Daily Record from Morristown, New Jersey on December 13, 1998 · 100
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Daily Record from Morristown, New Jersey · 100

Morristown, New Jersey
Issue Date:
Sunday, December 13, 1998
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S4 Daily Record, Morris County, N.J., Sunday, December 13, 1998 1993 ALL-AREA FOOTBALL Many Colonials answered the call By Bob Decker Daily Record .' " It may be hard to get the players to talk about themselves, but Morristown coach John Porcelli is more than willing to discuss the ath- - letes who had a major role in the success of the 1998 Colonials champi- onship football team. The team was unbeaten in 11 games, captured the Iron Hills Conference's Iron Division title, won its second straight North Jersey Section 2, Group III state championship, was ranked second in the state in the Gannett Top 20, and has been named Team of the Year by the Daily Record. Porcelli calls them "the main guys" and they include: " Fernando Diaz, G: "One of our unsung heroes who played big on both sides of the ball all year. He is the winner of our outstanding lineman award." Ahmad Hagler, FBLB: "The most competitive kid on a team of competitive players. The bigger the game, the bigger he played. A real success story. A truly powerful and explosive runner. I can't say enough good things about him." Stewart Winston, QBDB: "One of the nicest young men I've coached in 15 years as a head coach. He played so many roles and provided so much leadership. We were fortunate to have a young man like him on our team for three years." Dorell Humes, TBDB: "A sprained knee kept him out of two games and we used him sparingly in parts of others. It was a tough season for him. When he came back, we became a much better team. He was solid on defense, too." Rob Ogilvie, WRDB: "He's a special kid; the hardest worker on the team. He brings a lot of quiet intensity to the field every day, practice or game. He's 5-9, 160 but if he were a couple inches taller and a little heavier, he'd be a Division 1 recruit. He'll be our quarterback next season." Matt Del Giudice, WR: "A tremendous perimeter blocker. The perfect example of a team player and the kind of kid you need to be successful." Dave Molinaro, TELB: "Another great blocker. All he wanted to do was win. Another one of our hardest workers." Jamahl Cochran, TDE: "He could dictate the tempo of the game on defense. Opponents always had to account for him, sometimes with more than one player. After Hagler, Morristown Game by Game Morristown Opponent 56 Morris Knolls 14 29 at Randolph 0 40 at Maris! 8 28 Roxbury 23 14 at West Morris 13 49 Columbia 0 42 at East Orange 21 49 Livingston 7 42 x-Parsippany 7 29 at Seton Hall 12 37 x-Wesrfield 14 Totals 41S (11-0) 119 x-state playoff game Score by quarters Opponents 16 42 27 34 119 Morristown 150 139 56 70 415 he was our most explosive player." Andrew Gulley, TDE: "Started on offense every game and became a starter on defense the last three games. Very athletic for a lineman. He gained a lot of confidence in himself and a force on defense." Carmine Fornaro, GLB: "A tough customer. Our leading (108) and surest tackier. He is a very intelligent football player and made all the defensive calls for us. A true leader who could rally the troops when it was needed." Lou Kakos, CT: "Louie made himself into a very good football player. He was able to hold the team together in a lot of ways, both on and off the field. He is one of the best captains I've ever had." Chris Emond, TELB: "A total team player and a quiet leader. He always did the right thing. A real quality person and another great example of why our team was successful." Porcelli calls them his "main guys" but then stops and says "the whole team was full of 'main guys,' you know." They included: Seniors: Kamal Kelly, Mike Brychta, Wolf Emilien, Calvin Soloman, Scott Saccamona, Ed Angerami, Matt Hill, John Figaro, Jason Walker, Jim Haslam, Dave Hollowell, James Young and Donald Dangler. Juniors: Matt Osborne, Jon Rogers, Marco Alvardo, Johnny Moore, Brian Morris and Tom Dean. Sophomores: Terry Saccamona, Owen Ritzie, Dave Flynn and Greg Emond. Managers: Stephen Starnes and Dane Christie. Statisticians: Loretta Tummino, Erika Dhuy and Ashley Bray. Ball Boys: David Monahan and Anthony Sandelli, two Colonials football players of the future. I , ' Ki , --- "fmiminn L , - -tuff, jf NORM SUTARIA daily record Quarterback Stewart Winston led the Morristown Colonials to IHC-lron and Section 2, Group III championships this season. aTeam Continued from SI and "never felt completely satisfied until the last game was over." "We knew we had a good team and so did everybody else," Winston chipped in. "It was sweet er for us this year because we did - what we did with everybody gunning for us." "We grew as a team week by week," Kakos said. "We worked long and hard and everything just came together." What was the turning point of the season for you? "West Morris," Winston said quickly. And the three other captains nodded vigorously in agreement. Morristown won that Friday night, Week 6 battle, but it took a Rob Ogilvie knockdown of a two-point conversion pass attempt in the final minutes to preserve its 14- . 13 victory. - "They played a great game and we didn't," Hagler said. "We didn't have good practices all week and it almost cost us." "Too many minor distractions," Emond said. "We gave ourselves an attitude adjustment after that game," Winston said. "And from then on, everything was good ... we were back in focus." Kakos said the captains and the seniors did a lot of talking after that game. "We talked to everybody," Kakos said. "And yes, everybody listened." What will you always remember about the season? "It was like family ... everybody helped and it was good playing with everybody," Hagler said. "The juniors and sophomores on the prep team were even into it; they always played us hard in practice and that made us better prepared." Emond was impressed with the support the team received from the students, faculty, fans and community, stressing that the packed stands, "even at away games," meant a lot to the team. Kakos said the two weeks of preparation leading up to the team's 42-7 victory over Parsippany in the states will always stay with him. "We all knew what we had to do and we had good practices," Kakos said. "Each day's practice was like playing the fourth quarter of a game." Winston spoke last and, in a barely audible voice, said: "The last game ... looking up at the scoreboard clock as the game ended and feeling good about what we had accomplished, that we had done all that we had set out to do." Notice the context of the above answers? Everything was "team." Not one player spoke about individual exploits. Hagler could have mentioned his impressive stats at fullback 199 carries for 1,768 yards (8.8 per carry) and 24 TDs. But he didn't. Winston's 12.2 yards a carry (64 Final Football Top 10 School Record 1. Morristown (11-0) 2. Lenape Valley (10-1) 3. Delbarton (10-1) 4. Roxbury (10-2) 5. Pequannock (10-2) 6. Parsippany Hills . .(10-1) 7. Pope John (9-2) 8. Madison (9-3) 9. Morris Knolls (&4) 10. Parsippany (9-2) Other teams considered: Hanover Park (8-3), Butler (7-4), Sparta (7-3), Mountain Lakes (9-2), Mendham (64), Randolph (5-6). 'We had a lot of talent on this team, but the key to our success was the fact the players worked together. And that's a real tribute to them.' Morristown head coach John Porcelli for 786 yards) was the best on the team. He was the second leading scorer with 15 TDs. The quarterback of Morristown's option running attack, he picked his spots to throw and completed 61 percent of his passes (43 for 70 for 6 TDs) and was intercepted only three times. But you won't hear these numbers from Winston. Kakos could have mentioned the fact he was the only returning let terman on the offensive line and he heeded Porcelli's preseason call to help mold the unit into an efficient blocking machine. Never a word about this from him, though. Emond? He could have talked about his defensive exploits at linebacker, his sacks, his quarterback pressures; or his filling in at run ning back when Humes went down or his filling in at tight end when needed. He didn't. Everything these young men talked about was "team." Faced pressure "We had a lot of talent on this team, but the key to our success was the fact the players worked together," Porcelli said. "And that's a real tribute to them. "This team faced a lot of pressure right from the getgo. This team was expected to win because of the talent we had. These kids handled that better than any team I have ever coached. "After the West Morris game, the kids and I had a long discussion about where we were going and what we