2023 Asbury Park Football Preview
Asbury Park will be under new leadership this season with Marquan Mutazz taking over as the program’s head coach after former Blue Bishops standout Lamar Davenport stepped down after one season. Mutazz played high school football at Manasquan and has been an assistant at several New Jersey schools including Mater Dei Prep in 2020. He was the defensive coordinator at Weequahic the last two seasons.
The Blue Bishops open the 2023 season on Friday, Sept. 1 at Weequahic coming off a 6-3 season that included a playoff berth and a tri-championship in the Patriot Division. Key returners include senior quarterback/defensive back Ralee Stephens, senior running back/linebacker Iquann Crawford, senior two-way lineman Razhon McNeil, senior running back/linebacker Jah’Vell Carter, and senior lineman Fahquir Hercules.
Stephens was a Third Team All-Shore selection last fall as a wide receiver but will move to quarterback after the graduation of four-year starter Jai’sun Brown. Crawford was a Second Team All-Patriot Division running back while McNeil and Carter were second team all-division selections on defense.
A newcomer to watch is freshman Jason Whittaker, who is listed as a quarterback and defensive back. Asbury Park has had great success with talented freshmen in recent seasons so he is one to keep an eye on.
Asbury Park’s schedule difficulty ramps up this season with a move to the Constitution Division where it will face Holmdel, Manasquan, Ocean, Shore and St. John Vianney. The Blue Bishops had the Shore’s No. 5 scoring offense (30.8 ppg) and the No. 5 scoring defense (13.6 ppg) last season but there is work to do to retain that level of success after graduating multiple starters and with a new, more difficult division schedule on the horizon.
At a Glance
Head coach: Marquan Mutazz, 1st season
2022 record: 6-3
Circle the Date: Week 4 – Friday, Sept. 22 vs. Shore Regional
The longtime Class B Central and Patriot Division rivals will square off in a division game after both teams shared last season’s Patriot Division championship with Keyport. Asbury won last season’s meeting, 28-17.
Player to Watch: Ralee Stephens, Sr., QB/DB
Stephens was a Third Team All-Shore wide receiver last season and will take over as the team’s starting quarterback.
Impact newcomer: Jason Whittaker, Fr., QB/DB
Whittaker will have a chance to make an impact on both sides of the ball.
|Friday 10/20||St. John Vianney||6pm|