The 2015 football season did not produce a single champion or even a championship-caliber outfit last fall, as the locals from the Northern Westchester/Putnam Examiner regions were shut out in their bids to be crowned or even compete for a championship. Still, we had some competitive clubs who are hoping that 2016 is their year to build upon the foundation they established while giving it their all.
August is that time of year when the blood, sweat and tears of sweltering summer camps might pay the ultimate dividends in November. Devoted coaches, including two first-year bosses at Mahopac and Put Valley, are growing their brand and hoping to see the fruits of their labors, but, recently, winning a Section 1 championship has been extremely difficult for programs in this neck of the woods.
Somers High repeated as Class A champions in 2013, but the region has been shut out the past two years by the powers that be; most notably New Rochelle and John Jay EF in Class AA, Rye and Lourdes in Class A, Woodlands and Dobbs Ferry in Class B and Tuckahoe in Class D.
In 2016, Class AA’s Carmel, Ossining and Mahopac, Class A’s Yorktown, Brewster, Lakeland, Somers, Panas and Hen Hud, Class B’s Putnam Valley and Croton and Class D’s Haldane will try to alter the pattern of lower Westchester and Dutchess County domination. Here’s a glimpse at how they plan to do so.
COACH: Todd Cayea 125-72-1 (23rd year)
LEAGUE: AA-League A
Last Year: 7-2 lost in 1st round of playoffs
KEY RETURNERS: Senior RB David Vega could be one of the best backs in the section if he stays healthy and the Rams get enough push up front, most notably from senior C/DE Joe Kenna, who is solid against the run and the leader of the O-Line, and third-year senior Ryan Sahle. Vega rushed for over 600 yards last season in a crowded backfield and enters as the main horse in the stable. Seniors Ian Hueburtus (WR/DB), Mike Telesco (DB) and Steve Flamio (DB) as well as linemen and returning starters Chris Demme, Nick Rodriquez, Matt Sorbaro are solid veterans.
IMPACT NEWCOMERS: Nick Heis, Henry Flacco, Ryan Beaushane and Andrew Dileo are considered impact rookies, as is sophomore QB Peyton Cayea.
OF INTEREST: The quarterback competition between senior Kyle Shilling, sophomore Peyton Cayea (the eldest son of Coach Cayea) and junior Aiden Nunez will ultimately define the Rams’ season. Coach Cayea insists that as of press time neither of the three had emerged as the clear starter. “Each one of them brings different qualities to the table,” the coach said. “It’s an interesting situation and will take it one day at a time. Shilling, as the senior, has shown he understands the system and can manage a game. Nunez has a great arm but is untested and Cayea is an athlete who can make plays with his legs.”
Coach Cayea, an aggressive offensive play caller, has developed into one of the finest coaches in Section 1. It may take some time, but the Rams should remain competitive.
“We have no superstars at the skill positions but I believe plenty of talent and it will be interesting to see who emerges from the pack as the season progresses,” Cayea said. “I don’t believe this to be a weakness just young kids needing experience. Our team goal is to be competitive each week. Our goals aren’t outcome-based because that something that we cannot control. Our goal is to create a great culture in our locker room, stay focused on our standards, keep a positive mindset and the rest will take care of itself.”
SCHEDULE: Arlington, at John Jay-EF, Mahopac, Greeley, at Ketcham, at Port Chester
COACH: Mark Langella, 1st year
LEAGUE: AA-League A
LAST YEAR: 4-5, lost to Scarsdale in sectional quarters.
KEY RETURNERS: Junior QB Andrew Ryan, Greg Libertino, senior RB Robbie Hoyt (5’11”, 175), WR/DB Andrew Blecker and senior FB/NG Dino “Rhino” Milazzo (5’7”, 180), a two-way starter and talented rusher and run stuffer, who showed in last year’s playoffs that he has what it takes to make plays.
