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Westfield Eyes Rebound Season with Strong Senior Class
Westfield has become synonymous with winning football underneath head coach Jim DeSarno, but the Blue Devils hit a speed bump in 2018. Their vaunted 37-game win streak was snapped in Week 1 and they did not complete a four-peat state title run. Things look different this time around for 2019. DeSarno has his players hungry after a 4-7 season last year as the Blue Devils look to rebound from the first losing season since 2012. QB Hank Shapiro (Lehigh), OL Declan McCauley (Holy Cross), RB Tim Alliegro and DL Colin Freer will be the leaders on this year’s team. JSZ’s Jay Cook previews the Blue Devils from Westfield: Westfield 2019 Schedule Saturday, Sept. 14 — vs. Linden Saturday, Sept. 21 — vs. Union Saturday, Sept. 28 — vs. Watchung Hills Friday, Oct. 4 — at Elizabeth Friday, Oct. 11 — at Edison Friday, Oct. 18 — at Bridgewater-Raritan Friday, Oct. 25 — at Phillipsburg Saturday, Nov. 2 — vs. North Brunswick Thursday, Nov. 28 — vs. Plainfield
Piscataway looks to defend Bowl Game Title in 2019
Not far from the birth of college football, another New Jersey football program made history of it’s own last year. Piscataway capped off a perfect 13-0 season with a win in the inaugural North Group 5 Bowl Game at MetLife stadium to capture its 10th State Title. In 2019, longtime Head Coach Dan Higgins reloads with a cast sprinkled with less varsity experience, but this year’s group of Chiefs is ready to cement their own legacy come December. JSZ’s Nery Rodriguez stopped by training camp: Piscataway 2019 Schedule Friday, Sept. 6 — vs. Franklin Friday, Sept. 13 — vs. Sayreville Saturday, Sept. 20 — vs. Edison Friday, Sept. 27 — at New Brunswick Saturday, Oct. 5 — at St. Joe’s (Metuchen) Friday, Oct. 11 — at North Brunswick Friday, Oct. 18 — at South Brunswick Friday, Oct. 25 — at Elizabeth Friday, Nov. 1 — vs. Hillsborough
Union City sticking to their smashmouth style in 2019
The Soaring Eagles need to replace 17 starters from last year’s 9-2 squad, but Union City won’t change the way they play on the rooftop at one of the country’s most unique home-field advantages. With Jean Alvarez and his 25 TD’s gone, look for Devin Gonzalez to be one of the key cogs of UC’s Wing-T offense. Gonzalez shifts from halfback to fullback, a vital position in the unique offensive formation. JSZ caught up with the Soaring Eagles at the Super Football Conference’s Media Day at Wayne Valley High School: Union City Soaring Eagles 2019 Schedule Friday, Sept. 6 — at Passaic Friday, Sept. 13— vs. Irvington Thursday, Sept. 19 — vs. Memorial Friday, Sept. 27 — at Saint Peter’s Prep Friday, Oct. 4 — at Bayonne Friday, Oct. 11 — vs. Old Tappan Friday, Oct. 18 — vs. Shawnee Friday, Oct. 25 — at North Bergen Friday, Nov. 1 — vs. Dickinson
Somerville Pioneers Reload with State Title on Their Minds
Somerville has exploded onto New Jersey’s public school scene over the past two years and they’re showing no signs of slowing down. Despite losing JSZ Zoneman Player of the Year Jalahn Dabney to graduation, head coach Dallas Whitaker believes his team has the mentality and necessary tools to be champions once again. Ethan Hilliman and Kyree Hinton are a pair of top returning two-way players who will look to power the Pioneers back to a sectional championship for a third straight season. JSZ’s Jay Cook previews Somerville and their 2019 squad: Somerville 2019 Schedule Friday, Sept. 6 — vs. Hamilton Friday, Sept. 13 — at North Plainfield Friday, Sept. 20 — at Voorhees Friday, Sept. 27 — at Cranford Saturday, Oct. 5 — at Summit Friday, Oct. 11 — vs. Warren Hills Friday, Oct. 18 — vs. Rahway Friday, Oct. 25 — vs. Gov. Livingston Friday, Nov. 1 — vs. Immaculata
Washington Township Looks to Build on New Foundation
When Mike Schatzman took over the Minutemen program before last season, he was the third head coach in as many years. After laying a new foundation in 2018, Township hopes to take a big step forward this fall. Seniors Jack Dunn and Zach Andrews will anchor the line for the Minutemen. Senior RB Andrew Nocille and junior TE Jaden Allen will be two more players to watch for Washington Township. JSZ’s Mike Frankel checks in with the Minutemen: Washington Twp. Minutemen 2019 Schedule Friday, September 6th – vs. Cherokee Friday, September 13th – at Kingsway Friday, September 20th – at Atlantic City Friday, September 27th – vs. Eastern Friday, October 4th – vs. Egg Harbor Twp. Friday, October 11th – vs. Holy Spirit Friday, October 18th – at Williamstown Saturday, October 26th – vs. Vineland Friday, November 1st – at Hammonton Coverage of Washington Township is brought to you by Cooper University Health Care.
