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The Coach

Get access to all Morris Sussex Sports photos from Jefferson’s preseason camp visit HERE.

Name:  Jerry Venturino
Skinny:  Venturino is another young Morris-Sussex coach who’s career is on a very nice trajectory.  His playing days were in Hopatcong where he was part of a state championship team…so he knows what it takes to get to MetLife.  Then he spent quite a few years as head coach for the Chiefs he played for where he nicely created a winning culture.  Now in his second year with Jefferson, he’s got Falcon Nation humming.  He has a reputation for always having his team well prepared and ready for a dog fight.
2016 Record:  7-3

The Players

Get access to all Morris Sussex Sports photos from Jefferson’s preseason camp visit HERE.

Franchise Player: No one would dispute the fact that this is senior CB/WR/K/P Andrew Benfatti’s (6-2,190) team. Benfatti has been on the varsity field since his freshmen year in one form or another (he’s been kicking forever). He’s every thing you want in a star player; he’s tall, well built, hardworking and a great lead-by-example guy.
Hottest Selling Jersey: Everyone’s going to want Michael Flemming’s (5-8, 180) jersey by Week 3. He’s a three-sport athlete and is dynamic both at the linebacker and runningback positions. But his best attribute is he is not a flashy guy. He’s the kind of guy that scores a touchdown and hands the ball to the ref.
All Unruly Watch: Shane O’Connor (6, 235) is high on our watch list for the All Unruly postseason awards. The LG/DL is a big weight room guy who focuses on the little things…which we anticipate translating to big things on the field. Another guy we can’t wait to see is MLB Nick Miller (6, 185). Miller would have been a starter on any other team in the league last year but happened to be behind the All Unruly Linebacker of the Year, Jake Jakova. He did get some varsity dunks in big spots after Jakova went down with injury and performed fantastically. Miller’s just a smart, quick, nose-for-the ball kind of player.
Under the Radar: Three guys that can go from anonymity to infamy are QB Anthony Johnson (6-1, 165) , DB/RB Paul Monaco (5-9, 165) and LB/TE Matt D’Alessio (6, 195). Not many people know of Johnson because he’s been patiently waiting his turn as a two-year JV QB who  led last year’s JV team to a 9-0 record. Monaco is a DB/RB as well as a great all around athlete who’s been waiting his turn to make a splash at the varsity level. D’Alessio is another LB/TE who is VERY dedicated and plays much bigger than he is.
Benching the Weight Room: Jefferson’s Jake Carnevale (5-10, 235) is the leader of the weight room with his 315-pound bench and 460-pound squat. Plus he’s a total team player, moving from FB/LB to OL/DL for the betterment of the team.
Throwback: One guy who thinks it’s 1982 is LB/FB Justin Randzio (5-11, 185). He’s a 3-sport athlete who started varsity baseball as a sophomore and was the only Jefferson wrestler to make it to states. He’s the kind of athlete who can pick up a hockey stick and in a week be the best player on the team.


Get access to all Morris Sussex Sports photos from Jefferson’s preseason camp visit HERE.

Despite losing a ton of great senior players to graduation, the Falcons are retooling very quickly.  Many of their JV guys would have been varsity starters last year if they didn’t have so much depth.  In fact, their JV went 9-0.  I really like the makeup of this team.  The problem is their schedule.  Out of the gate they play a very good High Point team, a Vernon team that always leaves opponents limping away win or lose and a high tempo Mendham team who likes to stretch the field.  The second half of their season is worse as it features three teams that were literally at MetLife Stadium for the finals last season.  The positive thing here is they’ll likely need just four wins to get into the playoffs.  And if they can do that against this schedule, they’ll definitely be battled tested for anything they’ll face in the postseason.  If they want to be hoisting the NJSIAA trophy in December they will have to scrape and crawl every inch of the way.  But there is no doubt this group is up for the challenge.


Get access to all Morris Sussex Sports photos from Jefferson’s preseason camp visit HERE.

