Post 58 – HS Football – Preview: Holy Spirit

August 25, 2018

2017 In Review:  The Spartans were 8-3, losing to Mater Dei in the Non-Public Group 2 semi-finals after beating Gloucester Catholic.  They scored 425 points for a 38.63 average, while allowing 269 for a 24.45 average.  Wins included Delsea, St. Augustine, Camden Catholic, and Pleasantville, while their other losses were to St. Joe’s (Hammonton) and Atlantic City.

Graduation Losses:  QB/DB Josh Zamot – Stony Brook, OL/DL Dimitris Pali – East Stroudsburg, OL Anthony Lord – Pace, TE/LB Joe Marczyk – College of New Jersey, DL Owen Kramer – Widener

Offense:  Holy Spirit runs a multiple spread and returns seven starters.  The new quarterback will be senior Ryan Yost (6-4, 190), while junior Elijah Gray (5-8, 190) returns at running back.  Also getting carries will be sophomore Devin Lee (5-7, 175).

All four receivers have experience, with junior tight end Isaiah Gerena (6-4, 245) and all three wide receivers: junior Ahmad Brown (6-1, 190), senior Alvaro Lora (6-0, 190), and junior Tom Finan (5-7, 165).

Two starters are back on the line in junior guard Riley Howat (5-10, 250) and senior tackle Colin Nolan (6-2, 230).  The center will be either senior Lance London (6-1, 225) or junior Kurt Driscoll (5-9, 180).  Senior Malachi Valentine (5-9, 225) is one guard and the opposite tackle is either sophomore Jon Valentine (5-10, 260) or junior Pat Barnes (6-3, 285).

Defense:  The Spartans run a 3-3 stack and return five starters.  Sophomore Andrew Constantino (5-8, 190) will play nose guard and the ends will be juniors Sabri Drinks (5-8, 175) and Justin Curcio (5-9, 180).  Others will rotate along the line.

Two linebackers return in outside or stack linebackers in Holy Spirit terminology: seniors Azim Baker-Coley (5-10, 230) and John Bee (6-0, 190).  The middle linebacker is freshman Mike Francisco (5-11, 190).

The secondary has three starters returning: senior Mike Preston (5-10, 165) and Ahmad Brown at cornerback and senior Walid Jones (5-10, 185) at one of the strong safeties.  The other strong safety is Finan, while freshman Mike Weaver (6-0, 175) is the free safety.  Also playing in the secondary will be junior CJ Brown (5-9, 185).

Special Teams:  The kicker will be junior Patrick Newman on kickoffs.  Holy Spirit always goes for two points after a touchdown and they never punt.  The main return man is Brown.


Friday, 8/31, at Mount St. Joseph (Md.), 4:30 PM
Friday, 9/7, at Eastern, 7 PM
Friday, 9/14, at Camden Catholic, 7 PM
Friday, 9/21, Hammonton at home, 7 PM
9/28-29, Bye Week
Friday, 10/5, Washington Township at home, 7 PM
Friday, 10/12, at St. Augustine, 6 PM
Friday, 10/19, at Kingsway, 7 PM
Friday, 10/26, St. Joe’s (Hammonton) at home, 7 PM
Thursday, 11/22, Atlantic City at home, 10 AM

Recruits:  Yost has 1-AA interest and Baker-Coley has 1-AA/D2 interest.

The juniors have Gray and Brown as 1-AA, plus Gerena as an Ivy/Patriot candidate.

Concerns:  Youth on the offensive line and starting two freshmen on defense.

Coach’s Comments:  “We have great senior leadership and it’s all about effort and competing.” – Head Coach AJ Russo


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