If New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, arguably the greatest quarterback to play the game and Hall of Fame shoo-in, were to be announced as head coach of Randolph high school there would probably be a lot of excitement buzzing around. But introduce the guy who picked him off twice in one game and the fanfare doesn’t stop. That’s just what’s been happening since Randolph High School announced the hiring of new coach Tarig Holman.
All the positive energy doesn’t have anything to do with Tom Brady though. It’s a homecoming party and Holman is a former record-breaking Ram and one of the most successful athletes in school history. He is also tied to the famous undefeated streak era of the 80’s’ and 90’s which brings a lot of happy memories to the community.
But his playing resume isn’t even his most impressive attribute. He’s a proven winning coach who, in two years, took a 7-42 Trenton team to a 15-6 record, including two consecutive trips to the playoffs. More importantly he instilled a culture and energy into the Trenton football community that hadn’t existed in a very long time.
So you can see why the Randolph faithful is excited, even as newly-retired state championship coach Joe Lusardi passes the baton. Holman is just as enthusiastic. “I think the only one more excited than me is my dad, who still lives in Randolph.”
And, Randolph is loaded with talented up and down their lineup and after a first round playoff loss last season, they are itching for the new season to start.
For opposing teams, the mission will be to slow down their offense. This year’s squad has a lot of firepower, especially through the air. Big receivers like Ben Kapinos (6-1, 170), Nick Zach (6-2, 205) and Jeramie Simmons (6-5, 235) are collectively taller than every defense they will face and will create mismatches all season long.
The guy who will be throwing the ball is still up in the air, and it is between seniors Carmine Capalbo and Alex Vanderbilt. Both are extremely talented and will contribute some way to the team, if not at QB.
The offensive output won’t all come via the air either. The ground attack is equally deadly and guys like senior Nick Hafner (5-11, 185) and junior Carlo Zarro (5-9, 175) are both hard runners with breakaway speed. Of course it doesn’t hurt that they have good leaders up front like senior Scott Waters (5-11, 190) to set the tone for the offense.
Defensively, they’ll be strong up front with guys like Simmons and Zach who are difficult to get past. Hafner and Campbell will patrol the outfield.
As for my outlook on the season, Delby and Roxbury are the big games to circle on the Rams schedule. However, there are no easy teams they face so they’ll have to work every week. I do like Randolph’s chances this season.
Navigating the rough waters of this schedule will be tough. Then they’ll likely have to face Roxbury again at some point in the postseason if they want to hold up the NJSIAA State Championship Cup. Randolph’s a contender this season so that kind of a finish is not out of the question.
2014 Record: (5-5-0)
Head Coach: Tarig Holman
Assistant Coaches: Mike Lyons – Assistant Head Coach, DJ Catalano – Defensive Coordinator, Dave Poppy, JT Tartacoff, Will Nahan, Pete Cervona, Brandon Doyle and Cody Czerniak.
League: Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference
Section: North 1, Group 4
High Point: Coming out of the gate 3-0.
Low Point: Allowing 40 or more points in the last three games of the season (all losses).
Season Breakdown & Prediction
Games to Watch: The Roxbury game. It’s toward the end of the season and will likely have playoff implications for both teams.
Position to Watch: Runningback. Zarro had a terrific season last season as a sophomore and, with defenses forced to pay attention to the passing game, I see him having a huge season in ’15.
Young Guns to Watch: Jeramie Simmons. He’s a 6-5, 235 pound receiver who can play tight end or wide receiver.
In a Nutshell: Randolph will be good. There is no reason they shouldn’t win six games or more by the eight game playoff cutoff.
Dream Season: Making it to the semi’s.
Nightmare Season: Not making the playoffs.
Playoff Appearances: 24
Finals Appearances: 12
State Titles: 7
Playoff Record: 23-17 (.575)
|10/2||West Morris||07:00 pm|
|10/16||@Morris Knolls||07:00 pm|
|10/23||@Mount Olive||07:00 pm|