A Chance for Redemption: 2020 Shore Regional Football Preview
Shore Regional has long been one of the best Group 1 programs in both the Shore Conference and statewide, and last season the Blue Devils were hoping to be state championship contenders once again. They were coming off a seven-win season in 2018 and had an impressive roster, but after a convincing season-opening win the wheels started to come off.
It is very hard for a small school to battle through injuries and not suffer a noticeable drop-off, and Shore is no different. Injuries to key players, namely standout running back Shane McLaughlin, were a major factor in a late-season, three-game losing streak that culminated in a 4-6 finish.
If there is a positive that came from the adversity of 2019, however, it is that most of the roster returns to take a shot at redemption.
The backfield of Shore’s long-running Delaware Wing-T offense is stacked with five returning starters who will serve as the heart of the team. McLaughlin was off to a great start last season before suffering an injury in the fifth game. He ended up returning later in the season and finished with 672 yards and 12 touchdowns on an average of 6.4 yards per carry and 14 receptions for 227 yards and 4 touchdowns in just seven games. Senior Dylan Drahos, junior Jamie Mazzacco and sophomore Torin Harmon are also back, as is senior quarterback Mike McGhee.
The offensive line has three returning starters with senior Brendan Bauer at left guard, senior Cade Torres at right guard and junior Nahmir Jones at right tackle. Senior tight end Trevor Crochet is also a returning starter.
Shore’s defense is loaded with players who saw starting time last season. The unit of linebackers featuring McGhee, Mazzacco, Harmon and Drahos looks especially strong and McLaughlin is a standout in the secondary as the free safety.
Staying healthy will be critical, especially in the season of COVID-19, but if the Blue Devils can do that they have a good chance to run the table in the regular season and be a force in the postseason.
At a Glance
Projected starters (RS=returning starter, 3RS=3rd-year returning starter)
Offense: Delaware Wing-T
QB: Mike McGhee, Sr., RS
RB: Shane McLaughlin, Sr., 3RS
RB: Torin Harmon, So., RS
RB: Dylan Drahos, Sr., RS
RB: Jamie Mazzacco, Jr., RS
TE: Trevor Crochet, Sr., RS; Max Kramer, Jr.
WR: Chris Kessler, Sr.; Alex Kramer, Jr.; Rylan Fegan, Jr.; Aiden Scaturro, Jr.
LT: Nick Soyer, Sr.
LG: Brendan Bauer, Sr., RS; Jack Martucci, Sr.
C: Evan Thompson, Sr.
RG: Cade Torres, Sr., RS; Bob Fiore, Sr.
RT: Nahmir Jones, Jr., RS
DE: Brendan Bauer, Sr., RS; Jack Martucci, Sr.
DT: Nahmir Jones, Jr., RS; Owen Feeley, Jr.
DT: Nic Soyer, Sr., RS; Richard Barton, Jr.
DE: Cade Torres, Sr., RS; Max White, Jr.
OLB: Dylan Drahos, Sr., RS; Andrew Decker, Jr.
ILB: Jamie Mazzacco, Jr., RS; Evan Thompson, Sr., RS;
ILB: Torin Harmon, So., RS; Liam Rosa, Jr.
OLB: Mike McGhee, Sr., RS; Joe Gillen, Jr.
CB: Trevor Crochet, Sr., RS; Tyler Tilton, Sr.
CB: Alex Kramer, Jr.; Rylan Fegan, Jr.; Chris Kessler, Sr.
SS: Sean O’Brien, Sr., RS
FS: Shane McLaughlin, Sr., 3RS
K: Cade Torres, Sr., RS
P: Cade Torres, Sr., RS
Head coach: Mark Costantino, 29th season
Career record: 187-104-1
Team record last five years:
Assistant coaches: Mike Whitacre, Jon Remedios, Pete Vincelli, Joe Rankin, John Vaccarelli, Nick Mahoney, Chris Riley, Mark Costantino; Joe Amicucci (athletic trainer).
Player to Watch: Shane McLaughlin, Sr., RB/FS
McLaughlin missed a portion of the season with a collarbone injury but still put up very good numbers in just seven games. He ran for 672 yards and 12 touchdowns on an average of 6.4 yards per carry and caught 14 passes for 227 yards and 4 touchdowns to earn third-team All-Shore honors.
Player Under the Radar: Cade Torres, Sr., OL/DL/K
Torres is an impact player in all three phases. A third-team All-Shore selection last season, he converted 22 of 27 extra points and connected on four field goals with a long for 40 yards. Torres also averaged 35 yards per punt with a long of 50 and two punts downed inside the 20-yard line. He is also a returning starter along the offensive line and at defensive end.
Impact Newcomer: Alex Kramer, Jr., WR/CB
Shore doesn’t have many positions that aren’t manned by returning starters, but wide receiver is a void that Kramer will look to fill along with working in at cornerback.
Top position group: Running backs
Third-team All-Shore selection Shane McLaughlin leads an impressive group of four returning starters that also includes Dylan Drahos, Jamie Mazzacco and Torin Harmon. They’ll all see plenty of carries in the Wing-T offense and will make the Blue Devils’ ground game a bear to handle.
Big Shoes to Fill: Wide receivers
Terry Carlstrom was Shore’s deep threat the past three seasons and earned third-team All-Shore honors last year. His speed and playmaking ability will be missed.
X-Factor: Line depth
Shore has experienced players up front on both sides of the ball, but depth is an issue. If they lose any of their big guys in the trenches there aren’t enough capable backups to replace them.
Saturday, Oct. 3 – at Monmouth, noon
Friday, Oct. 9 – vs. Barnegat, 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 16 – vs. Keyport, 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 23 – vs. Point Beach, 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 30 – at Asbury Park, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 7 – at Keansburg, 2 p.m.
Managing editor Bob Badders can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights.