Seraphs seem to be heading in right direction

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BY DOUG McKENZIEStaff Writer CHRIS KELLY staff Mater Dei is looking to John Supon once again to lead the Seraphs this season, as they look to build on the momentum they gained at the end of last year. Momentum can mean everything in high school football. Once a team gets rolling, good things tend to happen, one after another. But just how long momentum lasts depends upon the team. This year’s Mater Dei football team is hoping that their momentum survived the offseason. The Seraphs lost their first eight games of the year last year, before winning their final two, 27-17 over Keansburg and 35-0 over Immaculate Conception in a consolation state playoff game. In those two games, head coach John Corneliusen’s team gave their finest efforts of the year, and began to show the type of improvement Corneliusen was looking for throughout the season. As they entered this season, Mater Dei was hoping to continue that trend, with a host of players returning for what they hope will be a program-boosting campaign. Leading the way is senior quarterback John Supon, who is starting for the third-straight year, while seniors Michael Heyer and Anthony Meli start in the backfield, with junior Alex Horan in the mix as well. Other threats for the Seraphs are senior Jay Cash at the split end, senior Pat Barthole as the flanker, and juniors Chris Theobald and Justin Vega at the tight end position. One of the strengths of this year’s team should be its offensive line, where seniors Ryan Lino and Brian Von Bargen are the guards, senior Sean Conway is the center, and senior Andrew Kelleher and junior Will Grenger are the tackles. Their overall experience should pay dividends as the Seraphs face some of the smaller defenses on their schedule. On defense, many of the same players will be featured, with Line and Von Barger joining senior Alan Schuluwitz, Theobald and Grenger on the defensive line, with Cash, Conway and Vega manning the linebacking spots. The secondary includes Meli and junior Anthony Albanese at the corners, with Supon and Heyer at the safety position. This is an experienced Mater Dei team that has certainly taken its lumps over the last few years. This year, they look continue the progress they showed at the end of the 2005 campaign. On Saturday, they opened up with a good Point Beach team, and played well early on. However, Point Beach opened up its air attack late in the second quarter to take a 14-0 lead at the half, than added a field goal to start the third. Mater Dei’s offense managed to get a touchdown on a Supon 4-yard pass to Cash late in the third quarter, but the Garnet Gulls were able to hold the Seraphs off from there. This Friday night, the Seraphs will make the trip down to Point Pleasant to take on a defending state champion Point Boro team that is fully expecting to make another championship run after last year’s 12-0 campaign. This is certainly a tough draw for a Mater Dei looking to progress, but it also represents an opportunity to show everyone just how far they’ve already come. Game time is 7 p.m. BY DOUG McKENZIE Staff Writer

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