Verona Seeks Revenge After Close Call
The Verona Hillbillies seek revenge after their semifinal game last season, in which they gave up a touchdown in the last 35 seconds of the game. The Hillbillies have 15 seniors on the team for 2019. JSZ’s Madison Bess has the full preview: Verona Hillbillies 2019 Schedule Friday, Sept. 13 — at Caldwell Friday, Sept. 20 – vs. Boonton Saturday, Sept. 28 – at Newark Collegiate Friday, Oct. 4 – vs. Shabazz Friday, Oct. 11 — vs. Weequahic Friday, Oct. 18 – at Hoboken Friday, Oct. 25 — at Cedar Grove Saturday, Nov. 2 — vs. Glen Ridge
Lincoln Aims For Aggression
The Lincoln Lions have one word to describe themselves going into this season: Aggressive. The Lions have a mixed demographic of rookies and veterans going into this 2019 season. Lincoln has their sights set on putting big points up on the board. JSZ’s Madison Bess has the full preview: Lincoln Lions 2019 Schedule Friday, Sept. 6 — at Demarest Friday, Sept. 13 — vs. Hoboken Friday, Sept. 20 – at West Side Friday, Sept. 27 – vs. Caldwell Friday, Oct. 4 – vs. West Essex Thursday, Oct. 10 — at Shabazz Saturday, Oct. 19 – at Nutley Saturday, Oct. 26 — vs. Newark Central Saturday, Nov. 2 — at Snyder
Culture Change Underway at Paramus Catholic
A disappointing 2-8 season left a sour taste in the mouth of Paramus Catholic’s football program. However, the Paladins are driving into 2019 with a new heir of confidence as last year’s down season fades into the rearview mirror. Led by senior offensive lineman and high D-I recruit Devin Willock — along with juniors Dorian Nowell and Jarred George — the Paladins feel confident as head coach John Whitehead builds a new culture in Paramus. JSZ’s Jay Cook previews the Paladins leading up to the 2019 season: Paramus Catholic 2019 Schedule Thursday, Aug. 29 — vs. West Catholic (P.A.) Saturday, Sept. 7 — at Pope John Friday, Sept. 20 — at Hackensack Friday, Sept. 27 — vs. Seton Hall Prep Saturday, Oct. 5 — at St. Joe’s (Mont.) Friday, Oct. 11 — at DePaul Friday, Oct. 18 — vs. St. Peter’s Prep Friday, Oct. 25 — vs. Bergen Catholic Friday, Nov. 1 — at Don Bosco Prep
Haddonfield is Hungry for a South Jersey Group 2 Three-Peat
After winning their second straight sectional title and finishing (13-0), the Haddons graduated one of the most decorated senior classes in program history. The cupboard is far from bare for Haddonfield, however. Three-year starters Alex Kadar, Michael Carey and Nick DiNoia will lead the way in 2019, as the Bulldawgs are hungry to once again go out on top. JSZ’s Mike Frankel checks in with the Haddons as part of our Camp Countdown series: Haddonfield Bulldawgs 2019 Schedule Friday, September 6th – vs. Pleasantville Friday, September 13th – vs. Sterling Friday, September 20th – at Cinnaminson Friday, September 27th – vs. Overbrook Friday, October 4th – vs. St. Joseph (Hamm.) Friday, October 11th – at West Deptford Friday, October 25th – vs. Collingswood Friday, November 1st – at Deptford Thursday, November 28th – at Haddon Heights Coverage of Haddonfield is made possible by NJM Insurance.
Shabazz Seeks Revenge in 2019
The Shabazz Bulldogs are hungry walking into their 2019 football season with new Head Coach, Tyrone Turner. The Bulldogs finished last season with a 10-2 record. Prior to facing their rival, Cedar Grove, Shabazz had a 17-game winning streak. JSZ’s Madison Bess has the full preview: Shabazz Bulldogs 2019 Schedule Friday, Sept. 6 — vs. Glen Ridge Saturday, Sept. 14 — at West Side Friday, Sept. 26 – vs. Hoboken Friday, Oct. 4 – at Verona Friday, Oct. 10 – vs. Lincoln Friday, Oct. 18 — vs. Cedar Grove Friday, Oct. 25 — at Newark Collegiate Friday, Nov. 1 — at Hudson Catholic Thursday, Nov. 28 – vs. Weequahic
Passaic Tech Looks To Bounce Back After 2-7 Season
The Passaic Tech Bulldogs finished their 2018 season with a 2-7 record. But this year, the team is out for blood. The offense and defense have been working hard this summer at camp. Head Coach Matt Demarest says there is a lot of competition in regards to landing a spot in the starting lineup. The talent is strong and the players are all in. JSZ’s Madison Bess has the full preview: Passaic County Tech Bulldogs 2019 Schedule Friday, Sept. 6 — at West Essex Friday, Sept. 13 — vs. Hackensack Sunday, Sept. 21 – at Seton Hall Prep Saturday, Sept. 27 – vs. Ridgewood Friday, Oct. 4 – at Clifton Friday, Oct. 10 – vs. Kennedy Friday, Oct. 18 — vs. West Orange Friday, Oct. 25 — at Wayne Hills Friday, Nov. 1 — at Eastside
New coach, D1 talent headlines 2019 edition of West Orange
Darnell Grant makes the move from Shabazz to West Orange after a nine-year run that featured two sectional titles. Grant has a talented group of underclassmen headlined by a trio of juniors. Running back Shakhi Carson has offers from Kentucky and UMass while wide receiver Jayson Raines has picked up offers from UMass and Rutgers. Dorian Rawls is another college prospect who will be a two-way threat at defensive back and wide receiver. There’s a lot of optimism for West Orange to turn around last year’s three-win effort. Watch JSZ”s preview of the Mountaineers: West Orange Mountaineers 2019 Schedule Saturday, Sept. 7 — vs. Montclair (at Rutgers) Friday, Sept. 13— vs. Kennedy Friday, Sept. 20 — at Don Bosco Prep Friday, Sept. 27 — at Columbia Saturday, Oct. 5 — at Livingston Friday, Oct. 11 — vs. West Orange Friday, Oct. 18 — at Passaic Tech Friday, Oct. 25 — vs. Bloomfield Friday, Nov. 1 — vs. Barringer
Nutley Looks to Ride Late Season Surge into 2019
The Nutley Raiders closed out the 2018 campaign with a three-game win streak to get to 4-6. JD Vick is the interim coach as Steve DiGregorio is on the mend. DiGregorio is expected to rejoin the team on October 1st. Justin Lucia is back to lead the Raiders offense at quarterback. The Raiders open the season on September 7th at the Oval against Bloomfield. JSZ caught up with Nutley at the Super Football Conference Media Day at Wayne Valley High School: Nutley Raiders 2019 Schedule Saturday, Sept. 7 — vs. Bloomfield Saturday, Sept. 14— vs. Montclair Friday, Sept. 20 — at Wayne Valley Saturday, Sept. 28 — vs. Newark Central Friday, Oct. 4 — at West Side Friday, Oct. 11 — at West Essex Saturday, Oct. 19 — vs. Lincoln Saturday, Oct. 26 — vs. Snyder Friday, Nov. 1 — at Caldwell
Newark Central Sets Sights On A Balanced Offense
The Newark Central Blue Devils are coming off of a 4-6 record from the 2018 season. They are looking to power ahead with a more balanced offense. They not only plan to be strong runners with the ball, but they are also looking to make strides with their passing. JSZ’s Madison Bess has the full preview: Newark Central 2019 Schedule Saturday, Sept. 7 — vs. Columbia Friday, Sept. 13 — vs. Cedar Grove Friday, Sept. 19 – vs. West Essex Sunday, Sept. 28 – at Nutley Friday, Oct. 4 – vs. Caldwell Saturday, Oct. 11 — at Snyder Saturday, Oct. 19 — vs. West Side Saturday, Oct. 26 — at Lincoln Saturday, Nov. 2 — vs. Imm. Concept.
