2017 All Unruly Players of the Year

All Unruly Team of the Year: Newton

(Photo by Bryan Metz)

Newton showed every other Morris-Sussex team that if you put your heart and soul into it, you too can have a chance to hold up that NJSIAA trophy and have your named etched in infamy.  At the beginning of this season, most people could tell you who Luke and Chase were on this team.  By the end of the season, everyone knew exactly Jaiden, Dante, Noah, Wyatt, Jonny, Ryan, Justen, Will and every single player that donned the maroon and gray were.  This is a true team in which even the bag holders in practice played an integral part of earning this team its first ring in school history.  Without a shadow of a doubt, Newton is the 2017 All Unruly Team of the Year!

All Unruly Coach of the Year: Matt Parzero – Newton

(Photo by Morris Sussex Sports)

Get used to Newton being in the playoffs with coach Matt Parzero piloting the program. Parzero is in his ninth year as head coach and can finally enjoy the title of “State Champion Winning Coach”. A disciple of Sussex County coaching Godfather Don Smolyn of Lenape Valley – Parzero is a former player and assistant coach – he started his coaching career by turning around 0-10 North Warren team who struggled to get players in the program to a playoff regular. Two years ago, Newton hired him to help their program have similar success and within two short seasons he took the Braves all the way to the pinnacle and earned the school it’s first state championship in school history.

All Unruly Assistant Coaching Staff of the Year: Hackettstown

Coach CJ Robinson credits  (in order of photo Marcus Gurdineer, (Robinson is next), Chris Miller, Bob Grauso (Athletic Director), Mike Vellucci, Kurk Kaiser (Athletic Trainer), Jim Berringer and strength & conditioning coach Lenny Carida (not pictured) for the 2017 season’s success (photo by Bryan Metz).

If you ask Hackettstown head coach CJ Robinson why his team was so successful this season, he won’t even hesitate to point to his coaching staff and school staff for all the credit.  “It’s unbelievable how much work they have put in and how much I rely on them to get things done”, Robinson said after this season which ended at MetLife Stadium. “They have been an integral part to our success this year.” This group of coaches reigned in a feisty mix of tough wrestler types and quick footed skill players into one of the most formidable powerhouse public school teams in the state. By the time the playoffs game, the Tigers were a well oiled machine, outmatching very good Mountain Lakes and Caldwell teams to make it all the way to the state final. Despite losing 21-13 in the championship game to Rutherford, this 8-4 H-Town team had every reason to hold their heads high. On that note, each of their four losses were to teams that eventually won the state championship in their section or made it to the state final.

All Unruly Player of the Year: Nick Verducci – Parsippany Hills

(Photo by Morris Sussex Sports)

In all of my years of covering high school football, I don’t ever remember a player being so beloved by not only his fans but by his opponents as well. I had more players from teams and fans from teams like West Morris, Chatham and Sparta tell me in the preseason that they hoped Nick Verducci was able to end his senior season with a state title during his senior year. If you are a football fan, you couldn’t help to root for this kid. Forget his stats for a minute (Verducci holds every quarterback record in school history), the reason he’s so respected is that he played every single one of his 45 varsity games like it was his last. And no, 45 high school games is not a typo. We were lucky to have had Verducci in Morris-Sussex the last four years and he certainly earned the All Unruly Player of the Year.

All Unruly Offensive Player of the Year: Liam Anderson – Mount Olive

(Photo by Bryan Metz)

No player gave teams more headaches than Mount Olive’s dynamic quarterback Liam Anderson. The senior passed for 1,516 yards and 16 touchdowns and rushed for 1,070 and 14 other TDs. His shining moment was in the state championship game when Old Tappan all but shut down Mount Olive’s running attack. Anderson masterfully picked apart a Knight’s defense that hadn’t allowed more than 7-points per game by dropped 28-points. He had everyone on the edge of their seats the entire game by extending plays with his feet and throwing lasers to his receivers for big gain after big gain. Although the Marauders came up short by a score of 31-28, there wasn’t a sole watching that game who didn’t think that #3 was the best player on the field.

All Unruly Defensive Player of the Year: Nick DeNucci – Pope John

(Photo by Bryan Metz)

I can’t imagine what it was like for opposing quarterbacks to look at the middle linebacker right in front of them and see 6-1, 230-pound Nick DeNucci staring right back. The Boston College blue chipper had 115 tackles and 7 sacks against the Big Parolochial’s in NJ. He runs like a heat seeking gazelle and tackles kids like he’s trying to knock their helmet off (not dirty, just hard). Just watch his hudl. It’s going to be fun to be able to watch DeNucci play on Saturday’s for the next four years and, no doubt, Sundays after that.

