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Fallon takes reins of Red Bank Regional football squad

Red Bank Regional High School quarterback Jack Grassi makes a pass during pregame warmups before the team's scrimmage against Asbury Park High School on September 24 in Little Silver. Red Bank Regional opens up the season at home against Saint John Vianney on October 2.

Shane Fallon is remembered across the Shore Conference football landscape for helping to start the decade of dominance the Rumson-Fair Regional High School football team has had on the gridiron from 2010-20.

Fallon led his alma mater to the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group II title in 2010. He stepped down from his post at Rumson-Fair Haven after the 2012 season.

Before his days at Rumson-Fair Haven, Fallon could be seen in the hallways at Red Bank Regional High School in Little Silver where his father, George, was the Buccaneers’ athletic director from 1980-99.

Fallon remembers spending a lot of time as a youngster at Red Bank Regional, developing friendships with the school’s alumni from Red Bank, Little Silver and Shrewsbury Borough.

After returning to the coaching ranks in 2020 as the head coach at Neptune, Fallon got word from his Red Bank Regional friends that the Bucs’ football job was going to be open and was encouraged by his buddies to apply.

Fallon did just that and now he will lead the Red Bank Regional football program as the Bucs prepare to kick off the 2021 season.

“I am excited about this opportunity,” Fallon said in an interview. “I grew up here. I am very familiar with the area. I know the history of Red Bank Regional. I feel like I am in the right place at the right time in my life to be here.”

Fallon takes over a program that went 2-4 during a 2020 season that was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.

In 2018 and 2019 the Bucs had consecutive seven-win seasons and qualified for the state playoffs each year.

Fallon hopes to get the Bucs back to that level, but he is not putting any emphasis on wins and losses right now.

At this time he is focusing more on trying to help his players improve every day and to get comfortable in his offensive and defensive systems.

“Right now we are focused on ourselves,” Fallon said. “We are focused on getting better every day in practice and we are doing that. We feel we are going to put a competitive team on the field every week.”

The coach said his team has a good balance of talent from the sophomore through the senior class, beginning with senior captains Jack Grassi, Gus Dal Pra, Matt Dengler, Cian Curylo, Sean Masonius and Peter Thomas.

Fallon said he has been impressed with the leadership each captain has shown during the team’s summer workouts and training camp. He said the captains have become an extension of the coaching staff and are echoing what the coaches are trying to teach the squad.

Grassi will start at quarterback after playing wide receiver in 2020. Dengler and Dal Pra will be top targets for Grassi. All three are expected to play in the defensive secondary.

Curylo returns as a two-way starter at running back and outside linebacker. Masonius is expected to play middle linebacker in the 4-3 defense and center on the offensive line.

Thomas will anchor the interior of the offensive and defensive lines, starting at right guard and at defensive tackle.

“We are expecting big things from those players in their senior year,” Fallon said.

Seniors Dylan Goldberg, Colin Swords and Patrick Cody are expected to see action on the defensive line. Junior Brendan Laughlin (cornerback) and senior Michael Buonantuono (linebacker) will help shore up the defense.

The left side of the offensive line is expected to feature seniors Jack Killgannon and William Mewborn.

Fallon said Red Bank has a talented sophomore class with players who could work their way onto the field, including running back Jah’Cire Jones and offensive lineman Griffin Egan.

Junior wide receivers Ky’Yam Martin and Lamar Hicks are new additions who may make an impact in the spread offense.

Fallon said having a regular training camp this year has been the biggest difference from 2020 at Neptune as he and his assistant coaches install their systems and begin to build a program at Red Bank.

The Bucs will open the season on Sept. 2 against Asbury Park. Fallon said he is excited to start the season and is looking forward to seeing how his players react to the challenges they will face in their first game.

“I can’t wait to get to Sept. 2,” he said.

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