Football: Returning All-Shore Players
With preseason camps and fall practice officially getting underway this week, here is a look at the top returning players in the Shore Conference based on their performance last season.
Returning Shore Sports Network All-Shore Selections
Carmen Sclafani, Sr., QB, Brick
Sclafani’s arrival at Brick from Toms River North helped transform the Green Dragons from a 3-7 team into the Central Jersey Group IV champions, their first state championship since 1994. Despite missing two games with an injury, Sclafani still nearly duplicated the feat he performed as a sophomore when he ran for 1,003 yards and passed for 1,211 yards. This season, the All-Class A South selection rushed for 1,194 yards and 16 touchdowns on 193 carries and threw for 705 yards and five touchdowns on 84-for-146 passing. He also played big in big games, rushing for 100 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries and throwing for 101 yards in a 26-15 win over Colts Neck in the Central Jersey Group IV final, and rolling up 197 yards rushing and four touchdowns in a win over Burlington Township in the semifinals. He also ran for 145 yards and two touchdowns and threw for 86 yards and a touchdown in a regular-season win over South Jersey Group IV semifinalist Toms River South. The Green Dragons doubled their offensive output, going from 13 points a game last year to 26 this season, after adding him. Sclafani has a chance this fall to be the rare Shore Conference quarterback with three straight 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
Tymere Berry, Sr., QB, Toms River South
The Indians’ quarterback threw for 1,090 yards with eight touchdowns and ran for 815 yards and 11 touchdowns as a junior on a team that scored 32.8 points per game, finished 8-3 and advanced to the South Jersey Group IV semifinals.
Cinjun Erskine, Sr., QB, Barnegat
In his first full year as the Bengals’ starting quarterback, Erskine completed 55 percent of his passes for 1,119 yards and 15 touchdowns and ran for 652 yards and six touchdowns to lead Barnegat to the Class B South division title and the first sectional final appearance in program history as a junior. He is verbally committed to Bucknell.
Charlie Volker, Sr., RB, Rumson-FH
The 2013 Shore Sports Network Offensive Player of the Year, Volker had the greatest season by any Rumson-Fair Haven running back in history in his first year as the starting tailback. Volker rushed for a school-record 2,108 yards and 24 touchdowns to lead the Shore Conference in rushing and finish ranked second in New Jersey. Selected as the Class A Central Co-Offensive Player of the Year by the coaches, he helped the Bulldogs win their second state sectional title in four seasons, rushing for 93 yards and a touchdown in a 14-6 win in Central Jersey Group II over a Weequahic team that entered undefeated and allowing under three points per game. In the semifinals against Rahway, he ran for a single-game school record 314 yards and four touchdowns, including an 80-yard touchdown run with six seconds left in the game that gave Rumson a 28-21 win. He has received offers from multiple FCS programs.
Tyler Thompson, Jr., RB, Ocean
Thompson posted his second straight 1,000-yard season to start his career by rushing for 1,481 yards and 18 touchdowns (19 total) on a 6.7 yards-per-carry average, helping the Spartans (10-1) win the Class B North division title and advance to the Central Jersey Group III semifinals. Thompson boasts multiple FBS offers.
Chad Freshnock, Jr., RB, Middletown North
In combining with quarterback Donald Glenn in a young and potent Lions backfield, Freshnock ran for 1,056 yards and 11 touchdowns and averaged six yards per carry as a sophomore. He also is a standout wrestler.
Joe Wegrzyniak, Sr., RB/LB, Point Beach
A two-way standout on the first Point Beach team to ever win an NJSIAA sectional title, Wegrzyniak was a leader at fullback and linebacker for a Garnet Gulls squad that finished 10-2 to tie the school record for wins. He finished fourth in the Shore Conference with a school-record 1,581 yards rushing along with 17 touchdowns on 177 attempts. In a 12-7 win over Shore Regional in the Central Jersey Group I final, he ran for 138 yards on 25 carries and had the game-clinching first down run in the final minutes. Defensively, he had a team-high 92 tackles, 17 tackles for a loss, 6.5 sacks and an interception for a unit that gave up 11 points per game.
