine Corbett, the younger brother of Willis. Jaquan Gordon is also competing for time at running back. “There is quite a bit of resemblance,” head coach Dan George said, comparing Corbett to Willis. “He had a really good year on an undefeated freshman team. Jermaine’s got a lot of likeness to Dahmiere in the early stages: great defensive player, very good offensive player. He’s still learning the one-back and twoback schemes but he’s a very hard worker, especially in the weight room. We’re excited about that.” While the Green Wave will look different at running back, there are familiar faces

iMP A C T N E WC OM ER : Jermaine Corbett, RB/DB The younger brother of Shore rushing record holder Dahmiere Willis, Corbett is making the jump to varsity as a sophomore and has impressed the coaches enough that he will get carries.

2 01 6 R e c o r d : 2-8

(0-6 in Class B North)

everywhere else. Senior Juwan Wilkins is back at quarterback for his third season as a starter and will have a whole host of receivers to target. Seniors T.J. Fosque, Pasa Fields and Matt Clark make up the receivers and senior Kevin Porch can figure into mix once he recovers from a training camp injury, which George expects he’ll do by the end of Sept. Mimes is back at tight end and continues to draw FBS interest thanks, in part, to his athletic 6-foot-5 frame. Long Branch also has an experienced fullback tandem to pair with its young running backs, with senior Eli Sherin and junior La’Qym Morris competing for snaps. “For our offense, I honestly think the sky is

Long Branch

Continued page 54

P IVO T AL G A ME: Sept. 29 at Wall In a division that is as loaded as Class B North is, a team like Long Branch that returns most of its starters has to beat a team like Wall that has lost most of its starters. The Green Wave will have to knock off a number of teams that finished higher in the standings last year and games against Manasquan on opening night and against Ocean and Middletown North later in the year will be big. If Long Branch can’t, however, beat Wall, there is a good chance its season will begin 2-4 or even 1-5 and be past the point of saving with respect to the NJSIAA Playoffs.

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/ VOLUME-IX / ISSUE-16 / 9/5/17


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Long Branch

Long Branch’s offensive line returns four starters in center Tracy Taylor, left guard Hunter Metzler, left tackle Kevin Cerruti and right guard Brian Santiago. Senior Gabe Carasquillo will be the right tackle and Santiago could concede time to Lydell Craig as George looks to balance the snaps on both the offensive and defensive lines.

Continued from page 52

the limit,” Fosque said. “All of our receivers are back. Our quarterbacks had a ton of in-game experience last year, so it’s all going to contribute to our team moving the ball up and down the field.” “I look around at practice and there is talent everywhere and it’s mostly seniors,” Wilkins said. “You’ve got Kaymar back, T.J. back, Pasa, Kev (Porch). Then you’ve got the younger running backs – it’s crazy how good they’ve been. We’re strong everywhere.”

Long Branch’s offense came on strong as the year progressed, with the Green Wave scoring 20 points or more in five of the final six games and 34 or more in two of them. Unfortunately for Long Branch only one of those six games ended with a win.

In addition to the young running backs, junior Marc Dennis could be a wild card for the Long Branch offense. The Green Wave’s No. 2 quarterback will likely find himself playing in the secondary, but could also find his way on to the field as a slot receiver to give Wilkins another option. He entered camp competing for the starting job each of the past two seasons, but goes in this year as the definitive No. 2 behind Wilkins.

“Knowing that we can put up points on offense is a motivating factor for us to “There’s no question that Juwan Wilkins is our pick up the slack on starting quarterback and Marc Dennis is going to defense,” Mimes said. play every game,” George said. “He’s going to play “We’ve been working a lot a lot. He’s going to play all over the field and he on tackling and it’s made a Sr. QB UWA N ILKINS looks very good at quarterback. It just makes us big difference in practice stronger and makes us better. With our schedule, and in scrimmages. Guys you can never count on anything. Going into the season, have that fire on that side of the ball that we had on offense last you’ve got to have some depth because you’re not going to have year, so I think it’s going to be a lot different this year.” it coming out.” Metzler, Santiago and Craig are in line to be the three inside

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20I7 FOOTBALL PREVIEW

lineman in Long Branch’s front five, with Mimes and Cerruti lining up on the ends. Morris and fellow junior Luke Arnold, meanwhile, will handle the duties at linebacker. “We tried to be analytical about last year and the way you do that is you watch film,” George said. “We played pretty good offensive football last year and we struggled defensively. We gave up a lot of points, we weren’t in good position and we missed too many tackles. So the No. 1 message so far has been tackling and getting in the best position to make the tackle, we has been much better so far.” Long Branch’s secondary is shorthanded while Porch – one of the starting safeties last year – is on the mend. The Green Wave still have enough to get by, however, with Sherin, Corbett, Clark and Latrell Bennett looking to pick step in. Fields, Fosque and Dennis will handle the cornerback position, as will the odd man out in the safety competition. “As they say, defense wins games,” Fosque said. “Our defense wasn’t where it needed to be and we didn’t win games. During seven-on-sevens, we tried to take a lot of lessons to make the defense stronger and better. Our secondary is all coming back so we’ve got that experience to where we should be able to know what we’re doing and go out and just play ball.” During George’s 21 seasons as head coach at Long Branch, his teams have not endured long stretches of losing and the talent on hand is suggests the two straight losing seasons won’t turn into three. In Class B North, though, with so many potential powerhouse teams on the schedule, the Green Wave and every other team in the division are going to have to earn every win. “What we’ve learned is that this division, along with the Group IV schools is just a more physical place to be than we were in with Group II and in the old B North,” George said. “You have to have numbers, you have to have tough people, or you can’t compete.”

/ VOLUME-IX / ISSUE-16 / 9/5/17


UPHOLDING THE STANDARD

By

Bob Badders

Managing Editor

his time last year Manasquan was trying to figure out how to snap an unprecedented losing skid and get back to its usual winning ways. That mission was accomplished with a 10-2 record and the program’s Shore Conference-best 12th sectional title.

T

Coaching Staff

2017

S C H E D U LE Friday 9/8 Saturday 9/I6 Friday 9/22 Saturday 9/30 friday I0/I3 Saturday I0/2I Friday I0/27 Saturday II/4 Thursday II/23

@ Long Branch Woodbridge @ Middletown South Barnegat @ Ocean Middletown North @ Matawan Red Bank Cathoilic @ Wall

At A Glance B IG SHO E S T O FI LL: Evan Hilla, Sr., OL/DL Hilla was a starter at linebacker last season but will now play defensive end where the Warriors last season had first-team All-Shore pass rusher Adam Schreck.

X -FA C TO R :

The offensive line The Warriors were in a similar situation last season with an inexperienced line, but the group blossomed to become a major part of a championship season. If the same happens this year the Warriors will be in position to repeat as sectional champs.

G LU E G UY: Tommy Antonucci, Sr., QB/DB A returning starter on defense and now the Warriors’ quarterback, Antonucci brings great leadership qualities to both sides of the ball. iMP A C T N E WC OM ER : Michael Page, Jr., TE/DB

Page has to sit out the first four games after transferring from Hun, but when he returns his ability to play multiple positions as an outstanding athlete gives Manasquan even more flexibility.

P IVO T AL G A ME: Sept. 22 at Middletown South This will be a tough game on many fronts as the Warriors face the defending Class B North champs while Antonucci squares off against his father, Middletown South head coach Steve Antonucci. It’s sure to be an emotional game and also a very important one for both teams.

Jay Price, 7th season

Head Coach:

C a r e e r R e c o r d : 38-26

(l-r) Connor Morgan & Tommy Antonucci The objective this year is simple: bring home No. 13. “Before last year we didn’t know what it was like to win and there wasn’t a lot of confidence in town that we could do it,” said senior Tommy Antonucci. “Now that we’ve proven it to people we just have to go out and prove it again.” “After winning states last year everyone just has a lot more confidence,” said senior running back Connor Morgan. “Knowing that we have a chance again, everyone is just really excited to get out there.” A large senior class was the driving force last year in turning Manasquan from a team that went 3-7 in consecutive seasons to one that hoisted a state championship at Kean University. Just eight seniors return, but combined with a talented and seasoned group of juniors, Manasquan doesn’t see any reason for a drop-off in 2017. “We have to fill some spots and now we also have a target on us, so it’s important to have another good season,” Antonucci said. “We can’t just fall off. We have to fight to repeat.” Manasquan’s offense was vintage last season with a punishing rushing attack and an opportunistic passing game. Some key pieces return, starting with Morgan at tailback. Finally healthy for a full season, Morgan rushed for 1,490 yards and 16 touchdowns to help the Warriors’ offense average 26 points per game. Junior Canyon Birch saw time at both fullback and tailback last year and finished with 594 yards and six touchdowns. Birch will start at fullback, and together they form one of the best running back duos in the Shore Conference. “Connor will run it right through you and Canyon is shifty, so to have them both in the backfield at the same time is going to make it tough on defenses,” said senior offensive lineman Evan Hilla. “We just have to make the holes.” “If I need a break he can get the ball and do the same things I can do, so it’s definitely going to wear down defenses,” Morgan said. Junior James Mele will also see time at fullback. After waiting his turn, Antonucci finally gets to take the reins of Manasquan’s multiple-I offense as its starting quarterback. He started one game last season while also starting on defense, and brings a high football IQ and athleticism to the position.

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“I’ve been pretty much groomed to start or at least play some quarterback since my freshman year, and I’ve been waiting behind some guys,” Antonucci said. “I’ve always wanted to play quarterback so I’m excited to be the full-time starter. I enjoy running the huddle and being out there and not really coming off the field.” “Tommy brings enthusiasm and leadership skills; he’s a coach’s kid,” Price said. “We never ask our quarterbacks to do more than manage the game and make good decisions, and you know with Tommy he’s going to make good decisions all the time. If our quarterback isn’t turning the ball over we’re in pretty good shape.” The wide receivers are junior James Pendergist, a returning starter, at one spot and the combination of juniors Riley Callahan, Rashid Tuddles and Matt Lyons on the other side. The tight end is junior Jack Fabean with fellow junior Michael Page, a transfer from Hun School, also slated to see time after he sits out four games as per the NJSIAA’s transfer rule. Pendergist is committed to Rutgers as one of several lacrosse standouts on the Warriors’ football team and is an elite athlete who gives Manasquan a major weapon on the perimeter. “He’s a ridiculous athlete, some of the things he does are unreal,” Antonucci said. “He’s so fast and can jump up and get it, he’s a big threat on the outside. He’s going to do some big things if we get him the ball.” “Beyond a shadow of a doubt, and with 15 pounds of muscle added on him he’s a different player," Price said. “He can still take the top off a defense and he can run with and cover anybody. He’s a luxury to have. When he’s at corner he cuts the field in half. He’s going to open some eyes.” The offensive line has to be rebuilt with Hilla as the only returning starter, but Price likes the potential of the entire group. Hilla is the right guard with senior Art Foreman at left tackle. Junior Alex Wells is the center, junior Mike LaPoint is the right guard and senior Sean Anderson is the right tackle. “The line last year I think only had one kid that had started before, so they were pretty much all new, as well,” Price said. “Evan Hilla may be one of the best pulling guards we’ve had in a long time, and Mike LaPoint is every bit as good as Evan Hilla. Then you need a couple of guys like Art Foreman, who had a tremendous offseason, and Alec Wells to step in. You look what guys like Ben Barry and Nick Pierro did last year

A s si s ta n t C o a c he s : Lou Certo (off. coord.); Brian Lee (QB); Bill Bertscha (OL); Darrell Falkinberg (RB); Jay Price Sr. (DB); Matt Voskian (DL); Rich Griffith, Ed Kapalko (freshmen); Kevin Hyland (athletic trainer) 2 01 6 R e c o r d : 10-2 (4-2)

after never starting. We try to keep the system pretty simple and let them play fast.” Manasquan’s defense was No. 8 in the Shore last season allowing 16.2 points per game operating out of a 4-3 base. Hilla returns as a starter but will shift from linebacker to defensive end. Anderson is the other defensive end with Foreman and Wells as the defensive tackles. Fabean will start at middle linebacker after seeing some time last season and will be backed up by sophomore Tyler Callahan. LaPoint and Mele are the outside linebackers and will be backed up by Morgan and sophomore Tommy Shaughnessy, respectively. Two starters return in the secondary as Antonucci is back at cornerback and Pendergist is at free safety. Birch is the strong safety and either Lyons, Tuddles or senior Jack Kinneally will be the other cornerback. The final numbers were great for Manasquan’s defense, but their success was more about rising up in certain situations. Most notable was the Central Jersey Group II semifinals where they held down a Roselle team averaging over 50 points per game in a 31-27 win. “A lot of those games came down to mental toughness, and that was part of the luxury of having a senior-laden team,” Price said. “That’s where guys like Tommy are going to have to step in, guys like Pendergist who is a second-year starter, Even Hilla; it’s going to have to come from those guys.” On special teams, Pendergist will be the kicker and Antonucci is a returning starter as the punter. The success of last season is still fresh in the minds of Manasquan’s players, but beyond using those experiences to further the cause this season, they know they can’t rest on their accomplishments. That’s not how the winningest program in the Shore was built. “We had questions coming into the season and we’re excited about the answers we have,” Price said. “But outside of Long Branch in Week 1, nothing else really matters at this point.”

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By

CONTINUED SUCCESS

Bob Badders

Managing Editor

I

If you go purely on what Middletown North lost to graduation after a banner season that included a win over rival Middletown South and a trip to a state sectional final, it would appear the Lions are destined to take a step back. But even though they have to replace all-time program greats at quarterback and receiver, among others, this is a program that has been built for the long haul.

2017

S C H E D U LE Friday 9/8 Friday 9/I5 Saturday 9/23 Friday I0/6 Friday I0/I3 Saturday I0/2I Friday I0/27 Friday II/3 Thursday II/23

@Neptune Red Bank Catholic Howell @New Brunswick @Wall Manasquan @Long Branch @Ocean Middletown South

At A Glance B IG SHO E S TO FI LL: Sean Glenn, Jr., QB Glenn needs no introduction to the player he is taking over for, but that doesn’t mean following in brother Donald’s footsteps will be easy. Donald Glenn graduated Middletown North as the Shore Conference’s all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns and is obviously a tough act to follow.

X -FA C TO R : Fitting all the new pieces together Middletown North will have several new starters this season, and while the coaching staff is confident they can step in and make an impact, it still has to be proven on the field. G LU E GU Y: Connor Welsh, Sr., RB/LB Welsh is a three-year starter at running back and will also start on defense this year. He’s played in big games and has played a critical role in Middletown North’s ascension. i M P A C T N E W C O M E R : Nick Dewise, Jr., WR

Dewise has looked good in the preseason and will start at wide receiver. P IVO T AL G A ME: Oct. 27 vs. Long Branch This Week 8 game will likely be of importance to both teams in the divisional race and with the playoffs loomin g.

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“We lost some very experienced players that were three- and four-year starters, but we have some very capable players to fill in,” said Middletown North head coach Steve Bush. “In some spots we may have a little more depth than we’ve had in the past. They know what is expected and we just have to go out and try to keep things going.” “I believe our team has the talent and the ability to get us to the level we were at last year,” said senior Connor Welsh. Of all the starters that have to be replaced, the most difficult will be at quarterback w h e r e current W a g n e r freshman Donald Glenn was a fouryear starter who set the Shore Conference for career yards (7,498) and touchdown passes (71). Last season Glenn led the Shore with 2,689 yards passing while throwing 26 touchdown passes. The Lions will be keeping the quarterback position in the Glenn family, however, as junior Sean Glenn will try to follow in his brother’s footsteps and command Middletown North’s spread offense.

in Shore Conference history to post consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. Last season Kube caught 62 passes for 1,149 yards and nine touchdowns. Junior Aidan Campbell returns as a starter to lead the group of wide receivers. Senior Paul Dunleavy was also a starter last season before an ACL injury in the middle of the season knocked him out for the rest of the year. Junior Nick Dewise and sophomore Anthony Soto round out the group of starters. “We have a pretty good receiving corps in that they all catch the ball well,” Bush said. “We have good speed in some spots and we have guys who are good after the catch.” The position group with the most experience is at running back where Welsh and junior Connor Robbins are r e t u r n i n g starters. Welsh missed nearly half the season with a broken

“We’re working through some of the timing with Sean and the receivers, and he’s getting better every day and getting more comfortable,” Bush said. “We expect big things from him.” Glenn’s top target over the last two years was Brendan Kube, who is believed to be the only wide receiver

Sr. RB CONNOR WELSH

20I7 FOOTBALL PREVIEW

Coaching Staff Head Coach:

Steve Bush, 5th season (11th overall)

C a r e e r R e c o r d : 65-46-1

A ss i s ta n t C o a c he s :

Geoff Massimini (def. coord./LB/TE); George Kostas (OL/DL); Randy Kalman (special teams/WR/DB); Jason Pino (RB/OLB/JV); Larry McKnight (OL/DE); Danielle Kanski (athletic trainer).

2016 Record: 9-3 (4-2).

arm, but still finished with 482 yards rushing and five touchdowns, plus 15 receptions for 150 yards and two scores. Robbins added 508 yards and eight touchdowns. “They’re both good runners and they have different styles,” Bush said. “Robbins is more of a downhill, physical runner and Connor Welsh has good feet and vision. Both are playing defense too so they can spell each other a little bit.” Senior Austin Dewise is back as the tight end where he is a solid pass catcher and blocker. Two starters are back on the offensive line with senior Anthony Canova at right tackle and senior Tim McCann at center. The newcomers up front are sophomore Rob Kelly at left guard, junior David Rodriguez at right guard and junior Dominick Pianoforte at right tackle. Middletown North’s defense was No. 13 in the Shore last season, allowing 18.2 points per game. The Lions will bring back just two starters on that side of the ball, but they are both crucial players on the

/ VOLUME-IX / ISSUE-16 / 9/5/17


defensive line. Dewise was a second-team All-Shore player last season after making 55 tackles and 12 sacks. He is a game-wrecker at defensive end and a player opposing teams have to account for. Senior Nicko Cofone also returns to his spot at defensive tackle. The other defensive end spot has Robbins with juniors Aaron Vanderhoof and Steven Holler also in the mix. The other starting defensive tackle position will be McCann and Rodriguez in a rotation.

returns as the punter. The Class B North division was the best in the Shore Conference last season, producing two state sectional champions and three overall finalists. Neither of those teams won the division, however, as Middletown South took the B North crown. With Manasquan and Middletown South expected to contend again, a loaded Red Bank Catholic team and a much-improved Long Branch squad it will once again be a gauntlet.

“I think our D-line could be pretty solid with Austin and (l-r) Nicko Cofone leading,” Bush said. “If your defensively line is good it sets the tone for the rest of the defense. We’ve been encouraged by what we’ve seen so far, and we know that Austin is a great player.”

Middletown North learned how to get over the hump last season and will take that knowledge into this season. The mark of a consistent program is winning no matter who graduates, and that is what the Lions are trying to accomplish this season.

TIM MCCANN, CONNOR WELSH & AUSTIN DEWISE

“We all have confidence in each other,” Dewise said. “We’ve all been working together and we know what we have to do.” Robbins and senior Allajah Morin are the starting inside linebackers while Dunleavy and senior Daylon Wilkerson will start at outside linebacker. Senior Ryan Dones is currently injured but will likely start at inside linebacker

when healthy. Junior Stephen Barry will also see time at inside linebacker. Welsh will play the rover position as a strong safety/outside linebacker hybrid. Campbell and senior Billy Barillari will start at cornerback while junior Alex Zenker is the starting safety. Soto will also see snaps in the secondary. Middletown North returns one of the top kickers in the Shore with junior Joey Cavanagh, who converted 8 of 10 field goals and 37 of 43 extra points last season. Dewise

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“We want to keep the winning tradition going,” Welsh said. “We’ve slowly gotten a lot better and hopefully that continues this year.”

Action Photo by:

BooFace Photography w w w. b o o f a c e p h o t o g r a p h y. c o m

57


WAR EAGLE

By

Bob Badders

Managing Editor

W

hen a tremendous senior class exited the program in June, it left Middletown South with more first-time starters for the upcoming season than they’ve had in quite a while. The challenge for the Eagles will be to integrate several new players, especially on offense, and continue the standard they’ve set as one of the most consistent public schools in the Shore over the last 15 years.

Coaching Staff

2017

S C H E D U LE Friday 9/8

Red Bank Catholic

Friday 9/I5

@ Ocean

Saturday 9/22

Manasquan

Thursday 9/28

@ Rumson

Friday 10/6

@ Toms River North

Friday 10/27

@ St. John Vianney

Friday 11/3

Wall MiddleTown North

At A Glance B IG SHO E S TO FI LL: Matt Ferrigno, Sr., DB Ferrigno will play safety where two-time first-team All-Shore selection Maxx Imsho roamed for the past three years.

