Team Preview: Millville
2017 in Review: The Thunderbolts were 9-2, losing to Rancocas Valley in the South Jersey Group 5 semi-finals after beating Williamstown. They scored 352 points for a 32.0 average, while allowing 166 for a 15.09 average. Wins included St. Augustine, Atlantic City, Williamstown, and Hammonton, while their other loss was to Vineland.
Graduation Losses: OL/DL Dylan Washington – Rhode Island, RB/OLB Clayton Scott – Sacred Heart, NG Jimmy Hadden – Air Force, WR/DB Marcial Ramos – Foothill JC (Cal.), WR/LB Bruce Williams – Foothill JC (Cal.), WR/DB Carlton Lawrence – Hutchinson JC (Kansas), QB EJ Nichols – prep school in Maine, QB Tristan Harris – Misericordia, LB Jermer Downing – currently open
Offense: Millville runs a multiple spread offense and returns four starters. Quarterback is a position that is wide open and the winner will be determined in the pre-season. Running back will have senior Tex Thompson (6-0, 210) and Aahznier Hayes (5-9, 205).
The lone returnee at wide receiver is senior Cartier Gray (5-11, 175). The other receivers will be junior Solomon DeShields (6-2, 220), senior Kyle Yancey (5-10, 190), with the fourth receiver spot being undecided. When a tight end is used, it will be junior Shamore Collins (6-0, 195).
The line has three starters returning in left tackle Sammy File (6-3, 320), center Jamar Holbrook (6-0, 240), and right guard Shamiek Sapp (5-11, 245) – all seniors. Right tackle is in the hands of senior Brandon Hanby (6-2, 265), who started on defense, and left guard is undecided.
Defense: The Thunderbolts run a 3-3 stack and return six starters. Hanby is back at nose guard and Sapp returns at one end. Collins will man the other end.
At inside linebacker, Holbrook and Thompson are back, with Thompson being a 4-year starter. The third position has not been determined. The outside linebackers will be DeShields and Hayes.
Returning at the corners are Gray and Yancey, with Gray being the defense’s second 4-year starter. Free safety is up for grabs.
Special Teams: Kicker, punter, and the return men will be decided in camp.
Friday, 8/31, St. Peter’s Prep at home, 7 PM
Saturday, 9/8, at St. Joe’s (Hammonton) – tentatively scheduled for Rutgers at 10 AM. If not at Rutgers, the game will be at St. Joe’s (Hammonton) at 12 PM
Friday, 9/14, at Williamstown, 7 PM
Friday, 9/21, Kingsway at home, 6 PM
Friday, 9/28, Cherokee at home, 6 PM
Friday, 10/5, Timber Creek, 6 PM
Friday, 10/12, at Bridgeton, 7 PM
Friday, 10/19, Atlantic City, 7 PM
Thursday, 11/22, at Vineland, 10:30 AM
Recruits: Gray, File, Holbrook, and Thompson are 1-AA prospects and other seniors can play somewhere with a good year. Among underclassmen, DeShields, a junior, has offers from Mississippi State, Kentucky, Michigan State, and Tennessee.
Concerns: Finding a quarterback, a running back to emerge, and depth.
Comments: “We have a solid group of kids. If we jell right away, we will make some noise.” – Head Coach Dennis Thomas
Article 2 – July 18, 2018
Team Preview: Wayne Hills
2017 in Review: The Patriots were 7-4, losing to Old Tappan in the North Jersey Section 1 Group 4 semi-finals after beating Morris Hills. They scored 267 points for a 24.27 average, while allowing 217 for a 19.73 average, including two shutouts. Wins included Ramapo, Roxbury, Pascack Valley, and Wayne Valley, while their other losses were to Old Tappan, Irvington, and McKinley (Ohio).
Graduation Losses: OL/DL Jason Modak – Holy Cross, FB/LB Mike Zaccone – Hobart, OL/DL Pete Dellechiae – Kean
Offense: The Patriots run a multiple offense and return five starters. Quarterback is a competition between senior Verona transfer Tom Sharkey (6-1, 185) and junior Mike Casasanta (6-2, 180). Junior Michael Joyce (6-1, 205) returns as a running back, with seniors Joe Mongelli (5-8, 185) and Adam Abida (5-10, 175) also getting carries. When a fullback is used, it will be senior Anthony Puntolillo (5-11, 225).
Wide receiver returns two starters in seniors Jaaron Hayek (6-1, 190) and Charles Njoku (6-5, 210). The third wide receiver will be junior Christian Puntolillo (5-11, 165), while juniors Steve Masten (5-8, 160) and Justin Vorabouth (6-0, 180) will vie for time. The tight ends will be senior Lundim Nasufi (6-1, 200) and junior Joe Montanez (5-10, 205).
The tackles are experienced with senior 3-year starter Bence Polgar (6-4, 295) at right tackle and senior returning starter Joe Rondi (6-4, 265) at left tackle. The interior of the line will have the three best players playing and positions will be decided at that point. Starting at either guard or center will be senior Ben Kurzer (5-9, 190) and senior Gabe Dellechiae (6-2, 235) is a front-runner to start. Junior Gabe Kuhn (6-2, 210), senior Connor Tarpey (6-0, 220), and senior Ahan Mohanty (5-10, 215) will be in the running to start.
Defense: The Patriots will play multiple fronts and return five starters. Returning on the line is Rondi at tackle and he will play there or at end. Polgar will be another tackle and Dellechiae is likely going to be one end, while there is an opening at one or two positions, with the top four starting. In competition are junior Nick Lucarello (6-0, 195), senior Christian McCall (5-9, 180), and possibly Anthony Puntolillo, who started at linebacker last year.
