CHATHAM, NJ - The contributions of the Chatham football team's 2017 senior class might not be fully realized until the Cougars begin to play next season. That's when Chatham might bear the fruit of the groundwork that the senior class put in, helping the younger players gain valuable experience this season.
"The seniors did a fantastic job helping the younger guys throughout the season," Chatham coach Jason Izsa said.
A glimpse of what might be ahead was displayed in Chatham's season finale, a 26-7 NJSIAA regional crossover loss to Gov. Livingston on Saturday at Cougar Field. The Cougars ended with a 1-9 mark.
Rising sophomores Peter Schelling, Ryan Coughlin, Charles Cuneo, Ryan McArthur, Jeremy Pollard and Peter Hughes all made plays that hinted at a bright future for the Chatham football team. They'll be there to complement a junior class that includes Colin Schroeder, Shane Carlin, Colin Petrullo, Kristian Roos, Ryan Lonergan, Jake Wingate, Josh Smith, Mason Agostinelli, Luke Agnew, Sean Goodman and Ben Baker.
- Senior tri-captain Max Schelling was there all season to help the younger players, including his brother, Peter, who recovered a fumble for the Cougars in the first quarter and then scored Chatham's touchdown on a two-yard run in the fourth quarter.
- Roos, who punts and place kicks for Chatham, has the potential to be a two-way back. He prevented a touchdown with a leaping pass breakup in the end zone.
- Coughlin has shown that he's a playmaker, scrambling out of the pocket to connect with throws on the run or tucking the ball to gain yardage on the ground. He engineered Chatham's scoring drive in the fourth quarter, hitting Christian Cuttita with a clutch 19-yard gain on fourth down to key the march. Cuttita made an excellent catch on the play.
- Hughes, who has shown promise as a linebacker, blocked a Gov. Livingston extra-point kick.
Christian Cuttita catches pass from Ryan Coughlin during Chatham scoring drive
Pass interference call on this pass to Colin Schroeder set up Peter Schelling's TD rush
Peter Schelling scores on this 2-yard run in the fourth quarter for Chatham
Cougar Josh Smith makes a tackle for a loss vs. Gov. Livingston