2018 CCM Preseason Football Preview for the Pope John Lions

The the 2018 CCM Preseason Football Previews are made possible by the support of County College of Morris, The Orthopedic Institute of New Jersey and Academic Resources. CCM offers an excellent education at an affordable price that is close by. Orthopedic Institute of NJ has locations in Cedar Knolls, Succasunna, Newton, Sparta, Hackettstown and Washington. They also have urgent care hours 7-days a week at their Succasunna location so injured athletes can see an orthopedic specialist immediately. Academic Resources provides amazing test prep and college planning services right in Morris Plains that eliminates the anxiety of the college process while helping families get the best education at the best price.  Reach out to all three and tell them Morris Sussex Sports sent ya!

Team History

Playoff Appearances: 41
Finals Appearances: 27
Sectional Titles: 18
Playoff Record: 48-23 (.676)

Staff

Head Coach: Brian Carlson
2017 Record: 6-4
Assistants: Alex Cabasso, Jake Davis, Mark Colyer, RJ Crusco, Aaron Aiken, Phil Brown, Jake Davis & Peter Ricciardi

Players

Franchise Player: Make no bones about it, when opponents are game planning for the Johnnies, their first order of business to know where defensive end Ireland Burke is at all time. Burke is dangerous to begin with, but after missing all of last season due to injury he’s going to be blowing off a lot of steam this season.
Hottest Selling Jersey: While there are a lot of stars on this team, running back Jake Huhn’s #22 jersey earned the most sales this pre-season because he’s just one of those guys you can’t help not to root for. He’s got that hard working Julian Edelman type of quality about him and he’s always in the right place at the right time.
All Everything Watch: Senior receiver Taj Jones is already one of the highest recruited receivers in the state. With PJ slated to throw a lot more, Jones is poised to have an all-world type of season.
Under the Radar: Not that these guys are coming out of nowhere because they both have a carved out a name for themselves on this PJ team, but safety Chris Rodriguez and slot receiver Jerrelle Robinson are both head-turner type players. Rodriguez is a hard hitting defensive back that makes opposing receivers jittery. Robinson is the fastest kid on the team and might even be the fastest player on PJ’s schedule.
Lives in the Weight Room: Defensive lineman Louis Montana has been working his tail off in the off-season and will create a mismatch every time he faces an opposing lineman. He’s so strong that teams are better off running plays to the other side of the field.
Could Play in Any Era: Quarterback Niko Hroncich has proven to be such a dynamic player that there isn’t much he cannot do. He can improvise if a play gets broken, he can patiently hang in the pocket or he can use his legs to get a tough first down. Right tackle Giovanni Potente is another guy who you could easily see decleating guys in the leather helmet days. At 6-4, 290 most of PJ’s plays will be running behind this guy.

Five Key Points

 

1. For the last few years Coach Carlson led a run-first type of team. But now with Hroncich’s college-ready arm and playmaker receivers like Jones, Ryan Dengler and Menyelek Ward, expect the Johnnies to throw a lot more than they’ve been doing in recent years.
2. Defense, defense, defense. Pope John is stacked and deep at every position defensively. Linebacker Chris Sabo will be a wrecking ball and the super athletic Anthony Holmes has amazing feet and the unique ability to jump that he should pickup off at least 5-7 passes this season.
3.  Pope John has been the doing a fantastic job against the Big Bergen Parochials in recent years.  The only team that has really given them the most consistent agida has been DePaul (DePaul beat the Johnnies 35-0 last season).  PJ opens up against DePaul at home so a win in Week 1 would be a huge boost of confidence that could carry on through the season.
4.  Coach Carlson has done a fantastic job creating a breading ground of college recruits.  No team in Morris-Sussex is producing more players that go on to play at the next level.
5.  PJ’s schedule is loaded week-in and week-out with the best football teams in the state.  Just about every team has one or more Division 1 blue chip recruits on them so if you like watching some amazing athletes definitely buy a season ticket package.  Coach Carlson has done a great job building up the personnel to compete with these opponents.  This year, more than ever, they are built to hang with these big boys and do not be surprised one bit if the Lions are at the top of the standings come playoff time.

Schedule

Date/Opponent/Location
09-01 DePaul Pope John HS
09-07 @ Paramus Cath. Paramus Catholic HS
09-15 @ Archbishop Wood (PA)
09-22 @ St. Joe’s (Mont.) St. Joseph HS
09-28 @ Don Bosco Prep Don Bosco Prep HS
10-06 Delbarton Pope John HS
10-13 @ Bergen Catholic Bergen Catholic HS
10-20 St. Peter’s Prep Pope John HS
10-27 @ Seton Hall Prep Tevlin Memorial Field

