Progress for Plainfield High School’s football team shouldn’t be judged on record, but its players’ commitment and ability to weather the unsettled and bad times. The players, however, want to see results — quickly.
Their off-season devotion reflected their eagerness to turn things around.Whether its enough to crack through the armor of the Mid-State 38 Watchung Division contenders is another matter.
The Cardinals have gone 2-27-1 the last three years with only consolation game victories over Belleville and Kearny the past two years. The tie was by forfeit against Elizabeth in 2012 when the game was cancelled because of Superstorm Sandy.
The Cardinals haven’t won a home or conference division game since 2011. The Cardinals beat Somerville in overtime 28-21 in week two and ended the season with a 23-22 stunning road Thanksgiving Day victory at Westfield. They last had a winning record at 6-4 in 2005 and haven’t been in the playoffs since 2008.
First things first.
“We want to win a home game, we want to win a conference game,’’ said Glezman. “I feel we have the structure and things in place to win.’’
Between 40 to 45 players per day answered second-year coach Jason Glezman’s call for off-season workouts. What’s even more impressive is the team returns nearly every player who was on last year’s pre-season depth chart. The team is unified and encouraged despite last season’s 1-9 record, the bad times.
Take that commitment along with the fact Glezman was able to supervise a complete off-season and you have more optimism. Glezman wasn’t hired until mid-May last year, and didn’t know what kind of players he had, their ability, or where they even played. The Cardinals went about putting together three or four basic plays they could run.
“Last year we installed base plays, and we just tried to get three or four down,’’ said Glezman. “We had a scrimmage last week and we faced a team with a 4-4 (defense), a team with a 4-2 and another team with a 4-3 and we had plays to counter it. You have to be good at what you know and build on it.’’
Some very good players return. Senior D.J. Kennedy, who’s father, Darryl, was the star of Plainfield’s last outstanding teams in 1996, ‘97 and ‘98, is back at running back and defensive back. He was a second team Mid-State 38 Watchung Division player last season. Junior quarterback Jayson Bryant who became quarterback late last season returns and does senior linebacker/tight end Cesar Cordoba, who made the first division team last season.
“Last year we had some kids who looked like athletes playing football, now they are football players,’’ said Glezman.
Staff Writer Harry Frezza: email@example.com
Coach: Jason Glezman, second season (1-9)
Assistants: Angelo Marocco (offensive coordinator, offensive line); Cory Tucker (defensive coordinator, linebackers); Garret Marron (offensive line); James Felton (wide receiver, defensive backs); Sean Huggins (defensive line); Anthony Graham (running backs); James Grant (quarterbacks); Rasuol Wilson (head freshman coach); Darryl Kennedy (assistant freshmen); Jason Edwards (assistant freshmen).
Stadium: Hub Stine Field (grass)
Colors: Scarlet and royal blue
Classification: North 2 Group V
Offensive formation: Spread
Defensive formation: 4-3
Last year (1-9 overall, 0-7 Mid-State 38 Watchung): Scotch Plains-Fanwood 14-0 (L); Linden 35-6 (L); Immaculata 42-14 (L); North Hunterdon 32-20 (L); Ridge 28-21 (L); Montgomery 46-7 (L); Elizabeth 40-13 (L); Hillsborough 36-14 (L); Belleville 40-2 (W); Westfield 6-0 (L).
2015 schedule: Sept. 12 at Scotch Plains,-Fanwood 2:30 p.m.; Sept. 19 Linden, 1 p.m. Oct. 3 at Immaculata, 2 p.m.; Oct. 9 at North Hunterdon, 7 p.m. Oct. 16 at Ridge, 7 p.m.; Oct. 24 Montgomery, 2:30 p.m.; Oct. 30 at Elizabeth, 7 p.m.; Nov. 7 Hillsborough, 2 p.m.; Nov. 26 at Westfield, 11 a.m.
Returning starters: DJ Kennedy (Sr., 5-11, 190, RB/DB), Jayson Bryant (Jr., 6-2, 170, QB/DB), Shaq Privott (Sr., 6-5, 260, OL/DL), Kyle Koon (Sr., 6-0, 280, OL/DL), Kasseam Brown (Sr., 6-1, 230, OL/DL), Steve Sanchez (Sr., 5-7, 170, RB/DB), Jason Cisson (Sr.,5-6, 150, RB/DB), Will Pitt (Sr., 5-10, 160, WR/DB), Cesar Cordoba (Sr., 6-4, 200, TE/LB), Jaleel Simmons (Sr.,6-4, 170, WR/DB), Khalil Cox (Jr.,, 6-0, 200, RB/LB), Marc Ordonez (Jr., 5-10, 210, OL/DL), Nahseem Woodard (Jr., 5-8, 160, WR/DB), Darrien Murphy (Jr., 6-0, 210, TE/LB), Jordan Harris (Jr, 6-3, 220, OL/DL).
Top newcomers: Cory Tucker-Chambliss (Sr., , 6/2 260, OL/DL), Jamar Clark (Sr. , 6-0, 160, WR/DB), Kevin Croston (Sr., 6-3 270, OL/DL), ), Taj Fort-Fagg (Jr., 5-7, 160, RB/LB) ,James Hunter (Sr., 5-9, 190, OL/LB), Sahleem Lane-Jeffers (5-8, 250, OL/DL), Hurley Jones (Sr., 5-11 250, OL/DL), Kyshon Jno-Lewis (So, 6-4, 290, DL), Davine Sewell (Sr., 5-11 160, WR/DB), Antwan Spencer (So, 6-0, 170, LB/RB),
Key losses: Kenny Carter (OL/DL), Rohan Phillip (QB/DB,), James Spann (TE/LB), Preston DeGrasse (OL/DL), Nee Joe Lughas (RB/DB), Eli Belle (WR/DB ), Joshua Washington (WR/DB), Kareem Fervier (DL)