2015 Hackettstown Tigers Football Preview

[is_not_paid] [easy-pricing-table id=”2352″] [/is_not_paid]

Not a bad sophomore season for Coach CJ Robinson. Sure they didn’t make the postseason but they just barely missed it, and they were very much in every game. After coming off a dreary 1-8 season in ‘13, going 4-4 at the ‘14 playoff cutoff–including taking the big boys of this division to the wire–Robinson has shown to be creating a feisty culture in H-Town.

The ‘15 Tigers will keep the momentum going and build on the foundation that last year’s team poured. The there are some veterans coming back this team is ultimately very young in some key spots but they are extremely excited and have high expectations for themselves. What opposing teams should be concerned about is that they are a loose team brimming with self confidence. That’s the kind of attitude that helped them last year in their upset against Hanover Park and near-overtime win against Lenape Valley.

Hackettstown Coach CJ Robinson brings a level of energy which flows all the way through the roster (photo by Georgi Muha).

Hackettstown Coach CJ Robinson brings a level of energy which flows all the way through the roster (photo by Georgi Muha).

As for the guys who will be contributing this season, Seniors Nick Renne (5-5, 160), Michael Castellano (5-8, 186) and Brendan Finn (6-0, 200) are coming back with varsity experience at the linebacker position. These three guys will be the heart of a spirited defense.

Offensively, seniors Christian Rodriguez (6-0, 215) and Ryan Snyder (6-1, 220) will set the tone at the offensive line. They’ll be key in blasting openings so senior runningback Joe Renne (5-3, 140) can do what he does best, and that is to out-run defensive backs.

The Tigers have quite a few weapons that they will use with their passing attack (photo by Georgi Muha).

The Tigers have quite a few weapons that they will use with their passing attack (photo by Georgi Muha).

Renne is the every down back who will get the lion share of the carriers. He’s a total athlete with a low center of gravity which makes him very difficult to tackle to the ground.

His success will open things up for the aerial attack. Senior wideout Patrick Sullivan (5-4, 130) will be the guy that opposing defenses will have to key on. He’s extremely elusive and can make the big play, especially if teams leave him alone.

Senior runningback Joe Renne is a versatile offensive weapon that can also line up as a quarterback in some formations (photo by Georgi Muha).

Senior runningback Joe Renne is a versatile offensive weapon that can also line up as a quarterback in some formations (photo by Georgi Muha).

What I love about this Hackettstown team is that all the pressure is on everyone else in this division and this team knows it. For an opponent that grips the steering wheel too tight, the Tigers can put a monkey wrench in things. And, against an opponent that falls behind and struggles, H-Town can have its way.

“We’ve been working really hard all offseason.” Christian Rodriguez told me. “We are a very close team and we’ll get on each other is someone is dogging a drill or something. We all want to keep getting better.”

Senior tackle Christain Rodriguez feels the tight knit nature of their team is the Tiger's best asset (photo by Georgi Muha).

Senior tackle Christain Rodriguez feels the tight knit nature of their team is the Tiger’s best asset (photo by Georgi Muha).

As for my outlook, there are some monster opponents on the Tiger’s schedule. But a lot of these same players had a lot of success against these teams as juniors. That will pay dividends this season.

I think its going to take at least five wins against this schedule to get into the playoffs. So winning the ones they are favored in is the first priority. Then finding ways to pick off a few of the big boys in the division will be imperative. The fact that this Hackettstown team is having fun on the field will help them get the W’s they need to get to the dance.  Once they get there, then they are in reaching distance of getting a chance of playing at MetLife Stadium.

The offensive line will be a key part of making Hackettstown's chance at making the playoffs a reality (photo by Georgi Muha).

The offensive and defensive lines will be a key part of Hackettstown’s chance at making the playoffs a reality (photo by Georgi Muha).

