Warren Hills (3) at Summit (22) – Football

By The Star Ledger
on September 27, 2014 9:01 p.m.

Chris Zanelli rushed for 143 yards on 27 carries with two 2-yard touchdowns in the first half to lead Summit to a 22-3 victory over Warren Hills in Summit.

It was Summit’s 27th straight victory, the state’s longest current winning streak.

Sean Andrews caught a 3-yard toss from Jake Froschauer in the third quarter for Summit.

Froschauer went 11-for-20 for 154 yards for Summit.

Justin Iaione had 20 carries for 97 yards and Shane Deemer had six carries for 61 yards for Warren Hills.

4 standouts from Summit’s 31-7 win over Gov. Livingston

By James Kratch | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
on September 20, 2014 5:12 p.m.


BERKELEY HEIGHTS — Here is a look at four standouts from Summit’s 31-7 victory overGov. Livingston here on Saturday at Frey Field:

Summit QB Jake Froschauer: The sophomore looked very good in his first varsity start, going 14-of-27 for 139 yards and a touchdown and rushing for 36 yards on six carries while running Summit’s no-huddle attack.

Summit RB Chris Zanelli: Zanelli had another big day running the ball, finishing with 108 yards and two scores on 10 carries.

The Summit defense: The Hilltoppers were stifling on defense the entire day, allowing just seven points and holding Gov. Livingston to 167 yards.

Gov. Livingston QB Mike Policastro: The signal caller went 14-of-24 for 124 yards and a touchdown.

Summit beats North Plainfield, 26-0, for state-leading 25th straight victory


By The Star Ledger
on September 13, 2014 9:13 p.m.

Chris Zanelli ran 23 times for 230 yards and two touchdowns and Andrew Helmer caught two touchdown passes to lead Summit to a 26-0 victory over North Plainfield in Summit.

It was the 25th straight victory for Summit, now alone atop the state for the longest current winning streak. Montclair, which had also won 24 straight heading into this weekend’s action,lost to Pascack Valley on Friday night.

Helmer hauled in an 8-yard scoring pass from Peter McKinley in the first quarter and then caught a 49-yard TD pass from Ryan Richson in the second quarter to give Summit a 12-0 lead. Zanelli raced for a 55-yard touchdown in the third quarter and scored on a 28-yard dash in the fourth quarter for Summit.

Fast and Furious: Two-Time, Defending Champion Summit Varsity Football Begins Quest for Three-Peat Sept. 13

Greg Elliott Thursday, September 11, 2014 • 8:36am


2014 SHS Football Captains / Coach

Captains and The Captain of the Ship: 2014 Summit High School Varsity Football Captains, seniors Chris Zanelli, Peter McKinlay, Andrew Helmer, Colin Andrews and Stevie Rainero with Head Coach Kevin Kostibos.

SUMMIT, NJ – The Summit High School Varsity Football team, winners of back-to-back State Titles and currently riding a 26-game winning streak, kick off their 2014 season September 13 versus North Plainfield, beginning their quest for a historic third straight championship.