wanted to accomplish. We agreed that we were very fortunate to come out of that game with a win. A lot of other stuff came out, too. "To their credit, they admitted they were doing things wrong they were overconfident, too impressed with themselves, unfocused, not playing up to their capabilities. "Then they went about fixing the problems and those issues were never addressed again." Coach .Continued from SI cate part of the transformation. It took everybody working together, but he was above all of that. He was the one who got everyone involved." And the winning is only beginning. The feeder program Longo has instituted is starting to bear fruit. Once non-existent, the program's numbers are bursting at the seams. A total of 240 players ' came out this fall, compared to just 42 last year. The varsity's winning ways are rubbing off on the midgets. Longo is pleased to report the 10 differ- ent teams in the program won at least two games apiece this fall. Last year, the two teams in the program went winless and scored two just touchdowns between -them. ' ' The new weight facility Longo requested at the school was finally . bought and installed. ' "We got it a week ago," Longo . said. "We had a weight room, but it was like a closet. Now, it's some- . thing for the kids to get motivated . about." Third year the charm This season is another reason, of course. The 1998 watershed 1 campaign took three years in the making. Parsippany Hills finished 1-8 during Longo's first year, but - that didn't come as a disappoint - ment. Always the realist, Longo ' was simply interested in building a .sturdy foundation. ' "We had a practice schedule and "the kids learned a routine," he said. "We taught them the first . phase of the offense." Last year, the program began ascending, going 4-5 and hanging in against perennially tough IHC-Hills foes Mendham and Hanover Park before losing. This year, there was no stopping Parsippany Hills, which thoroughly 'He's extremely innovative. He'd spend hours getting prepared, more than most coaches. The coaches would be up until 1 in the morning cutting film. He's so dedicated. That's what sets him apart.' Parsippany Hills QB Steve Smithers on coach Phil Longo dominated the conference for most of the year. "We didn't run up the score on anybody," Longo said. "The kids wanted one more TD on Dover, another against the High (rival Parsippany) and one more against Hanover. The kids wanted to make a statement, but we'd already won the games." And they did it with more than their share of injuries and absences to skill players. Sure-handed receiver Frank Bocchino missed six games in midseason, and Longo has as high a regard for Bocchino as he does for the All-State talent of Johnnie Morant. Standout receiver Sammy Taylor was just learning the offense but moved to East Orange after just four games. Stellar runners Brian Roman (sore knee) and R.J. Cobbs (broken thumb) missed three games apiece. But through it all, Parsippany Hills continued rolling right through its schedule. "It was a credit to the guys for picking it up," Longo said, who lauded the work of assistants Craig Penna, Pete Lue, Jim Groome, Brian Colligan and Larry Szabo. "My assistants did a great job ge tting the kids prepared. The kids w e put in J.J. Webb is a good exa mple stepped it up. He rushed for 136 yards against Mount Olive. George Corradino stepped it up. So did Joe Liu. "The biggest reason we won is that the kids played better defense and they were real consistent in the weight room in the offseason," Longo said. "They had T-shirts printed up that said, 'Games are won in the offseason.' They'd say, 'This workout is for Hanover' or, 'This workout is for the High!' Everything they did in the weight room was tested and recorded. And that really helped us, especially in our lines." Except against Westfield, the one team that was able to solve Parsippany Hills. Westfield dominated from beginning to end on the way to a 44-13 victory in the Section 2, Group III semifinals. "No excuses, they were a phenomenal team," Longo said. Playoff payoff Reaching the semifinals was a truer barometer of just how far Parsippany Hills has come under Longo. In the first round of the playoffs, the Vikings were 1:51 away from playoff elimination. Parsippany Hills trailed Orange, 21-20 and the Vikings had the ball on their own 14. "I called timeout," Longo said, "and