HS football preview: Glen Ridge optimistic with solid returning group

Ben Bronstein
Jackson Crutchfield

Photo Courtesy of Albert Bronander
Pictured are the GRHS football seniors. From left to right: Brendan Easter, Sam Auborn, Jackson Crutchfield, Ben Bronstein, Jack Byrne, Iain Shaw, Marshall Swett, Grant Heinicke, Noah Martinez, Jeffrey Egan, Marcus Bennett-Sines, Jack Galbraith, Matt Garske, Patrick Bronander and Colin Ducey,

GLEN RIDGE, NJ – Last season, Glen Ridge had a young team that took its lumps during head coach Steve Trivino’s first year at the helm.

The Ridgers tackled a daunting schedule en route to finishing 1-9 that included a forfeit loss to Weequahic due to injuries and lack of players.

But things are a lot brighter going into this season. That’s because the Ridgers lost just a handful of graduated players and return a strong nucleus.

Moreover, they demonstrated their commitment in the offseason, particularly in the weight room.

“lt’s not that they just came back (from last season); they put the time in the offseason,” said Trivino, whose team features a bunch of players from the lacrosse squad that finished as sectional runner-up in the spring. Carl Houser Jr., the head coach of the lacrosse team, is also an assistant coach on the GRHS football staff. “They hit the weight room a lot. The weights benefitted them in the lacrosse season and saw what benefit they gave them, so they were with me all summer. We got a lot size, a lot of physical nature.”

The senior captains/returnees are quarterback/cornerback Ben Bronstein, halfback/outside linebacker Brendan Easter, cornerback/wide receiver/punter Colin Ducey, tailback/defensive back Jackson Crutchfield and two-way tackle Sam Auborn.

Other key returning players are linebacker Ian Shaw, running back/linebacker Jeff Egan and slotback/safety Pat Bronander.

The Ridgers also are putting an emphasis on togetherness, evidenced by their trip to Florida for a game scrimmage against a team from Orlando. The team departed on Aug. 22 and the game took place the next day.

Once again, the schedule is challenging. The Ridgers will play Shabazz, Weequahic, Hoboken, Newark Collegiate Academy, Immaculate Conception of Montclair and Newark Academy. Those six teams are allowed to attract players from out of district. Nevertheless, the Ridgers refuse to back down from any challenges as they bid for a sectional playoff spot in North 2, Group 1, something they accomplished just two years ago. The key to getting back to the sectional playoffs is believing in each other. “Every day, we’re talking about competing and competing and then we always end by saying that we are going to compete as one,” Trivino said. “Once they start to believe that phrase and start to take care of everybody’s back like brothers, I think they are going to do a good job. They have the ability.

“I think we are going to have a good year. I think we’re going to put a good show this year. We’re going to be tougher. We’ll battle.”

Schedule

Sept. 6, at Shabazz, 7 p.m.

Sept. 14, at Montclair Kimberley Academy, 2 p.m.

Sept. 21, Weequahic, 1 p.m.

Sept. 27, at Cedar Grove, 7 p.m.

Oct. 5, Newark Collegiate Academy, 1 p.m.

Oct. 12, Hoboken, 1 p.m.

Oct. 19, at Immaculate Conception, 1 p.m.

Oct. 26, opponent to be determined

Nov. 2, at Verona, 2 p.m.

 

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