Burlington Township reloads with younger squad for 2019
Coming off their best season in recent memory Burlington Township finished 2018 with a record of 10-1 falling to Woodrow Wilson in the South Group 3 Sectional Final. Having graduated a senior heavy class including Quarterback Danny Grozozski who threw for over 1,600 yards with 28 passing touchdowns and just 7 interceptions, Head Coach Tom Maderia will look to the incoming sophomores to fill holes at the quarterback and skill positions. JSZ’s Nery Rodriguez stopped by training camp: Burlington Township 2019 Schedule Friday, Sept. 13 — at Paul VI Saturday, Sept. 20 — at Triton Friday, Sept. 27 — vs. Moorestown Friday, Oct. 4 — vs. Delsea Saturday, Oct. 11 — at Clearview Saturday, Oct. 19 — vs. Allentown Friday, Oct. 25 — at Highland Friday, Nov. 1 — vs. Woodrow Wilson
Bergen Catholic Eyes MetLife Stadium Trip Again in 2019
Bergen Catholic has been the model of consistency in North Jersey over the past two seasons, going a combined 20-4 over that time with brothers Nunzio and Vito Campanile each serving as head coach in that span. The Crusaders captured a Non-Public Group 4 title in a 2017 blowout against St. Peter’s Prep but suffered their first shutout in over three decades in last season’s 13-0 loss to St. Joe’s (Mont.). Bergen Catholic hit the reset button coming into 2019, but that doesn’t mean they won’t have a state title on their minds. JSZ’s Jay Cook previews the Crusaders coming into the 2019 season: Bergen Catholic 2019 Schedule Saturday, Aug. 31 — at St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.) Saturday, Sept. 7 — vs. Imhotep Charter (Pa.) at Rutgers Saturday, Sept. 21 — vs. St. Peter’s Prep Friday, Sept. 27 — at Don Bosco Prep Friday, Oct. 4 — at Irvington Saturday, Oct. 12 — vs. St. Joe’s (Mont.) Saturday, Oct. 19 — at Pope John Friday, Oct. 25 — at Paramus Catholic Saturday, Nov. 2 — vs. DePaul Catholic
Bombers ready to be among first in NJ to kick off 2019 season
Boonton made the jump from four wins to seven and a post-season win, the eighth in program history. The Bombers ground attack will be led by Corey Dempster who’s a three-year starter. Boonton will open the season on Thursday, August 29th when they host Kearny, the first official day of the 2019 campaign. Jersey Sports Zone had a chance to catch up with the Bombers during Super Football Conference Media Day: Boonton Bombers 2019 Schedule Thursday, Aug. 29 — vs. Kearny Friday, Sept. 13— at Weequahic Friday, Sept. 20 — at Verona Friday, Sept. 27 — vs. Whippany Park Friday, Oct. 4 — vs. Morris Catholic Saturday, Oct. 12 — at Kinnelon Friday, Oct. 18 — vs. Parsippany Friday, Oct. 25 — at Pequannock Friday, Nov. 1 — vs. Mountain Lakes
St. Augustine Making Strides to Compete at State Level
The Hermits have consistently been among the top teams in South Jersey over the last several years. The goal continues to be that elusive push in the daunting Non-Public Group 4 playoffs. Texas A&M commit Isaiah Raikes will lead the way in Richland this season, with fellow senior Chandler Bird anchoring the line. Sophomore Nasir Hill will see plenty of touches on offense. St. Augustine will also feature Absegami transfer and Division I recruit Carnell Davis, who just joined the Hermits a few days ago. JSZ’s Mike Frankel previews St. Augustine in our latest installment of Camp Countdown: St. Augustine Hermits 2019 Schedule Friday, August 30th – at State College Area (PA) Friday, September 13th – at Lenape Saturday, September 21st – at St. Joseph (Hamm.) Friday, September 27th – at Shawnee Friday, October 4th – vs. Ocean City Friday, October 11th – vs. Rancocas Valley Friday, October 18th – at Holy Spirit Friday, October 25th – vs. Cherokee Friday, November 1st – vs. Williamstown
After 8-2 in 2018, Lakeland Is Ready To Attack With Young Team
The Lakeland Lancers are coming into the 2019 season with mostly fresh faces, and a few seasoned veterans. This year, the Lancers will have a different offensive backfield as well as a new quarterback. Junior Todd Geyer will step in as the quarterback. Six of Lakeland’s starters have played out on the Varsity field before, but there will be several first-year starters in the mix as well. JSZ’s Madison Bess has the full preview story: Lakeland 2019 Schedule Friday, Sept. 6 — vs. Ramsey Friday, Sept. 13 — vs. Passaic Valley Saturday, Sept. 20 – at Lenape Valley Saturday, Sept. 27 – at West Milford Friday, Oct. 4 – vs. Westwood Saturday, Oct. 11 — at Fort Lee Friday, Oct. 18 — at Pascack Hills Friday, Oct. 25 — vs. Dumont Friday, Nov. 1 — vs. Mahwah
Sayreville looks to defend Bowl Game Title in 2019
