Coach: Jason Hurta
Years on the Job: This is Jason’s 3rd year on the job.
Home Field: Turf
2015 Record: 1-9
2016 Nemesis: Whippany Park
Freakishly Talented: Kwaku Agyemang has every tool in the shed. Agyemang has been a receiver in that past but now that he’s a senior and has put on some bulk, he should get some dunks at runningback…which will be a real problem for opponents.
Where’s the Beef: There is no question that everything starts and finishes with 6-5, 310-pound John Burk. He floats like a ballet dancer and hits people like Thor. To top it off Burk is a 4.0 student and is already high on the list of some D1 schools. You can’t take the thunder away from Burk. Another thick guy in front is 6-2 lineman John Krevis. Don’t be surprised if you see these two guys lined up next to one another in certain formations to stack one side.
Emotional Leader: Quarterback Christian Riedinger started the last half of last year and has really taken on the leadership role. He’s 5-11, 175-pounds, can make every throw and is brimming with confidence. When he starts getting fired up, it permeates through the whole team.
Will be a Household Name: Remember this name, Chris Lupo. This kid has one speed. He’ll be a key cog in the run game but in the defensive backfield is where he’ll be crucial because he is a havoc maker.
Beast Watch: Joe Radler is an absolute beast. The kid is like a mini Mark Bavaro. Radler doesn’t say much but catches every single thing you throw at him and it takes five guys to bring him down.
Parsippany is in a long drought without a winning season. There is no doubt in my mind that the administration is doing a great job by sticking with Coach Hurta. He’s a home grown Parsippany guy who has spent a ton of time with the youth squad. The energy he brings to this program permeates up and down all levels.
Although this is technically his 3rd year you really can’t count the first year because he wasn’t hired until the end of July in 2014. The fact that he’s made such a large impact in such a short period of time is insane.
With all that said, I predict these Redhawks will outdo last year’s team. I think most teams on their schedule won’t have an answer for big bad Burk and the Redhawks skill, these guys can hang with anyone in this league. I anticipate the running game punching it down field behind his side of the line. That will be exhausting for opponents. Then being able to pass it downfield to Radler and Agyemang when defenses aren’t expecting it will be a nice one-two punch.
Although Parsippany is technically a Group 3 school, they have a roster like a smaller school and should have a schedule that reflects that. This year’s schedule is much more appropriote than last year’s. Missing are the Hanover Park’s, Madison’s, Lenape Valley’s and Jefferson’s of the world who rarely miss the playoffs.
Facing teams like High Point, Montville, Whippany Park and West Side plays to the Red Hawks favor. This squad has the personnel to do something legit this year. They’ll definitely squash their 1-9 record from last year. In fact, once these guys get a little confidence, the skies the limit.
9/9 Mountain Lakes
9/16 @ Caldwell
9/30 @ West Side
10/22 @ Whippany Park
10/28 High Point
11/4 @ Montville
Edited by Sara Grier