2012-09-04 / Sports
Offense holds the key for Sayreville football in 2012
The Sayreville War Memorial High School football team heads into its Sept. 7 regular season opener at Old Bridge High School off a 2011 campaign that got better with each game and won the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV championship.
Although Sayreville will be without big-play back Delon Stephenson, who graduated in June and will play at Rutgers University in the fall, plenty of talent remains for the Bombers. One of the keys is the return of four linemen. A year ago, the line personified the team. It started slowly, but experience and adjustments made to the offense by coach George Najjar turned things around by the end of the season.
Seniors Bryan McMahon and Thomas Spiecker are back at the tackle slots, and junior Brian McDonough returns at center. Junior Dan Grecco, who saw some playing time last fall, will combine with sophomore Dylan Thillett to hold down the guard positions. Senior Rob Geiger gives the Bombers depth up front.
“Having the line back after what they did last year is very important,” Najjar said. “Their experience should really help us.”
Senior Isaiah Cureton, who is a rushing threat, is back at quarterback and will operate out of the Wing-T. He will also be the punter and place-kicker. Seniors Zeke Perkinson and Mike Carey, as well as junior Deion Miller, are the main backs. Sophomore Myles Hartsfield, who showed much promise as a freshman, will likely see a more prominent role in the backfield in 2012. Senior Jon Bracero and junior Malik Pressley are the main wide receivers.
On defense, which is always a Sayreville strong suit, the Bombers will rely on many of the same players. Miller, Spiecker and Thillett will alternate at the guard spots, while junior Chris Tricarico, William White and McMahon are the tackles. Carey, Cureton and Geiger are the linebackers. Perkinson, Pressley and Hartsfield give the blue and gray a very speedy secondary that should get its share of interceptions. “We have to stay healthy and our defense needs to become a more cohesive unit,” Najjar said. “I was generally pleased with what I saw in the scrimmages, but we have more work to do.”
While the Bombers have remained in Central Group IV, many of their Greater Middlesex Conference Red Division opponents have moved into the newly formed Central V section, including Old Bridge, East Brunswick High School and South Brunswick High School. Meanwhile, Brick Memorial High School, Colts Neck High School and West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South are among the top competitors in Central Group IV.
“Obviously, we want to qualify for the states and do well there, but we’re not worried about that right now,” Najjar said. “There’s no reason for anyone here to be thinking of anything other than Old Bridge. We don’t look ahead.”
The opener kicks off at 7 p.m. at the Sandburg Middle School against an Old Bridge team that went 5-5 last fall with several key returning players.