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Vitals

Coach: Kevin Hennelly
Year on the Job: 20th
Staff: Barry Buchanan, Henry Frayne, Kevin Karcich, Sean Morris, Robert Goodwin, Matt Wehrhan and Jeff DiLollo
Home Field: Grass
2015 Record: 7-3
2016 Nemesis: Morris Knolls

Players

Freakishly Talented: Senior runningback Cole Draghi (5-7, 165) has real-deal speed and all of the athleticism you want in a skill player. Opposing players will have a hard time with his how fast he hits the hole after he gets a hand-off. He’s already 8-yards down the field before you even know who has the ball.
Where’s the Beef: There is no hiding the fact that senior Taylor Parkinson-Gee (6-2, 260) has the beef. With a punishing first step, TPG takes away any opposing defensive line threat.
Will be a Household Name: No linemen seem to get a lot of press but people will get to know 6-1, 235-pound senior guard Erik Henwood. Henwood is built like a college tight end and brings an athleticism to this offensive line. Runningback Draghi will be riding Henwood’s tail until he gets far enough into the defensive backfield before he makes his move. These two will account for a lot of yards together.
Beast Watch: Opposing linebackers will hate it when senior Jake Congdon (5-11, 180) takes the field because when he gets the ball he seems to look for someone’s chest to put his helmet in.

2016 Prediction

It has taken several years but I finally have Coach Kevin Hennelly figured out. It doesn’t matter if he has Michael Burton (Detroit Lions fullback and former WMC captain) or other All State players on his team, our preseason conversations are always the same. “I am not sure how we’ll be”, “we lost a lot of players to graduation”, “I don’t think know if we’ll be as good as last year”, “we’re young”, are some of the things that he’s said to me in the same years he’s won a state championships. Okay coach, I am sure you have a bridge to sell me too.

Coach Hennelly has won four state titles during his first 19 years as the Wolfpack top guy (photo by George Muha).

Coach Hennelly has won four state titles during his first 19 years as the Wolfpack top guy (photo by Brian Sudol).

Honestly, that is typical jargon I get from a lot of coaches. But you can’t believe it from the most successful active coach in Morris Sussex who makes it to the playoffs every year and has more state championship rings than fingers. So I, and everyone else, in Wolfpack Nation knows that come Week 1 he and his football team will be ready to battle it out with a high octane, in-your-face kind of energy.

The Wolfpack will get a lot of offensive fire-power from senior runningback Cole Draghi #24 (photo by George Muha).

The Wolfpack will get a lot of offensive fire-power from senior runningback Cole Draghi #24 (photo by Brian Sudol).

Skill-wise there is no issue here. Draghi and Congdon will be the grinders in the running game with senior Zach Meister and junior Bryce Sokolowski adding to the offensive output. Senior QB Ryan Finley will be the field general with targets Peter Taylor, Johnny Radossich and Michael Egan giving the Wolfpack down-the-field targets.

The Wolfpack mulls things over during a practice scrimmage against Pope John in August (photo by Ben Muha).

The Wolfpack offense mulls things over during a practice scrimmage against Pope John in August (photo by Brian Sudol).

Henwood and Parkinson-Gee aren’t the only ones upfront. In fact, this offensive line is shaping up nicely with Tom Pellegrino, Rourke Colligan and PJ Wright. This is a strong, athletic group which is exactly the type of line Hennelly needs to run his run-heavy offense.

West Morris' offensive line is an intelligent group that relies on quick execution to pry open holes for the skill players to go through (photo by Ben Muha).

West Morris’ offensive line is an intelligent group that relies on quick execution to pry open holes in opposing defenses (photo by Brian Sudol).

Navigating the schedule won’t be easy because opposing teams are good so there won’t be any easy weeks. It looks like every game will be a dog fight. But last season looked the same but Hennelly and company kept opposing offenses to 7-points or less in seven different contests.

The West Morris players know that if they take Coach Hennelly's lead there is a good chance he can take them to MetLife Stadium (photo by George Muha).

The West Morris players know that if they take Coach Hennelly’s lead there is a good chance he can take them to MetLife Stadium (photo by Brian Sudol).

Here’s the bottom line – West Morris is good every year. Every year new players step up. This year will be no different. Hennelly averages a state championship about every four years. The last time he won it all was in 2012. You do the math.

2016 Schedule

9/9 @ Par Hills
9/16 West Essex
9/24 @ Morristown
9/30 Mount Olive
10/7 @ Randolph
10/14 Morris Knolls
10/22 @ Sparta
10/29 @ Mendham
11/4 Roxbury

2016 Roster

#PlayerYear
11Albertson, RyanSenior
33Beltram, CameronSenior
Bietka, JoeJunior
73Bolla, MichaelSenior
79Booth, HunterJunior
68Brown, PatrickJunior
44Colatriano, ChristopherJunior
59Colligan, RourkeJunior
3Congdon, JakeSenior
72Dargel, JeffJunior
32Draghi, ColeSenior
85Egan, MichaelSenior
13Finlay, RyanSenior
43Foster, MatthewJunior
70Gross, AustinJunior
12Hagler, JohnJunior
62Henwood, ErikSenior
63Iorio, BrandonJunior
17Izzo, GarrettSenior
27Jinks, DeanJunior
65Lusardi, ChadJunior
66Marley, AndrewJunior
44Meister, ZachSenior
45Morgan, DrewJunior
76Parkinson-Gee, TaylorSenior
75Pellegrino, ThomasJunior
26Porrao, HunterJunior
16Radossich, JohnnySenior
71Riccordella, SeaverJunior
1Sokolowski, BryceJunior
36Steen, MatthewSenior
6Taylor, PeterSenior
76Tirro, AnthonyJunior
17Williamson, JehlanJunior
11Wright, PJJunior

George Muha has been covering high school sports since 2006. He feels high school scholar-athletes are the most important part of the community and highlighting their achievements on the field, in the classroom and within the community is his personal mission.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: The 2016 Ultimate Guide to Preseason Football in Morris-Sussex – Morris Sussex Sports

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