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High School Fall Sports Preview

by Staff

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Bishop Eustace fielded a young squad in 2018 and many of the key players return with valuable experience under their belts. That includes senior quarterback Pat Brady, who earned all-conference first-team honors in his first full season as the starter. He is a threat with both his arm and his legs. Senior Bryan Hartman is a weapon who will line up in the backfield and at wide receiver, and other veteran running backs are senior James Gruccio and junior Luke Dickson. Junior Jeff Marshall is a top wide receiver, while senior Silvio Giacoletti made the all-conference first team and anchors the offensive line along with seniors Ryan Walsh and Luke Baines. Walsh, an all-conference second-teamer, leads the defense from his linebacker spot. Gruccio and junior Brayden Foster are other talented linebackers and the defensive line is paced by Giacoletti, Baines, senior Thomas Ciampi and junior Drake Taylor. Junior Cole Farrell will be counted on in the secondary, and other experienced defensive backs are Brady, Hartman and Marshall. Hartman also made the all-conference second team as a punter and junior Ryan Pattison is back as the kicker.
OUTLOOK: The Crusaders got off to an 0-5 start last fall but finished strong, winning four of their last five games to post a 4-6 record. They will look to build on that momentum this season. 

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Camden Catholic has been through a lot lately with several coaching changes and significant turnover on the roster, but the program is moving forward with a promising foundation in place. Senior Matt Davis is a key returner who started at both tight end and linebacker last year and has the potential to play at the next level. Two other two-way starters are back: sophomore Trey Thrope, who is expected to get the bulk of the carries at running back and also plays cornerback; and sophomore Shawn Cullen, a playmaker on both sides of the ball at wide receiver and safety. Sophomore quarterback Billy McCleery should only get better as he continues to adjust to varsity football, and his possible targets in the passing game include junior wide receivers Joey Miller and Nick Prete and sophomore wide receiver Mark Hendri. Senior Chris Prisco and sophomore Nygel Vedro are returning tight ends and veterans on the offensive line are seniors Sean Folcher and Vinicius Nakata. On defense, Folcher and Vedro will contribute up front and experienced linebackers are sophomores Taylor Megee and Dan Dever, along with Prisco. Miller, Hendri and Prete will all look to make an impact in the secondary.
OUTLOOK: The Fighting Irish suffered through a winless season in 2018 as they faced a challenging schedule with an inexperienced lineup. Improvement can be expected this fall under new head coach Gary Onuekwusi.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Cherokee suffered a big loss with the transfer of senior running back E.J. Bard to a school in Georgia, but is happy to welcome back another exciting skill position player in senior wide receiver Jackson McIntyre. He led the Chiefs with 39 catches for 485 yards and two TDs and made the all-conference second team last year. Senior Andy Walters saw time at quarterback and slotback, and will look to become the full-time starter at QB. Junior Bill Osborn, who is coming off an injury last year, will also compete for the starting quarterback job. Junior Darnell Hightower is another dangerous offensive player who had 21 catches out of the slot, while junior Caden Burti will look to make an impact at wide receiver after battling injuries in 2018. Junior guard Josh Toner made the all-conference second team and junior Ryan Doyle is another returning starter on the offensive line. On the other side of the ball, junior defensive lineman Matt Ellis and junior linebacker Brett Bickett both started as sophomores. Seniors Justin Ward and Zach Litty are returning starters at cornerback and safety, respectively, and other key players in the secondary are Walters, McIntyre and junior safety Joseph Gasperone.
OUTLOOK: Last year was a rebuilding one for the Chiefs, as they went 1-8 with several close losses against a loaded schedule. It would not be surprising to see them bounce back and contend for a winning record in 2019. 

