FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Voorhees hopes offseason education can pay dividends against tougher schedule – MyCentralJersey.com

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Coach Ricky Kurtz and the Voorhees High School football team went to school in the offseason. For Kurtz it was a commitment to attend as many clinics as possible. For the players, it was a commitment to raise communication skills with Kurtz and each other.

The Vikings capped the curriculum at the East Stroudsburg University team camp in late July.

“It was a great experience,” said Kurtz, entering his third season

Voorhees has gone 3-5 and 3-7 in Kurtz’ first two seasons. Several players who’ve played three seasons of varsity bring optimism — senior quarterback Will Letters and senior lineman Brody Shaner are among them. Every Monday, Kurtz meets with those two and wide receiver/defensive back Hunter Cryan, halfback/linebacker Mike Mosier, and wide receiver/defensive back Josh Reed. The idea is for Kurtz to exchange ideas and concerns with the senior leaders.

Can Voorhees play team ball?

“The focus is on continuity and working together offensively and defensively,” said Kurtz.

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The graduated Aidan Governali was a 1,000-yard back, but a lot of those yards were on his own, the coach said.

“We are deep on offense and it’s nice that we have a very, very good lineman like Shaner we can lean on and Letters looks like a different kid. He put in a lot of work in the off season,” said Kurtz.

The offense has looked much improved in practices as Letters works with backs Mosier, junior Daylen Joyce and sophomore Isaac Levitan. Levitan started last season at linebacker and will be Letters’ backup. Mosier is returning from labrum surgery, so Joyce will assume the role of top back.

“We will use them all,” said Kurtz.

Cryan, Reid, junior Mickey Tramutola and sophomore Justin Wistuba are the receivers.

“The offense has looked like a well-oiled machine. We have made mistakes, but everyone does,” said Kurtz.

The defense should get a lift from senior lineman Brad VanNatta, whose season was interrupted by injury. Mosier, Levitan and Joyce will be the linebackers.  Reid, Hunter Cryan,  Tramutola, Ryan McGinnis, Wistuba and the omnipresent Letters will be the secondary leaders.

One of the chief priorities will be to limit the number of big plays allowed and for Letters and crew to take advantage of turnovers the defense forces. In a division that includes Bernards, Delaware Valley, Hillside and improved North Plainfield taking advantage of any break will be especially key.

VOORHEES VIKINGS

Head coach: Ricky Kurtz, third season (6-12)

Assistants: Cory Kent (DC), Jake Petro (OC, WR), Pat Mancini (DL), Paul Petro (OL), Rob Miller (STC, DB), Patrick LaFevre (LB/RB), Nick Perkalis (LB, head frosh coach).

Projected classification: North Group 3

League: BCC Div. 2A

Colors: Maroon and gold

Offensive formation: Spread

Defensive formation: 3-3

2020 Results (3-5 overall, 2-3 in Big Central Division 1A)

Delaware Valley L

at Manville W

at Bound Brook L

South Hunterdon W

Belvidere L

at North Hunterdon L

South River W

at Bernards L

2021 schedule

9/2-at Warren Hills, 6 p.m.

9/10-Governor Livingston, 7 p.m.

9/17-Delaware Valley, 7 p.m.

9/25-at Hillside, 1 p.m.

10/1-North Plainfield, 7 p.m.

10/8-at Haddonfield, 7 p.m.

10/15-at Bernards, 7 p.m.

10/22-at New Providence, 7 p.m.

10/29-North Hunterdon, 7 p.m.