September 5, 2018
2017 In Review: The Mountaineers were 3-7, playing many underclassmen, defeating Belvidere in the consolation round. They scored 165 points for a 16.5 average, while allowing 292 for a 29.2 average. Losses included Shabazz, Hillside, Voorhees, Johnson, and Bound Brook – all reaching at least the state semi-finals.
Graduation Losses: OL/DL Cubby Schuller – Yale, T/LB Declan McPartland – Washington University (St. Louis)
Offense: Bernards runs the spread and return nine starters and several others who played. The incumbent quarterback is sophomore Teddy Gouldin (6-0, 160) and running back returns both sophomore Cookie Desiderio (5-11, 175) and senior Ethan Caldwell (5-7, 180), who will be on the field at all times, either here or at wide receiver.
The wide receivers returning are Ethan Caldwell, sophomore Jackson Tantleff (5-9, 145), junior Joey Billoti 5-7, 155), senior Todd Isenburg (5-10, 160) and sophomore Pat Caldwell (5-10, 145). Junior Lucas Ritchie (5-11, 150) will be the h-back when one is needed.
Three starters return to the line. Back are seniors Sam Cunningham (6-3, 215) at right tackle, Danny Leonti (6-2, 210) at right guard, and Jason Meyer (6-1, 310) at center. The left side has junior John Sailliard (5-10, 270) at guard and senior Matt Och (6-3, 210) at tackle. Another returning starter, senior Jackson Burns (5-9, 210), will concentrate on defense, but can play here if called upon.
Defense: The Mountaineers run a multiple 4-3 and return eight starters. Burns is back at tackle and Cunningham returning at end. Junior Hugo Gini (5-10, 240) will play tackle, senior Ryan Bender (6-2, 205) end, with junior Austin McCrann (6-1, 210) rotating in as the fifth man.
All three linebackers return in Ritchie, senior Drew Mastronardi (5-10, 170), and Desiderio. In addition, sophomore Luke Burns (5-7, 155) started three games before being injured.
The secondary brings back three-year starter Caldwell at cornerback, plus Mino and senior PJ Chisholm (5-8, 165) at safety. The opposite corner will be Pat Caldwelll, who started three games. Rotating in the secondary will be Billotti and Tantleff.
Special Teams: Sophomore Steven Lopez returns as the kicker and punter. The return men will be Mino and Billotti.
Friday, 9/7, Metuchen at home, 7 PM
Friday, 9/14, Delaware Valley at home, 7 PM
Saturday, 9/22, at Madison, 1 PM
Friday, 9/28, at Hillside, 7 PM *if field is not ready, game will be at Bernards, 9/29, 1 PM
Friday, 10/5, South River at home, 7 PM
Saturday, 10/13, Roselle at home, 1 PM
Friday, 10/19, Johnson at home, 7 PM
Friday, 10/26, North Plainfield, 7 PM
Recruits: The seniors and juniors are D3 possibilities, but the sophomore class has Desiderio, Mino, Lopez, and Gouldin all having tremendous potential. Desiderio and Mino were two of the fastest freshman in New Jersey track this past spring.
Concerns: Mental sharpness. They have the physical ability to win games, but if they are not mentally sharp, they can lose.
Coach’s Comments: Even though we are young, we are experienced. A lot of juniors, sophomores, and freshmen played. We play a tough schedule, but we have athleticism among the skill players and have big, physical kids up front.” – Head Coach Jon Simoneau