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Cherry Hill East graduated a solid senior class, seven of whom earned all-conference recognition last year, so new leaders will have to emerge. Senior Mike Wheeler should be a key player on both sides of the ball, as he returns as a starting linebacker and will look to take over as the starting running back. Another offensive playmaker is Khalil Harden, a sophomore running back. Senior tight end Zach Frye led the team in catches and receiving yards, and other targets in the passing game are senior wide receiver Jesse Burstein and junior wide receiver Will McFadden. Seniors Sam Lees and Jared Achuff will anchor the offensive line, while junior Seba Miller will look to take over at the quarterback position. On defense, senior Stanford Brown is an experienced linebacker and senior Sean Coen hopes to return to his linebacker spot after being sidelined with an injury since the middle of his sophomore season. Junior Jadon Louis is expected to contribute at defensive end, and the secondary is led by junior Josh Jean-Baptiste and Harden.
OUTLOOK: The Cougars made big strides as a program last season, as they snapped a 32-game losing streak with a win over Cumberland and went on to finish with a 3-7 record. They hope to keep making progress this fall.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Cherry Hill West is excited to welcome back junior quarterback Nick Arcaroli, who threw 12 touchdown passes as a sophomore and made the all-conference second team. He will have several explosive play- makers at his disposal, including senior wide receiver Johnny Iaonnucci, who led the Lions with 48 catches for 733 yards and six TDs on his way to all-conference first-team honors. Senior receiver Hakim Melvin had four TD receptions and made the all-conference second team and sophomore receiver Jesse Filkill showed promise as a rookie, while juniors Amado De La Cruz and Justin Busch return at tight end. The top running backs both graduated so a new workhorse will have to emerge, with sophomores Louis Ragsdale and Jayden Cosme among the candidates. Senior Joseph Monterossa, an all-conference second-teamer, is a key returner on the offensive line along with junior Chris Alabanzas. Senior linebacker Bryce Magee is a returning starter on defense, and Iaonnucci and Melvin are veterans in the secondary. Monterossa also plays defensive end, and the linebacking corps includes juniors Chris Church and Tommy Giordano and Busch. Possible contributors in the defensive backfield are Filkill, Ragsdale and junior Max McCullough.
OUTLOOK: The Lions posted a 6-4 record in 2018, improving by five wins from the year before, and earned a share of the West Jersey Football League National Division title. They should be in contention again this fall behind their talented offense.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Although a stellar senior class graduated, Clearview has several key players returning and expects to fill in the spots around them. Leading the way is senior quarterback Michael Ancona, who ran for six touchdowns and passed for four more last year. His leadership will be crucial since all of the top running backs in the Pioneers’ Wing-T offense and four of the starting offensive linemen all graduated. Seniors Troy Black and Mike Wooding, juniors Trewth Nelson and Abdias Leon and sophomores Aidan McCullough, Michael Flax and Bobby Counsellor should all vie for carries out of the backfield. Senior guard Nick Matalucci, a three-year starter, is an important piece up front; he will wear No. 55, an honor given to the offensive lineman who best exemplifies what the program stands for. Several other linemen with varsity experience are back, including senior Jaden James-Mason, a 6-foot-3, 275-pounder who will look to fill the shoes of all-state selection Ryan Gies at tackle. Senior Rashann Tompkins is back at tight end and Clearview has an excellent kicker in senior Hunter Logan, who made the all-conference second team as a junior. Tompkins is receiving serious college interest as a defensive lineman, with offers from Monmouth, Kent State and Central Michigan and looks from Virginia Tech, Temple, Cincinnati and more. He made the all-conference first team last year after recording 30 tackles and four tackles for loss. Senior Dalton Noakes (51 tackles, two sacks) is another top player on the D-line, while juniors Chad Black and Joey Iaccio and Matalucci expect to contribute at linebacker. Ancona and seniors Joe Reiling and  Tyvier Alexander are experienced defensive backs, and other potential starters in the secondary are seniors Sean McAllister, Khalil Collins and Mike Chudy.
