SUMMIT FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Hilltoppers have the necessary experience to succeed

SUMMIT – Jake Froschauer rushed for more than 700 yards and passed for nearly 1,000 during his first season as the No. 1 quarterback a year ago.
He also led Summit to six wins and a berth in the North 2, Group 4 playoffs, with the Hilltoppers moving up to that section for the first time.
Furthermore, fourth-year head coach Kevin Kostibos is impressed with how Froschauer runs the Wing-T and leads the team overall from his signal-caller position.
“Jake has embodied the leadership role, with a full season under his belt,” Kostibos said. “He’s grown into his body (6-3, 175) and I think he’s going to have a fantastic year. He’s the master of our offense.”
Kostibos expects Froschauer to pick up where he left off last year, with his strengths being his arm and legs.
“He has incredible arm strength and can really run well,” Kostibos said.
Froschauer is one of nine returning players on offense including placekicker Jack Johnson, who last year kicked 20 extra points and seven field goals for 41 points.
“Whether it’s offense or defense or special teams, we’re looking to make everything better,” Kostibos said.
Summit had only three returning starters on offense a year ago.
“We were young last year and made rookie mistakes,” Kostibos said. “Last year just about everyone got work.”
Among the returning starters on the line is senior Matt Grange at right tackle. Dennis McCarthy of the Dennis McCarthy Report has Grange ranked eighth among the Top 10 Union County college-bound seniors for 2016.
“Matt does a lot of running and gets down the field well,” said McCarthy, who sees Grange as an offensive guard at the next level. He’s also a top student.”
“Matt is incredibly smart,” Kostibos said. “He can tell you everything about the play that is sent in.
“He has good feet and a good motor.”
Summit only returned two starters on defense a year ago. This time the HIlltoppers have seven starters back on that side of the ball, in addition to Froschauer returning at punter. Last year Froschauer averaged 38 yards a punt.
“We always want to bring a physicality toward the football, Kostibos said. “So much of the game today is tackling and we’re trying to teach the kids to be better tacklers and runners to the football.
“On defense, as well as offense, it’s all about establishing a persona.”
Key players on defense include senior middle linebacker Liam Dougherty.
“Liam is a three-year starter and he had a very good season for us last year,” Kostibos said.
Others include senior nose guard Danny Petrella and senior cornerback Christian Fusco, also returning starters.
“Petrella is tough to block and Fusco had a very good camp for us,” Kostibos said. “Last year we were teaching new concepts. Right now we have a bend-but-not-break mentality.”

SUMMIT’S WING-T OFFENSE:
LT Tyler Tomlin, senior, (6-1, 205)
LG Michael Mahecha, senior, (6-1, 235)
C Kevin Cahill, junior, (6-1, 190)
RG Justin Hong, senior, (5-9, 190)
RT Matt Grange, senior, (6-3, 230)
G Spencer Frey, senior, (5-9, 215)
T Joe Shepard, junior, (6-0, 175)
C Liam Dougherty, senior, (6-1, 215)
WR Stephen Sajer, junior, (5-10, 155)
WR Jackson Tyler, sophomore, (6-3, 190)
WR Andrew Miller, junior, (6-0, 160)
WR DJ Jackson, junior, (6-2, 150)
WR Thomas Tarashuk, senior, (5-7, 125)
RB Matt Murdoch, senior, (5-5, 150)
RB Jack Washburn, senior, (5-10, 160)
RB Max Hayford, junior, (5-7, 115)
RB Ryan Mayhew, junior, (5-10, 160)
QB Jake Froschauer, senior, (6-3, 175)
QB Skyler Schluter, sophomore, (5-10, 155)
FB Sam Zanelli, senior, (5-9, 165)
FB Max Jackson, sophomore, (6-0, 195)
PK Jack Johnson, senior, (5-10, 210)
Returning starters (8): Mahecha, Hong,
Grange, Sajer, Murdoch, Froschauer,
Zanelli, Johnson.

SUMMIT’S 3-4 DEFENSE:
NG Danny Petrella, senior, (5-10, 300)
NG Miles Dewald, junior, (5-11, 215)
T Michael Mahecha, senior, (6-1,235)
T Kevin Cahill, junior, (6-1, 190)
T Matt Grange, senior (6-3, 230)
T Joe Shepard, junior, (6-0, 175)
ILB Liam Dougherty, senior, (6-1, 215)
ILB Spencer Frey, senior, (5-9, 215)
OLB Craig Ackerly, senior, (5-8, 155)
OLB Justin Hong, senior, (5-9, 190)
LB Peter Maldonado, junior, (6-0, 165)
LB Andrew Miller, junior, (6-0, 160)
LB Sam Zanelli, senior, (5-9, 165)
CB Christian Fusco, senior, (5-9, 160)
CB Rhajon Venable, senior, (5-6, 140)
FS Luca Curran, junior, (5-11, 150)
SS David Medina, senior, (5-8, 155)
CB Brendan McGinn, senior, (5-8, 155)
CB Chris Giangiulio, senior, (5-9 ,125)
CB Christian Greer, senior, (5-9, 155)
CB Oleg Yasekyo, junior, (5-9, 165)
P Jake Forschauer, senior, (6-3, 175)
Returning starters (9): Petrella, Mahecha,
Dougherty, Ackerly, Hong, Fusco, Venable,
Medina, Froschauer.

CAPTAINS: Jake Froschauer, Matt Murdoch,
Liam Dougherty, Michael Mahecha.

SUMMIT HILLTOPPERS
Head Coach: Kevin Kostibos, since 2013.
A 1999 Hanover Park graduate.
Fourth season: 27-6 (.818)
Conference: Mid-State 38
Division: Raritan
Section: North 2, Group 4
Summit’s last sectional title: 2013
2015: (6-4 and 4-2, tied for second in Raritan Division)
Tatlock Field: Field Turf.
Kostibos guided Summit to the North 2, Group 3
semifinals his first two seasons at the helm of the
Hilltoppers, including a 12-0 record and the section
title in 2013. Summit was situated in North 2, Group 4
for the first time last year, qualifying and then falling
in the first round at Colonia 20-16. Kostibos was
previously an assistant coach at Summit under the coach
he played for in high school at Hanover Park, John Liberato.
Liberato is now in his third season as an assistant coach at Kean.

SUMMIT HILLTOPPERS 2016
Sept. 9 at North Hunterdon, 7 p.m.
Sept. 17 Immaculata, 1 p.m.
Sept. 24 Warren Hills, 1 p.m.
Oct. 1 at Scotch Plains, 1 p.m.
Oct. 7 at Gov. Livingston, 7 p.m.
Oct. 14 Cranford, 7 p.m.
Oct. 21 at North Plainfield, 7 p.m.
Oct. 29 Rahway, 1 p.m.
Nov. 4 at Somerville, 7 p.m.

2015 SUMMIT HILLTOPPERS (6-4)
(A) Summit 39, North Plainfield 21
(H) Summit 30, Gov. Livingston 6
(A) Summit 14, Warren Hills 12
(H) Cranford 42, Summit 0
(H) Rosellle 22, Summit 7
(A) Somerville 30, Summit 24
(H) Summit 38, Voorhees 16
(A) Summit 13, Rahway 12
(H) Summit 38, Hillside 6
(A) Colonia 20, Summit 16
Head coach: Kevin Kostibos,
third season
Section: North 2, Group 4
Conference: Mid-State 38
Division: Raritan 4-2
Record: 6-4
Home: 3-2
Away: 3-2
Points for: 219
Points against: 187
Shutouts: 0
Overtime: 0-0

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