X -FA C TO R :

Offensive line

The Eagles will be breaking in four new starters up front, so a lot will ride on how quickly the unit can come together. G LU E GU Y: Jake Krellin, Sr., TE/LB A three-year starter on defense and one of the most disruptive players in the Shore, Krellin’s presence draws plenty of attention and frees up other players on Middletown South’s defense. iMP A C T N E WC OM ER : Ben Kinsella, Sr. QB

Kinsella has waited his turn to start and now gets his chance at directing the Eagles’ spread pistol offense.

P IVO T AL G A ME: Sept. 28 at Rumson-Fair Haven The Eagles won a 14-13 thriller last season, and this year’s meeting between the two public powers figures to be crucial for both teams.

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Head Coach:

C a r e e r R e c o r d : 177-41

A ss i s ta n t C o a c he s :

@ Long Branch

Friday 10/20

Thursday 11/23

Steve Antonucci, 20th season

AIDAN MCCANN, MATT TARDY, ADAM MARKMAN, JAKE KRELLIN, CHAZ ALESSI & BEN KINSELLA

(l-r)

“It’s definitely been a challenge playing with so many new names for the first time in a while, but nothing has changed as far as the standards and the goals,” said Middletown South head coach Steve Antonucci. “We expect these guys to play at the level we normally play at.”

“It’s a good thing he’s on our team,” Antonucci said. “We had our first scrimmage against St. Joe’s (Montvale) and we had him coming off the edge and they had all kind of issues with him. He’s a guy you have to set your protections to and know where he is on the field at all times. He’s a handful.”

“Our mantra is to always win a ring,” said senior lineman Adam Markman. “That’s the goal no matter who we lose or whatever happens.”

The other outside linebacker spot is between senior Aidan McCann and junior Troy Burbank.

The Eagles missed out on a state championship last season when they lost to eventual champion Sayreville in the North 2, Group IV semifinals, but did walk away with some hardware by claiming the Class B North division title among a group that featured sectional champions Wall and Manasquan and sectional finalist Middletown North. It all starts with defense at Middletown South, and the Eagles will bring back five starters from a unit that finished 17th in the Shore allowing 19 points per game. Three linemen are returning starters in the 44 front with Markman and senior Jake Bancala returning at defensive tackle, and junior Matt Tardy back at defensive end. The new starter on the line is senior defensive end John Flynn. Returning as an inside linebacker will be senior Chris Patterson, who finished with 58 tackles last season. The other inside linebacker spot is a competition between juniors Dylan Walling and Kenny McCarthy. Returning at outside linebacker is one of the best defensive players in the Shore Conference, senior Jake Krellin. A first-team All-Shore selection last season and the Class B North Defensive Player of the Year, Krellin had a monster year with 109 tackles and a whopping 45 tackles for a loss, while also tying for the Shore Conference lead with 15 sacks. He is on the short list of preseason Defensive Player of the Year favorites.

The secondary has three new starters with junior Chris Fleming and sophomore Matt Krellin at cornerback. Senior Matt Ferrigno takes over at safety. “The defense didn’t take too big of a hit,” Markman said. “We have some guys coming back led by Jake Krellin, who is just an animal.”

Al Bigos (def. coord/DB); R.J. Read (off. coord./QB); Steve Roberts (special teams/LB); Nick Trezza (OL/DL); Jeff Martin (RB/DB); Tom Grier (off. asst.); Rod Murchie, John Kline, Rick Taylor (freshmen); Stacy White (athletic trainer).

2016 Record: 7-4 (5-1)

H-back last season. Junior Jayme Petrillo will also get some carries. The wide receivers are seniors Matt Cruz and McCann, junior Rob Zega and sophomore Tyler Cuccia. Cruz and Zega both saw limited action last season. The offensive line has just one starter back with Markman at center, but the thought process is that the group just needs time to come together. Senior Frank Settembrino saw some action last year and will start at left guard. Junior Brady Smith is the right guard while sophomores Tom Mielnikewicz and Nick Bonfiglio will start at left and right tackle, respectively.

“When you have guys like Krellin, Tardy, Bancala that have game experience, they know the scheme and the expectations,” Antonucci said. “Those guys are pretty good in the front seven or eight, it’s the back end where we have to catch up.”

“We took a big hit to the offensive line with four guys lost,” Markman said. “Just getting the communication down and building the comradery back up has been the biggest thing.”

Offensively, the Eagles bring back just four starters in their spread pistol set. Senior Ben Kinsella takes over at quarterback with junior Trevor Brey backing up.

“For the offensive line it’s about reps,” Antonucci said. “The more they get, the better they’re going to be, and we think that’s going to be the case where as the season goes on they continue to grow and get better.”

“Being backup the past two years to (Matt) Mosquera, who led us to a state title, and then to Aneesh (Agrawal) last year, I picked up a lot from them,” Kinsella said. “Ben is very athletic so he gives us mobility,” Antonucci said. “He has a good first step and his release is fantastic. He throws the deep ball very well. He’s another guy where, because he didn’t play, the speed of the game has to slow down for him, but he has the ability to be very good.”

Junior Chris Kaldrovics returns as the kicker and Zega is the punter on special teams. Middletown South will once again play what is likely the most difficult schedule in the Shore. Aside from their Class B North schedule, the Eagles will play three-time defending Class A Central champion St. John Vianney, four-time defending state sectional champion Rumson-Fair Haven and defending Class A South champion Toms River North in their nondivisional games.

Senior Chaz Alessi returns at running back while Krellin and Tardy are back after they both saw time at

20I7 FOOTBALL PREVIEW

/ VOLUME-IX / ISSUE-16 / 9/5/17


The Shore Sports Network is the radio home of Monmouth University Hawks Football, with Matt Harmon and Eddy Occhipinti in the broadcast booth for all away games on 1160/1310 WOBM-AM, online at WOBMAM.com and ShoreSportsNetwork.com. You can also listen on your free radioPup smartphone app!

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59


A C H ANGE IN PH IL OS OPHY

S

Bob Badders

Managing Editor

everal teams around the Shore Conference enter the 2017 season having to move on from one of their programs’ all-time greats, and Ocean certainly falls into that category following the graduation of quarterback Kenny Pickett.

Coaching Staff

2017

S C H E D U LE Saturday 9/2

@ Wall

Friday 9/I5

MiddleTown South

Saturday 9/23

Red Bank Catholic

Thursday 9/28

@ Matawan

Friday I0/I3

Manasquan

Friday I0/20

@ Long Branch

Friday I0/27

Pt Pleasant Boro

Friday II/3

Don Klein, 11th season

Head Coach:

@ Monmouth Regional

Friday 9/8

C a r e e r R e c o r d : 62-42-1

A s si s ta n t C o a c he s :

Marc Tomo (off. coord.); Jim Simonelli (def. coord.); Pat O’Neill (QB/DB); Hank Limardo (WR/DB); Berkeley Hutchinson (DL); Mike Lambusta (OL); Cip Apicelli (RB/DB); Dean Athen, James Nottingham (freshmen); Katelyn Zimmerman (athletic trainer).

@ Middletown North

2 01 6 R e c o r d : 5-5 (1-5)

At A Glance B IG SHO E S TO FI LL: Robbie Nungesser, So., QB Nungesser takes over at quarterback following in the footsteps of current University of Pittsburgh freshman Kenny Pickett, who was a two-time All-Shore selection.

X

-FA C TO R : The running game Ocean has tailored its offense around its running game, and if the Spartans can be consistently productive on the ground everything should fall into place. G LU E GU Y: Andrew Worthington, Sr., OL/DL The team’s leader, Worthington is a three-year starter and one of the top returning linemen in the Shore Conference. i M P A C T N E W C O M E R : Trebor Pena, So., WR/DB Pena will get a chance to start on both sides of the ball as a sophomore.

P I V O T A L G A M E : Sept. 8 at Wall With Ocean playing in Week 0 this will be its second game and Class B North opener against a Wall team that is also in transition mode with a new head coach and several new starters.

(l-r)

RYAN JENKS & ANDREW WORTHINGTON

Picket was an All-Shore level quarterback as a three-year starter and is now a freshman at the University of Pittsburgh. The offense was tailored around his skill set, and without him that means more changes to Ocean’s offense. “We’re not going to replace Kenny Pickett, who is the greatest quarterback in the history of our program and one of the top ones in the Shore,” said Ocean head coach Don Klein. “When we look at our team we understand we’re going to have to rely on what we do well and the experience we have, and that starts up front.” The Spartans will switch from a spread offense to more of a multiple base that will focus on setting the tone with the running game. With four returning starters on the offensive line it’s the logical choice to get the most out of a team that will be young at quarterback. “Losing the types of dynamic playmakers

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“The line should be really good this year.”

we’ve had the last couple years, having a strong offensive line is a good place to start,” Klein said. “Our system has changed to try to take advantage of that. Being young at quarterback we have to establish the run and give our quarterback the opportunity to make plays through the air based off the success we have on the ground.” Senior Andrew Worthington leads the linemen as the center and has fellow senior returning starter Christian Wilson at left guard. Senior Lawrence Betton is also a returning starter and will be at right tackle. Senior Ryan Jenks wasn’t a full-time starter last season but did see snaps on the line. He’ll be the starting left tackle. The newcomer of the group will be junior Dino Poniros at right guard with sophomore Brian Fisher battling for playing time. Senior Tim Lawlor will serve as a utility lineman. “We have four seniors up front so we have a lot of leadership on the line,” Jenks said.

20I7 FOOTBALL PREVIEW

“Up front we’re really strong so we’ll make life easier for everyone and take the pressure off,” Worthington said. Those players will be tasked with opening up holes for senior running back Jasher Pena and protecting sophomore quarterback Robbie Nungesser. Pena split time with Anthony Tedesco last season but will get most of the carries as a senior. “Jasher has a nice balance between quickness and power, and anytime you get the opportunity to get the bulk of the carries it allows you to get into a rhythm,” Klein said. “I think that’s really going to help him.” Nungesser will be making his varsity debut, but has the tools to develop into a winning quarterback. “What we like about Robbie is his demeanor,” Klein said. “He has that personality where whether he lights it up or struggles a bit he’s going to come back the next day with the same mindset. He brings a steady influence to the offense and he also can spin the ball really well. He has to

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continue to work on his consistency but we like his arm talent and his demeanor, and ultimately he’ll be a good enough athlete to hurt defenses and keep them honest.” Junior Will Sacco has also been working in at quarterback and is slated to be the backup. Junior Ryan Moran is the fullback and will also get some carries to offer a change of pace from Pena. Senior Josh Estin and junior Joe DiDario will also see time at fullback. The wide receivers are juniors Mike Kircher, Holden Lowe and Mike Nies, senior Matt Ianucilli, and sophomores Trebor Pena and Mike Gavakis. Senior Ian Delaney is the tight end. On defense, the Spartans return four starters in their multiple 40 defense that was in the middle of the pack at 20.4 points per game last season. Wilson is a returning starter at defensive end and will be joined by Delaney, Betton and senior Anthony Russomanno in a rotation. The defensive tackles are Worthington and Poniros with Fisher also in the rotation. Estin or sophomore Javier Highland will be the new starting middle linebacker, and will have a pair of returning starters flanking them as Jenks is back as the weakside linebacker and Moran returns as the strongside linebacker.

The secondary is completely new with junior Ahmad Moore and Trebor Pena at cornerback and Sacco and Lowe at safety. Kircher, Nies and Jasher Pena could also see time in the secondary. “We’re built with experience on our offensive line, and on defense it’s the linebackers,” Klein said. “Moran and Jenks are both intelligent, tough and can run and tackle, so it’s a good place to start.” Either Kircher or Pena will be the kicker while either Delaney or Nies will be the punter. DiDario is the long-snapper. There’s no question this is a transition year for Ocean, so getting off to a good start would go a long way toward building confidence. “It’s crucial,” Klein said. “We have been fortunate to have success early in the season the last few years, and when you do that it proves to the kids everything we ask them to do leading up to that point is meaningful. Getting the ball rolling early, especially with some of the guys we lost, is going to vital for this team to have success.”

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TH E MIGH TY CA S EY S

F

rank Edgerly’s return to the Shore Conference at the helm of the Red Bank Catholic program brought highs and lows. The Caseys went 5-5 on the year, the first time they’d taken home less than six wins since 2004.

2017

S C H E D U LE

Friday 9/8 @ MiddleTown South Friday 9/I5 MiddleTown North Saturday 9/23 @ Ocean Friday 9/29 @ Colonia Friday I0/6 Wall Saturday I0/I4 Long Branch Friday I0/20 St. John Vianney Friday I0/27 @ Red Bank Saturday II/4 @ Manasquan

At A Glance B IG SHO E S TO FI LL: Emmett McNamara, Sr., DE The focus of everyone’s attention on the Red Bank Catholic defense last fall was on All-Division defensive end Nasir Darnell, who averaged seven tackles a game and is now suiting up for Harvard. That meant that Emmett McNamara flew under the radar, collecting 40 tackles and 1.5 sacks. This year, Edgerly says, McNamara’s “got a big bullseye on his back” and the Caseys will look to him to fill that defensive leadership position left vacant by Darnell’s departure.

X -FA C TO R :

Staying Healthy

Health proved to be the Caseys’ Achilles heel last fall. If they can avoid a bite from the injury bug as they face one of the Shore’s most grueling schedules then it’s likely that the Caseys will be a contender in both the Shore and the state come November.

G LU E GU Y: Nick Brusca, Sr., RB/QB/LB Brusca, a running back by nature, found himself starting at quarterback in the midst of the Caseys’ injury woes last fall. He threw four touchdown passes and ran for another in a mid-October game against Long Branch only to suffer a season-ending rib injury the next week against St. John Vianney. Edgerly says that Brusca has the respect of the team and the respect of the staff, and after a grueling offseason recovery, he’s sure to be one of the senior leaders on this team as a triple threat with potential at running back, quarterback, and linebacker. iMP A C T N E WC OM ER : Anthony Romano, Jr., WR/DB Romano actually took some snaps under center last season during the Caseys’ quarterback crisis, and saw additional time as a sophomore on special teams. He’ll enter the season as Red Bank Catholic’s starting safety, and might even see time at wide receiver.

P IVO T AL G A ME: Oct. 14 vs. Long Branch Red Bank Catholic took home a 35-20 win over Long Branch last season, when both teams were in rebuilding years. This year, both the Caseys and the Green Wave are back and rebuilt, Long Branch with an experienced quarterback and a receiving corps full of seniors. This’ll be a fun matchup to watch, and, even cooler, it’ll take place on the big stage at High Point Solutions Stadium at Rutgers.

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Ella Brockway

SSN Contributor

They battled injuries throughout the season, at one point running through not three, not four, but five different starting quarterbacks. They played one of the most difficult schedules in the Shore, one that included three eventual state finalists, all without a bye week. They were a young and inexperienced team with only 12 seniors on the roster, facing veteran-heavy opponents like Middletown South, Wall and Manasquan. What were the highs? The lessons learned: by Edgerly, about how the Shore had changed in the eight years he’d been away, and by the players, about the level of toughness that the competitive, post-realignment Class B North division required. “In this division, with the depth of talent, depth of coaching, quality of the programs, you have to make sure you’re developing your depth because as the season goes on, it’s a grind,” said Edgerly, who returned to coach his alma mater last fall after spending eight years as a scout and a coach in the NFL. “At some point in time, your 2 or your 3 or your 4 are going to have to play a pivotal role, because this is a very physically demanding division.”

“Every team in the Shore is a great team. They have great coaches and we’ve just got to be ready for every game,” said senior defensive back Matt Ansell. “We can’t take any week off, and you never know when your name’s going to be called, so you’ve always got to be ready to step up.” “Last year we were a young team, and then we had some injuries that required us to play some younger kids,” said Edgerly. “It’s a grind getting through it, but then you come out the other side and you have some more experience. I would say that this senior class in terms of setting the bar is second-to-none. That bar they’ve established is what’s going to be the difference between this year’s and last year’s team.”

This year is different. With 18 returning seniors and nearly 10 returning starters, Red Bank Catholic is back in business. Expectations are high, with many around the c o n f e r e n c e wondering if this will be the year that Red Bank Catholic returns to the top of the Shore. Edgerly is no stranger to that success; his Casey teams went 5443 over ten seasons and won three . division titles from 2005 to Photo by: M a r k B r o w n 2008. w w w. b 5 1 p h o t o g r a p h y. c o m

The Caseys bring back the majority of their offensive starters, most notably junior quarterback Steve Lubischer and senior running back Zack Bair. The 6-foot-1 signal caller won the starting job out of camp last season, but suffered a shoulder injury in the third quarter of the team’s season opener against Middletown South that kept him out for seven weeks. Lubischer returned for the final three games of the season to throw for 641 yards and six touchdowns.

Sr N I C K B R U S C A

20I7 FOOTBALL PREVIEW

Bair rushed for 1,129 yards and eight touchdowns last fall and r e c e n t l y received his first FCS offer from Bryant

Coaching Staff Frank Edgerly, 2nd season (12th overall)

Head Coach:

C a r e e r R e c o r d : 59-48

A ss i s ta n t C o a c he s :

Matt Ahearn (def. coord.); Matt Bijas (TE/DB); Joe Gallagher (WR/DB); Keith Hugger (special teams); Mike Lange (RB/LB); T.J. Moriarty (off. assistant); Mike Rosenfeld (RB/LB); Nick Varanelli (OL/DL); Tony Flego, Joe Lanza & Doug Whitlock (freshmen).

2016 Record: 5-5 (3-3)

University. Bair’s speed off of the grab--he runs a 4.6 in the 40-yard dash--will be an essential piece of Red Bank Catholic’s multiple-pro offense this season. “It’s definitely a good outlook,” said Bair. “We’ve been working hard and competing every day, and we’re looking forward to the first game September 8.” Red Bank Catholic also returns one of the Shore’s most highly-touted tight ends in Kevin Bauman. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound sophomore received his first FBS offer from Rutgers in June and saw varsity action as a freshman last year, turning heads with 196 receiving yards and four touchdowns. Sophomore Charlie Gordinier, the younger brother of former Red Bank Catholic standout and current Miami Hurricane Jamie Gordinier, will look to make an impact at tight end. Senior Brandon Lombana is also a key returnee in the Caseys’ receiving corps, a group that graduated only one senior. Lombana caught four touchdown passes last year, and his athleticism and quickness will make him one of Lubischer’s favorite targets. Four of the five starters on last year’s offensive line return. Seniors Michael Griggs

RBC

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RBC

Continued from page 62 and Conor Smith, who gave verbal commitments this summer to Colgate and Harvard, respectively, will anchor the line. Junior Tommy Smith, a 6-foot-2 left guard, showed promise last year as a two-way lineman. The line is rounded out by senior Brandon Dente at right guard and 6-foot-3, 255-pound senior transfer (Howell) Richard Christie at right tackle. Leading the line on the opposite side of the ball will be 6-foot6, 245-pound senior defensive end Emmett McNamara, who had 40 tackles and 1.5 sacks for the Caseys last season. McNamara gave a verbal commitment to the University of Virginia in July and is entering only his second season of high school football, but his size and his potential are impressing teams and coaches all around the Shore, his own included. “You get a kid (like McNamara) that’s that size and can move around pretty good, everyone’s going to see the potential,” said Edgerly. “Potential’s good, but at some point in time production has to supersede potential, so we’re really excited to see what he’s going to be able to do this year.” Ansell returns to command the Red Bank Catholic secondary in the Caseys’ 3-3-5 defense, aiming to restructure a unit that allowed 25.1 points per game last fall, nearly as many as they scored offensively (25.3). Ansell had two interceptions and 85 tackles during the 2016 season, and finished with 38 tackles his sophomore year in 2015. Junior linebacker Gino Tartamella will also boost the Caseys’ linebacking unit after collecting 57 tackles as a sophomore. Fellow junior Anthony Romano also returns after seeing time mainly on special teams as a sophomore and will start at safety. “We’re pretty confident about what our schedule has this year

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KEVIN BAUMAN, STEVE LUBISCHER, NICK BRUSCA, JADEN KEY & CONOR SMITH

and we’re just looking to work hard every day in practice,” said Ansell. “We’ve got a lot of guys coming back on defense, so we’re looking pretty strong. We’ve just got to do our job and get ready for Week 1.” Junior Ryan O’Hara will again handle the kicking duties for the Caseys. O’Hara hit a 23-yard field goal with 58 seconds left in the fourth quarter to secure Red Bank Catholic’s first win of the 2016 season in Week 2 against Middletown North. In last year’s preseason preview, Edgerly said that what the 2016 team “lacks in experience, they certainly make up for in talent.” This year, the Caseys have that valuable combination of

20I7 FOOTBALL PREVIEW

experience and talent. The challenges will come right away. Again, the Caseys are without a bye week, and their season opener on the road against Middletown South will be the first true test to see how the Caseys have grown and matured since last season. “We feel that we’re going to be a competitive team. Like anything else, we need to stay healthy. But right now, through the course of the offseason, through obviously the summer and the preseason, we’re pretty happy about the level of work we put in,” said Edgerly. “Now, what that translates into, time’s going to tell.”

