2015 Jefferson Falcons Football Preview

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You might think coming off a 2-8 season would be demoralizing for the Falcons. But it’s not. Many of the players on last year’s team were sophomores and juniors and they look at last year as training ground for this year. And, actually, if you examine last season you’ll find that these young fellas were very competitive for the first half of each game. Ultimately, they lost games for the simple fact that they were playing a mostly senior league and they simply had a hard time hanging on.

But this year’s team feels as though having taken those lumps made them stronger. They know what varsity football is all about, and they’ve prepared all offseason to build their bodies and train their minds to come back with a vengeance.

Connor Brown is a terrific athlete who brings a ton of football instincts to this team (photo by George Muha).

Connor Brown is a terrific athlete who brings a ton of football instincts to this team (photo by George Muha).

This team headlines some senior studs like the ferocious fullback Avery Sheruda (5-10, 220) and shifty center Anthony Imperato (5-8, 185). The seniors will add size with receiving tight end Griffin Reilly (6-4, 210) and defensive lineman Peter Kurus (6-1, 220). Defensive back Matthew Ryan (5-8, 170) will also bring leadership to the secondary.

However, the crux of this squad are juniors. And VERY talented juniors. Taking the reigns at quarterback will be Logan Holleritter (5-11, 185) who got some varsity dunks last season. Blocking for him up front will be juniors Victor Schiavo (6-0, 195), Daniel Heys (5-9, 180), Dan Glazewski (5-9, 185) and Cole Benfatti (6-2, 215).

Tackle Cole Benfatti will be one of the big reasons the Falcon run game will be able to get through easily (photo by George Muha).

Tackle Cole Benfatti will be one of the big reasons the Falcon run game will be able to get through easily (photo by George Muha).

Defensively, juniors like Connor Brown (5-11, 185), Jakob Jakova (5-9, 180), Jalen Torres (5-9, 180) and Aidan Sinisgalli (5-10, 185) will be major contributors to the cause.

Teams preparing to defend against the Falcons should be ready for a “punch-you-out” style of play. Fullback Sheruda is a vicious runner who has the size and legs to run over a middle linebacker. He’ll be offset by the shifty Connor Brown who can beat any defender in this league with his breakaway speed.

But don’t think this team can’t throw because they can. And Coach Mattessich likes to throw. Holleritter has a nice arm and he has the targets with guys like Magnotta and Reilly who can run all the routes and make all the catches. Reilly specifically will be the tallest guy on the field against most teams so he’s a big mismatch guy.

Junior quarterback Logan Holleritter is a competitive leader who wants to get his team to the state finals (photo by George Muha).

Junior quarterback Logan Holleritter is a competitive leader who wants to get his team to the state finals (photo by George Muha).

Benfatti will be a force on the d-line. He’s got a wide wingspan and excellent technique. Connor Brown will also dish out a lot of headaches to opposing coaches because of his athleticism and eye for the ball.

At the end of the day, this team has wildcard written all over it. With front runners like Hopatcong, Hanover Park, Lenape Valley and Madison, these guys could slip under the radar and sting everyone. My prediction is if they can get a few early wins, that could be all the confidence and momentum they need to pick off some of the division big boys.

Jefferson Falcons

2014 Record: (2-8-0)
Head Coach: Joe Mattessich
Assistant Coaches: Bill Stager, Brian Silipena, Matt Moscatello, Darren Bruseo and Jason Kalish.
League: Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference
Section: North 1, Group 3

2014 Recap

High Point: Dishing Hopatcong a loss that ultimately kept them from the playoffs.
Low Point: A lot of Jefferson’s games were lost in the second half. Their low point was the fact that they ran of out of steam and didn’t finish as strong as they’d started.

