Roselle Park football preview: Panthers once again considered a feared opponent

PHOTO BY STEVE ELLMORE - Terry Hanratty is in his second season as the head coach at Roselle Park. He guided the Panthers to last year's North 2, Group 1 championship game.
PHOTO BY STEVE ELLMORE – Terry Hanratty is in his second season as the head coach at Roselle Park. He guided the Panthers to last year’s North 2, Group 1 championship game.
PHOTO BY STEVE ELLMORE - Roselle Park is coming off a season in which it went 9-3 and won a share of the Mid-State 38 Conference's Hills Division title.
PHOTO BY STEVE ELLMORE – Roselle Park is coming off a season in which it went 9-3 and won a share of the Mid-State 38 Conference’s Hills Division title.

ROSELLE PARK – To say that last year was a breakout season for the Panthers would be an understatement.

On the verge of becoming a prominent player once again in 2011 during James Foy’s final season as head coach, Roselle Park took that momentum to new heights in 2012 under first-year mentor Terry Hanratty.

“James left me a very stable program,” Hanratty said. “He deserves a lot of credit for our success last year.

“I’m delighted that he stayed on to work with the freshmen.”

Foy and Keith Wintermute, both Roselle Park graduates who played for the winningest head coach in program history – John Wagner, coach the freshman team. Foy and Hanratty both graduated high school in 1990, Foy Roselle Park and Hanratty Elizabeth.

“James and Keith are good friends of mine,” Hanratty said. “When I was at GL we scrimmaged Roselle Park.”

Highly-successful head wrestling coach John Ranieri, another Roselle Park graduate who used to coach the freshmen, is back coaching football and is on Hanratty’s varsity staff along with line coach Greg Dunkerton, who is a Roselle Park resident.

“John wants to see the program do well,” Hanratty said. “He’s a great addition. He sees it as Roselle Park athletics not just wrestling.”

After the 2012 season began with a thrilling 21-20 overtime win at Pingry, important victories followed over division foe Bound Brook and vs. perennial arch rivals Brearley and New Providence.

Roselle Park’s win over Bound Brook helped it gain a share of the Hills Division title with Bound Brook and South Hunterdon. The Panthers then defeated Brearley and New Providence both for the first time since 2001, snapping 10-game losing streaks against each.

The division title was Roselle Park’s first since capturing the Mountain Valley Conference’s Valley Division championship outright in 1996.

Other firsts in some time included qualifying for the playoffs for the first time since 2001, hosting and winning playoff games at home for the first time since 1993, beating an opponent – New Providence – twice in the same season for the first time since 1993 and reaching a state championship game for the first time since 1993.

Roselle Park also posted its first winning season since 2006. The Panthers had lost 22 straight from 2008-2010, including a 0-10 season in 2009.

Last Thanksgiving morning at Herm Shaw Field, Roselle Park defeated Roselle for the first time in five years after getting shut out by the Rams the previous four seasons.

Running back Brian Matthews proved to be the home run hitter Roselle Park needed to get to the next level. The Brick transfer carried the ball 173 times for 1,443 yards and scored 17 touchdowns.

The 5-9, 170-pound running back-linebacker – first team all county last year – is one of the top seniors in Union County.

“Brian continues to do a great job for us,” Hanratty said. “We had to replace four linemen and a tight end (due to graduation) so we’re not sure yet.

“We’re getting better every day, but we’re not sure yet what kind of team we’re going to be.”

Other returning starters in addition to Matthews include seniors Marc Signorello at center, wide receiver Brandon Pugliese and quarterback Jordan Andre.

“Our returning players are not only good, but also a lot better,” Hanratty said. “They’re better athletically and they understand the game better.”

Dunkerton’s task is to put together a new offensive line that will provide the necessary running room for Matthews and his fellow backs.

“Greg is doing such a great job with the new kids,” Hanratty said. “He takes pride with the offensive line and has been working with the kids all summer.”

Back at signal-caller is Andre, who has a year of experience at his disposal this time.

“Jordan has lifted weights a lot more and has gotten stronger and throws a better ball,” Hanratty said. “He also understands the offense better, which was one of his weaknesses.

“On a play in one of our scrimmages he took the ball, scrambled and picked up 20 yards. He’s much, much more mature and taking on a leadership role. He’s not the new kid anymore. He’s very confident.”

The lone returning offensive lineman is Signorello.

“Marc is bigger, stronger and understands what he can do,” Hanratty said.

One of Andre’s targets is Pugliese.

