Ryan Wydra @schoops1
Two years ago, Dave Oiserwitz took over this Mariners program. Oiserwitz had been an assistant for several years. Everyone knew it would be a tough situation with a lot of young players. Toms River North had a roster that featured a lot of freshman and sophomores. Many players would experience the varsity level for the first time. The team went through a lot of growing pains, finishing with a 1-9 record. However, they went out and battled every single night. You could see that a foundation was in place. It was easy to see the talent and potential that these kids had.
Last year, the Mariners came back stronger and ready to compete in Class A South. The team rallied together following an opening night victory over Lacey. The Mariners would experience a five game improvement in 2014. Toms River North went 6-5, and won a playoff game by defeating an undefeated Lenape team 19-10. For everyone that follows South Jersey Group V, defeating any powerhouse in the West Jersey Football League is no easy task. The team would also get valuable experience, losing to the eventual section champion Cherokee Chiefs in the second round. The building blocks are all there for this Mariners team. Now Coach Oiserwitz will take many of these players into their third year in this program. This year, everyone knows the Mariners are a fighting team that will compete to the end. Mariners fans should be very optimistic about the upcoming season.
Head Coach – Dave Oiserwitz ( 5th Season Overall) 18-23
2014 Record – 6-5 SJ Group V Semifinals
Key Returns – Mike Husni (JR QB) Asante Moorer (SR RB/FS) Luke Butera ( SR OL/DL) Darian Carrington (JR WR/DB) Dashon Copes (SR DL) Bryce Watts (JR WR/DB) Christian Lynch ( SR OLB) Tim Petersen ( SR OL/DL) Matt Tomaschek (SR FS) Cole LaBatch ( JR OL/DL)
Key Losses: Jordan Craig ( TE/DE) Valdez Santiago (WR/DB) Joe Fantozzi (OL) Tyler MacLaine ( LB) Adam Kakar (OL/DL) Mike Siwiec (RB/LB) Parker Day (RB)
The Mariners are one of only two teams in Class A South to return their starting quarterback from last season. Mike Husni goes into his junior year as one of the best signal callers at the Shore. Husni had a fantastic season in 2014, passing for 1289 yards and 12 touchdowns. Husni also made a tremendous impact on the team by using his mobility. He rushed for 1387 yards and 12 scores. Teams have a hard time defending Mike because he can hurt you with his arm and legs. This also opens up the running game for the tailbacks because defenses have to respect Husni. As a QB, Husni was also one of the most efficient passers in the league. He was only picked off three times the entire year. Many times throughout the season, we would see Mike make a huge play to put this team over the edge. The Mariners also have Seniors Garrick Ross and Richard Schwarting in camp. Both players are competing for the No 2 job.
There is nothing like having a junior QB with two years starting experience. Husni was forced into action early by being thrown into the fire as a freshman. Husni stepped up to the plate and showed tremendous heart. Mike has come a long way over the past two years. This experience has helped him develop into an outstanding leader. Expect big things from Mike Husni this season.
Jim Rosa had a chance to catch up with Mike Husni
The power running game has always been a trademark of Toms River North football. When you look back at many of the great North teams of the past, they always relied on strong running ability, and ball control. Once again Toms River North will have plenty of that in 2015. Senior running back Asante Moorer is back into the fold for 2015. Moorer is a three year starter who knows how to explode through the holes. Moorer enjoyed a great season in 2014, rushing for 1064 yards and 9 touchdowns. Moorer knows how to use his strength to power past defenders, and can use his agility to make people miss. He is a back that you want to hand the ball to in the red zone. Toms River North will have to find another compliment to Moorer this year after losing running back Parker Day. Day has officially transferred to Manasquan for his junior year. Day chipped in with 381 yards in 2014. The Mariners will look to fullback Tommy Donovan, and sophomore Daryn Blackwell to provide depth in the backfield.
Ryan Wydra talked with Running Back Asante Moorer about the upcoming season.
Mariners fans have to be excited about the Wide Receivers for this team. Mike Husni will have some of the best targets in the Shore. It will be very hard for any opposing team to defend the multiple weapons that Toms River North has. Junior Darian Carrington will lead the charge for the Mariners. Carrington is a big target at 6’2″ that can do so many things. Carrington knows how to use his size to create mismatches, and he can be deadly in the red zone. Carrington caught 16 passes for 284 yards and 2 touchdowns in 2014. He’ll look to build on those numbers. J
Junior Bryce Watts will occupy the second WR position for the Mariners. Watts is another huge weapon at 6’2″ that can do a lot of damage on the field. Watts can use his strength and speed to beat a lot of defensive backs in this league. Carrington and Watts will be the quite the duo each and every week. Junior Kenny Cook along with Sophomores Andrew Daniluk and Anthony Urso will all be in the mix for playing time at this position. They will have to take advantage of their opportunities in camp. Coach Oiserwitz will have plenty of options in this pistol offense.
The tight end postiion will be interesting for Toms River North this year. The Mariners graduated Jordan Craig who was a huge part of this offense. While it will be very difficult to match the production of Craig, this team has plenty of depth that will be ready to go on game day. The team will depend upon seniors Calvin Jackson and Quintinn Manning to step up this year. Both Jackson and Manning are good blockers, and can get involved in the passing game when needed. Junior Michael Faone will also provide depth at this position. Faone can make things happen on the field. Toms River North will use multiple tight ends to add another feature to the offense.
