BY MARK J. CZERWINSKI – STAFF WRITER / The Record
Last year’s record; final ranking: 11-1; No. 14
Marquee game: Sept. 12 at Cresskill
Best Assets: The Gaels don’t have last season’s size, but they appear to be more athletic and versatile, especially on defense. There are several players who have waited for their chance at a starting job, and they are hungry to impress. There is an interesting collection of young talent, particularly on offense, that seems on the verge of breaking out including RB/LB Kevin Woupes, TB Keon Banks and RB Daruis Stone. Senior Willie Krajnik is playing quarterback for the first time, but he has a strong arm and the speed to make an option attack dangerous. The Gaels probably won’t have as prolific an offense as last season when they scored 40 or more points nine times, but the offense still has the potential to carry the team.
Biggest concerns: Depth, as always, is the Achilles Heel at a Group 1 school. The Gaels graduated 13 seniors, and it will be interesting to watch as a new group of leaders steps up and starts exerting their influence. The inexperience may hurt, especially early in the season, and coach Mike Sheridan said he is anxious to see how this group reacts when it runs into a little adversity. And don’t forget the specter of South Jersey power St. Joseph of Hammonton, which has ended St. Mary’s last three seasons by a combined score of 127-