Friday, September 16, 2011

Prep football: Getting know to Don Bosco Prep and Bergen Catholic

(photo by Tiffany Tompkins-Condie)

Bergen Catholic's Nunzio Campanile, left, and Don Bosco Prep's Greg Toal lead their teams into Hawkins Stadium tonight for the Manatee Memorial Hospital Suncoast Challenge.

Both teams are based out of New Jersey. Campanile's Crusaders face Tampa Plant at 8:30 p.m. after Toal's Ironmen meet Manatee at 6 p.m.

Here is a look at the Garden State powers, who have combined to win 29 state championships.


Hometown: Ramsey, N.J., located less than 30 miles from Manhattan.

Enrollment: 900

Coach: Greg Toal, 133-10 in 13 seasons at Bosco; 259-32-2 overall.

This year's record: 1-0

Last year: The Ironmen went 12-0 and romped to their fifth straight Non-Public Group IV state title, which they clinched by beating Bergen Catholic 37-27 in the title game. The 10-point spread was Bosco's smallest margin of victory last season, as the Ironmen limited eight opponents to seven points or less. Bosco is ranked No. 1 in the nation by ESPN, USA Today, MaxPreps and Rivals, and was named the 2009 prep national champion.

Keep your eye on: Leonte Carroo, sr., WR; Darius Hamilton, sr., DL; Yuri Wright, sr., CB; Elijah Shumante, sr., SS; Michael Strizak, sr., LB; Jabril Peppers, so., DB.

Of note: The Ironmen have won 36 straight games, including Saturday's 35-7 rout of Mission Viejo, Calif....Hamilton's father, Keith, was a defensive lineman with the New York Giants and a member of their 2000 NFC championship team...Toal's son Brian was named the Big East's Rookie of the Year in 2004 while at Boston College...Greg Toal served as an assistant at Bergen Catholic in 1976-77 and made his head-coaching debut in 1982 with Saddle Brook High.


Hometown: Oradell, N.J., 15 miles from Manhattan.

Enrollment: 750

Coach: Nunzio Campanile, 11-2 in two seasons at Bergen Catholic.

This year's record: 1-0

Last year: The Crusaders came one win shy of their first state tile since 2004, falling to Bosco in the Non-Public Group IV championship game. In fact, both of Bergen's losses came to the rival Ironmen, though the state final (37-27) was a lot closer than the teams' regular-season meeting (38-18). Those 18 points were the fewest Bergen scored all season.

Keep your eye on: Chucky Wingate, sr., WR; John Tsimis, jr., WR; Hunter Kisselick, sr., DL; Michael Gerst, sr., RB.

Of note: Campanile served as Bosco Prep's offensive coordinator for 10 years and also worked as the school's wrestling coach and athletic director before taking over the Crusaders. He led Bosco's wrestling team to a state title in 2010...The Crusaders' ruled New Jersey football in the 1990s, winning 99 games and seven state championships...Bergen Catholic entered this season with an all-time record of 365-130-12...The Crusaders have won at least two state titles in every decade since the 1960s.

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