Team Preview: Summit Hilltoppers

2011 In Review: The Hilltoppers were 11-1, losing to Madison in the North Jersey Section 2 Group 2 finals, after beating Caldwell and Roselle. They scored 482 for a 40.16 average, while allowing 219 points for an 18.25 average, including two shutouts.
Wins included Cranford, Rahway, and New Providence.
Departures: OL/DL Andrew Perry - Gettysburg, QB Ryan Bringewatt - Holy Cross for lacrosse, DE/TE Will Webber - Holy Cross for lacrosse, OL/DL Billy Hadley - Ithaca for lacrosse, MLB/OL Stefano Stadlinger - Bates for lacrosse
Offense: Summit runs the Wing-T and returns five starters. Quarterback has a returning starter in senior Tyler Carbone (6-foot-0, 170), who missed last season with an injury. Fullback has senior AJ Iarussi (6-foot-0, 220) back after rushing for 1,000 yards. Both halfbacks return, with seniors Mike Badgley (5-foot-10, 170) and Kyre Negron (6-foot-0, 175). Depth is provided by seniors Austin Carbone (6-foot-0, 170) and Nick Watts (5-foot-8, 175).
At wide receiver, senior Will Shamim (5-foot-11, 175) returns and he will be pushed by seniors Daniel Kennedy (5-foot-10, 175), Ioni Bueno (6-foot-0, 160), Mike Knight (6-foot-0, 150), and Austin Fern (6-foot-2, 160). At tight end, senior Nick Liberato (6-foot-0, 185) and junior Mac Wiesner (6-foot-5, 210) will be in the mix.
The lone returning starter is senior guard Andrew Oristanio (6-foot-0, 215). Competing at the other guard spot are senior Patrick Delp (5-foot-8, 180), senior Brian Hillias (5-foot-8, 205), junior Harold Esquivel (5-foot-9, 210), and sophomore Vincent Bonomo (6-foot-0, 170). Center is between junior Will Delaney (5-foot-9, 175) and sophomore Steve Rainero (6-foot-0, 225). In the mix for the tackles are junior Eric Lyman (6-foot-2, 185), junior Rob Walsh (6-foot-7, 205), and sophomore Matt Greenstein (6-foot-2, 215).
Defense: The Hilltoppers run a base 4-4 and return eight starters. Liberato and Oristanio return at the ends, while senior Connor O'Malley (6-foot-4, 250) is back at one tackle. Senior DJ Stewart (6-foot-0, 240) and junior Gerber Bolanos (5-foot-9, 225) will be part of a rotation at the other tackle, while Wiesner will back up the ends.
Linebacker will have experience at all four positions, with Iarussi and senior Joe Lasarcino (5-foot-7, 180) on the inside, with senior Robert Chase (6-foot-2, 205) and Austin Carbone on the outside. Adding depth to the outside will be juniors Nick Ruiz (5-foot-9, 170) and Danny Childers (5-foot-11, 165).
Returning in the secondary are Negron at cornerback and Badgley at safety. The other cornerback will be either Watts or Shamim. Pushing for time at safety is junior Pat Masterfano (5-foot-10, 145).
Specials: Badgley returns as one of the state's top kickers, while Negron is back as the punter. Liberato will be the long snapper. Badgley and Negron are back as the return men.
Saturday, 9/8, Somerville, 1PM
Saturday, 9/15, Johnson, 1PM
Friday, 9/21, at Cranford, 7PM
Friday, 9/28, at North Plainfield, 7PM
Friday, 10/5, Rahway, 7PM
Saturday, 10/13, Roselle, 1PM
Saturday, 10/20, Warren Hills, 7PM
Friday, 10/26, at Delaware Valley, 7PM
Saturday, 11/3, Hillside, 1PM
Schedule is courtesy of and
Question Marks: Head coach John Liberato says the team should just perform to the best of their ability in the first game and see where it goes. To make sure the team stays focused, he enlisted the help of several US Marines and had his team run the Marine obstacle course on the first day of practice.
Recruits: Carbone committed to Colgate. Badgley is a 1-A/1-AA recruit and has heard from Stanford, UCLA, Michigan, Rutgers, Boston College, and Penn State. He's a three sport athlete who plays hockey and lacrosse. Liberato, O'Malley, and Negron are anywhere from 1-AA to D3. Chase and Watts may go the D3 route. Austin and Tyler Carbone will go the lacrosse route.
Coach's Comments: "We have a great bunch of seniors and we're looking forward. We never change. We invest in the off-season and the payoff comes during the season." - Head Coach John Liberato