Top Lineman include three aggressive, stout young men, including G/DT Robert Alleva (Jr. 6’2, 210), G Kevin Duffy (Sr. 6’1, 278) and OT/DT Charlie Burt (Sr. 5’10, 210).
IMPACT NEWCOMERS: Junior MLB Justin Munoz (5’10”, 190, 4.7/40) is a beast against the run. Junior Joe Dalo can man a corner well and get open as a slot receiver. Sophomore ISLB/RB Tim Cegleski (5’11”, 200), sophomore OL/DL Jonathan Mucciolo (6’2”, 255), junior RB Alex DiCioccio, (6′, 190, 4.6/40) and junior WR/DB Brendan D’iorio (5’11”, 175).
OF INTEREST: Junior slinger Ryan (rushed for over 500 yards last year behind a shifty 4.6 /40, will be the starting QB and the beneficiary of first-year Coach Langella’s “Air-Pac” attack. Word on the street is that Langella will be taking the offense in a new direction after more than a decade of a ground-and-pound formula under former Coach Tom Donahoe. Ryan is a gifted passer with some promising wide receivers and slot backs.
“I’m very excited about our season coming up,” Ryan admitted. “With our new and improved offense, I believe that our team is going to be able to make a real run this year.”
Having graduated as much as the Indians did, that would be a tall order but one they believe they can make with a beefed up roster that includes 55 players.
“Less than 1/3 are seniors,” the blitz-happy Langella said of the youthful unit. “We are very young team with some very young, talented players. Our goal is to get better every day and to have fun doing it. We have had a very intensive off-season training program and have increased our team strength and speed. Obviously, our goal is to win the sectional championship on our home field.”
Langella, who took two-year break after 14 seasons as the Indian defensive coordinator, brings and edge to the sideline, one that has defined his career as one of the craftier defensive coordinators in the section. If the Indians can still bring it on defense like they have in the past, and the offense can pick up this new-fangled approach, the skies the limit for Mahopac.
SCHEDULE: at Ketcham, Greeley, at Carmel, at Arlington, Ossining, John Jay-EF
COACH: Dan Ricci, 65-48; 5 years in AA – 16- 30, 7 years in A – 49-18, (13th year)
LEAGUE: AA-League B
LAST YEAR: 4-5, lost to New Rochelle in opening round
KEY RETURNERS: FB Shamar Holebrook is a legit stud and the primary option in Coach Ricci’s sets. QB Liam O’Connor, RB James Sanchez and WR Marc Clase are all viable veterans hoping to build on last season. The O/D linemen have some experience in Hearthon Sewell-Richards, Edwin Bowers, Justin Everette, Dan Miranda and Isiah Dejesus.
TOP NEWCOMERS: None listed
OF INTEREST: It remains very difficult for Coach Ricci to succeed in Class AA the last five years, and with just 27 players on a Class AA roster this season it will remain a challenge. Ossining’s diverse population simply doesn’t have the interest in football that it once had when Ricci was winning and/or competing regularly for sectional championships in Class A.
“Our season depends on how healthy we can stay since we don’t have big numbers,” Ricci said. “This year’s league has more teams close to our size with Fox Lane, Greeley, Port Chester and Spring Valley, so I think we can compete in our league. Our crossovers are tough with John Jay (EF) and Mahopac, which will be difficult matchups for us.”
SCHEDULE: at John Jay-EF, Port Chester, Spring Valley, Fox Lane, at Mahopac, at Greeley
COACH: Ed Mulvihill, 22-14, 4th year as Head Coach
LEAGUE: Class A, League A
LAST YEAR: 6-3 lost to Yorktown in sectional quarters
KEY RETURNERS: Senior QB Jack Guida rushed for 911 yards last year and scored 18 TD’s overall, making him a legit threat to score at any moment, off any play. With elite speed (a 4.5 40) the D-I-bound prospect is among the top players in the section. Guida has a pair of veteran linemen to keep him upright in Nick Leahy (OL/DL 6’1″, 275), a high-motored kid and strongest player on team, and Connor Dignan (OL/DE 6’1″, 235), the top offensive lineman on the club. Kicker Kevin Heintz will be one of the top place kickers in the region. Seniors Brian Milano (strong, athletic edge rusher) and Jaden Milano also return with juniors Manny Costales, Justin Jimenez and Tino Surace (all good linemen).
