BELLEVILLE – The Belleville High School varsity football team endured a tough season.
The Bucs lost players to injury even before the season started. The bad luck continued into the season as the team, which unfortunately was never at full strength, finished with a 1-9 record, with the lone win coming against Newark East Side.
Make no mistake, Fischer and his team are determined to reverse their fortunes.
“There were times during the early part of the season that I felt some players lost their fight and the coaches and I have to do better at developing a nasty attitude, a ‘winning attitude’ because I am not happy losing,” Fischer said.
Fischer, admitting this was his most frustating season as a coach, vows to make the necessary changes needed to the staff to improve next season. “Next season is ‘Put up or shut up time,’ ” proclaimed Fischer.
The Bucs had a few solid contributors. The following Bucs earned Worrall Media All-Area honors: Joseph Rivera, Jared Collazo, Andrew Morell, and Nick Guardabosco.
Rivera, a senior running back/defensive back, rushed for 780 yards and five touchdowns, missing three games due to injury.
Collazo, a senior receiver, had a good year with 44 receptions for 485 yards and one touchdown, missing two games. Morrell, a senior defensive end, had 39 tackles and four sacks. Guardabosco, a 6-foo-2, 255-pound junior, was solid on the offensive line.
The Bucs had a slew of underclassmen who made strong contributions.
Gustavo Viana, a sophomore strong safety, recorded 55 tackles this season. Richard Martinez, a sophomore defensive end, recorded 29 tackles and four sacks; Mahmoud Youssef played both ways as a sophomore tackle, posting 19 tackles while really improving every game.
The Bucs also have three promsing freshman linemen that, if they work hard, will contribute next season, said Fischer. They are James Johnson, Demetrie Samayoa and Joe Monroig.
Indeed, the Bucs are determined to work hard in the off-season.
“I am looking forward to the offseason which starts on December 16, and this upcoming year for me and my staff is ‘put up or shut up time!” Fischer said.
Other key players expected to return next season are junior quarterback Kyle Walsh, junior linebacker John Centanni, junior running back Brian Rivera (injured); junior fullback Terrence Best, junior LB Akushdeep Singh, junior defensive tackle Luis Rosa, junior center CJ Jackowski, sophomore WR Dominick Borowski, sopomore LB Jhordan Cubas, junior LB Frank Ricciardelli, and junior DT Hector Rivera.