Who wouldn’t love to pull on pads and run out on a Friday night, under the lights, and then beat a rival school in a season-opener, 13-6? Kittatinny’s win against High Point was so huge it was as though the whole school was stronger after that game: students and programs were motivated, morale was high, energy abundant. That’s what a win on the football field can do. But football isn’t just about those big games. If it were, rosters would be pages long. Nope, football is a grind that starts in the off-season with weight training and conditioning. It keeps going all summer, into doubles, with all those hours in the heat, working until exhaustion stiffens the body, feeling like cement was poured inside the bones. This Kittatinny team–like all teams–needs to continue to grind out those reps on sleds, ladders, suicides, and hills. This hard work will show up in this year’s record.
RB/DB Vinny Franco (Sr.) Franco was a key player on both sides of the ball last year, gunning down the field on the jet sweep, and covering the field in the secondary.
Other Key Contributors
G/DE Kyle Cornman (Sr.)
FB/DB Jeremy Cerbo (Jr.)
TE/LB Tom Hunt (Jr.)
SE/DB Tyler Foster (Jr.)
SE/DB Jordan Lorenzo
Chink in the Armor
The Cougars will have an inexperienced quarterback with either Junior Chris Russell or Cort Rohsler stepping up. Neither of these players got much time on the field last year. Also, the Cougars only return one starting lineman from last year.
A Look at 2013
Kittatinny had trouble stopping the run. They struggled against Madison’s sweep around the edge. They also had trouble with Hanover Park’s Nick Chaplin, Anthony Bassolino, and Anthony Volante.
Forecast for 2014
Dover and Hanover Park are losing key players, and Kittatinny could be a tough team in this league. Also, in the High Point season opener, the Cougars defense had a pick and several forced fumbles. If the defense continues to make their plays this year, the team settles in with their QB, and the line steps up, last year’s 4-6 record will easily become 7-3 this season.
Chances to Win States
The 2013 4th-8th playoff seeds had similar power points. Newton was 4th seed and Kittatinny beat them 14-7 in the regular season. Kittatinny definitely has a chance to be in the top 4 seeds.
Game to Watch
With the NJAC realignment Kittatinny doesn’t play High Point, so my must-see game is against Newton (TBA).
A Note on Coaches
Twenty-one year head coach Jim Green stepped down, and Joe Coltelli, Green’s long-time assistant, takes the reins. Also joining the Kittatinny staff is Bill Percey, formerly of High Point.