“This is a group that wants to have lofty goals,” Mulvihill said. “Putting ourselves in contention come playoff time is a must. Our line is as big as I can remember here at Brewster and with Guida, Buonadonna, and Meissner in the backfield, we will be able to run the ball.”
IMPACT NEWCOMERS: Senior WR Robbie Peiffer will be in the mix on offense as a runner as well. Junior RBs Michael Buonadonna and Tim Meissner will be in the backfield mix and supply a steady stable of fresh backs.
OF INTEREST: With the graduation of All-Section QB Matt Catalano, Guida’s transformation from RB to QB should be seamless, given that fact that his IQ is high on and off the field. He just needs to trust that those around him can get it done.
“We lose Matt Catalano to graduation at QB (over 3,000 yards passing the last two seasons), so our passing game will need to start over,” Mulvihill said. “Hopefully, we can find a good mix of run and pass to be competitive.
“It’s been a very good off season for us,” Muvilhill added. “Players have worked hard and put in the time to improve. We have some players moving around in different positions so it may take a while for us to gel, but I like the effort of this squad. They have always been a tight-knit group, so our chemistry has also been good. That’s a big plus.”
Getting to the next level (semifinal or bust) will be even bigger.
Lourdes, Byram, at Hen Hud, at Lincoln, Rye, at Eastchester
COACH: Tony DeMatteo, 322-94-1 (47th year)
LEAGUE: Class A, League B
LAST YEAR: 4-5, lost to Lourdes in quarters
KEY RETURNERS: Junior QB Kevin Olifiers and senior RB Messiah Horne (5’10”, 180) will be a handful for opposing defenders to contend with; count on that. Olifers showed a big arm last season but his main weapons have departed. That said, Somers is never out of weaponry under the legend that is DeMatteo, who simply replenishes and reloads each and every season. Horne, who flashes 4.59 speed in the 40 and benches 300 pounds, can break contain and get off the edge with the best in the section. He could, theoretically, bust loose for 1,000 yards and rush for 15-plus scores this season.
“I’m ready to win at all cost, and if that’s what it takes, then so be it,” Horne said of the eye-popping potential.
Olifers throws a dirty deep ball and will look for senior WR/DB Matty Pires and junior WR Ryan Elliott, as well as junior TE/DE Jack Gilroy (6’3”, 205) and Tim Sweeney as primaries.
Junior OL/DL Nick Gargiuolo (6’5”, 250) was a man among boys, despite being just a sophomore last season. His beast mode was more than most opposing linemen could handle and he was just scratching the surface. Expect a monster season.
“We are ready,” Gargiulo said. “We had a great off-season and the effort has been there in our camps.”
Senior OL/LB Anthony Lombardi, junior FB/LB Antonio Viera, senior OL/DL Eric Haganoh and OL/DL Dan Vendito are additional veterans with practical experience.
TOP NEWCOMERS: FS/RB Vincent DiFilippo and WR/SS Connor Gill are names to remember as they broach the varsity scene for the first time.
OF INTEREST: It’s been two years since DeMatteo’s Tuskers were the class of Class A and last year was a season full of inconsistencies. How the Tuskers could stomp Yorktown like they did in mid-season and then turn around and get thumped by Brewster the next week and Hen Hud in the season finale was an example of the mind-boggling play of the Tuskers, who look like a team that might battle Yorktown for league bragging rights this year.
Remember, losing seasons don’t cut the mustard in Tusker Nation.