Hackettstown Tigers

2014 Record: (4-5-0)
Head Coach: C.J. Robinson
Assistant Coaches: Chris Miller, Mike Vellucci, Mike Puccetti, Marshall Cuomo and Frank Rodgers.
League: Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference
Section: North 2, Group 2

2014 Recap

High Point: The fact that they were very relevant in every game coming off a 1-8 season in ‘13.
Low Point: Losing to Lenape Valley by one point in OT, a loss that essentially kept them from the postseason.

Season Breakdown & Prediction

Games to Watch: Week 1 against Whippany Park. A win would give them good momentum but a loss could have the opposite effect.
Position to Watch: I like Nick Renne, Michael Castellano and Brendan Finn at linebacker. These athletic guys are ballers and will keep opposing offenses in check.
Young Guns to Watch: Junior defensive back JJ Carrara (5-8, 165) can single handedly change the course of a game as he did last season against Hanover Park when he came up with three picks in the Tigers 27-26 win.
In a Nutshell: There is no reason the Tigers can’t be a playoff team this season. Yes, they do have a few “Death Match” games against some nasty teams like Hanover Park, Dover, Lenape Valley and Madison. But Hackettstown always seems to play big in big games.
Dream Season: Making it to the postseason.
Nightmare Season: Having a record under .500.

Postseason History

Playoff Appearances: 13
Finals Appearances: 1
State Titles: 1
Playoff Record: 3-12 (.200)

Schedule

DATEOPPONENTTIME
9/12Whippany Park (NJ)07:00 pm
9/18@Parsippany (NJ)07:00 pm
9/26@Morris Catholic (NJ)01:00 pm
10/2Lenape Valley Regional (NJ)07:00 pm
10/10Dover (NJ)02:00 pm
10/16@Hanover Park (NJ)07:00 pm
10/23@Jefferson Township (NJ)07:00 pm
10/30Madison (NJ)07:00 pm
11/6Warren Hills (NJ)07:00 pm

Roster

FirstLastGrade#HeightWeightOff PosDef Pos
RyanGallagher1125'11160QBDB
Patrick Sullivan1235'4130WRDB
ZachNesheiwat1145'6145RBDB
ColinLynch1256'1190WRLB
JustinBennett1165'4130RBDB
MattO'Brien1175'10165QBDB
Joe Renne12105'3145RBDB
EddieO'Melia10126'2180QBLB
Brandon Kuehner10145'9165RBDL
AustinWillis10205'11150WRDB
JJCarrara11215'6160RBDB
JamesClarke11225'11160WRDB
TJSciaretta10235'4125RBDB
MattMacaulay10246'0160WRLB
BryanVeszi10255'2100WRDB
ShawnBurke10265'8165RBDB
RichieHoskins10285'9132WRDB
TJGibbs10305'6125RBDB
NickRenne12315'5175RBLB
Kyle Souryavong11335'6145RBDB
AnthonyGonzalez11345'9165RBLB
Michael Castellano12355'9185RBLB
MattStone10405'4107RBDB
Robert Spezza10445'3160RBLB
KyleConnelly11516'1200OLDL
MikeNewkirk11526'1235OLDL
Joe Andes10535'9275OLDL
JoeMahal12546'0200OLDL
Andrew Post11555'10185OLLB
BobbyTrinneer12565'8220OLDL
MaxLake10585'8185OLLB
CarlitoRios11595'6161OLLB
ConnerLoughrey10605'10215OLDL
Joe Martin11625'7230OLDL
MaxCash10635'8160OLLB
Gage Colucci12656'1170OLDL
ChristianRodriguez12676'0215OLDL
Owen Bunting10705'10280OLDL
RyanSnyder12716'1205OLDL
GavinFezenko11726'1185OLDL
CullenYanosy11745'6205OLDL
MattKarnis11756'0310OLDL
SeanDarst12796'2225OLDL
AJD'Innocenzio10805'11150WRLB
Brendan Finn12816'0200WRLB
JaredBernard10825'9150WRLB
Nick Norton12845'8135RBDB
AnthonyCarida12855'8165WRLB
Brandon Baker12885'10140WRDB

One Comment

  1. Pingback: The Ultimate Preseason Guide to Football – Morris Sussex Sports

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

+ 10 = 16