A spectacular finish is an understatement. Sayreville capped off an 11-1 season with a thrilling last second victory in the inaugural South Group 5 Bowl Game. The Bombers captured their fifth sectional title and became one of New Jersey’s first State Champions. Having graduated top Division I talent, Head Coach Chris Beagan will look to Seniors Mark Whitford, Anthony Jackson, Glenn Wright Jr. and two-way threat Jayvis Wayside to try and lead the beloved program back to MetLife Stadium in December. JSZ’s Nery Rodriguez stopped by training camp: Sayreville 2019 Schedule Friday, Sept. 6 — vs. Hunterdon Central Friday, Sept. 13 — at Piscataway Saturday, Sept. 20 — vs. North Brunswick Friday, Oct. 4 — vs. Edison Saturday, Oct. 11 — vs. New Brunswick Friday, Oct. 18 — at Old Bridge Friday, Oct. 25 — at South Brunswick Friday, Nov. 1 — at Union
After Perfect Season, Penns Grove Reloads for 2019
Penns Grove beat Salem in the South Jersey Group 1 final before storming back to stun Willingboro at MetLife Stadium to finish 13-0 in 2018. Now the Red Devils return nearly their entire team as they look to repeat this fall. Kavon Lewis, Jamar Johnson, Torvon Ransome, Jaylen Newton and Makhi Scott headline a deep and talented senior class. Juniors Nasir Robinson and Jayon Carter are primed for huge seasons as well. JSZ’s Mike Frankel has a preview from Carneys Point: Penns Grove Red Devils 2019 Schedule Friday, September 6th – at Pennsville Friday, September 13th – at Woodstown Saturday, September 21st – at Paulsboro Saturday, September 28th – vs. River Dell Friday, October 4th – vs. Florence Friday, October 11th – at Linganore (MD) Saturday, October 19th – vs. Schalick Saturday, October 26th – at Glassboro Saturday, November 2nd – vs. Salem
RBC laser-focused after perfect 2018 season
The JSZ Camp Countdown Preview tour takes us to Red Bank Catholic where the Caseys know they can’t do better than last year’s 10-0 record with a Non-Public Group 3 state championship. Coach Frank Edgerly’s team has always been focused on the task at hand and with a selfless attitude across the entire roster, the Caseys will once again be a team to watch not just in the Shore Conference but the entire Garden State. The Caseys have two of the top-ranked seniors in the state. Notre Dame commit Kevin Bauman is one of the best tight ends in the country and Charlie Gordinier is Boston College bound at tight end and will be a key factor at linebacker for the Caseys defense. Ryan Edgerly is poised to take the reins of the offense at quarterback for the graduated Steve Lubischer. Watch JSZ’s preview of Red Bank Catholic: Red Bank Catholic 2019 Schedule Friday, Sept. 6 — vs. Rumson-Fair Haven Saturday, Sept. 14— at Manasquan Friday, Sept. 20 — vs. Middletown South Friday, Sept. 27 — vs. Long Branch Friday, Oct. 4 — at Toms River North Friday, Oct. 18 — at Manalapan Friday, Oct. 25 — at Donovan Catholic Friday, Nov. 1 — vs. Freehold Township
Younger Pleasantville Squad Aims to Keep Program on the Rise
Pleasantville won a playoff game last season for the first time since 2003. The Greyhounds graduated several Division I athletes, but look to stay in the mix near the top of South Jersey Group 2. Senior RB Joshua Kotokpo and senior LB Ernest Howard will help lead a young but talented team this season. JSZ’s Mike Frankel checks in with the Greyhounds in Pleasantville: Pleasantville Greyhounds 2019 Schedule Friday, August 30th – vs. Salem Friday, September 6th – at Haddonfield Friday, September 20th – at Lower Cape May Friday, September 27th – vs. Gloucester Friday, October 4th – vs. Cedar Creek Friday, October 11th – vs. Gloucester Catholic Friday, October 25th – at Buena Friday, November 1st – at Middle Township Thursday, November 28th – at Ocean City
New Leaders, Same Swag: SPP Marauders Itching for a Championship
St. Peter’s Prep has been as close as any Super Football Conference team to capturing a state sectional championship over the past few seasons. A quick look up and down their 2019 roster shows yet again why they’ll be one of the best New Jersey has to offer this season. The Marauders are loaded on the defensive side — Ohio State commit Cody Simon is one of the best linebackers in America and will be lead the way for stud underclassmen George Rooks and Keith Miles. Head coach Rich Hansen and company will welcome Tahj Bullock in as the next starting quarterback. He’ll be throwing to his No. 1 target, Byron Shipman, quite a lot this season. JSZ’s Jay Cook previews the 2019 Marauders from Jersey City: St. Peter’s Prep 2019 Schedule Friday, Aug. 31 — vs. Millville (at Rutgers University) Friday, Sept. 6 — vs. Erasmus Hall (N.Y.) Saturday, Sept. 21 — at Bergen Catholic Friday, Sept. 27 — vs. Union City Friday, Oct. 4 — at DePaul Catholic Saturday, Oct. 12 — vs. Don Bosco Prep Friday, Oct. 18 — at Paramus Catholic Saturday, Oct. 26 — vs. Pope John Saturday, Nov. 2 — vs. St. Joe’s (Mont.)