While much of their fans’ chatter is focused on “The Streak” and the hunt for a “Three-peat”, the team’s mindset — as articulated by second-year Head Coach Kevin Kostibos and every member of the squad, is to “take one game at a time, and keep our eyes on the prize.”
These Hilltoppers are a different team from the 2013 group that played the entire season with a chip on their shoulder or, as Kostibos described it “angry”, due to the fact that virtually every starter from the 2012 championship team graduated, and they were thusly dubbed by pundits as a rebuilding class.
Underestimated and offended, the 2013 team channeled its toughness and resilience, unleashed its level of under-valued talent throughout the team, and ran the table up to — and including — a memorable title game victory over Parsippany Hills on a brutally rainy night at Kean University.
Given that this season Summit returns 13 starters, six on offense and seven on defense, and a host of key contributors, pre-season camp offered Kostibos and his coaching staff the chance to work more on individualized, detailed football curriculum.  “The players understand the game speed and tempo, there was no mystery about ‘can I play at this level’, and so we could work on specific techniques and situations.”
And, while Kostibos observes that, “We are still searching for our identity,” one thing is for sure: this team has speed at skill positions and is not going to be shy about using it.  “We have a bunch of dual- and multi-sport athletes who are used to playing in space and using their speed,”  said Kostibos.  “We are going to use that advantage in spaces, and on the edges, to attack mismatches both offensively and defensively.”
A prime example is on offense, where junior Ryan Richson replaces third-team All American Charlie Terry.  Where Terry was more of a pocket presence, Richson will use his wheels to move the pocket, and is comfortable and adept and throwing on the run.  Terry was not reluctant to run the ball, often zeroing in on a defender just so he could lower his pads and initiate the hit.  No less courageous, Richson will be more elusive and use his quickness when he carries the ball.
“Replacing Chariie is a tough task, but I am up for the challenge,” Richson said.  “I am not trying to be Charile Terry, just trying to be me and do what I do best.  We will play more on the edge, instead of straight verticals.  I know the plays as I have been running them since sixth grade, the real test is reading the defenses and making the checks at the line of scrimmage.”  Kostibos, for his part, praises Richson for his football IQ, athleticism, work ethic, resilience, and leadership, saying, “Ryan does a very good job controlling the offense, and the team trusts him.”
The contrast is equally stark at running back, where senior Chris Zanelli replaces Colm Dougherty.  Think of it as Muhammad Ali replacing Jake Lamotta, with Zanelli slashing and flashing to get his yards when compared to the raging bull style of Dougherty.  Of course, like Ali, Zanelli relishes initiating contact, and will be a big part of Summit’s Spread Wing-T offense that was driven through Dougherty’s 1,400 yards on the ground last season.
Speed abounds at other skill positions, such as wide receiver, with seniors Andrew Helmer and Sean Andrews guaranteed to get frequent touches.  While the nucleus of last year’s offense was straight ahead pounding and vertical strikes, Kostibos will use his assets a bit differently this year.  “You’ll see quick routes, bubble screens, counter plays, designed to take advantage of our abilities.”  The no huddle, hurry-up offense, a staple of their up-tempo success, will again be prevalent when the Hilltoppers have the ball,
The mobile offensive line is anchored by seniors Stevie Rainero and Matthew Greenstein, with juniors Matteo DiMayorca, Donovan Cahill at center, and Teddy Cranley — who Kostibos described as being the “surprise of the preseason” — the starters.
Defensively, second-year Defensive Coordinator Chet Parlavecchio has experience, speed, and height at his disposal as well.  Operating in a 4-3 system, senior defensive ends Pat Maloney and Mike Maldonado — 6’5″ and 6’6″ respectively — will be counted on to stop the run and apply pressure to the opposition’s pocket during throwing and long-yardage downs.  Seniors Will Cassin and Colin Andrews make up the balance of the veteran front four,
At linebacker, senior Spencer Sink is the team’s quarterback on defense, and is flanked by seniors Vincent Bonomo and Anthony Campanelli.  Speed in the secondary is brought by corners Helmer and Will Huck, with junior Robby Faris and senior Peter McKinlay hold down the safety positions.  Expect to see less bend compared to last season’s gritty “bend, but don’t break” group.
Special teams will feature senior placekicker Paulo Umana, with sophomore Jake Froschauer handling the punting duties.  Froschauer is also a quarterback, which leads to some extremely appealing gadget play opportunities in short-field punting situations.
2014 Team Captains are seniors Colin Andrews, Helmer, McKinlay, Rainero, and Zanelli.
As to the pressure of maintaining the win streak and bringing home a third crown, Helmer said the group is locked in on the goal, with the chemistry developed in battles on other fields of play making the group tight knit.  “There is a lot of pressure, but we have a lot of guys coming back, and everyone is buying into the message.”  He added, “I think this team is a bit looser than last year, and most of us have played together on other teams and we are all pretty good friends.”  Zanelli notes, “It (the streak and the pressure to repeat) is always on your mind, we are just going to take it one game at time.”
Kostibos knows that the season, especially in light of past successes and expectations, will be a marathon, not sprint.  “Understanding and figuring out how to handle the it, just going out and playing one week, one game at time,” he said.  “The less you think about it the better off you will be.  The focus this week is winning on Saturday and being 1-0.”
For those who choose to look at the season globally or in advance, a three-game stretch against Governor Livingston, Warren Hills, and Cranford promises to be a bit of gauntlet.  “We are going to get everyone’s best each game, we just have to be who we are and play our game.”
2014 Summit Varsity Football Schedule
(H) September 13 v. North Plainfield – 2 p.m.
(A) September 20 at Governor Livingston – 1 p.m.
(H) September 27 v. Warren Hills – 1 p.m.
(A) October 2 at Cranford – 7 p.m.
(A)  October 11 at Roselle – 1 p.m.
(H) October 17 v. Somerville – 7 p.m.*
(A) October 24 at Voorhees – 7 p.m.
(H) November 1 v. Rahway – 1 p.m.
(A) November 8 at Hillside – 1 p.m.
November 15  – NJSIAA Quarterfinal
November 22 – NJSIAA Semifinal
December 5,6,7 – NJSIAA Final
*Denotes “Friday Night Lights” home game
2014 Summit Varsity Football Roster

