KENILWORTH, NJ — David Brearley High School didn’t give up a point until his fourth game last year, and didn’t suffer a loss until his fifth.
The Bears produced another playoff season that saw them finish 7-3 after falling to Boonton High School, 42-24, in a North 2, Group 1 first-round encounter in Morris County.
Several players are returning in hopes of leading David Brearley to another winning season and a playoff berth.
Key returning senior players include Matt Sims, 6-0, 175 pounds; Brendan Fitzsimmons, 5-11, 170; and Bruce Harms, 6-0, 190.
Sims and Harms are three-year-old starters. Last year, Sims was quarterbacking in his second season and on defense as a starting safety.
Sims completed 54 of 97 passes last year for 720 yards, eight touchdowns and just four interceptions.
Head coach Scott Miller said last year that Sims was “the best pitching quarterback we’ve had here in a long time.”
Harms started at guard on David Brearley’s pro-style offense and at linebacker in David Brearley’s 4-3 scheme on defense.
Other seniors on the list include Ryley Caburis, Anthony Maselli, Joe Cipriano, Ryan Fitzsimmons, Kevin Barcelo, Alex Chuley, Joe Galati, Vaughn Marranca, Michael Nwosu and Isaiah Walker.
Caburis was in the defensive mix last year at one of two cornerback positions, along with Fitzsimmons.
Fitzsimmons led David Brearley in catches with 25, received yards with 262 and touchdown receptions with four, from his wide receiver position last year on offense.
Cipriano was David Brearley’s cross last year in attack and a tackle in defence. Chuley was one of three tight ends on offense and one end on defense.
A top junior is back two-way starter Kristian Janeczko, who last year was tight end on offense and linebacker on defense.
Other juniors include Michael Kollarik, Nick Torino, Anthony Pacheco, Vincent Firnstein, Anthony Flowers, Giuseppe Lombardi, Gavin Marranca and Brandon Pires.
Kollarik was the other of three tight ends on offense last year.
A sophomore on the list is Brandon Puryear.
For the second consecutive season, David Brearley opens the Thursday before Labor Day. This time, the season opener will be at Manville High School on Thursday, September 1 at 7 p.m.
Last year, David Brearley shut out Arthur L. Johnson High School, 36-0, in the season opener for both.
The Bears, who will attempt to qualify for the playoffs again in Group 1 North, are located in the Big Central Conference’s Freedom Gold Division, along with Spotswood, Jonathan Dayton, Roselle Park and Highland Park. Non-division matches are against Somerset County School Manville, Hunterdon County School South Hunterdon and Middlesex County Schools Highland Park and Middlesex.
David Brearley is due to play two more times on Thursday night, first at home to Roselle Park on September 15 and then at Middlesex on October 13.
David Brearley’s home opener is Friday, Sept. 9 at 6 p.m. against Freedom Gold Division rival Spotswood.
David Brearley outscored the opposition 228-159 and produced two shutouts last year. The Bears went 4-1 at home, only losing to Group 2 side Bernards High School at Ward Field in Kenilworth.
In Miller’s first 20 seasons as head coach, from 2002 to 2021, he guided David Brearley to the playoffs 14 times, and three times he played the Bears in state championship games. . David Brearley captured North 2, Group 1 in 2006 and this season became the first Union County school to finish a season 12-0.
2022 Brearley Bears Football Match Schedule:
• Sept. 1: in Manville, 7 p.m.
• September 9: vs. Spotswood, 6:00 p.m.
• Sept. 15: vs. Roselle Park, 6 p.m.
• Sept. 23: at Jonathan Dayton, 6 p.m.
• September 30: against South Hunterdon, 6:00 p.m.
• Oct. 7: at Highland Park, 7 p.m.
• Oct. 13: at Middlesex, 7 p.m.
• Oct. 21: vs. Dunellen, 6:00 p.m.
Head Coach: Scott Miller, 21st season.
Brearley Bears 2021, 7-3:
• David Brearley 36, Arthur L. Johnson 0, home.
• David Brearley 32 years old, Spotswood 0, outside.
• David Brearley on Roselle Park by forfeit.
• David Brearley 36, Middlesex 13, away.
• New Providence 42, David Brearley 14, away.
• Bernards 36, David Brearley 12, at home.
• David Brearley 34, Bound Brook 20, away.
• David Brearley beat Dunellen by forfeit.
• David Brearley 40, Jonathan Dayton 6, home.
• Boonton 42, David Brearley 24, away.
Head Coach: Scott Miller, 20th season.
Section: North, Group 1
Conference: Grand Central
Division: 1A, 3-1
Points for: 228
Points against: 159
David Brearley Bear
Head Coach: Scott Miller, since 2002,
1987 David Brearley Regional Graduate.
21st season: 138-66-1 or .677
Section: North, Group 1
Conference: Grand Central
Division: Liberty Gold
David Brearley’s last section title: 2006
Ward Field in Kenilworth: Grass
Miller guided David Brearley to the playoffs 14 times, out of a possible 19, in his first 20 seasons in charge of the Bears. His playoff record is 10-13, including an appearance in the 2005 Central Jersey, Group 1 Finals at Rutgers; the 2006 North 2 Group 1 final at Giants Stadium; and the North 2, Group 1 final in 2015 at Kean University. Miller led David Brearley to the 2006 North 2, Group 1 State Championship and is 1-2 in three state championship games. His first team in David Brearley, the 2002 team that had to play all of its games away because Ward Field in Kenilworth was being worked on, entered the state playoffs at 9-0 before falling to Boonton 14-7 in a North 2, Group 1 First Round at Union High School’s Cooke Memorial Field.
Pictures of JR Parachini