Talk about starting the preseason with a tough opponent.
The Greenwich High School football team will travel to Ramsey, N.J., Tuesday to scrimmage national power Don Bosco Prep at 5 p.m. How good is Don Bosco Prep? Here’s a quick glance at the Ironmen.
They are coming off their third consecutive undefeated season – a season that saw them win the New Jersey State IAA Non-Public Group 4 championship for the sixth straight year.
Coached by Greg Toal, Don Bosco finished as the No. 1 team in the country in five national rankings last fall. Don Bosco, which beat rival Bergen Catholic 42-14 for the state championship, finished 11-0 in 2011, outscoring its opponents 452-92.
Seven seniors from last season’s Don Bosco squad will play collegiate football at the Division I football this fall. The list included: Elijah Shumate, running back/defensive back, Notre Dame; Leonte Caroo, wide receiver, Rutgers; defensive lineman Darius Hamilton, the son of former New York Giants defensive lineman Keith Hamilton, (Rutgers); linebacker Michael Strizak (Boston College); offensive lineman Michael Casimos (Akron), offensive lineman Tyler Samra (UConn) and safety Kyle Sakowski (Lafayette).
Though the Ironmen graduated these seven key players they return a lot of talent. One of the squad’s main strengths is its defensive line, which features seniors Alquadin Muhammad (6-4, 230) and Razohnn Gross (5’11, 215). Senior Spencer Scannell leads the linebacker corps for Don Bosco, which should also by keyed on offensive by the return of junior running back Aaron Guzman.
Touting a 46-game winning streak, the second longest streak in the nation, Don Bosco has dominated its N.J. foes so much that it has made a habit of playing out of state teams in recent years. Don Bosco opens its regular season on Sept. 8 against Gilman High from Baltimore, Md., then will travel to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to take on St. Thomas Aquinas – also one of the top-ranked teams in the nation.
It will be interesting to see how the Cardinals stack up against Don Bosco on Tuesday. It should no doubt help prepare Greenwich for its regular season opener against Ridgefield.