1 – Craig Ackerly / RB-LB (sophomore)
2- Robby Faris / RB-DB (junior)
3 – Ryan Richson / QB (junior
4 – Will Huck / RB-DB (senior)
5 – Wayne Johnson / QB-DB (junior)
6 – Matt Newman / RB-LB (junior)
7 – Christian Fusco / WR-DB (sophomore)
8 – Vincent Bonomo / OL-LB (senior)
9 – Jake Froschhauer / QB-DB-P (sophomore)
10 – John Cordrey / RB-DB (senior)
11 – Paulo Umana / PK  (senior)
12 – Tyler Gramigna / TE-DL (junior)
13 – Peter McKinlay / QB-LB (senior)**
15 – Spencer Frey / RB-LB (sophomore)
16 – Peter Gallippo / WR-LB (sophomore)
17 – Chris Giangiulio / WR-DB (sophomore)
20 – Spencer Sink / FB-LB (senior)
23 – Chris Zanelli / RB-DB (senior)**
24 – Brendan McGinn / WR-DB (sophomore)
25 – Pat Bauer / WR-DB (senior)
26 – Jack Johnson / RB-LB (sophomore)
27 – Matt Murdock / RB-DB (sophomore)
28 – Rhajon Venable / WR-DB (sophomore)
29 – David Medina / RB-LB (sophomore)
30 – Thomas Tarashuk / WR-DB (sophomore)
35 – Mike Flanagan / FB-LB (sophomore)
40 – Sam Zanelli / RB-LB (sophomore)
44 – Anthony Campanelli / FB-LB (senior)
50 – Donovan Cahill / OL-DL (junior)
51 – Liam Dougherty / C-LB (sophomore)
52 – Nazir Godley / OL-DL (sophomore)
53 – Mason Wiesner / OL-DL (sophomore)
54 – Mike Maldonado / OL-DL (senior)
55 – Max Limmer / OL-LB (junior)
57 – Michael Mahecha / OL-DL (sophomore)
58 – Teddy Cranley / OL-LB (junior)
60 – Danny Petrela / OL-LB (sophomore)
61 – John Ramirez / OL-DL (junior)
62 – Colin Andrews / OL-DL (senior)**
64 – Matt Grange / OL-DL (sophomore)
65 – Matthew Greenstein / OL-DL (senior)
67 – Patrick Cody / OL-DL (sophomore)
70 – Stevie Rainero / OL-DL (senior)**
71 – Caleb Bergner / OL-DL (senior)
72 – Justin Hong / OL-DL (sophomore)
77 – Matteo DiMayorca / OL-DL (junior)
78 – Tyler Tomlin / OL-DL (sophomore)
79 – Will Cassin / OL-DL (senior)
80 – Andrew Helmer / WR-DB (senior)**
81 – Sean Andrews / WR-DB (senior)
82 – Garret Cahill / WR-DB (junior)
84 – Max Barsh / RB-LB (senior)
86 – Will Freeman / WR-DB (sophomore)
88 – Drew Mulholland / WR-DB (senior)
89 – Pat Maloney / TE-DL (senior)
** Denotes Team Captains


