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July 22, 2013

TEAM PREVIEW: DePaul

2012 In Review: The Spartans were 5-5, beating St. Joe's (Metuchen) in the Non-Public Group 3 consolation round. They scored 354 points for a 35.4 average, while allowing 280 points for a 28.0 average. Wins included Paramus, Old Tappan, and Tenafly, while losses were to Paramus Catholic, Don Bosco, Bergen Catholic, St. Joe's (Montvale), and Pascack Valley.

Departures: MLB Greg Lis- Buffalo, RB Joe Moreno - Trinity (Ct.), T Tyler DiRussa - Slippery Rock (Pa.)

Offense: DePaul runs a multiple offense and returns eight starters and one co-starter. Returning at quarterback is senior Zach Bednarczyk (6-1/2, 190). Tailback has a four way battle among senior Markey Clark (5-foot-9, 220), sophomore Kareem Walker (6-foot-1, 185), junior Nik Bakalian (5-foot-9, 180), and sophomore Nasir Hooker (5-foot-9, 175). Fullback has junior co-starter Stephen Speidel (5-foot-9, 235) returning and he will be pushed by sophomore Scott Lavell (6-foot-0, 210).

Both wide receivers and the tight end are back in senior tight end Justin Nelson (6-foot-2, 235) and senior wide receivers Riley Clark (6-foot-1, 180) and Matt Greff (6-foot-1, 175). When they go to spread sets, senior Kiy Hester (6-foot-1-1/2, 202), sophomore Terrel Vassel (6-foot-0, 170), and sophomore Hasise DuBois (6-foot-3, 190) will be playing. Hester has started in the past at DePaul, before transferring to St. Joe's (Montvale), and now back to DePaul. Also in the picture at tight end will be sophomore QuayShon Alexander (6-foot-3, 212).

The line returns three starters and a transfer who started at his respective school. The tackles have starting experience in senior left tackle Michael Kelly (6-foot-1, 245), who started here last year, and senior right tackle Courtel Jenkins (6-foot-3, 308), who started at St. Anthony before transferring. Right guard returns senior Dylan Krupinski (5-foot-10, 260) and returning at center is senior Nico Aronson (5-foot-10, 230). The left guard will be senior Nick Jachera (6-foot-2-1/2, 245). Also pushing for time will be junior tackle Andrew Failace (6-foot-3, 225) and senior guard Nick Goerl (6-foot-3, 295).

Defense: The Spartans run a 4-4 and return six starters, several who played, and two transfers who started. Nelson returns at one end, while the opposite end has Kelly, Markey Clark, Alexander, and sophomore Andre Evans (5-foot-11, 220) in the running, with Markey Clark seeing time last year. Jenkins will be one tackle, where he started at St. Anthony. The nose guard has senior Karriem Barber (5-foot-10, 235) and Goerl battling, with both getting time last year.

Three starters return at linebacker. The inside will have Speidel at one spot, moving from defensive tackle, where he started. Playing next to him will be either junior Amir Arrington (5-foot-9, 190) or Levell. Arrington started last year on the outside, where he may end up. The outside posts have Arrington, returning junior starter Nick DePalma (5-foot-11, 195), junior Zach Butler (5-foot-10, 185), and Levell in the mix.

Cornerback has returning starters in Riley Clark and Vassel. In the mix at the corner are Hester, senior Shariq Marshall (5-foot-7, 160), Walker, and Hooker. Hester is a three year starter at both DePaul and St. Joe's, while Marshall saw action. There's also a possibility that Riley Clark may only play offense this year. Safety will have either Hester, junior Jermey Brown (5-foot-9, 170), and DuBois in contention.

Special Teams: Riley Clark is back as the kicker and Bednarczyk is the returning punter. The return men will be Hester, Walker, Hooker, and Bakalian.

Schedule:

Thursday, 9/12, Paramus at home, 7PM
Saturday, 9/21, at Paramus Catholic, 4PM
Friday, 9/27, at Don Bosco, 7PM
Friday, 10/4, Pascack Valley at home, 7PM
Friday, 10/11, Bergen Catholic at home, 7PM
10/18-19, at Old Tappan, 7PM
Saturday, 10/26, at Tenafly, 1PM
Friday, 11/1, St. Joe's (Montvale) at home, 7PM
Friday, 11/8, Wayne Valley at home, 7PM

Question Marks: Depth has been a problem. In addition, there's the challenge of getting everyone on the same page, with several changing positions.

Recruiting: Nelson and Hester committed to Rutgers. Jenkins committed to Miami. Bednarczyk has offers from Monmouth, Albany, and Villanova, plus interest from Delaware and New Hampshire. Riley Clark is leaning towards playing lacrosse, but is keeping his options open with interest from Sacred Heart, NESCAC schools, and Ivy League schools. Kelly and Greff are NESCAC candidates, while Markey Clark is 1-AA/D2.

In the junior class, Arrington is 1-A/D2 and the sleeper is Failace.

The sophomore class has good prospects in Walker, DuBois, Vassel, Evans, Hooker, and Alexander.

Coach's Comments: "We feel confident. We return a lot of guys on both sides of the ball, but our schedule is tough. We have to take it game by game and see where we're at." - Assistant Head Coach Brian Murray


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