Coach Woj looks to return Lenape to glory in second season
In the their previous four seasons Lenape accumulated an impressive 40-4 record that included their first and only Sectional Championship. However, in 2018 the Indians under first year coach Joe Wojceichowski fell to 5-6 with an exit in the South Group 5 Semifinals. Wojceichowski now in year two has inspired a young Lenape team to take on more responsibility. With the help of Purdue University commit Clyde Washington and running back Xavier Coleman who holds offers from West Virginia, Baylor, Temple and Rutgers, the Indians will look to see if they can return to glory in 2019. JSZ’s Nery Rodriguez stopped by training camp: Lenape 2019 Schedule Friday, Sept. 6 — vs. Tottenville (N.Y.) Friday, Sept. 13 — at St. Augustine Saturday, Sept. 20 — at Vineland Friday, Sept. 27 — at Williamstown Friday, Oct. 4 — vs. Allentown Friday, Oct. 18 — at Camden Catholic Saturday, Oct. 26 — vs. Rancocas Valley Friday, Nov. 1 — at Cherokee Thursday, Nov. 28 — vs. Shawnee
RFH looks to “Perfect the Process” and continue dominant run
Rumson-Fair Haven won its fifth sectional title in six years and was one of the first champs in New Jersey’s new bowl series. The Bulldogs were all business on the practice fields as the focus is clearly on keeping this remarkable run going. With 96 players in training camp, Rumson has plenty of depth to replace some of the key contributors from last year’s 10-2 squad. John Volker is expected to lead the rushing attack following the departure of 1700 yard rusher Alex Maldjian. Christian Lanzalotto and Keegan Woods combined for 295 tackles last year at linebacker. Rumson will turn to a collective effort by the defense to fill that void with Ryan Ruane manning the secondary. RFH will open the season in Week 0 against Red Bank Catholic in a game that will feature two of the best in the Shore Conference. Watch JSZ’s preview of Rumson-Fair Haven now: Rumson-Fair Haven 2019 Schedule Friday, Sept. 6 — at Red Bank Catholic Friday, Sept. 13— at Wall Friday, Sept. 20 — vs. Long Branch Friday, Sept. 27 — vs. Toms River North Friday, Oct. 4 — at Manalapan Friday, Oct. 11 — vs. Mater Dei Prep Friday, Oct. 18— vs. Middletown South Friday, Nov. 1 — at Jackson Memorial
High Hopes for Highland; Tartans Seeking Sectional Title
After rushing for over 2,000 yards as a sophomore, Division I recruit Johnny Martin will try to help Highland make history this year. The Tartans have never won a South Jersey title, but Highland returns enough talent to be right in the mix in Group 4. With a handful of DI offers himself, senior linebacker Brad Small will lead the Tartans on defense. Senior Josh Ortiz will anchor the lines, and Kasim Randall-Dale is a player to watch as well. JSZ’s Mike Frankel catches up with the Tartans in Blackwood: Highland Tartans 2019 Schedule Saturday, August 31st – vs. St. Joseph (Hamm.) at Rutgers Friday, September 13th – vs. Clearview Friday, September 20th – at Oakcrest Friday, September 27th – at Winslow Twp. Friday, October 4th – vs. Timber Creek Friday, October 11th – vs. Moorestown Friday, October 25th – vs. Burlington Twp. Friday, November 1st – at Paul VI Thursday, November 28th – at Triton Coverage of Highland is proudly brought to you by Cooper University Health Care.
Don’t Sleep on Them: Don Bosco Eager to Return to Glory
From the countless championships to the number of undefeated seasons, tradition is everything at Don Bosco Prep. However, after a couple of down seasons, tradition is exactly why the Ironmen are feeling so good coming into 2019. Former Rutgers and NFL quarterback Mike Teel is out after two seasons at head coach, meaning Dan Sabella is the man in charge. Don Bosco will wield one of, if not the best backfields in the entire state featuring four-star All-American Jalen Berger and his running mate Kyle Monangai. Senior leadership on defense will also be a major part of the success Don Bosco Prep finds this season. JSZ’s Jay Cook previews the 2019 Ironmen from Ramsey: Don Bosco Prep 2019 Schedule Friday, Aug. 30 — at St. John Bosco (Calif.) Friday, Sept. 6 — vs. Gonzaga College HS (D.C.) Friday, Sept. 20 — vs. West Orange Friday, Sept. 27 — vs. Bergen Catholic Saturday, Oct. 5 — at Pope John Saturday, Oct. 12 — at St. Peter’s Prep Saturday, Oct. 19 — at St. Joe’s (Mont.) Friday, Oct. 25 — vs. DePaul Catholic Friday, Nov. 1 — vs. Paramus Catholic
Trenton leadership takes new look in 2019
Following a first round exit in the Central Group 5 playoffs, Trenton finished 2018 with a record of 5-5. Before equipment was handed out or workouts began, the offseason saw the Tornadoes focus on internal issues such as leadership and team chemistry. Seniors James Hubbard, a three year starter at wide receiver has made the shift to quarterback while Safety Jazzir Merricks will take on a more prominent role at the slot position. Now with a closely bonded squad Head Coach Greg Hyslop will see if he can lead the city’s beloved program to its first State Title. JSZ’s Nery Rodriguez stopped by the state capitol for the first day of training camp: Trenton 2019 Schedule Saturday, Sept. 7 — vs. Marlboro Saturday, Sept. 14 — vs. West Windsor-Plainsboro Friday, Sept. 20 — at Rancocas Valley Saturday, Sept. 28 — at Nottingham Saturday, Oct. 5 — vs. Vineland Friday, Oct. 11 — at Allentown Saturday, Oct. 19 — vs. Eastern Saturday, Oct. 26 — at Steinert Saturday, Nov. 2 — vs. Notre Dame Thank you to Princeton Orthopaedic Associates for sponsoring our Trenton coverage!
Timber Creek Looking to Return to its Winning Ways
The Chargers finished below .500 in 2018 for the first time since 2006. Timber Creek is hoping to bounce back this fall and reestablish itself as one of South Jersey’s top teams. Senior Maryland commit Tarheeb Still and senior Justin Houston will be a pair of players to watch for the Chargers. Sophomore QB Donovan Leary steps into the starting role after splitting time as a freshman. JSZ’s Mike Frankel checks in with the Chargers, as Timber Creek gets set to log some serious miles early in the season: Timber Creek 2019 Schedule Friday, August 30 – at Bishop Hartley (OH) Saturday, September 7th – at Warren County (VA) Friday, September 13 – vs. Hammonton Friday, September 27th – vs. Vineland Friday, October 4th – at Highland Friday, October 11th – vs. Millville Friday, November 1st – at Atlantic City Thursday, November 28th – vs. Winslow Twp. Timber Creek coverage is brought to you by Cooper University Health Care.
