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The Coach

Get access to all Morris Sussex Sports photos from Montville’s scrimmage with Morris Knolls HERE.

Name: Rick DeBonta
Skinny: Ask any coach in Morris-Sussex and they will tell you the best coach to not have a ring is Montville’s Rick DeBonta. And to be fair, he’s only in his second year coaching but everyone knows this guy has a gift. His playing days were at Pompton Lakes where head coach Walt Barlett took his team to two state finals. Then he went onto play for coach Gerry Gallagher, the Godfather of Morris-Sussex coaches, at William Patterson. After that, he followed Gallagher who went onto be the head coach at Montville where DeBonta began as an assistant 19-years ago. DeBonta may be new to the head coaching role, but he’s running things like he’s in his 25-year year.  He coaches with a ton of confidence that permeates all through Mustang coaching staff and players.
2016 Record:  3-7

The Players

Get access to all Morris Sussex Sports photos from Montville’s scrimmage with Morris Knolls HERE.

Franchise Player: The face of this team is senior WR/DB Anthony Manna (5-11, 165).  Last season Manna was Montville’s favorite target with 33 catches and 481-yards.  He’s an electric player who can score on any given play and always wants the ball.
Hottest Selling Jersey: Two jerseys fans are going to want are junior Nick Billand’s (6-2, 165) and sophomore Mike Burke’s (6-2, 185).  If you recall, Billand had a sensational sophomore campaign last season throwing for 1,165-yards in only 7-games.  Every other team would be fortunate to have a QB like him.  However, newcomer Burke is an insane athlete himself and is also a highly touted QB.  Right now, these two studs are battling it out in preseason camp but make no bones about it, the guy who isn’t the starting QB will be starting in another skill position.  Both kids are dynamic as they come!
All Unruly Watch: Senior nose tackle Matt Cuozzo (6, 295) is a guy we are keeping our eye on.  He has a deadly first move and gets to the backfield faster than the center can snap the ball to the QB.  Teams will be rewinding tape in the film room on this guy, trying to figure out how to contain him (because he cannot be stopped).
Under the Radar: Montville is absolutely stacked at the skill positions with loads of guys that will go from anonymity to names we all know after a few weeks. Seniors Kyle Cooney (RB/DB), Eric Leong (WR) and Deen Ninche (WR/OLB), juniors Grant Shine (RB/DB), Dom Trifari (WR/P) and Will Roman (WR), and sophomores Colin Regan (WR/DB) and Reese Martinelli (RB/LB) are all poised to make a big varsity impact this season.
Benching the Weight Room: Senior center Nick Gauweiler (5-9, 185), junior guard Alex Khalaf (6, 200), Senior tackle Nick Cocomello (6-1, 215), senior guard Matt Fall (5-10, 180) and senior tackle Ethan Mersing (5-11, 185) worked incredibly hard in the weight room and consider themselves one unit. All of these guys will be big contributors defensively along with Vin Acquaviva (5-10, 175) who brings a lot of speed and smarts to the defense.  The 2017 season starts and finishes with these Hogs up front.
Throwback: Senior LB/RB Mike Riola (5-11, 155) is a guy who could definitely play back in the leather helmet days. Last season he was in on every tackle and was always in the backfield, picking up 4 sacks on the year.


Get access to all Morris Sussex Sports photos from Montville’s scrimmage with Morris Knolls HERE.

This Montville squad is an excellent team. Talent and coaching-wise there is no reason they shouldn’t be sitting comfortably in the playoffs come November. Their problem is they have the schedule from hell. Let me give you a quick scouting report of their opponents. First Montville has Coach Tepper and the Vernon Vikings. Tepper is like the Mike Ditka of Morris-Sussex always giving every opponent an absolute dogfight. Then you have Sparta who has nine defensive linemen who all should be playing in college right now. Then they got West Milford who is always tough. After that you have High Point who literally runs the ball 90-times a game, exhausting defenses. After that they have Jefferson who is loaded, Pequannock who you might as well already put them in the state finals and Morris Hills who is defending state champs. Don’t get me wrong, I am not building a case against Montville at all. All I am saying is there are no gimmies for these guys. However, if the ‘Stangs can earn a spot to the dance based on that schedule, they certainly will be well prepared for the postseason. In fact, they will likely not face tougher competition in their state section then they would have already faced during their regular season.


Get access to all Morris Sussex Sports photos from Montville’s scrimmage with Morris Knolls HERE.

