Sports

Football Preview: Governor Livingston Football Looks to Build Off Last Season

18c25c22639843f30da9_best_a628afd3a503c8796f5e_IMG_6222.JPG
Credits: Lauren Boyd
18c25c22639843f30da9_best_a628afd3a503c8796f5e_IMG_6222.JPG

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - How a team finishes a season can go a long way in determining the outcome of the following season.

For head coach Dan Guyton and his 2015 Governor Livingston Highlanders football team, the hope is that the three consecutive wins to close the 2014 season will spill over to the 2015 campaign. And with a roster that includes 21 seniors, expectations are positive in Berkeley Heights.

“Hopes are high this season,” Guyton, who is entering his third season at the helm, said. “I’m looking for continued improvement from our guys. The kids have worked very hard this offseason and preseason and hopefully that will translate to a stronger start this season.”

Sign Up for E-News

The 2014 team stumbled a bit out of the gate last season en route to a 2-5 start but rebounded nicely to finish the season at 5-5. The team finished with a .500 record for the first time since 2009.

This year’s team has a strong chance to top last season’s win total thanks to an abundance of veterans and underclassmen that received valuable playing experience last season.

“Last year’s seniors did a tremendous job staying the course despite the rough patches during the season,” Guyton said. “Yeah we lost a few close games but we still continued to work hard.”

“The hope is that year’s team will continue to fight hard and have the “never-quit” attitude that last year’s team had.”

Guyton will no doubt depend on his seniors for the continued improvement to occur. Of his nine returning starters, six are seniors.

The remaining three returning starters are a trio of junior linemen that Guyton expects to take major leaps this season. The trio of Dan Tomlinson, Bryan Biskaduros, and Ben Collins performed as well as the coaching staff could ask for in their first seasons as starters on the offensive line.

Based on the tone in Guyton’s voice when discussing the trio, the offensive and, perhaps defensive, line groups will be in good hands this season.

“Dan, Bryan, and Ben have done a great job thusfar and have performed well in the scrimmages,” Guyton said. “There’s a strong possibility all three will be playing on both sides of the ball this year.”

Another candidate to play on both sides of the ball this year is a name Governor Livingston fans know very well but still may be shocked to hear: Javon Reis-Wilson.

Reis-Wilson is one of six Governor Livingston seniors who are playing high school football for the first time. Reis-Wilson has started on Governor Livingston’s basketball team the last three seasons and performed admirably doing so.

The senior decided to give football a try this season and by all accounts, the gamble has paid off.

“Javon has done a great job since joining the team,” Guyton said. “He’s four-year letterwinner in basketball and he’s brought that point guard leadership to our team. He’s worked very hard and his varsity basketball experience will be vital for our team this year.”

“His buddies talked to him and persuaded him to join the team, and it was very nice of him to be willing to come out and contribute to our football team this year.”

Reis-Wilson is slated to start at wide receiver this season and is also battling for a starting cornerback position.

Reis-Wilson will look to make things easier on whomever starts at quarterback for the Highlanders. Sophomores Pat De Angelis and Quinn Haddad and junior Doug Anderson are in a three-way competition for the starting gig. Guyton said he has yet to name a starter but as of now, De Angelis has the early lead.

“All three have proven capable of running the offense and I’m excited about each of their potential,” Guyton said. “It’s going to be interesting to see how the quarterback race pans out. There’s even a chance we could play two quarterbacks at times this year.”

As for the running back position, seniors Evan Lerch and Anthony Wong will get the bulk of the carries.

Lerch and Wong are two of the team’s returning starters on a defensive unit that could very well turn out to be the team’s strength.

The defense will be led by a solid linebacker corps that includes Wong and fellow seniors Emmanuel Kanellos and Matt Rothfeld. “I’m really excited about our linebacker corps,” Guyton said. “Having three senior starters is big for our defense.”

Senior Carlton Edwards is the team’s lone returning starter on the defensive line. Edwards will be joined by five juniors who will all be in the mix for playing time: Tomlinson, Biskaduros, Collins, Tommy Jakositz, and Chris Bottone. “We’re going to be very big up front, “Guyton said.

Lerch, who plays cornerback, is the team’s lone returning starter in the secondary. Reis-Wilson is battling fellow senior Nick DeLuca for the other cornerback spot while senior Stephen Sottosanti will start at strong safety.

Even though his starting lineups are already projected, Guyton insists that no positions are set in stone as of yet and said that all positions are still open for competition.

Guyton’s goal is to have enough depth this year at all positions in order to keep his players as fresh as possible.

Guyton has been pleased with his team’s performance in the preseason scrimmages. The Highlanders have held their own in scrimmages against tough opponents such as Matawan, Livingston, and Watching Hills.

“I’ve been pleased with how we’ve played in the scrimmages,” Guyton said. “We haven’t backed down, we’ve been physical, and most importantly, we came out relatively healthy.”

“We still have a lot to work on and fix but the scrimmages have been good tests to get us ready for the season.”

