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Saturday, August 18, 2007

MU football scrimmage/etc.

Here is the story for the Sunday Press
Also, there is a detailed repoort on the MU web site...(please see at the bottomof this page for more)

WEST LONG BRANCH - You definitely needed a score card Saturday to discern who was playing defense at the first intra-squad Monmouth University football scrimmage of 2007.
""We've got a lot of guys playing for the safety position,'' said sophomore safety Bobby Cole, one of nine potential first time starters on defense this fall.
""We've have a really young team this year so a lot of kids are competing for positions,'' said Cole.
The new faces have tradition on their side. In 2000 and 2003 Monmouth had the top ranked defense in I-AA (now Football Championship Subdivision), led the Northeast Conference in defense in 1998, was second in 2001 and 2005, and led in scoring defense in 2006.
Cole, a redshirt freshman graduate of of Jackson Memorial High School, sat out last year with torn knee ligaments he said he suffered his senior year in high school.
He was joined at the other starting safety slot Saturday by would be first time starter Derek Bischoff, a fifth-year senior.
Cole performed at wide out and safety for the Jaguars. ""It was an easy transition for me (to defense),'' said Cole. ""It was just learning the defenses. Once that happened everything fell into place so it's working out.''
At a middle linebacker slot senior Matt Sterner steps in to a position formerly manned by All Northeast Conference standout Mike Castellano. Castellano was preceded by All-America Joe Sentipal
Sterner, who opened at linebacker Saturday with two other potential first time starters in junior Tom Larkin and sophomore Jeff Brady, delivered a solid hit on running back David Sinisi during a goal-line drill.
""There's a lot of big shoes to fill on that defense,'' said Sterner. ""They played as a unit last year.''
The day's defensive highlight was Preseason All-NEC defensive lineman Kevin Walsh snatching a screen pass by sophomore Andrew Mandeville (Raritan) and rumbling to the end zone.
Saturday's offensive highlight was provided by Ronnie Lauch of Wall. The 6-5, 205 pound junior split two defenders to turn a pass by sophomore quarterback Ryan Folsom into a 45-yard touchdown play. Lauch later snagged a short TD toss from freshman Thomas D'Ambrisi of Monmouth Regional
Lauch has yet to catch a pass in a college game. ""It'll come,'' he said. ""We're just looking to get better as a team.''
Kevin Callahan, Monmouth coach, said the Hawks are striving for consistency. ""That's not only true for our defense but for our entire team,'' he said.

It's a Wall thing
Former Wall High School quarterback Chad Tirpak, converted to defensive back, will be out of action for a few weeks. The sophomore suffered a foot injury while moving furniture. In August of 2004 current Monmouth senior quarterback Brett Burke suffered a broken hand in another furniture mishap.
NOTES...Burke hit All-NEC tight end John Nalbone for a score. All of Monmouth's touchdowns, except the one by Lauch, were the result of red zone or goal line situations...Senior Mike Pizzuli (Red Bank Regional) converted the longest field goal of the windy day from 47 yards. Junior Fred Weingart (New Egypt) connected from 32 and 29 yards...Pierre LaFontant, a freshman linebacker from Montgomery Village, Md., had a fumble recovery and a sack...Senior corner Ayo Falae, one of the two returning starters on defense along with linebacker T. J. Cerezo, sat out with a bruised shoulder. He was one of several players held out of action with what Callahan termed ""assorted injuries for precautionary reasons.'' The group included starting fullback Marion Easley and senior offensive tackle Nick LoCastro (6-6, 295).
Freshman offensive tackle Alex Iachetta (6-4, 245), a Manasquan High School graduate, appeared at times to be working with a possible first unit group.

Some personal notes....

The quarterback situation: I have seen Brett Burke throw a lot better in other practices over the last few years...just didn't seem to be that much on target or have that much zip though it was a windy day..and he shared a lot of the the time with the others..

But he is clearly ahead of everyone clear cut No. 2. Matt Fullam, the transfer from Fordham , wasin my opinion just so-so. Thomas D'Ambrisi, the freshman from Monmouth Reg. looked OK at times, but he and the other candidates are soooooo young and inexperienced.

I thought going into camp Ryan Skorupka was definitely the No. 2 runner behind David Sinsi ( who looks very good). But it appears Bobby Giles and Josh Halladay may have a shot.

The battle is on for the No. 3-4-5 wide outs and slots after San Miguel and Chris Kiley.

Fr. Troy Yudin from Calif. had one or two catches but wasn't thrown too as much as I would have liked to see.....Big Ronnie Lauch from Wall continues to impress me at least.. two TD catches today...Chris Lewnes (SJ Vianney) had a nice diving catch though some say he scooped it..anyway.. a nice play... Jim Sullivan (Manasquan) fr. center, appears to be the No. 3 center right now behind senior Andrew Musick and impressive soph.. (or RS fr) Shawn Wright. Could move up when (if) Wright moves to tackle/guard.

Still many questions in my mind about the defense.

My game plan for MU this year - give the ball to Sinisi......a lot!!!


Anonymous Anonymous said...


How did Ryan Folsom look? Seems like the QB situation is a little more open than once thought.

1:02 PM, August 19, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Ryan Folsom: In my opinion, OK. Adequate. No one really stood out, but I don't see No. 1 as open at all.

Burke starts his fourth year running this offense, although not in any meaningful situations. He'd have to be clearly out played in practice (not the case so far as I see it), be very ineffective in games, or drop some more furniture on his head to lose the job.

I will not be at Tuesday's scrimmage(high school football duties call - MU does plan to run a story on its web site), but plan to be at the finale Friday...

2:10 PM, August 19, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Will Sinisi become a true feature back or will the Hawks once again use 5 backs in a game?

6:14 PM, August 20, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

This is my opinion after the scrimmage Saturday ..YES - I think Sinisi will become more of a feature back..(behind that Big line) ..and then it's a battle for No. 2 RB (not fullback) between Skorupka, Bobby Giles and this sophomore Josh Halladay showed some flash I thought...

Of the three, Giles would be the most athletic and has speed...I would like to see him maybe catch the ball a little better ..

Again..this is after watching one scrimmage...

6:50 PM, August 20, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


How was the overall team speed on defense?

6:57 PM, August 20, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tony are you going out to Tuesday mornings scrimmage?

8:38 AM, August 21, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Re: Tuesday scrimmage. Won't be able to make it. Have high school football camps to visit (that's life I guess) which is where I am heading as we speak....

However, we will probably run any MU web site story in the Press..(that's also life in the new internet age), but I also hope to be in touch with KC at some point Tuesday to get his take on developments...which would then be part of the Press story and (blog report)

8:44 AM, August 21, 2007  

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