Monroe football team looking to improve in 2019

North Brunswick Volunteer Fire Co. Nos. 2 and 3 hang the American flag over the entrance to the football field at North Brunswick Township High School prior to the start of the 20th annual Care to Walk for breast and ovarian cancer on Oct. 28.

Monroe Township High School has a very good opportunity to improve on the football field this fall.

The Falcons return a lot of starters and are calling up some intriguing newcomers to their varsity team.

To be clear, no one is predicting an undefeated state sectional championship season for these Falcons. They went 1-8 last year and were outscored by 234 points. They are also just 8-31 in the past four years.

But with experience, talent and potential, they should win more games in 2019 than they did in 2018.

Monroe will open its new season on Sept. 6 at New Brunswick High School’s Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

“We have good skill position players and a lot of returning starters,” said Daniel Lee, Monroe’s head coach.

It starts with those skill position players. Lee has a bunch of them.

Rising senior running back Michael Torsiello racked up 1,002 yards from scrimmage last fall. Rising junior wide receiver Jagger Agnew was a Third Team All-Greater Middlesex Conference selection in 2018. Rising senior receiver James Meyers, rising senior back Brian Pechko, rising junior receiver Zachary Seppi and rising junior back Matthew Spoleti all saw time and touches at the varsity level last year as well.

Lee even listed four junior receivers, Isaiah Davis, Kyle DeGraw, Zeph Grant and Anton Updale, and a rising sophomore, Tyler Scott, as potentially impactful newcomers. Monroe quarterback Dylan Gorhan will have plenty of weapons to choose from in 2019.

Gorhan had a solid junior season in 2018, despite Monroe’s struggles. The quarterback threw more touchdowns, seven, than interceptions, five, and registered 952 yards passing.

He added a capable passing element to a struggling offense. Imagine what he might do in an offense that hums. The Falcons have the potential to hum, at least at times, in 2019.

The team is even bringing back four experienced offensive linemen in Corey Coleman, a Division 1-AA prospect and a third-year starter, Christian Cipolletta, Nico Staana and Tyler Malanga. But while Coleman is 6-4 and 280 pounds, the rest of the group is a bit undersized.

Yet Lee is going to depend on them on both sides of the ball. Their experience should help, but their size will be a hurdle to clear.

“We are small on the O-line and D-line and we have to come together,” Lee explained.

The Falcons will have time to jell because their schedule, while tough, isn’t quite as difficult as last year, when they had Sayreville War Memorial High School, North Brunswick Township High School and Edison High School, three of the four semifinal teams in the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 5 sectional playoffs, in their own division, the GMC White Division.

This year the Falcons are in the GMC’s Red Division, which doesn’t include any of those teams. Last September, Monroe faced Edison, North Brunswick and Sayreville, and lost by double digits to all three. This September, it is scheduled to play New Brunswick, which went 3-6 last year, East Brunswick High School, a 2-9 team in 2018, and Perth Amboy High School, a 5-6 club a year ago.

Both internally and externally, Monroe will have every chance to get better in the coming months.