Summit football preview – Hilltoppers keep it simple, they take it one game at a time

Monday, September 08, 2014

Union News Daily

By:  – Union County Sports Editor

Photos By:  


SUMMIT – Last year Summit had only three returning starters on offense and just one on defense, in addition to being guided by a new head coach.

The Hilltoppers still proved to be good enough to go 12-0 again and repeat as North 2, Group 3 champions.

This year Summit has six returning starters back on both sides of the ball.

Whether the Hilltoppers have had a cast chock full of experience or one that was very green, they have managed to put together the best record of any public school in the state the past five seasons.

Since 2009 Summit is 56-2, including an overall winning streak of 24 games and a regular season winning streak of 45. The Hilltoppers have not lost a game in Mid-State 38 or 39 Conference competition and have not lost to a Union County opponent since November of 2008, which was also the same month that they lost their last regular season game, which was their final Iron Hills Conference-Hills Division clash.

“We don’t look at it as 56-2,” said second-year head coach Kevin Kostibos, who became only the third coach in Union County history to lead a team to a 12-0 record last season.

Summit has gone 9-0 in the regular season and won division championships in the Mid-State Conference each of the past five seasons.

“Our philosophy every year will always be taking it one game at a time,” said Kostibos, who was an assistant coach under head coach John Liberato the first four of those five seasons.


 2013: (12-0) – North 2, Group 3 champions

 2012: (12-0) – North 2, Group 3 champions

 2011: (11-1) – North 2, Group 2 finalists

 2010: (9-1) – North 2, Group 2 quarterfinalists

 2009: (12-0) – North 2, Group 2 champions

Summit’s only returning starter on both sides of the ball, senior Andrew Helmer, attributes the program’s success to several factors.

“I think you start with the coaching staff and then add the success of the youth program,” Helmer said. “We begin to have chemistry right away by being brought up together.”

While Charlie Terry was the new kid on the block last year under center as Summit’s quarterback, this year junior Ryan Richson is presently filling that role.

“Ryan is a little more of a runner and has looked good throwing on the run,” Kostibos said. “His biggest attribute, however, is his understanding of our offense. He is a smart kid who is good at managing the game.”

Returning at running back is senior Chris Zanelli, a shifty runner who can sneak right through the teeth of opposing defenses.

“Chris is explosive,” Kostibos said. “Anytime he touches the ball something good could happen. He’s tough to tackle in the open space.”

“I’ve got a good feeling about this team,” said Zanelli, who will play lacrosse next year at Providence. “We’ve got some talented players who can get out on the edges and do some dangerous things.”

Senior right tackle Stevie Rainero is a three-year starter on offense.

“It’s great to have the experience we have, but there are also some big shoes to fill,” Rainero said. “Our chemistry could be even better this year.”

When running the no-huddle offense, timing is always of the utmost importance.

“Bringing the offense together is what we work on the most,” Kostibos said. “Everyone really has to work well together.”

When asked if he ever thought of abandoning the no-huddle for a different scheme, this is what Kostibos said, “that’s our philosophy, we do what we do.

“Other programs have different offenses and that’s what they do. This is what we do and we will continue to challenge opposing defenses to stop us.”

In addition to being a fine receiver on offense, Helmer proved to be a standout last year on defense at cornerback.

“Andrew is a premier athlete and also an outstanding lacrosse defender,” Kostibos said.

Helmer will continue playing lacrosse in college at Syracuse.

“He never tires,” Kostibos said.

“With all the starters we have back this year that does a lot for our confidence,” Helmer said. “That’s nice to have because we didn’t have that last year.”

“We have a lot of guys on defense back including our entire secondary and our line,” Kostibos said. “We have a very good base now.

