The Brick Memorial Mustangs are back for their 2015 campaign. With another year of football, this means many more competitive games within the A south division. While the Mustangs are aware of the talent that they will face within the division, they are quite optimistic because of what they have on the field. The 2014 season left Brick Memorial with many reasons to be content with the overall ending results. In addition, the players and coaches are looking forward to what lies ahead as they approach the season opener against cross town rival Brick Township. This year the Mustangs look to build upon a 6-4 record that propelled them into the South Jersey Group V playoffs. However, they look to create some noise in a tough section that was captured by the Cherokee Chiefs.
Although Brick Memorial had a tough opening performance against Brick Twp last year; they were able to follow that up with four straight wins. Of their four losses, two of them came against Middletown South and Jackson Memorial. Both of those teams would eventually meet in the Central Jersey Group IV title game. Losing to each of these teams by only 3 points was certainly tough for the Mustangs, However, with a new season, it is time to look forward from here especially with Senior Tim Santiago under center.
Brick Memorial Season Preview
Head Coach: Walt Currie (9th season, 49-37 Overall)
Key Returns: Tim Santiago (SR QB/DB) Matt Cuppari (SR WR/K) Mike Kraft (SR WR/DB) Elie Lavarin (SR RB)
Mike Nobile (SR OL/DL) Anthony Nobile (SR OL/DL) Jimmy Tango (SR OL/DL) Brady Watson (SR WR/DB)
Key Losses: Karl Kumm (WR/DB) Joe Hans (QB/DB) Matt Cathey (RB/LB) Connor Owen (RB/LB) Marcus Foster (OL/DL) Peter Walski (WR/DB) Quinn Hartdorn (OL/DL)
Tim Santiago is considered one of the most versatile Quarterbacks in the shore. He will return to the Mustangs for his senior season. At 5’11” he may not be the tallest Quarterback in the shore, yet he can certainly beat you in both the ground and passing game. Tim Santiago began the season sharing the position, but was eventually able to win the job with his work ethic and leadership. In 2014, Santiago was able to find the end zone a total of ten times. Six of those touchdowns came by way of rushing as he accumulated a total of 451 rushing yards. He also completed a total of 341 passing yards to go along with his rushing totals for the year. The Mustangs will again look to run the triple option offense with expertise. With a powerful offensive line, Santiago will look to stay on his feet while constantly looking downfield for the big play. You can hear from Tim Santiago below as we were able to catch up with him during camp.
When it comes to running the ball, the Mustangs will turn to Elie Lavarin, Kishaun Carter, and Zahkei King. These backs will look to continue the success that they were able to achieve in 2014. Lavarin is a back who has a lot of speed. He can beat edge rushers around the side without a problem. Lavarin will see plenty of touches in 2015. Zahkei King is another speedy back that can shoot right through the hole. By the time defenders even notice, he is already into the defensive backfield. King knows how to use his agility to get away from opposing defenders. Kishaun Carter is a bigger back at 6-1. Carter will be used in a lot of short yardage situations. Carter can be a great option in the red zone. Carter his spent the offseason getting stronger and improving in this area. Juniors Tay’von Ford and Robert Manso will also be in the mix competing for playing time. Senior Billy Walsh returns at the Fullback position. He will be the lead blocker for all of these backs. Walsh brings a lot of power to the backfield and can take linebackers out of the play. Overall, Tim Santiago has a good core of running backs to work with for the 2015 Season.
Brick Memorial fans have to be optimistic about this group of Wide Receivers. The receivers have the potential to take the next step and help this team. Matt Cuppari, Mike Kraft, and Brady Watson will be the main targets for Tim Santiago. As we saw in camp, all three of them can catch the ball very well. Matt Cuppari has shown a great skill set to run many different patterns and be a reliable target. Cuppari also has a very strong leg which we saw last year. He can really turn the tide in a game when it comes to a battle over field position.
