Post 97 – HS Football – Preview: Pascack Valley

September 6, 2018

2017 In Review:  The Indians were 2-8 with a team of mostly underclassmen and lost to Ramapo in the North Jersey Section 1 Group 3 playoffs.  They scored 155 points for a 15.5 average, while allowing 325 for a 32.5 average.  Wins were against Nutley and Ridgefield Park, while losses included Old Tappan, River Dell, Ramapo, Wayne Hills, and Demarest – all finalists or semi-finalists plus a New Canaan, Ct. team that was 9-3.

Graduation Losses:  Nobody playing college sports.

Offense:  Pascack Valley plays a pro-style offense and returns eight starters.  Returning at quarterback is senior Stephen Begen (5-10, 185) and senior Jake DeMilia (5-11, 165) stepped in when Begen was hurt.  Junior Jake Williams (5-10, 205) is back at tailback and spelling him will be senior Stephen Soravilla (5-10, 180).  Fullback will be either junior Drew Carney (5-9, 200) or senior David Albertus (6-0, 185).

DeMilia returns at wide receiver, along with senior Joe Campagna (6-0, 165).  Rotating in will be another returning starter, senior Ian Valdez (5-10, 160), plus senior Michael Garay (6-0, 185), junior Jake Ciocca (6-0, 180), and junior Andrew Martinez (5-8, 145).  Junior James Della Pesca (6-3, 205), along with senior Justin Nicita (6-5, 220), and junior Kris Ostrowski (6-1, 190).

Three starters return to the line, including a pair of three-year starters at tackle: seniors Charlie Looes (6-3, 255) and Andrew Demboski (6-2, 295).  Also back is senior Jesse Lagrosa (6-1, 235) at guard.  The line will be filled out by senior Dylan Driscoll (6-0, 205) at guard and junior Sean Duffy (6-0, 205) at center.

Defense:  The Indians will play a multiple 4-2-5 and return nine starters.  Looes and junior Joe Cuti (6-1, 235) are returning tackles, while Della Pesca and Nicita are back at the ends.  Rotating on the line will be Denboski, Duffy, and junior Chase Rickert (5-9, 210) at the tackles and senior Gio DiGiglio (5-8, 180) at end.

Williams is back at linebacker and he will be joined by Carney, and LaGrosa, who saw action.

Coming back to the secondary are Ciocca and Martinez at cornerback, with DiMilia and Soravilla at safety.  Begen started before being injured at safety and key reserves are Garay and junior James Allmers (5-7, 150).

Special Teams:  Ciocca is back at kicker and Williams will punt.  The return men will be Martinez, DeMillia, and Williams.


Friday, 9/7, Englewood at home, 6 PM
Friday, 9/14, at Paramus, 6 PM
Friday, 9/21, at Demarest, 6 PM
Friday, 9/28, at Old Tappan, 6 PM
Friday, 10/5, Ridgefield Park, 6 PM
Friday, 10/12, at River Dell, 6 PM
Friday, 10/19, Ramapo at home, 6 PM
Saturday, 10/27, at New Canaan (Ct.), 2 PM

Recruits:  Looes has offers from William & Mary and Dartmouth.  Demboski is also receiving interest, while others may go D3.

DellaPesca is a junior who might be 1-A, no worse than 1-AA.

Concerns:  Learning how to win.  The program has taken a step back the last two years and there are no more excuses.  It’s time to take things one game at a time and go back to being Valley.

Coach’s Comments:  “We have a good group who enjoy being around one another, football itself, and the grind.  It’s now time to get it done on the football field and we look forward to getting into it.” – Head Coach Len Cusumano

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