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July 30, 2014

TEAM PREVIEW: Immaculata

2013 In Review: The Spartans were 6-4, losing to Red Bank Catholic in the Non-Public Group 3 playoffs. They scored 244 points for a 24.4 average, while allowing 201 points for a 21.10 average, including two shutouts. Wins included Hunterdon Central, Phillipsburg, and Franklin, while losses were to Ridge, Linden, and Watchung Hills.

Departures: TE/DE Joe Vitiello - Boston College, OL/DL Kole Schleimer - Sacred Heart, QB Izjaier Sanders - Assumption, OL Vitas Hrynkiewicz - Milford Academy, NY (Prep), LB Vinny Sokalski - Gettysburg, OL/DL Matt Roper - Wilkes, Chandler Vanderbeek - High Point (NC) for lacrosse, RB/DB Connor Vanderbeek - High Point (NC) for lacrosse, Sal Fama - Binghamton for lacrosse, DB Joe Riccardonna - VMI for lacrosse

Offense: Immaculata runs a multiple spread and returns four starters. The quarterback will be junior John Phelan (6-foot-2, 190) and sophomore Johnny Yorey (5-foot-9, 185) will also get some snaps. Running back and wide receiver will be interchangeable and junior Yajaha Banks (5-foot-11, 185) and returning starter Aedan Szymanski (5-foot-10, 215). Also in the picture is junior Riley O'Neil (6-foot-1, 195).

Returning at wide receiver is senior Ibn Bailey (5-foot-8, 175). Along with the running backs, the other wide receivers will be junior Sam Costantino (6-foot-0, 180), junior Alex Hofmann (5-foot-11, 165), senior Christian Kushnir (5-foot-10, 185), sophomore Tyler Howard (5-foot-6, 160), and junior Aidan Kidd (5-foot-10, 185). Tight end is a competition among senior Ian Fallon (6-foot-2, 220) and sophomores TJ Kerwin (6-foot-2, 200), Mike Colantuano (6-foot-3, 200), and Andrew Maryanski (6-foot-0, 190). Fallon started on defense, but missed time with injuries.

Two starters return to the line in senior left guard Dan Peltack (6-foot-5, 280) and senior center David Buono (5-foot-7, 240). The right guard is senior Clayton Bell (6-foot-0, 250) and he saw time. Tackle has a lot of competition among senior Mike Bifano (6-foot-0, 225), junior Nick DiGirolamo (6-foot-2, 240), sophomore David Hoffman (6-foot-4, 235), junior Michael Lonsdorf (6-foot-4, 210), junior Nico McCormick (5-foot-10, 220), senior Daniel Snyder (6-foot-1, 215), junior Kyle Majikowski (6-foot-3, 280), and senior Matt Bickel (6-foot-0, 225).

Defense: The Spartans run a 3-3 stack and return three starters plus two who started several games. Fallon started several games at end, where he will be this year. Bifano will play opposite him. Peltack and Bell are the tackles, where both played. Sophomore Anthony Lobelo (5-foot-10, 225) may also figure here. Kerwin, Colantuano, and Maryanski may get time at end.

At linebacker, both Snyder and Szymanski return on the outside, with Szymanski moving from safety. Yorey will man the middle, where he played in the playoffs. Pushing in the middle are McCormick and sophomore Kieran Roy (5-foot-11, 190), while the outside has sophomore Eddie Tavarez (5-foot-11, 200) and junior Joe Levandoski (6-foot-0, 190) supplying depth.

In the secondary, Hofmann returns on the corner and Bailey started several games on the other side. Costantino and junior MJ Bathan (5-foot-10, 175) will play behind them. O'Neil will be one safety and his partner has Kushnir, Banks, sophomore RJ Thornburg (5-foot-10, 185) and junior Derek Walker (5-foot-9, 170) in the running.

Special Teams: Szymanski will kick and punt, while Bailey, Hofmann, and Banks are the return men.

Schedule:

Friday, 9/12, Linden at home, 7PM
Friday, 9/19, at Ridge, 7PM
Friday, 9/26, North Hunterdon at home, 7PM
Friday, 10/3, Plainfield at home, 7PM
Friday, 10/10, at Montgomery, 7PM
Saturday, 10/18, at Westfield, 1PM
Saturday, 10/25, Scotch Plains-Fanwood at home, 2PM
Friday, 10/31, at Hunterdon Central, 7PM
Friday, 11/7, Franklin at home, 7PM

Concerns: Health and experience.

Recruits: Peltack is a 1-AA candidate with additional interest from Temple. Bailey has very good potential and Fallon, Szymanski, and Snyder will play somewhere. Buono and Bell may play D3.

In the junior class, Banks is expected to have a good year. Other interesting possibilities come from O'Neil, Hofmann, and Phelan.

Yorey and Tavarez are good football players, but the entire class has to prove it on the field.

Coach's Comments: "We're excited and the kids have been unbelievable. A lot of them are working hard. We're going to be young, but the young kids we have are very good. We also have some darn good seniors and we're going to be good." - Head Coach John Hack


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