On the heels of a so-so season, his second as the Head Coach at Jackson Memorial High School, Mike Smith guided his youthful Jaguars to its most successful campaign since going undefeated in 2001. Coach Smith was duly recognized for his accomplishments as the Jaguars defeated Toms River East in their regular season finale and the New York Giants selected him as "The Lou Rettino High School Football Coach of the Week" for the week of November 7, 2004.
Though Jackson Mem. HS will need to make up for the services of 1st Team All-Shore Conference Sr. OL Barry Murphy to graduation, the Jaguars are loaded with talent on the offensive and defensive side of the ball and a regular season repeat of last year's performance is expected for the Shore Conference squad.
Leading the way for Jackson Memorial HS in 2005 will be the imposing combination of Joe Reggio [left in image] and Joe Cella [right in image]. Reggio [5' 10" and 200-pounds] and Cella [6' and 215-pounds] both play LB and FB for the Jaguars.
Cella, a 2nd Team All-Shore Conference Selection on defense last year and an invitee to the 2005 U.S. Army National High School Combine in San Antonio recorded 110 tackles, amassed 5 QB sacks, forced 3 fumbles, recovered 2 fumbles and had 1 interception last year. Against Toms River North, Jackson improved their record to a surprising 6-0 by winning 20-14, as Cella ended the overtime contest with a TD run.
Joe Reggio, whose brother John also stars on the Jaguars squad and will be a Sr. this upcoming year, was an important contributor for Jackson offensively and defensively. Offensively Reggio scored 2 TDs.
John Reggio [5' 9" 175-pounds] assumed the starting tailback role last year in the third game of the season. After rushing for 165 yards in his debut as a starter and helping Jackson to a comfortable win versus Marlboro in the third contest of the season Reggio continued his torrid pace by rushing for 1350 yards scoring 20 TDs on the season. Reggio also spent some time at CB.
An outstanding student, Reggio currently holds a 3.7 GPA. The Jaguars RB is receiving interest from schools close and far including San Diego State and Delaware. Already fully qualified Reggio states that academics are his first priority and is already fully qualified.
Bobby Cole [5' 10" 190-pounds] was also an invitee to the 2005 U.S. Army National High School Combine in San Antonio. Cole played both ways this past year. Offensively, he recorded 43 interceptions for 552 yards including 4 TDs. Defensively, as a safety Cole picked off 4 passes. A starter at safety since his So. year, Cole is beginning to receive significant attention from a number of colleges.
At a recent National Athletic Testing Combine held at Giants Stadium at the end of May Cole's work ethic continued to pay dividends as his forty yard dash time improved to 4.67 seconds. Already a full qualifier as well, Cole holds a 3.5 GPA.
Joe Arneth [5'10" 165-pounds] along with Bobby Cole and Joe Cella traveled south to San Antonio for the 2005 U.S. Army National High School Combine. A track participant in addition to his football duties, Arneth will be entering into his Sr. year this fall.
When it counted most Arneth caught five passes, including a 16-yard TD catch, versus Hunterdon Central in a NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV quarterfinal. Jackson, behind 3 scores by John Reggio would win the game and advance one step closer to the title game.
Every now and again, when visiting a school and meeting with the coaches and players I will run into a player that I find rather hard to believe is getting as little recognition as he is.
Asil Mulbah [6' 215-pounds] is one of the more impressive physical specimens I have run into this spring and summer.
Mulbah spends most of his time at defensive end and outside linebacker and led the Jaguars with 9 sacks last year. In addition, Mulbah also totaled 57 tackles.
Mulbah, who will become a Sr. this fall, is currently receiving interest from predominantly D2 and D3 schools though Wagner and Fordham have also expressed interest.
Mark Schiavone [5' 9" 195-pounds] was the starting tailback for the Jaguars when he entered his So. year last year. However, Schiavone went down in the 3rd game with a broken collarbone. Schiavone has fully recovered and the Jr. to be this upcoming fall will start to resume his initial responsibilities.
Already running a 4.63-second in the forty yard dash, Schiavone is one of the up and coming young running backs from the Shore Conference that folks will hear more about during the next couple of years.
Edrick Duncan is a 6' 1" and 180-pound WR/DB that has the physical tools to make serious noise in the Shore Conference this year. Duncan, who will be entering his Sr. year, did not play his Jr. and may catch a few people off guard when he steps on the field this fall.
Corey Lavin is a 5' 11" QB that will be taking over the reigns this upcoming season for Jackson. An athletic signal-caller that transferred from Lakewood HS, Lavin played sparingly as a Jr. but will be in the spotlight in 2005.
An outstanding student, Lavin holds a 3.9 GPA and is receiving interest from Virginia, Princeton, and Delaware.
Coming back from a disappointing 5-6 record the previous year, Coach Smith took his pre-season unranked Jaguars all the way to the Central Group IV State Title game. Returning better than half of the letter winners from last year's squad, Jackson Memorial HS will look to finish off what they started last year.
MORE ARCHIVED ROAD TRIP STORIES:
Mike and the Big Dog LLC