Union prepare for an explosive football season – Union News Daily


UNION, NJ — Zach Menon is one of only two returning non-kicking starters for the Union Farmers.

While Union High School’s football roster isn’t overflowing with returning college starters, Menon said that didn’t matter to him.

The junior is also confident Union will have similar success to what he’s had on his most recent teams, whether he’s blocking for a Farmer running back or knocking down an opposing quarterback with a physical sack and pounding the ground .

“We have state championship ability here,” Menon said last week during Union’s first practice, following his first home scrimmage against Eastern Regional and St. John Vianney High Schools the day before.

“We have to put each piece together, like a puzzle,” Menon continued. “We have to keep building.”

Union had its second scrimmage scheduled last Saturday at Woodbridge High School, which was the Woodbridge scrimmage. Woodbridge opens this weekend, Friday, August 26, at home to Group 4 champion North, Irvington High School.

The Union scrimmage game is scheduled for this week on Friday, August 26 at 11 a.m. against Sayreville War Memorial High School.

“I’m excited,” said the 6-foot-3, 265-pound Menon, who plans to be a threat to opposing offenses with his aggressive play at defensive end. “We have new players, young and strong, with so much potential.”

Union hopes to exploit that potential starting with their season opener on Friday, Sept. 2 at home against Bridgewater-Raritan Regional High School.

“I feel like we’re going to have a good season,” second-year receiver Renick Dorilas said. “There is no doubt that we have to rebuild and we still have a long way to go and a lot of work to do.”

Second-year quarterback Omalley King, at 6-4, gives Union a very big presence under center. He’s the kind of quarterback who can step back and see the field clearly in front of him or safely tuck the ball in and run for a continuous first down.

“Last year was a great learning experience for me,” said King, who was Union’s junior varsity flagger a year ago. “Watching the seniors and what they did was something.”

Union went 9-2 last year, starting with a 31-28 loss to Millville High School at Ocean City High School, winning nine in a row, then having to forfeit its second-round home playoff game against Eastside High in Paterson School due to an outbreak of COVID-19.

“Our seniors had a big impact last year,” said Omar Ibrahim, 6-1, 180, who is Union’s only returning senior starter, a wide receiver on offense and Union’s other cornerback. in defence.

Ibrahim hopes to be one of Union’s seniors who make an impression this year. He is considered one of the best defensive backs in the region and will be looking to play in this position at the top level.

“The effort and energy is there and we are working hard,” Ibrahim said.

Ibrahim played on the freshman team his freshman year and did college in his sophomore year. This is his second year as a college starter.

“We are all looking forward to playing again,” Ibrahim said.

Union opened the defense of their 2019 North 2, Group 5 crown last year with a dominating 41-3 first-round home win over Livingston. It was Friday, November 5, the last time the Farmers played a game.

“We’re young, but there’s talent here,” said head coach Lou Grasso Jr., now in his 10th season at the helm of the Farmers. “When you only have two children, there will be a learning process.”

The only other returning player who played a key role in last year’s success is senior punter Ramsey Lafond. He was consistent with his extra point attempts last year, going 37 of 42.

One of the things Menon has been working on is his ability to build up longer against an opposing blocker.

“Last year I was the shortest guy so I built on my strength,” Menon said. “I lifted and worked on my explosiveness and focused on the little things.”

“We have a mix of everything in attack, a lot of athletes,” Dorilas said. “I want to be one of them.”

King realizes that leadership comes with the quarterback position in which he seeks to excel.

“I want to be the lifeguard there, lead my team,” King said. “I want to be a double threat, pass and run, and be about balance.”

Ibrahim is sort of the defensive quarterback from his position in the secondary.

“There are the fundamentals and there is also the mental part,” Ibrahim said. “Learning certain readings, being able to read what is in front of me is very important.”

Union will be aiming for a fifth straight winning season, having gone 8-3 and reached the Group 5 North 2 semi-finals in 2018; 12-1 and winning North 2, Group 5 for the first time in 2019; 4-3 in 2020 season shortened by COVID-19; and 9-2 last year.

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