Coach: Dallas Whitaker (4th season, 28-3)
Final calendar year: 7-
2021 Setting up SI ranking: 82.65
Division: Massive Central Convention, Division 3
Division opponents: Carteret, Rahway, South Plainfield, Summit, Warren Hills.
Crucial gamers: Mike Miller Jr., Jr., QB Jaimen Bryant, Sr., WR/DB Ethan MacNair, Sr., LB/WR/TE Sal Longo, Sr., OT/DE Nigel Tucker, Sr., WR/DB Garrett Koplitz, Sr., OL/DL Ryan Manhardt, Sr., OL/DL Tyler Bryant, Sr., LB/WR Hashym Hobbs-Harris, Jr., WR/DB Tristan Garcia, Sr., LB/RB Wes Hack, Jr., DB/WR Kyle Giacobello, Jr., LB/TE Liam Willard, Sr., LB.
Outlook: There most unquestionably is verified talent for Somerville at the offensive ability positions and it is abundant.
Just for starters, let us consider that quarterback Michael Miller Jr. handed for a whopping 1,600 yards and 17 touchdowns in only seven games final yr (his sophomore period), Jaimen Bryant caught 49 of these throws for 671 yards and nine TDs and fellow senior Ethan MacNair hauled in 31 of Miller’s offerings for 425 yards and 4 scores.
All very extraordinary and very promising for the Pioneers as they put together fore a Zero 7 days opener Friday night time at Olney Constitution Faculty in Philadelphia.
But see there was not a managing back again described among people veteran athletes. And which is due to the fact immediately after two several years of getting spoiled by the velocity, brute drive and iron will of 2020 All-Stater Cookie Desiderio, Somerville starts this season with a tiny problem mark that did not exist as Desiderio (now prepping at IMG Academy in Florida) accrued 3,085 speeding yards and 51 touchdowns to steer the Pioneers to an total 17-2 history. Also gone are a few multi-year veterans who furnished a load of huge blocks for Desiderio, AJ Pena, Noah Garcia and restricted conclude Owen O’Neill.
No query the young Miller and his receivers benefitted enormously from Desiderio’s jogging capability. Defenses have been generally pressured to load the box in opposition to him, thus allowing Miller’s receivers a minimal bonus liberty on their go routes.
Possibly now, although, Miller is prepared to assistance Somerville acquire some traction in the ground sport by forcing teams to technique the Pioneers as a pass-1st procedure. There certain doesn’t appear to be any doubt in the thoughts of head mentor Dallas Whitaker which way his offense will lean.
“He’s the most effective high college QB in the state,” he said of Miller. “Likely will direct condition in TDs and yards.”
That getting the case, senior Tristan Garcia, a veteran linebacker who had restricted carries past fall, and juniors Julian Finger and Jacy Westfield could get the opportunity to simplicity into their roles as the team’s primary floor threats this tumble.
Pena (prepping at Milford Academy, N.Y.) and Garcia are absent, but Somerville nevertheless has lots of working experience up entrance with returning starters Sal Longo, Garrett Kopltz and Ryan Manhardt, together with junior TJ Bayles and sophomores Ramin Farzaie and Braeden Kaye, who’ve been robust in camp. Longo, Koplitz and Manhardt also return as mainstays on the defensive line, with assist from junior Jayson Jefferson, Farzaie, Bayles and Kaye.
Were being Bryant and MacNair Somerville’s only seasoned receivers, they would still be adequate to result in anxiousness for defensive coordinators with their velocity and potential to capture in weighty targeted traffic. But there are also junior Hashym Hobbs-Harris (4 receptions for 71 yards), senior Nigel Tucker (3 for 33) and Wes Hack (2 for 28), all of whom likely would have been additional often targeted by Miller previous autumn if not for Bryant, MacNair and Desiderio.
“This is the very best mixture of QB and general extensive receiver talent Somerville has experienced considering that I have been below,” Whitaker mentioned. “If we are healthier and play a full period, it is real looking we crack state passing information this season.”
The Pioneers averaged a robust 46.7 factors for each match a 12 months back 43. the time prior. Ringing up big figures again this year would barely be a shock.
But is this group also geared up to keep down the numbers of its opponents? Whitaker thinks so with individuals aforementioned linemen, and also veteran linebackers MacNair (50 tackles, 2 sacks very last yr), Garcia Tyler Bryant and Kyle Giacobello, and returning DBs Bryant (32 tackles, 2 interceptions), Tucker (16 tackles), Hobbs-Harris and Wes Hack.
“The defensive backfield and linebackers are much enhanced in 2021 when the DL reloads with more youthful players,” Whitaker mentioned.
Aug. 27: at Olney Constitution (Pa.), 7
Sept. 5: vs Northern Highlands at Rutgers College, 5
Sept. 10: vs. Carteret, 7
Sept. 17: at Rahway, 6
Oct. 1: vs. South Plainfield, 7
Oct. 8: at Phillipsburg, 7
Oct. 15: at St. Joseph (Satisfied,), 7
Oct. 22: at Warren Hills, 7
Oct. 29: vs. Summit, 7
The N.J. Large School Sports newsletter now appearing in mailboxes 5 days a week. Indication up now and be amid the 1st to get all the boys and ladies sports activities you care about, straight to your inbox each and every weekday. To add your title, click on here.
Thank you for relying on us to supply the journalism you can have faith in. Remember to take into account supporting NJ.com with a membership.