Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) won its first football state title since 2011 last season and the Ironmen return 21 juniors who saw action, including quarterback Tommy DeVito, who has committed to Syracuse.
“I think we have a pretty good group,” Don Bosco coach Greg Toal said. “I’ve definitely had worse teams. I like the kids coming back. I don’t worry about anybody else but us. I’m not into that. Let’s play them and see who we have when we play them.”
The Ironmen start their season with three traditional out-of-state powers. They open Sept. 2 at American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.)., followed by a game at St. Joseph’s Prep (Philadelphia) on Sept. 9, before returning home to play nine-time state champion Moeller (Cincinnati) on Sept. 17. Don Bosco beat St. Joseph’s and Moeller last season.
After that, all the games are in-state in the newly formed North Jersey Super Football Conference, with games against Paramus Catholic (Paramus), Bergen Catholic (Bergen), St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City), St. Joseph Regional (Montvale), and if it holds up, a game with Delbarton School (Morristown). Delbarton is seeking out of the game.
“Playing in-state has become more competitive,” Toal said. “The scores are extremely close every time. The conference has gotten better. New Jersey plays good football. Years ago, no one ever said that.”
The difficult schedule is nothing new. Last season, the Ironmen were the only team to come within two touchdowns of eventual Super 25 champion Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas).
Besides DeVito, the Ironmen should be solid along both offensive and defensive lines with two-way lineman (DE and OL) sophomore Tyler Friday and junior OL Liam Fornadell the top recruits.
|American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.)||Sept. 2||American Heritage||7 p.m.|
|St. Joseph’s Prep (Philadelphia)||Sept. 9||St. Joseph’s Prep||6 p.m.|
|Moeller (Cincinnati)||Sept. 17||Don Bosco||7 p.m.|
|Delbarton (Morristown)||Sept. 24||Delbarton||1 p.m.|
|Bye Week||Sept. 30|
|St. Joseph Regional (Montvale)||Oct. 7||Don Bosco||7 p.m.|
|Bye Week||Oct. 14|
|Paramus Catholic (Paramus)||Oct. 21||Don Bosco||7 p.m.|
|Bergen Catholic (Oradell)||Oct. 29||Bergen Catholic||1 p.m.|
|St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City)||Nov. 4||St. Peter’s Prep||7 p.m.|
|Playoffs (first round)||Nov. 11-12||TBD||TBD|
|Playoffs (second round)||Nov. 18-19||TBD||TBD|
|Playoffs (state final)||Dec. 1-4||TBD||TBD|
All kickoff times are Eastern. Kickoff times and locations are subject to change.