WEST ORANGE, NJ — The 2020 Seton Hall Prep football team is really looking forward to the upcoming season. As third-year head coach Bill Fitzgerald said, “Our guys did such a great job during the quarantine, and they came into our summer conditioning program hungry, focused, enthusiastic and ready to prepare for this season. It’s a very self-motivated group, including a senior class that is starting its third year with our coaching staff. We will have some new faces at key positions this fall and a lot of talent competing for jobs, and I believe we will get better each game as the season goes on.”
On offense, there will be a new quarterback, as Zander Zebrowski, 1,787 yards passing, 14 touchdowns, has graduated. Juniors Brady O’Sullivan, 6 feet, 4 inches tall, 220 pounds; Jaden Craig, 6 feet, 3 inches tall, 205 pounds; and Tyler Marion, 5 feet, 10 inches tall, 160 pounds will be competing for the starting job. In the backfield, Matt Colantuono, 226 carries, 1,095 yards, 14 touchdowns, has graduated, so competing for carries will be juniors Myles Thomason and Byron Maddox, senior Jermaine Jackson, and sophomore Darren Burton. Tight end Jack Larsen returns, as well as wide receivers Giye Jenkins, 21 catches, 254 yards, two touchdowns; PJ Penders, 12 catches, 93 yards; and Nick Dunneman, 17 catches, 175 yards, one touchdown. A new-look offensive line includes top-candidate seniors Declan Kazan, 6 feet, 2 inches tall, 210 pounds, and Julian Percoco, 6 feet tall, 230 pounds; and juniors Nick Olivola, 6 feet, 1 inch tall, 220 pounds; John Zanelli, 5 feet, 10 inches tall, 220 pounds; Jack Yousey, 6 feet, 1 inch tall, 250 pounds; Anthony Batah, 5 feet, 10 inches tall, 205 pounds; and Daniel Read Jr., 5 feet, 11 inches tall, 200 pounds.
An area of strength once again for the Pirates should be in the kicking game, with junior Nick Conforti, who is ranked No. 50 in the junior class as a placekicker and No. 14 as a punter, according to talent evaluator Chris Sailer’s national rankings.
The strength of the team, experience-wise, could be on defense, as five starters return. The defensive ends are Kazan and Larsen, 6 feet, 4 inches tall, 235 pounds; while tackles are Patrick Herbert, 6 feet, 1 inch tall, 250 pounds; and Zanelli. The linebackers are led by senior Aeneas Robinson, 5 feet, 10 inches tall, 220 pounds, in the middle, and juniors Jackson Collins, 6 feet tall, 200 pounds, and Jackson Dowd, 5 feet, 10 inches tall, 190 pounds, on the outside. The secondary is led by seniors Jenkins, 6 feet tall, 185 pounds, 59 tackles, 5 interceptions, and Penders, 5 feet, 11 inches tall, 180 pounds, 41 tackles, 2 interceptions, while Kevin Agnew, Matthew Monteleone, Mac McAteer and Cedric Jeudy will be competing for the other positions.
When asked about their thoughts coming into their senior season before a recent practice, Jenkins said, “I am very excited that we are having a football season. We have the talent to do some really good things this year.”
Penders added, “This is a great group of guys this year that is really full of energy and the team is mentally experienced.”
Larsen said, “Because of the current situation we are in, the seniors are really excited about competing this year. We are taking each practice and game like it is our last.”
Kazan added, “This is a really solid group of guys that was very disciplined and determined during the quarantine period, and that is going to separate us from our competition.”
The team’s regular-season schedule is as follows:
- Saturday, Oct. 3, at 1 p.m., vs. Delbarton School.
- Saturday, Oct. 10, at 1 p.m., at St. Joseph Regional high School in Montvale.
- Saturday, Oct. 17, at 1 p.m., vs. DePaul Catholic High School.
- Saturday, Oct. 24, at 1 p.m., vs. Union City High School.
- Saturday, Oct. 31, at 1 p.m., at Pope John XXIII Regional High School in Sparta.
- Saturday, Nov. 7, at 1:30 p.m., at Paramus Catholic High School.
- Thursday, Nov. 26, at 10:30 a.m., vs. St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City.
All home games are played at Brendan P. Tevlin Memorial Field in West Orange.