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Sep 07, 2022

Red Bank Regional Football Returns Roster of Young Talent

By Tim Morris

Year one for Red Bank Regional football Coach Shane Fallon was about changing the culture and improving participation. As he begins his second year at the head of the Bucs’ program, his players are now familiar with his expectations for them, and participation is up.

 “We return a real good nucleus that played last year,” said Fallon. “We had great senior leadership last year. We were able to play a number of sophomores.”

That returning experience is a reason to be optimistic that RBR can turn last year’s 4-7 record around. 

“We had a productive summer,” said Fallon. “We’re happy where we are and the improvement we’ve seen.”

What Fallon likes about his ’22 team is its balance on both sides of the ball and in all three phases of the game: offense, defense and special team.

“Our offensive and defensive lines have good size and experience,” noted Fallon. “We have skilled utility players who can play multiple positions. Our punter and place kicker are game changers.”

Quarterback Pierce Olsen is the player who makes the RBR offense go.

“We have confidence in him,” Fallon remarked on his senior QB. “He puts us in the right formations and is able to audible. He’s an extension of the coaching staff.”

Olsen, besides managing the game, is a big-play maker who can stretch defenses with his strong arm. 

Helping the Buc quarterback are a pair of versatile seniors, wide receivers Lamar Hicks and Ky’Yam Martin, who are downfield threats. Hicks does it all as a receiver, running back and returning kicks; he can even play quarterback. Martin is the big-play vertical threat with his speed. Look for him and Olsen to connect on some deep passes.

Jah’Cire Jones (Jr.) is an athletic running back who can also be used as a slot receiver. Fallon explained that the versatility of his skill players will make it hard for defenses. Senior center Hank DalPra is the leader of an experienced offensive line that includes juniors Griffin Egan, Nick Gandolfo and Brendon Jervert.

RBR’s offensive linemen will go two ways starting on the defensive line. Jervert has proven to be an outstanding pass rusher. Senior outside linebacker Brendan Laughlin covers the gridiron sideline to sideline and is the anchor of the united that includes another returning starter, Evan Eckerstrom (Jr.).

The Bucs’ defensive backfield includes Jones, Hicks and Liam Stack (Jr.) Gunnar Eckerstone is another of the Bucs’ utility players. He’ll be the defensive backfield and will play running back and receiver offensively.

The game-changing kickers are punter Jervert and place kicker Gian Carlo Dautaj (Sr.). Jervert’s punts provide field position for the defense, and Dautaj can kick field goals from more than 40 yards.

While the Bucs do have two-way players, they won’t be on the field all the time. 

“We have more depth,” noted Fallon. “There is no drop-off when we go to our backups.”

Red Bank Regional is playing in the Shore Conference Freedom Division this fall with Brick Township, Brick Memorial, Toms River South, Ocean Township and Neptune.

“There’s parity in our division,” Fallon remarked. “We should see good competitive football.”