Roselle Park standouts get another chance at victory as Union County All-Stars in 20th annual Snapple Bowl; Gridiron clash kicks off Thursday night at Kean

Metellus, Kurywczak, Johns, Bianchi, Romero excited to be playing together one more time

PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI - Union County All-Stars from Roselle Park are, from left, Kevin Metellus, Greg Kurywczak, Richie Johns, Rob Bianchi and Eric Romero.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI – Union County All-Stars from Roselle Park are, from left, Kevin Metellus, Greg Kurywczak, Richie Johns, Rob Bianchi and Eric Romero.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI - Here the Union County offense, led by quarterback Doug Carter of Union, is on the run during Sunday's practice at Westfield.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI – Here the Union County offense, led by quarterback Doug Carter of Union, is on the run during Sunday’s practice at Westfield.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI - Brearley's Scott Miller is the Union County head coach and defensive coordinator.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI – Brearley’s Scott Miller is the Union County head coach and defensive coordinator.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI - Richie Johns of Roselle Park will be playing cornerback for the Union County All-Stars.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI – Richie Johns of Roselle Park will be playing cornerback for the Union County All-Stars.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI - Hillside second-year head coach Kendall Ashford is on the Union County coaching staff.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI – Hillside second-year head coach Kendall Ashford is on the Union County coaching staff.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI - Union County's coaching staff includes Summit first-year head coach Kevin Kostibos.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI – Union County’s coaching staff includes Summit first-year head coach Kevin Kostibos.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI - Union County head coach Scott Miller, at left, gives out shirts and shorts to players after Sunday's practice.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI – Union County head coach Scott Miller, at left, gives out shirts and shorts to players after Sunday’s practice.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI - Here's a Union County uniform jersey from Sunday's practice at Gary Kehler Stadium in Westfield.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI – Here’s a Union County uniform jersey from Sunday’s practice at Gary Kehler Stadium in Westfield.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI - The front of shirts given out to Union County players after Sunday's practice.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI – The front of shirts given out to Union County players after Sunday’s practice.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI - The back of shirts given out to Union County players after Sunday's practice.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI – The back of shirts given out to Union County players after Sunday’s practice.

WESTFIELD – John Schinestuhl threw the first touchdown pass in Snapple Bowl history 19 years ago after leading the Roselle Park Panthers to back-to-back 11-0 records and North 2, Group 1 championships during the 1992 and 1993 seasons.

Last December, Roselle Park reached its first North 2, Group 1 final since the days when players such as Schinestuhl, Nick Fowler, Kevin Kirby and Mark Carlson made the Panthers a mini dynasty.

Six Panthers that helped lead Roselle Park to a 9-3 record last fall and a share of the Mid-State 38 Conference’s Hills Division title were selected to play for the Union County All-Stars in the 20th Annual MyCentralJersey.com Snapple Bowl that will kick off Thursday night at 7 at Kean University’s Alumni Stadium in Union.

One of them, placekicker Frank Schneeberger, is not on the team after suffering an injury during track season.

The other five, guards Rob Bianchi and Greg Kurywcak, defensive end Kevin Metellus, defensive tackle Eric Romero and cornerback Richie Johns, will seek to make their own mark and go out with a victory.

Those players – guided by first-year head coach Terry Hanratty – helped put Roselle Park football back on the map last fall, with the Panthers achieving a great deal of success before they fell to Hoboken 39-9 in the North 2, Group 1 championship game at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford.

“It’s an honor to play in this game and a result of all the hard work we put in,” said Metellus.

Roselle Park had not defeated arch rival Brearley since 2001 before the Panthers went to Kenilworth and downed the Bears 27-12 at Ward Field last October.

The Panthers had not defeated another arch rival, New Providence, also since 2001 before Roselle Park traveled to Lieder Field and came away with an exciting 35-28 victory the week before the playoffs.

Roselle Park had not qualified for the playoffs – again – since 2001 before the Panthers were able to do so last year, garnering the second seed in North 2, Group 1.

