Crusaders Focus for 2012 is State Title, Undefeated Season
Ambitious schedule and loss of top player John Tsimis provide incentive for Bergen Catholic to overcome all obstacles this season
After putting arch rival Don Bosco on the ropes during their regular season match-up and then a disappointing route by the Ironmen in the North Non-Public A championship, the 2012 Bergen Catholic Crusaders have set their sights on winning a title they last brought home to Oradell in 2004. This year's squad will once again be led by quarterback John Germano from the shotgun position.
Germano, who made a name for himself over the summer by winning the MSG Varsity Tri-State Quarterback Showdown, has found himself staring down the field this fall at a daunting schedule against the likes of Long Island powerhouse St. Anthony's and a trip to sin city itself for a match-up with Bishop Gorman; and all of this must be done without right-hand man John Tsimis who tore his ACL over the summer.
"We put those games on the schedule so we can compete with the best and beat them," the Hawthorne native and rising senior said. "They will be hard games but we are going to do our best and win everyone of them. Losing our best player John Tsimis has made everyone step up to fill the gaps."
Tsimis could return in time for a post-season run, but until he's healthy Germano and third-year head coach Nunzio Campanile will rely on returning starters James Dawson (tail back) and John Feaster (running back), JJ Kulcsar (wide receiver) and tight ends Kyle Quiero, Garrett Dickerson and AJ Gallagher.
"We have a chance to have a great season," Campanile told NJ Varsity Rivals. "We have some good kids back and high expectations. We have the ability to do great things."
As well as an explosive offense, Campanile and team will also rely on its overpowering defense with the likes of Rich Queen, Carmine Goldsack, Kurt Holuba, Parker Tobia, Cameron Quiero and Johnny Sebastian. Returning to special teams after taking last season off will be senior kicker Ryan Rose.
"I think everyone should expect nothing but the best, and an undefeated season," Germano said. "We have a lot of great players across the line, no weak points as we're billed as one team. Facing St. Anthony, Bishop Gorman, St. Joe's, Bosco, Cocoa will all be good games. This is absolutely the year for us to win a state championship."
Germano, who will be featured on the cover of the fall issue of MSG Varsity The Magazine, and the Crusaders will open their regular season in Long Island against the St. Anthony Friars.
Prior to the start of the season, they will scrimmage Paul VI on August 22, 4pm; East Orange on August 25, 12pm; and Red Bank Catholic on August 29, 4pm. All matches will be played at Crusader Stadium.
The 2012 Crusader Schedule
- Friday, Sept. 7, 7pm at St. Anthony's (Long Island) with live broadcast on MSG Varsity, iO 14
- Friday, Sept. 14, 10pm at Bishop Gorman (Nevada)
- Saturday, Sept. 22, 1pm at St. Joseph Regional (Montvale)
- Saturday, Sept. 29, 1pm vs. Passaic County Tech (Home)
- Saturday, Oct. 6, 2:30pm vs. De Paul Catholic (Home)
- Saturday, Oct. 13, 1pm vs. Cocoa of Florida (Home)
- Saturday, Oct. 27, 1pm vs. Don Bosco Prep at at Overpeck Park in Palisades Park
- Friday, Nov. 2, 7pm at Friendship Collegiate (Washington, D.C.)
- Thursday, Nov. 22, 10:30am at Paramus Catholic