DePaul Looks to Rebound After Untimely 2018 Exit
DePaul Catholic has proven to be one of the most consistent programs — not only in North Jersey, but the entire state — over the past decade. But the Spartans now find themselves in unfamiliar territory coming into 2019. Last season was the first since 2012 that DePaul Catholic wasn’t in a sectional championship game — but you can bet the Spartans are gunning for a title berth this year. DePaul Catholic will be led by four senior captains in 2019: TE/OLB Charles Finley, OL/DL Eddie Bierals, WR/DB Teddy Afful and RB/FS Sean Kelly. They also welcome junior QB Andrew Butler into the huddle. JSZ’s Jay Cook has the full preview from Wayne: DePaul Catholic 2019 Schedule Friday, Aug. 30 — vs. Pope John Friday, Sept. 6 — vs. Seton Hall Prep Saturday, Sept. 21 — at St. Joe’s (Mont.) Saturday, Sept. 28 — at Delbarton Friday, Oct. 3 — vs. St. Peter’s Prep Friday, Oct. 11 — vs. Paramus Catholic Friday, Oct. 18 — vs. Hudson Catholic Friday, Oct. 25 — at Don Bosco Prep Saturday, Nov. 2 — at Bergen Catholic
St. Joseph (Hamm.) Set to Open at Rutgers; Hoping to Finish at MetLife
Saint Joseph is the two-time defending Non-Public Group 2 state champion, and the Wildcats are eager to return to MetLife Stadium this season. St. Joe will also be traveling north to begin the 2019 campaign, as the Wildcats will battle Highland at Rutgers on August 31st. Senior RB Jada Byers, one of the most electric players in the state, will lead the way on offense. Junior QB Jayden Shertel and junior FB Ahmad Ross are other players to watch on offense for the Wildcats. Junior LB Tyler Paige will be taking charge on the defensive side of the ball. JSZ’s Mike Frankel checks in with St. Joseph in Hammonton: St. Joseph (Hamm.) 2019 Schedule Saturday, August 31 – vs. Highland at Rutgers Friday, September 13 – at Millville Saturday, September 21 – vs. St. Augustine Saturday, September 28 – vs. Atlantic City Friday, October 4 – at Haddonfield Saturday, October 12 – at Vineland Friday, October 18 – at West Deptford Saturday, October 26 – vs. Timber Creek Saturday, November 2 – vs. Holy Spirit
Seton Hall Prep excited to open season at Rutgers
The Prep will be one of a handful of teams that open the 2019 season in August as part of New Jersey’s week double-zero. JSZ pays a visit to West Orange to break down the Pirates following their first post-season win in eight years. Bill Fitzgerald’s first season as head coach saw Seton Hall Prep deliver some exciting moments starting with a thrilling 29-28 win over Montclair and a 17-0 playoff win against Paramus Catholic. The Pirates have a new quarterback and an experienced offensive line looking to continue to compete against some of the best teams in the state. Seton Hall Prep kicks off its season at Rutgers against Pennsylvania’s Archbishop Carroll. Watch JSZ’s preview of the Prep now! Seton Hall Prep 2019 Schedule Saturday, August 30 — Archbishop Carroll @ Rutgers Friday, Sept. 6 — at DePaul Catholic Saturday, Sept. 21 — vs. Passaic Tech Friday, Sept. 27 — at Paramus Catholic Saturday, Oct. 5 — vs. East Orange Saturday, Oct. 12 — at Montclair Saturday, Oct. 19 — vs. Delbarton Saturday, Oct. 26 — at Saint Joe-Montvale Saturday, Nov. 2 — at Pope John
SJR Football Ready to Dominate and Repeat
The pendulum of power in the Super Football Conference swings from year to year, but 2019 is looking more and more like the year for the boys at St. Joe’s (Mont.). The Green Knights won the Non-Public Group 4 state championship after a suffocating 13-0 performance against Bergen Catholic at MetLife Stadium. Seniors heading to Penn State, Boston College and Notre Dame departed from the program, However, St. Joe’s will return a host of new senior core players that will set the pace all season long. Those include OL Luke Wypler (Ohio State), DE/OLB Amin Vanover (Penn State), QB Michael Alaimo (Purdue), ATH Te’Rai Powell (Rutgers) and DB Elijuwan Mack (Rutgers). JSZ’s Jay Cook spent the afternoon in Montvale and has the story on what New Jersey can expect from the champs: St. Joe’s (Mont.) 2019 Schedule Saturday, August 30 — at JSerra Catholic (Calif.) Saturday, Sept. 14 — vs. Cardinal Hayes (N.Y.) @ MetLife Stadium Saturday, Sept. 21 — vs. DePaul Catholic Saturday, Sept. 28 — vs. St. Frances Academy (MD.) Saturday, Oct. 5 — vs. Paramus Catholic Saturday, Oct. 12 — at Bergen Catholic Saturday, Oct. 19 — vs. Don Bosco Prep Saturday, Oct. 26 — at Seton Hall Prep Saturday, Nov. 2 — at St. Peter’s Prep
Middlesex All-Stars takes Autoland Classic!
Middlesex 23 Union 7 – Autoland Classic Fans gathered at Kean University for the annual gridiron clash between Middlesex and Union County. Featuring a new name, the Autoland Classic needed an additional 45 minutes to begin due to weather, but once the skies cleared a close back and forth battle would ensue. Aaron Ahr of North Brunswick hit two early field goals to give Middlesex a 6-0 lead nearing the end of the second quarter. Just before halftime Union would score on a Ja’Kir Robinson touchdown to take a one point lead at halftime. Ahr would kick another field goal in the second act which would be accompanied by a Jordan Davis touchdown to put Middlesex ahead 16-7 midway through the fourth quarter. Aaron Ahr received MVP honors for his nine points that accumulated to 92 yards total. JSZ’s Nery Rodriguez has all the action:
Cedar Creek’s Malachi Melton Picks Purdue
Malachi Melton announced his commitment to play football at Purdue University during a ceremony at Cedar Creek High School. Melton projects as a defensive back and return specialist for the Boilermakers. He chose Purdue over other finalists Rutgers and Temple. JSZ’s Mike Frankel has the story from Egg Harbor City:
Simms Family Influencing Next Gen of NJ Football Players
The Simms family has become synonymous with professional football. New York Giants legend Phil Simms won a pair of Super Bowls with Big Blue — his son Matt was an NFL quarterback from 2012 to 2017, most notably spending three seasons with the New York Jets. Now, the father-son duo has begun shifting their focus onto the next generation of New Jersey players through their involvement at the high school level between Phil’s All-Star game and Matt’s business, Simms Complete QB. JSZ’s Jay Cook takes you behind the scenes of the Simms family and how these two quarterbacks are influencing Garden State football:
JSZ Year in Review: Top Football Games of 2018
Jersey Sports Zone is about capturing great video highlights. As we get ready to turn the page towards the 2019-20 school year, we take one more look back at the top games captured by our cameras. We get things started with high school football. The 2019 season will be here before you know it. In August, we’ll begin our team previews throughout the state with a steady diet of features seven days a week. Then we’ll bring cameras around the Garden State every Friday night and Saturday afternoon bringing you extensive highlights and interviews. Here’s a look back on the Top 10 most viewed games on JSZ from the 2018 season: #10: RBC 14 Mater Dei Prep 10 – Non-Public Group 3 State Championship The Shore Conference often takes a backseat to the North Jersey superpowers, but an All-Shore state championship was a special moment for the Jersey Shore. Two outstanding defenses took center stage at MetLife Stadium with the Caseys emerging. #9: Saint Joe’s-Montvale 24 Saint Peter’s Prep 14 – Non-Public Group 4 Semifinals Audric Estime’s 143 yards and 2 TD’s helped the Green Knights punch their ticket to MetLife Stadium #8: Bergen Catholic 24 Saint Joe-Montvale 20 Anthony Corbin sparked a come from behind win with an early fourth-quarter interception and a touchdown run to knock off the #1 team in the state #7 Saint Peter’s Prep 26 Don Bosco Prep 23 (OT) Massai Maynor was the x-factor in a tremendous matchup. His game-winning TD run gave the Marauders a walk-off win #6: Don Bosco Prep 22 Byrnes (SC) 17 The Ironmen opened the 2018 season with a tilt against a South Carolina power. Don Bosco Prep’s late comeback was a great way to kick off 2018 #5: St. Joe’s-Montvale 13 Bergen Catholic 0 – Non-Public Group 4 Final The Green Knights become New Jersey’s #1 team of 2018 after a masterful defensive performance at MetLife Stadium. No need for an umbrella to watch this rain filled state championship: #4: Saint Peter’s Prep 34 Bergen Catholic 7 This was the revenge game of 2018. After Bergen Catholic won the state championship with a dominating win over the Marauders in 2017, Saint Peter’s Prep returned the favor early in the 2018 campaign: #3: Mater Dei Prep 28 DePaul Catholic 23 – Non-Public Group 3 Semifinal Before he was a Notre Dame commit, Clarence Lewis caught the game-winner from Rob McCoy late in the fourth quarter. This was a game that sent shock waves throughout New Jersey and served notice that Mater Dei Prep is a new power outside of the Shore Conference: #2: Bergen Catholic 14 Don Bosco Prep 13 The Crusaders and the Ironmen have to be considered one of the best football rivalries in the country. These two teams never disappoint when they face each other: #1: Bergen Catholic 35 Don Bosco Prep 17 – Non-Public Group 4 Semifinal Two bitter rivals with a spot in the state championship on the line was the recipe for our most viewed game of 2018: High School Football Previews are Coming! Coming up in August, JSZ gets ready for the 2019 football season with previews from every part of the state. We’re excited to head to training camp and get you ready for the big names and stories of the upcoming season. Here were the ten most viewed high school football previews of 2018 on Jersey Sports Zone: Bergen CatholicSaint John Vianney Mater Dei PrepRed Bank CatholicCamden Saint Peter’s Prep Don Bosco Prep Long Branch Rumson-Fair Haven Piscataway
Monmouth takes 42nd All-Shore Gridiron Classic
Monmouth 21 Ocean 6 The longest running football All-Star game in the garden state was worth the wait. After a day of postponement due to weather the 42nd Annual All-Shore Gridiron Classic kicked off with an opening ceremony featuring former New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers superstar, Plaxico Burress. From there Monmouth would control the tempo for the rest of the evening. Long Branch duo Marc Dennis and Matt Clark would start with a nine yard passing touchdown for an opening drive score. Dennis would then find Ocean Township’s Alex Bryant on another short pass to help Monmouth eventually go ahead 21-0 at the half. Quarterback Marc Dennis and Manalapan Linebacker Da’Shaun Taylor would take home MVP honors. JSZ’s Nery Rodriguez has the highlights:
Long Branch’s “Pooter” ready for an encore of 2k season
The Long Branch Green Wave football team has enjoyed back to back sectional titles and running back Jermaine Corbett has been the catalyst for coach Dan George’s explosive run attack. Corbett toppled 2000 yards and 26 touchdowns in his junior campaign and heads into his senior season with over 3400 career rushing yards. Quiet and humble, Corbett prefers to do his talking under the Friday night lights, but JSZ was able to talk with him about what’s to come as Long Branch chases a three-peat Corbett has given JSZ plenty of highlights over the past two years. Check out Pooter’s best in his junior year mixtape Thanks to Rosario Realty for sponsoring JSZ’s coverage of Long Branch!
Estime Express Gearing Up for Junior Season
After carrying the rock 156 times for 860 yards and reaching the end-zone 12 times in an eye-opening sophomore season, the Estime Express is gearing up for another championship ride from Montvale to East Rutherford. Rising sophomore running back Audric Estime exploded onto the North Jersey football scene last season and made his name known, week in and week out. Watch JSZ’s highlight reel of Audric Estime: Estime’s first varsity season coincided with St. Joe’s winning the Non-Public Group 4 state final in a 13-0 battle — Estime scored the game’s only touchdown. Since the win, his college recruitment exploded. Estime holds offers from Boston College, Nebraska, Maryland, West Virginia, Pitt and Duke, among others. Expect more offers to pour in as the year goes on. Stay tuned with Jersey Sports Zone throughout the summer as we keep you updated on all the most recent recruiting news while showing you top-notch video highlight reelsof New Jersey’s top athletes.
Moten to Announce College Decision on July 27th
The decision is made, and the announcement is coming soon. Delran’s RJ Moten is one of the state’s most coveted recruits. The rising senior recently revealed a top ten list which includes Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State and Wisconsin. JSZ’s Mike Frankel catches up with Moten to learn more about the recruiting process, the possibility of playing two sports in college, and the expectations for his senior season with the Bears:
East snaps Sunshine Classic losing streak!