OUTLOOK: Last year was a memorable one for the Pioneers, who went 8-3, reached the sectional final for the first time in 32 years and lost a double-overtime thriller to Shawnee. The next step for the program is to become a consistent winner year in and year out.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: A new starting quarterback will have to emerge for East- ern following the graduation of all-conference first-team selection Andrew Heck, but several skill-position players are back in the fold. That includes senior running back Mike Suarez, an all-conference second-teamer who ran for 762 yards and scored nine total touchdowns last fall. Junior wide receiver Jordan Diaz had 32 receptions and a pair of TDs to make the all-conference second team, while junior Justin Moore is a promising wide receiver and senior tight end Michael Wall is another target in the passing game. Senior Isaac Beebe, junior Chris Stafford and sophomore Tru Styles—a potential Division I recruit—will all be in the battle for the starting QB job. Senior linebackers Moe Howard and Wall and senior defensive back Korre Kerrin are top players on defense. Senior defensive end Teddy Osei-Kyei will look to get pressure on the quarterback and other contributors in the front seven are juniors Kamauri Weaver and Amiel Davis. Suarez is an experienced player in the secondary and junior Tavion Corbett-Collier is also a promising defensive back.
OUTLOOK: The Vikings went 6-3—their first winning record since 2013—and dropped a tough overtime loss to Rancocas Valley in the first round of the playoffs. If they can develop several key positions, notably quarterback, they’ll have a chance to contend for a playoff berth again.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Gloucester Catholic suffered key losses with the transfers of senior running backs Dashaun Harris and Da’Juan Vales, who were both named all-conference last year. The good news is that senior Brandon Madalion, an all-conference second-teamer, leads a solid offensive line that also includes senior Pat O’Neill and juniors Andrew Shenk and Jason Ruggieri. Junior Ben Watkins will look to emerge as the new workhorse running back behind the veteran line. The Rams will also break in a new starting quarterback and sophomore Jeremy Hagan will battle for the position. Senior wide receiver Luke VanAuken, who had three TD receptions and made the all-conference second team, is the No. 1 target in the passing game. Madalion is an important player on the defensive line who had 48 tackles, a sack, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery last year. O’Neill and junior Tyjohn Ragin-Bey also contribute on the defensive line and the linebackers are solid with senior Jerry O’Donnell, Hagan and Shenk. VanAuken is a veteran cornerback and junior Alex Dickerson also returns in the secondary. Sophomore Hunter Parks and Watkins are other promising returners on defense and O’Donnell will handle the kicking duties once again.
OUTLOOK: The Rams went 4-7 on the field, but ended up forfeiting one of their wins for using an ineligible player and finished with a 3-8 record. They have a chance to improve on that mark and contend for a winning record.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Haddonfield graduated a tremendous senior class from last year’s undefeated team, so several key spots will need to be filled. Two All-conference first-teamers return on defense: senior lineman Nick DiNoia and senior defensive back Alex Kadar. DiNoia had 50 tackles and two sacks and Kadar recorded 54 tackles and a fumble recovery. Senior Michael Carey (58 tackles, four sacks) is a top defensive end and experienced linebackers are senior Steve McClane and juniors Tommy Batson and Glenn Foley. Seniors John Maynes and Jack Narducci contribute in the secondary. On offense, the Bulldawgs must replace two-year starting quarterback Jay Foley, and Narducci is one of the candidates for the job along with junior Marc LaProcido and possibly sophomore Carson Wolff. Running backs Batson (5.6 yards per carry, five TDs) and Kadar (three TDs) should get the bulk of the carries and Foley is a veteran fullback. Maynes is a talented wide receiver, DiNoia is a three-year starter on the offensive line and Carey is also an experienced lineman. 
OUTLOOK: Last year was a historic one for the Bulldawgs, who set a school record by going 13-0, captured their fifth sectional title in nine years and finished as South Jersey’s No. 1 team. It would be unfair to hold this team to the same standards considering the losses to graduation, but at the same time this is a consistent program that expects to compete every season. 