Roselle Park defeated seventh-seeded Secaucus 25-7 at home in the quarterfinals for the program’s first playoff win in 19 years and in the program’s first playoff home game in 16 years.

The Panthers then defeated New Providence 21-13 at home in the semifinals to win a second playoff game in the same season for the first time since beating New Providence twice in 1993 and as a result reached their first championship game also since the 1993 campaign.

Other firsts in some time included the program’s first winning season since 2006, the first nine-win campaign since 1996 and the first points scored and first victory over longtime annual Thanksgiving Day rival Roselle since 2007.

After going 0-10 the past decade against Brearley and New Providence, Roselle Park finally felt what it was like to beat those arch rivals again. After getting blanked by holiday series rival Roselle the last four years, the Panthers relished a victory over the Rams right before their Thanksgiving Day meal.

“It was just a great senior year,” Bianchi said.

That included making the playoffs.

That also included two home playoff victories in front of large crowds at Herm Shaw Field that were excited to see the Panthers succeeding again.

Then came the trip to Bergen County to play in a state championship game in the home of the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants.

“Even though we didn’t win that last game I’m real proud of our team,” Johns said. “I’m just happy to play one more time with these guys and get one more chance to win.”

It was a season to remember for Roselle Park Panthers football and a season that was – perhaps – long overdue.

“The fact that our line is here says a lot,” Romero said.

Those linemen blocked for a junior running back, Brian Matthews, who rushed for over 1,400 yards. Matthews might be playing in this game next year.

“We had a great season and now we get a chance to win our last game together,” Kurywczak said.

The five Union County All-Stars representing Roselle Park hope it will be a victorious Snapple Bowl that they will be a big part of and a game that they will never forget.

NOTES: Union County’s coaching staff includes Brearley’s Scott Miller as head coach and defensive coordinator. Other head coaches include Hillside second-year mentor Kendall Ashford and first-year mentors Lou Grasso Jr. of Union and Kevin Kostibos of Summit. Other coaches include John Liberato, now the freshman coach at Summit, Rahway assistant Jimmy Young – a 1989 Union graduate – and Brearley assistant Vinny Russo – a 2005 Brearley grad.

Longtime, more than 50 years now, Hillside assistant John Zappulla is once again on the staff and will be coaching at Hillside again this fall.

All proceeds continue to benefit the Children’s Specialized Hospital in Mountainside and the Lakeview School in Edison, with players from both counties to visit those facilities Monday.

More than $415,000 has been raised for the charities since the Snapple Bowl commenced, including a single-game record $47,000 last year.

Practice will wrap Wednesday prior to the annual night-before banquet.

Snapple Bowl founder and director Marcus Borden is encouraging all Snapple Bowl alumni – players, coaches and cheerleaders – to attend Thursday night’s game as part of the 20th anniversary celebration.

 

