For the first time in 15 years there are great aspirations and expectations for football on the North side of Middletown…and the Lions are reveling in the opportunity.
A season ago, Coach Steve Bush led his Lions to a 6-4 record, the first winning year since the 2000 season, and with a slew of impact players returning at prominent positions, this Middletown North collective is primed to improve upon that mark.
“We’ve taken a little step each year and we want to build off the success we had last year,” Bush said. “Last season we won the games that we should have…Now we want to win on the big stage too.”
Bush is in his third season at the helm of the Lions and 10th overall in the state of New Jersey – he also worked on the Miami Dolphins coaching staff in 2008 – and believes his players are ready to take the next step with a better understanding of his system.
One of those players is junior quarterback Donald Glenn, who was thrust into fire as a full-time varsity starter during his freshman season, and has developed into one of the Shore Conference’s most prominent young field generals.
“Donald has done a great job so far in terms of leadership,” Bush said. “He seems much more comfortable and sure of himself in his third season. His age isn’t showing anymore. He’s taken the next step. He’s ready to lead this team, and I think we’ll be very effective throwing the ball because of him.”
When Glenn isn’t looking downfield, he’ll be able to hand it off to All-Division running back and Bucknell University commit Chad Freshnock.
“Chad is an explosive, physical ball carrier, but also has the speed to run away from people,” Bush said. “He’s capable of making a big play on the ground, but he’s also a weapon in the passing game. He and Donald should complement each other nicely.”
The Lions will also return such two-way starters as captains Josh Gomez (Sr., TE/S) and Matt Dombrowski (Sr., OT/DE), as well as Dwight Wilkerson (Jr., WR/FS), Brendan Cooley (Jr., WR), Pat McGowan (Sr., OL), Mike Hoverson (Sr., OL), and junior linebacker Nick Kisch, who led the team in tackles a season ago.