The third annual JSZ Football Banquet featured the top players in New Jersey, an inspiring JSZ Courage Award and Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano opening our ceremony. It all capped off with Woodrow Wilson’s Fadil Diggs winning the Zoneman Trophy. Watch Jersey Sports Zone’s team coverage now!
Rutgers Greg Schiano speaks at third annual Jersey Sports Zone Football Banquet
The top high school football players from every part of New Jersey were assembled at the Delta Hotel in Woodbridge for the JSZ Football Banquet. Before the highlights of the 2019 JSZ All-Zone team, Rutgers head football coach Greg Schiano got things started with a great message to the honorees. The Scarlet Knights have made it known that recruiting the best players in -state is a top priority. Schiano was joined by assistant coaches Nunzio Campanile and Fran Brown to celebrate New Jersey’s best on the gridiron:
Fadil Diggs wins JSZ Zoneman Trophy
Woodrow Wilson defensive end and wide receiver Fadil Diggs took home the JSZ Zoneman Trophy. The Texas A&M commit helped lead the Tigers to a South Group 3 Regional Championship and won the balloting among NJ head football coaches and statewide media members. St. Joe-Hammonton running back Jada Byers was the runnerup. Byers and Diggs had equal first-place votes but Fadil was on nine more ballots in the Heisman style voting which gave him the top honor:
The Zoneman Trophy was presented by NJM Insurance. Thanks to NJM’s Joe Dotro for being on hand to honor the best players in New Jersey!
Name High School 1st 2nd 3rd Total
Fadil DiggsWoodrow Wilson252411134
Jada ByersSt. Joe-Hammonton251610117
Jalen BergerDon Bosco Prep13182499
Cody SimonSaint Peter's Prep12142080
Luke WyplerSt. Joe-Montvale251026
Kyle MonangaiDon Bosco Prep42521
Thanks to everyone from around the state who was part of the Zoneman process
JSZ Staff: Rich Chrampanis, Nery Rodriguez, Mike Frankel, Jay Cook
Statewide Media: Chris Melvin, Asbury Park Press, Dave McCarthy, McCarthy Report, Todderick Hunt, NJ.Com, Bob Badders, Shore Sports Network, Kevin Minnick, NJ.Com, Andrew Koob, NJ.Com, Pat Lanni, NJ.Com, JJ Conrad, NJ.Com, Mike McGarry, Press of Atlantic City, Ryan Patti, Rivals.Com, Tom Williams, PrimeEvents.Net, Tom McGurk, Courier-Post, Brian Carr, NorthJerseySports.Com, Shawn Brown, 247 Sports, GMC Gridiron, Joe Zedalis, NJ.Com, Mike Kinney, NJ.Com, Mike Fenske, MJF Recruiting, Brian Dohn, 247 Sports, JP Parachini, Worrell Media
Coaches: John McKenna, DePaul Catholic, Vito Campanile, Bergen Catholic, Dallas Whitaker, Somerville, Dan Russo, Vineland, Pete Lancetta, St. Augustine Prep, Jim Raso, Hammonton, Tim Gushue, Shawnee, John Emel, Penns Grove, Rob Hinson, Timber Creek, Dennis Thomas, Millville, Steve Scanlon, Clearview, Chuck Smith, Mainland, Joe Hoyle, Dwight Morrow Bill Fitzgerald, Seton Hall Prep Montrey Wright, Salem Kevin Smith, Ocean City Kevin Stetser, Egg Harbor Twp. Joe Wojceichowski, Lenape Jay Graber, Matawan Kevin Kostibos, Summit Dan Higgins, Piscataway Ken Loomis, Wildwood Vin Mistretta, Jackson Memorial Jeff Rainess, Holmdel John Fiore, Montclair Brian Bowers, Delbarton John Whitehead, Paramus Catholic Barris Grant, Hillside Len Zdanowicz, Brick Township John Adams, Woodstown Benji Wemberly, Hackensack Rob Davis, Barnegat Marion Bell, West Side Jamil Jackson, Elizabeth Drew Gibbs, Ramapo Rich Hansen, St. Peter’s Prep Wilber Valdez, Union City Kevin Carty, Hillsborough Frank Duffy, Phillipsburg Augie Hoffmann, St. Joe’s (Mont.) Ed Guerreri, Manalapan Jim Sharples, Jackson Liberty Brian Russo, Rahway William Nahan, Randolph Drew Lachenmayer, Allentown David Schuman Red Bank Regional Kenny Scott, Winslow Twp. Brian Leary, Highland LJ Clark, Lakewood Dan Sabella, Don Bosco Sean Clancy, Notre Dame Chris Thomas, Pitman Dan George, Long Branch Clifton Tabb, Pennsauken Mike Schatzman, Washington Twp Tim Hagerty, Glassboro Ralph Cinque, Clifton
Sights and Sounds from JSZ Banquet
Before the players came inside to eat dinner and watch JSZ’s All-Zone presentation, Nery Rodriguez gave us some red carpet coverage having fun with some of the best players in the state!
