Football: No. 17 Garfield
Last year’s record: 8-2
Final ranking: No. 20
Marquee game: at Rutherford, Oct. 23
Best assets: It starts with experience. Coach Jeff DeVito’s Boilermakers have won 15 games over the last two seasons, and return a nice collection of players who are two- or three-year starters. And those returnees can play, starting with dynamic senior QB Alex Victorino. He is a preseason candidate for North Jersey Offensive Player of the Year honors. Senior TB Aveon Irving and senior FB Tyler Montanye provide a one-two running punch for a team that should thrive offensively. The team learned how to win over the last two seasons, and now the Boilermakers have to prove they can finish.
Biggest concern: There are the usual matters of depth, injuries and how quickly the new starters adapt to their expanded roles. But, first and foremost, the Boilermakers must make sure they don’t trip over themselves as they try to take the next big step in their development. This is a very hardworking team, but DeVito said the Boilermakers must be on guard about getting overconfident in the wake of all the attention they are getting.