Joe Sellmeyer, Jr., OL, Manalapan
As a first-year starter as a sophomore, Sellmeyer was the top offensive lineman on a Braves team that finished 11-1, won the Class A North division title and reached a sectional final for the third consecutive season. He blocked for a running game that averaged 168 yards per game.
Sam Madden, Sr., OL, Barnegat
The 6-foot-7, 335-pound Wisconsin recruit contributed to a Bengals rushing attack that averaged 232 yards per game and had three different players run for over 600 yards during his junior season.
Jamie Gordinier, Sr., LB, Red Bank Catholic
Committed to the University of Miami, Gordinier had a breakout year as a junior after seeing time as a sophomore. An All-Class A Central pick by the coaches, Gordinier finished with 86 tackles, 8 pass break-ups, 8 tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks while seeing time at linebacker and defensive end on the best defense in the Shore Conference. He had 9 tackles in a win over South Jersey Group III semifinalist Manasquan, registered 12 tackles and a tackle for a loss in a state playoff win over Immaculata, and then had 11 tackles against the state’s top team, St. Joseph-Montvale, in the Non-Public Group III semifinals.
Manny Bowen, Sr., WR/LB, Barnegat
An extremely versatile player for the South Jersey Group III finalists and Class B South champs, Bowen made 78 tackles with 15 for a loss, recorded 2.5 sacks and had 22 quarterback hurries on his way to being named the Class B South Defensive Player of the Year by the coaches. He also intercepted four passes, forced four fumbles and had three fumble recoveries. On offense, Bowen caught 25 passes for 479 yards and seven touchdowns, and also ran for two touchdowns. He has verbally committed to Penn State.
Ray Fattaruso, Sr., RB/LB, Brick
One of the top two-way players in the Shore Conference, Fattaruso was a catalyst in Brick’s drive to the Central Jersey Group IV title, its first state title since 1994 and the seventh in the program’s proud history. He was one of two 1,000-yard rushers for the Green Dragons, joining quarterback Carmen Sclafani. Fattaruso ran for 1,095 yards and 14 touchdowns on 218 carries and stepped up in big games, rushing for 203 yards and a touchdown in a win over Burlington Township in the Central Jersey Group IV semifinals, putting up 192 yards and three touchdowns on West Windsor North in the first round of the playoffs, and scoring the game-winning touchdown with under three minutes remaining in a 26-15 win over Colts Neck in the championship game. He also had 112 yards rushing and three touchdowns in a win over South Jersey Group IV semifinalist Toms River South and 103 yards rushing and a touchdown in a two-point loss to Class A South champion Jackson Memorial. He also was a force at linebacker and as an edge rusher, finishing with 78 tackles and a team-high 10 sacks as well as an interception and two forced fumbles. He had six sacks in three state playoff games, including a huge one inside the final two minutes against Colts Neck in the state final.
Aliem Shaw, Jr., RB/LB, Matawan
One of the top young defensive players in the Shore Conference, the 6-foot, 185-pound Shaw burst onto the scene as a sophomore as part of one of the top defenses in the Shore. He had a team-high 111 tackles and led the Shore Conference in sacks (17) and tackles for a loss (30) for a Matawan defense that did not allow more than 23 points in any game this season and held opponents to an average of 9 points per game. He had six games of multiple sacks, including 13 tackles and three sacks in a 7-3 loss to Class B North champion Ocean. Shaw also played running back for the Huskies, finishing with 121 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
Hunter Baillie, Sr., LB/DE, Long Branch
Baillie made 71 tackles, including 10 for a loss, while recording nine sacks and one forced fumble as a junior for a Green Wave defense that yielded just 10.1 points per game. A four-year varsity player, he should once again lead a hard-nosed Long Branch defense.
Tysaun White, Sr., RB/WR/DB, Mater Dei Prep
As a junior transfer last year, White was a rushing and receiving threat for a Seraphs team that had its first winning season since 1999 and reached the Non-Public Group I semifinals. He had 11 touchdowns between rushing, receiving, special teams and on defense in the secondary.