SCHEDULE: at Lakeland, Sleepy, at Yorktown, JJCR, at Nyack, Pearl River
COACH: Mike Rescigno, 66-36, 11th year
LEAGUE: Class A, League B
LAST YEAR: 6- 3, lost to Rye in semis
KEY RETURNERS: Senior QB Jose Boyer is a polished All-Section signal caller who passed for 700 yards last season with a diverse ability to tuck and run in the read-option. Fast isn’t quick enough to describe his speed and he plays a mean corner on defense.
“Jose is just a great athlete,” Rescigno said of the captain and Notre Dame-bound lacrosse stud. “Both as thrower and runner, he gets it done.”
RB’s Brett Makar and Brandon Meyreles had a limited role on the offensive side last year as sophomores, but the Husker staff expects them to make a very big impact this year at running back and in the slot.
“Brett is a big and physical brand of athlete and Brandon is quick and shifty,” Rescigno said. “Brandon was an excellent corner for us last year and will return to that role. Brett will also return to his role at outside backer.”
Senior S/RB Dom Cioffi returns as the corner stone of the defensive secondary.
“He returns at his safety spot where he made a name for himself as a downhill beast,” the coach said of his co-captain.
Burly senior TE Max Costello has the softest set of hands on the team. Defensively, he returns to his OLB spot.
“Max had a tremendous understanding of our system,” the coach said.
Senior MLB/FB Justin Cavallo absorbs contact and thrives to be in the middle of it.
“Justin has a nose for the ball and a willingness to get to it at all costs,” Rescigno said.
Top linemen include Anthony Dicanio, who simply enjoys the battle in the trenches.
“Probably because he usually wins it,” Rescigno said. “He’s tough as nails.”
Massive Tom Carson (6’4”, 275) mans the right tackle position, and Steve Veteri, entering his third year at LT, leads the unit.
“Veteri is an excellent leader,” the coach said if his co-captain. “He’s just a well-rounded lineman on both sides of the ball.”
TOP NEWCOMERS: In a system that simply reloads, Yorktown has some tough underclassmen on the rise, including DB/WR Christian Torres, who is making a push for a corner spot. “Christian has great speed and physicality,” Rescigno said. “If he continues to commit himself he will be a special young player.”
DB Jesse Maltzman, fearless LB Pat Patierno and DE Mike Forbes have shown unwavering effort in their first delve into the varsity fray.
OF INTEREST: Yorktown chose Somers as its Homecoming Day opponent in Week 3, and that isn’t sitting right with the Tuskers, who shocked Yorktown last season.
After losing one of the greatest tailbacks in Yorktown history (Nick Santavicca), the Huskers begin a bold new era by committee. As the bell cow the past two years, Santavicca was Rescigno’s go-to option about 75% of the time while setting records that may never be broke. It’s time for Boyer and that stable of backs, plus Costello, to pay the piper and continue Yorktown’s strong tradition, which began in the 1990s with former A.D. Isabel Costa #TheMatriarch hiring former two-time NYS champion Coach Ron Santavicca, who ushered in a whole new era. There have been very few lean seasons ever since and the Huskers, who lost to Rye in the 2014 sectional finals and 2015 semis, are poised to do damage.
“We had one of the best preseasons we’ve had since I’ve been a part of this program,” said Boyer. “Nick was a great player for us, but now we have a handful of guys that will be a threat on every single down. Dom, Brett and Brandon are going to make a major impact both rushing and receiving. Max Costello, our tight end, should have a big year. For a big guy he has amazing hands. Val will be threat on the defensive side of the ball as a cornerback. One of our big changes this season has been Justin Cavallo playing fullback. He loves to hit and he’ll open up a lot of holes this year for us.”
If Cavallo and that O-line can open the holes, these backs will hit them quickly, efficiently and effectively and Yorktown will be Yorktown, which is better than most.
