ROSELLE – If there is one team that can’t wait to get back on the field for its season-opener it’s the Roselle Rams.
Roselle closed a quick, growing-pains 2-6 campaign a year ago way back on Oct. 20, leaving Middlesex County with a 22-21 single overtime win that day over host Spotswood.
With many key varsity performers earning their wings for the first time, Roselle hopes that season-ending triumph proves to be the impetus to continued success in 2019.
Roselle is much more experienced this season, with five returning starters on offense and seven on defense.
“We’re all going to play hard,” returning junior quarterback Cameron Chatman said. “The Rams are going to be dogs this year.”
Also returning on offense are junior running back Jared McRae, junior wide receiver Isaiah Vallderruten, senior right guard Trevor Sejour and sophomore left guard Malachi Desira.
“We have to finish; we have to play hard and aggressive for four quarters,” Chatman said. “That’s what we’re preaching, to give everything we have for four quarters.
“That’s what we intend on giving for each game.”
Two close losses last year included the season-opening 22-20 setback at Bishop Ahr and a 7-0 decision to Johnson at Rahway River Park.
With a full season of experience under his belt, Chatman plans on turning those decisions into victories.
Chatman runs Roselle’s Multiple Offense. A great deal of his work consists of confusing defenses – making them guess pass or run.
“This year I know when to check in and out and talk to my OC (offensive coordinator) when we go over looks and strategies,” Chatman said. “I have a better understanding of the game. It’s a big difference from last year to this year.”
“He’s mobile,” seventh-year head coach James Williams said of Chatman. “He can throw and he can run. He’s an athlete. He also plays defense (LB) for us.”
Vallderruten came on the scene last year after transferring in from Bergen Catholic. Chatman and Vallderruten hooked up for one touchdown pass in the team’s first scrimmage vs. Bound Brook.
“Isiah is a big factor, he can make plays,” Chatman said. “That’s what we need to do. Everyone needs to make plays.”
Protection is paramount to allow Chatman to move and also have the necessary time to find an intended receiver.
“I want to give my quarterback at least 10 seconds in the pocket,” Sejour said. “Stay low. It’s the little things that matter.”
With McRae the lead running back Roselle has experience at the skill positions of QB, WR and RB. Expect the Rams – as long as they stay disciplined and eliminate unnecessary penalties – to be in better position to reach the end zone more often than they did in 2018.
“We feel like we can make it all the way, but we have to be hungry, we have to want it, we have to be dogs,” Chatman said. “With the pieces that we have and the coaching staff we have I feel like it’s possible.”
“Nothing’s impossible, it’s the game of football,” Sejour said.
The state of Roselle football going into 2018 was this: “overall in 2016 and 2017 I graduated almost 21 seniors, so I knew coming into last year we were going to be short-handed and I was going to be playing a lot of younger kids,” Williams said.
“So I played the young kids and they all played, so they’re a bit seasoned, and we had a good winter in the weight room, so they’re bigger and stronger now.
“Experience is the key. I played young (last year) because I knew they were going to come back this year. I played young so they got the experience last year. I threw them in the fire so now they’re ready.”
Returning starters on defense include Sejour and Desire on the line, Chatman and McRae at linebacker and junior Daniel Destine, Vallderruten and senior Tyresse Harrington in the secondary.
“Defense is our strongest point,” Williams said. “We have a big line to stop the inside run, I have experienced backers with Chatman and McRae and I have experienced DBs with Vallderruten and Destine.”
The captains are Chatman, McRae, Destine, Valldurreten and Sejour.
Roselle’s new, first-time turf surface at Arminio Field is finally in place, with the Rams to host their first game on it Sept. 14 vs. defending North 2, Group 3 state champion Summit.
“No matter what we play on I’m going to work hard and give it my all,” Chatman said. “We’re grateful to have it (turf). It’s beautiful.”