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OVER-KNIGHT OVERHAUL

W

all senior quarterback Eddie Scott believes in his ability to make plays, and considering he has already won an NJSIAA sectional title as a starting quarterback, he has no reason not to.

By

Matt Manley

Senior Staff Editor

Coaching Staff Tony Grandinetti, 1st season

Head Coach:

C a r e e r R e c o r d : 0-0

2017

A ss i s ta n t C o a c he s :

S C H E D U LE

Friday 9/8 Ocean Friday 9/I5 @ Central Friday 9/22 @ Raritan Friday 9/29 Long Branch Friday I0/6 @ Red Bank Catholic Friday I0/I3 @ Middletown North Friday I0/20 Matawan Friday II/3 @ Middletown South Thursday II/23 Manasquan

At A Glance B IG SHO ES TO F ILL : The offensive line With an entire offensive line and a starting tight end lost to graduation, Wall has some serious overhauling to do on the line this year. Grandinetti sees seven reliable players on the line, so there is optimism in the Crimson Knights camp that while the line won’t be as imposing as last year’s group, it will still be a strength of the team.

X -F AC T OR :

Chavesse Covin, WR/RB

Covin was a change-of-pace runner out of the slot as a junior and an effective one at that. Not only will Covin likely get more touches in the running game due to the graduation of Sean Larkin, but he could also be a greater weapon in the passing game if Wall decides the best course is to call for Scott to throw the ball more often.

G LU E GU Y: Brady McNally, RB/LB McNally filled whatever role Wall needed during his junior year and as a senior this season, he will get a chance to be the featured running back in the offense. While his role in the backfield will likely limit his snaps on defense, McNally will still play a key spot on the other side of the ball at outside linebacker. i MP A C T N E W CO ME R: Tanner Powers, TE/OLB

Last year, quarterback Eddie Scott had his brother, Gene, as his tight end, and while there won’t be a sibling connection this year, Scott still has capable weapons at his disposal at that position. Powers has impressive Grandinetti and his staff so far and could get the bulk of the tight end snaps despite only being a junior.

P IVO TA L GA ME : Oct. 13 at Middletown North It’s always hard to pinpoint one game in Class B North that is any more important than the others, but Wall’s mid-Oct., trip to Middletown North might very well turn out to be a make-orbreak game. The Crimson Knights play an imposing RBC squad the week earlier and regardless of whether they are sitting at 4-1, 3-2 or 2-3 coming out of that game, the Middletown North game will have huge implications. If Wall is 4-1 or 3-2, a division title and a first-round home game in the NJSIAA Playoffs could be in play, while a 2-3 mark would make it a virtual must-win to keep in the postseason hunt.

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Joe Trezza (Defensive Coordinator), Mike Cerminaro (QB), Bob Grace (RB), Derek Gardner (TE), Fred Sprengel (WR), Joe LaFerlita (LB), Tim Heaney (DL), James Cadigan (OL), Jim Rochford (Head Freshman), Bill Pietsch & Mike Galos (Freshman)

(l-r) T I M

MCKERNAN, CHEVESSE COVIN, BRADY MCNALLY, DYLAN RICHEY & EDDIE SCOTT

2016 Record: 10-2 (4-2 in Class B North)

Junior running back Kamaal Cofer and senior tight end Dean Collatrella also return with a little bit of varsity experience, while junior tight end Tanner Powers and sophomore receivers Teddy Sharkey and Mike Galos figure to see their first varsity action this year.

front last season, so the likes of Fardella, Ackerman and Colletrella will have to step in this year. Senior defensive end Travis Aylett will also make an impact on the defensive line, while senior Grant Berardo will also see time up front.

First-year head coach Tony Grandinetti wouldn’t mind Scott closing out his high school career with a bang, but he is also not looking for Scott to stray far from the player who has quarterbacked the team for the better part of the past two seasons.

The key to all of the weapons on offense working out as planned is, of course, the overhauled offensive line. Wall started five seniors across the 2016 line, as well as senior tight end Gene Scott, so this group is as inexperienced as there is in the conference. Grandinetti, however, knows the players well and saw them practice last year while they were blocked by a talented senior unit.

The strength of Wall’s defense should be in the linebacker corps, led by returning inside linebacker Tim McKernan. As a junior last year, McKernan was second on the team with 72 tackles and will share the middle this year with the tandem of Schneider and senior Ryan Kellet. Wall will platoon at the two outside spots as well, with Shulman and Powers on one side and Covin and McNally on the other.

If all goes according to the initial plan laid out by Grandinetti – the offensive line coach on last year’s South Jersey Group III championship team – Scott will not have to throw the ball much more than he did last year, when his primary job was to manage a running game that overwhelmed most of its opposition during a 10-2 campaign.

“I had these (lineman) last year when they were playing behind that senior group so I know what they are capable of,” Grandinetti said. “They have everything it takes to make up a quality offensive line at this level. They only thing they don’t have is the experience doing it on Friday nights. Once they get out there and get that part out of the way, they’ll be just fine.”

Richey leads the group in the secondary after breaking into the lineup last year and will account for one of the two starting cornerback spots. Senior Josiah Schucht will occupy the other corner, while Cofer and senior Mike Cassidy take care of the safety spots.

“Eddie is a three-year starter, so we feel very good about putting the ball in his hands in any situation,” Grandinetti said. “With that being said, we still want to be a team that gets a push up front and can pick up yards on the ground. Ultimately, that’s going to make Eddie more effective as a quarterback, so even if he’s going to throw it more, it still has to start up front with the line.”

Junior Joe Fardella and senior Tyler Pappas have the inside track on the two tackle spots, senior Chris Buono and sophomore Ian Ackerman are set to take over the guard spots and junior Brady Scott is Grandinetti’s projected starter at center. Senior Brian Shulman is also competing for time at center while junior Tommy Schneider has earned reps at guard and will be part of the rotation.

Although Wall will have to replace 1,500-yard rusher Sean Larkin, senior Brady McNally returns with experience carrying the ball and even started a game at tailback when Larkin was injured. Versatile senior Chavesse Covin also returns and will be a primary option in the Wall offense last year after serving as a change-ofpace to Larkin out of the slot.

“It’s going to be a learning experience to begin with but they are really coming together,” Scott said. “They really haven’t missed a beat. You would think that they were playing together since they were really young. It’s a mix of seniors and younger guys and they are really working well as a unit.”

Now that his team returns this season with a completely new offensive line, a new head coach and minus an All-Shore running back, Scott is ready to show off the full range of his skills. “I feel like we can throw and attack this year,” Scott said. “We ran last year because we could and I think this year, instead of throwing because we had to, we’re going to take advantage of our passing game more.”

Wall will be working in plenty of new pieces around Scott, McNally and Covin, including junior receiver Dylan Richey. Richey returns with experience in the defensive backfield as well as some at wide receiver, but he figures to be a more integral part of the offense this year as a potential lead option in a passing game that is likely to account for more of the offense.

“You could see already that they really feed off each other,” McNally said about the offensive line. “One of them makes a good block and it energizes the whole offense and makes everyone want to do it on the next play. When you get that feeling going, that’s what makes guys keep working and keep pushing to get better.” Wall’s offensive line also accounted for the defensive

20I7 FOOTBALL PREVIEW

While the offensive line is an obvious variable for the Crimson Knights heading into the year, the coaching shakeup is also something to watch for Wall. Dan Curcione took the head coaching job at Donovan Catholic and took offensive coordinator Chip LaBarca, Jr. with him, so two of the architects of last year’s championship season are no longer on staff. Grandinetti, however, was also on the staff and Wall will be under the watch of a 2017 staff that has plenty of experience together. Grandinetti also brought on former Middletown North head coach Joe Trezza as defensive coordinator. In a deep, dangerous Class B North division, Wall will have its hands full as it hopes to reload on the line while remaining in the hunt for the postseason and the public division championship. With Scott, Cover, McNally and McKernan providing some stability during the retool, the Crimson Knights have a chance at a worthy follow-up to the 2016 championship season. “There are a lot of new faces here but the atmosphere is great,” Scott said. “It’s exciting to come to practice every day and see who is going to stepPup.” hotos by: Ray Rich Photography www.rayrichphotography.smugmug.com

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DYNASTY DEFENSE

By

Matt Manley

Senior Staff Writer

O

ne of Tim Fosque’s first challenges when he took over as the head coach of the Asbury Park football program ahead of the 2015 season was to convince enough players to come out and play for the Blue Bishops despite the fact that the team had not been meeting its standards over the previous three seasons.

Coaching Staff

2017

S C H E D U LE Friday 9/8 Saturday 9/I5 Friday 9/22 Saturday 9/30 Saturday I0/14 Friday I0/20 Friday I0/27 Friday II/3 Thurday II/23

@ Shore Keyport @ Pt Pleasant Beach @ Metuchen @ Mater Dei Dunellen Bishop AHR Keansburg Neptune

At A Glance B IG SHO ES TO F ILL : Quadir Lawson, RB Namir Argologos and Paul Reed combined for more than 1,700 yards as seniors last year, so Asbury Park will need someone to step up as the feature back. Lawson not only has the talent to do be that guy, but he also has experience after seeing significant time as a sophomore while at Shore Regional last year.

X -F A CT OR :

Front Seven With plenty of experience back on the offensive line, in the secondary, at the skill positions and at quarterback, the front seven on the defensive side looks like the greenest part of the roster. There is still some experience on the defensive line, most notably Paige and Ponds, but the linebacker position and some of the depth at defensive line are more of a mystery to the coaching staff than the rest of the team. G LU E GU Y: Jaylen Paige, OL/DL Paige is the most imposing player on Asbury Park’s experienced offensive line and he’ll bring that presence to the defensive side for more snaps this year. Asbury Park has some explosive players on offense who should rack up some yards, but it’s hard to be more important that a two-way lineman who can dominate on either side of the ball. i MP A C T N E W CO ME R: Junior Haughton, LB/RB Asbury Park will rely on a couple of freshman early on in the season and Haughton has one of the tougher assignments on the team considering he is a high school rookie. He’ll be part of a young group of linebackers and could also make an impact on offense.

P IVO TA L GA ME : Sept. 15 vs. Keyport The Red Raiders beat Asbury Park in the 2015 postseason and the 2016 regular season, but will have a chip on their shoulder after the Blue Bishops beat that in the Central Jersey Group I final last year. Keyport was one of two teams, along with Mater Dei, to beat Asbury Park within the division last year so this game marks a chance for Asbury Park to get out ahead of last year’s pace. The game is even bigger if Shore knocks off Asbury Park in Week 1 because then the Bishops will have to beat Keyport to avoid a 0-2 start.

Tim Fosque, 3rd season

Head Coach:

C a r e e r R e c o r d : 14-8

A s si s ta n t C o a c he s :

(l-r) JA Y L E N P A I G E, DEVIN NASH-MCGEE

DONTE ABRAMS, & JAVON HIGGS

His pitch back then was that Asbury Park football was on its way back. Three years later, he can say his team is officially back.

need to put him to get him the football.”

The Blue Bishops are coming off their first NJSIAA Central Jersey Group I championship since 2011 and are hoping the 2016 title will mark the beginning of a run similar to the one that culminated with that 2011 crown. From 2007 to 2011, Asbury Park won four sectional championships and with higher turnout, a wave of returnees and a key transfer in the mix, there is reason to believe this year’s team can match – and perhaps exceed – last year’s accomplishments.

Although Asbury Park lost two prominent running backs, the Blue Bishops still boast enough pieces to formulate another dominant rushing attack in 2017. Four seniors return to the offensive line, led by senior left tackle Jaylen Paige. Kyrie Moore, Kymar Ponds, and Xavier Banks are all back as well and will clear the way for a newcomer Quadir Lawson.

“It’s no different here this year,” Fosque said. “It’s all about buying into a system, having guys believe in that system and getting the outcome and the results we want by doing the right things, becoming good football players and just believing in what we’re doing.” “I know we’re going to be a target this year for a lot of teams,” senior wide receiver and defensive back Donte Abrams said. “We liked being the underdogs, but we also like that we’re the team everybody wants to beat. It’s going to keep us hungry and keep us humble.” Senior Ja’King Agostini returns for his second full season as a starting quarterback after helping lead his team to a championship as a junior. Last year, Agostini threw for just shy of 1,200 yards and tossed nine touchdowns against 11 interceptions. “It’s been easier this year now that I understand what to do and I’ve seen situations in the game before,” said Agostini, who emerged as the starting quarterback in the summer of 2016. “I know that, as the quarterback, if something goes wrong, it falls on me.” Agostini is likely to get more of a chance to make plays this year given that Asbury Park lost 2016 senior running backs Paul Reed and Namir Argilogos while also returning Abrams. A two-way standout who also plays strong safety, Abrams has drawn FBS interest as a defensive back, according to Fosque, with Notre Dame and Rutgers among the interested programs. “For us, Abrams is our utility guy,” Fosque said. “He’s going to be all over the place in the offense – wherever we

SHORESPORTSNETWORK.COM

Bob Ward, Matt Ardizzone, Nicholas Ciambrone, Keith Killea, Lamar Davenport, Barry Baity, Leroy Hayes, Darrin Doss, Paul Zarella (Volunteer), Syron Davis (Volunteer), Nancy Saphow (Athletic Trainer).

2016 Record: 8-4 (3-2 in Class B Central)

Junior Alex Harbor and freshman Mikai Jones are two more weapons at wideout for Agostini.

“For a Group I school, we’re big up front,” Fosque said. “The guys also understand what our scheme is and they understand that in order to win a championship, you’ve got to be able to run the ball and control the line of scrimmage.” A junior transfer from Shore Regional, Lawson is coming off a solid sophomore campaign for the Blue Devils and will have big shoes to fill at his new home. Reed was a workhorse ball-carrier for Asbury Park all season, while Argilogos was arguably the team’s most valuable player during its championship run, which culminated with a win over Keyport in which Argilogos rushed for 175 yards on 13 carries and scored three touchdowns. “We couldn’t have asked for a better surprise with (Lawson) coming in and filling in for Namir,” Fosque said. “He’s going to fill the role of that all-around guy with can block and carry the ball, which is what we had last year.” “I know my weapons,” Agostini said. “If I see a mismatch, then that’s where I’m going with the ball. At the same time, I know if we have somebody who is going good, we’re going to feed him.” Asbury Park’s biggest loss on the line was all-division performer Calvin Simmons-Harris, who leaves a vacancy at one of the guard spots. Senior Tykim Harris has been near the front of the competition for that job and potentially gives the Bishops and all-senior offensive line. While the Blue Bishops have upped their program-wide roster to more than 50 players, they will still be relying primarily on two-way players once the Sept. 8 opener against Shore rolls around. Paige, Moore, Ponds and Banks will all get snaps on the defensive line, with Paige and

Moore returning after making significant impact on last year’s defensive front. Lawson and freshman Junior Haughton highlight the linebacker corps, with Lawson in line to play on the strong side. Haughton could also carve out time as a playmaker on offense, most likely in the backfield. Abrams and Harbor account for half of the projected starting secondary, with Harbor playing one of the cornerback spots. Senior Devin Nash-McGee returns as the free safety and junior Devan Martin takes over the other starting cornerback position. “We have a solid defensive line and we’re good in the secondary,” Abrams said. “We didn’t lose too much and we’ve got some young kids who are hungry.” Although winning a second straight Central Jersey Group I crown would mark a successful season for Asbury Park, the Blue Bishops would also like to be sharper during their quest. Asbury Park lost four games during the regular season, including a divisional game to Keyport and a Thanksgiving rivalry game against Neptune. On top of turning those results around, Asbury Park would like to put forth a better effort against defending Class B Central champion Mater Dei Prep, which has quickly emerged as one of the Shore’s top teams since the arrival of coach Dino Mangiero and the transfers who followed. “I like playing Mater Dei because it’s a lot of competition and that’s what good teams and good players want,” Abrams said. “A lot of the teams we play are like that. We look at every game as a challenge.” While anything less than a repeat in Central Jersey Group I would be a disappointment for the Blue Bishops, the return of championship aspirations is enough to consider the rebirth of Asbury Park football complete. Repeating won’t be easy, but considering the program was 2-8 just three years ago, the fact that the Blue Bishops are back to being a championship-or-bust program is an accomplishment in itself.

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GLORY DAY S

S

By

Matt Manley

Senior Staff Editor

ince the 2013 season, five of the six teams residing in the Shore Conference Class B Central division have won an NJSIAA Sectional championship.

Coaching Staff

2017

S C H E D U LE Saturday 9/9 Friday 9/I5 Friday 9/22 Saturday 9/30 Saturday 10/7 Saturday 10/I4 Saturday 10/21 Saturday 10/28 Friday 11/3

Mater Dei @ HighLand Park @ Shore Pinelands Pt Pleasant Beach @ Sussex Tech. South River @ Keyport @ Asbury Park

At A Glance B IG SHO E S TO FI LL: Rodney Rotondella, OL/DL Rotondella played as a sophomore, but as the lone returning player on the offensive line, he’ll have to emerge as one of the leaders on offense as a junior. Keansburg’s 3-4 look should make the transition slightly easier on the defense, but there is no doubt the key to Keansburg season lies in how quickly the offensive line comes along.

X -FA C TO R :

Danny Vital, QB/DB

With a new offensive line in front of him, Vital will look to be extra sharp in the early going and the coaching staff expects as much from him now that he is a senior quarterback with plenty of varsity game experience. If he can use his many returning weapons wisely, the Titans should be able to work around any growing pains on the line.

G LU E GU Y: Joe Osterbye, RB/LB

John Bird, 3rd season

Head Coach:

C a r e e r R e c o r d : 3-17

A ss i s ta n t C o a c he s :

(l-r)

DARIUS MOORE, DANIEL VITAL & LIAM RIECKS

In order to make it six different champions in five seasons, Keansburg – the only B Central team without a state title in the past four years – is calling back to its glory years. Former head coach Brian Kmak and his former offensive coordinator Tom O’Keefe have joined current head coach John Bird’s staff for the upcoming season and will hope to pass along some of the knowledge that helped them guide Keansburg to the Central Jersey Group I championship game in 2007. “One of the things that those programs all have going for them in one way or another is tradition,” Bird said of the B Central rivals. “They have tradition and there is a connection to that tradition and I think by having coach Kmak and coach O’Keefe around, guys have a direct link to a period when this program was competing for a championship. They are also both great coaches. Any time you can bring in a coach with the ability to teach the game and also get an element of tradition, I think it’s huge for the players to see that.”

Osterbye has been a hard-nosed player for Keansburg since he was a freshman and now that he is a senior, he is one of the players that makes up the heartbeat of his team. Replacing an entire offensive line is no small task, but Osterbye and his classmates give Keansburg a good foundation as the Titans try to take a big step this year.

On this year’s team, Kmak will handle the defense and O’Keefe the quarterbacks, namely returning senior and three-year starter Danny Vital. Bird and O’Keefe are hoping Vital can take his game to another level this season with an offense that returns many of its skill position players from a year ago.

iMP A C T N E WC OM ER : George Wingender, WR A senior transfer from Georgia, Wingender joins a deep and potentially dangerous receiving corps surrounding Vital. Wingender and Paul Eckleberry give the Titans a pair of senior newcomers at receiver and while it might be nice to have some full-gown men showing up to play on the line, it never hurts to have options – especially with an experienced quarterback running the show.

“As a quarterback, you always have to be a leader, but when you’re a senior, it’s a different level,” Vital said. “Plus, we have a young offensive line, so it’s even more important for me to make sure I’m a leader. I have to do it because it’s my team now – I have no choice but to do it.”

P IVO T AL G A ME: Oct. 28 at Keyport While Keansburg is hoping to get off to a stronger start to their season to build on last year’s postseason berth, the showdown with Keyport is always the big game. The Titans would like to be at least .500 heading into that game to set up, but the record doesn’t indicate how close the game will be. Keansburg pushed the Red Raiders in a 21-15 loss last year.