I said, '1:51 left and we average 38 points a game. Can we get it done?' They said, 'No problem.' And we drove downfield and Frank Bocchino kicked the field goal to win. That said it all about what we were about." It also was payoff for Longo and his staff spending long hours preparing and watching film. "He's extremely innovative," Smithers said. "He'd spend hours getting prepared, more than most coaches. The coaches would be up until 1 in the morning cutting film. He's so dedicated. That's what sets him apart." Longo, 30, was born in the Jersey Shore community of Red Bank and grew up in Bayville, where he attended Central Regional High. He quarterbacked the first Central team to make the playoffs, in 1986. He went on to East Stroudsburg and transferred to Glassboro State University (now Rowan University). Coincidentally, Glassboro made the NCAA Division III playoffs for the first time ever with Longo as a fullback. After a stint as a boxer (Longo was 54-3 and won a national tournament in Beaumont, Texas), he returned to Glassboro in 1991 and became a parttime player on a playoff team. Most importantly, Longo became acquainted with coach John Bunting, the longtime Philadelphia Eagle who is now an assistant with the St. Louis Rams. "He changed the program," Longo said. "I model a lot of what I do after what he does. He's brutally honest with players and I try and do that: You knew where you stood with him. "I knew from playing for him that I wanted to coach. I was a realist. I was 5-9, 210 pounds, so I wasn't going anywhere football-wise. But I wanted to keep my involvement in football. I watched what he did for four years." After graduating from college, Longo worked for Rich Kotite as an intern with the Eagles. Longo sat in on team meetings and watched film. He went on to Jersey City State, where he coached the passing game and worked for one year as offensive coordinator at Williamson (Pa.) Tech. Longo got his first high school job in 1995 at Orange before hearing of the Parsippany Hills opening. That's when he began testing the waters in the town. "He decided that in our environment, he could make a difference," Smithers said. "The people were willing, it was just a matter of someone to get it going." Thanks to Phil Longo, it is going. Some fix-it job. Morristown averaged 45.5 points a game in winning its next four games and finished the season with a 37.7 ppg average. Morristown averaged 393.4 offensive yards a game and outscored its opponents, 415-119. The Colonials had a 150-16 firstquarter scoring edge that led to a 289-58 halftime advantage. The defense, led by linebacker Chris Fornaro's team-leading 108 tackles and Jamahl Cochran's 94, registered two shutouts and allowed but one touchdown in three other games. There were 43 quarterback sacks. When the offensive line of Kakos at center, Fernando Diaz and Fornaro at guards, Andrew Gulley and Cochran at tackles, and Brian Rosnell and Dave Molinaro at ends weren't opening holes or pushing defenders off the line, Hagler, Humes and Winston were powering through seams. Once through the line, their agility and speed took over. The line allowed but three sacks, none in the first nine games. Junior Jon Rogers turned into a punishing blocker. Ogilvie was the leading receiver, catching 17 balls for 417 yards (24.5 ypc) and 5 TDs. Cochran and Gulley became pass rushers deluxe; they loved crashing to the quarterback. But when defensive coordinator Jim Bassano put them in a contain mode, they abandoned their quarterback pursuits to stay with the team's defensive game plan for that day. Bassano was one of the assistants on a crew to which Porcelli constantly looked toward for help. Special teams and quarterback coach Anthony Fischetti finally convinced his coach to let Winston return punts and it was a Winston punt return that set up a TD against Westfield. Mike Lockman worked with the defensive line; Jim Howell and Gordon Drewery were with the running backs; Claudio Canonaco worked with the offensive line; and Chris Edmondson was, "... a little bit of everything," according to Porcelli. Porcelli was asked if he thought this team accomplished everything he thought it could have. "Our first goal was the conference and, if you accomplish that, you qualify for the playoffs," Porcelli said. "Once you're in the playoffs, you want to win the whole thing; and, in our case, we wanted to