To me, Motown is a team that should be extremely worrisome for opponents in the National Division. With everyone focused on Delby, Roxbury, West Morris and Randolph, the Colonials might just be a team that can sneak up and bite everyone in the butt. At least in the beginning of the season until everyone catches on.
The reason I like them starts with their superb blockers Brian Fajardo and Samari Robinson – both who are nearly 6-foot and well north of 200 pounds. These tackles have all the intangibles (size, technique, explosiveness, and more) and they bookend this unit with a ton of veteran leadership.
Don’t get me wrong, getting through the teams I mentioned above won’t be easy. And dodging squads like Mendham, Mount Olive and Morris Knolls who wreak of good coaching is no walk in the park either–especially because the Colonials lost talents like McCall and Powell to graduation.
“Replacing McCall and Powell won’t be easy.” Coach Chris Hull told me during the offseason. “But we have some athletic kids that will be stepping up. We actually have five or six sophomores that should contribute this year.”
But Motown isn’t without dynamic players. In fact, this school is a skill-position factory. One guy that should make a big splash offensively is senior runningback Justin Contreras. Contreras was sidelined last year with a knee injury but has worked hard to rehabilitate himself and is going to be all-systems-go by Week 1. He is 5-10, 170 pounds of pure speed and agility and, together with the workhorses up front, can give this team the offensive output it needs to hang with the big boys of the division.
Junior safety and tight end Justin Burke (6-4, 205) is another guy that is very difficult to defend. He’s got the size and athletic ability to overpower just about every defender on the schedule. Burke is a power forward kind of guy who runs up and down the field like he’s playing basketball, whether on offense or defense.
Here’s what you need to know if you are a Motown fan: Their regular season schedule is tough. The good news is that going 4-4 at the cutoff will likely earn them a postseason bid. Make no bones about it, this is a playoff contender.
Once they get to the playoffs, they sit in the North 2, Group 4 section which has teams like Philipsburg, Irvington and Colonia waiting for them. But playing high flying teams like Roxbury and Delbarton will give them a good taste of what the playoffs will be like.
As for my outlook on this season, this is a physical team. Burke and the big men up front will make sure opponents will need extra days to recover after they play Motown. I think that physicality will be what helps Motown get to the playoffs and have success once they get there. There is no reason this team can’t have a chance of walking through the tunnels of MetLife Stadium come December.
2014 Record: (5-5-0)
Head Coach: Chris Hull
League: Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference
Section: North 2, Group 4
High Point: All five of their wins were by 28 points or higher.
Low Point: Missing the playoffs.
Season Breakdown & Prediction
Games to Watch: Week 1 against Montville. Getting momentum out of the gate will be imperative to the Colonials.
Position to Watch: I’d like to see what runningback Contreras does. I think having something to prove after missing last year due to injury, coupled with a big line, means he could have a really good year.
Young Guns to Watch: Junior LB/FB Jesse Unger (5-9, 190) will be a big contributor this year. He’s got all the physical gifts and the football instincts you want.
In a Nutshell: Motown has been a young team for a few years. Their players are varsity-tested and could make it all come together this year. Getting through this division won’t be easy, but if they believe in themselves, the sky’s the limit.
Dream Season: Making it to the semis.
Nightmare Season: Missing the playoffs again.
Playoff Appearances: 15
Finals Appearances: 8
State Titles: 6
Playoff Record: 19-9 (.678)
|25-Sep||@ Mount Olive|
|24-Oct||@ Morris Knolls|