Post 53 – HS Football – Preview: St. Joe’s (Montvale)

August 23, 2018  

2017 In Review:  The Green Knights were 8-4, losing to DePaul in the Non-Public Group 3 final after beating Pope John and Red Bank Catholic.  They scored 332 points for a 27.67 average, while allowing 212 for a 17.67 average.  Wins included DePaul, Pope John, Don Bosco, and Paramus Catholic.

Graduation Losses:  QB Nick Patti – Pittsburgh, TE Matt Alaimo – UCLA, LB Evan Stewart – Boston College, DB Jaden Budka – Central Connecticut State, WR Fara’ad McCombs – Columbia, OL Nick Russo – Wofford, WR Yasir Berry – JUCO in California, RB Isaiah Hopkinson – Hobart, DE Kyle Clark – Hamilton, WR Ed Schwartz – Fordham

Offense:  St. Joe’s runs a multiple spread and return five starters.  The new quarterback will be junior Michael Alaimo (6-4, 205) and running back will have a trio of players who will play in junior Te’Rai Powell (5-11, 190), junior Andre Johnson (5-7, 165), and sophomore Audric Estime (6-1, 206).  They will play in one and two-back sets, along with being spread out wide.

Returning at wide receiver are seniors Gavin Sharkey (5-10, 180) and Jimmy Ciarlo (6-2, 195) and they will be joined by seniors Brett Buckman (6-0, 175) and Josh Rodriguez (6-2, 180), who is a baseball player out for football.  The tight end is senior Brady Roark (6-2, 220).

The offensive line has three starters back in junior left tackle Luke Wypler (6-3, 285), senior right tackle Pat McMurtrie (6-5, 280), and senior center Jake Yoffee (6-2, 260).  The guards will have senior Tommy Walsh (6-3, 270) on the left side and senior Bart Francois (6-2, 275) on the right.  Two other key players are sophomores Geno VanDerMark (6-5, 330) and Chris Servideo (5-10, 260).

Defense:  The Green Knights employ a 4-2-5 and return seven starters.  Returning on the line are seniors Howard Cross (6-2, 265) and Eric Stoeckel (6-2, 265) at the tackles.  Cross can also play end, where he will be joined by senior Smith Vilbert (6-7, 255) and junior Amin Vanover (6-5, 265), while senior Justin Malvasia (5-9, 215) will be a factor at tackle.

Linebacker returns seniors Dante Ziccarelli (6-0, 205) and Kevin Jaffe (6-0, 200), with junior Quinlan Burbank (5-11, 190) possibly unseating one of them.

Outside linebacker returns senior Matt Gibney (6-2, 210) and junior Elijuwan Mack (6-0, 180) returns at strong safety.  Senior Connor Grieco (6-3, 185) and the cornerbacks will be junior Terrance Spencer (6-2, 175) and sophomore Frankie Monte (5-10, 175).  Also playing somewhere in the secondary will be Sharkey and Ciarlo.

Special Teams:  Senior Angelo Guglielmello returns for his fourth year as the kicker and he will compete with Alaimo at punter.  The return men will be Sharkey and Johnson.


Saturday, 9/1, American Heritage (Fla.) at Millville HS in Alpharetta, Ga., 1:30 PM
Saturday, 9/8, Imhotep Charter (Pa.) at home, 1 PM
Friday, 9/14, at DePaul, 7 PM
Saturday, 9/22, Pope John at home, 1 PM
Friday, 9/28, at Paramus Catholic, 7 PM
Saturday, 10/6, Bergen Catholic at home, 2:30 PM
Friday, 10/12, at Don Bosco, 7 PM
Saturday, 10/20, Seton Hall Prep at home, 1 PM
Saturday, 10/27, St. Peter’s Prep at home, 1 PM

Recruits:  Cross verballed to Notre Dame, Grieco to Rutgers, Ciarlo to Army, Sharkey to Harvard, and McMurtrie to Holy Cross.  Rodriguez verballed to Rutgers for baseball.  Vilbert has numerous 1-A offers, Guglielmello has an offer from Stony Brook, and Stoeckel has offers from Navy and Georgetown.  Gibney and Francois are getting 1-AA looks.  Jaffe, Zicarelli, Yoffee, Walsh, and Roark are 1-AA/D2 types.

In the junior class, Wypler verballed to Ohio State, while Alaimo, Powell, Mack, and Vanover are 1-A prospects.  Johnson is 1-AA.

Concerns:  Breaking in a new quarterback; Alaimo is talented, but has to play and see things.

Coach’s Comments:  “This team has the ability to be a special group.  We’re going back to Joe’s being a run-first team with a physical defense.” – Head Coach Augie Hoffman

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