July 18, 2018
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