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Over the last five weeks of the 2016 season, during which Keansburg picked up both of its wins, the Vital and the Titans offense averaged 21.8 points after putting up 45 over the first five weeks. The strong close to the season, which included a six-point loss to CJ I runner-up Keyport and a 50-21, state playoff loss to Shore Regional that was a vast improvement on a 42-0 loss to the Blue Devils earlier in the season. “Having Danny, who has such a great ability to run or

throw, helps,” Bird said. “A lot of the stuff we do is reading different defensive guys one way or another on every play.” Coming off last year’s postseason appearance, the Titans return a packed backfield and a collection of receivers to go along with Vital. Junior Liam Riecks emerged as a capable ball-carrier and senior Joe Osterbye will again be a key cog in the offense as a runner and blocker. Returning senior Miguel Crespo also adds an element of versatility to the offense from the Hback spot, as does senior Justin Alessi. “Our coaches always say, we just have to do our 1/11th of the offense or defense,” Osterbye said. “Everyone can do one job so if everyone takes care of that job, the team works.” Seniors Darius Moore and Jashawn Martin return to the receiving corps, while Paul Eckleberry and George Wingender join the all-senior quartet. Eckleberry is a basketball player playing high school football for the first time, while Wingender is a transfer from Georgia. Moore, meanwhile, was the team’s leading receiver a year ago. The key to Keansburg’s season will likely by its line – both on offense and defense. Only junior tackle Rodney Rotondella returns to the offensive line and juniors Bernie Comey and Ijustice Tucker are the only players who had claimed starting spots through the last weekend of August – Comey at guard and Tucker at center. “It is a luxury to have so many skill guys, but we’re trying to figure out how to get those guys the ball in space and how to do some things where we won’t be overly reliant on the line until our lineman catch up,” Bird said. “Last year, we had four senior lineman who were three-and-four-year starters and we just told them, ‘Go get a push and we’ll run behind you guys.’” “If they can just give our quarterback two seconds, we’ll be fine,” Osterbye said. “We have athletes and our athletes are going to make plays for us. The biggest thing is going to be keeping our quarterback safe.” “We’re going to have to pick them up for the first few weeks, but they’ll get it,” Riecks said. “It’s tough being as young as they are and to have to learn this fast, so as

20I7 FOOTBALL PREVIEW

Brian Kmak (Def. Coordinator/DB), Tom O’Keefe (QB), Raffaelle Spagnola (WR), Uriel Morfin (DL), Ryan Burgess (OL), Ben Markus (LB), Jon DeLiso (Volunteer Assistant/DB), Jim Reid (Volunteer Assistant), Jesse Herbert (Media), Kelli Hudson (Athletic Trainer)

2016 Record: 2-8 (0-5 in Class B Central)

older guys, we have to try to help them.” Rontondella, Comey, Tucker and the remainder of the offensive line will also comprise the defensive line rotation in Keansburg’s 3-4 look. While the Titans will lack experience up front, they have plenty coming back at the four linebacker spots and in the secondary. Osterbye and senior Deshaun Conaway make up the middle linebackers, while Crespo and Riecks are set to play on the outside. Vital and junior Hunter MacDonald will occupy the two starting safety spots and the cornerback position will be a three-way rotation between Alessi, Martin and Moore. “I think we can cover for the d-line with the other positions a little bit better than we can on offense,” Bird said. “The job is probably a little bit easier and we’re really just looking for three down lineman to be tough. Be tough, get hands on a man, hold him up, and we’ll have linebackers and d-backs to swarm and make plays.” The challenge for Bird and his coaching staff will be to help the new collection of lineman catch up with the experienced skill players and put the rest of the offense and defense in position to move the ball while the line develops. The Titans are coming off a positive season in 2016 in that they reached the NJSIAA Playoffs so it will be important for this group of mostly-senior skill players to build on that. “It was upsetting to lose in a playoff game, but it definitely made me more humble and made my teammates more humble to actually make it to the playoffs and see what that feeling was like,” Osterbye said. “This year, hopefully, we’re ready for much more than that. We want to be competing for a championship.”

/ VOLUME-IX / ISSUE-16 / 9/5/17


ONE STEP AWAY

L

By

Matt Manley

Senior Staff Editor

ess than a quarter away from capturing the program’s first NJSIAA Central Jersey Group I championship since 2002, the Keyport football team went from the brink of euphoria to heartbreak for the second consecutive season.

Coaching Staff

2017

S C H E D U LE Saturday 9/9 Friday 9/I5 Saturday 9/23 Saturday 9/30 Saturday I0/7 Friday I0/I3 Saturday I0/2I Saturday I0/28 Saturday II/4

Jay Graham, 2nd season (3rd overall)

Head Coach:

Pt Pleasant Beach @ Asbury Park @ Mater Dei South River @ Middlesex @ Dunellen Metuchen Keansburg Shore

At A Glance B IG SHOES TO FILL: Brandon Tate, OL/DL The right side of Keyport’s offensive line, including the center and the tight end, is all new this year, and that graduation hit also bleeds into the defensive line as well. Graham and his staff have liked the competition this summer and Tate has been among those who have emerged as starters on both sides of the ball. The senior will start at right tackle and is in line to log as much time as anyone in Keyport’s defensive line rotation.

X

-FA C TO R : Skill Position Depth Keyport returns two effective ball-carriers and a pair of experienced receivers, which should help new quarterback Matt Twigg transition into the starting role. On top of that, the Red Raiders welcomed in a wave of transfers from Matawan, most of whom will play at the skill positions. The excess at running back and wide receiver will also give Keyport plenty of options in the secondary. G LU E G UY: Buddy Robinson, RB/LB While Robinson is a proven source of yardage on the ground, he also contributes as a blocker, both as a fullback and at tight end. He’s also a vocal leader for the Red Raiders and has assumed even more of a leadership role as a senior. iMP A C T N E WC OM ER : Kamaron Lightbourne, WR/DB While the number of transfers from Matawan is noteworthy, Lightbourne is a homegrown player who has earned a chance to start as a senior. Lightbourne is primed to play a significant number of snaps both at wide receiver and in the secondary.

P IVO T AL G A ME: Sept. 15 at Asbury Park Keyport and Asbury Park have taken their rivalry outside the confines of B Central and into the NJSIAA Playoffs, which has only served to fan the flames of said rivalry. Keyport beat Asbury Park in the 2015 first round and in the regular season last year, while Asbury Park beat the Red Raiders in last year’s Central Jersey Group I championship game. Throw in the fact that Keyport’s first three games include Point Beach, Asbury Park and Mater Dei Prep, and the Week 2 showdown with the Blue Bishops will be a game that Keyport has to have.

C a r e e r R e c o r d : 2-8

A s si s ta n t C o a c he s :

Jason Glezman (Def. Coordinator), Pete Miller (Off. Coordinator), Steve Bower (Special Teams), Jerry Hourihan (OL/DL), Jim McGuire (QB/DB).

(l-r) ANTONIO COLILIA, DEVIN WOLLNER,

2016 Record: 10-2 (4-1 in Class B Central)

JEROME HANSEN & GREG ROBINSON

For the players who experienced that heartbreak last year and in the prior season – when the Red Raiders lost to Palmyra in the sectional semifinals, 35-34 – they remember the bitter taste of defeat. They also remember bouncing back. Keyport shook off the tough defeat in 2015 to reach the sectional final in 2016 and will look to show the same resilience in 2017. Despite overhauling one side of the offensive line and working in a new quarterback, head coach Jay Graham and the Red Raiders have their sights set on the same goal that barely escaped their collective grasp in a 26-17 defeat at the hands of Asbury Park in last December’s sectional final. “We feel like (Asbury Park) took something that was ours,” senior Buddy Robinson said. “We were up in the fourth quarter and we let it get away. That’s a tough way to finish the season, and in order to make sure it doesn’t we have to work that much harder. Go hard for all four quarters.” The group that will be carrying the message of finishing games into this year includes some familiar faces from a year ago. Robinson returns to the offense as the fullback this year after spending time both at that position, as well as tight end as a junior. Junior Devin Wallner is also back in the offensive backfield after a breakout season as the Red Raiders’ featured back and most dangerous offensive weapon Junior left tackle Kyle Roberts and sophomore guard Devon Meza return to the starting offensive line, while Joseph Kay-Flagg and Shykim Treadwell return as either slot backs or receivers, depending on formation. The rest of the offense is either new or partially new. Senior leader Jay Hansen played tight end last year in two-tight-end sets and will be first on the depth chart this season, while senior Antonio Collila

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takes over at center after an injury knocked him out of action last year.

Geraghty. Mandelbaum, Gopaul and Castell have been the secondary standouts, but Lightbourne, RussellGittens and Robertson have also pushed hard for time in the defensive backfield.

“We have a lot of core players coming back this year and we have a lot of new, fresh guys ready to learn,” Collila said. “They have been very competitive, they want to work hard and they want to get things done, so I feel like those kinds of players are the guys we want.”

While Graham acknowledged his team has plenty of developing to do before getting to the point that last year’s team was for the NJSIAA Playoffs, the competition for the open positions has been the most important part of camp, according to the second-year Keyport coach.

The rest of the offense will be new starters and contributors, several of whom are transfers from Matawan. Senior Adbul Simon, junior E’Unique RussellGittens and senior Jaleel Gopaul all join the Keyport program after attending Matawan last school year and the trio will all push for significant snaps at the skill positions on offense. Junior Julian Castell, senior Ryan Mandelbaum, senior Kamaron Lightbourne and junior Ray Robertson have all stepped up during camp and will get a chance to contribute either out wide, in the slot or in the backfield.

“We have the potential to be where we were last year, but we’re not there yet,” Graham said. “We’ve had some good competition and I think that’s a big reason I think we can be good, but we’ve got to pick up the intensity and the focus by the time we open up.”

The key to Keyport’s offense will be how quickly the new pieces adjust at quarterback and on the right side of the offensive line. Junior Matt Twigg takes over under center for the graduated Chris Hogrefe and will lead an offense that returns plenty of weapons. On the right side of the line, senior Brandon Tate is ready to step in at right tackle, while the right guard spot is up for grabs, with sophomores Mike Abbate and Anthony Gonzalez battling for the position. The members of the offensive line will also factor into the defensive line rotation and Graham indeed intends to use his depth on the front four, with Tate and Collila in line for the most playing time on the line. Hanson and Robinson will be two of the linebackers and Simon has put himself in the mix for the other outside linebacker spot along with senior Noah

One of the challenges Keyport will face is putting all the pieces in place to face a front-loaded schedule that includes consecutive games against Point Pleasant Beach, Asbury Park and Mater Dei Prep to open the season. While the Keyport players are sure to be fixated on a rematch with Asbury Park after losing to the Blue Bishops in the Central Jersey Group I final a year ago, they know that there is work to be done before that game and even more to be done after it. “That’s definitely a game I circle on my calendar,” Robinson said of the showdown with Asbury Park. “I love the energy we bring in those games and, even more so, I love the energy they bring. We know where ever the game is, they play harder when they know they have to play us.” “Now, we have that same mentality that they had last year,” Collila said. “We had taken it from them the year before, so they wanted to take it from us and that’s what they did. Now we have to do the same thing.” Photos by: Ray Rich Photography www.rayrichphotography.smugmug.com

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PLANNING FOR AN ENCORE

I

By

Matt Manley

Senior Staff Editor

f anyone on the Mater Dei Prep football team needs a reason to focus during practice, he need only ask senior Jon Leverock and anybody else from last year’s Seraphs team about the penultimate play of the NJSIAA Non-Public Group II championship game.

Coaching Staff

2017

S C H E D U LE

Head Coach:

Dino Mangiero, 2nd season (13th overall)

Saturday 9/9 @ Keansburg Saturday 9/23 Keyport Friday I0/30 Canada Prep Friday I0/6 @ Shore Saturday I0/I4 Asbury Park Friday I0/20 @ Lincoln Saturday I0/28 Delbarton Saturday II/4 @ Pt Pleasant Beach

At A Glance B IG SHO E S TO FI LL: Clarence Lewis, WR/DB Eddie Lewis was an All-Shore receiver for the Seraphs last year and now that he is at Rutgers, Pearson will have to find a new No. 1 target. While Devaney returns in the slot, Clarence Lewis is the speed guy on the outside and has the most bigplay potential of any receiver on the team. Considering Pearson’s ability to throw the ball downfield, Lewis will have plenty of chances to make plays.

X -FA C TO R :

The pipeline

After a monumental 12-0 season last year, Mater Dei will find out if the program can continue to compete for titles after losing players to graduation. There are a handful of players ready to step into bigger roles this year, while there are also a handful who transferred into the program. Next year might be a better litmus test to see how well the Seraphs can sustain success, but there are a number of spots on the field that will require new players to step up this year.

G LU E GU Y: Kyle Devaney, WR/DB Devaney was bumped out of the quarterback job when Pearson transferred into the program last year and did not take long to adjust to playing the slot receiver. He has a quarterback’s understanding of the offense and returns as one of Pearson’s favorite targets, as well as a leader in the secondary. iMP A C T N E WC OM ER : Malik Ingram, RB/LB Ingram saw time as a freshman at Neptune last year and will have a chance to make an impact with his new team right away, particularly on offense. Ingram is part of the competition for carries out of the backfield, but can also factor into the passing attack.

Career Record: 12-0 (at MDP) A ss i s ta n t C o a c he s : 2016 Record: 12-0

Not provided

(5-0, first in Class B Central) “We ran the hook-and-ladder play just about every day in practice,” Leverock said. “When it was time to do it in a game, we knew it inside and out. If everybody did their job, we knew it was going to work.” Mater Dei won its first ever NJSIAA championship last year on a tie-breaking, 50yard hook-and-ladder play that ended with Eddie Lewis sprinting into the endzone with three seconds left on the clock. It was a dramatic ending to an undefeated season that strangely lacked drama before the final seconds of the final game, especially considering that Mater Dei has never approached the level of “football powerhouse.” Under second-year coach Dino Mangiero, the Seraphs are starting to seriously pursue that mantle of dominance and the mission continues this year against a revamped nonconference schedule that should challenge the Seraphs far more than last season’s slate of games did. In addition to divisional games against Shore Regional, Point Pleasant Beach, Asbury Park, Keyport and Keansburg,

Mater Dei will host Canada Prep before taking on more local opponents in Lincoln of Jersey City and Delbarton.

his fourth year as a varsity starter at quarterback, Pearson will again be the point man of a potent Mater Dei offense that returns most of its talent on the offensive line and plenty of options at the skill positions.

“With the schedule we’re playing, we’re going to test ourselves a little more this year,” said Mangiero, a former NFL defensive lineman who also played at Rutgers. “I expect our division to be better this year and I think going out and playing Delbarton, Lincoln in Jersey City and a very tough Canada Prep team is going to make us tougher later in the year. We just want to keep getting better and I think those games will be a good test for us.”

“Obviously, George is our guy and he is going to be a big part of our offense,” Mangiero said. “When you lose guys like Marvin Pierre and Juwan Mitchell and Eddie Lewis, it’s not easy to replace those guys, but we’ve got some talent and having a four-year quarterback will be an advantage.”

“Our schedule is going to make us better,” senior wide receiver Kyle Devaney said. “Holy Spirit was a very good team and we didn’t see anybody at that level until the championship. This year, I think these games will make us more prepared for the playoffs.”

The Seraphs are reloaded with a number of options in the backfield and out wide – both returning and new to the program. Devaney successfully converted from quarterback to slot receiver last season and became one of Pearson’s favorite targets.

Although Mater Dei graduated a crop of impact players that included Lewis, Marvin Pierre and Juwan Mitchell, the Seraphs return a talented bunch led by senior quarterback George Pearson. Now entering

“When I found out we were getting (Pearson) last year, I knew we were getting a great quarterback and I just wanted to do whatever the team needed me to do,” Devaney said. “Moving to receiver was an

P IVO T AL G A ME: Oct. 1 vs. Marlboro Mater Dei has stepped up its schedule this year with outof-conference game scheduled against Canada Prep, Lincoln (Jersey City) and Delbarton. The game against Delbarton is the only one of the three at home and it will give Mater Dei a chance to try its hand against a larger non-public school that has had recent success.

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20I7 FOOTBALL PREVIEW

/ VOLUME-IX / ISSUE-16 / 9/5/17


adjustment at first, but I just kept working at it every day and tried to help out however I could.” On the outside, sophomore Clarence Lewis will take over Lewis’s role as the team’s primary deep threat. Sophomore Isaiah Noguera is also an early favorite for catches in the passing game, while defensive standouts Izaiah Henderson and Russell Ferrisi will play some tight end. Junior Sincere Saunders returns to the backfield and is the leading candidate to log carries, but far from the only o n e . Sophomore Malik Ingram transferred into the program after spending his

freshman season as a starting tailback at Neptune, while Noguera, junior Brandon Jones and senior Jayden Johnson are worthy of snaps behind Pearson as well. Jones and Johnson are likely to play more at fullback, while Noguera could find himself spread out as a slot receiver. On the offensive line, center Thomas Olausen and guards Sam Morgan and Shawn Tucker will bring some experience to the middle of the line. Juniors Kajell Whyte and Nolan Aloia bring some size to the tackle positions, while Henderson will serve as a versatile piece who can shift from tight end to tackle. Senior Brandon Walker also figures to get some snaps on the line. “Most of us were here last year so I expect the line to be really good,” Tucker said. “We have a lot of guys competing so that’s just going to make us better.” Although Mater Dei lost Mitchell and Pierre in the front seven and Lewis in the secondary, the Seraphs should not miss a beat on defense. The return a promising group of linebackers led by Henderson and Ferrisi, with junior Shittah Sillah – who recently picked up an offer from Boston College, according to Mangiero – joining them as a fulltime starter on the outside. Johnson and Jones will also see time at linebacker. Up front, the Seraphs return Olausen at one defensive end and welcome in St. John Vianney transfer Stephen Richardson, who will play on the other end of the defensive line. Whyte,

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Tucker and Walker will be among the contributors in the rotation at defensive tackle. Leverock leads the secondary at cornerback, while Devaney and senior Ryan Mandelbaum line up at the two safety spots. With his speed, Lewis will also be a valuable asset in coverage and Noguera’s speed and versatility will also come into play in the secondary. If he can pass along some of the rushing load to some of the new running backs, Saunders can also be a key piece of the secondary. “There’s a lot of talent here,” Leverock said. “We’re replacing some great players, but some of these young guys are going to surprise some people. As seniors, we’re just trying to make sure they are learning and help them out.” For at least one more year, talent will not be in short supply at Mater Dei, which should help remedy the losses suffered to graduation and keep the program moving. As much as the team would like to be better, however, it’s hard to top a 120 season that ended with a 50-yard, trick-play touchdown in the final seconds to capture the program’s first ever state championship. “The way we won a state championship last year was by just practicing hard,” Leverock said. “We all focused on our responsibilities and we always did the right thing. If we keep doing that, we’ll keep getting better and have a chance to do it again.” “We want to follow it up with another championship,” Devaney said. “That’s the goal here now.”

Photos by: Ray Rich Photography www.rayrichphotography.smugmug.com

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CONTENDER STATUS

By

Bob Badders

Managing Editor

fter reaching the Central Jersey Group I semifinals last season with a team comprised mostly of juniors, Point Beach is looking to make another championship run behind a standout senior class that has helped define the program over the last four years.

A

Coaching Staff

2017

S C H E D U LE Saturday 9/9 Friday 9/I5 Friday 9/22 Friday 9/29 Saturday I0/7 Friday I0/I3 Friday I0/20 Friday I0/27 Saturday II/4

@ Keyport Bishop Ahr Asbury Park Middlesex @ Keansburg Spotswood Shore @ Highland Park Mater Dei

At A Glance B IG SHO E S TO FI LL: Josh Yates, Sr., WR/DB Yates played as a sophomore but didn’t come out for the team last year. He’s back as a senior and will be at wide receiver where Connor Kells was a downfield threat and an All-Division selection last year.

X -FA C TO R : Staying healthy Point Beach has the talent to contend for a championship, but as with most Group I schools can’t afford injuries to key players. G LU E GU Y: Luke Frauenheim, Sr., QB/LB Even at a small school, Frauenheim is the rare four-year starter who plays quarterback and linebacker. Point Beach has a lot of offensive weapons, but Frauenheim is the one who makes it all come together. He also made 82 tackles on defense. iMP A C T N E WC OM ER : Jason Sherlock, So., WR/DB

A lot of players could fit in this space, but we’ll go with Sherlock. He’ll will be in the rotation at cornerback and wide receiver. P IVO T AL G A ME: Sept. 9 at Keyport The Red Raiders defeated Point Beach twice last season, including in the Central Jersey Group I semifinals. The Garnet Gulls have been eagerly waiting for a rematch and will get their chance at revenge in Week 1.

Head Coach: John Wagner, 7th season (32nd overall) C aree r Rec o rd: 4 4 - 2 1

(194-113-2 overall)

A ss i s ta n t C o a c he s :

(l-r) C H R I S W E B B E R , S E A N G O U L D , LUKE FRAUENHEIM, TONY LIPARI & JOHN NISTA Head coach John Wagner has a philosophy that puts freshman and sophomores into varsity situations in order to get them ready when it’s their time. This current group of seniors is a great example of that, as many are three- and four-year starters that bring a wealth of experience to the table. It’s one of the reason’s the Garnet Gulls have high expectations for 2017. “We have a lot of seniors and juniors this year, and a lot of kids that grew into their bodies and are a lot stronger,” said senior Luke Frauenheim. “Everyone got a lot better form last year. You can really see the improvements.” Coming off a 6-5 season, Point Beach returns six starters in its Delaware Wing-T offense that averaged 20.5 points per game last season. Frauenheim is back for his third year as the starting quarterback to lead a veteran backfield that includes returning starters Chris Webber and Sean Gould, both seniors, along with juniors Connor Smith and Anthony Luongo and sophomore Aidan Conway. Webber, Gould and Frauenheim figure to be the primary ball carriers, but all will rotate in at both fullback and wingback. Frauenheim ran for 704 yards and six touchdowns last season while Webber had 402 yards and three touchdowns. Frauenheim also threw for 986 yards and 12 touchdowns. “Luke has a great football IQ and he’s passing that off to where we now have more than one person on the field with a good football IQ,” Wagner said. “Weber is a kid that is really determined this year,” Wagner said. “He had a great offseason in

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the weight room and has gotten himself into great physical condition.” The tight end is three-year starter John Nista with senior Jean Verrier also at the position. Senior Josh Yates started as a sophomore but did not play last season. He is back this year and will start at wide receiver along with sophomore Jason Sherlock and senior Johnny Langeveld in a rotation. Two starters are back among a group of seven offensive linemen that will rotate at all five positions to keep everyone fresh. Junior Tristan White and senior three-year starter Tony Lipari are the returning starters, while senior Sean Gross saw limited action last year. Sophomore Liam Buday, senior Mike Iuliano, junior Matt VanSchoick and senior Brandon Poole round out the group. “Offensively we have some really good-sized backs, and we’re telling our linemen if they can get their footwork down and get a piece of the guy in front of them, our backs are strong enough to get it up and through the hole,” Wagner said. “And we have some quickness on the outside, for sure.”