2013 MIDDLESEX COUNTY ALL-STARS

Daquan Bailey, (5-8, 160), Woodbridge

Trent Barneys, (6-0, 165), QB, Colonia

Matt Bettin, (5-10, 175), LB, East Brunswick

Deon Brown, (6-0, 190), FS, Dunellen

Corey Brown, (6-2, 180), WR, Spotswood

Kevin Butler, (6-0, 195), LB, Piscataway

John Caruso, (5-10, 230), OG, Old Bridge

Alex Christian, (6-0, 200), DT, Spotswood

David Claybrook, (6-3, 190), WR, Piscataway

Tyler Conroy, (5-8, 270), C, Dunellen

Chris DiProfio, (5-10, 185), OG, Colonia

Jordan Dunn, (5-9, 160), RB, Edison

Hashaun Fullwood, (6-0, 195), DE, Perth Amboy

Vin Gargano, (5-9, 175), SS, Old Bridge

Colin Hannis, (6-0, 215), LB, Dunellen

Dion Hooper, (5-9, 165), SS, South Brunswick

Mike Hronich, (5-10, 195), LB, Metuchen

Nick Isola, (6-4, 195), TE, Monroe

Michael Jensen, (6-2, 185), WR, Bishop Ahr

Naji Johnson, (5-10, 235), FB, Carteret

Conor Killmurray, (6-1, 225), OT, South Brunswick

Jake Kobryn, (5-9, 195), LB, Old Bridge

Kyle LaPorte, (5-9, 170), CB, Piscataway

Chris Middleton, (6-1, 205), LB, Old Bridge

Jared Mincey, (5-9, 160), CB, J.P. Stevens

Amir Nave, (6-2, 285), OG, Piscataway

Joe Pellegrino, (5-8, 175), RB, South Plainfield

Jake Pero, (5-9, 165), FS, Colonia

Nick Pinho, (6-0, 215), TE, J.P. Stevens

Thomas Pitera, (6-1, 180), WR, South River

Jahmal Pryce, (5-10, 175), RB, Cardinal McCarrick

Bryan Rafano, (6-1, 180), P-PK, St. Joseph’s, Metuchen

Abdel Ragab, (5-10, 235), DE, Edison

Conor Reilly, (5-8, 205), FB, Middlesex

Tyler Rodriguez, (6-1, 210), QB, Carteret

Josue Romero, (6-0, 200), DE, Carteret

Dan San Filippo, (5-9, 190), LB, Carteret

Nick Sidotti, (5-8, 165), WR, North Brunswick

Jimmy Smith, (5-11, 235), OT, Iselin Kennedy

Thomas Spiecker, (6-2, 220), OT, Sayreville

James Sullen, (6-1, 175), WR, New Brunswick

Jordan Swan, (6-2, 220), DE, Bishop Ahr

Melshawn Taylor, (5-10, 275), C, Highland Park

Anthony Torchia, (6-1, 220), OT, South Plainfield

Jordan Valle, (6-1, 260), DT, Colonia

 

2013 MIDDLESEX COUNTY CHEERLEADERS

Nicolette Schlachter, Bishop Ahr

Lauren Francis, Bishop Ahr

Amani Harris, Carteret

Kelly Kenney, Carteret

Amanda Meco, Colonia

Alyssa Booth, Colonia

Nicole Drake, Dunellen

Valerie Maloupis, Dunellen

Kelly Hayes, East Brunswick

Danielle Sager, East Brunswick

Caitlyn Fulwood, Edison

Paige Lucyk, Edison

Samantha Clayton, Highland Park

Brittany Paulikas, Iselin Kennedy

Lindsay Whelan, Iselin Kennedy

Ashlee Aurelio, Metuchen

Marisa Dixon, Metuchen

Tomi Lee Lissy, Middlesex

Danielle Memolo, Middlesex

Lindsey Zybrick, Monroe

Heather Fleming, Monroe

Destani Deloatche, New Brunswick

Kayla Matias, New Brunswick

Stephanie Zambo, North Brunswick

Kelsey Aloia, North Brunswick

Danielle Cusanelli, Old Bridge

Cassidy Hughes, Old Bridge

Alexis Garcia, Perth Amboy

Adriana Nunez, Piscataway

Pbrooke Bowers, Piscataway

Heather Doran, Sayreville

Julie Gallagher, Sayreville

Elisabeth Martinez, South Brunswick

Jamie Marino, South River

Ginger McCutcheon, South River

Jordan Kimball, Spotswood

Nicole Surace, Spotswood

Jaime Schwab, Woodbridge

Amanda Kiraly, Woodbridge

Head coach: Colleen Meyers, Spotswood

Assistant coach: Jackie Cassidy, Spotswood

 

