2011 All-New Jersey football team
Meet the athletes who excelled during the 2011 football season. The teams were selected by MSG Varsity New Jersey staff writers.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Don Bosco Prep, So., Running back/defensive back
Peppers’ talent is downright scary; he is extremely fast to the hole with the strength to run over linebackers and the speed to run away from corners, a capable pass catcher, shut-down corner and a special teams threat. There’s literally nothing he can’t do – and he still has two years to go in high school. In the toughest lineup to crack in America, Peppers posted a rushing average of over eight yards and 19 scores on the ground to go along with three receiving scores and a punt return TD. Peppers scored in every game except for two for the national champion Ironmen in 2011.
Old Tappan, Sr., Quarterback
Arguably the most exciting dual-threat quarterback in the tri-state, Devin Fuller has garnered just about every accolade a high school football player can get and has offers from just about every top 25 football team in the country. A four-year starter, Fuller has amassed absolutely insane numbers during his time playing for Old Tappan under head coach Brian Dunn. Recently named to the U.S. Army All-American team, Fuller was the first player from Old Tappan to receive the honor since current Newark mayor Cory Booker in 1986.
Manalapan, Sr., Running back
With Josh Firkser on the campus of Wagner College, many thought Manalapan might take a step back. However, Sieczkowski stepped in and became a 2,000-yard rusher. He also carried the Braves all the way back to the Central Group 4 finals. Sieczkowski finished his career under coach Ed Gurrieri with a 2,118-yard, 24-touchdown season.
Don Bosco Prep, Sr., Wide receiver
The best pass-catching threat on the best team in the country, Carroo has committed to play college ball for Greg Schiano at Rutgers next year. He needed only 39 catches to gain 926 yards and score 15 times as a junior to lead Don Bosco to its fifth straight national title a year ago –and his production was just as stellar this time around. Schiano will be getting a two-time high school national champion, a gifted athlete who possesses both track speed and great hands.
Bergen Catholic, Jr., Wide receiver
With his senior year still in front of him, Tsimis has already rewritten the record books on Oradell Ave. The junior caught 50 balls, which was a Bergen Catholic record, and finished with 754 yards and 11 scores. Tsimis scored touchdowns in all but three games for the Crusaders and had his biggest efforts against the toughest competition. Against La Salle (Pa.), Friendship Academy (DC), St. Joseph Regional and two games against Don Bosco Prep, Tsimis caught 33 passes for seven scores.
Demarest, Sr., Wide receiver
It’s hard to find a consistent week in, week out threat at wide receiver on a high school team, but Crimmins is an exception. The senior was simply unstoppable on the perimeter, gaining 1,249 of his 1,310 yards through the air and scoring all 18 of his touchdowns via the pass. Crimmins was a horse, registering over 120 yards seven times and gaining at least 40 yards through the air in every game for Tony Mottola’s squad this fall.
Don Bosco Prep, Sr., Offensive lineman
Committed to play football for UConn in the fall, Samra anchored a mauling Don Bosco offensive line from his left tackle position. Samra was an integral part of both the running and passing game on Greg Toal’s sixth-straight championship team, which averaged a whopping 41 points a game.
Don Bosco Prep, Sr., Offensive lineman
Right next to Samra on the left side of the line is big 6-foot-4, 270-pound left guard Casimos. In addition to rushing for 170 yards per game, Don Bosco’s offense boasted a passing game that threw only two picks with the fantastic protection the front-five provided.
West Essex, Sr., Offensive lineman
Paving the way for a 1,300-yard rusher, 1,100-yard rusher and a quarterback who threw only one pick all season, is pretty special. In addition to being the Knights' best offensive lineman, Valeriani is one of the most feared pass rushers in the state. While leading Chris Benacquista’s squad to an 11-1 record and a North 1 Group 2 state championship, the senior registered 76 tackles and 5.5 sacks.
St. Joseph Regional, Jr., Offensive lineman
Tony Karcich will be glad to see this junior return next season. Flaherty anchored a line that protected a 1,800-yard passer in Spencer Aukamp and an 1,100-rusher Jabari Garvin.
Bergen Catholic, Sr., Kicker/punter
A real weapon for Nunzio Campanile, Devine has a huge leg and his 21 touchbacks pinned teams down and limited a bunch of talented returners. A punter and kicker, Devine averaged 37 yards a punt, converted 44-46 extra points and was second on the team in scoring with 52 points.
Montclair, Sr., Quarterback
At 5-foot-8, Herbin still managed to be one of the biggest players in the state in 2011. Despite coming up just short to Vin Ascolese’s boys in the North 2, Group 4 championship Herbin scored in his last game as a Mounty and finished his career with some pretty gaudy numbers. The Bruins of North Bergen were the only team to hold Herbin under two scores in fact, as his 36 touchdowns this season gave him 51 overall scores on the ground to go with over 4,000 rushing yards. Herbin has also thrown 14 touchdowns and caught 16 in his stellar career while playing defensive back and acting as the team’s main kickoff and punt returner.
