By: COLIN DAVIS, Staff Writer
With the elimination of the Raiders this past Friday to the hands of Cherokee in the GMC playoffs by a score of 41-25, the team hasn’t met their original goal at the beginning of the season which was to bring home the title. Now the team will have to deal with a little adversity replacing some of their senior core that lead this team to the playoffs. This was a core to the likes that North Brunswick has never been blessed within the 46-year history of NBTHS. The loss of Myles Bailey, Dahvey Hicks, Leon Lowery, and many others isn’t going to be something that can be magically fixed.
New players like Jayden Myers, Marquise Perry, Jaquil Boyd, and even new freshman quarterback Frank Garbolino taking the reigns of Michael Baradhi under center. But losing the core is something that sports teams of any level have a tough time rebounding from. Just ask the Kansas City Royals or even the New Jersey Devils how that went for them. High school teams have a tough time rebounding from losing a majority of their seniors. In our case, 32 out of 62 of our players were seniors meaning the newer kids are getting their chance to shine. Another big adjustment for this team is going to be the offensive scheme or play style. The aforementioned Frank Garbolino taking over under center is going to be a big change and not due to his age. In case you haven’t noticed, the last 3 years of North Brunswick football have had a run reliant offensive scheme featuring current Southern New Hampshire product Chich Petrillo and this year’s quarterback in Michael Baradhi. Now with the team without a key force like Myles Bailey in the backfield, the Raiders will most likely switch to a passing scheme.
Seeing Garbolino play multiple times and growing up playing on the same baseball team, I know for a fact that him scrambling 20 times a game like Petrillo is not like him. What he lacks in his legs he makes up though in his arm. Now with the wide receiver position getting a permanent fixture with soon-to-be juniors Jayden Myers and Marquise Perry, Garbolino will have the assets to get the ball in good hands. So while the Raiders might not be top-10 in the USA Today polls routinely, be ready for the Raiders to turn some heads.