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The best thing Boonton High School did five years ago was hire Bryan Gallagher.  Gallagher has the pedigree (son of local legendary coach Gerry Gallagher), work ethic and experience to run a successful football program.  Last year, his fourth year as head man, and with his first wave of freshmen players turned seniors, he just missed a Bombers trip to the state finals with a 17-0 loss to Cresskill in the semi’s.

Coach Bryan Gallagher is diligent about all of the little details that drive success for the Bombers.

Coach Bryan Gallagher is diligent about all of the little details that drive success for the Bombers.

This year Boonton won’t sneak up on anyone.  Gallagher has set the standard and his players have bought into his system.  “We all believe that we are the team to beat.”  Quinn Sweeney, Boonton’s senior fullback and inside linebacker said with confidence during the summer.  “We all know if we work hard as a team and listen to our coaches, we can accomplish anything.”

You would think graduating the three-headed running attack of Josh Smith, Josh Corporan and Joe Norton would devastate this Bomber team.  But the Bomber’s are optimistic they can build on the success from last year.

First, they bring back dynamo quarterback Gage Cabalar who has all the skills and aptitude to lead a team, and who has a knack for making the big play at the right time.  He got his break last season at QB when Norton went down with an injury.  So he’s got the experience behind center as a varsity signal caller.

Another key feature of the Bombers can be found up front.  Center Connor Davis and guards Anthony Marino and James Robert, all seniors, are all coming back and all know how to create openings for their runningbacks to explode out of.  Having vets on the line is a luxury Gallagher is glad to have.  “Those guys just gel real well together which is great because they’ll make it easier for the guys stepping up in our backfield.”

Since there are new faces in the Bomber’s backfield, Gallagher made a key change that will take the pressure off them.  He smartly is moving workhorse Quinn Sweeney, 6-2, 210 pounds, from tight end to fullback.  Sweeney is a locomotive whether he’s running the ball or blocking, so having him in the backfield just seems like the right move.

Senior Sean McKeown and juniors Malik Awan, Julian Kempf and TJ Green will be the new featured runningback platoon filling the shoes of Norton, Corporan and Smith.  Although they have big shoes to fill, team totally has their back.  “We are really confident in these guys.”  Sweeney added about his junior runningbacks.  “They are extremely talented and work incredibly hard.  They will be great!”

The Bombers have trained all summer long in hopes they'll have what it takes to have another shot at MetLife (photo by Georgi Muha)

The Bombers have trained all summer long in hopes they’ll have what it takes to have another shot at MetLife (photo by Georgi Muha)

Defensively the Bombers are loaded with talent at the linebacker position.  Sweeney comes back for his third season in the inside.  Dave Koval, Kyle Waters and Sean McKeown, all major contributors last year, also return.
Junior Amaro Anderson and Gage Cabalar are very quick and tough in the secondary for defenders to pass against.  Connor Davis will also be nuisance on the D-line.

Last season special teams was a key part of the Bombers success.  Then sophomore Evan Fajardo handled punts, extra points and field goals and will look to improve on his impressive 90%-plus accuracy.  And, although you want your two-way quarterback to get as much rest as possible, last season Cabalar blocked three field goals. In a tough division like this one, three points can change the outcome of a game and Gallagher will need to weigh the risks of playing his valuable starter on special teams as well.

With the machine Gallagher has built those 1-9 Boonton Bomber seasons are over.  This current group of players believes they can go further than last year’s team and there is no reason to believe they can’t.  Staying healthy will be key; they have a lot of guys playing both ways so keeping injuries to a minimum will be a priority.

Boonton Bombers

2014 Record: (7-4-0)
Head Coach: Bryan Gallagher
Assistants: Sean Norton, Anthony Chierici, Pete Nienstadt, Mike London, Pete Llaneza & Devon Engelberger
League: Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference
Section: North 1, Group 1

2014 Recap

High Point: Getting to the semi-finals.
Low Point: There weren’t many low points last season. Even some of their losses were only by one point. If I were to pick a low point it would be getting shutout in the semi’s but even that game they were still very much in it.