The high school game is normally a run first set with the ability to throw the ball if the proper personnel is available. This team has both of these combinations. They can run the ball at will with Santiago in the Zone Read formation. At the same time, they can trust his arm to get the ball down the field. If all else fails, it is a big confidence booster to have someone who can make big plays to change the momentum of the game.
Last year, we saw Matt Cuppari kick several long field goals including a 47-yard field goal in a game against Toms River North. This turned out to be a 16-14 win for the Mustangs. We had a chance to talk to Matt Cuppari about the upcoming season.
The success of the running backs, however, can not be mentioned without giving credit to an outstanding offensive line for the Mustangs. The Mustangs return multiple veterans in this group. This line is led by Mike Nobile, Anthony Nobile, Chris Jimmy Tango, and Teddy Gonzalez.. As we saw in camp, this combination will be able to protect Santiago which will allow him to make plays down the field. The offensive line is anchored by the brothers. Mike Nobile will make the calls at the center position. Mike is athletic for his size and can keep defensive tackles in check. Anthony Nobile is coming off a great year at the offensive tackle position. Anthony will be responsible for keeping edge rushers away from quarterback Tim Santiago. It is very hard very any defensive end in the league to get around Anthony Nobile. Anthony will be an All Shore Candidate in 2015. Brian Thorn be in the mix to fight for playing time in training camp. Both players will get the opportunity to contribute on special teams. The Mustangs are in great shape with the big guys up front.
On the other side of the ball comes the defensive line. Anthony Nobile, Mike Nobile, Chris Hayes, and Jimmy Tango make up a defensive line that is among the most dominant in the Shore. This defensive line will be big in 2015. They are more than capable of providing consistent pressure on the opposing quarterback. This group will be a key component for Brick Memorial. The Nobile brothers bring lots of experience on the defensive side of the ball. They will be a nightmare for any opposing quarterback in A South. The opposing quarterback must be aware of the Nobile brothers on every play. Chris Hayes and Jimmy Tango will also be able to make things happen. Both Hayes and Tango can get to the ball carrier really quick. Look for the Mustangs to pile up on the sacks in 2015!
NJSR had a chance to catch up with Anthony Nobile.
Behind the defensive line, we have the linebacker core of Nick Louhier, Tyler Beck, and Justin Bates. After observing this group in camp, we could see that they are very instinctive. This is a group that has great vision and awareness on the field. All three of these guys have the ability to read what the offense is doing and get to the ball carrier. These linebackers can also step up in pass coverage and cover tight ends when needed. It is always a clear advantage when a time has a group with an all around skill set. That’s what these linebackers can bring to the table. The ability to force turnovers will also be very important down the stretch. In 2014, the Mustangs were very efficient at this position.
The defensive backs will one again be a solid area of strength for the Mustangs. Mike Kraft, Tim Santiago, Brady Watson, and Kishaun Carter will be in charge of covering opposing wide receivers. These defensive backs come with a lot of experience and will make things happen during live action. It will be very hard for opposing offenses to compete with the athleticism of the defensive backfield. This will be important for the Mustangs every week. Class A South is full of teams that will look to throw the ball down the field. It will be up to this group to limit the big plays. This group will continue to make significant strides throughout the season.
Expectations for this team are very high. Brick Memorial will look to take the next step this season. The Mustangs have the ability to make a run with the talent that they will have on the field. The main focus for this team will be to stay focused and stick with a one game at a time philosophy. After speaking with Coach Currie, it was clear that he wanted his team to stay focused.”Looking too far will get you blown out” “especially in in this divison”. Class A South is one of the most difficult divisions in the shore and arguably the entire state. It will be important for the Mustangs to take care of buisness in the Shore before looking to South Jersey Group V. You can hear from Coach Currie below.
Here is the regular season schedule below!
Brick Memorial 2015 schedule
Location: Brick Township High School
Location: Brick Memorial High School
Location: Lacey Township High School
Location: Toms River East High School
Location: Brick Memorial High School
Location: Jackson Memorial High School
Location: Brick Memorial High school
Location: Toms River South High School
@ Southern Regional (Manahawkin,NJ)