One trademark of a Mariners football team is the standout offensive line. The Mariners have always been known to win the battle in the trenches. Everything always starts at the line of scrimmage. These linemen spend the entire year building their strength and size to give their team the best chance to win. This is a major reason why North has always had such a powerful running game. Anyone can see the results when a team has two 1,000 yard rushers in one season. The big guys can simply get it done!
Senior Captain and three year starter Luke Butera returns to lead this group. The Lafayette Commit is one of the best linemen in the Shore at 6’3″ and 280lbs. Butera knows how to use his strength to hold down defensive linemen. Butera is also athletic for his size, and can move around very well. It is Butera’s strong leadership skills that have helped make this offensive line so successful. Tim Petersen is the other Senior Captain. Petersen brings a lot of experience and knows how to motivate his teammates. Petersen also has a very good technique and is well rounded in run and pass blocking. Look for Petersen to have another great season. Cole LaBatch is another lineman who is a real difference maker. LaBatch is very dominating at 6’3″ and 277 pounds. Butera, LaBatch, and Petersen really anchor this offensive line. Toms River North will also return Esiah Santiago. Santiago knows how to completely overwhelm his opponents. Juniior Will Sagarese and Sophomore Billy Dowd will also look to get on in the field. Both Sagarese and Dowd really demonstrate the depth of this offensive line. Look for a dominating performance out of this group in 2015.
NJSR had a chance to talk with Senior Captain Luke Butera
Defensively, the Mariners will look to make a statement. This unit has a lot of talent. They can make life miserable for offenses around the league. Toms River North will once again use a 3-4 scheme. This can be really effective as the rush linebackers can put a lot of pressure on the quarterback.
Senior Christian Lynch will be looking to have another big year. Lynch finished the 2014 season with 63 tackles and was able to show his athleticism on every play. Lynch knows when to stay at home, and when to go after the quarterback. He can use his instincts to track down ball carriers behind the line of scrimmage. Lynch is clearly one of the best linebackers in the Shore. Calvin Jackson will man the inside linebacker position. Jackson can use his strength to shed blocks and make the play when needed. Jackson will be counted on to be consistent throughout the season. Tommy Donovan and Mike Congialosi will also be a big part of this defense. Both linebackers got some experience last year and will build on that in 2015. They will have the opportunity to make a huge impact on the field. Anthony Strollino wlll also be a factor. Strollino is very athletic and a basketball player. He has the speed and instincts that any coach is looking for at the position.
The defensive line will also be tough for the Mariners. Dashon Copes is as tough a player as they come. Copes is just a monster at the defensive end position. He is a matchup nightmare at 6’1″ and 285 pounds. There are not very many offensive linemen in the Shore that are capable of blocking him. Copes sacked the quarterback 12 times during the 2014 season. He also led the team with 91 tackles. There is not much more that you can ask out of a defensive linemen. Every opposing coach will be watching his film before an upcoming matchup. Cole LaBatch is also another huge part of this defensive line. LaBatch also has tremendous size and can simply overpower opponents. LaBatch is another player that is almost impossible to block. Copes and LaBatch are quite the combination on this line. Esiah Santamaria and Randy Carbone will also contribute to the Mariners attack on defense.
Ryan Wydra had a chance to talk to Dashon Copes
The back end of this Mariners defense is definitely one of strength. Senior Matt Tomaschek is ready to lead this group into action. Tomaschek is a 2 year starter and will use his experience to help put his teammates in a position to succeed. Tomaschek can provide help in pass coverage, and step up in the box when needed. Tomaschek will be joined by Asante Moorer at the other safety position. Moorer is making the transition to playing both ways. We all know what kind of player Moorer has been on offense. Moorer will have to use his speed and athleticism to contribute on defense. Moorer has been picking up the 3-4 really well in practice.
The Cornerbacks will once again be Bryce Watts and Darian Carrington. Watts can use his size and instincts to dominate opponents. Watts can shut down a play with press coverage, and go for the ball when the opportunity is there. Carrington is also a bigger corner who can make things very tough for another team. Senior David Palmer and Junior Janaire Bradley will compete to get on the field in nickel and dime situations. This secondary will be very tough for anyone to compete against.
This Mariners group has gotten a lot of experience over the past two years. In 2013, it was about dealing with the growing pains. For 2014, it was about competing again in A South. With the 2015 season right around the corner, expectations are now very high for this squad. Everything is in place with the excellent offense that they have. The offensive line and skill position players are very talented. Defensively they have the strength, athleticism, and determination to compete with anybody. Class A South is not only one of the best divisions in the Shore, but possibly the State. Every week is going to be a war no matter who the Mariners are playing. After observing this team in camp, they know what is at stake and are ready to get this program back to a superior level. Expect big things from the Toms River North Mariners in 2015!
NJSR caught up with Toms River North Head Coach Dave Oiserwitz to talk about his expectations for the season.
TOMS RIVER NORTH SCHEDULE
9/12 At Lacey – 1PM
9/18 At Brick Memorial – 7PM
9/25 vs Toms River South – 7PM
10/3 vs Marlboro – 6PM
10/9 vs Jackson Memorial – 7PM
10/16 At Toms River East – 7PM
10/23 vs Southern – 7PM
10/30 At Brick – 7PM
11/6 At Neptune – 7PM
11/13 State Tournament/Consolation – TBD