Princeton High football looks to be balanced this season

Princeton High School Head Coach Charlie Gallagher (center) instructs players during practice at the high school in Princeton on Aug.7.

The Princeton High School football team wants to preform with balance this upcoming season.

And the coaches and players hope that the balance will result in victories.

The team comes off a season that produced a 2-7 overall record and a 1-3 finish in the West Jersey Football League Valley Conference.

“Wins are a big deal for this team. When you look on paper, we had two wins last year. We want to play better as a football program and play as a team,” said Charlie Gallagher, the head coach of Princeton. “We do not have a huge senior class so there is a lot of learning which is really what I’m excited about. We have a great junior class and sophomore class.”

He explained that the team will rely on the seniors for what the program is trying to accomplish for the 2019 season.

“We are building, but we still want to see success this year. We are putting in a new offense and defense this year,” Gallagher said. “There are definitely kinks we need to work out, but we are going to hopefully work them out before the first game and be ready to go against Hightstown High School.”

The Little Tigers will count on senior center Frederik Otte, senior wide receiver and quarterback Judd Petrone, senior running back Stephen Avis, junior two-way lineman Kevin Davila, junior defensive lineman Jose Espinosa, junior middle-linebacker Dylan Angelucci and sophomore fullback and linebacker Jason Ling for production this season.

“One of our strengths this year will be the running game. I think our offense is going to be really solid. I think we have a solid quarterback to really throw the ball,” Gallagher said. “We are also going to have super aggressive defense. Our defensive coordinator Jim Meert really has the guys buying into everything he is trying to do.”

During the offseason, Gallagher reported that the player’s commitment and numbers this summer have been good.

“We are excited for official practice on Aug. 12 and I think things are going to go well. What is going to be key for us this year is going to be our balance,” he said. “The kicking game is really critical and hold teams off with a good defense. We tweaked our offense this year to create better balance as well. Hopefully with this better balance defenses won’t be able to key on any particular aspect of our game.”

Avis said as senior he has to set a good example for upcoming players in the program.

“We have a pretty good sophomore and freshman class. We just want to leave a mark this season,” he said. “The team has been doing a lot of agility and weight training to get ready for this season. I feel like we have developed a lot from last year.”

For Espinosa, he has worked on his mind and body this offseason.

“I am always working. I am in the weight room 24/7 getting my mind and body right,” he said.

According to Espinosa, the offseason workouts for the team have been important players as they try to grow from last season.

“Two wins is good but we can get more wins,” he said.

Moses Santizo, a junior inside linebacker, explained that the defense is better from last year and is making a lot of progress.

“I think we are going to make a lot of great plays this season. We are really good team working as a family. We keep pushing each other to be better,” he said. “We have made adjustments to the defense so I have a good feeling about this year. There has been constant communication.”

The Little Tigers will open on the road at Hightstown on Sept. 13.