SUMMIT – There are teams that proclaim they are “rebuilding” and then there are teams that – without saying so – seem to “reload” based on continued success following getting hit very hard by graduation.
Gone are standout players such as Mike Badgley, A.J. Iarussi, Nick Liberato, Kyre Negron, Andrew Oristanio, Austin Carbone, Connor O’Malley and Will Shamim.
Remaining and featured as the new regime at Summit are 2013 captains Charlie Terry, Andrew Masterfano, Colm Dougherty and Eric Lyman.
We’re about to see how the Hilltoppers, who have not lost a regular season game since November of 2008, continue to excel on a weekly basis.
This year’s squad returns just three linemen on offense and only one starter on defense.
The Hilltoppers, 44-2 the last four seasons, enter 2013 with a 36-game regular season winning streak.
“The last four years was almost a magical run,” said first-year head coach Kevin Kostibos, who moved up after serving under head coach John Liberato as Summit’s special teams coordinator and in charge of the offensive and defensive lines. “This a completely new group.
“The last class here you get once in a decade.”
Leading the Wing-T, spread offense is senior quarterback Charlie Terry.
“Charlie is a great leader, a big kid,” Kostibos said of his 6-3 signal-caller. “He can throw and run with the football. He’s been part of two successful teams and now it’s his turn to lead.”
Colm Dougherty, Summit’s senior fullback, and senior running back Andrew Masterfano played behind Iarussi and Negron the last two years.
“Like Charlie, this is Colm’s and Andrew’s time to shine,” Kostibos said.
The three returning starters according to Kostibos are linemen Robbie Walsh (6-8, 225), Stevie Rainero (6-0, 235) and Eric Lyman (6-3, 205). Walsh is at left tackle, Rainero is the center and Lyman is at right tackle.
“A lot of teams have backfield guys returning, but we have three linemen, which is good,” Kostibos said. “They have the experience and they’re the backbone.”
Although Kostibos lists Dougherty as the lone returning starter on defense, Kostibos likes his front seven.
“We’re very fast and strong up front,” Kostibos said. “(Mac) Wiesner and (Michael) Maldonado can get pretty good pressure and (Gerber) Bolanos at tackle is a real strong kid.
“We also have three linebackers who can really run.”
Those athletes would be Dougherty and fellow seniors Matt Oristanio and Nick Ruiz.
“These kids are athletic and getting better every day,” Kostibos said. “They have the potential to keep up the level of success that has been achieved here.”
77-LT Robbie Walsh, senior, (6-8, 225)
65-LG Matt Greenstein, junior, (6-3, 245)
70-C Stevie Rainero, junior, (6-0, 235)
78-RG Harold Esquivel, senior, (5-10, 230)
50-RT Eric Lyman, senior, (6-3, 205)
16-QB Charlie Terry, senior, (6-3, 175)
42-FB Colm Dougherty, senior, (5-10, 180)
23-RB Chris Zanelli, junior, (5-10, 175)
28-RB Andrew Masterfano, senior, (5-11, 155)
88-WR Drew Mullholland, junior, (5-9, 155)
9-WR Dan Childers, senior, (6-0, 175)
80-WR Andrew Helmer, junior, (6-1, 180)
20-WR Spencer Sink, junior, (5-9, 190)
23-PK Chris Zanelli, junior, (5-10, 175)
Returning starters (3): Walsh, Rainero, Lyman.
SUMMIT’S 4-3 DEFENSE:
85-E Mac Wiesner, senior, (6-5, 210)
54-E Michael Maldonado, junior, (6-4, 220)
62-T Colin Andrews, junior, (6-1, 230)
75-T Gerber Bolanos, senior, (5-9, 235)
42-LB Colm Dougherty, senior, (5-10, 180)
32-LB Matt Oristanio, senior, (5-9, 175)
1-LB Nick Ruiz, senior, (5-11, 185)
4-CB Will Huck, junior, (6-0, 175)
80-CB Andrew Helmer, junior, (6-1, 180)
13-S Peter McKinley, junior, (5-10, 180)
10-S John Cordrey, junior, (5-10, 175)
16-P Charlie Terry, senior, (6-3, 175)
Returning starters (1): Dougherty.
Head coach: Kevin Kostibos, since 2013.
A 1999 Hanover Park graduate.
Conference: Mid-State 38
Section: North 2, Group 3
Summit’s last sectional title: 2012
2012: (12-0 and 6-0 in Raritan Division-champs)
Tatlock Field: Field Turf.
Kostibos starred at JohnsHopkinsUniversity and then
was an assistant at Livingston for three years under
head coach Bill Tracy. Kostibos came to Summit with
head coach John Liberato and was an assistant at Summit
the past six seasons from 2007-2012. Kostibos played for
Liberato when Liberato was the head coach at Hanover Park.
This is the first head coaching position for Kostibos, whose
father Barry took over as head coach at Livingston in 2009.
SUMMIT HILLTOPPERS 2013
Sept. 12 at Somerville, 7 p.m.
Sept. 20 at Johnson, 7 p.m.
Sept. 28 Cranford, 1 p.m.
Oct. 5 North Plainfield, 2 p.m.
Oct. 12 at Rahway, 1 p.m.
Oct. 19 Roselle, 1 p.m.
Oct. 25 at WarrenHills, 7 p.m.
Nov. 2 DelawareValley, 2 p.m.
Nov. 9 at Hillside, 1 p.m.
Head coach: Kevin Kostibos,
2012 SUMMIT HILLTOPPERS (12-0)
(H) Summit 41, Somerville 7
(H) Summit 17, Johnson 13
(A) Summit 30, Cranford 27
(A) Summit 31, North Plainfield 12
(H) Summit 39, Rahway 20
(A) Summit 27, Roselle 6
(H) Summit 41, WarrenHills 14
(A) Summit 35, DelawareValley 21
(H) Summit 50, Hillside 0
(H) Summit 44, NewarkWest Side 6
(H) Summit 30, Parsippany Hills 13
(N) Summit 30, Palisades Park-Leonia 0
Head coach: John Liberato,
Section: North 2, Group 3
Conference: Mid-State 38
Division: Raritan 6-0, champions
Points for: 415
Points against: 139