09-08 Vernon Montville HS
09-16 @ Sparta Sparta HS
09-23 West Milford Montville HS
09-28 High Point Montville HS
10-06 @ Caldwell Caldwell HS
10-13 @ Jefferson Jefferson HS
10-20 Pequannock Montville HS
10-27 Morris Hills Montville HS
11-03 @ Parsippany Parsippany HS

Who’s In Their State Section

Get access to all Morris Sussex Sports photos from Montville’s scrimmage with Morris Knolls HERE.

Indian Hills
Pascack Valley
River Dell
West Milford


Get access to all Morris Sussex Sports photos from Montville’s scrimmage with Morris Knolls HERE.

2 Burke, Michael 10 QB/DB 6’2 185
3 Trifari, Dom 11 WR/OLB 5’10 160
4 Olsson, Steve 10 WR/LB 5’11 160
5 Halpin, Tommy 11 WR/DB 5’9 150
6 Meytrott, Connor 12 RB/OLB 5’9 160
7 Shine, Grant 11 RB/DB 5’8 180
8 Walch, Zach 10 RB/OLB 5’10 150
9 Ninche, Deen 11 WR/OLB 6’1 185
10 Manna, Anthony 12 WR/DB 5’11 165
11 Iemmelo, Jager 11 WR/OLB 6’0 165
12 Bush, Aidan 10 QB/DB 5’8 145
13 Sheridan, Nick 11 RB/DB 5’4 145
14 Leong, Eric 12 RB/DB 5’7 140
15 Landgrebe, Mark 11 RB/LB 5’3 140
16 Billand, Nick 11 QB/DB 6’2 165
17 Martinelli, Reese 10 RB/OLB 6’0 155
18 Chun, Timothy 10 RB/DB 5’7 125
19 Fox, Noah 10 WR/OLB 5’7 145
20 Riola, Michael 12 RB/OLB 5’11 155
21 Xia, Sam 11 RB/LB 5’10 165
22 Smushkevich, Paul 10 WR/DB 5’10 150
23 Lin, Andrew 10 RB/DB 5’7 145
24 Troisi, Joey 11 RB/DB 5’5 130
25 Cooney, Kyle 12 RB/DB 5’9 155
27 Gorski, Andrew 10 WR/DB 5’10 135
28 Regan, Colin 10 RB/DB 5’10 160
29 Neff, Brandon 10 RB/DB 5’10 135
30 Santosuosso, Nick 10 RB/DB 5’6 145
34 Roman, Will 11 RB/DB 5’7 155
45 Bakowski, Maxim 10 WR/LB 5’8 150
50 McGlinchey, Dylan 11 OL/DL 6’0 190
51 Gauweiler, Nick 12 OL/LB 5’9 185
52 Mersing, Ethan 12 OL/DL 5’11 185
53 Acquaviva, Vin 12 OL/LB 5’10 175
55 Khalaf, Alex 11 OL/LB 6’0 200
56 Crohn, Matt 11 OL/DL 6’0 215
57 Riccelli, Kyle 12 OL/DL 5’9 170
58 Patierno, Christian 11 OL/DL 5’9 175
59 Warsaw, Aaron 11 OL/LB 5’7 170
60 Gabriel, Ben 10 OL/LB 5’11 165
61 Rosenweig, Ben 10 OL/LB 5’7 170
62 Fall, Matt 12 OL/DL 5’10 180
63 Case, Ben 10 OL/DL 5’11 220
64 Heller, Jory 11 OL/DL 6’0 210
65 Lopez, David 10 OL/DL 5’7 190
66 Lowe, Tommy 10 OL/DL 5’7 155
67 Behrens, Kristof 10 OL/DL 5’10 185
68 Brindisi, Jake 12 OL/DL 5’9 180
69 Knott, Robert 11 OL/DL 5’7 150
70 Cuozzo, Matt 12 OL/DL 6’0 295
74 Cocomello, Nick 12 OL/DL 6’1 215
75 Conrad, Mike 10 OL/LB 5’8 160
78 Casarico, Kyle 10 OL/DL 5’10 170
81 Kohler, Brandon 10 WR/DB 5’9 145
83 Scangarello, Steve 11 WR/DB 5’11 165
88 Montano, Jimmy 10 WR/OLB 6’2 170

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.

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  1. Pingback: The 2017 Ultimate Guide to Preseason Football in Morris-Sussex. – Morris Sussex Sports

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