Season Breakdown & Prediction

Games to Watch: Week 1 against a very good Kinnelon team is the game to watch. A win will give them a ton of momentum.
Position to Watch: Fullback Avery Sheruda is a guy to watch. He’s a punishing back and defenders literally do not like to tackle him.
Young Guns to Watch: This team has a lot of young guns. The incoming sophs and juniors are loaded with talent and will make a big contribution this season.
In a Nutshell: This is a young team that faces a very competitive division. However, don’t confuse young with no ability. The fact that they are green might actually help their chances in making some noise in this division.
Dream Season: Making it to the playoffs.
Nightmare Season: Not finishing with at least a .500 record.

Postseason History

Playoff Appearances: 11
Finals Appearances: 4
State Titles: 3
Playoff Record: 11-8 (.578)

Schedule

DateOpponent
11-SepKinnelon
18-SepHanover Park
25-SepNorth Warren
02-Oct@ Hopatcong
09-Oct@ Parsippany
16-OctMadison
23-OctHackettstown
30-Oct@ Lenape Valley
06-Nov@ Dover

Roster

NAMEGRADEPOSITION HEIGHTWEIGHT
Agnes, Michael
12WR/DB5'6"150
Alheidt, Emilio
11WR/DB5'7"155
Almonte, Starlyn
11WR/DB5'7"140
Benfatti, Andrew
10WR/DB5'7"132
Benfatti, Cole
11OL/DL6'2"220
Boucher, Jason
10OL/DL6'1"170
Brown, Connor11RB/LB5'11"192
Campana, Anthony
10OL/DL5'11"162
Carnevale, Jake
10RB/LB5'8"195
Cuervo, Jonathan
12WR/LB5'5"160
D'Alessio, Matt
10WR/DB5'10"155
Drake, Ron
10WR/DB5'9"150
Fiorelli, Nicholas
11WR/DE5'10"170
Fleming, Michael
10RB/LB5'8"170
Gambuti, Anthony
10OL/DL5'3"170
Glazewski, Daniel
11OL/DL6'1"230
Godfrey, Dale
11OL/DL5'10"145
Heslin, Shane10OL/DL5'11"252
Heys, Daniel
110L/DL5'10"220
Holleritter, Logan
11QB/DB5'10"170
Howe, Zaire
11WR/DB5'7"140
howell, anthony
11WR/DB5'11"142
Hutchinson, Richard
10OL/DL5'5"175
Imperato, Anthony
12OL/DL5'8"180
Jakova, Jakob
11RB/LB5'10"190
Johnson, Anthony
10QB/DB5'10"140
Kiesling, Kyle
10OL/DL5'10"155
Kuruc, Peter
12OL/DL6'2"205
lake, Brandon
10OL/DL5'9"145
Lapszynski, JohnPaul
12OL/DL6'3"190
Leming, Alexander
11WR/DB5'10"163
Letizia, Paul
10OL/LB5'7"170
Leyden, Ryan
10RB/LB5'9"170
Loaiza, sebastian
12RB/LB5'8"180
Magnotta , Brandon
11WR/DB5'10"170
Mallory, Joseph
10TE/DL6'2"180
Mantilla, Brandon
10WR/DB6'1"155
Mejia, Jonathan
10WR/DB5'2"120
Miller, Nicholas
10OL/LB5'10"160
Muller, Jason
10OL/DL5'10"160
Norris, Kevin
11OL/DL6'1"205
Oconnor, shane
10OL/DL5'11"195
Pasquariello, Bryan
11WR/DB5'8"132
Pryce, Joseph
12WR/DB5'9"165
Reilly, Griffin
12TE/DE6'4"215
Rivera, ariel
11WR/DB5'8"135
Ryan , Matthew
12RB/DB5'8"160
Schiavo, Victor
11OL/DL6'1"208
Sheruda, Avery
12RB/LB6'0"240
Shoukry, Tarik
10OL/DL6'1"190
Simler, Nolen
10OL/DL5'8"185
Sinisgalli, Aidan
11TE/DE6'0"190
Tonnesen, Sean
10TE/DE5'11"190
Torres, Jalen
11RB/LB5'10"185

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