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