“Our goals always begin with establishing who we are first, Rescigno said. “We have done that this summer. The family is bonded. That is the most important goal for me at this point. Our kids seem to thrive knowing that the bar is set very high. I think that is because we have winners. We have kids that respond to coaching. They are willing to practice well with the expectation of taking a successful season always in mind. More than ever I think we have a group that understands how leadership comes from within the depths of our team. Not just our coaches. Not just guys called captains, but from every single member of this family.”
“We have our long term goals set and we have verbalized them to each other as a team,” the coach added. “And we are going to work like hell to earn them.”
Why should this year be anything different from the past?
COACH: Rob Cappelli 65-75, (17th year)
LEAGUE: Class A, League B
LAST YEAR: 5-3, did not qualify for playoffs
KEY RETURNERS: Senior RB/DB Sean Makar (5″10″, 170) rushed for seven TDs and 505 yards during an All-League season last year.
“Sean is an outstanding runner with great vision,” Cappelli said. “He’s great on coverage and has the ability to help support the run off the edge.”
Senior TE/DE Patrick Morelli (6’0″, 195) has great hands and smarts. Defensively, he recorded 32 tackles and three sacks last year.
Senior FB/LB Brain Farole (5″11″, 215) is a very physical player and solid in short-yard situations.
“Brian runs with power,” the coach said. “On defense, Brian dominated inside on the run with 44 tackles last year.”
Junior OT/DT Raymond Stretz (6’0″, 230) is the lone returning offensive lineman with excellent technique for a man his size.
OG/NT Austin Cassese (5’10”, 215) returns from injury as a two-way starter, and C/DE Kevin Moore (6’1″, 180) got his feet wet last year. The linemen are hardworking, with awesome hands and quickness, according to the coach.
TOP NEWCOMERS: Junior QB Dylan Semenza (6’1”, 185) has shown a strong arm and the necessary potential under center while RB/DB Michael Capozzi (6′) is evolving into a good rusher.
OF INTEREST: Lakeland has failed to reach the playoffs the last three years, despite coming away with a winning record. It seems as though the Hornets are always in the mix of playoff-eligible clubs, but they have continued to suffer untimely and costly losses against teams they can ill-afford to lose to.
“We are extremely young and not very big with only four returning starters,” Cappelli said. “However, the off-season commitment has been outstanding. These players have an awesome work ethic and believe in the T-E-A-M concept. These players have been going to camps and lifting sessions all summer. We have a brutal schedule that has us playing Somers, TZ and Nyack the first three games of the season. We hope grow and to get better as a team as the year goes on.”
SCHEDULE: Somers, Tappan Zee, at Nyack, Highland, Panas, Sleepy
COACH: Mike Lynch (19-25), 6th year
LEAGUE: Class A, League A
LAST YEAR: 4-5 (lost in Sectional Quarters @ Rye, 35-16, won bowl game vs. Somers, 24-22
KEY RETURNERS: Returning skill players are what makes the Sailor coaching staff very optimistic; especially with the addition of a talented crop of rooks. Senior QB Nick Cunningham (captain) was in a split-time situation for most of last season but has assumed total control of the offense since the final three games, throwing two TD passes in a come from behind win on the road against Nyack in the round of 16, and two more in a quarterfinal loss at Rye. He then led the offense by throwing four TD passes in the bowl win over Somers, which only fuels the rivalry. On the season, Cunningham just missed 1,000 yards, throwing for 985 and 10 TDs.
“This offseason I have been very impressed with his leadership in the weight room and at our No-Huddle football camp,” Coac Lynch said. “He has already shown an excellent command of our offense. He understands our protection schemes and is making correct reads in the passing game.”
He also has a game-breaking threat in senior WR Marquan Anderson, who, without question, is the big-play threat in the offense.
“Marquan has the ability to go the distance anytime he touches the ball,” Lynch said of Anderson, who had three plays of over 60 yards last season. “Nick and Marquan have developed a nice relationship from last season and into the summer. Nick feels and trusts Marquan where he knows he can put it up and Marquan will go get it.”
