Warrior Mentality: 2022 Manasquan High School Football Preview
The growing pains that Manasquan experienced in 2019 and 2020 when breaking in a talented group of underclassmen paid dividends last season when the Warriors went 8-3 and reached the semifinals of the sectional playoffs. With two of the Shore Conference's most dynamic offensive players back to lead the way, the Big Blue have their sights set on competing for championships once again.
Five starters return on offense in Manasquan's multiple-pro look and the Warriors have two outstanding seniors to lead the way in quarterback Brett Patten and running back Jhamier Howard. Patten was a First Team All-Shore selection last season when he threw for 1,592 yards and 25 touchdowns with just six interceptions. He also ran for eight touchdowns as the Warriors averaged 27.7 points per game. Howard ran for 544 yards and seven touchdowns, added three receiving touchdowns, and returned a kick for a touchdown. Don't let his stats fool you, though. Howard had just 87 carries last season as the Manasquan passing game took center stage. He has the ability to be one of the very best running backs in the Shore Conference.
Patten's top target last season was First Team All-Shore selection Cole Kozlowski, and his graduation leaves a void at the wide receiver position. Senior Jack Dettlinger (6-foot-5, 185) has been in the rotation and leads the group of pass catchers that also includes senior Cael Driscoll, juniors Luke Ramire and Matt Koenig, and sophomore Cadem Eastmond. Senior Torey Falkinburg will also see time in the backfield either at fullback or running back.
Senior Matt O'Donnell is a returning starter at tight end while the offensive line returns two starters in senior center James Gilmore (6-2, 280) and junior left guard Noah Mammeri. Senior Matt Langasky and junior Terrance Marks (6-3, 235) are at left tackle, senior Ethan Harvey and junior Brian Lee are at right guard, and juniors Jack Mead and Anthony Lofreddo are at right tackle. Sophomore Tom Martucci could also see time at left guard.
Among the standouts lost to graduation on the defensive side include lineman JJ Cavanagh, linebacker Ryan Burns, plus Kozlowski and Robert Pendergist in the defensive backfield. Four starters are back in Manaquan's 4-3 defense; O'Donnell at defensive end, Driscoll at linebacker, and Howard and Dettlinger in the secondary.
O'Donnell leads the group of defensive linemen along with Mead at the other defensive end spot and Mammeri and Gilmore as the defensive tackles. Lofreddo and Marks are also in the mix at defensive end while juniors Steve Bird and Tom Martin are in the rotation at defensive tackle.
Driscoll is a returning starter at outside linebacker while promising junior Will Burns is the other outside linebacker after seeing playing time last season. Lee is at middle linebacker with senior Ethan Miller backing him up. Falkinburg, junior Jaxson Hermann, senior Kevin Prime, and sophomore Jackson Battaglia are also on the depth chart at outside linebacker.
In the secondary, Howard is a returning starter at cornerback and senior Marcus Valles will start on the opposite side. Ramire and sophomore Matthew Schnieder are the backups with Schieder also playing some free safety. Senior Dalil Suluki is the strong safety with Eastmond behind him, and Dettlinger returns as the free safety after snagging two interceptions last season.
A reliable kicker is always a welcome luxury but certainly not a given for most teams. Dettlinger is one of the top returning kickers in the Shore and is coming off a junior season in which he converged 35 of 38 extra points and connected on two field goals.
Last season Manasquan finished second to top-ranked Red Bank Catholic in the Constitution Division and ahead of Raritan, Red Bank, and Ocean. The Warriors are now in the Independence Division with rival Point Boro, Raritan, Holmdel, St. John Vianney, and Monmouth Regional.
At a Glance
Projected starters (RS=returning starter, 3RS=3rd-year returning starter)
Offense: Multiple Pro
Returning Starters: 5
QB: Brett Patten, Sr., 3RS;
RB: Jhamier Howard, Sr., 3RS; Torey Falkinburg, Sr.
WR: Jack Dettlinger, Sr.; Cael Driscroll, Sr.; Luke Ramire, Jr.; Caden Eastmond, So.; Matt Koenig, Jr.
TE: Matt O’Donnell, Sr., RS
LT: Matt Klangasky, Sr.; Terrance Marks, Jr.
LG: Noah Mammeri, Jr., RS; Tom Martucci, So.
C: James Gilmore, Sr., RS
RG: Ethan Harvey, Sr.; Brian Lee, Jr.
RT: Jack Mean, Jr.; Anthonhy Lofreddo, Jr.
Returning Starters: 4
DE: Jack Mead, Jr.; Anthony Lofreddo, Jr.
DT: Noah Mammeri, Jr., Steve Bird, Jr.
DT: James Gilmore, Sr.; Tom Martin, Jr.
DE: Matt O’Donnell, Sr., RS; Terrance Marks, Jr.
OLB: Cael Driscoll, Sr., RS; Torey Falkinburg, Sr.; Jaxson Hermann, Jr.; Kevin Prime, Sr.
MLB: Brian Lee, Jr.; Ethan Miller, Sr.
OLB: Will Burns, Jr., RS; Jackson Battaglia, So.
CB: Jhamier Howard, Sr., RS; Luke Ramire, Jr.; Matthew Schnieder, So.
CB: Marcus Valles, Sr.
SS: Dalil Suluki, Sr.; Caden Eastmond, So.
FS: Jack Dettlinger, Sr., RS; Matthew Schneider, So.
K/P: Jack Dettlinger, Sr., 3RS
Head coach: J. Price, 12h season
Career record: 70-45
Team record last five years:
Assistant coaches: Pete Cahill (DB); Justin Cella (Offensive Coordinator/QB); Jay Price Sr. (DB); Brian Lee (WR); Ed Kapalko (DL); Darrell Falkinburg (RB); Eric Howland (LB); Rich Griffith (Freshmen); John Morris (Freshmen); Kevin Hyland (Athletic Trainer).
Players to Watch: Brett Patten, Sr., QB and Jhamier Howard, Sr., RB/DB
Patten was a First Team All-Shore selection last season when he threw for 1,592 yards and 25 touchdowns and ran for an additional eight touchdowns. Howard averaged over six yards per carry with 544 yards rushing and 11 total touchdowns. Manasquan will need its newcomers to get up to speed to be a championship contender, but Patten and Howard will be the ones driving the bus.
Player Under the Radar: Jack Dettlinger, Sr., WR/DB/K/P
Dettlinger has been a key player for Manasquan since his sophomore year and this season will be a starter at wide receiver and safety along with returning as the team's kicker. He will have opportunities to contribute in all three phases.
Impact Newcomer: Terrance Marks, Jr., OL/DL
At 6-foot-3 and 235 pounds, Marks brings good size to both the offensive and defensive lines and will push for playing time at offensive tackle and defensive end.
Rivalry Game: Sept. 9 vs. Point Boro
While Wall may be Manaquan's biggest rival and their Thanksgiving Day game is usually well-attended and well-contested, Manasquan and Point Boro were originally Thanksgiving rivals for many years. The intensity has been ratcheted up in recent years and this season's Week 1 clash could very well be the game that decides the division title.
Sept. 9 - @Point Boro, 7 p.m.
Sept. 17 - vs. Raritan, 2 p.m.
Sept. 23 - @St. John Vianney, 7 p.m.
Sept. 30 - @Manchester, 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 8 - vs. Holmdel, 1 p.m.
Oct. 15 - vs. Shore, 1 p.m.
Oct. 22 - @Monmouth, 12 p.m.
Nov. 24 - vs. Wall, 11 a.m.