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Name: Tim Fell
Skinny: Despite the fact his team doesn’t face any Morris County teams, Coach Fell is part of the glue that keeps Morris County football so strong. Fell is a big cog in the Morris County Coaches Association and also helps run the Robeson East vs. West All Star Game that is played every June. Fell is a guy that “gets it” and uses football to teach young men about life. Every single time I’ve visited Crimson Nation, every one of his players has been nothing less than consummate gentlemen. But don’t think his teams are pushovers. In his time with MoBeard, he took a program that barely had enough players to field a team to one of the top teams in their NJAC Division. Now he has things humming in Crimson Nation, sending multiple players a year to play the the next level.
2016 Record: 2-7
Franchise Player: Make no bones about it, senior runningback Tahj Valentine (5-9, 160) is at the heart of this squad. The Tahj-manian Devil is the most dynamic player in all of Morris-Sussex. He can kill you with flat out speed or can break your ankles multiple times in one run. I watched one MoBeard game last season and Tahj scored seven times, four of which were with a broken hand. Special can’t even come close to describing this kid.
Hottest Selling Jersey: Declan Kelly’s (6-2, 190)#4 maroon home jersey is going to be a hot commodity this season. The 6-2 senior quarterback can throw, pass or both on any given play. However, even though he’ll be one of the top QB’s in Morris-Sussex he’s that much of an impact player at the linebacker position.
All Unruly Watch: If there is a player that epitomizes what the All Unruly Team is all about it is senior, DB Ryan Russo (5-10, 170). He’s the Deion Sanders of Morris-Sussex…without the big mouth. And he doesn’t need to talk because he walks the walk. A three-sport varsity athlete, Russo plays secondary like he’s in the outfield chasing down pop flies (he scooped up seven INTs last season). “Russo is such a true cornerback, if anyone throws a pass over 25-yards I know it’s ours.” Coach Fell said.
Under the Radar: Sophomore RB/TE Nate Panza (5-10, 150) is shaping up to be the franchise player of the future. As a freshman, he filled in at runningback when Tahj was out and did a great job. He’s got the size and speed to help this offense put a lot of points on the scoreboard. He can play anywhere too and will likely see a lot of time at receiver. Two other guys who give opposing coaches headaches will be sophomore WR/CB Jayshon DuBose (5-8, 130) and junior OL/DL Patrick Salazar (5-10, 240). Jayshon is an excellent skill guy that gives the Beards a down-the-field weapon and Salazar is a bull on both sides of the ball where he’s been starting since freshman year.
Benching the Weight Room: Junior linebacker George Burke is 5-10, 165-pounds of pure muscle. Burke is incredible strong and is always in the right place to make plays. Once he gets a bead on a ball carrier, he’s like a heat seeking missile.
Throwback: Senior Andrew Sokolowski is a guy that could have played in any era. At 6-2, 170-pounds he lines up all over the field – wherever he gives Coach Fell the biggest miss-match. This year you’ll can see him at H-back, WR, TE, LB or DE.
Teams win football games, not individuals. And despite the fact that this team is loaded with its fair share of talented individuals, they all put team first. That is going to carry them as far as they want to go. These guys will be spending a lot of time in a bus for far away games this season but I think that will only help them to get even closer as a group. Five wins at the 8-game cutoff should get them into the Second Season just fine and I believe that is doable. Then they’ll have a tough road to hoe with teams like Gloucester Catholic, Immaculata, St. Joe’s (Hamm.) and Hudson Catholic standing in their way. But if they keep their eye on the prize and stay healthy, there is no reason this group can’t be walking through the tunnel of MetLife Stadium come December.
09-01 Pennington Morristown-Beard School
09-09 @ Peoples Charter of Newark
09-16 Sussex Tech Morristown-Beard School
09-28 Fieldston School (NY) Morristown-Beard School
10-07 @ Riverdale Country (NY) Riverdale Country School
10-13 Hackley (NY) Morristown-Beard School
10-21 @ Pingry Pingry School
10-28 @ M.K.A. Montclair Kimberley Acad.
11-04 @ Hopkins School (CT) Hopkins School
Who’s In Their State Section
Mater Dei Prep
St. Joseph (Hamm.)
Aldea Isiaih 12 61 OL DL 5’10 235 Newark
Bergman Josh 10 83 WR LB 6’1 195 Maplewood
Burke George 11 57 OL LB 5’10 165 Westfield
Butler Matt 9 85 WR DB Far Hills
Dallas Brad 12 WR K 6’0 175 Bernardsville
Dallas Will 11 34 RB LB 5’11 165 Bernardsville
Dangler Michael 9 66 OL DL Chatham
DePoalo Joe 11 76 OL DL 5’7 200 Mendham
DeSantis Mike 9 31 WR LB Morris Plains
DuBose Jay 10 21 WR DB 5’8 130 Morristown
Ehrbar Charlie 9 88 WR LB Chatham
Gonyea Kyle 10 58 OL DL 5’8 165 Maplewood
Guzman Abel 9 OL DL
Harvett James 10 53 OL LB 5’7 170 Madison
Hawkins Henry 12 9 WR DL 6’2 165 Harding
Hawks Branden 9 OL DL
Jones Major 9 15 WR DB Morristown
Kearny Peter 9 WR LB Madison
Kelly Declan 12 2 QB DL 6’2 190 Bloomfield
Kelly William 10 54 OL DL 5’9 165 Chatham
Kelly Stephen 10 74 OL DL 5’9 170 Summit
Lebovitz Zach 10 71 OL DL 5’9 160 Bernardsville
Mersimi Erjon 10 17 WR LB 5’10 140 Pompton Lakes
Moten Caleb 10 WR DB 5’11 140 Newark
Panza Nate 10 4 WR LB 5’10 150 Warren
Patanker Mikail 9 23 RB DB Parsippany
Pelinsky Sean 9 80 WR LB Berkley Heights
Russo Ryan 12 10 WR DB 5’10 170 Denville
Salazar Patrick 11 73 OL DL 5’10 240 Harding
Skolnik Aaron 9 81
Sokolowski Andrew 12 22 WR DB 6’2 170 Summit
Soto Deveb 10 12 QB DB 5’8 135 Dover
Sutton Greg 9 19 RB DB Chatham
Trapness jesper 11 56 OL LB 5’11 200 Mendham
Valentine Tahj 12 7 RB DB 5’9 160 Morristown
Watson Will 10 64 OL DL 6’0 205 Scotch Plains