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Sep 08, 2021

Middletown South Football ‘Light Years Ahead’ of Last Year’s Team

By Tim Morris

Moving on to a new division with many impact returners, the Middletown High School South’s football team is looking to returning to their winning ways in 2021.

The Eagles want to put last year’s 2-5 pandemic-dominated season behind them, and they have the personnel to do it.

“Last year was very trying,” said Eagle Head Coach Steve Antonucci. “We learned a lot about our kids, and they learned about accountability. We have a good amount of kids back who worked very hard in the off-season. We’re light years ahead of where were last year.”

Among the returners is senior tight end/defensive end Jack Latore. The 6’4”, 250-pound Latore already has a number of colleges after him. He provides an inviting target as a receiver and, with his size, is tough to bring down after he gathers in the pass. He also gives the offensive line an additional blocker. Latore can dominate the line of scrimmage of defense.

Quarterback Tom Schork is back, and the senior is a dual threat as a passer and runner. Having played last year, he knows how to run South’s triple-option offense.

“He has a good grasp of the offense, and he’s our best athlete,” Antonucci said.

A sophomore, Jake Czwajiel, is the backup QB and will see some action.

Dan Primiano, who is a physical runner, returns in the backfield, and Matt Grab, the fastest player on the team, is the starting wide out. He gives the Eagles the home run ball, and Primiano is a threat as a receiver as well as punishing runner.

Logan Colleran (Jr. RB/WR) and Tyler Carey (Sr. RB) add additional experience to the skill positions, and Beau Servidio will see action running the ball.

The offense has gotten a boost from first-year player Matt Yeserski, who has shown the potential to be a productive slot receiver.

Jack Mason, a 6’3” wide receiver, can double as a tight end, and when the Eagles look to pound the ball behind a two-tight end set, he can be a seventh blocker.

Up front on the offensive line, traditionally a Middletown South strength, three-year starter Jake Williamson is back at center with guard Dante Miranda alongside him. The seniors can own the line of scrimmage with their size and quickness. Miranda is 6’4”, 275 and Williamson, 6’3”, 268.

South has plenty of depth to fill out the line with juniors Aidan Parry, Devyn Parry, Tom White and Tyler Addionzio in the mix. Antonucci believes the Eagles’ line will help the offense be productive this season.

Helping out on the defensive line anchored by Latore are Williamson, Ian Schwerdt (Sr.) and the Parry brothers.

Linebacker Jacki Willi (Sr.) is the captain of the defense. He was the team’s leading tackler in ’20. He makes plays all over the field. Carey and sophomore newcomer Colin Gallagher will line up alongside Willi at linebacker.

Ryan St. Clair (Sr.), another returner, heads the secondary at strong safety. Czwajiel, who Antonucci noted is too good not to be on the field, will play in the secondary. He’s also the team’s kicker.

Colleran is another returner to the secondary.

Middletown South moves from the Shore Conference American Division to the Colonial Division in 2021. There will be familiar foes like Manalapan and new ones like Southern Regional and Jackson Memorial. Holmdel completes the division.

A return to winning ways for South would mean a deep playoff run. Middletown South has been one of the conference’s most successful teams in December with 10 state sectional championships, 21 appearances in the championship game and a .700 playoff winning percentage (49-21).

There is a lot for the Eagles to be excited about in 2021, and the return of fans to “The Swamp” to cheer them are is one of them. Antonucci said the team’s fan base is a big plus.