— Mark J. Czerwinski
Football: No. 13 Cresskill
Last year’s record: 9-3 . Final ranking: No. 14
Marquee game: at Hasbrouck Heights, Oct. 23
Best assets: It starts with experience. Coach Kevin Quinn’s Cougars return 21 players (13 seniors) from the team that lost to Verona in the North 1, Group 1 title game at MetLife Stadium in December. That includes six starters on offense and five on defense. The offense, which scored 35 or more points five times last season, has some interesting potential with a collection of skill players that includes senior RB Brendan Coffey, senior RB Nick Carroll, senior WR John Connelly and senior WR Chris Riley. The defense has a nice base to build on in senior DL Paul Shakarjian, junior DL Johnny Van Cleft, and senior LB Nicky Funiciello.
Biggest concern: Like every small school team, depth will be an issue. Quinn, The Record Football Coach of the Year for 2014, said the Cougars need more balance on offense and need to be able to create more turnovers defensively. It will be interesting to see who steps up to replace the players lost to graduation.