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Three all-conference players return for Kingsway, led by Temple commit Alex Odom. A senior, Odom earned the starting quarterback position last fall and was a dual threat who threw for 600 yards and three touchdowns while adding 560 yards and three TDs on the ground. He also had 27 tackles and an interception at defensive back to make the all-conference first team. Odom will focus on defense in college. Two other top defenders are back: senior lineman Shymell Davis, who posted 37 tackles and four sacks to make the all-conference first team, and senior linebacker Dennis Lee, an all-conference second-teamer who had 57 tackles and a sack. Other important players on defense are junior linebacker Zach Schneider, senior defensive end Namar Winfrey and senior defensive back Dalton Menasion. Offensively, Odom will move to running back and two quar- terbacks will compete for the starting job: senior Anee Kumar and junior Ben Maiers. They will have help from junior wide receivers Trevor Shorter and Nyir Jones, along with sophomore Elias Collins. Schneider and junior Sly Van Morter will contribute in the backfield and tight end, respectively. Jon Ellis, James Gardler and Arthur Stone have emerged as possible starters on the offensive line.
OUTLOOK: The Dragons made strides in 2018, as they qualified for the playoffs for the first time in three years and finished with a 5-5 record. They have the potential to return to the postseason with Odom and a strong defense leading the way.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: A solid core is in place for Lenape, including junior quarter- back Brady Long, who ended last year as the starter and had two touchdown passes and two touchdown runs in four games. The main weapon on offense should be junior running back Xavier Coleman, who is receiving Division I recruiting interest. He rushed for 754 yards and eight TDs as a sophomore and also scored twice on receptions to make the all-conference second team. Senior Jake Silver, a three-year starter and all-conference second-teamer, anchors the offensive line and senior Jordan Walker is another veteran up front. Senior Connor Kennedy—who also has experience at quarterback—will contribute at wide receiver and senior Clyde Washington returns at tight end. Kennedy, a defensive back, had five interceptions and made the all-conference first team. He leads the defense along with Washington, a linebacker who made the all-conference second team. The defensive line is strong with Silver, Walker and juniors Jalen Walker and Jammal Simon.
OUTLOOK: The Indians were in somewhat of a rebuilding phase last year but still finished with a 5-6 record and reached the sectional semifinals. It would not be surprising to see them post a winning record and put together a long playoff run this fall.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Moorestown suffered key losses to graduation, including three-year starting quarterback Brian McMonagle. Senior Adam Robinson, who contributed at tight end as a junior, and junior Jaden Goldglantz are candidates to take over under center. Seniors Robert Damerjian, Jonathan Miller and Alex Tolbert are all experienced running backs who will make life easier on the new QB, and senior Nate Mendys is a returning wide receiver. Veteran offensive linemen include seniors John Dalmass, Will Mann, Matt Menendez and Thomas Crable. The defense is led by Menendez, a lineman; Robinson, a linebacker; and Mendys, a defensive back. All three made the all-conference second team last year. Damerjian is a contributor at linebacker and Miller returns in the secondary.  
OUTLOOK: The Quakers got off to a slow start in 2018 but rebounded to win four of their last five games and finished with a 4-6 record. While they have big shoes to fill at several key positions, they expect to remain competitive.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Last season was a rebuilding one for Paul VI, and several returners who gained valuable experience appear ready to lead the team. That includes junior quarter- back Joe Gledhill, who saw time as the backup and hopes to take over on a full-time basis. Senior Alfred Woods and sophomore Jason Williams will likely get the bulk of the carries at running back, and wide receivers to keep an eye on are seniors Drew Williams and Trey Horton, junior Nicolas Ocampo and sophomore Vincent Bannon. Senior Ethan Diogo and sophomore Sam Juckett are possible starters on the offensive line. Woods, a defensive end, is a key returner on the other side of the ball, and other contributors on the D-line are Juckett, Diogo, senior Pasquale DeSanto and sophomore John Mulch. Horton is a top linebacker and will be joined by sophomore Luke Vinci and junior Darrion Bovell. Ocampo and Drew Williams are returners in the secondary.
OUTLOOK: The Eagles went 1-9 during their third and final season under Glenn Hutton, who stepped down and was replaced by Dennis Scuderi Sr. He has a lot of experience as a head and assistant coach in South Jersey and is excited to help turn around the program. 

