continued With all the transition going on at the skill positions, J-D can at least count on a strong offensive line, which returns both of its starting tackles, Pete Crossett and Matt Thompson. Center Ryan Pike and guard Ryan Adelberg both have varsity experience, too, with guard Matt Schunck the only newcomer in the starting five.
From the Rams’ 3-5 defensive alignment, four linebackers return, including Crossett, who has started since his sophomore year. Werbowsky, also a baseball standout, is back, as is Honis and James Jones, while Stu Fiacco rounds out the quintet.
Up front, Joe Morgan takes over at nose guard, flanked by Thompson and Hillel Matson at the end spots. A secondary rotation will try to fill the void left by Howard and Williams, as Wipper and Murphy play at the corners, while Baker and Anderson rotate at safety.
Twice in 2012, Wynn won games with clutch field-goal kicking, and the long returns by Williams and Howard will be missed, too. To address the kicking situation, J-D brought up sophomore Anthony Dongiovanni, who will both kick and punt.
Ormond said this is J-D’s toughest schedule in years. It opens Saturday at the Dome, with the Red Rams facing Section VI power Cheektowaga in the Kickoff Classic, followed by a short week and a Sept. 12 visit to Indian River.
The Rams don’t expect another nine-game win streak. In fact, said Ormond, it isn’t concerned even if it starts 0-2, as long as it wins the important Class A American division games against Fulton, Nottingham and East Syracuse-Minoa that follow.
Above all, Ormond said his main hope is that success hasn’t spoiled the returning J-D players to think that it will just show up and earn victories.
“We have to be guarded against the entitlement mentality,” he said. “There’s a very fine line between confidence and arrogance. At any time, we can get knocked off our horse, especially with this schedule.”