2023 Shore Sports Network Football Offensive Player of the Year: Red Bank Catholic’s Emanuel Ross
If there was a big play on either side of the ball during Red Bank Catholic’s brilliant 2023 season, there’s a good chance senior Emanuel Ross was in the middle of it.
Ross came up huge in almost every spot imaginable for the Caseys on their way to their second Non-Public B title in three seasons, a second straight American Division title, the No. 1 ranking in the Shore Sports Network Shore 16, and the No. 3 ranking in the state.
The Caseys senior is the 2023 Shore Sports Network Offensive Player of the Year after finishing with 48 catches for 718 yards and a Shore Conference-best 11 touchdowns receiving, while also running for 380 yards and 3 touchdowns on a ridiculous average of 17.3 yards per carry. He made his argument as the greatest receiver in Red Bank Catholic's illustrious history.
He also was at his best when the Caseys needed him most. He had two touchdown catches in a win over Group 2 finalist Rumson-Fair Haven, he had 6 catches for 107 yards and a 96-yard kickoff return for a score in a win over Non-Public A semifinalist Seton Hall Prep, he had 8 catches for a career-high 170 yards and 2 touchdowns in an overtime win over Group 5 champion Toms River North, he had a 75-yard touchdown run against Donovan Catholic in the game for the final No. 1 ranking in the Shore, and he had a touchdown catch in a 14-7 win over DePaul in the Non-Public B championship game.
The Caseys finished 10-1 and avenged a loss to DePaul in last year’s state title game to bring home their fourth state title since the advent of the NJSIAA playoffs in 1974.
“It feels great,” Ross said after the win over DePaul. “After last year we knew the job wasn’t finished, and we were going to come out this season with a task ahead of us. We got it done, and I’m so proud of my guys.”
Not only was Ross an incredible offensive weapon, he also was one of the top shutdown cornerbacks in New Jersey. He held Bergen Catholic’s Quincy Porter, a 1,000-yard receiver with offers from Alabama, Florida State and others, to 4 catches for 46 yards, and limited DePaul star De’zie Jones, who has offers from Duke, Kentucky, Maryland and more, to one catch for eight yards in the state final.
He and another Shore superstar, Toms River North senior quarterback/safety Micah Ford, were named the Co-Offensive Players of the Year in the loaded American Division, which produced the Non-Public B champion, the Group 5 champion and a Group 2 finalist. The two are also future college teammates headed to Stanford University.