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!
Playoff Appearances: 28
Finals Appearances: 12
Sectional Titles: 7
Playoff Record: 28-21 (.571)
Head Coach: Kevin Hennelly
2017 Record: 7-4
Assistants: Barry Buchanan, Henry Frayne, Kevin Karcich, Kevin Hennelly Jr., Tyler Berntsen, Sean Morris & Augie Meyer
Franchise Player: Senior Jake Ligos (TE/DE)
Hottest Selling Jersey: Junior Damien Engle (WR/DE)
All Everything Watch: Junior Jack DiPietro (RB/FS/KR/PR)
Under the Radar: Sophomore Chris Bell (RB/LB) and Senior Jack Colatriano (OL/DL)
Lives in the Weight Room: Senior Anthony Ruggiero (NG)
Could Play in Any Era: Senior Joey Vazquez (DB)
Five Key Points
1. No team will have an answer for TE/DE Jake Ligos. At 6-3, 240-pounds, he is a cocktail of speed, size and football IQ – something the Wolfpack hasn’t seen since the Michael Burton years. Coach Hennely will likely run to his side of the field because Ligos can block multiple people at a time. Where it gets dicey for opposing defenses is when he goes out for passes because no matter how many defenders are put on him, he’ll still make plays.
2. Don’t think this team is the Jake Ligos Show by any means. Junior receiver Damien Engle (6-2, 185) is another down-field threat, Jack DiPietro is a play-maker on offense, defense and special teams and sophomore sensation Chris Bell can take it to the house if he has a glimpse of daylight.
3. Senior nose guard Anthony Ruggiero (5-10, 185) has an amazingly quick first step that helps him get into opposing offense’s backfields. He’s the heart and soul of the defense. His counterpart on offense is center Matt Blount. Blount, who is also the catcher on the baseball team, brings that same kind of leadership to the offensive line. Coach Hennelly relies on his linemen to read defenses at the line of scrimmage. Blount is the guy that makes sure everyone knows their assignments. Robert Jenkinson (5-11, 210) will also be a force up front. He’s a strong lineman with speed so he’ll be the lead blocker in a lot of the Wolfpack’s schemes.
4. Another player who did all of the right things in the off-season is Joey Vazquez. He’s a throwback type of defensive back who plays like it his job to punish receivers who try to make catches in his domain. Vazquez is going to be a huge asset for the Wolfpack against pass happy teams like Sparta, Randolph and Mount Olive.
5. Coach Hennelly has a well established standard of winning so no matter who the personal West Morris has, you can always expect a contender. But this team has the added benefit of real-deal football players. The tough part is this schedule doesn’t allow for much down time. So staying healthy down the stretch is going to be the trick.
09-08 @ Mendham Mendham HS
09-14 Sparta West Morris HS
09-21 Randolph West Morris HS
09-28 @ No. Highlands Northern Highlands HS
10-05 @ Mount Olive Mount Olive HS
10-12 Morristown West Morris HS
10-19 Morris Knolls West Morris HS
10-26 @ Roxbury Roxbury HS