WEST ORANGE, NJ – The 2018 Seton Hall Prep football team had a very good season, going 5-6 in head coach Bill Fitzgerald’s first year at the helm for the Pirates.
This is the most victories in a season since 2015. This year marked the first year that they defeated a Super Football Conference Red Division opponent (Paramus Catholic) in the three years of the conference’s existence.
This season the Pirates won their first State Tournament game since 2010 and it was their first State Tournament shutout since 1997. Some of their top offensive players were senior quarterback Aidan Gilman, who was 138 of 240 passing for 1,410 yards and 10 touchdown passes with only three interceptions. He ran for 426 yards and nine touchdowns on 114 carries and caught one touchdown.
Sophomore Nazeer Elias ran for two TDs on 74 carries and 292 yards.
Senior Luca D’Emilio had 79 carries for 251 yards and 3 TDs.
Matt Colantuono caught 54 passes for 488 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 115 yards on 27 carries and one touchdown.
Junior tight end Dominic Busby caught 24 passes for 280 yards and 2 TDs, while junior wide receiver Nicholas Gullace caught 18 passes for 272 yards and two TDs.
Senior kicker Zach Hoban had a real good year. He kicked a school-record 52-yard field goal against DePaul, a 51-yard field goal against St. Joseph (Montvale) and a 45-yard field goal against Pope John XXIII (Sparta) while going 13 for-13 in extra points.
Sophomore kicker Austin Kuterka was 12-for-14 in extra points and 3-for-6 in field goal attempts.
On defense, senior linebacker Vincent Henrich had 98 tackles, one fumble recovery and one punt block.
Senior cornerback Nick Eliades had 72 tackles while two blocked punts recovered and one interception.
Junior linebacker Andrew Mitzak had 64 tackles and recovered one blocked punt.
Junior linebacker Tyler Cook had 59 tackles with one sack, one interception, and one fumble recovery.
On the defensive line Niko Diakides had 12.5 sacks, Caseem Akinruli Dewitt had 7.5 sacks, Lucas Giordano had 5.5 sacks, and Elie Maurice had 4 sacks.
Fitzgerald commented about the season. “The support from the school administration, parents, students, and alumni was tremendous. The players gave everything they had and believe that they can be a force in this great league. If we continue to work hard in the off season, we can accomplish this feat next season.”
Senior Tom Callahan said, “It was a good season. We played well and meshed together under the new coaching staff. Looking at our freshman team’s final record (7-2), the program has turned the corner and is on the rise.” Senior Aidan Gilman added, “we really improved a lot. The challenge was getting used to the new coaching staff and we accomplished that. We had ups and downs during the season, but we worked through them as a team and the program is really on the rise.”
Seton Hall Prep (5-6)
August 31, Loss, Archbishop Carroll, 54-28, at Cardinal O’Hara HS in Springfield, Pa.,
Sept. 8, Loss, DePaul, 49-3
Sept. 14, Won, at Passaic County Tech, 42-20
Sept. 22, Won, Paramus Catholic, 37-29
Sept. 29, Won, at East Orange Campus, 20-14
Oct. 6, Won, Montclair, 29-28
Oct. 13, Loss, at Delbarton, 34-17
Oct. 20, Loss, at St. Joseph (Montvale), 45-10
Oct. 26, Loss, Pope John, 30-20
Nov. 3, Won, (9) Paramus Catholic, 17-0*
Nov. 10, Loss, (1) Bergen Catholic, 42-6*
*NJSIAA Non-Public Group 4 playoffs. SHP was (8) seed.
Photos by Rich Morris, courtesy of SHP