If old time college commentator Keith Jackson were doing the preview for Delbarton the first thing he would say would be “whoa Nellie!” Boy, this team is loaded with studs. I’ve seen a lot of good Delby teams in my day but I can’t remember a team that had such depth of talent as this one. Don’t get me wrong, they still need to play nine games against a very competitive National Division with the likes of Roxbury, Randolph and Morristown on their schedule. And don’t think for a second that those teams don’t have Delby circled on their schedule–but this is going to be a fun team to watch this season.
If there is any chink in the armor it is the fact that the line lost a lot of key players and they’ll be a little young this year. But even coach Brian Bowers told me he likes how some of the younger guys have been stepping up. “We are inexperienced at line but they’re coming along,” he says. What makes the Green Wave so dynamic is that both their passing game and running game are equally potent. From a run game perspective, they’ll feature three-year starter senior Andrew Sanders (5-7, 175) who has incredible break away speed but seems to prefer to run over linebackers. Joining Sanders in the backfield is the powerful junior Luca Tria (5-11, 170) and the shifty sophomore Anthony Siragusa (5-10, 160).
The passing game his anchored by senior quarterback Matt Zebrowski (6-2, 215). Zebrowski played in every game last year and brings a lot of leadership to the offense. He can also make every throw with his arm and can tuck the ball in and run if needed. As for his arsenal, he’ll target junior super-athlete Andrew Papantonis (6-1, 190). Papantonis has been a major contributor on this team since his freshman year and is a scoring threat every time he touches the ball. Kevin Hartley (6, 190), Sam Johnson (6-3, 220) and Matt Unger (6-3, 200) are all receiving weapons that opposing defenses will struggle to have an answer for. Johnny Link, Sean McGrath, Murphy Fitzpatrick and Matt Douglas are on the depth chart as well, all of whom would be main targets on most other teams in the conference.
As for my outlook, its all about the playoffs for the Green Wave. Yes, there are some regular season games that may be troublesome – especially Roxbury who matches up extremely well with Delby. But even so, Delby will get into the postseason with room to spare. The real concern is the Non-Public, Group 3 playoff section which hasn’t been very nice to the Green Wave. The likes of DePaul, Pope John and Red Bank Catholic just seemed to have had Delby’s number. But its a new year and this is high-octane team. They’ll have to play all their games, but hoisting the NJSIAA Cup is in reach.
Delbarton Green Wave
2014 Record: (9-2-0)
Head Coach: Brian Bowers
Assistant Coaches: Dennis Mikula, Chet Parlavecchio, Rob Flynn, Dan Szelingowski, Zack Tabor, Andrew Sherwood and Gerry Gallagher. League: Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference
Section: Non-Public, Group 3
High Point: Going undefeated in the National Division and winning the conference.
Low Point: Losing by a convincing margin in the state finals to RedBank Catholic.
Season Breakdown & Prediction
Games to Watch: Roxbury at Week 7. These two teams match up very well together. It has the makings of a high scoring, back-and-forth kind of affair.
Position to Watch: There are a lot of positions to watch. Papantonis and his corps of receivers will be fun to see. But I think this is the Year of the Colonel. Watch runningback Andrew Sanders because I predict a banner year from him.
Young Guns to Watch: Junior TE/WR Matt Douglas. He’s 6-3, 185-pounds and glides down the field like butter. He’s a playmaker that will help stretch the field for the Green Wave.
In a Nutshell: Delby will handle the NJAC fine. There might be a rough spot or two, but they’ll get to the postseason. Things get real interesting when they face RedBank Catholic, DePaul and/or Pope John in the state tournament.
Dream Season: Winning it all.
Nightmare Season: Not making it to the semis.
Playoff Appearances: 26
Finals Appearances: 13
State Titles: 2
Playoff Record: 26-24 (.520)
|9/12||St. Anthony's (NY)|
|9/19||@ Morris Knolls|
|9/25||@ West Morris|
|11/7||Poly Prep (NY)|