Post 1,043 – Team Preview 2023: Colts Neck Cougars

Colts Neck Cougars 

June 8, 2023

2022: 

  • 6-3
  • Lost to Winslow in the Central Jersey Group 4 quarterfinals 
  • Wins included Jackson, Freehold Township, Lacey, and Howell 
  • Losses were to St. John Vianney and Marlboro 
  • Scored 174 points for a 19.33 average 
  • Allowed 111 for a 12.33 average 

Graduation: 

  • WR/LB Will Surdez – US Merchant Marine Academy 
  • WR/DB Matt Celli – Saint Anselm 

Offense: 

  • Formation: Multiple-I 
  • Returning Starters: 10  

Quarterback: 

  • Dom Beninato, Senior, 5-9, 170 – returning starter 
  • Brady Tormey, Junior, 5-10, 170 – pushing for time 

Running Back: 

  • Chris Scully, Senior, 5-10, 210 – 3-year starter; rushed for 1,300 yards per rivals.com 
  • John Sherrod, Senior, 5-11, 190 – part of rotation 
  • James Bertan, Junior, 6-2, 210 – part of the rotation; started on defense 

Fullback: 

  • Jack Lefkowitz, Junior, 5-10, 210 – returning starter 
  • John Sherrod, Senior, 5-11, 190 – may figure here in addition to tailback 

Wide Receiver: 

  • Aiden Diaz, Senior, 5-9, 170 – returning starter and competing 
  • David Fichtenbaum, Senior, 5-9, 150 – competing; started on defense 
  • Logan Bresnahan, Senior, 5-7, 150 – competing 
  • Lorenzo Barone, Junior, 5-8, 130 – competing 
  • Vova Trotsko, Junior, 6-6, 230 – competing 

Tight End: 

  • Aidan Manasso, Senior, 6-2, 190 – returning starter 
  • Eric Loureiro, Senior, 6-2, 230 – second tight end; started two years ago, but was more important starting on defense last year 

Offensive Line: 

  • Charlie Whalen, Senior, 6-7, 270 – returning starter at left tackle 
  • JJ Cifelli, Senior, 5-11, 260 – returning starter at left guard 
  • Shea Bresnahan, Senior, 6-0, 260 – returning starter at center and competing 
  • Colin Roberts, Junior, 6-0, 210 – competing at center 
  • Matt Liggio, Senior, 5-11, 260 – 3-year starter at right guard 
  • Albert Yodakis, Junior, 6-2, 235 – returning starter at right tackle 
  • Dean Collier, Senior, 5-7, 205 – top reserve; started on defense 
  • Anthony Lombardi, Senior, 6-2, 260 – provides depth; started on defense 

Defense: 

  • Formation: 4-3 
  • Returning Starters: 8  

Defensive Line: 

  • Eric Loureiro, Senior, 6-2, 230 – 3-year starter at end 
  • Sam Surdez, Senior, 6-1, 230 – returning starter at end 
  • Pete Ficorelli, Junior, 6-2, 180 – part of rotation at end 
  • Dean Collier, Senior, 5-7, 205 – returning starter at tackle 
  • Anthony Lombardi, Senior, 6-2, 260 – returning starter at tackle 
  • Matt Liggio, Senior, 5-11, 260 – part of rotation at tackle 
  • JJ Cifelli, Senior, 5-11, 260 – part of rotation at tackle 
  • Albert Yodakis, Junior, 6-2, 235 – part of rotation at tackle 
  • Luke Bavaro, Senior, 6-1, 230 – part of rotation at tackle 
  • Charlie Whalen, Senior, 6-7, 270 – part of rotation at tackle and end 

Linebacker: 

  • James Bertan, Junior, 6-2, 210 – returning starter in middle 
  • John Sherrod, Senior, 5-11, 190 – competing on outside 
  • Jack Lefkowitz, Junior, 5-10, 210 – competing on outside 
  • Julian Villalta, Junior, 5-10, 205 – competing on outside 
  • Joe Pignatelli, Sophomore, 5-11, 190 – competing on outside 
  • Tesio Carabello, Senior, 5-10, 200 – competing on outside 
  • Joe Randazzo, Senior, 5-9, 180 – competing on outside 

Secondary: 

  • Devin Donnelly, Senior, 5-10, 175 – returning starter at safety 
  • Ethan Sloane, Senior, 5-10, 170 – returning starter at safety 
  • Beninato or Tormey will rotate at safety: whoever is not playing quarterback 
  • David Fichtenbaum, Senior, 5-9, 150 – returning starter at cornerback 
  • Logan Bresnahan, Senior, 5-7, 150 – front-runner at opposite corner 
  • Evan Kish, Sophomore, 5-8, 150 – competing at opposite cornerback 
  • Cooper Barlow, Senior, 5-9, 150 – competing at opposite cornerback 
  • Will Calhoun, Junior, 6-0, 160 – competing at opposite cornerback 

Special Teams: 

  • Senior Aidan Manasso returns at kicker and punter 
  • Scully, Diaz, and Bresnahan will be the return men 

Schedule: 

  • Friday, 8/25, at Point Pleasant Boro 
  • Saturday, 9/2, Red Bank Catholic at home 
  • 9/8-9, Bye Week 
  • Thursday, 9/14, at Manalapan 
  • Saturday, 9/23, Red Bank at home 
  • Friday, 9/30, at Middletown South 
  • Saturday, 10/7, Raritan at home 
  • Friday, 10/13, at St. John Vianney 
  • Saturday, 10/21, Long Branch at home 

Concerns: 

  • Depth
  • Staying healthy 
  • Getting off to a fast start because they have a tough schedule 

Recruiting: 

  • Whalen and Lombardi have 1-AA interest 
  • Scully and Loureiro have 1-AA interest, including the Ivy League 
  • Surdez D3 interest, including NESCAC schools plus Union and RPI 
  • Shea Bresnahan has a D3 future as a long snapper and center 
  • Liggio is a D3 candidate and could also go D2 
  • Manasso could D3 and maybe higher as a kicker  
  • Diaz, Sloane, Donnelly, Beninato, Cifelli, and Carabello are D3 prospects 
  • Underclassmen:  
  • Yodakis could go as high as 1-AA and also has very good shot put/discus potential in track   
  • Bertan is a D2/D3 possibility 
  • Lefkowitz is a D3 prospect 
  • Trotsko is the sleeper; he has been in this country less than one year, coming over from Ukraine and is very raw 

Coach’s Comments: 

“We need to get off to a fast start with our schedule. We need to get momentum going. We have experience, but every year is a new year and we don’t know what comes with it.” – Head Coach Matt Ahearn

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