All Unruly Special Team Player of the Year: Anthony Siragusa – Delbarton

(Photo by Morris Sussex Sports)

We all know that 40-something-year-old guy who still talks about how he “blocked that kick” in high school. Well listen to this, Siragusa leaves high school blocking 14 kicks – between punts, extra-points and field goals. That’s not even the amazing part. He picked up six of those kicks (the ones he blocked mind you) and returned them for touchdowns. And, Delby has not had an easy game on their schedule for all three of Siragusa’s years as a varsity starter so these were all against high powered teams. Eat your heart out Al Bundy!

All Unruly Quarterback of the Year: Anthony Broccoletti – Sparta

(Photo by Al Wehrhahn)

Because of Sparta’s player depth, Anthony Broccoletti was a JV player as a junior just waiting his turn to show his ability to play quarterback. Senior year he got his chance and he left fans, opponents and college recruiters saying “wow!” The senior came on like a hurricane throwing for 2,353 yards and 20 touchdowns and rushing for another four scores while taking his Spartans on a 9-2 tear.
But Broccoletti did more than just put up video-game numbers. He was one of the leaders of the team that helped guide the Spartans to the state semi-finals.

All Unruly Runningback of the Year: Chase Cramer – Newton

(Photo by Bryan Metz)

When opposing coaches put together their game plans against Newton, the first thing they focused on was the Brave’s 6-1, 210-pound runningback Chase Cramer. Not that it mattered because he averaged 130-yards and almost two TDs a game. Cramer was a nightmare for defenses because he is powerful enough to run over a linebacker, fast enough to out-run a safety and agile enough to break a cornerback’s ankles. Cramer is a once in a lifetime kind of back and one of the big reasons Newton High School is in the state championship club for the first time in school history.

All Unruly Receiver of the Year: Eric Castorina – Sparta

(Photo courtesy of Sparta Football)

Sparta has a knack for breeding good receivers, but senior wideout Eric Castorina has to be one of the best in school history. Castorina was impossible for defenses to contain because he had the ability to dive over the middle for a tough 3rd-down slant, the speed to beat you down the sideline or and the hands to catch a fade in the corner of the endzone. Sixty-six catches, 942-yards and ten touchdowns later, Casterina is our All Unruly Receiver of the Year.

All Unruly Offensive Lineman of the Year: Justen Samiljan – Newton

(Photo by Bryan Metz)

Ask anyone of Newton’s opponents and they will tell you they did not have an answer for Newton guard Justen Samiljan (64). Newton rushed for 4,000 yards and 42 touchdowns and most of that was behind a pulling Samilijan. Newton also passed for another 1,300 yards and 17 touchdowns behind number sixty-four. But don’t think he’s blessed with good genes. After his junior season, he made up his mind he was going to build his body so he could better help his team. So he added forty pounds to boost his 6 foot, 190-pound frame to a 230-pound hunk of muscle and power. Football is a team sport and Samiljan is one of the key reasons why Newton hoisted up that NJSIAA trophy this season.

All Unruly Defensive Lineman of the Year: Tom Pellegrino – West Morris Central

(Photo by Bryan Metz)

West Morris Central’s Tom Pelligrino is 5-11, 250-pounds of pure football player. He has all the stats – 57 tackles (2nd most on the team), 7 for loss and 2 sacks – and can bench the weight room. But he brings something that doesn’t show up on the stat sheet. As an example, Pellegrino was so disruptive up front that Coach Hennelly could easily run a three-front and allow more skill type guys to shut down opposing passing attacks. That’s exactly how West Morris was able to upset high powered offensive teams like Mount Olive and Sparta during the regular season. Without Pellegrino on the defensive line, West Morris does not have as much success as they had in 2017.

All Unruly Linebacker of the Year: Ryan Hodgins – Mount Olive

(Photo by Bryan Metz)

You can’t over look his stats as he was second in state with tackles with 179 and also had 8 sacks, 2 INTs. However, what separated Mount Olive linebacker Ryan Hodgins (50) from everyone else in Morris-Sussex was his ability to fly around with his 6-1, 220-pound frame like he was on roller blades. There might only be a handful of plays that Hodgins wasn’t on for the Marauders this season and he was one of the main reasons Mount Olive played their final game at MetLife Stadium.

All Unruly Defensive Back Player of the Year: Christian Maciak – Hackettstown

(Photo by Bryan Metz)

It’s amazing how every year a player seems to come out of no-where and completely dominate. This season, that guy was Hackettstown defensive back Christian Maciak who was all over the defensive backfield totaling more interceptions than many of his opposing offensive receivers had in receptions this season with 10. The 5-10, 175-pound junior not only was a stat leader, but also guided his team to the state finals where they lost by one score to Rutherford 21-13.

All Unruly Specialist of the Year: Michal Radomski – Hanover Park

(Photo by Lisa Mita)

When opposing coaches played Hanover Park, the first thing they needed to do was account for 6-3, 195-pound Michal Radomski on every single play. There wasn’t much he didn’t do on the field either – receiving 56 catches for 781-yards and 5 TDs, rushing for 99-yards and 3 TDs, making 43 tackles and an INT on defense and went 19 for 21 on extra points. Radomski also kicked off, punted, returned kicks and punts and even throw a few passes. I always ask a lot of players who the best athlete they’ve played against this season and Radomski’s name comes up the most.

All Unruly Most Versatile Player of the Year: Dave Jachera – Pequannock

(Photo by Morris Sussex Sports)

Dave Jachera has to be the scariest player to game-plan against. He might actually be one of the best pure passers in Morris-Sussex with 930-yards and 14 touchdowns through the air in 2017. However, Jachera’s lightning speed when plays broke down is what led Pequannock on it’s 9-0 regular season run. It looked like he could run as fast as he could throw the ball and his 926-yards and 17 touchdowns on the ground is what allowed the Panthers to average over 40-points per game.

All Unruly Heart of a Lion Player of the Year: Sean Klimek – Pequannock

(Photo by Morris Sussex Sports)

One opposing coach described Pequannock senior runningback Sean Klimek as “scary explosive”.  I think that might be the best definition of how this guy plays the game.  He finished the season with 1,450 yards and 16 TDs rushing, which is impressive in itself.  However, keep in mind that Pequannock blew out most of their opponents and Klimek didn’t play in the second half of most games.  His 10-yards per carry is the stat that tells it all.  That’s a 1st down every time he touched the ball.

All Unruly Comeback Player of the Year: Evan Kelson – Mount Olive

(Photo by Bryan Metz)

Evan Kelson (8) was on par to have a fantastic season as a junior. But a broken collar bone put a monkey wrench in that. But senior year he came back to be one of the main Mount Olive receivers, along with Lance Johnson and Robert Backovic. Kelson, who is the fastest of the group, went absolutely bananas in the state final game catching 7 balls for 96-yards and two touchdowns – including some of the most dazzling catches we saw all year. Despite the fact the Marauders came up short, it was not done without Kelson leaving every ounce of blood, sweat and tears on the field.

All Unruly Unsung Hero of the Year: Drew Chilson – Morristown

(Photo by Morris Sussex Sports)

Morristown has the unfortunate short straw of having to play a Group 5 schedule, despite just barely being a big enough school to be considered Group 5 themselves. Hence, their football players have to play teams with a much bigger talent pool to draw from. Despite that, they fought valiantly to get to a 2-8 record. At the heart of their battles was senior fullback/linebacker Drew Chilson. While many other Morris-Sussex players were making the headlines as their teams headed to the playoffs, Chilson quietly led the Colonials with 85 tackles and rushed for 700-yards and five TDs. But beyond the stats, this guys is a warrior who is a football player through and through. If your gonna pick from a pool of Morris-Sussex players to play a game of backyard football, Chilson better be one of your top picks because you don’t want this guy on the other team.

All Unruly Rookies of the Year: Evan Smith – Butler / Mike Burke – Montville

(Photos courtesy of Butler Football and Montville Football)

Butler sophomore QB Evan Smith (7) and Montville sophomore QB Mike Burke (2) both came on the scene like established veterans signal callers in the 2017 season.  Smith led his Bulldogs to a 6-4 season by throwing for 1,226 and 13 TDs and showing a ton of leadership in Coach Luciani’s pass-happy offense.  Burke was as dynamic as they come passing for 1,500 yards and 14 TDs and rushing for another 800-yards and 11 TDs, finishing the season on a 3-0 win streak.  The future is bright for Butler and Montville with these two at the helm for the next two years.

All Unruly Leader of the Year: Luke Young – Newton

(Photo by Bryan Metz)

There is no Morris-Sussex player that epitomized leadership from his inspired first down flip against Pequannock to ignite his team, to his all world stats, to the fact that he switched his number in honor of his cousin and former teammate Billy who had to stop playing due to a career ending back injury.  Everything this guy does has leader written all over it. Every championship team has that player that controls the pulse of the entire team. For Newton it was definitely Luke Young.

All Unruly Selfless Award: Bryce Sokolowski – West Morris Central

(Photo by Al Wehrhahn)

No matter what Sokolowski does for the rest of his life, he’ll be able to hang his hat on the fact that left every drop of blood, sweat and tears on the field of his high school football career. And playing for West Morris is no easy task, especially starting 32 straight varsity games during his career.  In his senior season, Sokolowski was the epitome of what an “selfless” player is.  This season, when West Morris 6-1, 225-pound middle linebacker Rourke Colligan broke his leg before the regular schedule started, 5-10, 165 Sokowski’s number was called to fill the void.  As the season went on, Sokolowski’s number was called for other undesirable tasks such as being the lead blocker, sealing off the middle linebacker and being the first to meet fullbacks much bigger than him head on.  In the end, he finished the season leading the team in tackles and being a key reason the Wolfpack made it all the way to the playoffs.

All Unruly Fan of the Year:  Brandon Bordt – Kittatinny

(Photo courtesy of the Kittatinny Booster Club.)

If there is one person who wants to get his team to MetLife more than any other player in Morris-Sussex it is Kittatinny super-fan Brandon Bordt.  Bordt is a 25-year-old Kittatinny alumni who bleeds the blue & white.  “Brandon comes to every game and is a huge part of our program.” Coach Joe Coltelli says.  “All the kids love him!”  Coltelli says Bordt is not just a rah rah kind of fan though.  “Every week he calculates the Power Points and reminds me of what each opponent means to our playoff hopes.”  Bordt’s fandom even caught the eye of Lenape Valley’s “Sign Guy” Walt Wormann would admired his love of his team so much he even made him his own sign (see above).  Brandon Bordt is our 2017 All Unruly Fan of the Year!

All Unruly Nickname of the Year: Luke “I am your” Papa

(Photo by Lisa Mita)

There were a few favorite nicknames this season – Cal “The Kripp Keeper” Krippner was one of our favorites as the Kinnelon linebacker was such a punishing tackler it seemed to fit him perfect. Another one we loved was Candler “Big Daddy” Boykins, which also seemed to fit the sack-happy Randolph defensive tackle – I actually got a call from a nervous opposing team parent when I wrote that Big Daddy Boykins was getting his BBQ sauce ready for his feast. But the one nickname that hit the mark was Luke “I am your” Papa after Whippany Park’s dynamic quarterback. But don’t think this kid was all nickname because he was hardly that. The senior accounted for nearly 2,000-yards of offense between rushing and throwing and scored 18 times as he guided his Wildcats to the playoffs with a 7-3 record.

All Unruly Funniest Moment of the Year – Wyatt McCarthy’s Mustache

(Photo courtesy of Newton Football)

During Week 1 versus Kittatinny, Newton’s hard hitting defensive back Wyatt McCarthy asked assistant Coach Grant to put eye black on him. Coach Grant proceeded to draw a mustache on Wyatt instead, which he kept during the entire game out of spite. All the players and coaches thought that was hilarious! Since they won that game, Wyatt and Coach Grant proceeded to do it again and again…before every single game for the entire season. Each week the team would look forward to seeing what style mustache Coach Grant would put on Wyatt. Some of the mustache varieties included the chevron, dali, fu manchu, handlebar, horseshoe, lampshade, and Hulk Hogan. Coach Parzero permitted it because he saw it was helping the team stay loose before the games and allowed players and Coach Grant to have a little fun. Parzero adds, “Wyatt is one of the all-time toughest players I have coached and this perfectly fitted his personality (laughs).” And heck, it seemed to have worked as the team didn’t lose one game all season.  Wyatt had the last laugh as he was able to hoist the NJSIAA trophy over his head in December – mustache and all!

All Unruly Student Section of the Year: ?

This will be presented in January by Ryan Sudol.

 

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