Manalapan to Play in Football Triple-Header High School Showcase at Rutgers
Manalapan has been selected as one of six New Jersey teams to play in an inaugural high school football showcase at Rutgers University.
As first reported by NJ.com, Rutgers' High Point Solutions Stadium will host a triple-header featuring six of the state's top programs on Saturday October 29. Manalapan will take on Piscataway at 11 a.m. in the first game, followed by St. Peter's Prep vs. Lincoln at 2 p.m. in an all-Jersey City battle. The third and final game will be at 5 p.m. between Pope John and DePaul.
"We're extremely excited, and it's an honor to be chosen for that game," said Manalapan head coach Ed Gurrieri.
Manalapan has been among the Shore Conference's best teams during Gurrieri's tenure and is two seasons removed from capturing the program's first NJSIAA state sectional title, beating South Brunswick, 21-7, at Rutgers to cap an 11-1 season and win the 2014 Central Jersey Group V championship. Since 2010, the Braves have a 57-13 record. They were 6-5 last season with a team comprised mostly of first-year starters at the skill positions, but still managed to reach the Central Jersey Group V semifinals where they fell to South Brunswick on a last-second touchdown.
The Braves return a standout junior class headlined by quarterback Luke Corcione, running back Naim Mayfield, wide receiver Symir Blacknall and fullback/linebacker Chris Maksimik. Manalapan also returns standout defensive bak Cody Weiner and 6-foot-4 receiver L.J. Holder. Much of the offensive line graduated, but the Braves have a long tradition of developing the position to play at a high level.
They will face a Piscataway team that has won eight sectional titles in its history and returns star running back Elijah Barnwell, who rushed for over 1,700 yards last season.
"It's going to be our first time playing Piscataway in a regular-seaosn game," Gurrieri said. "That's a storied program with great tradition churning out one great team after another. They always have great players. We're very excited."
Football 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.