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Madison started its 2013 season with a 39-game winning streak—halted by a now-famous win by Hanover Park— but ended that same season needing to fight for a playoff bid in a must-win game versus Newton. They shut out the Braves, and went on to lose in the first round of playoffs.

In 2014, they went 9-2, falling only to Mountain Lakes and then Lincoln, in the semis of the state tournament.

Now, 2015, and “the bullseye is on Mountain Lakes,” Kubik says. “We are looking forward to seeing where we are.”

Madison has been preparing for this season since the day after they got knocked out of the semi finals against Lincoln last season (photo by Georgi Muha).

Madison has been preparing for this season since the day after they got knocked out of the semi finals against Lincoln last season (photo by Georgi Muha).

You might know, the town of Madison includes Drew University, Fairleigh Dickinson, the Jets training facility and…Dodgers football. I spent a few minutes watching the guys practice and wondered if I’d wandered onto the wrong campus.

First, the team is enormous—both in individual size and number, with over on the roster. Second, the coach is coolly dialed-in, and calmly ready-to-go. This is a serious program with top-notch athletes, and it’s busting at the seams with new recruits who want a chance to be household names.

Under coach Kubik players know have a good balance of working hard and staying loose (photo by Georgi Muha).

Under coach Kubik, players know have the right balance of working hard and staying loose (photo by Georgi Muha).

“We have depth,” Coach Kubik says in his no-nonsense way. He casually mentions the names of a few returning starters, politely pausing to give me a chance to write their names, as though I hadn’t heard them or written them countless times before.

Joe Mobley
Zach Shupe
Dom Luppino

Yea, I’ve heard of them. All 5-8 175, 5-8 190 and 5-10 205 respectively.

Madison returns five RB’s and four out of six linemen, including Jake Ducey (6-4, 235), Santiago Arango (5-10, 235), Dante Dilonno (6, 190) and Petar Haboj (6, 210) who returns at TE.

Four kids are competing for QB position and according to Kubik they’ll use “whoever we need.” They’re all skilled, he explains. Of course they are, Coach. Madison takes kids and forges them like steel, sculpting them into weapons.

On defense, seven starters return including the aggressive Justin Dalena (5-10, 175) at LB, and shutdown defensive backs PJ Mulcahy (5-8, 175) and Mike Dalena (5-10, 160). Kubik says there are a lot of new players we “expect good things from.”

The Dodger's have one goal this season and that is hoisting up that NJSIAA Cup at MetLife Stadium in December (photo by Georgi Muha).

The Dodger’s have one goal for this season and that is hoisting up that NJSIAA Cup at MetLife Stadium in December (photo by Georgi Muha).

When it’s clear Coach is done, I ask for his can’t-miss game of the year. “Season-opener against Mountain Lakes?” I prompt him, feeling confident. Who doesn’t want to beat Mountain Lakes? Instead, Kubik dispassionately responds, “the state championship final. That’s the game to watch.”

I believe I’ll see you there, Coach.

Madison Dodgers

2014 Record: (9-2-0)
Head Coach: Chris Kubik
Assistant Coaches: Kevin Chiodo, Marty Horn, Steve Hughes, Vito Luppino, Curtis Sallie, Dave Snell, Kevin Carroll, Mike Goodwin, Matt Ciampi and Bill Diefes.
League: Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference
Section: North 2, Group 2

2014 Recap

High Point: Going 9-2 and wholloping most of their opponents in the process.
Low Point: Losing by a convincing 36-6 score in the semis to Lincoln.

Season Breakdown & Prediction

Games to Watch: Coach is focused on Mountain Lakes in Week 1. But Week 8 against bitter rival Hanover Park is the game we’re interested in seeing.
Position to Watch: The defense is loaded with Haboj and the Delena Bros. But keep your eye on linebacker PJ “Father” Mulcahy. He’s a total gentleman off the field but when he puts on his helmet he’s got the whole Irish ire thing going on.
In a Nutshell: This team has all the ingredients to make a state championship run. Getting to the dance won’t be a problem. However, navigating the North 2, Group 2 section is the tricky part.
Dream Season: Winning states.
Nightmare Season: Not making it to semis.

Postseason History

Playoff Appearances: 20
Finals Appearances: 12
State Titles: 8
Playoff Record: 27-12 (.692)


9/12Mountain Lakes
9/19Lenape Valley
9/25@ Butler
10/16@ Jefferson
10/30@ Hackettstown
11/6@ Hanover Park
11/26@ Millburn


1Brian Bradley105' 9"145RB-LB
2Joe Mobley125' 8"175RB-LB
3Dom Luppino *125' 10"205RB-LB
4Ryan Schmitz105' 9"165QB-DB
5Zach Shupe125' 8"190RB-LB
6Shaan Chaudhary125' 7"150RB-DB
7Mike Dalena125' 10"160SE-DB
8Brian Kraska115' 11"185TE/RB-LB
9Jonathan Butler126' 0" 170SE-DB
10Santi Quintero106' 1"150TE-LB
11Griffin Lutz106' 0" 150SE-DB
12Mike Martirano125' 11"155SE-DB
13Nick Coviello125' 10"152QB-DB
14Michael Kearney115' 11"190QB-LB
15Nick Taylor105' 11"130QB-DB
16Jack Tickner105' 11"155TE-LB
17Issac Zapata115' 8"155K
18Ryan Manna105' 8" 130SE-DB
19Tommy D'Ambola115' 8" 165SE-DB
20Matt Boyd115' 11"185RB-LB
21Mike Holland105' 3"110SE-DB
23Jimmy Harvey116' 1" 165RB-LB
24P.J. Mulcahy115' 8"175RB-DB
25Bryan Builes125' 7"155RB-DB
26Pat Higgins105' 6"125RB-DB
28Matt O'Donnell115' 10"150SE-DB
29Kyle Monaco115' 6"145RB-DB
30Henry Pace105' 9"145SE-DB
31Justin Dalena125' 10"175TE-LB
40Max North105' 10"125TE-DB
46Stephen Esposito116' 0" 190TE-DB
50Shane Horn126' 2" 205OL-DL
51Trevor Jasen105' 9"165OL-DL
52Dante DiIonno116' 0" 230OL-DL
54Santiago Arango125' 10"235OL-DL
55Max Downing116' 0" 185OL-LB
56Brian Harris105' 10"145OL-LB
58Santiago Arcila105' 11" 200OL-DL
59Yiakos Kostidakis115' 11"270OL-DL
60Damian Garrubbo106' 1"170OL-DL
62Nate Klimaszewski105' 10"150OL-DL
63Paul Links105' 8"170OL-DL
64Chris Rabel126' 1" 195OL-DL
66Ian Ihnken116' 1" 235OL-DL
68Anthony Vacchiano105' 10"135OL-DB
72Joey DeBiasse105' 9" 240OL-DL
74Christian Watson126' 4" 205OL-DL
75Griffin Meister115' 10"270OL-DL
76Jake Ducey126' 4" 235OL-DL
82Petar Haboj *126' 0" 210TE-DL
83Josh Kurkewicz125' 9"170TE-LB
86Peter Catalanello125' 11"200TE-DL
88Tyler Peterson105' 10"145SE-DB
89Tom Kiernan115' 9" 145SE-DB



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