TOMS RIVER SOUTH: Decade-long slump may end for Indians

TOMS RIVER SOUTH: Decade-long slump may end for Indians

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TOMS RIVER SOUTH: Decade-long slump may end for Indians

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It has been a while since these words were heard from Toms River South.

“I think this year we can, actually, make something happen with all the weapons we have,” said Indians junior quarterback Tymere Berry.

Toms River South, which has not had a winning season since 2003 and won a divisional championship since 2002, has a chance to accomplish those things this fall because of the game-breaking talent it has on offense.

“It’s even better that we can all be on the field at the same time,” Berry said.

Berry, who has the playmaking ability, intelligence and athleticism that is needed to run the triple-option, flexbone offensive set that Indians’ third-year head coach Ron Signorino Jr. loves, is a major reason for the optimism.

Berry showed glimpses of what he can do when he quarterbacked the Indians for the final eight games of last season after a collarbone injury sidelined Trevor Signorino.

“Now, I’ve got it all down pat,” Berry said.

With Berry at the helm, Toms River South beat Toms River East for its first win over a crosstown rival since 2002 and qualified for the playoffs for its first playoff berth since 2003.

During a intrasquad scrimmage in mid-August, Berry showed off improved decision-making and made big plays in the passing games with several darts.

“He’s commanding the offense. He knows it. He’s directing traffic and taking ownership of the offense, which last year you couldn’t expect him to do that,” said Signorino Jr.

During his tenures as offensive coordinator at Toms River South, Toms River East and Monsignor Donovan, Signorino Jr. has coached several All-Shore caliber quarterbacks. Berry has the potential to be the best he has ever coached.

“It’s not even up for debate. It’s not even close,” Signorino Jr. said.

Opposing defenses will have a lot more than just Berry to worry about.

Senior running back Otis Kearney Jr., Berry’s first read on the triple option, is one of the Shore’s best running backs because of his speed and power.

Slotbacks Billy Kosh, Khaleel Greene and receivers Darius Hart and Jared Egan will have to be accounted for.

However, how the defense plays could determine how successful the Indians are.

Toms River South gave up 29 points or more in three of its six losses last season, including a combined 87 in two games against Lacey.

Signorino Jr. has made changes. His father, Ron Sr., the legendary former Toms River South head coach and a former defensive coordinator at Brick, is running the defense. Signorino Jr. is also helping his father.

The 4-4 set Signorino Jr. prefers and that Signorino Sr. ran with great success at both Toms River South in the 1960s and 70s and at Brick from 1981-96, has been instituted.

“We’re going to sell out. We’re going to stop the run,” Signorino Jr. said. “We’re going to keep it simple: We’re going to run to the football and get them on the ground.”

However, Signorino Sr. has not coached defense since 1996. The spread offense, which is now the rage, was hardly used back then.

“He (Signorino Sr.) hasn’t skipped a beat as far as getting up in front and demanding what needs to be done,” Signorino Jr. said. “I know we’ll be prepared because, to this day, I don’t know of anyone better at breaking down a film.”

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