JSZ Courage Award Winners
Coach Dwayne Savage, Kenneth Smith – Camden
Coach Chris Sacco, Ernest Howard, Pleasantville
Jersey Sports Zone’s Mike Frankel was shooting highlights of Camden and Pleasantville in the state playoffs when gunshots rang out during the third quarter wounding two and killing 10-year old Micah Tennant. Through adversity, both towns turned to their football teams to help unite communities and begin the healing process. JSZ was proud to honor four great leaders with this award. In case you missed it, Jersey Sports Zone chronicled the resumption of the Camden/Pleasantville game at the home of the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles
Meet the 2019 JSZ All-Zone Team
QuarterbackRunning BackWide ReceiverTight EndOffensive LineZoneman Finalists
Michael Alaimo, St. Joe-MontvaleJaiden Abrams, HammontonTedy Afful, DePaul CatholicKevin Bauman, Red Bank CatholicChandler Bird, Saint AugustineJalen Berger, Don Bosco Prep
Louie Barrios, Cedar CreekMyles Bailey, North BrunswickAhmad Brown, Holy SpiritDominic Busby, Seton Hall PrepBryan Felter, Bergen CatholicJada Byers, St. Joe-Hammonton
JD Breslauer, Parsippany HillsMatt Colantuono, Seton Hall PrepEJ Comerford, Parsippany HillsShawn Collins, MontclairBardhyl Gashi, West EssexFadil Diggs, Woodrow Wilson
Tahjamell Bullock, Saint Peter's PrepCorey Dempster, BoontonCarnell Davis, St. Augustine PrepCharles Finley, DePaul CatholicJalen Genao, Union CityKyle Monangai, Don Bosco Prep
Andrew Butler, DePaul CatholicAudric Estime, St. Joe-MontvaleMalik Harvey, Woodrow WilsonLucas Giordano, Seton Hall PrepCody Simon, St. Peter's Prep
Ryan Clark, Donovan CatholicEthan Harris, Northern HighlandsKyree Hinton, SomervilleNajae Hallenbeck, Toms River NorthLuke Wypler, St. Joe-Montvale
Charles DePrima, RamapoMalik Ingram, Mater Dei PrepConnor Kennedy, LenapeDeclan McCauley, Westfield
Devin Kargman, Woodrow WilsonAli Lee, Jr. WoodbridgeChris Long, WillingboroJosh Toner, Cherokee
Connor Katz, CranfordMuheem McCargo, Woodrow WilsonJelani Mason, Saint Peter's PrepColin Tunc, Bergen Catholic
Vincent Pinto, Park RidgePiotr Partyla, LyndhurstMalachi Melton, Cedar CreekGeno VanDeMark, St. Joe-Montvale
Andrew Sanborn, UnionTrebor Pena, OceanAhmirr Robinson, UnionDevon Willock, Paramus Catholic
Hank Shapiro, WestfieldFrank Riggio, VeronaGriffin Rooney, WestfieldIsaiah Wright, Saint Peter's Prep
Zakee Swann, IrvingtonByron Shipman, Saint Peter's Prep
Jake Tirone, RamapoTarheeb Still, Timber Creek
Cortaz Williams, Notre Dame
Zahir Swann, Irvington
Defensive LineLinebackerDefensive BackKicker/PunterJSZ All-Prep Team
Jeremiah Grant, Bergen CatholicTirek Austin-Cave, CamdenNahree Biggins, HillsideVincenzo Rea, ManalapanAaron Armitage, Blair Academy
Jahmir Greene, Don Bosco PrepBobby/Tommy Coury, PhillipsburgDarian "Duce" Chestnut, CamdenSebastien Tasko, St. Joe-MontvaleNick DeGennaro, Hun
Dominick Giudice, Mater Dei PrepJake DeLuccia, Wayne ValleyNasir Clerk, IrvingtonChristian Forbes, Lawrenceville
Cameron Horsley, CinnaminsonSolomon DeShields, MillvilleJermaine Corbett, Long Branch
Ian Franzoni, Hun
Aaron Lewis, WillamstownGordon Forsyth, Rumson-Fair HavenCasey Larkin, WallSanoussi Kane, Blair Academy
Leon Lowery, North BrunswickMikai Gbayor, IrvingtonClarence Lewis, Mater Dei PrepChristopher Mayo, Peddie
Tywon Malone, Bergen CatholicCharlie Gordinier, Red Bank CatholicJoe Lusardi, SummitMatt Sluka, Peddie
Andrew Messineo, RidgewoodTyreem Powell, VinelandElijuwan Mack, St. Joe-MontvaleKorey Smith, Peddie
Collin McCarthy, Jackson MemorialColin Ramos, Don Bosco PrepJordan Morant, Bergen Catholic
Isaiah Raikes, Saint Augustine PrepMakhi Scott, Penns GroveRJ Moten, Delran
George Rooks, Saint Peter's PrepDalton Short, ShawneeAlex Odom, Kingsway
Khurram Simpson, Mater Dei PrepClyde Washington, LenapeRomaine Robinson, Don Bosco Prep
Amin Vanover, Saint Joe-MontvaleJack Wittmaack, RidgewoodEric Rogers, Burlington Twp.
