Roselle Park football preview: Panthers have momentum going into new season

PHOTO BY STEVE ELLMORE - Roselle Park is on offense in a home scrimmage.
PHOTO BY STEVE ELLMORE – Roselle Park is on offense in a home scrimmage.

ROSELLE PARK – Although last season was not a playoff year like the previous two were for the Panthers, they did finish strong, winning their last three games to avoid a sub-.500 season and finish even at 5-5.

While there are not a whole lot of returning players back, when you have the kid behind center returning, that’s a good thing.

Back at quarterback for Roselle Park is senior Joe Woods.

“Joe is a versatile player for us, he can throw and he can run and he has experience,” fourth-year head coach Terry Hanratty said.

Other returning starters on offense include senior linemen Sebastian Leo and Will Ferdinando and senior back Joe Picarelli. All four are also returning starters on defense.

Roselle Park was one of three Union County teams to close 2014 with three-game winning streaks, the other two being Governor Livingston, which also finished 5-5, and Dayton, which concluded at 4-6.

Roselle Park won four of its last five games in 2014, beginning with a 38-20 win at Dayton.

“We have a group of hard-working players,” Hanratty said. “We won our last three to finish .500 last year and the kids gained some confidence with that. That gave them something to strive for.”

On offense it all starts with Woods.

“He has a lot of potential,” Hanratty said. “A lot of it will fall on his shoulders. He’s going to be the guy on third down to keep on giving us the ball.”

Back to block for Woods are Leo and Ferdinando, the latter moving from tight end to guard.

“Will is a hard-worker and very intelligent,” Hanratty said. “He’s impressed in the weight room and also has excellent grades.”

Leo is Roselle Park’s center and a tackle on defense.

“Leo works his butt off and is the leader of our offensive line,” Hanratty said. “He’s a vocal guy and a player we’re expecting to step up for us.”

The lead runners are Picarelli at wingback and first-year starter Carry Mimy at halfback. Hanratty reports that another first-year starter, junior back David Forstenhausler, has excelled at running the ball in Roselle Park’s scrimmages.

With special teams being just as important as offense and defense, Roselle Park’s kicking game is in good hands with returning sophomore Valentino Ambrosio.

“We think we have the best sophomore kicker in the state in Valentino,” Hanratty said.

Ambrosio’s first varsity field goal – a 25-yarder – extended Roselle Park’s lead to 24-14 in the second quarter of an eventual 34-24 loss at arch rival Brearley last October.

“He’s good from the 40 and inside and his kickoffs have been consistently inside the five,” Hanratty said. “He can be a lethal weapon for us.

“He could be one of the best kickers in the state by the time he’s a senior.”

Roselle Park wraps its scrimmage schedule at home Wednesday night, Sept. 2, with its game-scrimmage vs. Metuchen.

The Panthers remain home for their season-opener Sept. 11 vs. Pingry.

Roselle Park has defeated Pingry three years in a row, all season-openers. The Panthers won at Pingry 21-20 in overtime to set the tone for a 2012 season that saw them reach the North 2, Group 1 final for the first time since 1993.

Roselle Park then blanked Pingry 21-0 at home in 2013 and 33-0 on the road in 2014.





T Clyve Timothy, senior, (6-4, 275)

G Justin Arnold, junior, (5-9, 210)

C Sebastian Leo, senior, (6-0, 200)

G William Ferdinando, senior, (6-1, 185)

T Jason Estivene, senior, (6-2, 195)

E Sean Matthews, sophomore, (6-0, 200)

WR Jake O’Connell, senior, (5-8, 170)

B Joe Picarelli, senior, (6-1, 210)

B Carry Mimy, senior, (5-10, 190)

B David Forstenhausler, junior, (5-10, 160)

QB Joe Woods, senior, (6-0, 170)

PK Valentino Ambrosio, sophomore, (5-7, 140)

Returning starters (5): Leo, Ferdinando,

Picarelli, Woods, Ambrosio.




T Clyve Timothy, senior, (6-4, 275)

T Sebastian Leo, senior (6-0, 200)

E Joe Picarelli, senior, (6-1, 210)

E Jason Estivene, senior, (6-2, 196)

ILB Carry Mimy, senior, (5-10, 190)

ILB William Ferdinando, senior, (6-1, 185)

ILB David Forstenhausler, junior, (5-10, 160)

ILB Aram Griffin, senior, (5-7, 180)

C Khaleel Roach, senior, (5-8, 150)

C Carlos Vasquez, junior, (5-6, 146)

C Enzo Brutus, sophomore, (5-9, 160)

C Steven Karas, junior, (5-9, 160)

S Joe Woods, senior, (6-0, 170)

P Valentino Ambrosio, sophomore, (5-7, 140)

Returning starters (4): Leo, Picarelli,

Ferdinando, Woods.



Head Coach: Terry Hanratty, since 2012.

A 1990 Elizabeth graduate.

Fourth season: 22-11 (.667)

Conference: Mid-State 38

Division: Valley

Section: North 2, Group 1

Roselle Park’s last sectional title: 1993

2014: (5-5 and 3-5, sixth in Valley Division)

Herm Shaw Field: Grass.

Hanratty has guided Roselle Park to winning streaks

of at least three games during his first three seasons

at the helm of the Panthers. Last year’s squad closed

with a three-game winning streak, including a win at home

over CJ, G2 semifinalist Roselle.



Sept. 11 Pingry, 7 p.m.

Sept. 25 at Bound Brook, 7 p.m.

Oct. 2 Brearley, 7 p.m.

Oct. 9 at Belvidere, 7 p.m.

Oct. 16 at South Hunterdon, 7 p.m.

Oct. 23 Dayton, 7 p.m.

Oct. 30 New Providence, 7 p.m.

Nov. 6 at Manville, 7 p.m.

Nov. 26 at Roselle, 10:30 a.m.

Head coach: Terry Hanratty,

fourth season


2014 PANTHERS (5-5)

(A) Roselle Park 33, Pingry 0

(H) Bound Brook 23, Roselle Park 21

(A) Brearley 34, Roselle Park 24

(H) Belvidere 14, Roselle Park 10

(H) South Hunterdon 42, Roselle Park 14

(A) Roselle Park 38, Dayton 20

(A) New Providence 20, Roselle Park 7

(H) Roselle Park 38, Manville 22

(H) Roselle Park 48, North Arlington 0

(H) Roselle Park 29, Roselle 14

Head coach: Terry Hanratty,

third season

Section: North 2, Group 1

Conference: Mid-State 38

Division: Valley 3-5

Record: 5-5

Home: 3-3

Away: 2-2

Points for: 262

Points against: 189

Shutouts: 2

Overtime: 0-0