ROSELLE PARK – One year after playing a junior varsity schedule the Panthers are back with a varsity team ready to challenge the Group 1 schools on their schedule.
After producing a 7-4 record in 2017 that included a playoff victory and a season-ending 7-6 home win over Roselle in the 100th game of their Thanksgiving rivalry, the numbers just weren’t there to field a competitive varsity team for 2018.
The numbers are back and the Panthers are ready to prove their worth in the Mid-State Conference’s Group 1 Union Division.
Head coach Terry Hanratty reported on Aug. 28 that the present numbers are 45 – 28 on varsity and junior varsity and 17 more freshmen.
“We’re the only Group 1 school in Union County with a freshman team,” Hanratty said.
Not playing a varsity schedule last year meant: “with our JV schedule we played the biggest schools we could find, schools like Elizabeth, Hillside and Mountain Lakes,” Hanratty said. “We played Highland Park at night. We played nine games and went 8-1. It’s hard to prepare for a Wing-T offense at the JV level.
“We had just two varsity players and didn’t want to hurt anyone.
“We attracted two more seniors (this year) and didn’t want to lose the kids we had, we didn’t want to cripple us. All but one of our 18 sophomores came back.
“Our goal was to keep everybody and then we attracted the middle school kids. I think when school starts we will have over 20 middle school kids.
“The parents made most of the decision for the sophomores not to play a varsity schedule. They were in on the decision making and they agreed that maybe it was not the right thing for their kids.
“Right now we’re trying to teach the new kids and get a good blend and stay healthy.”
Leading this year’s Wing-T attack is junior quarterback Gavin Dunkerton, son of longtime assistant coach Greg Dunkerton.
“He was our JV quarterback last year and has really improved,” Hanratty said. “He also grew five inches.”
Nasir Williams started at cornerback on the varsity as a freshman two years ago. He is now Roselle Park’s lead halfback.
Hanratty said Roselle Park’s leading lineman is junior Armin Gilic, who first played last year.
Two seniors that didn’t play the last two years are fullback Sadrac Erneste and left tackle Hugo Suarez.
The other two seniors are Igor Macial and Jonathan Estivene, who both played the last two years.
“Our four seniors will be playing a lot,” Hanratty said.
NOTES: Roselle Park is back to having only two home games – the back-to-back dates of Oct. 4 and Oct. 11 vs. Brearley and Manville. The South River game on Oct. 25 is back at South River now.
Roselle Park coming back in the Mid-State Conference now makes eight teams in the Union Division. The Panthers play the other seven, plus their Middlesex County crossover, South River, and Roselle again on Thanksgiving.
This will be the 101st Thanksgiving Day (or holiday weekend) game pitting neighborhood rivals Roselle Park vs. Roselle, with Roselle hosting the contest for the first time since 2015.
ROSELLE PARK ROSTER:
1-Nasir Williams, junior
2-Mateo Perez, sophomore
4-Danny Alcine, junior
7-Zahir Bass, junior
10-Lucca Lima, junior
11-Gavin Dunkerton, junior
12-William Peay, freshman
14-Gabriel Amaya, freshman
15-Michael Gero, junior
16-Julian Colon, sophomore
17-Rolando-Tyler Rodriguez, freshman
20-Andrew Toro, freshman
21-Anthony Ronquillo, sophomore
24-Sadrac Erneste, senior
25-Melvin Claudio, sophomore
28-Jahyr Williams, freshman
32-Christopher Costa, freshman
33-Igor Macial, senior
34-Bryce McDonald, freshman
35-Ted Gregoire, freshman
41-Esteban Marte, freshman
44-James Palmarozzo, senior
45-Elijah Ignacio, freshman
51-Jonathan Estivene, senior
52-David Torres, junior
53-Manuel Faxas, freshman
54-Christian Hernandez, senior
55-Christopher Anderson, freshman
59-Thomas Bartley, junior
60-Anthony Cecere, junior
61-Cassini Exantus, junior
63-Sean Nicol, junior
65-Antonio Antonucci, junior
66-Modashley Exantus, freshman
67-Jared Foy, sophomore
68-Ricky Barajas, freshman
71-Ishmael Harvard, sophomore
72-Kevin Osorio, freshman
73-Justin Rodriguez, freshman
74-Thomas Jaskula, freshman
75-Michael Strzeczkowski, sophomore
76-Hugo Suarez, senior
79-Armin Gilic, junior
80-Christopher Thurman, junior
81-Yassine Elouadili, junior
82-Abel Acob, freshman
84-Adrien Salazar, freshman
Fabrice Remy, junior
ROSELLE PARK’S WING-T OFFENSE:
Line – Macial, Gilic/Suarez, Antonucci, Torres, Estivene, Hernandez
WRs – Alcine, Bass
BACKFIELD – QB-Dunkerton, RB-Erneste, RB-Williams
ROSELLE PARK’S 4-4 DEFENSE:
Line – B-Estivene, E-Torres, T-Gilic, T-Foy, E-Hernandez, B-Antonucci
LBs – Williams, Dunn
Secondary – CB-Alcine, S-Erneste, CB-Colon
ROSELLE PARK PANTHERS 2019
Sept. 13 at South Hunterdon, 7 p.m.
Sept. 20 at New Providence, 7 p.m.
Sept. 27 at Dayton, 7 p.m.
Oct. 4 Brearley, 7 p.m.
Oct. 11 Manville, 7 p.m.
Oct. 18 at Bound Brook, 7 p.m.
Oct. 25 at South River, 7p.m.
Nov. 1 at Belvidere, 7 p.m.
Nov. 28 at Roselle, 10 a.m.
Head coach: Terry Hanratty,
2017 ROSELLE PARK PANTHERS (7-4)
(A) Roselle Park 33, Sussex Tech 7
(H) Roselle Park 33, South Hunterdon 7
(H) Roselle Park 41, Dayton 6
(A) Roselle Park 35, Belvidere 0
(H) Brearley 40, Roselle Park 21
(A) Bound Brook 37, Roselle Park 14
(A) Roselle Park 32, New Providence 6
(H) Manville 15, Roselle Park 14 (OT)
(A) Roselle Park 27, Glen Ridge 21
(A) Shabazz 27, Roselle Park 6
(H) Roselle Park 7, Roselle 6
Head coach: Terry Hanratty,
Section: North 2, Group 1
Conference: Mid-State 38
Division: Union, 3-3
Points for: 263
Points against: 172
ROSELLE PARK PANTHERS
Head Coach: Terry Hanratty, since 2012.
A 1990 Elizabeth graduate.
Seventh season: 37-27 (.578)
Conference: Mid-State 37
Section: North, Group 1
Roselle Park’s last sectional title: 1993
2017: (7-4 and 3-3, fourth in Union Division)
Herm Shaw Field: Grass.
Hanratty guided Roselle Park to the North 2, Group 1
playoffs in five of his six seasons at the helm. He has
a 4-5 playoff record and a 1-0 consolation games mark.
Hanratty has three winning seasons and two .500 campaigns
at Roselle Park.