All football players work hard on the field and in the weight room, and all football players deal with demands on their schedules—I get it. Actually, I celebrate it. At Delbarton there’s a history of players getting recruited at top schools in the country. So, you throw into the normal football pressure cooker an emphasis on academic excellence as well as community service, and, for some, long commutes—and the days become grueling. These Delbarton players make hundreds of the right decisions about what to do, when to do it, and how to get it all done—which makes this team a reminder to the rest of us that our talented players can be pushed toward greatness in all aspects of their busy lives. But I digress. We’re here to talk about on-the-field greatness.
Coach Brian Bowers describes senior QB John Chiarolanzio as a “great leader” who knows the offense after working with last year’s senior QB Giuseppe Bevacqua. Chiarolanzio is battling it out with junior Matt Zebrowski for the starting position. Bowers likes to run the ball, and either Chiarolanzio or Zebrowski will be handing off to RB Andrew Sanders, who will continue to be a huge contributor this year. Sanders will be running behind Jared Ahsler, who Bowers describes as a triple threat at FB. Sanders and Ahsler will be Green Wave’s go-to, downhill backs to make big plays behind a stud line led by Andrew Otterman (6’4, 270, a senior commit to Northwestern), Bill Murray, and Jack Parisi. In the air, the Green Wave offense has multiple weapons. Like last year, Delbarton’s tight ends will not only be blocking threats, but also reliable, quick receivers, that include Patrick Bray (6’, 180), Ian Lodge (5’10, 170), and Sam Johnson (6’3, 187). At WR, the Green Wave will use senior Matt Mandelbaum, who saw plenty of time in 2013, sophomore Andrew Papantonis, also a returning starter, and the experienced Kevin Hartley.
Look for nose tackle Andrew Otterman and ends Bill Murray and Jack Parisi to form this year’s defensive wall. Seniors Jared Ahsler and Joe Lee will back up the line along with outside linebackers Patrick Bray, Sam Johnson, and Aaron Earlywine. Delbarton’s experienced secondary will be tough to score on this year. Lockdown corners Andrew Papantonis and Matt Mandelbaum will put a beating on receivers, and safeties Ian Lodge and Kevin Hartley won’t let anyone get behind them. Watch out for this Green Wave defense. They’re fast, physical and well coached.
7-1 Delbarton took down 8-0 Pope John in their first match-up of the 2013 season, only to lose to Pope John two weeks later, in the first round of playoffs. In this second game, Delbarton had trouble stopping Noah Brown, Ohio State commit who carried the ball for Pope John 26 times in the second half.
This year, Delbarton won’t have a regular season match-up with Pope John or Paramus Catholic (the only two teams they lost to last year), decisions made official by the NJAC realignment. They pick up games against Staten Island Monsignor Farrell and Brooklyn Poly Prep.
Comment from Coach Bowers
“We lost good players, but every year is a new story. The kids are working hard and I’m excited to take the new team and see what we can become. At Delbarton, we develop talent.”