2013 UNION COUNTY ALL-STARS

Emmanuel Atilola, (5-8, 170), RE, Rahway

Rob Bianchi, (6-0, 215), G, Roselle Park

Darnell Boyd, (5-9, 165), QB, Union

Denzell Boyd, (5-8, 160), RE, Union

Kason Campbell, (5-11, 185), RB, Elizabeth

Doug Carter, (6-0, 205), QB, Union

Tahlim Daniels, (6-0, 200), LB, Hillside

Nick Diaz, (5-9, 180), LB, Cranford

Ryan Farrell, (6-1, 275), DT, Cranford

Joe Fiorenza, (5-9, 175), HB, Dayton

Shakiyl Glasco, (5-9, 175), CB, Westfield

Connor Goad, (6-1, 225), G, Dayton

Daniel Harper, (6-0, 180), CB, Roselle

Frank Harpster, (6-0, 245), OT, Gov. Livingston

Nick Iannacone, (6-0, 240), DT, New Providence

AJ Iarussi, (6-1, 220), FB, Summit

Richie Johns, (5-10, 165), CB, Roselle Park

Jaime Kaiser, (6-4, 315), OT, Scotch Plains

Varney Kolley, (6-2, 240), G, Linden

Greg Kurywczak, (6-3, 215), G, Roselle Park

Marvin Lewis, (5-11, 180), S, Plainfield

Nick Liberato, (6-0, 195), LB, Summit

Chizimuzo Mba, (6-4, 265), OT, Union

DJ McHugh, (6-2, 245), OT, Gov. Livingston

Kevin Metellus, (6-2, 220), DE, Roselle Park

Kyre Negron, (6-0, 170), RB, Summit

Ed Olenick, (6-3, 250), DT, Johnson

Andrew Oristanio, (6-0, 200), DE, Summit

Zach Piech, (6-2, 220), G, New Providence

Akeem Polk, (6-2, 220), DE, Elizabeth

Colin Quinn, (6-1, 190), LB, Rahway

Dein Rice, (5-8, 165), S, Scotch Plains

Eric Romero, (6-1, 220), DT, Roselle Park

Frank Schneeberger, (6-0, 185), PK, Roselle Park

Vincent Sidoli, (5-10, 205), S, New Providence

Derek Singer, (5-10, 175), RB, New Providence

Andrew Travisano, (5-7, 180), FB, Johnson

Anthony Tufaro, (6-0, 300), DT, Scotch Plains

Ezekiel Villafana, (6-1, 200), LB, Elizabeth

Kyle Ward, (5-10, 180), LE, Elizabeth

Jeff Weiss, (6-1, 250), C, Cranford

Akram Williams, (6-1, 225), LB, Elizabeth

James Womble, (6-3, 185), LE, Roselle

Andrew Zub, (6-1, 235), DE, Johnson

 

2013 UNION COUNTY CHEERLEADERS

Briona Bailey, Roselle

Keira Fields, Roselle

Kesiah Louis, Roselle

Jennifer Williams, Cranford

Nina Pastroff, Cranford

Kirsten Masut, Cranford

Ashley Hillbrandt, Brearley

Stephanie Cuccio, Brearley

Megan Sacks, Brearley

Marissa Lynn, Dayton

Angelica Dawidczyk, Dayton

Michaela Loesberg, Dayton

Coyyana Smallwood, Elizabeth

Chantise Colon, Elizabeth

Lucia Gimenez, Elizabeth

Deborah Anne Neri, Johnson

Michelle Brocato, Johnson

Emily Curran, Johnson

Kelly Keegan, Gov. Livingston

Kaity Hoffman, Gov. Livingston

Brittany Cureton, Linden

Fatima James, Linden

Amani Johnson, Linden

Kiwani Morrison, Linden

Kate DeTizio, New Providence

Lucia Marchetto, New Providence

Tylar Godwin, Rahway

Megan Marsden, Rahway

Heather Reed, Roselle Park

Hailey Rachko, Scotch Plains

Elizabeth Nardone, Scotch Plains

Alyssa Higgins, Union

Danasia Greaves, Union

Kendal Longmore, Union

Stephanie Brown, Westfield

Tiffani Gregory, Westfield

Head coach: Nikki Savino Mulcahy, Cranford

Assistant coach: Michelle Della Fortuna, Cranford

 