“Brandon is very fast,” Hanratty said. “He’s using his speed and is now a threat at wide receiver. He’s also a solid player for us on defense.”

In addition to Pugliese at cornerback, other returning defense players include Matthews and Peter Hilburn, also a senior, at linebacker and Andre at cornerback.




79-LT Alan Nunez, senior, (5-10, 190)

53-LG Alex Chacon, junior, (5-9, 185)

52-C Marc Signorello, senior, (5-11, 225)

51-RG Nick Muccia, senior, (6-2, 230)

68-RT Aydon Tango, senior, (5-10, 200)

84-TE Donald Picciano, senior, (6-0, 170)

5-WR Brandon Pugliese, senior, (5-10, 165)

23-RB Brian Matthews, senior, (5-9, 170)

30-RB Peter Hilburn, senior, (5-11, 170)

40-FB Bryce Parin, senior, (6-0, 190)

1-QB Jordan Andre, senior, (5-9, 160)

4-PK Bradley Carle, junior, (6-0, 175)

Returning starters (4): Signorello, Pugliese,

Matthews, Andre.


65-RG Nicholas Dunn, senior, (5-9, 200)

78-RT Anthony Felipe, senior, (6-2, 200)

15-WR Michael Arocho, senior, (5-9, 160)

32-RB Joey Fulinello, senior, (5-10, 165)

44-FB Joe Picarelli, sophomore, (5-10, 180)

7-QB Bobby Vail, senior, (6-0, 170)




65-T Nicholas Dunn, senior, (5-9, 200)

51-T Nick Muccia, senior, (6-2, 230)

71-E Rob Sotelo, senior, (6-2, 205)

84-E Donald Picciano, senior, (6-0, 170)

40-MLB Bryce Parin, senior, (6-0, 190)

23-MLB Brian Matthews, senior, (5-9, 170)

32-OLB Joey Fulinello, senior, (5-10, 165)

30-OLB Peter Hilburn, senior, (5-11, 170)

5-CB Brandon Pugliese, senior, (5-10, 165)

1-CB Jordan Andre, senior, (5-9, 160)

7-S Bobby Vail, senior, (6-0, 170)

4-P Bradley Carle, junior, (6-0, 175)

Returning starters (4): Matthews, Hilburn,

Pugliese, Andre.


52-DT Marc Signorello, senior, (5-11, 225)

79-E Alan Nunez, senior, (5-10, 190)

76-OLB William Ferdiando, sophomore, (5-11, 180)

10-CB George Perez, junior, (5-7, 140)

15-S Michael Arocho, senior, (5-9, 160)



Head coach: Terry Hanratty, since 2012.

A 1990 Elizabeth graduate.

Second season: 9-3 (.750)

Conference: Mid-State 38

Division: Hills

Section: North 2, Group 1

Roselle Park’s last sectional title: 1993

2012: (9-3 and 3-1 in Hills Divison-tied for first)

Herm Shaw Field: Grass.

Hanratty has now been a head coach

for nine seasons – including his first eight

at Governor Livingston – and has led

seven teams to playoff appearances,

including two of them to state

championship games.



Sept. 12 Pingry, 7 p.m.

Sept. 20 Manville, 7 p.m.

Sept. 27 at South Hunterdon, 7 p.m.

Oct. 4 at Bound Brook, 7 p.m.

Oct. 11 Brearley, 7 p.m.

Oct. 18 Bernards, 7 p.m.

Nov. 1 at Dayton, 7 p.m.

Nov. 8 New Providence, 7 p.m.

Nov. 28 at Roselle, 10:30 a.m.

Head coach: Terry Hanratty,

second season



(A) Roselle Park 21, Pingry 20 (OT)

(A) Roselle Park 49, Manville 6

(H) South Hunterdon 19, Roselle Park 9

(H) Roselle Park 23, Bound Brook 13

(A) Roselle Park 27, Brearley 12

(A) Bernards 36, Roselle Park 7

(H) Roselle Park 28, Dayton 21

(A) Roselle Park 35, New Providence 28

(H) Roselle Park 25, Secaucus 7

(H) Roselle Park 28, Roselle 14

(H) Roselle Park 21, New Providence 13

(N) Hoboken 39, Roselle Park 9

Head coach: Terry Hanratty,

first season.

Section: North 2, Group 1

Conference: Mid-State 38

Division: Hills 3-1, tri-champs

with South Hunterdon, Bound Brook

Record: 9-3

Home: 5-1

Away: 4-1

Neutral: 0-1

Points for: 282

Points against: 228

Shutouts: 0

Overtime: 1-0