The Becton Regional High School Football team will be celebrating a milestone birthday in 2020. The football program will be playing in its 100th season since its inception back in 1921, when it was known as East Rutherford High School.
To celebrate their birthday, the football program was set to take their first ever overnight road trip to Canton, OH to play at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium against “friendly rival” Wood-Ridge. Due to the pandemic, that trip has been postponed until 2021.
Coach Jack Maher, entering his 6th season as head coach and 9th overall at Becton, is excited to get this team on the field. There is a lot of experience coming back as his team is made up of mostly junior and seniors. These are the same juniors and seniors that have been on the varsity football field as freshmen and sophomores, and Coach Maher is looking to take advantage of that valuable experience.
Building off a 5-4 record in 2019 in which the offense scored 31.77 points per game and the defense pitched two shutouts and had a chance at two more, the Wildcats bring back seven starters on defense and eight on offense.
Leading the charge offensively will be returning first team all-league quarterback, Joseph Crifasi. Last year, as a first-year quarterback, Crifasi was among North Jersey leaders with 1,380 yards and 17 touchdown passes.
The Wildcats will also rely on senior Cencir Bacote, a shutdown corner who will split carries with junior Jonathan Williams and recent transfer Sonny Ragusa. Senior Ryan Reid will be the No. 1 option at wide receiver with fellow senior wide receiver Marcus Duran and junior Tommielee Minaya also in the mix. Senior Frankie Perez (6-4, 265 pounds) anchors the offensive line with center senior Wiktor Slezak, junior guard George Kasper and sophomore tackle Jayden Alvizio bringing experience from last season. Other juniors and sophomores will vie for playing time as well.
Another difference-maker will be senior Hunter Schanel, a middle linebacker who led the team in tackling last year. Schanel kicked three field goals and went 27-of-28 on PATs last year. Sophomore linebacker AJ Arroyo and junior Bobby Colaneri will sure up the linebacking unit along with Williams.
The defensive line will be anchored by first team all-league Reid, junior Minaya, junior Cody Dembinski and others fighting to get on the field.
The secondary will feature Bacote and Duran (both all league last season) at corner and a rotation of Crifasi, senior Tyler O’Connor, and others at safety. Bacote was among county leaders in interceptions last year with five.
With a wealth of experience coming back for the 2020 season, the Wildcats are looking to improve on their 5-4 record last year. Nothing is ever easy in the NJIC Meadowlands as the division is considered one of the toughest divisions in all of Group 1 football.
As the 100th season of Becton/East Rutherford football begins, the Wildcats cannot wait to get on the field to compete and make our community and alumni proud.
Farrell, Sean. "Becton Football Looks to Celebrate 100 Years in Style." Bergen Record, 5 Aug 2020.