repeat as champs. "The undefeated part we never talked about in public but, of course, it was always on our minds. "Bottom line was the kids got to meet all their goals and we as coaches got to work with a great bunch of young men. "It was a great season, yes. And a great team." A No. 1 team. D Defense Continued from S3 Josh Biber Roxbury Punter Biber (6-5, 190) excelled both as a punter and at quarterback for the Section 2, Group IV champion Gaels. He punted for a 37.9 average, including five inside the opponent's 20. His longest punt was a 57-yarder during Roxbury's 23-12 victory over Randolph in a playoff game. Biber, who made recruiting visits to Penn State and Boston College, was 101-of-188 passing for 1,434 yards, eight touchdowns and nine interceptions. Biber saw limited duty as a defensive back but stood out in that role with three interceptions, two of which thwarted comeback attempts by playoff foes Bloomfield and Plainfield. "For a junior, he was an out standing leader," coach John Quinn said. "He was a great field general and because he was such a good quarterback, defenses had to play him honest and that opened up our running game. I've had five scholarship quarterbacks in my years of coaching and he's the best I've ever had. And one of them was (Union's) Pat Collins, who was offered at Notre Dame." Bryan Gallagher Morris Knolls Utility Gallagher (5-6, 153), the son of Montville coach Gerry Gallagher, rushed 171 times for 1,174 yards for a 6.9 average and 13 touchdowns. He had 456 return yards in 22 attempts and caught three passes for 79 yards for a total of 1,709 total yards. "He's as tough as nails," coach Bill Regan Jr. said. "He has the heart of a lineman, only in a smaller package. He's been a pleasure to work with and I'm sure his dad is very proud of him. Bryan is one tough son of a gun. He meant the world to us on both sides of the ball (as a runner and linebacker). He was a leader by example." Mi t X'n ? Jf$ slockbower. Roger Attieh; Boonton: Al Zwick; Butler: Dennis Camera, cifil McG' c3 Wisnewski. John Pituch, Tom Sperger; Chatham: Shawn McGookin. Steve 51 l i?uS ? ' E2 Mon2,e: Delbartn: Jeffrey Parros, Mike Striffler, Joe McCurdy, Bob Vernicek, Mike Achilarre, Farah Reed, Oscar James, Mike O'Donnell- Ma0vVn,r: Jemia'ne Thompson, Willie Galicia, Wesley Underwood; Hanover Park: Bob Riccardi, Matt VHIani, Anthony Cuppan, Rocco Scanniello, Paul Block, Andy DeTore, Jesse Novalis, Tim Heletord, Sean Atchison; Hopatcong: Brian Smith, Sean Hefferon; Jefferson: Mike Liberatore, Casey Roskowinski, Santo Gencarelli; Bil,1e'Ke? Mi,,che"; Kvle Germanton, Scott Pitzalis. Matt Rozell; Lenape Valley: Stash uJh !!s Smo'yn. Chris Holland, Vince Tardive, Dan Smith, Rob Bruno, Chris Robak; m! -k ke, AJ'Sn ChrS Bartz' Pe,er Corea. Blly Acco. Jon Lermann, Joe Kane; Mendham: Jeff Schiffner, Blair Holland, Dominic Valli, Jon DeRosa; Montville: Jon Neyerlin, cj. i s Scelba. Ken Horan; Morris Catholic: Justin Wainwright, Kyle Wenzel, Scott S.,Tls,lrSe"oATand0 Ve9a; Morris Hills: Mark Batista, Jesse Centrella; Morris Knolls: Mark Jams, Doug Scholder, Mike Nilson' AnHLi?lf n: R?b r9'lvieL D,ore" Humes' Carmine Fornaro, Fernando Diaz, Matt Osborne, Andrew Gu ley, Chris Emond, Jon Rogers, Brian Rosnell; Morrlstown-Beard: Nick Guido, Matt u? nl- Mlina.n' Matt Levell; Mountain Lakes: Adam Lulay, Joe Duncan, Matt Shohen; B,"n pve: Jim Kandziolka, Tom Priest, Matt Arenella, John Earhardt, Tim Thiel, Rob Qh. h New,on:cKieran Brennan, Mike Munoz, T.J. Roberts, Jerry Hackett; Parsippany: Dan bhamsudin, Brian Smalley, Josh Teague, Pat Mania, Clarence Curry, Luke Riso, Vin DeNicola; Roman Forgione, James Collins, Yinka Fageyinbo, Ryan Timmerman, Bnan M,UrIln Dk: Be,n Burk?w' Geronim Sacari, Rob Lomoriello, Joel Decker, Jim Barry, Ryan Sw! i dT JZh WS"en Wormann, Chris Clarke, Justin Vozza, Pat Linskey. Lou BnhhPJ uf Giacchi, Tim Sweeney; Randolph: Chad Jones, Austin Holman, Brad Stewart, nh r, I "oxbury-Ryan Barbera, Matt Paige, Mike Milone, Carl Perrone, Kevin Raczyk, XL ?,lB'unl Brad Slewart' Jon Ma". Lee Vodofsky, Joe Palazzolo, Matt C tI i Matt Kausner, John Dubinski, Drew Bertelotti, Luke Wikander, Keith Finley; inSJSST J,osheG?IdeRe; Wesl Morrls: S'ove Feltmann, Jeff Martorana, Shaun Rodgers, mod Jennings, Joe Selitto, Jim Garatina; Whippany Park: Phil Longo, Scott Hinck . j. i j. a

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