Jeff Bower (RB/DB); Rich LaDuca (OL/DL); Mike Pellicane (WR/DB); Brendan Neary (OL/DE/frosh); Mike McGee (WR/LB/frosh); John Seip (team manager); Cali Whedon (athletic trainer).

2 01 6 R e c o r d : 6-5 (1-4)

safety and Gould is a returning starter at cornerback. Also rotating in at corner will be Langeveld, Conway and Verrier. As evident by Point Beach’s positional groupings, Wagner wants his teams to be versatile and unpredictable. Gould will be entering his fourth year as the Gulls’ kicker, and is coming off a junior year where he hit four field goals with a long of 37, and converted 30 of 31 extra points. Verrier will serve as the punter. Mater Dei is in a league of its own as the lone non-public school in Class B Central, but the competition among the other five public schools should be fierce. All five made the playoffs last season with Asbury Park winning the Central Jersey Group I title. It was an all-Shore final four in the bracket, and there’s a good chance it breaks that way again.

In Point Beach’s 5-3 odd defensive front, the same players that will rotate on the offensive line will also do so on the defensive line. Senior Nick Melito will also be in the mix. White and Lipari are returning starters.

“We’re excited to see how we’ll square up against everyone,” Frauenheim said. “Shore is going to come right at you, Keyport is going to come right at you, Asbury is going to spread you out, Mater Dei is going to spread you out. Either way, we’re confident.”

Frauenheim and Webber are returning starters at linebacker and will be joined in the rotation by Buday, Smith, Langeveld and Conway. Webber will also play the outside linebacker/defensive end position along with Nista, a returning starter, and senior Jimmy Sherlock. Yates will be the free

“Our division is the toughest Group I in New Jersey, and it’s always the Shore teams,” Webber said. “We’ve seen these teams so many times that we all know what we’re about. It’s about who can stop who, and I like our chances.”

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st ev e . m ey e r@t ow n s qu a re m ed i a . co m 75


THE SONG REMAIN S THE SAME

By

Bob Badders

Managing Editor

W

ith a handful of returning starters on both sides of the ball and some new starters ready to make an impact, Shore Regional once again has its sights set on competing for the Class B Central title and challenging for the Central Jersey Group I state championship.

Coaching Staff

2017

S C H E D U LE Friday 9/8 Friday 9/I5 Friday 9/22 Friday 9/29 Friday I0/6 Friday I0/13 Friday Io/20 Saturday II/4 Thursday II/23

At A Glance B IG SHO E S TO FI LL: John Salerno, Sr., RB/LB Salerno takes over at fullback for Josh Campi, who along with Mark Russo were the top rushers for the Blue Devils a season ago.

X -FA C TO R :

Mark Costantino, 26th season

Head Coach:

Asbury Park @ Barnegat Keansburg @ Bishop Ahr Mater Dei Middlesex @ Pt Pleasant Beach @ Keyport @ Rumson

The offensive line

Shore’s guys up front are usually solid, but this year’s group has the potential to dominate in the trenches and power an unstoppable running game. G LU E GU Y: Mike Rosati, Sr., OL/DL Rosati is a three-year starter on defense and also a returning starter at left guard, and was a starter when Shore won its last state sectional title in 2015. iMP A C T N E WC OM ER : Terry Carlstrom, So., RB/DB

Carlstrom can be an impact player in his first year of varsity action with a starting spot at safety while likely seeing plenty of carries at wing back.

C a r e e r R e c o r d : 172-89-1

A ss i s ta n t C o a c he s :

(l-r) J A S ON

VANBRUNT, GIL GOLDSMITH, JACK MCCRAE, SAM AROMANDO & MICHAEL ROSATI

“We’re really tough on ourselves and we have the mentality that it’s pretty much state championship or bust,” said junior Gil Goldsmith. “When we lose that perspective that’s when we start to bog down and not play our style of football.” The Blue Devils were fourth in a balanced Class B Central division last year while also reaching the Central Jersey Group I semifinals and finishing with a 7-4 record. Not a bad season by any metric, but also not one that lives up to their standards. “We’re chomping at the bit,” said junior lineman Vin DiMaio. “We were really hard on ourselves after the loss last year. Every day in camp it’s in the back of our heads that we have to get back there.”

Five starters return for Shore in its Delaware Wing-T offense, which was smack dab in the middle of the rankings at 23.9 points per game last season. Goldsmith and fellow junior Jack McCrae are returning starters at wing back and will be joined by promising sophomore Terry Carlstrom and senior A.J. Shirley. Senior John Salerno is the starting fullback with junior Kevin Pennell also seeing playing time. Senior Ryan Morris takes over at quarterback for two-year starter Matt Pennell. “Myself and the other running backs, that three-to-four-headed monster is really starting to come together,” Goldsmith said. “When we have multiple guys who can make an impact running the ball is when it

Jon Remedios (OL/DL); Mike Whitacre (OL/DL); Pete Vincelli (RB/DB); Joe Rankin (QB/DB); Chris Riley (LB/WR); Mark Costantino (volunteer); Marty Mullaney, John Vaccarelli (freshmen); Joe Amicucci (athletic trainer).

2 01 6 R e c o r d : 7-4 (2-3

works well for us,” said Shore head coach Mark Costantino. “They buy into the team concept.” Senior Matt O’Donnell is the tight end and senior Bailey Crochet leads the receivers as a returning starter. Junior Brett Young and Carlstrom will also see time at split end. The left side of the line features returning starters Sean Aromando, a junior, at tackle and senior Mike Rosati at guard. Junior Frank Illiano is the right tackle. Junior Gunnar Schuelzky and seniors Matt and Jake Altomare are competing for the center and right guard positions. DiMaio will also see time at tackle and senior Jason Vanbrunt will get snaps at guard.

P I V O T A L G A M E : Sept. 8 vs. Asbury Park The Blue Bishops handed Shore a pair of losses last season and will enter as the defending sectional champions. The Blue Devils have been waiting for a rematch ever since last November.

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“The offensive and defensive lines will be the strength of our team,” Costantino said. “Our linemen are big and physical and we’ve been pushing people around in the preseason.” Shore’s defense was again among the best in the conference last season, finishing 12th in points per game at 17.5. Rosati and Vanbrunt are both returning starters at defensive end in the Blue Devils’ 4-4 alignment, while DiMaio and junior Joe Aria will start at defensive tackle. Illiano and Aromando will also see playing time at defensive tackle and O’Donnell will get snaps at defensive end. At linebacker it will be Schuelzky and Matt Altomare at inside linebacker with Salerno and junior Mike Deusch backing them up. McCrae is a returning starter at one of the outside linebacker spots and Shirley will start on the opposite side. Pennell and Jake Altomare are also in the mix at outside linebacker. Goldsmith and Crochet return as starters at cornerback and Carlstrom will get the nod as the starting free safety. Young will rotate in at corner and Morris could see defensive snaps at safety.

see how we do during the season.” Goldsmith will once again handle the kicking and punting duties on special teams. While Mater Dei Prep turned into a juggernaut last season and ran away with the division title, the five public schools in Class B Central were mostly even, and that should once again be the case this season. All five – Shore, Asbury Park, Keyport, Point Beach and Keansburg – made the playoffs and the sectional semifinals featured all local teams with Asbury Park defeating Keyport in the championship game. It’s going to be a weekly grind to find out which team emerges ahead and gets the top seed in the state playoffs, and then the second season arrives where the same teams will battle it out for a state championship. “Everyone in our league is up there so it’s going to require 100 percent focus,” Rosati said. “You have to have the heart. Every year we have the same goals and we get there with a blue-collar attitude. Working hard all these days in the summer pays off during the season.”

“We have a lot of chemistry and we work really well together,” DiMaio said. “We looked really good in a scrimmage against Summit and Bloomfield, so I’m excited to

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77


NEXT MAN UP

W

By

Bob Badders

Managing Editor

ith some key returning starters on both sides of the ball, Barnegat is looking to make a playoff push one year after finishing out of the postseason by one power point.

Coaching Staff

Rob Davis, 12th season

Head Coach:

2017

C a r e e r R e c o r d : 60-54

S C H E D U LE

Friday 9/8 Donovan Catholic Friday 9/I5 Shore Friday 9/22 @ Manchester Saturday 9/30 @ Manasquan Friday I0/6 @ Jackson Liberty Saturday I0/I4 @ Lacey Saturday I0/27 Lakewood Friday II/3 @ Pt Boro Wednesday II/22 Pinelands

At A Glance B IG SHO E S TO FI LL: Brian Finucan, Jr., QB and Dominick Guiro, Jr., K

Finucan takes over at quarterback for two-year starter Connor Lustenberger, who threw for 1,300 yards and 13 touchdowns. Lustenberger was also a standout kicker with three field goals, including a long of 37.

X -FA C TO R :

Staying healthy

The Bengals don’t have a lot of depth, especially on offense, so an injury or two could really put them behind the eight ball. G LU E GU Y: Nico Adorno, Sr., WR/DB A returning starter on both sides of the ball, Adorno is a big-time weapon on the perimeter and a key member of the Bengals’ experienced defense. iMP A C T N E WC OM ER : Dillon Muratovic, Sr., RB/LB

A transfer from Nutley, Muratovic will see time at tailback and will start at outside linebacker. P IVO T AL G A ME: Sept. 22 at Manchester Barnegat has won the last five meetings versus the Hawks and will look to keep that streak going in Week 3.

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A ss i s ta n t C o a c he s :

(l-r)

Kevin Smith (def. coord.); Mike DeTroia (OL); Zac Brebner (RB); Andrew Villiez (WR); Andrew Petruzzi (QB); Vinny Casale (DL); Paul Covine (LB); Mike Burke (TE); Ralph Adorno, Wayne Jackson (gameday volunteers); Dave Smith, Greg Oravets (freshmen); Lauren Tribley (athletic trainer)

BRIAN EWAN, JUAN ABRAHAM, SEAN MORRIS & LEVIN MUSAWA

The Bengals will lean on a defense that returns seven starters in its 4-3 base alignment from a unit that was 23rd in the Shore allowing 21.5 points per game. Six starters return in the front seven to set a tone for what the Bengals hope to accomplish. “We’re very high on the front seven, and hopefully the run game on both sides of the ball,” said Barnegat head coach Rob Davis. “Physicality is what we’re trying to instill in our kids.” Seniors Levin Musawa and Juan Abraham and junior Brian Ewan all had big performances last year and form the core of Barnegat’s defense. Musawa is back at defensive end after recording 64 tackles with 5.5 sacks last season. He’ll be joined along the line by junior nose guard Anthony Grimes, senior tackle John Pannone and junior Sean Morris at defensive end. Ewan made 96 tackles last season and returns as the starting middle linebacker. He’ll be flanked by Abraham, who finished with 70 tackles, and senior Dillon Muratovic, a transfer from Nutley. Senior speedster Nico Adorno is the lone returning starter in the secondary and will play safety. The cornerbacks are juniors Dillon Balas and Charlie Cotton and the other safety is junior Sean Madej. Junior Tristan Porcelli will also see playing time

2016 Record: 5-5 (4-3)

at safety. “We’re a different team,” Davis said. “We’re going to be physical and play to our defense, that’s what we’re counting on.” “To have all those players back is huge,” Abraham said. “Last year we pushed each other and competed, and it made us all better.” Barnegat will still run a multiple spread offense, but will be much more of a runoriented team. Abraham is the starting running back after receiving a handful of carries last season. The Bengals also have Cotton and Muratovic working in at tailback. Ewan is the returning starter at fullback. Adorno is a returning starter at wide receiver and will be joined by seniors Elijah Chesney and Thomas Krey. Senior Joe Herod and sophomores Matt Scott and Devyn DeFilipo will also see time at wide receiver. Standout 6-foot-4, 225-pound junior Sean Morris will be the Bengals’ tight end. “He’s super athletic for his size,” Davis said of Morris. “He can run like a wide receiver and catch like a smaller skill player, and he’s 6-foot-4, 225 pounds. He’s a good one.” Senior right tackle Steve Pitiak is the only returning starter on the offensive line

20I7 FOOTBALL PREVIEW

and will be joined by junior Tim Lauterbach at right guard, sophomore Griffin Jackstadt at center, junior Phil Gogarty at left guard and senior Brandon Andrews at left tackle. Taking over for the graduated Connor Lustenberger at quarterback is junior Brian Finucan. “One thing we always talk about is our tempo,” Adorno said. “We want everything to always be moving and constantly flowing.” On special teams, the kicker will be junior Dominick Guiro and the punter will be Madej. After going 5-5 last year and narrowly missing out on a playoff appearance, Barnegat’s players know every game and every play carries significance. The same holds true for a division race that always seems to be a little more wide-open than the rest of the Shore. “The bottom teams are better than in the past, so you’re not getting those gimme games anymore,” Davis said. “There isn’t that far a gap between the team that finishes third and the team that finishes last. Everyone presents a problem in our division.”

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79


A NEW ERA

By Bob Badders Managing Editor

I

One of the biggest storylines of the offseason was Dan Curcione, fresh off winning a state championship at Wall, taking the job as Donovan Catholic’s head coach. The Griffins were 0-10 last season and haven’t had a ton of success in their history, but with Curcione and offensive coordinator Chip LaBarca Jr. at the helm, expectations for a turnaround and a bright future have permeated the program.

2017

S C H E D U LE Friday 9/9 Saturday 9/17 Friday 9/23 Friday 9/30 Friday 10/7 Friday 10/14 Saturday 10/22 Friday 11/4 Friday 11/18

Barnegat @Lakewood Pt Pleasant Boro Raritan @Pinelands St. Joes Metuchan @Lacey @Jackson Liberty @Manchester

At A Glance B IG SHO E S TO FI LL: Alex Bryant, Jr., WR Bryant looks to be the top receiver for Clark and comes into a starting role, replacing All-Division receiver Pete Schlendorf.

X

-FA C TO R : Quarterback development If Clark can continue his development in a system that maximizes the overall talent of its quarterbacks it will go a long way toward giving the Griffins a successful offense. G LU E GU Ys: Jack Hadley, Sr., OL/DL/LS & Sal DiSalvo, Sr., OL/LB The Griffins have just a handful of seniors to rely on for leadership. Hadley and DiSalvo are returning starters who will play on both sides of the ball. iMP A C T N E WC OM ER : Andre Laney, So., WR/DB

Laney looks like he can be a major weapon in the passing game and will also start at cornerback.

P IVO T AL G A ME: Sept. 8 at Barnegat We’ll get a good idea of how much better the Griffins will be this year when they open the season on the road at Barnegat.

“When we got the news, there was a buzz around school that we haven’t had,” said senior two-way lineman and long-snapping extraordinaire Jack Hadley. “People are doubting us already, but the coaches are working us hard and we’re really looking forward to the season.” “Once we found out about the coaches everybody was excited,” said senior Sal DiSalvo. “They have brought a whole new energy.” Curcione is the reigning Shore Sports Network Coach of the Year after leading Wall to a 10-2 record and the NJSIAA South Jersey Group III championship last season. LaBarca, who was previously the head coach at Toms River North and led the Mariners to a 12-0 season in 2008, was with Curcione throughout his tenure at Wall. LaBarca was also the offensive coordinator for Brick’s 2013 state championship team. Together they bring championship experience to a program that has only one playoff win in 11 appearances. Coming off a winless season there’s only one direction for the Griffins to go. The senior class is small and there are plenty of new faces on both sides of the ball, so it’s been a learning experience all around so far. “We’re learning the players and what they can do, and it’s a work in

progress,” Curcione said. “We’re just trying to get better at something every day. We do it our way and the kids have done a great job falling in line and doing what we expect. You have to teach from the ground up, and for me that’s exciting, scary and fun all built into one. We’re young, but we’re a varsity team so that’s not a crutch. We expect to go out and perform on Friday nights.” The Griffins have a good cornerstone with which to build their power spread offense around as 6-foot-1, 210-pound sophomore Ryan Clark returns after starting as a freshman. With a good arm and a physical running style, Clark has the tools to be a standout in LaBarca’s offense. “It feels pretty good to be set at the quarterback position from day one,” Curcione said. “Now it’s working on him learning the ins and outs of the offense and getting better. He’s a big, strong, physical kid with a big arm, but he’s still a young kid. The mental aspect has to develop but he definitely has a lot of intangibles that can help us.” The tailback will be senior Myles Jackson with sophomore Damian Johnson also in the mix. The fullback/tight end position has 6-foot-3 sophomore Chris Aldridge, junior Joe Sabia and freshman Ethan Capone. The wide receivers are junior Alex Bryant

Coaching Staff Head Coach:

Dan Curcione, 1st season (4th overall)

C a r e e r R e c o r d : 16-15

A ss i s ta n t C o a c he s :

Chip LaBarca Jr. (off. coord.); Dan Wendel (QB/special teams); Sean McPherson (DB); Dean Helstowski (RB); Lou Montanaro (DL); Ryan Wells (OLB); Pat Dowling, Eric Bruno (freshmen); Mark Deppen (strength & conditioning); Bob DeStefano (athletic trainer)

2 01 6 R e c o r d : 0-10 (0-7)

along with sophomores Andre Laney, Jared Helstowski and Ronan Bova. Two starters are back on the offensive line with Hadley at right guard and DiSalvo at left tackle. The center is junior Nick Kenmure, who transferred from Point Beach, while the left guard is junior Bobo Aluko and the right tackle is senior Charlie Cushman. The Griffins will play a 3-4 defense with Hadley as the nose tackle and Aldridge and Aluko as the ends. DiSalvo is a returning starter at outside linebacker and will be joined by Sabia

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From the coaching staff to the players, the ingredients are certainly there for Donovan Catholic to get back into the win column and build toward being a contender. When and how quickly that happens remains to be seen, but the goal moving forward is to build a solid foundation that will support the program for years to come.

and sophomore Chris Corman at inside linebacker. The other outside linebacker spot is between juniors Trevor Barber and Andrew Schlendorf, and sophomore Nick Novakowski. Zakary Burritt and Quamire Green will also see time at inside linebacker while Will Lindsey will see time at outside linebacker. “Sal is a kid that you look at and you see he has the build of a college football player,” Curcione said. “He’s a kid we expect to be a solid player for us.” The secondary has Jackson and Laney as the cornerbacks with Bryant at free safety and Helstowski at strong safety. Sophomore Keaon Torres will also see time in the defensive backfield.

“We want to win but we’re also playing for the future, to set a foundation where we can restart this program,” Hadley said.

(l-r) JA C K

On special teams, the Griffins will have DiSalvo as the kicker and Clark as the punter. They also have one of the nation’s best long snappers in Hadley, who holds an offer from Monmouth and multiple preferred walk-on offers from

“Any year, even the last three at Wall, I never put a I ALVO number on anything,” Curcione said. “I just want the team to get better each week and believe they can win. They didn’t win a game last year, so to get them believing they can and teaching them how to win is first.”

HADLEY, RYAN CLARK & SALVATORE D S

top FBS programs. He was also recently selected to play in the Blue-Gray All-American Bowl in Dallas. “It’s nice to have a great long-snapper, but what might get lost in it is Jack is a pretty good football player, too,” Curcione said. “He’s done some really good things so far in camp and will be on the field quite a bit for us.”

SHORESPORTSNETWORK.COM

81


C HA NGING TH E ATM OS PH E R E

By

Vin Ebenau

SSN Contributor

T

he defensive scheme that helped Allentown win a state sectional title last year and one similar to the one Toms River East ran that helped it get to within a game of the finals in 2009 is now at Jackson Liberty, which could turn things around quick for the Lions in 2017.