“We just have to be up to game speed and continue to get better as a unit.”

Summit’s captains – all seniors – include Helmer, Zanelli, Rainero, Colin Andrews and Peter McKinlay.


Here’s what Kostibos, Rainero, Zanelli and Helmer had to say about Summit’s come-from-behind 26-20 win at Rahway in a battle of 4-0 squads last year and then the holding on for a 16-13 victory over Parsippany Hills in the North 2, Group 3 championship game at Kean University.

Summit overcame a 20-6 halftime deficit against Rahway by scoring 20 points in the fourth quarter.

The Hilltoppers led Parsippany Hills 16-0 in the second quarter, which proved to be just enough.

Kostibos: “The Rahway game was a case of the game is never over. Rahway got us out of our game plan early. You can’t wait any later than the fourth quarter, but we made some adjustments and were able to do it.

“Beating Parsippany Hills and going 12-0 is a memory I will have for life. We want to be consistently tough and it begins with the level of excellence at all three levels. The kids last year believed that they could step in and do what was needed to be done.”

Rainero: “We learned in the Rahway game that we had the ability to overcome adversity. In order to stop Rahway our defense had to be a brick wall in the second half. That day we didn’t want to be the team that ended the (winning) streak.

“Parsippany Hills had the best defense that we went up against. We were able to hold them off in the end.”

Zanelli: “The Rahway game was such a highly-anticipated game. I think we had some jitters in the first half, playing on the road and on grass. That was the first time we were down by that many points, but we were able to settle down in the second half and come back.”

Helmer: “The atmosphere for the Rahway game was out of this world. Rahway hit hard. In the second half Colm Dougherty (2014 Summit graduate) was outstanding for us. You have to give him credit. If it wasn’t for him we wouldn’t have won that game.

“The outcome of the Parsippany Hills game was very gratifying. It made all the hard work from the pre-season on worth it.”



RT Stevie Rainero, senior, (6-0, 240)

RG Teddy Cranley, junior, (5-9, 175)

C Donovan Cahill, junior, (6-1, 215)

LG Matt Greenstein, senior, (6-3, 245)

LT Matteo DiMayorca, junior, (6-5, 235)

WR Andrew Helmer, senior, (6-2, 195)

WR Sean Andrews, senior, (6-3, 185)

SLOT Matt Newman, junior (5-10, 180)

SLOT Drew Mulholland, senior, (5-11, 170)

QB Ryan Richson, junior, (5-10, 170)

RB Chris Zanelli, senior, (5-9, 165)

Returning starters (6): Rainero, Greenstein,

Helmer, Andrews, Mulholland, Zanelli.


E Michael Maldonado, senior, (6-6, 235)

E Pat Maloney, senior, (6-5, 230)

NG Will Cassin, senior, (6-2, 230)

T Colin Andrews, senior, (6-2, 250)

MLB Spencer Sink, senior, (5-11, 220)

SLB Vinny Bonomo, senior, (5-11, 220)

WLB Anthony Campanelli, senior, (5-10, 215)

C Will Huck, senior, (6-0, 185)

C Andrew Helmer, (senior, (6-2, 195)

SS Peter McKinlay, senior, (5-11, 180)

FS Robby Faris, junior, (5-9, 170)

Returning starters (6): Maldonado, Maloney,

Andrews, Huck, Helmer, McKinlay.


Head Coach: Kevin Kostibos, since 2013.

A 1999 Hanover Park graduate.

Second season: 12-0 (1.000)

Conference: Mid-State 38

Division: Raritan

Section: North 2, Group 3

Summit’s last sectional title: 2013

2013: (12-0 and 6-0, first in Raritan Division)

Tatlock Field: Field Turf.

Kostibos became a head coach for the first time

last year and then became only the third coach

in Union County history to lead a team to a

12-0 record. He was previously a head coach

at Summit under the coach he played for in

high school, John Liberato at Hanover Park.


Sept. 13 North Plainfield, 2 p.m.

Sept. 20 at Gov. Livingston, 1 p.m.

