New Faces Abound as Champions Prepare Title Defense

Kevin Kostibos will lead a team comprised of 18 new starters. Credits: Summit Football

SUMMIT, NJ -  Eighteen of the 22 starters have graduated from the undefeated squad which captured the 2012 Section 2, Group 3 Championship, and the Head Coach is new to his role, but the theme for the 2013 Summit High School Varsity Football Team is simple: Pride, Discipline and Tradition.

"The theme in the past has been Pride and Discipline, now we have added the Tradition.  We want to embrace the past to effect our future", says Head Coach Kevin Kostibos, who was promoted in February when John Liberato stepped down.  Kostibos is, by his own admission, a disciple of Liberato -- having been both a member of Liberato's coaching staff and also having played for Liberato at Hanover Park High School.  While Kostibos will continue much of Liberato's methods and schemes, he will also put his own stamp on the team.  "I want to continue the tradition that John started here.  He is almost like a father figure to me, and I go to him for advice, but me -- as a head coach -- and, more importantly, this team will develop our own identity."  That identity, says Kostibos, will be to win their games with toughness, both physically and mentally.  "Win, Lose or Draw we want our opponents to know that they have been in a football game.  We are going to be a team that will grind on you for all four quarters."
Kostibos admits that it will not be an easy task on offense replacing triple-threat Michael Badgley, A.J. Ianussi, Tyler and Austin Carbone, and Kyre Negron, but he is confident in the players that are stepping in to fill their admittedly big shoes.  "There is no doubt that we had a special class, but their graduating creates great competition.  These kids have waited their turn and are hungry to play."  At quarterback, senior captain Charlie Terry will operate the spread wing-T offense, with Colm Dougherty and Chris Zanelli at running back.  Speaking about the 6' 3", 175-pound Terry, Kostibos says, "Charlie is a leader, a big kid, a tough kid who can throw the ball and run, which adds another dimension to our offense."
Defensively, the motto is "fast and furious" under new defensive coordinator Chet Parlavecchio, who joins the Hilltopper coaching staff after stints at Milburn and Lakeland Regional.  "We want to create havoc with a sense of purpose," Kostibos says, adding, "We plan on applying pressure while being fundamentally sound."  Anchoring the defense are returning starting linebackers Dougherty and Nick Ruiz.  They will be joined by Matt Oristiano, Max Loeffler and Jordan Brown.  The secondary will be manned by Johnny Crodrey, Andrew Masterfano, Will Huck and Andrew Helmer.  The defensive line will feature Colin Andrews, Mac Weisner, Gerber Bolano, Michael Maldonado and Vincent Bonomo.

As a former player and the son of a current Head Coach, at Livingston, Kostibos knows it will be an emotional time when he leads his team onto the field for the first time at Somerville (see full schedule below).  "I will be thinking about the kids, it is all about the kids.  We want to make sure they are prepared, relaxed and ready to play.  I have known these kids for years, and I am very excited to coach this team.  I can't wait."
September 12 (Thursday) @ Somerville - 7 p.m.
September 21 (Saturday) @ Johnson - 7 p.m.
September 27 (Friday) v. Cranford - 7 p.m.*
October 5 (Saturday) v. North Plainfield - 2 p.m.
October 12 (Saturday) @ Rahway - 1 p.m.
October 19 (Saturday) v. Roselle - 1 p.m.
October 25 (Friday) @ Warren Hills - 7 p.m.
November 2 (Saturday) v. Delaware Valley - 2 p.m.
November 9 (Saturday) @ Hillside - 1 p.m.
November 16 (Saturday) - NJSIAA Quarterfinals
November 30 (Saturday) - NJSIAA Semifinals
December 7 (Saturday) - NJSIAA Final
* denotes Friday Night Lights game

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