Huskies expect a big improvement this year

first_imgBY WARREN RAPPLEYEA Staff Writer BY WARREN RAPPLEYEAStaff Writer CHRIS KELLY staff Junior tailback J.T. Anderson is expected to lead the Matawan offense this year as the Huskies look to bounce back from an uncharacteristically tough 2005 season. With a veteran lineup in tow, the Matawan High School football team is looking to return to its traditional winning ways this season. The Huskies open the campaign Friday evening at Red Bank Catholic starting at 7 p.m. Coach Joe Martucci was generally pleased with his squad’s performances over four scrimmages, although the team lost Trey Waldon, a key defensive back and one of the team’s leaders, to a leg injury. As Matawan approached the opener, it was unclear when Waldon would return to the lineup. “Trey’s a big loss for us and we’re hoping to get him back real soon,” Martucci said. “We did well in the scrimmages, especially early on, but then we had a number of minor injuries that kept some kids out of the later scrimmages. But everyone should be back for the opener, except for Trey.” A year ago, Matawan went an uncharacteristic 2-8 with a relatively young roster. Although the Huskies struggled, Martucci is hoping the experience his players gained will help turn things around this fall. “All in all, our guys had a great preseason,” he explained. “The enthusiasm is there and they’re all working hard to make this team a winner.” The offense includes junior tailback J.T. Anderson (5-11, 175), who ran for more than 600 yards and caught 10 passes out of the backfield last year. Julian Sonnenfeld (6-1, 190) moves from wideout to quarterback, where he displayed poise during the scrimmages, Martucci noted. Nick Citro (5-8, 195) will be the fullback. He saw some varsity time last year. Sonnenfeld’s receivers include split ends Manny Bowling (5-11, 175) and sophomore Kyle Hardy (6-4, 190) and returning tight end Steve Turner (6-3, 220). The line is solid and experienced. Junior Jim Dwyer (6-0, 220) moves from guard to center this year, with Anthony Grasso (6-6, 285) and Ray Mara (6-2, 275) back at tackle. John Lazar (5-11, 195) returns at left guard, and Ryan Ballard (6-1, 290) will line up at right guard. On the other side of the line, junior Wayne Robinson (5-11, 210) and Turner will share one of the end slots, with sophomore Allen Sparks (6-4, 180) at the other. Geoffrey Melvin (5-11, 200) is the nose guard. Mara, Lazar and Dwyer will platoon at the other guard position. Andy Trolian (6-2, 190), Michael Sporer (5-11, 180) and junior Dan Cleary are the linebackers. Juniors Fran Santamauro (5-8, 165) and Michael Anderson (5-11, 165) are the corners, along with Andy DeNardo (5-7, 155), while sophomore Aaron Lee (5-11, 170) and Hardy will see action at safety. The Huskies may have an ace in the hole in place-kicker Greg Coleman, who showed plenty of promise late last fall. Coleman’s 47-yard kick sailed through the uprights to give Matawan a big win over St. John Vianney on Thanksgiving. Kyle Robinson is the punter. “With our offensive line, we expect to be able to run the ball; the key for us will be keeping them all healthy,” Martucci said. “Sonnenfeld has adapted well to playing quarterback and he’s a good leader on the field.” The defense is somewhat less experienced, but the Huskies linebacking corps all saw plenty of action a year ago. “Our defensive leadership will come from the linebackers,” Martucci said. “They’ve been there before and they know what’s expected.”last_img

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