CHATHAM, NJ - Offensive coordinator Steve Trivino explained how he plans to speed up the game for the Chatham football team in 2015.
"We want to use all the athletes, so from the very beginning I told them we're playing basketball on turf," Trivino said. "The center (Mike Kellstrom) is our inbound passer and Alex (Sands) is our point guard and he has multiple options on every play."
Chatham returns a team filled with 20 seniors who are looking to build on last year's 3-7 mark when the Cougars snapped a 23-game losing streak.
"I put this in so they'll have fun," Trivino said. "It's their senior year. It's high school football. This is the year for Chatham. If you don't do it now, when else are you going to do it. I don't know what it's going to bring, but I hope it brings good memories."
A year ago, Chatham opened the 2014 with its 22nd straight loss a 24-21 setback at home against Randolph. The Rams will be the home team in the 2015 opener, set for 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11 in Randolph.
Senior quarterback Sands will be surrounded by skill-position talent that includes wide receivers Greg Kurlak, Mike O'Connell, Brian Brady, Chris Bredahl, Timmy Adams and Robbie Moskowitz.
There's also tight end/linebacker Ryan Barnett, who also lines up as an H-back. The backfield includes Matt Nestler, Justin Hayes, Luke Sukiennik and Chris Kinder.
"We've been practicing it since the beginning of July," Trivino said. "We turned it on against Mendham, Nutley, Millburn, every team we went right down the field. It's not something you can prepare for because there are so many options."
Adams, who punts and place kicks, will come in at quarterback from time to time, giving Chatham a burst of speed.
"Timmy is going to come into the game and be that change-of-pace quarterback," Trivino said. "Even if they know he's coming in the game, they can't key on him because we can give someone else the ball. We have a set package just for him. He's definitely going to see time. Alex is my brains and Timmy is the speed."
Head coach Jason Izsa has a number of two-way players on his Cougar line, which features Jahanzab Khan, Nick Zack, Colin Ness, Kellstrom, Graham LeMon, David Vivona and Ryan Ness.
"Our line averages 275 pounds," Trivino said. "Ryan Ness (sophomore) was a soccer goalie last year and now he's a starter on defense. We're not small by any stretch. We're not just five, we're seven deep and possibly eight."
In Chatham's 3-5 defense, Zack, Nestler, Barnett, Dylan Ott, Pat Cosgrove and Sukiennik are the linebackers. Brady is the safety with Adams and Hayes at the corners.
"We're going with five linebackers so we can take advantage of the athletes we have on the field," Izsa said.