Sininsky looks to continue progress made at Raritan Rockets face difficult schedule in 2001 campaign

first_img Sininsky looks to continue progress made at Raritan Rockets face difficult schedule in 2001 campaign VERONICA YANKOWSKI Raritan High School’s Matt Herman runs for some good yardage during Friday’s scrimmage with North Hunterdon in Hazlet. The Raritan High School football team will have a new look this season as a new coach looks to implement a new offense while playing one of the Shore Conference’s most challenging schedules. Derek Sininsky, a longtime assistant coach to departed head coach Bob Generelli (now an assistant coach at Monmouth University, West Long Branch), has taken over the helm at Raritan and is looking to build on the improvement the team has shown over the last several years. Sininsky was with Generelli during his years at Middletown South, when the Eagles won a few state championships and established themselves as one of the state’s premier football programs. As a defensive coordinator, Sininsky helped Generelli launch the beginnings of a similar program at Raritan over the last six years. But now, with Generelli gone, Sininsky finds himself in charge of a budding program, looking to become a state championship-caliber squad. His first action as head coach was to overhaul the offense as a means of matching style with personnel. VERONICA YANKOWSKI Derek Sininsky is the new head coach at Raritan High School, replacing Bob Generelli, who took a position on the coaching staff at Monmouth University, West Long Branch. “We’re changing the offense and basically changing our entire philosophy,” Sininsky said. “We’re going to the wing-T, so we won’t be throwing the ball down anyone’s throat anymore.” The coach said that the decision was made based on the type of players he has. “It was a personnel thing,” he said. “This seems to be more of a fit for us. With the types of kids we have, this makes for a more solid offense.” Sininsky is hoping that a more potent running attack will create a number of positive statistics. “Obviously we’re looking to cut down on turnovers, and when you’re not putting the ball in the air, you can’t throw interceptions,” he said. “We also hope to rack up the time of possession and control the ball; that way we can help out our defense a little bit.” Thus far, Sininsky is happy with the way the team has responded to the changes. “We played Manalapan on [Aug. 24], and we did very well,” he said. “What we’re doing is keeping our best players on the field on both offense and defense, and that requires excellent conditioning.” Sininsky has worked his players hard over the summer, hoping that the superior conditioning will help the team later in its games. “We worked them hard three or four days a week starting in June, really concentrating on the cardiovascular elements,” he said. “We need a lot of these guys to play both ways, and that’s something that has hurt us in the past. A lot of times we’d get tired late in the second half, and other teams would take advantage of it. “This is high school football, not college, and there’s no reason for our best players to come off the field,” he added. “We have basically the same guys on offense and defense, and that’s what we’re hoping for. There’s no college attitude here. We want our soldiers on the field.” The offense will be led by Jim Papcon, a wide receiver last year who is playing quarterback for the first time. Sininsky said that his ability to learn the position will have a tremendous effect on the offense’s productivity. “We’re not looking for him to throw the ball 15 times a game,” the coach said. “He is one of our best athletes, and he’s a smart, intelligent kid who’s been doing very well so far. I’m confident he’ll do a good job for us.” In front of him is an offensive line that Sininsky thinks should be the strength of the offense. “We have three linemen (seniors Mike Diamond, Christian Harden and Jesse Orbach) who are going to decide how successful we are,” he said. “We need them to be able to run because without them, the offense won’t click.” In the back field, the Rockets will feature junior halfback Mike Fabozzi, who ran for over 800 yards last year; junior Matt Herman, who also started last year; and senior John Corcione as the second halfback. All three should get a significant number of carries this season. At the wideout positions, Sininsky will call on senior Paul May and junior Justin Bowe. The defense will feature many of the same players. The tackles are Diamond and senior Randy Slawsky, with Orbach also featured as a defensive end. The outside linebackers will be Papcon and Corcione, while Harden and Herman will line up at the inside linebacker slots. The secondary will be led by senior John Grossi, who had five interceptions last year, and senior safety Dan Scearman. Sininsky said he’s pleased with the number of returning starters and is hopeful that some of his younger players will step up when given the chance. However, the Rockets will not be able to afford many growing pains this year as their schedule features several of the Shore’s top teams. After opening up against what is always a tough team in Manchester, the Rockets will travel to Pinelands to face another up-and-coming team. From there they will face Long Branch, Middletown South and Red Bank Regional before winding down the season with games against Ocean, Wall, St. John Vianney (Holmdel) and Matawan. “Because of the conference we’re in, we’re basically going to war every week,” Sininsky said. “We don’t have an easy game on our schedule. “Our goal is to make the state tournament and possibly contend for a state title,” he added. “But in order to do that, we’re going to have avoid injuries. Like everyone else, we need to stay healthy to compete.” Sininsky’s assistant coaches are former St. John Vianney head coach Pete Meehan (offensive coordinator), Jack Mascimento (quarterbacks), Brian Schwartz (halfbacks), John Ferer (offensive line), Keith Rescorl (special teams/defensive ends), Anthony Petruzzi (linebackers) and Ryan Waltz (freshmen). Staff Writer By Doug mckenzie last_img

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