2019 Season Preview
Head Coach: Matt Shepherd (13th Season at Freehold, 15th Overall)
Returning Wins Leader from 2018
Nico Messina (34-4)
Returning Career Wins Leader in 2019
Nico Messina (68 wins)
Nico Messina is 32 wins away from reaching 100 career wins, and 43 wins away from breaking the program record.
Freehold's five State Champions from the 1930's (Louis Visco, Stanley Flicker, Tony Pikulik, Alex Schibanoff, and Ralph Merola) will be inducted into the JSIWA Hall of Fame this year.
Where They Open
12/15: @ Garden State Classic at Barnegat
Circle The Date
1/30: @ Freehold Twp - Twp has owned the rivalry over the past 10 seasons, with Borough's lone win coming in 2017. The Colonials will try and make it two in three years.
Another team that is beginning to reap the benefits of a rising feeder program, Freehold has 16 freshmen joining a room that has a lot of experience returning, including 11 starters, giving the Colonials some good numbers for 2019.
The strength of the lineup looks to be the stretch from 126-145. Junior Nico Messina is a hammer, and kicks off the run for the Colonials. A 2-time District Champ, he became the program's first Region Champ in 54 seasons last year, and is 32 wins away from hitting the century mark for his career. He's joined by a pair of returning District medal winners in junior Mike Gagliardo, a junior, and senior Tony Dushku. Also back in this stretch for Freehold are returning starters senior Jake Mostowsky and junior Keegan Roche, giving the Colonials a very strong, experienced group in this part of the lineup.
There's more experience returning up top as well with seniors Logan Goldstein and Jared Vasquez, and juniors Maximus Murphy and David Leon-Rosas. Keep an eye on Goldstein and Leon-Rosas, who put in a lot of work this offseason and are looking to have breakout years. Some of the promising young talent from the freshmen class will be breaking into the lineup as well, including Osvaldo Baez, Andrew Reiff, and Alberto Pantoja.
Down low, junior Isaiah Sweeny returns at 106, and is another who really put the offseason time in with his sights set on having a big year. He provides some experience down low as some new starters are expected to get into the rotation, including a couple more frosh in Jake Turner and Joseph Sargent, junior Mike Lazaro and senior Domingo Tepehua.
There's a great mix of experience and promising newcomers here spread throughout the lineup, creating a pretty good balance. That stretch from 126-145 should be particularly tough, but with the hard work put in this offseason by the returners pays off, and the newcomers develop nicely, this could be a pretty solid lineup from top to bottom that will rack up the wins. Obviously the A-North schedule will be tough, but it should pay off down the stretch and the Colonials could be a team that makes a lot of noise once we get late in the season and into the postseason tournaments.