Post 39 – HS Football – Preview: Carteret

August 14, 2018

2017 In Review:  The Ramblers were 5-5, losing to Monmouth in the first round of the Central Jersey Group 3 playoffs.  They scored 192 points for a 19.2 average, while allowing 193 for a 19.3 average.  Wins included South Plainfield, Woodbridge, and Perth Amboy, while losses included St. Joe’s (Metuchen), Rumson-Fair Haven, and Colonia.

Graduation Losses:  RB/LB Dwayne Sharpe – Misericordia (Pa.), RB/DB Antoran Chandler – Virginia State, OL/DL David Pierre – Wesley (Del.), OL/DL Demetrius Ruiz – Middlesex CC for wrestling, DL Desmond Bullock – Junior College in California

Offense:  Carteret runs a multiple I and returns four starters.  The quarterback is a competition between junior Cameron McCargo (6-1, 180) and sophomore Zaire Crutchfield (5-10, 160).  Senior James Henderson (5-10, 180) returns at tailback and he will be paired with junior Zaire Gilbert (5-10, 220).

The wide receivers rotate several players and three of them return in senior Jahlil Nix (6-2, 185), sophomore Malik Austin (6-5, 190), and senior Stephon Kelley-Gordon (5-9, 170).  Also rotating with them will be junior Justin Leigh (5-9, 170).  The tight end will be junior Mesai Benekin (5-10, 200).

The lone starter back on the line is senior tackle Fizan Khan (6-3, 235).  The guards will be juniors Stefan Ruiz (5-9, 220) and Evan Hart (5-9, 210), plus junior Nick Pacciano (5-8, 230) will be the center.  The other tackle is either senior Isaiah Rodriguez (6-2, 225) or freshman Jonathan Zieminicki (6-3, 290).

Defense:  The Ramblers run a 4-3 and return two starters and a couple of others who played.  Austin returns at one end, where he was a part-time starter and the end opposite him is either Beneken or Rodriguez.  Khan will be one tackle and other offensive linemen will rotate next to him.

At linebacker, senior Bryan Leigh (5-10, 220) started some games in the middle and he will be joined by junior Emmanie Roman (5-10, 190) at one outside post.  The other outside linebacker is between sophomores Davonte Tharrington (5-8, 175) and Robert Webber (5-9, 165).

Returning to the secondary are Nix at strong safety and Henderson at cornerback.  Justin Leigh will be the free safety and sophomore Chris Kamara (6-0, 170) will be the opposite corner.

Special Teams:  Kicker and punter have not been determined, while Kelley-Gordon, Nix, and Justin Leigh will be the return men.


Friday, 9/7, at JFK (Iselin), 7 PM
Saturday, 9/15, at Bishop Ahr, 12 PM
Saturday, 9/22, at St. Joe’s (Metuchen), 1 PM
Friday, 9/28, Colonia at home, 7 PM
Friday, 10/5, at Rahway, 7 PM
Friday, 10/12, North Brunswick at home, 7 PM
Friday, 10/19, New Brunswick at home, 7 PM
Friday, 10/26, South Plainfield at home, 7 PM
Thursday, 11/22, Perth Amboy at home, 11 AM

Recruits:  Henderson is a D2 recruit, while Khan and Nix are D3.  Among underclassmen, Austin will play somewhere.

Concerns:  They will be young with first-time varsity starters.  They’re unsettled at quarterback at this time.

Coach’s Comments:  “We’re working hard and have good numbers: with at least 60 for the top three classes, while the freshmen have more than 20.  These are the best numbers we’ve had in at least five years.  Our aim is to improve throughout the season.” – Head Coach Matt Yascko

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