August 2, 2018
2017 in Review: The Mariners were 1-9, but were in most of their games and allowed 30 points only twice: 30 and 34, which for a team of that record is impressive. They also started many underclassmen, including four sophomores on each side of the ball. They look to rebound this year with good, young talent.
Graduation Losses: RB Daryn Blackwell – East Stroudsburg, DB Mickey Maldonado – Monroe JC (NY), OL Billy Dowd – McDaniel (Md.), WR Andrew Daniluk – Rutgers for track
Offense: Toms River North runs a multiple power spread and return eight starters. At quarterback is sophomore Jake Kazanowsky (6-2, 185). Running back will feature junior Jarrod Pruitt (5-10, 155), sophomore Jordan Grey (5-9, 155), and senior Joe Romeo (6-1, 215).
Returning at wide receiver are juniors Dominick Jacob (6-2, 180) and Aaron Craig (6-2, 175). Senior Dashawn Wilder (5-9, 195) returns in the slot and junior Will Marsh (6-3, 205) returns at h-back. When an extra tight end is needed, it will be junior CJ Niedzielski (5-10, 240). Also vying at wide receiver are sophomores Zach Brown (6-0, 165) and Zach Goodale (5-11, 155).
Four starters return to the line, with senior Stavon Drew (6-2, 265) back at right tackle, senior Dan Crow (6-1, 260) moving from left tackle to center, senior Nick Renda (6-1, 255) at left guard, and junior Najae Hallenbeck (6-7, 299) moving to left tackle from tight end. Crow is in competition at center with junior John Mueller (5-11, 200) and right guard has senior Tom Monica (5-11, 265), senior Alex Pedre (5-10, 225), and junior Cross Conlin (6-0, 255) competing. Monica started on defense and Conlin is a transfer from Florida, where he started last year.
Defense: The Mariners run a 3-4 and return seven starters plus others with experience. Monica will be a three-year starter at nose guard and Niedzielski returns at end. Hallenbeck will be the opposite end, where he saw time. Also seeing time on the line will be junior Myron Ford (5-11, 245) and sophomore Jake Szigeti (6-1, 285).
Inside linebacker returns senior three-year starter Jordan Johnson (6-0, 235) and junior Vinny Palmieri (5-9, 215). Rotating in will be senior Colin Bennett (5-11, 195). At outside linebacker, Romeo will man one spot after seeing action and the opposite side is wide open. Competing will be sophomore John O’Donnell (6-2, 225), senior Ryan Holland (6-4, 190), and Marsh. Holland was the starter last year, but tore his meniscus in the first game and missed the season, while O’Donnell wrestled on varsity at 220 last year as a freshman.
Three starters return to the secondary. Junior Ray Carlson (5-9, 170) and senior Bryce Pruitt (5-11, 160) are back at the corners with Brown, Gray, and Jacob possibly rotating. Jarred Pruitt started last year at safety, but he will be spotted this year because he is also playing running back. He will rotate in for juniors Matt Spalletta (5-10, 165) and Sergio Borda (5-10, 165), with Spalletta getting time last year.
Special Teams: Borda returns at punter, while the kicking game has Borda kicking extra points and short field goals, while Romeo will kick off and boot long field goals. Jacob is the long snapper and the main return guys will be Wilder, Gray, and Brown.
Friday, 9/7, at Manalapan, 7 PM
Friday, 9/14, at Howell, 6:30 PM
Saturday, 9/22, Central Regional at home, 12 PM
Friday, 9/28, at Freehold Township, 7 PM
Friday, 10/5, Middletown South at home, 7 PM
Friday, 10/12, Toms River South at home, 7 PM
Friday, 10/19, at Toms River East, 7 PM
Saturday, 10/27, Southern Regional at home, 12 PM
Recruits: Drew is one who can go from 1-AA to D3; he has good grades and has been president of the Student Council. Wilder is also 1-AA to D3. Johnson is D2/D3, while two who could rise this year are Craig and Marsh.
In the junior class, Hallenbeck is a Power-5 recruit, Pruitt and Jacob are 1-AA. There are others in this class with talent, but they have to prove themselves.
Concerns: The physicality and daily grind needed, to make sure they play tough on both sides of the ball.
Comments: “We hope to be competitive in the division, get to the playoffs, and compete for a state title.” – Head Coach Dave Oizerowitz