Sept. 27 Warren Hills, 1 p.m.

Oct. 2 at Cranford, 7 p.m.

Oct. 11 at Roselle, 1 p.m.

Oct. 17 Somerville, 7 p.m.

Oct. 24 at Voorhees, 7 p.m.

Nov. 1 Rahway, 2 p.m.

Nov. 8 at Hillside, 2 p.m.

Head coach: Kevin Kostibos,

second season

2013 HILLTOPPERS (12-0)

(A) Summit 29, Somerville 7

(A) Summit 48, Johnson 23

(H) Summit 48, Cranford 14

(H) Summit 35, North Plainfield 12

(A) Summit 26, Rahway 20

(H) Summit 33, Roselle 8

(A) Summit 49, Warren Hills 28

(H) Summit 46, Delaware Valley 13

(A) Summit 39, Hillside 25

(H) Summit 34, Gov. Livingston 14

(H) Summit 35, Cranford 14

(N) Summit 16, Parsippany Hills 13

Head coach: Kevin Kostibos,

first season

Section: North 2, Group 3

Conference: Mid-State 38

Division: Raritan 6-0, first

Record: 12-0

Home: 6-0

Away: 5-0

Neutral: 1-0

Points for: 438

Points against: 181

Shutouts: 0

Overtime: 0-0


Football previews, 2014: Summit

By James Kratch | NJ Advance Media, for NJ.com
on August 20, 2014 10:25 a.m.



Last season: 12-0, first place in Mid-State 38 Conference-Raritan Division, North Jersey, Section 2, Group 3 champions, No. 18 in final Star-Ledger Top 20, No. 2 in final Group 3 rankings, No. 1 in final Union County rankings.
Conference and sectional classification: Mid-State 38-Raritan Division and North Jersey, Section 2, Group 3.

Head coach: Kevin Kostibos, second season, 12-0 career record.

A look back at 2013: The Hilltoppers added another championship chapter to their storied history, posting a second straight undefeated campaign to enter 2014 with a 24-game winning streak, the longest in school history and tied for the longest active streak in the state. Summit rolled to four straight lopsided wins to start the season before scoring three unanswered touchdowns in the fourth quarter to cap one of the all-time great comebacks in program history and stun Rahway, 26-20, in what was a matchup of Union County’s No. 1- and No. 2-ranked teams, both of which entered the game undefeated. From there, Summit was pushed several times but always pulled away late until the state final, where its defense secured a second straight title by shutting down Parsippany Hills in a slugfest played in rainy, frigid conditions.

Offense: Ryan Richson takes over at quarterback in the Hilltoppers’ frenetic no-huddle attack. He will have an experienced line in front of him as Stevie Rainero, Colin Andrews, Matt Greenstein and Michael Maldonado return along with newcomers Matteo diMayorca and Donovan Cahill. Chris Zanelli is back at running back along with Drew Mulholland and newcomer Robbie Faris. Spencer Sink will be the fullback. Sean Andrews and Andrew Helmer are back at receiver.

Defense: Newcomer Pat Maloney joins Andrews, Rainero, Greenstein, Maldonado, diMayorca and Cahill on the defensive line. Newcomers Max Limmer, Anthony Campinelli and Teddy Cranley will be at linebacker along with Sink. John Cordrey and Peter McKinlay will be at the safety spots with Will Huck, Andrews, Helmer, Zanelli, Mulholland and Faris at defensive back.

Etc.: In addition to its overall winning streak, Summit has also won 45 consecutive regular season games and 32 straight contests against Union County schools.

State championship history: Summit has won 16 state championships — eight prior to the state playoff era and eight playoff titles. Summit shared the North Jersey, Group 3 title with Roselle Park in 1928. It won North Jersey, Section 2, Group 3 championships in 1954 (shared with Linden), 1959, 1962 (shared with Millburn), 1963, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1976, 1980, 2012 and 2013. The Hilltoppers also won four championships in North Jersey, Section 2, Group 2 in 1988, 1993, 1994 and 2009.