QB Kevin Olsen, Jr., Wayne Hills
RB Jabari Garvin, Sr., St. Joseph Regional
RB Justin Goodwin, Jr., Madison
RB Jamauri Bogan, So., Union
WR Ricky Jeune, Jr., St. Joseph Regional
WR Andrew Monaghan, Sr., Wayne Hills
WR Tajae Sharpe, Sr., Piscataway
OL Ryan Brodie, Sr., Long Branch
OL Brendan Mahon, Jr., Randolph
OL Keith Capers, Sr., Woodbridge
OL Tim Donahue, Sr., Howell
K Aidan Murray, Sr., Don Bosco Prep
ATH Jaheem Woods, Sr., Neptune
Don Bosco Prep, Sr., Defensive lineman
After dominating his team’s national title-clinching game with four sacks, Darius Hamilton solidified his place as one of the premier defensive lineman in the country. Scheduled to visit USC and Florida within the coming weeks, Hamilton is one of the most sought after recruits in the country and for good reason. He is part of a great football familty as well; Hamilton is the son of former Pitt All-American and New York Giants player Keith Hamilton.
Don Bosco Prep, Sr., Defensive lineman
If Darius Hamilton is 1, then Mike Strizak is 1A. The bookend opposite Hamilton, Strizak may be asked to play OLB while at Boston College next season but he is a good enough athlete to play multiple positions on the field. One of Don Bosco’s most consistent players, Strizak saw time in three of his four seasons under coach Greg Toal.
Immaculata, Jr., Defensive lineman
The rare combination of strength, speed and hands, Tashawn Bower played wide receiver in addition to defensive end for head coach Pierce Frauenheim. His skills were not overlooked by the top programs in the country as Bower has offers from Ohio State, Florida State, Tennessee and Virginia Tech. Wherever Bower lands he will have the opportunity to influence either side of the ball depending on need.
Bergen Catholic, Sr., Defensive lineman
One real constant on Nunzio Campanile’s defense all season was big Hunter Kiselik at defensive end. In his senior season Kiselik registered 57 tackles and 5.5 sacks, a team high.
St. Joseph Regional, Sr., Linebacker
A true blue-collar worker on defense, Cieslak was part of a St. Joe’s defense that surrendered only 130 points all season an average of just over 10 points a game. Cieslak was terrific for the Green Knights defense all season registering 108 total tackles go along with five sacks and a pick from his middle linebacker position.
North Bergen, Sr., Linebacker
An absolute tackle machine, Ascolese finished his senior season with 136 tackles, seven forced fumbles, 10 sacks and two interceptions to go along with 600 yards rushing and three scores from his position at fullback. One of the most talented outside linebackers in the state, Ascolese has impressed some of the top college teams in the nation. The senior is receiving interest from top schools including Notre Dame and USC.
Saddle Brook, Sr., Linebacker
Longa could have made our offensive team just as easily as he did for defense. The Rutgers commit had a huge senior year on both sides of the ball registering 1,000 yards rushing as well as over 100 tackles for Leo Ciappina’s Falcons, who lost a heartbreaker to Pompton Lakes in the North 1 Group 1 semifinals.
Sayreville, Sr., Defensive back
Another two-way star that could have made either one of our all-region squads, Stephenson finished his senior campaign with a state title to go along with 1,500 yards of total offense and 20 touchdowns. On defense, Stephenson registered 60 tackles and six sacks as George Najjar’s most talented athlete.
Piscataway, Jr., Defensive back
It’s not often a starting QB will creep onto the defensive all-region team, but it was impossible to ignore the impact Nadir Barnwell made as a shutdown corner for the Chiefs. Barnwell rushed for over 1,500 yards and threw for 1,000 as only a junior while also locking down some of the best receivers in the state. Despite having another year of high school ball in front of him, Barnwell has already been offered by Florida, Georgia and Rutgers.
Bergen Catholic, Sr., Defensive back
Despite being one of the smallest players on the Crusaders roster at 5-foot-9 and165-pounds, Chucky Wingate emerged as one of the best shutdown corners in the state. Among the list of top receivers to visit Wingate Island this season were Austin Aikens (Plant, Fla.), Leonte Carroo and Charlie Callinan from St. Peter’s Prep, all of whom have plenty of Division I offers.
Bergen Catholic, Jr., Defensive back
One junior Nunzio Campanile is thrilled to have back next season is ball hawk Kyle Quiero. Quiero was more than capable from his second corner spot, defending a ton of passes steered away from Wingate. His five picks were tops on the team and came at some of the biggest moments of the season for Bergen Catholic. In the team’s second game versus St. Peter’s Prep, Quiero single-handedly won the game with two game changing picks that assure BC the second overall seed in the Non-Public, Group 4 playoffs.
LB Dennis Bencsko, Sr., Delbarton
LB Jazzmar Clax, Sr., Neptune
LB Tevin Shaw, Sr., Piscataway
DB Yuri Wright, Sr,, Don Bosco Prep
DB Elijah Shumate, Sr., Don Bosco Prep
DB Larry Alston, Sr., Matawan
DB DJ Singleton, Sr., St. Peter's Prep
DL Julian Pinnix-Odrick, Sr., Montclair
DL Tanner Thexton, Sr., Somerville
DL Alain Forbin, Sr., North Bergen
DL Malachi Moore, Sr., Pope John
DL Byron Douglass, Sr., St. Anthony
DL Matt Ioannidis, Sr., Hunterdon Central