By Ed Mills
Staff Writer – The Record
No. 23 Elmwood Park Last year’s record: 6-4
Final ranking: unranked Marquee game: at Pompton Lakes, Sept 13
Best assets: Strong-armed senior Mike Dare (6-5, 205), a Rutgers commit, could be one of the top quarterbacks in North Jersey. The Crusaders also have talent at the other skill positions, including senior running back Sean Violante, junior tailback Richard DeSiervo and senior fullback Tyler Russo. Among the top aerial targets for Dare could be senior wide receiver Brandon Velez, junior split end Brandon Ricketts and senior tight end Mike Sistaro.
Biggest concern: Elmwood Park must improve on a defense that surrendered more than 30 points per game, including 100 in its last two. If the Crusaders are to qualify for the playoffs for the third straight season, they must be better at stopping the run. Potential defensive contributors are senior tackle Bryan Alfieri, senior linebackers Marcel Cruz and Brandon Gomez, sophomore end Andrew Lorenzo, cornerbacks Velez and Ricketts and safeties Violante and DeSiervo.