Ryan Ruane, Rumson-Fair Haven
Keon Sabb, Glassboro
DJ Woodbury, Burlington City
JSZ Top Plays from 2019
We had the Top Play Belt winners of 2019 and the end of year Plays of the Year winners attend the banquet. Thanks to everyone who voted all year long!
Jersey Sports Zone Weekly Top Play Winners
Week 0: Sam Williams, PingryWeek 1: Thomas Amankwaa, HillsboroughWeek 2: David Hicks, Red Bank RegionalWeek 3: Nate Summerville, ShawneeWeek 4: Nasir Calhoun, Donovan CatholicWeek 5: Nasir Abney, Holy CrossWeek 6: Mike Casanata, Wayne HillsWeek 7: Jada Byers, St. Joe-HammontonWeek 8: Jake Cook, MainlandWeek 9: Jimmy Pepe, Randolph Week 10: Lonnie Cebulski, Jackson Memorial
Jersey Sports Zone Plays of the Year Winners
Touchdown Run of the Year: Billy Guidetti, Red Bank Catholic
Touchdown Pass Play of the Year: Hank Shapiro/Griffin Rooney, Westfield
Defensive TD of the Year: Wally Doman, Jackson Memorial
Special Teams TD of the Year: Damon Murray, Hoboken
Sack/Big Hit of the Year: Amin Vanover, St. Joe-Montvale
Clutch Play of the Year: Jahmir Brown, Woodbridge
Viewers Choice Play of the Year: Brandon Martins, Nutley
2019 JSZ Zoneman Trophy Finalists
In case you missed it, watch JSZ’s profile of our six Zoneman Finalists:
Jalen Berger, Don Bosco Prep
Jalen Berger has been one of New Jersey’s most prolific recruits throughout his four-year varsity career as the starting running back at North Jersey power Don Bosco Prep. Berger, named a 2020 All-American, delivered the goods in his senior season while accounting for 1,218 scrimmage yards and 17 touchdowns for the Ironmen. Berger remains uncommitted yet holds offers from college football’s best — Alabama, Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, LSU and Michigan are among the schools recruiting him. The announcement will come on live TV during the All-American bowl on Jan. 4 from San Antonio, TX.
Jada Byers, St. Joseph (Hamm.)
There’s no other way to put it — Jada Byers is the most dynamic scoring threat to ever grace South Jersey. Byers, a Sacred Heart commit, was an electric runner with the football who scored a South Jersey record 102 touchdowns in three years of varsity play with the Wildcats. His mark of 644 career points ranks second in South Jersey history only behind Kevin Harvey. The highlights of Byers’ 2019 season was a 10-touchdown performance against Morris Catholic in the sectional semifinals.
Fadil Diggs, Woodrow Wilson
There might not be a better two-way player in the Garden State. The Woodrow Wilson star and future Texas A&M Aggie shined on both sides of the ball in a stellar 2019 season. He collected 95.5 tackles and 17.5 sacks on defense while also catching 65 passes for 1,031 yards and 11 touchdowns on offense. Woodrow Wilson head coach Preston Brown told JSZ Diggs is the best player in Camden’s history.
Kyle Monangai, Don Bosco Prep
Talk to anyone in North Jersey and they’ll tell you Don Bosco Prep doesn’t get back to it’s winning ways without Kyle Monangai on the field. After transferring to the Ramsey private school from Seton Hall Prep after his sophomore season, Monangai put up eye-popping numbers. He put up 2,903 scrimmage yards on 310 touches with 35 touchdowns in arguably the toughest conference in America. He holds 25-plus D-I offers yet remains uncommitted.
Cody Simon, St. Peter’s Prep
He’s the best player on the best team in New Jersey — does anything else need to be said? Simon’s boasts one of the most polished resume’s we’ve seen in years. He was a preseason for the 2019 Butkus Award, was one of five N.J. players named an All-American and is committed to play at Ohio State. Simon led the Marauders with 106 tackles, 4.5 sacks, four interceptions and four touchdowns on defense and special teams.
Luke Wypler, St. Joe’s (Mont.)
What does it take to be ranked the No. 1 center in the entire country? Watch the way Luke Wypler dominates on the gridiron. Wypler’s intelligence and intensity on the field is a major reason why St. Joe’s had the toughest offensive line in the state — that translated to a Non-Public Group 4 championship in 2018. Wypler, also named a 2020 All-American, is committed to play at Ohio State after a stellar career in Montvale.