East 14 West 7 The Annual Sunshine Football Classic is one of the most talked about events of the year in Mercer County and this year’s finale will surely have fans buzzing for some time. Notre Dame High School played host to the All-Star Game featuring athletes from Mercer, Burlington and Hunterdon County. East would score early in the first following a 61 yard reception from Liam Monohan of Hightstown to West Windsor-Plainsboro North’s Jahmiq Johnson, it would lead to a short rushing touchdown from Florence’s Jujuan Hays. West would counter to tie the game midway through the second before a lightning delay stopped action for over thirty minutes. Once play resumed Hays would then score once again to help East take the lead. Unfortunately with lightning still being an issue the game was called in the third quarter, ending West’s four year win streak. JSZ’s Nery Rodriguez was there for all the action:
Saint Peter’s Prep linebacker commits to Ohio State
Cody Simon is ready to be a Buckeye, but first he has one more season in New Jersey leading the Marauders defense. The four star linebacker gave his verbal commitment to Ohio State over the weekend. JSZ has a highlight reel from one of the Garden State’s most explosive defensive players. Saint Peter’s Prep linebacker Cody Simon was one of New Jersey’s high impact juniors and the numbers back it up. Simon had 89 tackles, 4.5 sacks, an interception and two fumble recoveries in 2019. He had the knack to make the big play with an 85 yard TD catch against St. Joe-Montvale and an 89 yard pick six TD against Bergen Catholic. With older brother Shayne in South Bend and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Cody made his pledge to the Big Ten and Columbus, Ohio: After much deliberation with my family and coaches, I have made the decision to attend THE Ohio State University‼️I am grateful to now be able to focus on my team and our success for the 2019 season. pic.twitter.com/e2CTj4U0VW— Cody Simon (@Cody_Simon30) June 29, 2019 Jersey Sports Zone has the film to back up the hype on this four-star prospect. Check out Cody Simon’s 2019 JSZ Highlight Reel:
SJR’s Vanover Commits to Penn State
The New Jersey to Penn State football pipeline is alive and well, and sure seems to be thriving when it comes to talented Garden State players all across the gridiron. James Franklin and his staff secured another premiere talent Thursday night when St. Joseph (Mont.) defensive end Amin Vanover announced on social media his verbal commitment to the Nittany Lions’ program. Committed🦁 WEARE!! pic.twitter.com/PogelmJQPb— Amin vanover (@vanover_amin) June 29, 2019 Watch JSZ’s highlight reel of Amin Vanover: Vanover is a 6-foot-4, 260 pound lineman who primarily played his junior season on the edge opposite Smith Vilbert, a Class of 2019 commit to Penn State. His recruitment skyrocketed after the Green Knights won the Non-Public Group 4 state final — Vanover fielded offers from Clemson, Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State and Texas A&M, among others. He comes into his senior season after 30 tackles, 12 tackles for a loss, eight quarterback hurries and seven sacks. Vanover is the most recent New Jersey product that Penn State head coach James Franklin has zeroed in on. Outside of Vilbert, Penn State has recently recruited Blair Academy defensive lineman Jayson Oweh, DePaul quarterback Taquan Roberson and Hun offensive lineman Caedan Wallace. Stay tuned with Jersey Sports Zone throughout the summer as we keep you updated on all the most recent recruiting news while showing you top-notch video highlight reels.
Don Bosco’s Monangai Racking up the Offers
Don Bosco Prep is only a few months away from unleashing one of the best backfields in New Jersey. Not only will the Ironmen have four-star recruit Jalen Berger leading the way, but they’ll also have one of the state’s toughest runners back to cause havoc, too. Senior Kyle Monangai has quickly racked up 25 Division-I offers over the last year and it’s quite evident why schools are going gaga over his skills. Watch JSZ’s highlight reel of Kyle Monangai: When defenses focused in on Berger last season, Monangai was right there to thrash opposing coaches’ gameplans. Simple put, his stat line was insane. Monangai tallied 157 touches for 1,359 scrimmage yards along with a staggering 19 touchdowns. That workload has translated to 25 college offers, including his lone Power 5 offer from California, along with UMass, Central Michigan, Harvard, Princeton and Penn. Grateful to receive an offer from Yale University 🙏🏾 @yalefootball pic.twitter.com/cpRedP45xG— Kyle Monangai (@kylemonangai) May 22, 2019 Expect Monangai to gather more Division-I offers in the coming months as he prepares for his senior season alongside Berger at Don Bosco Prep. Stay tuned with Jersey Sports Zone throughout the summer as we keep you updated on all the most recent recruiting news while showing you top-notch video highlight reels of New Jersey’s top athletes.
Is Jalen Berger NJ’s Top Football Recruit?
We’re only a matter of weeks away from the start of the 2019 high school football season in New Jersey, and it’s got us at Jersey Sports Zone thinking… Who is the top Class of 2020 recruit the Garden State has to offer? There’s plenty of talented players to choose from, but one certainly stands out from the rest. He’s a four-star recruit, committed to play in the 2019 All-American Bowl and calls Don Bosco Prep home. In case you didn’t guess, we’ll help you out — it’s star tailback Jalen Berger. The 6-1, 187-pound prospect heads into his senior season after hand-picking his Top 10 schools after a national recruitment. Watch Jalen Berger’s JSZ highlight reel: Berger revealed his Top 10 schools earlier this month. The list consists of (in alphabetical order) Alabama, LSU, Michigan, Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State, Pitt, Rutgers, Syracuse, and West Virginia. Top 10!! (No Order)🤝 pic.twitter.com/ql4fVsr54J— Jalen Berger (@JalenBerger) June 18, 2019 Berger will be making his college commitment announcement during the All-American Bowl on January 4, 2020. Stay tuned with Jersey Sports Zone throughout the summer as we keep you updated on all the most recent recruiting news while showing you top-notch video highlight reels.
North Jersey Breaks Losing Streak, Wins Nailbiter in Annual Simms All-Star Game
The message was simple — just change the culture and a two-year losing streak would be snapped. It may have gone down to the wire, but North Jersey prevailed in thrilling fashion to top South Jersey, 24-23, in the annual Phil Simms North South All-Star Classic Monday night at Kean University. Bayonne tailback Azhaun Dingle was named the North’s offensive MVP after scoring two second-half touchdowns and amassing 92 yards on 11 carries. The win came after North Jersey surrendered losses in back-to-back years to South Jersey. JSZ has all the highlights and more from this see-saw game: