WEST ORANGE, NJ — The 2019 Seton Hall Prep football team had a great season, going 8-2 in head coach Bill Fitzgerald’s second year at the helm for the Pirates. This is the most victories since 2012 when the Pirates were 8-2.
This year the Pirates captured their first-ever Super Football Conference-United White Division title. Their seven-game winning streak was the most since 2010 when they won 10 in a row and they hosted a state tournament game for the second consecutive year.
When asked to comment about the season, Fitzgerald said, “We did a great job with the opportunities we had this year. A lot of trust has been built up during the offseason and during this season thanks to our success. I hope this is the revival of the SHP football program. We have a lot of work to do, but this team showed we are not just a team, but a program.”
Senior quarterback Zander Zebrowski said, “Going into the season, we had a lot of doubters and we stayed together and were confident in what coach Fitz told us and make this year special. With our tough schedule we played and success we had, we put the program back on the map.”
Zebrowski completed 144 of 200 passes (72 percent) for 1,782 yards, 14 touchdowns and four interceptions, had 46 carries for 200 yards and 2 TD; and one catch for eight yards and a TD.
Senior Matt Colantuono added, “There are a lot of things from this to build on and I am very excited to see where the program goes from here over the next few years.” His stats were 3 of 5 passes for two TDs; 226 carries for 1,095 rushing yards and 14 TDs; and 24 catches for 199 yards and two TDs.
Senior offensive lineman/ defensive lineman Thomas Grippo said, “We made great strides as a program over the last three years, flipping the script and going from 2-8 to 8-2.”
Grippo will be attending Wake Forest University. He had 30 tackles and one sack.
Columbia University-bound tight end/linebacker Dominic Busby added, “We have done a lot better this season than we have in the past seasons.” He had 36 catches for 394 yards and two TDs. Other top offensive players were sophomore RB Myles Thomason (49 carries for 320 yards, five TDs) and senior wide receiver Nicholas Gullace (29 catches for 643 yards and seven TDs). Gullace will be attending Hobart College where he will play lacrosse.
Senior linebacker Tyler Cook said, “This year is a real stepping stone for the program. This will pay dividends for the program in the future in the grand scheme of things to get it back to where it was years ago.” He had 74 tackles, one fumble caused and one sack.
SHP had other top defensive players. Senior linebacker John Nicosia had 111 tackles and two fumbles recovered. Senior defensive back Ryan Monteleone, who will be attending Amherst College, had 105 tackles and one interception. Senior defensive back Tim Macko had 88 tackles, one interception, one blocked punt, and 1/2 a sack.
Junior kicker Austin Kuterka had a great season, going 36-of-37 in extra points and 4-of-7 in field goals, including the game-winner against Delbarton.