Season Breakdown & Prediction

Games to Watch: Week 1 vs. Butler.  Butler is one of the highest ranked teams in our area this preseason.  They only have one or two starters under 6 foot and they are loaded with great athletes.  If Boonton wins it will give them a huge boost of momentum.  But even if they lose in a close match, it could have the same positive effect.  But losing by a large margin could have the exact opposite impact and could have a ripple effect throughout the rest of their schedule.
Position to Watch: Runningback. Sean McKeown and juniors Malik Awan, Julian Kempf and TJ Green are filling in some big shoes. But with the blockers Gallagher has in place, the production from these guys can be significant.
Young Guns to Watch: Junior split end and defensive back Amaro Anderson is a game changer. He’s only 5’8” but he’s got lightning speed, crazy glue hands and can out jump anyone on the team. “He changes the way we run our offense.”  Gallagher said about his junior stud receiver.  “Teams move their defenders back to account for his passing threat.  So it makes it easy for us to run.  He’s just a great athlete.”
In a Nutshell: This Bomber team has a lot going for it; talent, a willingness to battle, confidence and experience having success. Getting through Butler, Dover, Beard, Hopatcong and Mt Lakes definitely has its challenges. But the Bombers are definitely in the conversation with all those teams.
Dream Season: Getting back to the semi’s.
Nightmare Season: Not getting past the first round of the playoffs.
Tidbit: Gallagher says this is a smartest team he ever coached. He’s got more kids than he ever had with perfect 4.0 grade point averages.

Postseason History

Playoff Appearances: 7
Finals Appearances: 2
State Titles: 1
Playoff Record: 7-6 (.538)


Date OpponentLocation
9/11ButlerAway - Butler HS
9/18PequannockHome - Boonton HS
9/25DoverAway - Hamilton Field
10/2Mountain LakesHome - Boonton HS
10/9North WarrenAway - North Warren HS
10/16Whippany ParkAway - Whippany Park
10/23Morris CatholicHome - Boonton HS
10/31Morristown-BeardAway - Morristown-Beard HS
11/6HopatcongHome - Boonton HS


1Joe Rivera10RB/DB
4TJ Green12RB/DB
5Joe Whritenour11QB/DB
6Amaro Anderson11WR/DB
7Ty Dauti11TE/OLB
8Maleek Awan11RB/DB
9Joe Chermak10QB/OLB
12Gage Cabalar12QB/LB
20Julien Kempf11RB/DB
21Quinn Sweeney12FB/LB
24Joe Statuto12RB/DB
27Chris Corporan11TE/DE
28Sean McKeown12RB/DB
30Evan Fajardo11RB/DB
32Ryan DiLorenzo11FB/LB
34Dave Koval12FB/DE
36Denzel Primo12HB/DB
38Vinny Ventricelli10FB/LB
39Ryan Lourick10RB/DB
44Kyle Curley10FB/LB
47Sean Silvernagle11TE/DB
52James Roberts12G/DE
55Evan Marquez12G/DT
56Anthony Marino12G/DE
57Connor Davis12C/DT
58Steven Delaporte11G/LB
63Jacob Kondroski11C/DT
64Jossie Mejia11G/DL
65John Valle10OT/DT
66Malik Ahmedi11C/DL
67Janok Bilgec10OT/DT
68Alban Ferati10OL/DL
72Bart Coleman11OT/DT
73Skyler Rionda12OT/DT
76Joe Russo11C/DL
79Charles Zarzecki11OT/DT
83Kyle Waters12TE/OLB
84Karl Pepino10TE/OLB
89Brandon Healey11WR/DB

How Do You Think The Bombers Will Do In 2015?  Comment below.

George Muha has been covering high school sports since 2006. He feels high school scholar-athletes are the most important part of the community and highlighting their achievements on the field, in the classroom and within the community is his personal mission.



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