Back at linebacker are Kurzer and Anthony Puntolillo on the inside. Puntolillo began the season as the starter and missed the rest of the year with an injury. The outside will have Montanez at one spot, while Mongelli, Nasufi, and sophomore Dan Daley (5-10, 195) will be fight for the other side.
The secondary has Hayek and Vorabouth returning at safety, with Abida also in the mix. Cornerback has Christian Puntolillo, Masten, and sophomore Jon Krumbine (5-10, 165) battling for two positions.
Special Teams: Kicker will have Polgar kicking off and sophomore Jordan Thiel on extra points and field goals. The punter will be junior Ryan D’Argenio, with the return men being Mongelli, Hayek, and Njoku.
Friday, 8/31, at Timpview (Utah), 7 PM Mountain Time/9 PM Eastern Time
Friday, 9/7, Wayne Valley at home, 7 PM
Friday, 9/14, Old Tappan at home, 7 PM
Saturday, 9/22, at Fair Lawn, 1 PM
Friday, 9/28, at West Milford, 7 PM
Friday, 10/5, Passaic Valley at home, 7 PM
Friday, 10/12, Ramapo at home, 7 PM
Friday, 10/19, at Passaic Tech, 7 PM
Friday, 10/26, at Indian Hills, 7 PM
Recruits: Hayek has verballed to Rutgers, Rondi to Syracuse, and Polgar to Buffalo. Njoku will be playing for a Power-5 team. Others will play college ball, but need a good year.
Concerns: Staying healthy and working hard.
Comments: “We have some good players back and we were very young last year. At this point, that only gets you so far and games haven’t been won on paper; we have to compete, grind, and work hard.” – Head Coach Wayne Demikoff
Article 1 – July 12, 2018
Team Preview: Lincoln
2017 in Review: The Lions were 3-7, with a very tough schedule. Their losses were to St. Peter’s Prep, Irvington, Mater Dei, Westwood, Caldwell, Mountain Lakes, and Whippany Park – teams that were a combined 56-19 last year, with the worst record among those teams being 7-3. The schedule will be tough this year, but not what it was last year.
Graduation Losses: Jeremiah Jamison – Monroe JC (NY), Jawon Leseur – Chowan U (NC), Colin Gordon-Green – Lackawanna JC (Pa.), Yassan Jackson – Kirkland Academy (NJ) prep school
Offense: Lincoln runs the spread and returns four starters. Returning at quarterback is junior Dayshaun Brooks (5-11, 185) and he will be backed up by senior Maurice Ezzell (5-8, 160). Running back will be a committee of seniors Cory Lee (5-8, 180), Messiah Green (5-8, 175), and Jamonte “Roach” Cunningham (5-7, 160), who scored seventeen touchdowns on the JV level.
Returning at wide receiver is senior Jamare Casey (5-7, 160). The other receivers will be senior Chris Pena (5-7, 165) – a defensive starter, senior Jaquin Wimbly (6-1, 175), and sophomore Mekiah Monroe (5-11, 185). When a tight end is used, it will be sophomore Shahid Williams (6-2, 245).
The line returns two starters in junior tackle Elijah Williams (6-3, 250), who played both tackle and center, plus senior Cottrell Hatchett (6-0, 255) at guard. The other starters will be junior tackle Damien Martinez (6-2, 260), junior center Kenneth Nina (5-9, 220), and senior guard Jalen Woodham (5-9, 195). In reserve will be junior Avery Williams (5-11, 275) at guard and center, sophomore Jershawn Freeman (5-9, 230), and junior Charlie “Mack” Alston (6-1, 280).
Defense: The Lions employ a 4-2-5 and return four starters. The starters will be senior Felix Igiri (5-9, 195) and Elijah Williams at the ends, with Shahid Williams supporting them. Martinez and Woodham are the tackles, with Alston, Lee, and sophomore Jaden “Hammer” Carter (5-10, 245) filling in at tackle.
Returning at inside linebacker is Hatchett, while Devon Jackson, Greene, and Nina will also be playing.
The secondary returns Wembly at free safety and Pena at strong safety. The other strong safety will be junior Jaquan McDuffie (5-10, 170). The backup among safeties is senior Najee Duncan (5-11, 160). The corners will be Casey and Cunningham, with Monroe and sophomore Zymil Speaks (5-6, 160) backing them up.
Special Teams: The kicker will be Lee and junior Dayshaun Brooks will punt. The return men will be Casey and Cunningham.
Friday, 8/31, Demarest, home at Caven Point, 7 PM
Friday, 9/7, at Hoboken, 7 PM
Saturday, 9/15, West Side, home at Caven Point, 7 PM
Friday, 9/21, at Caldwell, 7 PM
Friday, 9/28, at West Essex, 7 PM
Saturday, 10/6, Shabazz, home at Lincoln Park, 4 PM
Saturday, 10/13, Nutley, home at Lincoln Park, 1 PM
Friday, 10/19, at Newark Central (at Weequahic), TBA
Saturday, 10/27, Snyder, home at Lincoln Park, 1 PM
Recruits: Hatchett is hearing from Temple and UConn, plus schools from the 1-AA/D2 level. Casey is receiving looks from New Haven, while juniors Elijah Williams and Martinez have interest from Wagner.
Concerns: Depth at quarterback and overall depth at linebacker.
Comments: “We will have a high character team that is battle tested from last year’s schedule. We have been through some battles and will have a nice mix of young and old. Our character will see us through the season.” – Head Coach Robert Hampton