The Bucs Don’t Stop Here: 2020 Red Bank Football Preview
David Schuman took the Red Bank football head coaching job ahead of the 2019 season and not long after, he found out he would be without his most dynamic offensive weapon when running back Makai Mickens went down with a torn ACL.
This year, Schuman and the Bucs again have to replace a highly-productive offensive player in leading passer and rusher Jack Chamberlain but this time, Red Bank is ready and loaded with the talent necessary to keep moving forward.
“Skill-wise, we’re loaded,” Schuman said. “Not to minimize what the seniors did last year because they played great, but we were in a situation where we had a lot of juniors and underclassmen who were probably ready and were just waiting for their opportunity. I think the other think that’s really surprised me is how vocal these seniors have been as leaders because last year, they really stepped back and let the seniors run the team.”
The offensive line will require some more work to reconstruct after two starters graduated and imposing junior Vincent Carpenter transferred to Red Bank Catholic but despite some questions on the O-line, Schuman and the Bucs feel good about the prospects of a winning 2020.
Projected Starters (RS=Returning Starters)
QB: Owen Laughlin, Sr.; Jack Grassi, Jr.
RB: Cian Curylo, Jr.; Jakir Johnson, Sr.
WR: Nick Ferrogine, Sr. RS
WR: Gordon Ogden, Sr. RS
WR: Jack Dengler, Sr. RS; Lamar Hicks, So.
TE: Nick Walsack, Sr.
LT: Pete Thomas, Jr. RS
LG: Nassim Abdullah, Sr.
C: Brian Navitsky, Sr. RS
RG: Luke Chrampanis, Sr.
RT: Dan Jurek, Sr.
DE: A.J. Sollecito, Sr.
DT: Jakir Johnson, Sr. RS
DT: Dan Jurek, Sr. RS
DE/OLB: Cian Curylo, Jr. RS
OLB: Owen Laughlin, Sr. RS
MLB: Sean Masonius, Jr.
OLB: Nick Walsack, Sr. RS
CB: Jack Dengler, Sr. RS
CB: Matt Dengler, Jr.; Ras Ally, Sr.
SS: Nick Ferrogine, Sr. RS
FS: Jack Grassi, Jr.; Gordon Ogden, Sr.
K: Gian Carlo Dautaj, So.
P: Nick Ferrogine, Sr. RS
At a Glance
Head Coach: David Schuman, second season
Career Record: 44-62
Record Last Five Years:
Assistant Coaches: Derek Depascale (Assistant HC/Def. Coordinator), Jeff Mass (OL/DL), Dexter McDougle (Special Teams/DB/RB), Chris Leroy (Freshman/WR/LB), Adam Bobertz (Freshman/OL/DL), Christina Emrich (Athletic Trainer)
Player to Watch: Nick Ferrogine, Sr., WR/SS/P
The leader returning tackler (68 in 2019), a tough receiver, a capable ball-carrier and the No. 1 punter, Ferrogine can do it all for Red Bank and he’ll be asked to do more than ever for the Bucs in 2020.
“Ferrogine can do anything on a field and he’s going to wear a lot of hats for us,” Schuman said. “He was very good for us last year and so far this year, he looks out of this world.”
Player Under the Radar: Jack Dengler, Sr., WR/CB
Red Bank graduated top receiver A.J. Abarno but with Ferrogine back and Dengler ready to step up in the receiving corps, the Bucs don’t expect to fall too far. Dengler is also part of a promising secondary and will pair up with younger brother Matt to form the cornerback duo.
“Jack is a guy I think you’re going to see really step up as one of the leaders and top guys, especially on defense. He’s a great athlete and a tough kid so wherever he is in on the field, he is making an impact.”
Impact Newcomer: Jack Grassi, Jr., QB/FS
Grassi might be a year away from filling the starting quarterback role, but he is pushing projected starter Owen Laughlin. He has also put himself in position to start at free safety next to Ferrogine, so even if he ends up as QB2 on the depth chart, Grassi should find a way to make an impact in his junior season.
“We are in a situation where we have a senior we really like so there is no need to rush him into the starting job,” Schuman said of Grassi’s standing in the quarterback competition. “With that said, if he shows us that he is ready, he is the best guy and it allows us to use Laughlin as a weapon at receiver and make our offense more dynamic, we won’t hesitate to give him a shot.”
Top Position Group: Skill Positions
There will be shifting of positions and some new names in the starting lineup, but Schuman is confident this year’s collection of backs and receivers will be every bit as good as last year’s group and even then some, perhaps. The Bucs lost star running back Makai Mickens to a torn ACL for the bulk of last season but that created an opportunity to other players to get a trial at the position and junior Cian Curylo heads into 2020 ready to take the reins.
Big Shoes to Fill: Owen Laughlin, Sr., QB/OLB
Quarterback Jack Chamberlain was both the leading passing and leading rusher for Red Bank, so regardless of how deep and athletic the Bucs may be around the depth chart, replacing that sort of production creates challenges. Laughlin, though, is just as capable of leading the team in rushing, he has impressed in camp with his throwing ability and he can even shift back to wide receiver if Grassi proves ready and Schuman wants to further stack the receiver position.
With seven starters back – including five in the front seven and hard-hitting safety in Ferrogine – Red Bank’s defense has all the ingredients to be a strong unit. The x-factor status lies in the defense’s ability to go from quality defense to elite status and there is reason for hope. Curylo has the makings of a disruptive edge-rusher, Laughlin picked up four sacks last year at outside linebacker, they have a sturdy interior duo in Jakir Johnson and Dan Jurek and a deep, athletic secondary.
“Our defense was very good last year. It has a chance to be elite this year,” Schuman said. “We didn’t know it would be that kind of defense when we started in the summer but so far, it has looked that good. We have some questions at a couple positions, but it’s more about who starts and who plays. We have guys who can do the job at every position so we’re excited to see what this group can do.”
Friday, Oct. 2 vs. St. John Vianney, 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 9 vs. Matawan, 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 16 at Holmdel, 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 23 vs. Ocean, 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 30 at Raritan, 7 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 6 at Long Branch, 7 p.m.