St. Mary’s football preview, 2021: Gaels hope youth movement will lead to wins

St. Mary Gaels

Coach: Rob Gentile (second year)

Last year: 0-4

SI starting classification 2021: 39.49

Division: North Jersey Interschool Conference – Patriot Division

Division opponents: Butler, Park Ridge, Wallington, Wood-Ridge

Key players: Damir Stone, QB / FS, Jr .; Anthony Schementi, RB, Sr .; Kazir White, FB, Fr .; Jabari Andrade, OL / LB, Sr .; Alex Gentile, OL, Sr.; Damien Mekerson, RB, P.

Outlook: Last season was a very difficult season for the Gaels as they went winless in their COVID-shortened four-game list. In recent years, it has mostly hovered around the 0.500 mark, but is still a long way from the teams of the early 2010s, where they won nine or more games three times between 2012 and 2014.

Last season was the first year under new coach Rob Gentile, who saw the team field around 15 players. The lack of depth ultimately hurt the team, as they scored just 6 points apiece in their first three games, before dropping a 23-20 heartbreak to Secaucus in their season finale.

This year, with a little more experience on offense as well as a solid freshman class, there’s good reason to be optimistic for the Gaels. They will be led in both directions by junior quarterback and free safety Damir Stone, who provides a double threat on offense. The backfield will see the races go to Anthony Schementi, freshman fullback Kazir White and freshman fullback Damien Mekerson. His offensive line includes seniors Jabari Andrade and Alex Gentile.

He’s playing in a very tough division with strong programs at Butler, Park Ridge, Wallington and Wood-Ridge, and he will have his work cut out for him with such a young and limited squad. But with the return of the team’s starting quarterback and running back, expect this team to improve a lot and be more competitive after a tough 2020.

2021 calendar

Sep 18: c. Wallington, 1 p.m.

Sep 24: at Wood-Ridge, 7 p.m.

October 1: at North Arlington, 7 p.m.

October 8: at Park Ridge, 7 p.m.

October 16: vs. Butler, 1 p.m.

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