Coaching Staff

2017

Jim Sharples, 5th season

Head Coach:

S C H E D U LE

Friday 9/8 @ Jackson Memorial Friday 9/15 Manchester Saturday 9/23 @ Lakewood Friday 9/29 Lacey Friday I0/6 Barnegat Friday I0/I3 @ Freehold Township Friday I0/20 Pt Pleasant Boro Friday I0/27 @ Pinelands Friday II/3 @ Donovan Catholic

At A Glance BIG SHOES TO FILL: Shane Simonson, Jr., LB Simonson will be tasked of filling the void left by Steven Schuster, who was a two-time AllDivision player. Sharples said Simonson is “kind of like the captain of our defense now”, and will also have to be someone Schmidt can rely on to help improve this defense.

X

- F A C T O R : Offensive line The defense is bound to improve for a team which gave up 289 points in 2016. If the offensive line provides ample protection for the running and passing games, this will put them in a better position to win some games. G L U E G U Y : Nick Johnson, Sr., OL/DE Sharples notes his size, talent and ability on the field but is also someone the team can rally around and look up to. iMPACT NE WCOMER: Jayson Nammi, So., RB/WR The sophomore is described by his head coach as an “electrifying player” and could provide a nice combo to go along with Jaquel Spears in the backfield this season.

C a r e e r R e c o r d: 14-26 As s i s t an t C oa c h es:

Jeff Schmidt (DC/LB); Ryan Hesnan (DB); Ron Brown (WR); Vin Spaddevecchia (QB/OC); Gerard O’Donnell (RB); Matt Spader (OL/special teams); Chris Grande (athletic trainer)

2016 Record: 1-9 (1-6)

(l-r) NICH OLAS JOH NSON, GANNO N WYCH E,

JAQUELL SPEARS & NICHOLAS PATLA

now we’re executing our plays.” Jeff Schmidt, who was the linebackers coach at Toms River East in 2009 and was the defensive coordinator for Central Jersey Group IV champion Allentown last season, now calls the defense for Jackson Liberty. While the offense will seem more parallel to last seasons pistol formation, the defense will appear much like a 4-3 or multiple-set. Fifth-year head coach Jim Sharples was excited to bring him on board, as were his players. “He’s (Schmidt) simplified things, which is what I always try to do as well, and he has a great system for doing that,” said Sharples. “When things are simple and kids don’t have to think and can run free and play free, better things are going to happen for your defense.” Sharples said he’s seen the improvement over the course of the preseason with the players adapting to the change in defense. “The kids are picking up on the defense and as we go forward it’ll get a little more second nature to them,” said Sharples. “I think we’re going to be moving around and flying around a lot and hopefully you see a big improvement on defense.” “He (Schmidt) wants us to be more physical in practice,” said senior defensive end Nick Johnson. “He pushes us in practice. I like the defense he runs.”

With other teams in the Class B South division return a lot of their offensive weapons like Point Boro, Lakewood or Lacey, Sharples believes competing and winning games against their rivals will depend on how sharp their defense is. “B South is pretty interesting because it is a diverse collection of offenses,” said Sharples. “Pinelands has the single-wing, no splits, double-tight offense and then we hit a flexbone type offense at Point Boro, so you have to be able to adjust on the fly. Week-to-week gameplanning is a challenge.” While every team is competitive, Sharples says they always feel like they have a chance to win some rivalry games every year and this season is no different. “We beat a 7-0 Point Boro team one year and we were .500,” said Sharples. “I’d like to think that if we can get out there and finish near the top or middle of the pack and get ourselves in the playoffs, that’s our goal.” Winning the B South will be tough, but the players seem to be up to the challenge. “I think we’ll have a lot more stops this season,” said Johnson. “It’s one game at a time but I’m very confident that we’ll make the playoffs this year,” said senior lineman Joe Crouchman. “Defensively we’re reading our keys well and the O-Line got stronger in the offseason and

With a lot of returning players and young talent on the team this season Sharples feels they’re ready to go. “We’re definitely much better prepared physically with all the kids working hard in the offseason,” said Sharples. “Jimmy Celentano is a running back and a linebacker and he’s doing a really good job for us, Jake Bosco is another impressive athlete who plays slot receiver and corner back and Garrett Blasi is a good sized lineman, Ilya Sivkov is going to be a linebacker for us, Jake Stasiunas is a safety for us.” Those are just the young kids. There’s a senior-led group of talented players he expects to play well this year. “Nick Johnson is a three-year starter and he’s going to be, I think, one of the better players in the Shore this year,” said Sharples. “He’s really toned himself up and prepared himself in the offseason. Joe Crouchman is a big-strong lineman and is a two-year starter.” Their offense will need to be turned around as well and one of the players tasked with that is senior running back Jaquel Spears. “Everyone’s working on the line including Joey Crouchman and everyone else whose working as hard as they can to push and beat Jackson Memorial (Week 1),” said Spears. “If everybody does what they need to do, we’ll come together as a team and win.”

P I V O T A L G A M E : Sept. 23 at Lakewood Jackson Liberty will have a tough opener on the road against Jackson Memorial in Week 1 but may have a manageable game week two vs. Manchester. If they’re 1-1 at that point, the Lakewood game becomes critical if they want to have a shot at the playoffs.

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83


C ONTINU ING TO I MPROVE

By

Vin Ebenau

SSN Contributor

L

ast year it was about adjusting to the weekly competition inside Class B South they were joining following years in the tough Class A South division, but now it’s about improving on that 6-4 mark and moving past Point Boro and Lakewood, who finished first and second, respectively.

2017

S C H E D U LE Saturday 9/9 Saturday 9/I6 Friday 9/22 Friday 9/29 Saturday I0/7 Saturday I0/I4 Friday I0/20 Saturday I0/28 Saturday II/4

Toms River South Pt Pleasant Boro @ Pinelands @ Jackson Liberty @ Lakewood Barnegat @ Donovan Catholic Southern Manchester

At A Glance

“We felt that we were a lot more competitive in the B South,” said Lou Vircillo who enters his 37th season as the Lions head coach. “We had more depth for a B-division type of program and we were in every game. We had an opportunity to win at least three of the games we lost so I felt pretty good about the team’s effort.”

stellar athletes and they’re always very difficult to defend if you allow them to get into the open field.”

Playing a year in B South also provided them with experience and a better idea of how to prepare for their new division foes.

“Since my freshman year I haven’t seen us in the postseason and that’s a big goal of mine,” said Rioux. “Going after that state championship is always the goal but we want to win our conference and everything first.”

“We didn’t know what the teams were like last year because we never played them before,” said senior quarterback Coleton Klaus. “This year we know what’s going on and what they’re doing and how they play.” “I think Point Boro is an excellent football team and they run an offense that nationally is one of the toughest to stop,” said Vircillo. “Then you have Lakewood who is returning some

His players are certainly hungry to get back into the postseason, especially senior offensive tackle Jon Rioux, who may also see some time at nose guard.

“I think we can go all the way but we have to work for it and just keep going after it everyday,” said Klaus. “We can’t just say that and it just happens, we have to work for it.” “We’re taking it one game at a time and just focusing on what we have to do and where we have to go,” said senior running back and

Coaching Staff Head Coach:

Lou Vircillo 37th season

C a r e e r R e c o r d : 275-136-3

A ss i s ta n t C o a c he s :

Shane Allen (DL); Warren Smith (QB); Mike Stuppielo (LB); Chris Dimicco (RB); Jack Bush (scouting); Watson Heilala (freshmen); John Tierney (OL); Joe Tobin (DB); Bob Nani (OL); Keith Tyhannic (freshmen); Lee Emery (athletic trainer).

2016 Record: 6-4 (5-2)

B IG SHO E S TO FI LL: Tanner Miick, Sr., WR/FS

linebacker Jason Giresi.

Vircillo says it’s more of a team approach this year to fill the void of all the seniors who graduated, but someone like Tanner Miick stepping up to fill the spot left open by Chase Stephensen could be a big part of their offense.

The Lions also have a number of starters and key players returning this season which could help them elevate in the divisional ranks. “We feel very good about our front this year and hope we can build off last year’s momentum,” said Vircillo.

X

-FA C TO R : The defense With a couple of strong offenses finishing in front of them in the division last year, playing good defense could help them win a lot of the close games or games similar to the ones that got away from them in 2016. G LU E GU Y: Jon Rioux, Sr., OL/DL Rioux has been one of the most vocal leaders on the team and is someone who really amps up the rest of his teammates. Rioux, along with guys like Giresi and Klaus, ocould play a critical factor in winning B South.

“We’re really starting to mesh together, just seeing everyone get after it as well as they are and really showing how hard we’ve been working,” Giresi said. “I think we have a good chance to be very successful.

(l-r) Jon Rioux, Jason Giresi, Coleton Klaus, John carr & Anthony Tobia

Vircillo says they’ll be running the same type of offense and defense (Multiple-I offensive set and 3-4 defensive look) again this season and his goal is to run an offense that best suits his players skill sets.

iMP A C T N E WC OM ER : Ray Agosto, Jr., WR/DE The more critical position Agosto will play this year will be on the defensive line as the Lions look to step up their defense against a couple of explosive offenses in their own division. If Agosto and the rest of the defense play up to par, this could be much more of a stingy unit this.

P IVO T AL G A ME: Sep 16. vs. Point Boro Point Boro has won two straight division titles, including an outright crown last season. The road to the division title goes through the Panthers.

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85


BAC K F RO M TH E B R IN K

W

Matt Manley

Senior Staff Editor

hen Lakewood Public School’s financial problems threatened the existence of the Lakewood football program, head coach L.J. Clark and his players never doubted they would return to the field for the 2017 season.

Coaching Staff

2017

S C H E D U LE Friday 9/8 Friday 9/I5 Saturday 9/23 Saturday I0/7 Saturday I0/I4 Friday I0/2o Friday I0/27 Saturday II/4 Thursday II/23

@ Manchester @ Donovan Catholic Jackson Liberty Lacey PT Boro @ Brick Township @ Barnaget Pinelands TR South

At A Glance B IG SHO E S TO FI LL: Dante Morris, DL Defensive end Adi Palmer bookended Lezin last year to form a dominant defensive end duo, and with Palmer gone, Morris will be play on the other side from Lezin.

X -FA C TO R :

Offensive line Lakewood has had a steady flow of position-player talent make its way through the program, but the Piners have not had the same fortune on the offensive line. This year, however, Lakewood not only has size, but the Piners have more depth that they typically do and that could make them even more dynamic than they have been.

G LU E GU Y: Josh Lezin, DL/FB/TE A first-team All-Shore defensive lineman, Lezin returns as Lakewood’s defensive end and will also make himself available to contribute on offense and dare his head coach to turn down the offer. iMP A C T N E WC OM ER : Sincere Moore, WR/DB A transplant from Georgia, Moore will make an impact on both sides of the ball. He has a chance to affect the game as a wide receiver, but he will most definitely start at one of the two hybrid safety positions in Lakewood’s 3-3-5 defense.

P IVO T AL G A ME: Oct. 14 vs. Point Boro There are a number of potential stumbling blocks in the Class B South schedule, but there is only one defending champion. Lakewood finished one game behind Point Boro for the B South title in 2016 and while there are six other divisional games to survive, the one against Panthers is the one that will likely carry the most weight when it comes to deciding the division title.

86

By

L.J. Clark, 7 th season

Head Coach:

C a r e e r R e c o r d : 32-29

A ss i s ta n t C o a c he s :

Evan Baubles (Off. Coordinator), Noel Kavanaugh (Def. Coordinator), Lew Peccarelli (LB/RB), Al Lamura (QB), Gary Salerno (FB/DL), Nick Taylor, Steve Peacock, Tim Brown, Mike Muth, Tim Redann (Freshman)

(l-r) JEANPAUL

ZYHEIR

RODRIGUEZ, KHARI JENKINS, JONES, JYHEIR JONES & JOHN WEBB

Whatever the cost to bring back the football program would be, Clark knew it would get covered because he know those in the community understood what the football program meant for so many of the players who passed through it and what it can still mean for the players in it. “We were never not going to have a football team,” Clark said. “I was going to do everything in my power to get it done and I had some people lined up that would have helped make it happen. So it was always going to happen because I made a promise to my guys. “You have a guy going to Temple and two more guys who should be FBS players, not to mention other guys who could play in college. Where are they going to go? We’ve got kids who love coming out here every day. If there’s no football, what are they doing? I think people understand how important football is for these kids and they know that we do it the right way here, and I’m glad the Township saw it that way.” Lakewood Township came through with the funds, allocating $84,000 to the school board to pay for the football season, guaranteeing the Piners will have a chance to pursue a Class B South championship as well as an NJSIAA sectional title. “The day of the Township meeting, it was graduation day,” senior offensive tackle and Temple commit Jean Paul Rodriguez said. “As soon as graduation was over, we all went over to the courthouse to see what was going to happen. We were all following it really closely.” There are still hardships to endure, according to Clark, but when it comes to play on the field, the seventh-year head coach has very few concerns about what he has coming back. Even in the face of program elimination, Lakewood did not lose a potential returning starter to a transfer. “We love this community,” senior quarterback Zyheir Jones said. “They’ve always supported us. It’s our home town. I wouldn’t want to play for anyone else. I just know I’m thankful for the opportunity because it could have been taken away from us.” Lakewood returns a wealth of talent on both sides of the ball this year, led Rodriguez, Jones and senior defensive standout Josh Lezin. Offensive skill positions and secondary talent have been common at Lakewood over the last decade or so, and this year is not much different. Jones enters his third year as a starter

at quarterback and was an All-Shore selection as a junior in 2016. Although the Piners need him to captain the offense, Clark said he will try to find spots to play Jones in the secondary in order to showcase him for college coaches while also improving the depth and dynamism of the defensive backfield. “This group is unique for me because it’s the first group that has only been a part of winning here,” Clark said. “The seniors on this team came in in 2014 when we won the division, so that’s been their expectation from Day one, whereas the guys who came before them were part of some rebuilding years.” Senior Khari Jenkins will take over the No. 1 spot on the depth chart at tailback this year and is one of several weapons on whom Jones will lean. There is also Zyheir’s twin brother, Jyheir, who will line up at wide receiver again this year after emerging as a primary target for his brother last year. Senior Johnny Webb is another explosive returnee for Lakewood and will play mostly in the slot on offense. When Lakewood goes to bigger packages, Lezin will become a factor as a fullback or tight end, although Clark prefers to limit his use on offense to keep him fresh on defense. “He’s so valuable for us on defense that we don’t want to mess with that at all by trying to play him the whole game,” Clark said. “We could easily be our best player on offense too, but when he’s fresh and you get him out there hitting people, there’s not really anybody who can stop him. There are going to be games where we’ll use him at guard or maybe fullback, but my hope is we’ll only use him in spots on offense.” Two newcomers have caught the eye of the coaching staff in the summer time. Junior Sincere Moore is a transfer from Georgia who will be a speed threat on the outside, while freshman Hasid Barksdale – who is the younger brother of current Temple defensive back Amir Tyler – has shown plenty of promise already. Senior Drayton Bonaparte is also a returning skill player, but is dealing with an injury that might cost him time during the early part of the season. While most of the focus has been on Lakewood’s athleticism on offense and in the secondary, the offensive and defensive lines have generated some noteworthy players in recent years. Defensive end Adi Palmer graduated this past spring, but the Piners still bring back Lezin, Rodriguez and a host of potential linemen on either side of the ball.

20I7 FOOTBALL PREVIEW

2016 Record: 7-3 (6-1 in Class B South)

“We have young, big guys on the line,” Rodriguez said. “We’re going to be good. I think it’s probably the best offensive line I’ve been a part of since I’ve been here.” On the offensive side, senior Tye Pierce returns as the team’s center for the third straight year, while juniors Kevin Rodriguez and Eric Rice occupy the guard spots. The right tackle position involves more competition, but Clark likes the size of all the candidates and will use the ones who are not starters in the defensive line rotation. “We still don’t have a lot of guys in the program for a Group III school, but the 30 or so guys we have are all going to contribute,” Clark said. “Nobody is here to hold a clipboard. If you’re in the program, we’re trying to find snaps for you and we expect everybody who gets on the field to know how to handle themselves, because that’s what we prepare them for.” Speaking of the defensive line, Lezin and junior Donte Morris will be the two ends in a three-man front for Lakewood and will look to cause the same kind of damage that Lezin and Palmer did. The nose guard will be a rotation of players battling for time on the line, as well as Pierce – who is entrenched as a starter. Jenkins will be the middle linebacker, while Rizjoun Smullen and senior Dalon Butler are in line two start on the outside. Bonaparte will also play among the linebackers once healthy. Lakewood is again deep in the secondary and should construct a formidable five-man backfield with the talent it has. Jyheir Jones will move from cornerback to the free safety spot, with Moore and Webb playing the two hybrid spots. Elijah Miller will play on one corner while the other is up for grabs. With a renewed sense of appreciation for the game following a tumultuous summer for the entire Lakewood athletic community, Clark’s team is on a mission to finish of a B South title and make a deep run in the South Jersey Group III bracket, led by a potentially imposing line to go with its usual mix of skill-player talent. “It feels normal again,” Jones said. “We’re back out on the field everyday so everything else that’s going on is just in the background. We’re grateful for the opportunity, so now it’s time to focus back on football.”

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87


FIND ING A WAY

I

By

Vin Ebenau

SSN Contributor

t hasn’t been easy for Bill Furlong as Manchester head coach, and following another down year (3-7), his third in the program, he’s confident this will be the year they turn things in a positive direction with a lot of returning talent.

Coaching Staff

2017

S C H E D U LE

Saturday 9/8 Lakewood Friday 9/I5 @ Jackson Liberty Friday 9/22 Barnaget Saturday 9/29 Toms River East Friday I0/6 @ Pt Pleasant Boro Friday I0/I3 Holmdel Friday I0/20 @ Pinelands Friday II/4 @ Lacey Friday II/17 @ Donovan Catholic

At A Glance B IG SHO E S T O FI LL: Dan Morales, OL/DL Jake Lloyd was their best lineman in 2016, according to Furlong, and following his graduation Dan Morales will be one of the players asked to step up.

X -FA C TO R :

Confidence Furlong feels the players are talented enough to win and they just need to believe in themselves. He says things will go wrong through the course of the season but it’s how they bounce back that will determine how good they could be.

Head Coach:

Bill Furlong, 4th season (20th overall)

C a r e e r R e c o r d : 75-88

A s si s ta n t C o a c he s :

Karl Schaeffer (OL); Joe Serratelli (LB) Bill Hill (def. coord./DB); Paul Findlow (DL); Bill Hill Jr. (OLB/WR); Brian Wilkinson (RB); Mark Mernone (freshmen); Tiffani Helen (athletic trainer)

(l-r) D anie l Mo ra les, La nont Le tt ,

2016 Record: 3-7 (2-5)

Jerry Ward, Jalen Glienn & Nick Ward “I think there’s just been a gradual increase in the positive attitude and the buy-in from the kids,” said Furlong. “The players who are seniors now were the first group of players when I started here. I just feel like they’ve gelled because they’ve all been through it, and sometimes going through the hard times pulls you together.” “Our tempo is a lot quicker,” said senior running back Jalen Glenn. “We have a lot of fast guys on the team and we’re trying to take advantage of that. We’re also a more experienced team and I think we’ll come out with a better record this year.”

G LU E GU Y: Jerry Ward, Sr., QB/CB

“I think we’re going to be great this year,” said senior quarterback Jerry Ward. “We’re going to score a lot.”

Ward is like having a coach on the field for Furlong and is really the guy the gets his teammates going in the huddle. He says Ward is the guy who doesn’t taking things for granted and really tries to help out his teammates.

With all those players coming back this year Furlong feels that they can only continue to develop and become better and contribute to winning again. “I think they’re highly motivated,” said

Furlong. “Some of these lineman have been starting for two or three years and taken their share of lumps, and they’re a little tired of it. They’ve worked hard and want to change things.” He credits the senior led group as those who are already making a difference heading into the 2017 season. “These younger kids look up to them and they know how to act,” said Furlong. In order to change the culture of the program to a winning tradition, they’ll have to compete at a higher level in order to pass teams inside Class B South. “I think we’re going to matchup well with all of those teams,” said Glenn. “We were in a lot of close games last year and were just shy of turning that corner,” said Furlong. “I think part of that was learning how to win and dealing with being in that position. Now it’s about taking that next step.”

While winning the division is something they’d like to accomplish, Furlong says they’re just going to take things one game at a time. “We’re just going to try and outperform ourselves from the week before,” said Furlong. “We’re trying to eliminate our mistakes. Most of the offensive and defensive lineman are returning but there’s still a couple position battles being played out and something that may carry into the regular season. They have some depth, but Furlong says most guys will end up playing both ways. Staying healthy will be crucial. “We’ve had enough of an upswing from young guys,” said Furlong. “Markel Hourigan (Jr. FB) has been a very pleasant surprise, Devin Zamot (So. RB/MLB) has proven to be a guy we really need to get on the field and Jeffry Eletto (RB/DB) is back after not playing last year and has really had a nice summer.”

iMP A C T N E WC OM ER : Andrew Dodd Jr., OL/LB

He’s described by Furlong as a weight room warrior and through his worth ethic has flourished as a JV player now ready to make an impact on varsity.