Roster

No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Class Hometown
1 Chris Sabo LB 6’2 220 12 Great Meadows, NJ
2 Mike DeNucci SS 5’10 195 11 Denville, NJ
3 Nafis Matthews Slot 5’10 225 11 Lyndhurst, NJ
4 Chris Rodriguez SS 5’9 210 12 Paterson, NJ
5 Miguel Lopez DB 5’10 190 11 Paterson, NJ
6 Menyelek Ward RB 5’7 160 11 Sparta, NJ
7 Niko Hroncich QB 6’2 190 12 North Haledon, NJ
8 Peter Delaportas QB 6’2 185 9 Oak Ridge, NJ
9 Ireland Burke DL 6’3 290 12 Sparta, NJ
10 Tajimier Jones WR 6’2 200 12 Paterson, NJ
11 Ryan Dengler WR 5’10 180 12 Sparta, NJ
12 Anthony Caputo Slot 5’7 185 12 Andover, NJ
13 Christian Maciak FS 5’9 200 12 Sparta, NJ
14 Robert Cox FS/QB 5’9 150 10 Kenilworth, NJ
15 Jarelle Robinson WR 5’7 145 10 Englewood, NJ
16 Anthony Holmes DB 5’10 170 12 Mine Hill, NJ
17 Josh Taylor LB 5’10 190 11 Paterson, NJ
18 Connor Milks DB 6’2 175 11 Wantage, NJ
19 Zachary Cuttito FS 6’1 165 12 Byram, NJ
20 Victor Febres DB 5’10 145 11 Lake Hopatcong, NJ
21 Julian Canty LB 6’0 210 12 Vernon, NJ
22 Jacob Huhn RB 5’8 190 12 Flanders, NJ
23 Billy Gould FS/QB 5’9 165 10 Wantage, NJ
25 Sean Brennan FS/QB 5’10 175 10 Highland Lakes, NJ
26 Collin Mills PK 6’1 170 10 Lafayette, NJ
27 Collin Roberts LB 6’3 190 12 Newton, NJ
28 Tyler Zummo FS/Slot 5’9 145 10 Sparta, NJ
29 Vincent Cimaglia DB 5’9 145 11 Sussex, NJ
30 Evan Izzo LS 5’10 145 10 Highland Lakes, NJ
31 Michael Patten LB/DE 6’1 210 10 Budd Lake, NJ
32 Trace Healy LB 5’10 160 10 Wantage, NJ
33 Messiah Muckle RB 5’10 170 10 Elmwood Park, NJ
34 Nasir West RB 5’8 170 12 Morristown, NJ
36 Justin Hertlein PK 5’10 155 11 Glenwood, NJ
37 Kevin Salmeri DB 5’10 162 10 Sparta, NJ
39 Cole Zydel LB 5’7 200 11 Wantage, NJ
40 Robert Romano K 5’11 155 11 Sparta, NJ
41 Bryan Vargas S 5’10 190 12 Garfield, NJ
42 Dan Rosario FB 5’9 215 11 Dover, NJ
43 Mark Vanorski RB 5’9 170 10 Glenwood, NJ
45 Pedro Calderon LB 5’11 235 11 Franklin, NJ
47 Jordan Quintero LB 6’1 185 11 Woodland Park, NJ
48 Luke Spivak LB 5’10 175 10 Roxbury, NJ
54 Cole Danzo DL 6’0 250 11 Sparta, NJ
55 Mike Stellatella LB 5’9 220 11 Byram, NJ
64 Liam Gang OC 5’11 225 10 Sparta, NJ
65 David Espinal OL/DL 6’0 210 10 Sparta, NJ
66 Frankie Schomp DE 6’2 225 11 Newton, NJ
67 Ethan Doumbe OG 6’0 260 11 Sparta, NJ
68 James O’Rawe LB 5’9 207 10 Landing, NJ
70 Michael Maglio OG 6’1 270 11 Hopatcong, NJ
71 David Heath OT 6’4 260 11 Sparta, NJ
73 Sebastian Flamenco OL/DL 6’4 295 11 Hackettstown, NJ
76 Giovanni Potente OT 6’4 290 12 East Hanover, NJ
77 Jake Sledge C 5’11 260 11 Sparta, NJ
80 Daniel Dingus WR 5’10 150 10 Hackettstown, NJ
81 Matthew McConley WR 6’1 140 10 Sparta, NJ
83 Alex Campanella WR 5’5 130 10 Kenilworth, NJ
84 Charlie Lauzon DE 6’0 190 10 Newton, NJ
85 Warren Lynch WR 5’11 180 10 Sussex, NJ
87 Ryan Rumanowski TE 6’3 200 12 Newton, NJ
88 Zhayon Thompson WR 6’0 165 11 Sparta, NJ
89 Luke Dykstra TE 5’11 165 12 Sparta, NJ
90 Louis Montana DT/DE 6’4 260 12 Sandyston, NJ
92 Ian Babitz G/DE 5’11 187 10 West Milford, NJ
94 Issiaha Robinson DE 6’2 225 11 Stanhope, NJ
95 Jahsin Jacobs DT 5’11 285 9 Garfield, NJ
97 Nicholas DeSenzo DT 5’10 270 12 West Milford, NJ
99 Jasmir Taylor DT 5’10 245 11 Paterson, NJ

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