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Glen Rock High School Football 2017 season preview

Panthers kick off season on the road Friday at 6 p.m. against Rutherford

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Glen Rock High School football seniors, 2017: L-R - Jimmy Gilmartin, Drew Famularo, Sean Egan, Dom Patania, Wil Scherer, Matt Sapoff, Ben Packer, Michael Quinn. Not pictured: Conor Egan, Jordan Eglis, Cole Wrede. Photo by Simon Toffell.

The Glen Rock High School football team opens its 2017 season Friday at 6 p.m. at Rutherford, and head coach Jim Kurz is just as curious as everyone else as to what lies in store for the Panthers this fall.

“We’ve got a lot of questions to answer,’’ Kurz told Banana Tree News this week.

The new Panthers have a lot of pieces to replace from last season’s 5-4 team that lost to Mahwah in the first round of the State playoffs. Quarterback Matt Schlett, running back Ryan Dooner, and playmaking receivers Tim and Rob Ray all have graduated, and Glen Rock must figure out how to replace them.

“Luckily, we have athletes to take the place of those guys, but those guys are going to be hard to replace,’’ Kurz said.

“But that’s high school football.’’

Dominic Patania, a 6-1, 185-pound senior who served as Schlett’s backup the last two years and saw time at wide receiver and linebacker last season, takes over at quarterback. His likely No. 1 target at receiver will be senior Drew Famularo, one of five returning offensive starters from last season. Junior Ashton Dalessio and seniors Conor Egan and Will Scherer will be there to make plays as well, and the offensive line will be led by returning starters Jimmy Gilmartin, a 6-3, 255-pound senior left tackle, and Pierce Tuttle, a 6-4, 230-pound junior right tackle. Senior Michael Quinn (6-1, 215) and junior Sam Pintel (5-10, 190), both guards, also started last season. Senior Matt Sapoff and junior Seve Bilbao will split time at running back.

On defense, seven starters return, led by Gilmartin and Tuttle on the line and Bilbao and Sapoff at inside linebacker.

On special teams, junior Justin Douenias will have some big shoes to fill in taking over at kicker for Rob Ray, who set a school record last season with a 48-yard field goal.  Douenias will also play wide receiver and cornerback.

Patania, Famularo, Gilmartin and Sapoff are this year’s captains. After opening on the road, the Panthers’ first home game will be Sept. 15 against Manchester, kickoff scheduled for 6 p.m.

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