Cunningham’s safety valve is senior TE Tom Maloney (captain), who showed unselfishness and versatility last year. Whether is was protecting Cunningham’s blind side or catching passes over the middle, Maloney never whined or complained.
“He just did what was best for the team,” Lynch said. “This year, he moves back to his more natural position at tight end and along with sophomore Mike Fasolino, which gives us the opportunity to use some two-tight-end sets, which is a new exciting feature to the offense.”
Junior WR Alan Jackson started every game last year as a sophomore and has stood out during two-a-days, making some of the most acrobatic catches the staff has ever seen.
“He showed last year that he had the talent to play at the varsity level,” Lynch said of 20-catch receiver. “He seemed to really come into his own in the quarterfinal game against Rye catching two TD passes.
Top returning linemen include Senior G/LB- Jake Anstett (captain), who Lynch called and “Old school, throwback-type kid”.
“Jake’s a hard worker and a grinder who respects the process,” Lynch said. “He’s the kind of kid you love to coach.”
Senior T Nick Whalen has been on varsity since his sophomore season and has rededicated himself to the weight room and the off-season conditioning program.
IMPACT NEWCOMERS: Sophomore TE/DE Michael Fasolino came up at the end of last season and started in the three most important games of the season (Nyack, Rye, Somers), playing very well against high-level competition. A disruptive force, he is big, fast, explosive, and loves contact.
“If he continues to work hard and remain committed to the process, he has the potential to be one of the best football players that has ever walked through the doors of Hen Hud,” Lynch maintains.
Sophomore QB/CB Manny Carbone played extremely well last year on JV, leading a talented unit to an 8-1 record by throwing more than 25 TD passes.
“Manny comes into a very good situation as the heir apparent to Nick,” Lynch said. “He can learn from Nick this season and then take over for his junior and senior season. He has a tremendously strong arm, he’s very athletic and can be that dual-threat QB who throws a great deep ball.”
Sophomore RB/LB Jordan Grullon is a natural athlete, who looks very fluent and smooth as a runner. Expect him to push for time at both positions with competitive instincts you just can’t teach.
“All three of these young men will be on the varsity team and are expected to contribute immediately,” Lynch said of the talented trio of sophs.
OF INTEREST: There is no doubt the Sailor program is on the rise, both in numbers and overall ability; just ask Somers. What will be interesting to see is whether or not this talented sophomore class can arrive a year ahead schedule against a tough Class A slate.
Team goals include a sectional championship, which is pretty brash given their average recent history.
“We expect the 2016 team to build off of the late season success of last year,” Lynch said. “There were a lot of key contributors to our late season surge that return this fall. Anytime a team can go 2-1 against established programs like Nyack, Rye and Somers to end a season there has to be a lot of newly-found confidence and enthusiasm to build off of. Our goal is to be playing meaningful football in late October and early November and this group definitely has the potential to do just that. But as we always tell our guys, stealing a line from Bill Parcells “Potential just means you haven’t done anything yet.”
Expect that to change this season and in the years to come and anticipate a steady spike at Hen Hud from this season through 2018.
SCHEDULE: at Byram, Lincoln, Brewster, at Lourdes, Peekskill, at Rye
COACH: Dan Patronik (19-21)
LEAGUE: Class A, League B
LAST YEAR: 1-7, lost to Brewster in opening round
KEY RETURNERS: Chris Bizzocco Sr. FB/LB returns as the leader of the defense at LB. He will also take over as the lead back, utilizing strength and smarts to lead a group of youthful running backs. Junior QB Brandon Hodge started all eight games as a sophomore and should return more comfortable in the system.
“Both of these guys have worked hard to increase strength and speed in the offseason,” Coach Patronik said.
Junior two-way starter Jacob Liebert returns following a solid sophomore year with great hands and a non-stop motor. He can play any position, according to the coach.