P IVO T AL G A ME: Sept. 8 vs. Lakewood Manchester feels much improved, and what better way to make a splash than with a win over division titlecontender Lakewood.

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ROW THE BOAT

By

Bob Badders

Managing Editor

O

ver the last few seasons Pinelands has slowly risen from the ashes of a winless season to push back into respectability and contention in Class B South. The Wildcats will have a new coach in 2017, but they’re looking to keep moving forward while challenging for a playoff spot.

Coaching Staff

2017

S C H E D U LE

Friday 9/8 Pt Pleasant Boro Saturday 9/I6 @ Marlboro Friday 9/22 Lacey Saturday 9/30 @ Keansburg Friday I0/6 @ Donovan Catholic Friday I0/20 Manchester Friday I0/27 Jackson Liberty Saturday II/4 @ Lakewood Wednesday II/22 @ Barnegat

At A Glance B IG SHO E S T O FI LL: Joseph Parkinson, Jr., TE/LB

Dave Fairl was an All-Division linebacker for the Wildcats last year and Parkinson will step in as a junior to fill his vacated spot.

X -FA C TO R : Improved defense Pinelands showed it could score last season. Now it’s time for the defense to take a similar step forward and compliment the Wildcats’ ballcontrol offense. G LU E G UY: Rob Eagle, Sr., FB/LB Eagle is a returning starter on defense and will also play fullback, and has stepped forward as one of the team’s leaders. i M P A C T N E W C O M E R : Nik Dileo, Fr., RB

If Dileo is pushing for playing time as a freshman, and doing so at a position Pinelands is already strong at, he must be doing a lot of things right this preseason. P I V O T A L G A M E : Sept. 22 vs. Lacey Lacey plays a physical brand of football and is a traditional power in Class B South. A win for the Wildcats in Week 3 would be a huge turning point for the program.

Matt Fuller, 1st season

Head Coach:

C a r e e r R e c o r d : 0-0

A s si s ta n t C o a c he s :

(l-r) DAVI D K OHL ER, CHRI S L EWI S , BREN NAN RI CHA RDS ON,

EVAN BURTON & ROB EAGLE

Matt Fuller, who had been on the Pinelands staff as an assistant for several seasons, takes over as the head coach after Brian Wilkinson was not rehired after four seasons. Pinelands installed a double wing, double tight offense under Wilkinson and will retain that offensive scheme in Fuller’s first season. It’s a difficult offense to prepare for and one that was designed to maximize the Wildcats’ strengths. With more playmakers at the skill positions this year, they’re hoping to make another jump after averaging 21.5 points per game last season.

Senior Chris Lewis is a returning starter at tight end and Brown’s top target. Junior Joseph Parkinson will start on the opposite side.

“Right now we have a lot of talent, I feel, and it’s about getting together as a team and being on the same page,” said senior Rob Eagle. “Once we do that I think we can be great.”

Pinelands’ defense also made major strides last season in allowing 22.1 points per game, and will bring back six starters in its 3-4 multiple base. Senior Dylan Bastian is a returning starter at defensive tackle and junior Nick Carmona is a returning starter at nose guard. The defensive end will be Kohler.

Five starters return on offense, led by junior wing back Evan Burton. The Wildcats’ leading rusher last season, Burton had a breakout sophomore year with 1,362 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns. Senior Brennan Richardson added 559 yards and five touchdowns and is also returning at wing back. Freshman Nik Dileo should also see time in the backfield. Eagle and senior Chris Milano are the fullbacks. Junior Garrett Brown returns as the starting quarterback after throwing for 489 yards and five touchdowns last season. Pinelands is never going to throw it a lot, but Brown has shown the ability to make plays in the passing game when given the chance.

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Senior David Kohler at left tackle is the only returning starter on the offensive line, but what the Wildcats lack in experience they make up for with size. Junior Jonathan Maker stands 6foot-3 and weighs 280 pounds and will start at left guard. Junior Jacob Lucas (6-foot-4, 315 pounds) is the right guard and senior Dante Rodriguez (6-foot, 300 pounds) is the right tackle. Junior Zach Michot will start at center.

Both inside linebackers are returning starters as Eagle returns to the middle and Burton moves inside after starting at outside linebacker last year. Lewis was a starting defensive back last year and will slide down to outside linebacker, while Parkinson will be the other starting outside linebacker. Eagle led the Wildcats with three sacks last season. Richardson is the only returning starter in the secondary and will line up at cornerback. Brown will step into a starting spot at cornerback, taking over a position his older

Anthony Allocca (off. coord/OL); Scott Peterka (TE); Albert Rowland (RB/WB); Mike Keller (QB); Todd Kaiser (DB); Dominic LaFragola (DL); Stacy Childs (athletic trainer).

2 01 6 R e c o r d : 4-6 (3-4)

brother, Glenn, played last season. Andrew Bartlett and junior Bobby LeFevre are the safeties. “Defense is going to be really important for us,” Eagle said. “Now that we’ve been executing on offense we need to do the same on defense. So far we’re being physical and flying around.” Senior Ian Medford will take over as the placekicker while Richardson returns as the punter on special teams. Finishing 4-6 last season was another step in the right direction for the Wildcats. They put together a four-game winning streak in the middle of the season following an 0-3 start, and were very close to finishing with a winning record before suffering an overtime loss to Steinert in an NJSIAA consolation game and a one-point loss to Barnegat on Thanksgiving Eve. “We’re trying to push ourselves to get into the playoffs because we haven’t been there in a long time,” Richardson said. “We won four straight games last season and that hadn’t happened in a while,” Eagle said. “Carrying that into this season, we should be pretty solid.”

89


RECIPE FOR SUCCESS

By Bob Badders Managing Editor

etting ready for the 2016 football season, Point Boro was faced with plenty of uncertainty. The Panthers had a new head coach and a cast of new starters, and spent much of the offseason and preseason trying to figure out how and where all the new pieces fit.

G

S C H E D U LE

@ Pinelands @ Lacey Donovan Catholic Monmouth Manchester @ Lakewood @ Jackson Liberty @Ocean Barnegat

At A Glance B IG SHO E S TO FI LL: Trevor McNamara, Sr., WR McNamara started last season but looks to be the new No. 1 wide receiver for the Panthers. He’ll take over for Hayden Frey, who had 82 percent of Point Boro’s receiving yards and all five receiving touchdowns last season.

X

-FA C TO R : The passing game Point Boro ran the ball very well last season and returns nearly all the key components in its flexbone offense. The one question mark is the passing game, where the Panthers don’t have to air it out but do need to make enough big plays to keep teams honest. G LU E GU Y: James Fara, Sr., QB Fara begins his second year as the Panthers’ starting quarterback and is coming off a very good junior season where he ran for 1,293 yards and 19 touchdowns while also throwing for 472 yards and five touchdowns. A lot falls on the shoulders of an option quarterback and Fara is the unquestioned leader in the huddle.

I M PA C T NE WC O ME R: Anthony Bonavito, Sr., OL/DL An injury derailed Bonavito’s junior season when he was slated to be a starter. At 6-foot-3 and 285 pounds he gives the Panthers a big boost in the trenches.

P IVO T AL G A ME: Oct. 14 at Lakewood This matchup has decided the division championship each of the last two seasons, and with the Piners returning several key players there’s a good possibility it will once again.

90

Matt Cilento, 2nd season

Head Coach:

C a r e e r R e c o r d : 8-2 As s i s t an t C o ac h es:

2017

Friday 9/8 Saturday 9/16 Friday 9/22 Friday 9/29 Friday 10/6 Saturday 10/14 Friday 10/20 Friday 10/27 Friday 11/3

Coaching Staff

Tom Orrok (pass game coord./WR/LB); Brian Staub (offensive coord./QB); Ryan Canary (OL/DL); Shane O’Connor (RB/DB); Dave Johnson, Dan Drzymkowski, Ty Hughes (volunteers); Pat Brady, Dave Drew (freshmen); Jonathan Madden (athletic trainer).

2016 Record: 8-2 (7-0)

(L-R) CONOR LANDIS, TREVOR MCNAMARA, JAMES FARA, TANNER GORDON & GABE FATTIZZI Fast forward to this season and things couldn’t more different for the reigning Shore Conference Class B South champions. Quarterback James Fara had a breakout season, the defense ascended to a top 10 unit in the Shore and it added up to an 8-2 record and a division title. Now with multiple starters back on both sides of the ball Point Boro knows exactly what it is, and that’s a team that plans on defending its division crown and contending for the Central Jersey Group II title. “It’s been really exciting because we return a lot more than last year,” Fara said. “Last year we weren’t really certain how the season would go because we lost so many seniors. Now we return our whole backfield, the line is looking really nice and we didn’t lose that many people.” “This is one of the few times since I’ve been coaching here that we’ve had multiple kids in the system as starters for two or more years,” said Point Boro head coach Matt Cilento. “The kids have been working hard and the kids that are returning like Fara and (Tanner) Gordon and (Brandon) Cipriano, they know the system and they’re leaders in the huddle on both sides of the ball.” Point Boro’s flexbone offense averaged 27.8 points per game last season centered around the emergence of a junior backfield that averaged nearly 250 yards per game. So much is put on the shoulders of a quarterback in an option offense, so when Fara got off to a fast start and emerged as a top quarterback everything fell into place for the Panthers. In his first year as a starter Fara rushed for 1,293 yards and 19 touchdowns while throwing for 472 yards and five touchdowns. Athletic and quick with his reads, Fara enters his senior year as one of the top returning quarterbacks in the Shore Conference. “I feel like I’ve improved a lot,” Fara said. “Having experience from last season and not changing anything other than a couple lineman, it’s been pretty easy to get right into it.” “You know James can run the ball and when he plants that food he can get up field,” Cilento said. “His reads have been real quick this year and now being in the system as a starter for the second year in a row, his dive key, his pitch

key is very quick. His choice calls as the line have been very efficient. And when we throw it he can put it out there. We’re looking for some good things from him again this year.” Lining up directly behind Fara will be senior Tanner Gordon at “A” back while seniors Brandon Cipriano and Nate Chiarello are the slot backs. A physical downhill runner, Gordon ran for 944 yards and 11 touchdowns last season. Cirpiano was having a solid year before suffering an injury in Week 4 and missing the remainder of the season, so his presence as a pitch back gives the Panthers another weapon in the running game. Senior Trevor McNamara returns as a starting wide receiver while junior Kyle Komanitsky will be the other starting wide receiver. Point Boro won’t throw it much as a flexbone team, but the Panthers have traditionally had a big-play receiver to keep teams from overcrowding the box. Last season it was Hayden Frey, who accounted for 82 percent of Point Boro’s receiving yards and caught all five touchdown passes. “Hayden Frey is one of the best we’ve had and he’s tough to replace,” Cilento said. “We have a couple of kids rotating in that are role players but have good hands, get good separation and have good technique. If they can get that technique down and are running routes the right way we have some kids that can make things happen.” “Hayden is a big loss for our passing game but we return some key players that are stepping in and getting reps, and I definitely think they can do the job,” Fara said. Two starters return up front with senior Conor Landis at left tackle and senior Gabe Fattizzi at center. Senior Anthony Bonavito missed all of last season with an injury, but the 6foot-3, 285-pounder will start at left guard to bolster the left side. A pair of juniors man the right side if the offensive line with Trent LiVolsi at right guard and Scott Franceschini at right tackle. “We’re definitely stepping up and making improvements really quick,” Bonavito said. “For us we need those guys in the trenches that have experience,” Cilento said. “It all starts there.”

20I7 FOOTBALL PREVIEW

Before Cilento took over as head coach last season he was the Panthers’ defensive coordinator, and he still runs the defense in its 3-5-3 stack. Point Boro was ninth in the Shore last season, allowing 16.7 points per game, and returns five starters. LiVolsi is a returning starter at defensive end while Landis is the other defensive end and Bonavito is the nose guard. Gordon and senior Ronnie Leyda are returning starters as outside linebackers while Chiarello is a returning starter at inside linebacker. Senior Tyler Sanchez received significant playing time last year and will step into a starting role at inside linebacker. Garrett Romer will be the starter at middle linebacker. “It’s great to have experience,” Gordon said. “We’ve been able to come in and not really have to install and learn plays. We’ve been flying around. Cipriano and Fara are the cornerbacks while McNamara, who had three interceptions last season, is back as the starting safety. “We have some guys on defense that really show relentless effort,” Cilento said. “We look forward to those kids flying around, really knowing the system and playing fast.” On special teams, the kicker is Chiarello and the punter will be either Fara or Komanitsky. Chiarello converted 29 of 33 extra points last season. Point Boro is our favorite to bring home the division title, which would be its third in a row (the Panthers shared the title with Lakewood in 2015). Lakewood is also in the mix, as is a Lacey team that returns its quarterback and running back. With everything the Panthers return, especially in their offensive backfield, the opportunity to also make a deep run in the playoffs is there for this group. With plenty of promise, plus a gleaming new turf field that was installed last winter, the Panther are chomping at the bit to get going in 2017. “It’s going to be awesome, I’ve been waiting since last year to play again,” Gordon said. “We’re all foaming at the mouth to get back out there.” “They do a good job competing week-in and week-out,” Cilento said. “This is a team that wants to compete. If we keep working hard and stay focused, stay on track and trust our systems on both sides of the ball good things will happen for us at the end of the year.”

/ VOLUME-IX / ISSUE-16 / 9/5/17


he Jersey Mike’s Game of the Week returns to the Shore Sports Network this fall with the regular season broadcast schedule to begin on Friday, September 8 when defending state sectional champion Wall faces Ocean in a Class B North matchup.

T

The game will mark the head coaching debut of Wall’s Tony Grandinetti, who was an assistant on the team when they captured the South Jersey Group III title last December. Jersey Mike’s Subs is the title sponsor of the game broadcasts and will also sponsor the popular Team of the Week program throughout the season.

The schedule includes a weekly Friday night broadcast, a special Saturday night edition in week 3 when Central hosts Jackson Memorial and the annual Thanksgiving Day meeting between rivals Manasquan and Wall. As in the past, coverage will include NJSIAA Playoff games right through to championship weekend in early December. All games can be heard on Beach Radio 1160 & 1310 and will be streamed live on shoresportsnetwork.com and through the new Shore Sports Network app. Matt Harmon is back as the play-by-play voice of the game broadcasts and will be joined by longtime partners Kevin Williams and Ed Sarluca. The trio have been together for nearly 20 years calling Shore Conference football games in Ocean and Monmouth County.

Fri Fri Fri Sat Thr Fri Fri Fri Fri Fri Thr

E

Sept 8 Sept 15 Sept 22 Sept 23 Sept 28 Oct 6 Oct 13 Oct 20 Oct 27 Nov 3 Nov 23

at Ocean at TR East at Donovan Catholic at Jackson Memorial at TR North at Central at Howell at Middletown South at Central TBD at Manasquan NJSIAA Playoffs Schedule is subject to change ngineer/Producer: Brad Burascano

Wall TR South Point Boro Central Howell Brick Memorial Manalapan TR North Brick

(7pm) (7pm) (7pm) (7pm) (7pm) (7pm) (7pm) (7pm) (7pm)

Wall

(11a) TBD

All games broadcast on 1160/1310AM and streamed live at shoresportsnetwork.com and on the FREE Shore Sports Network App

SHORESPORTSNETWORK.COM

91


2017 Week-by-Week Shore Conference Football Schedule FRIDAY, SEPT. I

Class A South Southern @ Central Nonconference Holmdel @ David Brearley

7 p.m. 6 p.m.

SATURDAY, SEPT. 2

Nondivisional Ocean @ Monmouth

noon

FRIDAY, SEPT. 8

Class A North Marlboro @ Manalapan Class A Central St. John Vianney @ Matawan Rumson-Fair Haven @ Raritan Class A South Toms River North @ Southern Central @ Toms River East Class B North Ocean @ . Wall Red Bank Catholic @ Middletown South Manasquan @ Long Branch Class B Central Asbury Park @ Shore Class B South Point Boro @ Pinelands Donovan Catholic @ Barnegat Lakewood @ Manchester Nondivisional Neptune @ Middletown North Jackson Liberty @ Jackson Memorial Nonconference Red Bank @ JFK-Iselin

7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m.

SATURDAY, SEPT. 9

C lass A North Howell @ Colts Neck Freehold Township @ Freehold Class A Central Holmdel @ Monmouth Class A South Brick Memorial @ Brick Class B Central Point Beach @ Keyport Mater Dei Prep @ Keansburg Nondivisional Toms River South @ Lacey

noon 1 p.m. noon 1 p.m. noon 1 p.m. 1 p.m.

FRID AY, SEPT. 15

Class A North Colts Neck @ Freehold Township Freehold @ Howell Class A Central Matawan @ Red Bank St. John Vianney @ Raritan Class A South Toms River East @ Toms River South Brick @ Jackson Memorial Class B North Middletown North @ Red Bank Catholic Class B Central Keyport @ Asbury Park Keansburg @ Highland Park Class B South Manchester @ Jackson Liberty Lakewood @ Donovan Catholic Nondivisional Wall at Central Manalapan at Southern Shore at Barnegat Nonconference Bishop Ahr @ Point Beach Middletown South @ Ocean

6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 6 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m.

SATURDAY, SEPT. 16

Class A South Brick Memorial @ Toms River North Class B South Point Boro @ Lacey Nondivisional Pinelands @ Marlboro Nonconference Metuchen @ Monmouth Woodbridge @ Manasquan Holmdel @ Spotswood

FRIDAY, SEPT. 22 Class A South Toms River South at Brick Memorial Toms River North at Brick Southern at Toms River East Class A Central Monmouth at Matawan St. John Vianney at Red Bank Rumson-Fair Haven at Holmdel Class B North Manasquan at Middletown South Class B Central Keansburg at Shore Asbury Park at Point Beach

92

7 p.m. 1 p.m. 1 p.m. noon 1 p.m. 1 p.m.

Class B South Donovan Catholic @ Point Boro Lacey @ Pinelands Barnegat @ Manchester Nondivisional Wall @ Raritan

7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m.

SATURD AY, SEPT. 23

Class A North Freehold Township @ Marlboro Neptune @ Freehold Class A South Jackson Memorial @ Central Class B North Long Branch @ Colts Neck Red Bank Catholic @ Ocean Class B Central Keyport @ Mater Dei Prep Class B South Jackson Liberty @ Lakewood Nondivisional Middletown North @ Howell Nonconference Old Bridge @ Manalapan

1 p.m. 1 p.m. 7 p.m. noon 1 p.m. 1 p.m. 1 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 1 p.m.

THU R SDAY, SEPT. 28

Class A North Neptune @ Freehold Township 6:30 7 Colts Neck @ Marlboro (at Marlboro Rec. complex) 7 Freehold @ Manalapan Class A Central Red Bank @ Holmdel 7 Nondivisional 7 Ocean @ Matawan 6:30 Toms River North @ Howell 7 Middletown South @ Rumson-Fair Haven

p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m.

FR ID AY, SEPT. 29

Class A South Toms River South @ Jackson Memorial Class B North Long Branch @ Wall Class B South Lacey @ Jackson Liberty Nondivisional Donovan Catholic @ Raritan Toms River East @ Manchester Brick @ St. John Vianney Monmouth @ Point Boro Nonconference Shore @ Bishop Ahr Brick Memorial @ Sayreville Red Bank Catholic @ Colonia Middlesex @ Point Beach

7 p.m. 7 p.m. 4 7 7 7

p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m.

7 7 7 7

p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m.

1 p.m. 1 p.m. noon 1 p.m. 7 p.m.

FRID AY, OCT. 6

Class A North Howell @ Neptune Class A Central Holmdel @ St. John Vianney Matawan @ Rumson-Fair Haven Class A South Toms River North @ Toms River East Central @ Brick Memorial Jackson Memorial @ Southern Class B North Wall @ Red Bank Catholic Middletown South @ Long Branch Class B Central Mater Dei Prep @ Shore Class B South Manchester @ Point Boro Barnegat @ Jackson Liberty Pinelands @ Donovan Catholic Nonconference Marlboro @ East Brunswick New Brunswick @ Middletown North Freehold Township @ Perth Amboy

7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 6 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m.

7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 7 7 7

p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m.

7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m.

SATURDAY, OCT. 14

Class A North Freehold @ Colts Neck Neptune @ Marlboro Class B Central Asbury Park @ Mater Dei Prep Class B South Barnegat @ Lacey Point Boro @ Lakewood Nonconference Keyport @ Dunellen Keansburg@ Sussex Tech Donovan Catholic @ St. Joseph (Metuchen)

noon 1 p.m. 1 p.m. 1 p.m. 1 p.m. TBD 1 p.m. 1 p.m.

Class A North Freehold Township @ Howell Manalapan @ Neptune Class A Central St. John Vianney @ Red Bank Catholic Red Bank @ Rumson-Fair Haven Class A South Toms River East @ Jackson Memorial Class B North Ocean @ Long Branch Class B Central Shore @ Point Beach Class B South Lacey@ Donovan Catholic Point Boro @ Jackson Liberty Manchester @ Pinelands Nondivisional Matawan @ Wall Middletown South @ Toms River North Colts Neck @ Central Lakewood @ Brick Nonconference Dunellen @ Asbury Park Mater Dei Prep @ Lincoln

7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m.

2 p.m. 2 p.m. 7 p.m. 2:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m 2:30 p.m. TDB

Class A North Marlboro @ Freehold Class A South Brick Memorial @ Southern Class B North Middletown North @ Manasquan Nonconference Metuchen @ Keyport South River @ Keansburg

7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 7 7 7

p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m.

6 p.m. 7 p.m.

1 p.m. 1 p.m. 1 p.m. noon 1 p.m.

FRID AY, OCT. 27

Class A Central Monmouth @ Rumson-Fair Haven Class A South Central @ Brick Toms River North @ Toms River South Class B North Long Branch @ Middletown North Class B South Jackson Liberty @ Pinelands Lakewood @ Barnegat Nondivisional Manasquan @ Matawan Middletown South @ St. John Vianney Red Bank Catholic @ Red Bank Point Boro @ Ocean Nonconference Bishop Ahr @ Asbury Park East Brunswick @ Freehold Township Point Beach @ Highland Park Piscataway @ Manalapan Howell @ New Brunswick Jackson Memorial @ Old Bridg Colts Neck @ Monroe South Brunswick @ Brick Memorial

20I7 FOOTBALL PREVIEW

Class B Central Keansburg @ Keyport Nondivisional Toms River East @ Marlboro Southern @ Lacey Nonconference Raritan @ Spotswood Edison @ Freehold Sayreville @ Neptune Delbarton @ Mater Dei Prep

noon 1 p.m. 1 p.m. 1 1 1 7

p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m.

FRID AY, NOV. 3

Class A North Colts Neck @ Neptune Marlboro @ Howell Manalapan @ Freehold Township Class A Central Red Bank @ Raritan Holmdel @ Matawan Class A South Southern @ Toms River South Central @ Toms River North Jackson Memorial @ Brick Memorial Class B North Wall @ Middletown South Ocean @ Middletown North Class B Central Keansburg @ Asbury Park Class B South Jackson Liberty @ Donovan Catholic Barnegat @ Point Boro Nonconference Rumson-Fair Haven @ Carteret

7 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 6 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m.

SATURD AY, NOV. 4

6:30 p.m. 7 p.m.

SATURD AY, OCT. 21

7 p.m.

S ATURD AY, OCT. 7

Class A North Manalapan @ Colts Neck Class A Central Raritan @ Monmouth Class A South Brick @ Toms River South Class B Central Point Beach @ Keansburg Class B South Lacey @ Lakewood Nonconference Monroe @ Freehold Keyport @ Middlesex

SATURD AY, OCT. 28

FRIDAY, OCT. 20

3:30 p.m.

SATURD AY, SEPT. 30

Nondivisional Pinelands @ Keansburg Barnegat @ Manasquan Nonconference Canada Prep @ Mater Dei Prep Asbury Park @ Metuchen South River @ Keyport

FRID AY, OCT. 13

Class A North Howell @ Manalapan Class A Central Rumson-Fair Haven @ St. John Vianney Monmouth @ Red Bank Matawan @ Raritan Class A South Toms River South @ Central Jackson Memorial @ Toms River North Toms River East @ Brick Memorial Southern @ Brick Class B North Long Branch @ Red Bank Catholic Manasquan @ Ocean Wall @ Middletown North Nondivisional Jackson Liberty @ Freehold Township Holmdel @ Manchester Nonconference Middlesex @ Shore Spotswood @ Point Beach

7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 7 7 7

p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m.

6 6:30 7 7 7 7 7 7

p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m.

Class A Central St. John Vianney @ Monmouth Class A South Brick @ Toms River East Class B North Red Bank Catholic @ Manasquan Class B Central Shore @ Keyport Point Beach @ Mater Dei Prep Class B South Pinelands @ Lakewood Manchester @ Lace Nondivisional Freehold @ Long Branch

2 p.m. 1 p.m. 2 p.m. noon 2:30 p.m. 1 p.m. 2:30 p.m. 1 p.m

NJSIAA S ECTIONAL Q UARTERFINALS

Friday, Nov. 10 Saturday, Nov. 11

TBA TBA

NJSIAA S ECTIONAL S EMIFINALS

Friday, Nov. I7 Saturday, Nov. I8

TBA TBA

FRID AY, NOV. 17

Class A North Manchester @ Donovan Catholic

6:30 p.m.

WEDNE SD AY, N OV. 22

Nondivisional Long Branch @ Red Bank Class B South Pinelands @ Barnegat

THUR SD AY, NOV. 23

7 p.m. 6 p.m. (THANKSGIVING)

Class A Central Raritan @ Holmdel Class B North Middletown North @ Middletown South Manasquan @ Wall Nondivisional Neptune @ Asbury Park Toms River South @ Lakewood Shore @ Rumson-Fair Haven

10 a.m. 10:30 a.m. 11 a.m. 10:30 a.m. 11 a.m. 11 a.m.

NJSIAA S ECTIONAL C HAMPIONSHIPS

Thursday, Nov. 3 - Sunday, Dec. 3

TBA

*DATES AND TIMES SUBJECT TO CHANGE*

/ VOLUME-IX / ISSUE-16 / 9/5/17


SHORESPORTSNETWORK.COM

93


LF ONG BRANCH A : Indiana Avenue, Long Branch

IELD DDRESS D I R E C T I O N S : Parkway exit 105. Take Route 36 east, bear onto

F I E L D A D D R E S S : 1003 Sunset Avenue, Asbury Park D I R E C T I O N S : From south - Parkway exit 100A. Take Route 66

east to traffic circle. Follow Route 35 north to Sunset Avenue. Turn right; school is about two miles on left. From north Parkway exit 102 to Asbury Avenue east. Asbury Avenue runs into Route 66 and then same as above.

COLTS NECK

F I E L D A D D R E S S : 59 Five Points Road, Colts Neck D I R E C T I O N S : Route 34 to Route 537 west toward Freehold.

School is two to three miles ahead on the left.

FREEHOLD BORO

F I E L D A D D R E S S : 2 Robertsville Road, Freehold D I R E C T I O N S : Take Route 18 to Route 79 south. Turn left onto

Robertsville Road. Filed is one block ahead on left.

FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP

F I E L D A D D R E S S : 281 Elton-Adelphia Road, Freehold Township D I R E C T I O N S : Take Route 9 to Elton-Adelphia Road (Route 524).

Go west on Route 524. School is one mile ahead on left.

HOWELL

F I E L D A D D R E S S : 405 Squankum-Yellowbrook Road, Howell D I R E C T I O N S : Route I-195 west to Lakewood-Farmingdale exit

for Route 547 west (toward Farmingdale). Go about 200 yards to Squankum-Yellowbrook Road, turn left. School is about two miles on left.

HOLMDEL

F I E L D A D D R E S S : 36 Crawfords Corner Road, Holmdel D I R E C T I O N S : Parkway exit 114. Go west on Red Hill Raod. At

first intersection, turn right onto Crawfords Corner Road. School is one and a half miles ahead on the right.

KEANSBURG

F I E L D A D D R E S S : 140 Port Monmouth Road, Keansburg D I R E C T I O N S : Parkway exit 114. Turn right off ramp onto Red

Hill Road. At first light, turn left onto VanShoik Road. VanSchoik becomes Laurel Avenue. Take Laurel across Route 35 to Route 36. Turn right on Route 36 and take to jughandle left turn for Main Street. At first light, turn right onto Port Monmouth Road. School is down on the right.

K EYPORT F A : Jackson Street, Keyport

IELD DDRESS D I R E C T I O N S : Parkway exit 117. Take Route 35 south and bear

left onto Route 36 south. Take jughandle left onto Atlantic Street. Turn right on Jackson Street and go two blocks. Field is at the end of the street.

F I E L D A D D R E S S : Memorial Field, Summerfield School, Neptune D I R E C T I O N S : From south - Parkway Exit 100. Take Route 33 east

route 71 past Monmouth University and turn left on Westwood Avenue. Make a right onto Bath Avenue and then a right onto Indiana Avenue. School is ahead on right.

a few miles to Green Grove Road. Turn left onto Green Grove Road, school is just ahead on the left. From north - Parkway exit 100B. Follow rest of directions from above.

F I E L D A D D R E S S : 30 Church Lane, Manalapan D I R E C T I O N S : Route 9 to Route 522 west. Turn right on Tennent

F I E L D A D D R E S S : 550 West Park Avenue, Ocean Township D I R E C T I O N S : Route 35 to West Park Avenue. Go east on West

MANALAPAN

ASBURY PARK

NEPTUNE

OCEAN TOWNSHIP

Road, then left on Church lane. School is a half mile on right.

Park Avenue, school is a half mile on the right.

D I R E C T I O N S : From north - Parkway exit 98. Take Route 34 south

F I E L D A D D R E S S : 419 Middle Road, Hazlet D I R E C T I O N S : From north - Parkway exit 114. Make a left off the

M ANASQUAN F A : 159 Broad Street, Manasquan IELD

DDRESS

two miles to Manasquan/Sea Girt Exit. Go under Route 34 and follow Atlantic Avenue through circle. School is about one mile ahead on left. From south - Parkway exit 98. Take route 138 west to route 34 south, follow rest of above directions.

MARLBORO

F I E L D A D D R E S S : 95 Route 79, Marlboro D I R E C T I O N S : Route 18 north to Route 79 north. School is a few

miles ahead on left.

MATAWAN

F I E L D A D D R E S S : 450 Atlantic Avenue, Aberdeen D I R E C T I O N S : Parkway exit 117. Bear left off exit (passing

northbound tollbooths) and get in left lane of Route 35 south. Turn left onto Route 35 north and follow sign back to the Parkway. Before toll booth, turn right on Clark Street. At light, turn left on Lloyd Road. At next light, turn right on Church Street. At next light, turn right on Atlantic. School is just ahead on the right.

MATER DEI

F I E L D A D D R E S S : 538 Church Street, Middletown D I R E C T I O N S : Parkway exit 114. Turn right on Red Hill Road,

follow to end. Turn left onto Kings Highway, and right on Harmony Road, Take Harmony Road across Route 35 and turn right on Cherry Tree Farm Road. School is one and a half miles ahead on left.

MIDDLETOWN NORTH

F I E L D A D D R E S S : 63 Tindall Road, Middletown D I R E C T I O N S : Parkway exit 114. Turn right onto Red Hill Road

and follow to end. Turn right onto Kings Highway. Make a right and follow to Route 35 south to the jughandle for Tindall Road. Take the jughandle and then make a right to Tindall Road. The school will be a half mile on right.

MIDDLETOWN SOUTH

F I E L D A D D R E S S : 501 Nutswamp Road, Middletown D I R E C T I O N S : Parkway exit 114. Go east on Red Hill Road to

RARITAN

exit onto Red Hill Road, which turns into Laurel Avenue. Follow Laurel north across Route 35 to Middle Road. Turn left, school is on the right. From south - Parkway Exit 114. Turn right onto Red Hill Road, which turns into Laurel Avenue. Follow Laurel north across Route 35 to Middle Road. Turn left, school is on the right.

RED BANK REGIONAL

F I E L D A D D R E S S : 101 Ridge Road, Little Silver D I R E C T I O N S : Parkway exit 109. Take Newman Springs Road east

to end to Route 35 (Broad Street), turn left. At the second light, turn right on Harding Road. School is one and a half miles on right.

RED BANK CATHOLIC

F I E L D A D D R E S S : Count Basie Field, Henry Street, RB D I R E C T I O N S : Parkway exit 109. Take Newman Springs Road east

to Henry Street - Red Bank Volvo is n the corner. Turn left, field entrance is just ahead on the left.

RUMSON-FAIR HAVEN

F I E L D A D D R E S S : 74 Ridge Road, Rumson D I R E C T I O N S : Parkway exit 109. Take Newman Springs Road east

to Route 35 (Broad Street), turn left. At the second light, turn right on Harding Road. After about three miles, Harding becomes Ridge Road. Pass Red Bank Regional High School and go about three more miles. Rumson-Fair Haven will be on the left.

ST. JOHN VIANNEY

F I E L D A D D R E S S : 540 Road, Holmdel D I R E C T I O N S : Parkway exit 117. Bear left off exit (passing

northbound tollbooths) and get in left lane of Route 35 south. Turn left onto Route 35 north and follow sign back to the parkway. Before tollbooth, turn right onto Clark Street. At light, turn left on Lloyd Road. At first light, turn left onto Church Street. At next light, turn right onto Line road. School is on left.

SHORE REGIONAL

light for Dwight Road. Turn right on Dwight Road to MiddletownLincroft Road. Cross Middletown-Lincroft Road to Nutswamp. School is a half mile on the right.

route 71. School is just ahead on the right.

F I E L D A D D R E S S : 1 Normal J. Field Way, Tinton Falls D I R E C T I O N S : Parkway to exit 105. Take jughandle at first traffic

F I E L D A D D R E S S : 18th Avenue and New Bedford Road, Wall D I R E C T I O N S : Parkway exit 98. Take Route 138 east about two

MONMOUTH REGIONAL

light to Hope Road and go north to Tinton Avenue. Turn left on Tinton Avenue and go about half a mile to school entrance on the right, just before Parkway overpass.

F I E L D A D D R E S S : Route 36 east, West long Branch D I R E C T I O N S : Parkway exit 105. Take route 36 a few miles, cross

WALL

miles to second light, turn right onto New Bedford Road. Follow to school entrance on left.

SPECIAL THANKS TO THE PHOTOGRAPHERS WHO PROVIDED THE PHOTOS USED THROUGHTOUT THIS PROGRAM

94

20I7 FOOTBALL PREVIEW

/ VOLUME-IX / ISSUE-16 / 9/5/17


DONOVAN CATHOLIC

PINELANDS REGIONAL

right on Hooper Avenue. Go south on Hooper about a half mile and turn left at the first light. School is on the right.

three miles. Turn right on Nugentown Road. School is three miles on the right.

F I E L D A D D R E S S : 711 Hooper Avenue, Toms River D I R E C T I O N S : Parkway to Exit 82. Take Route 37 east and turn

JACKSON LIBERTY BARNEGAT

F I E L D A D D R E S S : 180 Bengal Boulevard, Barnegat D I R E C T I O N S : From the north - Parkway to exit 67 (Barnegat).

Make a left at the end of the exit ramp onto Bay Avenue. At second light make a left onto Barnegat Boulevard North. Go approximately one mile and make a left onto Bengal Boulevard. School is on the left. From the South-Parkway to Exit 63. Follow route 72 east to route 9 north. Make a left onto Bay Avenue. Make a right onto Barnegat Boulevard North and follow above direction.

BRICK

F I E L D A D D R E S S : 346 Chambers Bridge Road, Brick D I R E C T I O N S : From north - Parkway exit 91. Stay right off exit.

Go straight at light, follow to Route 88. Cross Route 88, go under Parkway overpass and school is just ahead on right. From southParkway exit 90. School is short distance on right from off-ramp.

BRICK MEMORIAL

F I E L D A D D R E S S : 2001 Lanes Mill Road, Brick D I R E C T I O N S : From South - Parkway exit 90. Ramp will put you

on Chambers Bridge Road. Take first jughandle U-turn and go west on Chambers Bridge Road. Cross Route 88 and follow to second light, where there is a convenience store on the left and a gas station on the right. The right and go over the Parkway. Pass the 7-Eleven and take the jughandle left turn for Lanes Mill Road. Go straight across, bear right just pass Lanes Mill Elementary School. High school is on right. From north - Parkway exit 91. Bear left after the toll. Follow jughandle around, turn right at light at gas station. Follow directions above after going over the Parkway.

CENTRAL REGIONAL

F I E L D A D D R E S S : Forest Hills Parkway, Berkeley D I R E C T I O N S : From north - Parkway exit 77. Turn left off exit

onto Double Trouble Road, follow it to traffic light. Turn left on Forest Hills Parkway. School is just ahead on right. Parking entrance is at far end of school or at middle school lot. From south - Parkway exit 77. Turn right on Forest Hills Parkway. School is just ahead on right. Parking entrance is at far end of school or at middle school lot.

F I E L D A D D R E S S : 125 North Hope Chapel Road, Jackson D I R E C T I O N S : From south- Route 9 north to Cox Cro Road Road

in Toms River. Make a left onto Cox Cro and follow about two miles to 527 (Whitesville Road). Make a left onto 527 and follow for about 4-5 miles. Make a right onto South Hope Chapel Road/CR-547. School is just ahead on the left. From north Parkway exit 98. Take I-195 west to Exit 21. Bear left and turn onto Route 527 South. Follow for 6-7 miles and turn left onto South Hope Chapel Road (just after 527 becomes 528 at Whitesville Road). School is about a half mile on the right.

JACKSON MEMORIAL

F I E L D A D D R E S S : Don Connor Boulevard, Jackson D I R E C T I O N S : From south - Route 9 north to Route 571. Go about

10-12 miles west to Route 528 intersection. Turn right on Route 528. Continue on Don Connor Boulevard and make a right. School is a quarter mile on the left. From north - Parkway exit 98. Take I-195 west to exit 21. Bear left and turn onto Route 527 South. At second light turn right onto Route 528. Continue to Don Connor Boulevard and make a left. Follow directions above.

L ACEY

F I E L D A D D R E S S : Haines Street, Lacey D I R E C T I O N S : Parkway Exit 74. Turn right on Lacey Road.

F I E L D A D D R E S S : Nugentown Road, Little Egg Harbor D I R E C T I O N S : Parkway Exit 58. Take Route 539 east about

POINT PLEASANT BEACH

F I E L D A D D R E S S : St. Louis and Chicago Avenues, Pt. Pleasant

Beach

D I R E C T I O N S : From north - Route 35 south. After crossing Manasquan River, follow signs for Broadway/Beach and make Uturn onto route 35 North. Make a quick right onto Broadway. Make a right onto St. Louis Avenue and follow until you see the field. From south - Route 35 north. Make a right onto Broadway and continue with above listed directions.

POINT PLEASANT BORO

F I E L D A D D R E S S : Laura Herbert Drive, Point Pleasant D I R E C T I O N S : From north - Parkway Exit 91. Stay left off exit

and take jughandle around to light at gas station. Turn right and follow Burnt Tavern Road to Route 70. Turn left on Route 70 and at next intersection turn right onto Herbertsville Road. Stay on Herbertsville Road to intersection with Route 88. Go straight through light to school less than a mile on the right. From south Route 88 east to Beaver Dam Road and make a right. School entrance is ahead on right.

SOUTHERN REGIONAL

F I E L D A D D R E S S : 600 North Main St. (Route 9), Stafford D I R E C T I O N S : Parkway exit 63. Take Route 72 east about two

miles and bear right onto Route 9 north. Take Route 9 about three miles and school is on the left.

Follow less than two miles, take jughandle left turn for Manchester Avenue. Go to the first light, turn right on Haines Street. School is on the right.

TOMS RIVER EAST

F I E L D A D D R E S S : 855 Somerset Ave, Lakewood D I R E C T I O N S : From south - Parkway exit 90. Take immediate

Avenue jughandle. Go north on Coolidge one mile to Raider Way. Turn left, school entrance is on the left.

LAKEWOOD

jughandle U-turn to go west on Chambers Bridge Road. Turn left onto Route 88, follow to New Hampshire Avenue and turn right. Take New Hampshire to end, turn left onto Ridge. Go about 1 ½ miles to school on right. From north - Parkway exit 91. Stay right off exit. Go straight at light, follow road to Route 88 intersection. Turn right on Route 88 and follow rest of directions above.

MANCHESTER

F I E L D A D D R E S S : 101 Colonial Drive, Manchester D I R E C T I O N S : Parkway to Exit 82A. Take Route 37 west about

five miles to jughandle for Colonial Drive. Cross 37 and follow back to school parking lot.

SHORESPORTSNETWORK.COM

F I E L D A D D R E S S : Raider Way, Toms River D I R E C T I O N S : Parkway Exit 82, Take Route 37 east to Coolidge

TOMS RIVER NORTH

F I E L D A D D R E S S : Old Freehold Road, Toms River D I R E C T I O N S : Parkway Exit 82. Take Route 37 East. At first

light take a jughandle left onto Route 166 north. Bear right at next traffic light onto Old Freehold Road. School is about three miles ahead on right.

TOMS RIVER SOUTH

F I E L D A D D R E S S : 101 Hyers Street, Toms River D I R E C T I O N S : Parkway exit 82. Take Route 37 east. Turn right

onto Hooper Avenue. The field is a half mile down on the right behind the Ocean County Courthouse.

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20I7 FOOTBALL PREVIEW

/ VOLUME-IX / ISSUE-16 / 9/5/17

9-5-17 Issue - 16 Volume IX Shore Sports Network Journal  

Shore Sports Network's 2017 Football Preview Program

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