09-08 @ High Point High Point HS
09-15 @ Vernon Vernon HS
09-22 Mendham Jefferson HS
09-28 West Milford Jefferson HS
10-06 @ Parsippany Hills Parsippany Hills HS
10-13 Montville Jefferson HS
10-21 @ Morris Hills Morris Hills HS
10-27 Sparta Jefferson HS
11-03 @ Lenape Valley Lenape Valley HS

Who’s In Their State Section

Get access to all Morris Sussex Sports photos from Jefferson’s preseason camp visit HERE.

Indian Hills
Pascack Valley
River Dell
West Milford


Get access to all Morris Sussex Sports photos from Jefferson’s preseason camp visit HERE.

1    Matt D’Alessio    TE/LB    12    6’0”    195
2    Luke Foth    QB/DB    11    5’11”    150
3    Andrew Benfatti    WR/DB/K    12    6’2    190
4    Matthew Johnson    QB    10    6’2”    145
5    Joseph Batelli    RB/DB    11    5’10”    150
6    Tereon Francis    WR/DB    10    5’10”    146
7    Brian Erdmann    TE/LB    11    6’0”    159
9    Oluremi Makinde    RB/DB    10    5’5”    135
11    Brandon Mantilla    WR/DB    12    6’0”    170
13    Paul Monaco    RB/DB    11    5’9”    165
14    Michael Rovetto    WR/DB    11    5’5”    125
15    Anthony Johnson    QB    12    6’1”    165
23    David Hanna    WR/DB    10    5’9”    149
27    Matthew Cappello    RB/LB    10    5’3”    130
28    Michael Fleming    RB/LB    12    5’8”    180
29    Ryan Leyden    RB/DL    12    5’10”    191
30    Tyler Cole    RB/DB    11    5’11”    148
34    Ronald Drake III    WR/DB    12    5’11”    155
35    Justin Randzio    RB/LB    11    5’11”    185
42    Brandon Haid    RB/LB    11    5’8”    170
50    Nicholas Miller    OL/LB    12    6’0”    185
51    Jason Boucher    OL/DL    12    6’1”    186
52    Richard Raymond    OL/DL    10    5’9”    215
53    Collin Miller    OL/LB    10    5’11”    140
55    Jake Carnevale    OL/DL    12    5’10”    235
56    Jefferson Felter    OL/LB    10    5’10”    185
58    Kyle Kiesling    OL/LB    12    5’10”    160
62    Matthew Joy    OL/LB    10    5’11”    125
65    Shane Connolly    OL/LB    12    5’11”    180
67    Shane O’Connor    OL/DL    12    6’0”    235
70    Tyler Smolt    OL/DL    11    5’11”    175
71    Ali Fuller    OL/DL    10    6’3”    350
72    Joseph D’Alia    OL/DL    11    5’9”    220
74    Andrew Frank    OL/DL    11    6’2”    215
75    Matthew Campagna    OL/DL    11    6’0”    241
77    David Graham    OL/LB    10    6’1”    129
78    Devin Hanna    OL/DL    11    6’1”    190
82    Tarik Shoukry    OL/DL    12    6’2”    210
84    Tyler Wagoner    TE/DL    11    6’3”    217
85    Nathaniel Thomson    RB/LB    10    5’8”    135
86    Jared Malley    WR/DB    11    5’6”    125
88    Joseph Mallory    TE/DL    12    6’4”    200
92    Michael Pease    OL/DL    10    5’10”    276

Morris Sussex Sports is passionate about covering high school sports in Morris, Sussex and parts of Warren Counties. With every piece of content that we put out, we try to make you "laugh, cry and think", a la the great Jimmy Valvano. Connect with us on Twitter @MorrSussSports and Instagram @morrissussexsports

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  1. Pingback: The 2017 Ultimate Guide to Preseason Football in Morris-Sussex. – Morris Sussex Sports

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