Guyton wants his team to do a better job of protecting its home turf this season after going winless at home last season. If the Highlanders play as well at home this season as they did on the road last season, Guyton is not afraid to mention the “P” word when discussing his team’s potential.

“One of our team goals obviously is to make the playoffs,” Guyton said. “If we are fortunate enough to make the playoffs, hopefully our difficult schedule will have prepared us to advance and not just qualify.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

TAPinto Spotlight on Business Features New Providence Dentistry

July 17, 2018

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - TAPinto "Summer Spotlight on Business" features local businesses and their owners who are important to our communities. Follow this column to receive a fresh perspective on small business owners and their unique needs while shining a spotlight on their stories.

This edition features New Providence Dentistry, operated by Dr. Beth Herko and her staff of ...

Avoiding 10% Tax Penalty

Do you want access to money from your retirement accounts but aren't sure of the real costs involved?

Most retirement accounts have a set age requirement you must reach before making penalty-free income distributions, which is usually 59.5 but can sometimes be as early as age 50. If you decide to access your accounts earlier, you could face penalties ranging from 10%-25%, which is not ...

Enjoy a Lifetime of Discovery in Union County Parks

July 18, 2018

July is National Parks and Recreation Month, and Union County residents are invited to celebrate this year by exploring “undiscovered” programs and activities found throughout the nearly 6,200 acres of the Union County parks system.

“Union County was one of the very first counties in the United States to establish its own county-based park system for nature conservation and ...

Union County Honored for History Projects

ELIZABETH, NJ - The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce that two national achievement recognitions for history projects have been presented to the Union County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, a division of the Department of Parks and Recreation.

“Union County is rich in history, and this Freeholder Board is committed to engaging the public with ...

Union County College Foundation’s 3rd “Close the Gap” Campaign Surpasses Goal

CRANFORD, NJ – With over 150 guests and volunteers in attendance, the Union County College Foundation surpassed their goal and raised nearly $55,000 at their 3rd Annual Close the Gap Campaign cocktail reception. Held on July 11, in the Richel Student Commons at the College’s Cranford campus, this campaign was developed by a small group of dedicated community volunteers to support the ...

ReNew Salon and Spa Welcomes Senior Stylist Joan Mormilo

GILLETTE, NJ - ReNew Salon and Spa welcomes Senior Stylist Joan Mormilo to their staff. Mormilo brings with her over 20 years of excellent customer service in the salon and spa industry.

She has extensive product knowledge, focuses on keeping up-to-date on industry standards and practices, believes in mentoring young stylists, and is a team player who strives to ...

Geoffrey the Giraffe Moves In To New Brunswick Children's Hospital

July 12, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Over a stretch of nearly 70 years, Geoffrey the Giraffe at Toys R Us stores was the symbol of happy times for generations of children, and now he may provide those same feelings for children coming to a hospital.

"From this day forward, Geoffrey stands tall in our lobby to encourage our smallest patients to smile when they enter our facilities," said John ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_c8cb6b45d2b342be3cbb_nancy_ori

Sat, July 21, 10:30 AM

New Providence Memorial Library, New Providence

Cuba: Observations of a Photographer

Arts & Entertainment Travel

Sat, July 21, 10:30 AM

New Providence Memorial Library, New Providence

Cuba: Observations of a Photographer at NPML

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, July 22, 2:00 PM

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Moths and other Pollinators

Education Green

Carousel_image_634bcda860ed17650f72_93a8625c-ce9d-413f-a61e-4b2df4fe0604

Tue, July 24, 3:00 PM

Grillestone Restaurant , Scotch Plains

Hear the Story of Amelia Earhart, America's Most ...

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Carousel_image_e6c7d5b8a558926ee4c5_8e2f7c3f3d7547130a87_swim_team_2

Tue, July 24, 5:30 PM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Summit Area YMCA Swim Team Tryouts July 24th

Health & Wellness

Special June Episode of 'Berkeley Heights Here & Now' Features 6th Annual Street Fair

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – The Berkeley Heights Communications Committee (BHCC) today announced a special edition of Berkeley Heights Here & Now is available on the Township website, www.berkeleyheightstwpnj.gov.

 

The special episode features the 6th Annual Berkeley Heights Street Fair held on June 24 and includes onsite interviews with attending residents/visitors, event ...

And Over Here is the Dining Hall 2

My very first job in admissions was while I was still an undergraduate myself as a tour guide.  Very early on they indoctrinated us with some tricks of the trade.  It’s a dining hall, not a cafeteria.  A residence hall, not a dorm.  If you have to divulge some negative bit of information, sandwich it between two positives.  There were instructions for glossing over ...

Women Have Special Financial Needs That Advisors Overlook

Women have special financial needs that advisors overlook in two ways: 1) advisors don’t always acknowledge the different planning needs women have and 2) advisors don’t always communicate well with female clients – especially if the client comes to a meeting with her husband. It’s very common for a male advisor to spend much or most of the face time in meetings talking to ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...