Coach: Brian Bowers
Year on the Job: 14th
Home Field: Turf
2015 Record: 8-3
2016 Nemesis: Pope John
Freakishly Talented: Honestly, I don’t even know what to write about Andrew Papantonis that hasn’t been said. He was a Division 1 athlete when he was in 7th grade. What’s scary is after missing his junior season to injury you know he is going to want to light up everyone – and there is no doubt he will.
Where’s the Beef: Senior captains, left tackle Michael Huston and Jonah Lyons lead a husky group of hogs for the Green Wave. Along with fellow returners, guard Jake Maciejewski and center Eric Lenz, this group rounds out four returning studs up front. They are welcomed by new comer to the varsity starting line up big bad junior Will Anderson – who is already as good as a college player. There is no hiding the fact that this line is as good as the skill players are on this team. The heart and sole of the 2016 Delby team is these guys in the trenches.
Emotional Leader: Runningback Luca Tria the guy who get’s everyone fired up. Nothing gets everyone else excited better than when Tria streaks down the field for a TD.
Will be a Household Name: Remember this name, Trey “The Zombie” Zgombic. The Z is silent but the nickname just flows. Kid is a junior and is 6-2, 205-pounds and plays like Greg Olsen from the Carolina Panthers.
Beast Watch: Junior linebacker Cole Kreshpane can play any position on the field. He is just a dynamic player who can rush the quarterback, make a bone crushing tackle at the line of scrimmage or shut down a receiver in coverage.
This Delby team is just loaded with talent. Even at quarterback. Coach Bowers has his choice of seniors Andrew Papantonis, Davis Bell and junior stud Miles Leniw. And frankly, he might just go with all three because why not?
Again, as I mentioned before, if you are a Delby fan you have to LOVE this line. You have four out of five returning with a junior who would be the best lineman on any other team in Morris Sussex.
With that said, it’s not like these guys are scraping together some skill players by any means. Tria and Papantonis are the longest tenured starters and can blow by anyone. But Bowers likes to change it up to. When he does he sends in Anthony Siragusa who prefers to run over linebackers than run around cornerbacks. Another guy who can likely take the load off is sophomore Mashod Harrison who is working really hard in camp.
Bowers isn’t afraid to play basketball down the field either and he’s got some receivers who run the fast break. Receivers Greg Olsen (different guy from the Carolina TE), Sean McGrath and Joe Kearns (6-3 hoops star who has made the football transition seamlessly) are all a mouthful for opposing secondaries.
The challenge for Delby will be navigating a tough schedule. The new super conference has replaced some old time Morris County public school rivals with some Bergen and Essex county powerhouses. There is no doubt these teams pose a challenge. However, they will make the Non-Public, Group 3 state section seem like a cake walk.
What I like for this Delby team is that with opponents focused on DePaul, St. Joes, Don Bosco and Paramus Catholic, the Green Wave is flying under the radar. That won’t last once film starts passing around of Huston and Lyons punching teams in the face. I have a feeling like people think Delby is going to struggle against this schedule. I think they’ll have no problem holding their own.
9/9 @ St. Anthonys (NY)
9/17 @ Brunswick School (CT)
9/24 Pope John
10/1 Don Bosco
10/7 @ Seton Hall
10/22 Hudson Catholic
10/29 Poly Prep (NY)
11/4 @ Paramus Catholic