 

SNAPPLE BOWL SCORES/MVPS

2012: Middlesex 39, Union 15

MVP – Cody Zalasar,

Woodbridge, running back

At East Brunswick

2011: Union 28, Middlesex 6

MVP – Darius Mayers,

Roselle, running back

At Kean University

2010: Middlesex 28, Union 14

MVP – Mike Muha,

South Brunswick, quarterback

At East Brunswick

2009: Middlesex 24, Union 6

MVP – Michael Burton,

South Plainfield, cornerback

At Kean University

2008: Middlesex 14, Union 7

MVP – James White,

Piscataway, linebacker

At East Brunswick

2007: Middlesex 17, Union 10

MVP – Aireil Adams,

New Brunswick, wide receiver

At Kean University

2006: Middlesex 13, Union 7

MVP – Herbert Nieves,

Sayreville, defensive end

At South Brunswick

2005: Union 21, Middlesex 14

MVP – Chris Drechsel,

Cranford, quarterback

At Kean University

2004: Union 19, Middlesex 7

MVP – Jan Cocozziello,

Westfield, quarterback

At East Brunswick

2003: Union 13, Middlesex 0

MVP – Mike Vicci,

Johnson, quarterback

At East Brunswick

2002: Middlesex 28, Union 20

MVP – Zack Earvin,

South River, running back

At Kean University

2001: Union 17, Middlesex 16

MVP – Brandon Bracey,

Linden, defensive back

At East Brunswick

2000: Union 27, Middlesex 21

MVP – Billy Gilbert,

Elizabeth, running back

At Union

1999: Middlesex 28, Union 7

MVP – Jeff LeSeur,

Perth Amboy, wide receiver

At East Brunswick

1998: Middlesex 33, Union 7

MVP – Luke Cianello,

Dunellen, quarterback

At Union

1997: Union 28, Middlesex 7

MVP – Louis Campbell,

Rahway, quarterback

At East Brunswick

1996: Middlesex 21, Union 6

MVP – Kenny Rogers,

South Brunswick, running back

At Union

1995: Union 17, Middlesex 15

MVP – Jamie Allen,

Summit, wide receiver

At Sayreville

1994: Middlesex 35, Union 14

MVP – Khamisi Jackson,

Monroe, running back

At Union

• •

SNAPPLE BOWL FACTS

Series lead: Middlesex 11-8

Home team: 8-11

Road team: 11-8

Most points: Middlesex, 366

Least points: Union, 283

Shutouts: 1 – Union (2003)

5-game winning streak:

1– Middlesex (2006-2010)

3-game winning streak:

1-Union (2003-2005)

• •

MIDDLESEX MVPs (11)

Monroe: Khamisi Jackson, 1994

South Brunswick: Kenny Rogers, 1996

Dunellen: Luke Cianello, 1998

Perth Amboy: Jeff LeSeur, 1999

South River: Zack Earvin, 2002

Sayreville: Herbert Nieves, 2006

New Brunswick: Aireil Adams, 2007

Piscataway: James White, 2008

South Plainfield: Michael Burton, 2009

South Brunswick: Mike Muha, 2010

Woodbridge: Cody Zalasar, 2012

UNION MVPs (8)

Summit: Jamie Allen, 1995

Rahway: Louis Campbell, 1997

Elizabeth: Billy Gilbert, 2000

Linden: Brandon Bracey, 2001

Johnson: Mike Vicci, 2003

Westfield: Jan Cocozziello, 2004

Cranford: Chris Drechsel, 2005

Roselle: Darius Mayers, 2011

• •

WHERE SNAPPLE BOWL

HAS BEEN PLAYED AT

Union: Middlesex is 3-1

Sayreville: Union is 1-0

East Brunswick: tied at 4-4

Kean University: Middlesex is 3-2

South Brunswick: Middlesex is 1-0

In Union County: Middlesex is 6-3

In Middlesex County: tied at 5-5

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