By Maximillian C. Burgos
In year two under head coach Casey Goff, the College’s football team will try to build on the foundation set last year.
Last year, Goff looked to improve upon the team’s previous season. He helped lead the Lions to a 4-6 record, winning two more games than the previous year. With Goff came the largest recruited freshman class that the team has had in years. Last season, after shutting out Southern Virginia University at home, Goff commented on what the win meant for the team.
“It’s huge for our seniors. It’s huge for our program. If you told me after our first five games that we would be sitting at 4-6, I’d say, ‘I don’t know.’ But these guys battled week in and week out. They never gave up. They continued to get better and they showed it here today,” Goff said.
Coming into this season, the Lions were voted the seventh place “dark horse” by coaches of the New Jersey Athletic Conference.
Goff remains cautiously optimistic, as the team has a lot of young players.
“We’ll see how the season shapes up,” Goff said. “We’re young, but we feel like we have some talent that will be running around out there. Only time will tell where we fit in to things.”
Two of the Lions’ star defensive players look to make a return and contribute this season. Both senior linebacker Max Busca and junior defensive back Xavier Santos earned NJAC honorable mentions last year and look to make an impact on the field again this year.
On offense, returning junior wide receiver Vinny Guckin also has an NJAC honorable mention. Senior receiver Ibn Bailey and junior wide receiver Jack Clevenger also look to make an impact offensively.
Special teams has its notable player in first-team All-NJAC junior punter Zach Warcola, returning to help the Lions win the field position battles. Warcola is ranked 15th nationally, averaging 41.0 yards per kick.
The Lions kick off their season on Friday, Aug. 31, at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Florham Park Campus.
The excitement in the locker room is palpable for the Lions and their upcoming season.