“It’s nice and it looks great, but it doesn’t matter to me, I just want to play football,” Sejour said.
NOTES: This is the 30th anniversary of Roselle’s only state championship team in the playoff era. The 1989 Rams – guided by head coach Lou Grasso, Sr. – captured the North 2, Group 2 state title.
Seeded fourth among the four-team field that season, Roselle won at top-seeded and defending champion Summit 6-0 in the first round and then triumphed at second-seeded Madison 20-0 in the championship game.
ROSELLE’S MULTIPLE OFFENSE:
RG Trevor Sejour, senior, (6-3, 350)
RT Amir Gardner, junior, (6-0, 200)
C Jaydin Fis-Aime, freshman, (6-0, 250)
LG Malachi Desira, sophomore, (6-1, 245)
LT Chanyn Payne, junior, (6-0, 220)
WR Isaiah Vallderruten, junior, (6-2, 170)
WR Daniel Destine, junior, (5-11, 170)
WR Tyresse Harrington, senior, (5-11, 170)
WR Judah Hawkins, junior, (6-0, 175)
QB Cameron Chatman, junior, (6-1, 190)
RB Jared McRae, junior, (6-0, 200)
PK Cameron Chatman, junior, (6-1, 190)
Returning starters (5): Sejour, Desira,
Vallderruten, Chatman, McRae.
ROSELLE’S 4-2-5 DEFENSE:
E Emmanuel Lyles, junior, (6-0, 185)
T Trevor Sejour, senior, (6-3, 350)
T Malachi Desira, sophomore, (6-1, 245)
E Chanyn Payne, junior, (6-0, 220)
OLB Cameron Chatman, junior, (6-1, 190)
MLB Jared McRae, junior, (6-0, 200)
WLB Anthony Wright, senior, (5-8, 160)
B Daniel Destine, junior, (5-11, 170)
B Isaiah Vallderruten, junior, (6-2, 170)
S Tyresse Harrington, senior, (5-11, 170)
S Judah Hawkins, junior, (6-0, 175)
P Cameron Chatman, junior, (6-1, 190)
Returning starters (7): Sejour, Desira,
Chatman, McRae, Destine, Vallderruten,
ROSELLE RAMS 2019
Sept. 7 at South River, 1 p.m.
Sept. 14 Summit, 2 p.m.
Sept. 21 Delaware Valley, 1 p.m.
Sept. 28 at Hillside, 1 p.m.
Oct. 5 Bernards, 2 p.m.
Oct. 11 at Johnson, 7 p.m.
Oct. 26 Spotswood, 1 p.m.
Nov. 2 at Highland Park, 2 p.m.
Nov. 28 Roselle Park, 10 a.m.
Head coach: James Williams,
2018 ROSELLE RAMS (2-6)
(A) Bishop Ahr 22, Roselle 20
(H) South River 33, Roselle 20 at RRP
(H) Hillside 35, Roselle 7 at RRP
(H) Johnson 7, Roselle 0
(H) Roselle 30, South Hunterdon 6
(A) Delaware Valley 45, Roselle 6
(A) Bernards 28, Roselle 6
(A) Roselle 22, Spotswood 21 (OT)
All home games at Rahway River Park.
Head coach: James Williams,
Section: South, Group 2
Conference: Mid-State 36
Division: Valley, 0-4
Points for: 111
Points against: 197
Head Coach: James Williams, since 2013.
A 1989 Clifford Scott graduate.
Seventh season: 33-27 (.550)
Conference: Mid-State 37
Section: South, Group 2
Roselle’s last (only in playoff era) sectional title: 1989
2018: (2-6 and 0-4, fifth in Valley Division)
Arminio Field: Turf – it’s finally here.
Williams guided Roselle to the CJ, G2 playoffs
four consecutive years (2014-2017), including the
program’s first playoff win (in 2014) since 1998.
He led the Rams to the CJ, G2 semifinals
In 2014 and 2016.