In his second season as St. John Vianney’s head coach Andy Carlstrom looks to build upon the season-ending four-game win. The Lancers finished 5-5 last season and have not had a winning season since going 6-4 in 2006. Carlstrom talks about losing a lot of seniors, and how the team plans to move foward.
Q: Who will be your starting quarterback without Anthony Carlucci, and how has he adjusted to his new role?
A: Losing Anthony was really tough for us, and we weren’t sure what direction we were going to go in the offseason, but we were approached by Billy Damato, who is a transfer student from from Bishop Ahr. We really fortunate enough to get someone who has already started 16 football games.
Q: How big will the loss of Anthony Ambrose be on your defense?
A: Anthony was a big impact player, and anytime you lose a player like that will never be good for your defense, but we had a lot of transfer students come in. We got a kid named Clay Kemp from St. Peter’s Prep and an outside linebacker named Carlos Texiera from Manalapan who have both picked up the slack since Anthony left. It’s really good for us to be able to get those two players.
Q: How do you plan on filling in the holes on your offense with the loss of receivers Anthony Pante, Drew Keelan, Julius Simmonds and running back Steve Barnitz?
A: Losing Carlucci, Pante and Barnitz were the core of our offense last year, so it’s tough. With the return of Ishmael Hyman who is ranked the No. 1 receiver in the state, and the transfer of an experienced quarterback like Billy DeMato, is huge. We also have a lot of returning starters and players who moved up from JV, so we are confident we will hit the ground running and have a really good season.