Senior RB/DB Kevin Dyckman returns following an injury that ended his season last year and looks to rebound as a two-way starter and playmaker. Skillful DB Traevon Hendricks returns following his first year playing football with “freakish” athletic ability solid coverage skills, according to the coach. Senior WR Brandon Clarke (6’2”) will be Hodges downfield threat as a solid route runner.
Top Linemen include senior Taizon Barrett, who returns having lost 90 pounds and looks much quicker, stronger and motivated. He struggled last year with injuries and appears ready motivated to anchor a resurgent line. Teammate Mason Eyster started all eight games last year, and comes back stronger and faster.
TOP NEWCOMERS: Juniors (OT/DT Jordan Grossberg (6’, 275) has spent the summer getting in game shape should help solidify the line with Austin Gilligan, who, at 6’6” 315 pounds, gives the Panthers a beastly presence up front.
OF INTEREST: After several seasons with a bruising RB leading the way — with guys like John Brophy and “Bazooka” Joe DeLuca — the Panthers couldn’t establish any traction last season on the ground. With Hodge and Bizzocco a year the wiser, the Panthers have a couple of finishers on offense. Whether or not they can stop anybody with a new defensive coordinator in place, remains to be seen.
“We’re looking to re-establish the program as a real playoff team,” Patronik said. “We will be a young team with only seven seniors. The QB will be better and skill position guys had a productive, positive off-season during 7v7’s and camp. Although competitive last year, learning to win games will be our overall goal. We are striving to be a balanced offense with a solid defense that emphasizes special teams. Our goal is to win one game at a time.”
SCHEDULE: at Pearl River, at JJCR, Tappan Zee, Yorktown, Lakeland, non-Region
COACH: Ryan Elsasser, 1st year
LEAGUE: Class B
LAST YEAR: 6-3, lost to Nanuet in the sectional semis
KEY RETURNERS: DT/G Constantine “Connie” George (5’9”, 230) received All-Section honors after a tremendous junior season, in which h notched 39 solo tackles, including 15 for a loss. He also assisted on 16 tackles and added three sacks with a strong push up the gut. Marc Beck (FS/HB) and Alec McDonald (DB/HB) anchor the stable of backs and secondary. Senior WR Anthony Woods is a 6’2” 185-pound target, who just might open some eyes. Junior OL/DL Mike Gaitan had flashes of excellence last season.
TOP NEWCOMERS: Elsasser is excited to see what rookie QB Travis Anderson will be able to do under center this year as he battles junior Nick Milano. Anderson suffered an injury that cost him his entire lacrosse season last spring but appears poised to do damage. Sophomore RB/LB John Listwan is an absolute beast who will burst on to the scene rushing hard from the backfield.
“Travis will be returning to us this year with experience under center and John will has been tough as nails in previous seasons and has lived in the weight room the entire offseason,” Elsasser said.
Versatile sophomore DE/TE Darnel Shillingford, that’s a name to remember as well. A two-way tyrant, Shill fits the bill at 6’2”, 200 pounds.
OF INTEREST: Sustainability! Will PV be able to keep up with the Jones’ in Class B after losing veteran Coach Matt Mello, who guided the Tigers to their only Final 4 appearance last season. The Tigers lost a ton to graduation but word on the street is they’ve gotten serious about their off-season training, including both speed and strength under fitness guru John Moljo.
“This team’s goal is to win the league and be competing for a sectional title,” Elsasser said. “This year’s team is full of athletic talent and ready to fight for open positions. We have a very diverse group of multi-sport athletes with a determination for success. They have been working hard during the off-season in the weight room and developing their skills on the turf. We will have a strong and energetic line on both sides of the ball led by Constantine George. All around, we will have a great deal of athleticism within our depth chart. I have a determined group of kids and a fantastic coaching staff of Bob Baker Sr., Nick Lapadula and Joe Natalie.”
SCHEDULE: at Westlake, Valhalla, at Pleasantville, Ardsley, at Irvington, Nanuet, at Edgemont