Royal Moore, Sr., QB/DB, Neptune
As a junior, Moore intercepted five passes for Ocean, which allowed 12 points per game in winning the Class B North division title and reaching the Central Jersey Group III semifinals. As the team’s quarterback, Moore threw for 533 yards and seven touchdowns and ran for 480 yards and three touchdowns. He transferred to Neptune during the offseason.
Mike Cordova, Sr., RB/DB, Red Bank Catholic
As a junior, Cordova recorded 69 tackles with two for a loss and also intercepted five passes and defended 18 passes as a safety. He was also second on the team with 11 total touchdowns as a running back, where he will take over for the graduated Larry Redaelli as the Caseys' feature back this fall.
Amir Tyler, Jr., LB, Lakewood
The Piners' standout made 91 tackles, intercepted three passes, forced and recovered three fumbles, scored one defensive touchdown, recorded one safety and also blocked three field goals as a sophomore to help Lakewood reach the Central Jersey Group II semifinals. He also ran for 591 yards and seven touchdowns. He recently picked up his first FBS offer from Temple and is also a basketball standout.
Matt Castronuova, Sr., DB, Jackson Liberty
A four-year varsity player, Castronuova finished with 67 tackles, including 54 solo and six tackles for a loss as a junior. He forced three fumbles, recorded one sack and intercepted two passes, one of which he returned for a touchdown. He looks to be one of the top defensive backs in the Shore as a senior and also should be a versatile offensive weapon.
Ricky Gerena, Sr., DB, Barnegat
The Bengals' standout finished with five interceptions and six pass breakups as a junior. He also caught 10 passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns at wideout and threw for 153 yards and two touchdowns in filling in at quarterback.
Tyquis Davis, Sr., LB, Asbury Park
A linebacker who also can rush from the edge, Davis recorded 15 sacks last year, the second-highest total in the Shore Conference, to go along with 58 tackles for a Blue Bishops defense that allowed just 9.1 points per game to lead the program to the Central Jersey Group I semifinals.
James Juliano, Sr., LB, Brick
As a junior, Juliano led the Central Jersey Group IV champion Dragons with 107 tackles (75 solo) and 14 for a loss. He also recorded two sacks and returns to lead an experienced and talented defense.
James Bedell, Sr., LB, Shore Regional
In his first season as a varsity starter last year, Bedell was the leading tackler (97) on a Blue Devils’ defense that allowed a Shore Conference-low 77 points during a 10-win season that included a Class B Central title.
Mike Caggiano, Sr., K/P, Manalapan
One of the top combo kicker/punters in New Jersey, Caggiano was a force on the best special teams unit in the Shore Conference for a team that won its fourth straight division title and reached its third straight state sectional final. The All-Class A North selection averaged 34.3 yards per punt with a long of 56 yards and dropped 12 punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line. As a kicker, he blasted 40 touchbacks out of 74 kickoffs and led all Shore Conference kickers in scoring by going 57-for-60 on extra points and 3-for-6 on field goals. He is entering his fourth varsity season this fall.
Jake Monteiro, Sr., K, Shore Regional
As a junior, Monteiro went 37-for-39 on extra points and 9-for-12 on field goals with a long of 47 yards, tied for the longest field goal in the Shore Conference this season, for the Class B Central champs and Central Jersey Group I finalists. His 17 career field goals are a Shore Regional school record, and his nine field goals are a single-season school record.
Hunter Daly, Sr., K/P, Neptune
In his first season with the Scarlet Fliers as a junior, Daly averaged 41 yards per punt and also was a weapon at placekicker. He went 20-for-22 on extra points and booted seven field goals, which ranked third in the Shore Conference, while also hitting 12 touchbacks.
Mosquera was outstanding in his varsity debut at kicker as a sophomore, finishing a perfect 40-for-40 on extra points and hitting five field goals with a long of 39 yards. He also was the team’s punter.