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Seneca is happy to welcome back senior quarterback Malin Jasinski, who enters his third year as the starter and should be one of the top signal callers in the area. He threw for 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns as a junior and added six TDs on the ground to make the all-conference first team. Jasinski lost his favorite target with the graduation of record-setting wide receiver Kaden Hastie, but the Golden Eagles do return a pair of dangerous running backs in senior Travis Laster and junior Najheem Johnson. Laster led the team in rushing and scored seven TDs to make the all-conference second team, and Johnson found the end zone five times. Both are threats catching the ball as well, and senior wide receiver Josh Willitts will also factor into the passing game. The offensive line was young last year and returns several important pieces, including seniors Anthony Corona and Nick Webb and juniors Chris Baldicchino and Joey Pronchick. Senior Nick Ettore, an outstanding sideline-to-sideline linebacker, recorded 151 tackles and a sack to make the all-conference first team. Junior defensive lineman Mac Carlin and Johnson, a defensive back, were all-conference second-teamers. Corona joins Carlin on the D-line and the deep linebacking corps includes Laster, Willitts, senior Jake Bruno and juniors George Thorp and Nick Zizzamia. Jasinski also shines on defense, as he had 47 tackles and three interceptions at safety, and junior Jake Handy should also contribute in the secondary. Senior John Kennevan, an all-conference second-teamer, returns as the kicker.
OUTLOOK: With Jasinski leading a talented roster, the Golden Eagles are poised to improve upon last year’s 3-7 record and contend for a playoff berth.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: When Matt Welsey took over as the starting quarterback for Shawnee a little past the midpoint of his freshman season, the Renegades were just 2-6. But he guided them to a 4-2 record and a sectional championship the rest of the way, throwing seven touchdown passes and running for two more scores. It will be exciting to see what he can do in a full season as a sophomore. Welsey will have help offensively from running backs Tom Rebstock, a junior, and Jake Barnett, a senior. He also has two playmakers in senior wide receiver Dom Frigiola and junior wide receiver Nate Summerville, while senior tight ends Matt Papa and Tom Papa and junior wide receiver Jason Blemlek are other targets. Seniors Alex Pfeifer, Lee Simms, Anthony Abbott, Brett Hilgetag and Matt Suriano are experienced offensive linemen. Senior Dalton Short and fellow linebacker Matt Papa lead the defense; both had 81 tackles last year. Suriano (50 tackles) and junior Mike Jarvis (three sacks) are key players on the defensive line and junior Pete Falzone is another veteran linebacker. Frigiola and senior Dom Carbone return in the secondary. Junior Oliver Stern has experience at kicker and will look to take over in a full-time capacity.
OUTLOOK: The Renegades overcame a slow start and put everything together down the stretch last season to claim their eighth sectional title on their way to a 6-7 record. This consistent program should again be in the mix in 2019.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Washington Township returns a solid nucleus led by senior tackle Jack Dunn, a 6- foot-2, 275-pounder who made the all-conference first team and is receiving serious college interest. He is joined on the offensive line by senior guard Michael LaRosa, and they will open holes for talented senior running back Andrew Nocille, who rushed for 675 yards and five touchdowns to make the all-conference second team. Junior Billy Hohman and senior Billy Pomarico will also get carries out of the backfield. The Minutemen must break in a new starting quarterback, and the candidates include senior Danny DeAngelis and junior Liam Friel. DeAngelis was the starter at Gloucester Catholic as a sophomore before transferring. Hohman will also contribute at wide receiver along with juniors Jaden Allen and Bryce Kraemer, and senior Brendan Leone returns at tight end. On the other side of the ball, senior Zach Andrews is back at defensive end after recording 47 tackles and two sacks to make the all-conference second team. Allen, Dunn, Leone and senior Charles Donahue are other key pieces of the D-line. Senior Louis Griggs is a three-year starter at linebacker and Pomarico is also experienced at the position. Senior Richard Santos leads a secondary that also includes Hohman and Kraemer. Friel returns as the punter. Running back/defensive back Jo’Nathan Silver and wide receiver/defensive back Nahemere Graves are varsity newcomers looking to make a major impact as sophomores.
OUTLOOK: The Minutemen went 3-7 in their first season under head coach Mike Schatzman and should make significant progress in year two, with the possibility of finishing with their first winning record since 2015.

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 5 (July 2019).
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