Post 79 – HS Football – Preview: Westfield

August 31, 2018

2017 In Review:  The Blue Devils were 12-0, winning the North Jersey Section 2 Group 5 championship by beating Bridgewater-Raritan after beating Elizabeth and Ridge.  They scored 258 points for a 21.5 average, while allowing 90 for a 7.5 average.  Wins included Ridge, Linden, Elizabeth, and Immaculata.

Graduation Losses:  C Jack MacCauley – Holy Cross, LB Shea Elliott – U of Chicago, LB Drew Ortiz – Bowdoin (Me.), DB Steve Barden – Montclair State, DB Adam McDaniel – New Haven, DE Jake Vall-Llobera – Johns Hopkins, OL Jordan Barham – Montclair State, DE Joe SanGiacomo – U Mass for track

Offense:  Westfield runs a multiple I and returns five starters.  Returning at quarterback is junior Hank Shapiro (6-2, 200) and tailback has junior Tim Alliegro (5-10, 184), who saw action.  Playing fullback will be senior Griffin Aslanian (6-1, 191).

The receivers all return with senior Tommy Norris (6-2, 186) at tight end, plus wide receivers in senior Emmitt Smith (5-11, 155) and junior Griffin Rooney (6-2, 173).  Also playing will be senior Jacob Sultzer (5-10, 145) in the slot and junior Justin Chambliss (5-9, 150) at wide receiver.

The lone returnee on the line is junior left tackle Declan McCauley (6-4, 282).  The left guard is junior Jacob Harnisher (6-1, 210) and senior Luke Bigosinski (5-7, 190) will be the center.  Junior Matt O’Connor (5-10, 221) has the inside track at guard and junior Jonathan Bracco (6-2, 193) will play right tackle.  They were counting on junior Johnny Audino (5-8, 213) to play guard, but he tore his ACL and will not play this year.

Defense:  The Blue Devils play a 4-4 returning four starters.  The line brings back senior Noah Levy (5-10, 208) and junior Colin Freer (6-2, 200) at end.  Sophomore Johnny Heard (5-9, 200) will be the opposite end, while the other tackle will be either O’Connor or McCauley.

Junior Will Kessler (6-2, 190) is the lone returnee at linebacker and he plays on the outside and his partner is junior Reid Colwell (6-1, 176).  The inside backers will be senior Corey Kania (5-10, 214) and sophomore San Shakal (5-9, 186) with Aslanian filling, both inside and outside.

The secondary has senior Jordan Simpson (5-10, 171) returning at cornerback.  The free safety is junior Nick Martini (5-9, 164) and the opposite corner is either junior Danny Varano (5-5, 130) or senior Devon McLane (5-9, 160).  Senior Matt McIntyre (5-10, 151) is a returning starter who started before injuring his shoulder; he re-injured his shoulder playing baseball and will not play this year.

Special Teams:  Kessler returns as the punter and the kicker will be either sophomore Mac Pryvelski or Chambliss.  Smith and Martini will be the return men.


Friday, 9/7, at Linden, 7 PM
Friday, 9/14, at Watchung Hills, 7 PM
Saturday, 9/22, Old Bridge at home, 1 PM
Saturday, 9/29, St. Joe’s (Metuchen) at home, 1 PM
Friday, 10/5, at Union, 7 PM
Friday, 10/12, at Phillipsburg, 7 PM
Saturday, 10/20, Elizabeth at home, 1 PM
Saturday, 10/27, Piscataway at home, 1 PM
Thursday, 11/22, at Plainfield, 11 AM

Recruits:  most of the seniors are D3 prospects and the junior class has Shapiro and McCauley drawing interest from Patriot League teams.

Concerns:  Up front; the lines will be brand new.  How they develop will determine their success.

Coach’s Comments:  “This is a completely different group that needs to find its identity.  We need seniors to step up as leaders and set an example.” – Head Coach Jim DeSarno


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