The Jefferson Falcons football team opened their 2018 season by welcoming the Hackettstown Tigers on a rare “Week 0” game. Coach Jerry Venturino and his staff have put the team through a tough pre-season and he spoke glowingly about how the team has prepared for the upcoming season.
“This is a great group of kids. They put in a lot of hard work and they have some great leadership.” Like last year, the team rallies around the theme of “Brothership.”
The schedule for 2018 is a tough one. In addition to games against division opponents Mendham, Montville, Morris Hills, Sparta, and Vernon.
While the graduating class of 2018 took with it several great performers from the past few seasons, the Falcons’ cupboard is by no means bare, with several talented newcomers joining a cadre of performers who made their names known in 2017.
The quarterback will be Matt Johnson (4-6’2-160-Jr.), a smart player with a good arm who Coach Venturino describes as a tough competitor and a great kid. He’ll be backed up by Luke Foth (2-6’0-165-Sr.), a great leader and hard worker who is also praised for his competitive nature.
The Falcons have a deep athletic group of running backs. Joe Batelli (5-5’10-165-Sr.) is a returning starter and one of the team’s captains. An electric performer, Batelli will be counted on to be one of the team’s playmakers. Justin Randzio ( 35-6’0-205-Sr.) is a returning starter and one of the team’s captains. A tough gritty bruising runner, Randzio also provides great leadership to his teammates. Paul Monaco (13-5’9-180-Sr.) is described by Coach Venturino as “our Mr. Everything.” Another captain and returning starter, Monaco is talented, smart and a fierce competitior. Matt Cappello (27-5’3-140-Jr.) is known by his teammates as “the fastest man alive.” A talented athletic playmaker, Capello is another of the Falcon running backs who is a threat to gain big chunks of yardage every time he touches the ball. Mike Gould (26-5’7′-170-Soph.) is a tough, fast, relentless performer and Tyler Cole (30-5’11-155-Sr.) runs with a tough gritty physical style.
Complementing the Falcons ground game will be an equally talented group of receivers for QBs Johnson and Foth to throw to. Brandon Haid (42-5’8-180-Sr.) is the returning starter at tight end. Haid combines athleticism with a tough gritty scrappiness and is a consummate team player. The wideouts will be David Hanna (20-5’11-165-Jr.) and Michael Rovetto (10-5’6-135-Sr.). Hanna is an athletic, fearless, hard-working tough type of kid who in Coach Venturino’s words “just gets it done.” Rovetto is another hard worker with good hands and excellent leadership qualities.
Up front, the Falcon offensive line will pose problems for any defense that tries to slow down Jefferson’s offense. At left tackle, Matt Campagna (75-6’0-241-Sr.) is a returning starter who possesses a strong tough physical style of play. Jefferson Felter (56-5’10-202-Jr.) is the returning starter at left guard. Felter is a smart athletic physical lineman who is praised by the coaching staff for his great technique. Starting at center will be Joe D’Alia (72-5’9-220-Sr.), another strong dedicated hard-working player. Richard Raymond (58-5’10-210-Jr.) will start at right guard and is another hard worker with good technique who is extremely committed to the team’s success. At right tackle is Devin Hanna (71-6’1-200-Sr.), Hanna is tough and gritty who brings a strong work ethic and intense dedication to every snap of the ball.
On the defensive line for Falcons will be Tyler Wagoner (84-6’3-235-Sr.) a strong physical defensive end with a fierce work ethic. At nose tackle will be Ali Fuller (73-6’3-350) a big strong physical presence in the center of the Falcon D-line. The linebackers will feature several players who also play on offense. Playing outside linebacker will be Brandon Haid, Paul Monaco, and Tyler Cole, while the inside linebacking core will feature Justin Randzio, Jefferson Felter, Michael Gould, and Colin Miller (53-5’11’-140-Jr.) another fierce hard-working competitor. The defensive backfield will have Joe Batelli and Matt Cappello at safety with Luke Foth, David Hanna, and Michael Rovetto at cornerback.
Matt Johnson will handle the place-kicking duties with Justin Randzio doing the punting. Colin Miller will be the long snapper and the explosive combination of Joe Batelli and Matt Cappello will be the returners.
The Falcon coaching staff has been pleased with the team’s preparation for the season in general. Coach Venturino said practices have been pretty productive and the team is eager to play.
|Jefferson vs. Hackettstown||Home||Thursday, August 30
Jr. Falcons Night 3-5
|Jefferson vs. High Point||Away||Friday, September 7||7 p.m.|
|Jefferson vs. Mt. Olive||Home||Friday, September 14
Jr. Falcons Night 6-8
|Jefferson vs. Montville||Away||Friday, September 21||7 p.m.|
|Jefferson vs. Sparta||Home||Friday, September 28
Staff Appreciation Night
|Jefferson vs. Morris Hills||Away||Saturday, October 6||1 p.m.|
|Jefferson vs. Vernon||Home||Friday, October 12
Homecoming/2008 State Team
|Jefferson vs. West Milford||Away||Friday, October 19||7 p.m.|
|Jefferson vs. Mendham||Home||Friday, October 26