“I feel good as I ever have about our skill positions and our ability to score with this year’s team.”
If you are an opposing team, you need to pay very close attention to that quote from Kinnelon coach Kevin White with regard to his 2015 Colts.
This is the same coach who last year had the leading passer in New Jersey state history in Kyle Presti. This is the same coach who last year averaged over 34 points in eight games. The same coach whose offense scored over 68 points in one game last year. If he says he’s feels this team is one of the best he’s had, I wouldn’t take that lightly.
I know Presti and most of his receiving weapons graduated last year, but trust me, somehow these guys are stacked again. Leading the offensive firepower is junior split end Seamus Nelson (6-4, 210) and senior runningback Chris Hausler (6, 205). Nelson is a baller who was clocked at 4.6 in the forty, and Hausler, who missed all last year with injuries, runs like he’s on fire.
Senior runningback Zack Koster will also bring a change of pace to the backfield and White describes him as “an explosion waiting to happen.” Replacing Presti at quarterback is junior Jon Toye. Toye is an athletic player with an excellent arm. “Toye will be a player for us,” White says. “He’s a real athlete and has a really nice arm.”
Up front will be senior David LoCascio and juniors Dylan Chiuchiolo and Rich Hoffman. These are all athletic linemen with excellent technique, which is needed because Coach White runs a high flying, fast-paced offense.
Last season, Kinnelon finished 6-3 in the regular season and were almost unfairly left out of the playoffs. There’s no bitterness on White’s part but this year they know every win counts. “We have a hard division,” White says of last year’s playoff miss. “And our state section is very competitive.”
As for my outlook, I am very high on Kinnelon this year. I would guarantee they make it to the playoffs but after last year, I think it is going to take being 6-2 at the eight game cutoff to get invited to the dance. And against this schedule, that is no easy task.
Right out of the gate, the Colts face Jefferson, North Warren and Mountain Lakes – all of which come with just as much fanfare as Kinnelon. You might think the second half of the season will be easier but even teams like Kittatinny, Whippany Park and Wallkill Valley are competitive this season.
Every win will count for the Colts this year. The postseason might even be the easy part for them; getting to the postseason is going to be the trick. But if they can make it, there is a great chance this group can find themselves walking through the tunnels of MetLife Stadium come December.
2014 Record: (7-3-0)
Head Coach: Kevin White
League: Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference
Section: North 1, Group 2
High Point: Finishing the last seven games with a 6-1 record.
Low Point: Getting cheated out of a playoff bid.
Season Breakdown & Prediction
Games to Watch: The first three versus Jefferson, North Warren and Mountain Lakes. All three teams are just as stacked as Kinnelon should all be very close games.
Position to Watch: Chris Hausler at runningback is the guy to watch. He would have been a stud last season if he wasn’t injured. He’s going to be All Everything, just watch.
Young Guns to Watch: Seamus Nelson at receiver and defensive back. The kid can ball.
In a Nutshell: This team is good and very much a preseason favorite to hoist the NJSIAA Cup at MetLife Stadium in December.
Dream Season: Winning it all.
Nightmare Season: Not having a seat in the playoffs again.
Playoff Appearances: 4
Finals Appearances: 1
State Titles: 1
Playoff Record: 3-3 (.500)
|9/18||@ North Warren|
|10/2||@ Wallkill Valley|
|43||Bonanno, Felice (Philip)||9|