Joe Trezza enters his seventh season at the helm at Middletown North. The Lions went 4-6 last season and were in contention for a playoff berth until a loss to Southern in the final game before cutoff date.
Q: You have players returning from last season at some important positions on the offensive side of the ball. Can you highlight some of your primary playmakers?
A: We have a great mix of kids, and I don’t think, this year, there is one kid we can point to as “our primary guy” other than Cody Thompson at quarterback. At our skill positions, I feel like we have five to six that can contribute. Rob Spinelli is a returning two-year starter at receiver. He’s a big, physical kid that I think can be very productive. Nick Welsh is another two-year starter who did a great job last season for us in the slot last year, and I think he’ll continue to grow and get better.
Q: One guy that didn’t return, who graduated last year was Joe Racioppi. Who will fill that void in the backfield?
A: Last year we had Jared Mosier backing up Joey, and Jared was good enough to play, unfortunately for him, Joey was doing a tremendous job for us and received a majority of the carries. However, when Joey couldn’t go, Jared stepped in nicely. We’re excited about having him back. We think he’s going to have a good year. He’s gotten bigger and stronger. We believe these are aspects that will lead to his success.
Q: Have there been any nice surprises come your way? Anything you may not have expected prior to this point?
A: We’re very happy with the play of our middle linebackers. With Dom Pedone coming back, we knew we had one solid, consistent, linebacker in the middle. But we knew we had to find another one, and next to Dom we’ll be playing Dan Napolitano. Dan didn’t play for us last year, but he’s been a great surprise for us. We feel this team is very strong up the middle with Mike Galluccio at nose tackle and Pedone and Napolitano behind him. We believe those three guys in the middle can really put some pressure on offenses and solidify our defense.