August 21, 2018
2017 In Review: The Braves were 12-0, winning the North Jersey Section 1 Group 2 championship by beating Lakeland after beating Westwood and Pequannock. They scored 410 points for a 34.17 average, while allowing 99 for an 8.25 average, including two shutouts. Wins included Lenape Valley, Lakeland, and Hackettstown.
Graduation Losses: QB/DB Luke Young – College of New Jersey, RB/DB Chase Cramer – Lycoming (Pa.), RB/LB Will Larsen – Albright, TE/LB Jonathan Van Ness – Albright, WR/DB Jaiden Elliott – College of New Jersey
Offense: Newton runs a multiple Wing-T and returns two starters. The quarterback will be senior Michael Freda (5-8, 180), who played some in the secondary last year. The fullback will be senior Ryan Kaiser (5-11, 215), who started on defense. One halfback also features another defensive starter in senior Nick Brigante (6-0, 190) and the other halfback has sophomore Peyton Nolan (5-9, 165) rotating with senior Kevin Lupo (5-9, 160).
The tight end will be senior Ryan Miller (6-2, 220) and split end will have sophomore Aaron Fantasia (5-10, 160) with sophomore Dylan Bailey (6-1, 165) also getting time.
Two three-year starters return to the line in senior center Justin Mayhood (6-0, 210) and senior left guard Matt Somers (5-11, 195). Right tackle will have senior Jimmy Harding (5-10, 230) and he started defensively last year. Senior Joe Gubenard (5-9, 175) will be the right guard and senior Cullen Orabone (6-1, 225) will play left tackle. A talented underclassman is sophomore Jacob Tonking (6-3, 260) and he may factor in at tackle.
Defense: The Braves run a 5-2 and return three starters and another who played. Brigante and Harding are three-year starters at end and tackle, respectively. Mayhood will be the other end, while junior John Kreusch (5-11, 200) is at tackle and Somers starting at nose guard. Tonking will rotate at both nose guard and tackle.
Linebacker has a three-year starter in Kaiser and Guberbard will be his partner. Rotating in will be junior Julian Sibblies (5-10, 170).
Freda saw time at safety, especially late in the year and Fantasia will be paired with him. Possibly getting time is sophomore Ryan Pappas (5-10, 160). The corners will be Lupo and Nolan.
Special Teams: The kicker will be Bailey, while Kreusch will punt. Nolan will return punts and kickoffs, while Brigante returns kickoffs.
Friday, 8/31, at Lenape Valley, 7 PM
Friday, 9/7, Pequannock at home, 7 PM
Friday, 9/14, Whippany Park, 7 PM
Friday, 9/21, at High Point, 7 PM
Friday, 9/28, at Hopatcong, 7 PM
Friday, 10/5, North Warren at home, 7 PM
Saturday, 10/13, at Wallkill Valley, 1 PM
Friday, 10/19, Kittatinny at home, 7 PM
Friday, 10/26, Madison at home, 7 PM
Recruits: Kaiser is drawing interest from Kutztown and Shippensburg, while Brigante is a D2 prospect.
The sophomore class features Tomking, who is raw but talented.
Concerns: Staying healthy and relying on the eighteen who play and how quickly incoming sophomores develop.
Coach’s Comments: “We were 12-0 last year, looking to build a tradition and sustain success. We have a few three-year starters in the trenches and that gives me confidence.” – Head Coach Matt Parzero