Braves expect to be competitive

NEWTON. The football team will play Warren Hills in first game Sept. 1.

Newton /
| 13 Aug 2023 | 09:19

Given its past success, it’s fair to say that the Newton High School football team won’t catch any opponents by surprise this season.

That’s just fine with the Braves because of their hard work in all aspects of the sport during the preseason. They’re ready and willing take on all opposition this fall.

Newton opens the regular season with a home game against Warren Hills at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1.

“Forty-seven of our players and four coaches attended a three-day overnight team camp in West Deptford (during the preseason),’’ head coach Matt Parzero said. “West Deptford, Delran and Mainland high schools also attended. It was the third consecutive year we have attended.

“Alano Festa was awarded (best) offensive lineman of the camp and Demarius Posey received (best) running back of the camp.’’

Posey, a senior running back and defensive back, is among the key returning student athletes to the varsity roster, which includes seniors Dylan Cotter (running back and defensive end), Matt Teets (quarterback and defensive back), Pat Teets (offensive and defensive lines) and Billy Greenhalgh (offensive and defensive lines).

Festa, a senior linebacker, is a promising newcomer to the varsity lineup along with seniors Cassius Brunelle (wide receiver and defensive end), Thomas Carroll (running back and linebacker), Matthew Finn (offensive and defensive lines), Jeremy Frazier (offensive and defensive lines), Kasai Goritski (running back and linebacker), Drew Harding (tight end and defensive back), Michael Hudson (offensive and defensive lines), Brendan Lynch (wide receiver and defensive back) and Jason Teets (tight end and defensive line), and juniors Hunter Bickerton (wide receiver and defensive back) and Anthony Tudda (running back and defensive back).

The team captains are Dylan Cotter, Alano Festa, Michael Hudson and Demarius Posey. “I look for them to continue to lead through their daily actions on the field, in the weight room, in school and in the community,’’ Parzero said.

Newton finished the 2022 season with a stellar record of 10-1 and the team advanced to the championship round of the NJSIAA North 2 Group 2 sectional tournament where it was defeated by Caldwell. Caldwell went on to win the Group 2 state title.

This fall, the Braves compete in the Super Football Conference American Blue Division with Kittatinny, Sussex Tech, Hackettstown, Wallkill Valley and Lenape Valley.

“I feel this team will be competitive in a very talented division,’’ the coach said. “Although many of the players will be first-time starters, many got experience last year in varsity games.

“Sussex Tech, Wallkill Valley, Kittatinny, Hackettstown and Lenape Valley will all be very, very good this year. Those teams are well-coached and loaded with talent. We hope to keep it competitive.’’

Football schedule
Friday, Sept. 1 at 7 p.m.: home against Warren Hills
Saturday, Sept. 9 at 1 p.m.: away against Sussex Tech
Friday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m.: home against Wallkill Valley
Friday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m.: away against Kittatinny
Friday, Sept. 29 at 7 p.m.: away against Lenape Valley
Friday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m.:: home against Hackettstown
Friday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m.: away against Ramsey
Friday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m.: home against Sparta
I feel this team will be competitive in a very talented division. Although many of the players will be first-time starters, many got experience last year in varsity games.” - Matt Parzero, head football coach, Newton High School