Roselle Park football preview – Panthers seeking to continue success of past 2 years

ROSELLE PARK – Winning is difficult enough.

Winning again – with a new regime – is just as challenging, if not more so.

Roselle Park football was put back on the map the last two seasons, with the Panthers posting winning campaigns that included trips to the playoffs, a championship game appearance and long-awaited victories – in the regular season and playoffs – over arch rivals Brearley and New Providence.

Had bigger schools such as Hoboken and Shabazz remained in Group 3 where they belong, perhaps RosellePark might have captured North 2, Group 1 in 2012 and/or 2013.

Those squads were led by Brick transfer Brian Matthews, one of UnionCounty’s top running backs who is now playing at Division 3 Stevenson University in Owings Mills, Md.

“He found the school himself and is off to a good start there,” third-year head coach Terry Hanratty said.

Matthews’ loss to graduation is big, but if teams want to keep winning they have to find ways to replace glory players of the past.

The lone returning starters on offense – not counting senior placekicker Bradley Carle – include Tyler Loneker at left guard and Jayson Gonzalez at fullback.

“Jayson really came on last year and elevated his game,” Hanratty said.

RosellePark went 8-3 in 2013 and reached the North 2, Group 1 semifinals after a 9-3 finish in 2012 included the Panthers getting to the North 2, Group 1 final for the first time since last winning it in 1993.

“We’re hoping all the junior varsity guys from last year step up,” said Hanratty, who has guided Governor Livingston and RosellePark to state championship games.

One new addition on offense is basketball player Yuri Brutus, a 6-3, 190-pound senior wide receiver.

“We hope he becomes a player,” Hanratty said.

Throwing to him will be first-year quarterback Joe Woods, a 6-foot, 180-pound junior who played on the junior varsity last year. Woods plays outside linebacker on defense.

“He’s talented, has a strong arm and a lot of potential,” Hanratty said. “He just needs to be battle-tested.”

The lead running back is senior George Perez (5-6, 150).

“He’s the smallest kid I’ve ever coached,” Hanratty said. “He stays behind his blockers. In our Wing-T we’ll look to use his size to our advantage.”

Returning starters on defense include senior Joe Garcia at tackle, Loneker at end, Gonzalez at middle linebacker, Perez at cornerback and Carle at punter.

“Tyler is one of our leaders,” Hanratty said. “He’s really matured.”

Another key two-way lineman will be junior Sebastian Leo, a 6-1, 230-pound tackle.

“He really gained confidence from his wrestling,” Hanratty said. “He’s a leader on both lines.”

After losing to Thanksgiving Day neighborhood rival Roselle four years in a row – all by shutout – from 2008-2011, Roselle Park has bounced back to defeat the Rams the last two seasons, including 39-9 at home in 2012 and 24-12 at Roselle’s Arminio Field last year.

“If we can beat Roselle this year it would be three in a row, so we would get the trophy back,” Hanratty said. “You need to win three in a row to hold it.”

RosellePark opens at Pingry Sept. 13 at 2 p.m. in Martinsville and then gets the next week off.

The home-opener is Sept. 26 vs. Bound Brook at 7 p.m.

 

ROSELLEPARK’S

WING-T OFFENSE:

LT Sebastian Leo, junior, (6-1, 230)

LG Tyler Loneker, senior, (5-11, 210)

C Robert Bamber, junior, (5-11, 190)

RG Will Ferdinando, junior, (6-0, 190)

RT Joe Garcia, senior, (6-2, 215)

TE Bradley Carle, senior, (6-1, 205)

WR Josh Gergich, senior, (6-0, 160)

WR Yuri Brutus, senior, (6-3, 190)

RB George Perez, senior, (5-6, 150)

RB Joe Picarelli, junior (5-10, 175)

FB Jayson Gonzalez, senior, (5-9, 170)

QB Joe Woods, junior, (6-0, 180)

PK Bradley Carle, senior, (6-1, 205)

Returning starters (3): Loneker,

Gonzalez, Carle.  

*

ROSELLEPARK’S

4-4 DEFENSE:

T Sebastian Leo, junior, (6-1, 230)

T Joe Garcia, senior, (6-2, 215)

E Tyler Loneker, senior, (5-11, 210)

MLB Jayson Gonzalez, senior, (5-9, 170)

MLB Elijah Toro, sophomore, (5-8, 170)

OLB Joe Woods, junior, (6-0, 180)

OLB Will Ferdinando, junior, (6-0, 190)

CB Josh Gergich, senior, (6-0, 160)

CB George Perez, senior, (5-6, 150)

S T-Quan Glaster, senior, (5-10, 170)

P Bradley Carle, senior, (6-1, 205)

Returning starters (5): Garcia, Loneker,

Gonzalez, Perez, Carle.

ROSELLE PARK PANTHERS

Head Coach: Terry Hanratty, since 2012.

A 1990 Elizabeth graduate.

Third season: 17-6 (.739)

Conference: Mid-State 38

Division: Valley

Section: North 2, Group 1

RosellePark’s last sectional title: 1993

2013: (8-3 and 3-1, second in Hills Division)

Herm Shaw Field: Grass.

Hanratty has led RosellePark to the playoffs in his first

two seasons at the helm, including the North 2, Group 1

final in 2012 and the North 2, Group 1 semis last year.

He previously guided Governor Livingston to the playoffs

in six of the eight seasons he was the head coach there,

including the 2008 North 2, Group 2 final.

 

ROSELLE PARK PANTHERS 2014

Sept. 13 at Pingry, 2 p.m.

Sept. 26 Bound Brook, 7 p.m.

Oct. 3 at Brearley, 7 p.m.

Oct. 10 Belvidere, 7 p.m.

Oct. 17 South Hunterdon, 7 p.m.

Oct. 24 at Dayton, 7 p.m.

Oct. 31 at New Providence, 7 p.m.

Nov. 7 Manville, 7 p.m.

Nov. 27 Roselle, 10:30 a.m.

Head coach: Terry Hanratty,

third season

 

2013 PANTHERS (8-3)

(H) RosellePark 21, Pingry 0

(H) RosellePark 61, Manville 13

(A) South Hunterdon 23, RosellePark 13

(A) RosellePark 38, Bound Brook 14

(H) RosellePark 34, Brearley 28

(H) Bernards 14, Roselle Park 7

(A) RosellePark 56, Dayton 7

(H) RosellePark 15, New Providence 13

(H) RosellePark 28, Brearley 20

(A) Shabazz 35, RosellePark 22

(A) RosellePark 24, Roselle 12

Head coach: Terry Hanratty,

second season

Section: North 2, Group 1

Conference: Mid-State 38

Division: Hills 3-1, second

Record: 8-3

Home: 5-1

Away: 3-2

Points for: 319

Points against: 179

Shutouts: 1

Overtime: 0-0

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