WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Former Archbishop Stepinac football player and coach Bernie Connolly will bring his Monroe-Woodbury football team “home” Saturday in a season-opening game against his alma mater in a tribute to former player Joe Riverso.
The Crusaders are coming off two strong Catholic High Schools Football League seasons, taking the Class AA title in 2010 and finishing second to St. Anthony’s in the CHSFL’s Class AAA last fall.
Connolly graduated from Stepinac in 1974 and was an assistant from 1978-79, then head coach from 1984-87. Riverso, a two-way lineman, captained the 1984 team and went on to coach with Connolly. Riverso was killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York at the age of 34.
Yonkers resident Danny Hoffer returns after sharing the quarterback spot last year, and will have running back Ryan Burnett, Chrystian Lopez and first-year addition Isiah Sanjuan in the backfield. Tarik Stovall, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound tight end, and receivers Justin Thomas and Demarcus Miller are Hoffer’s targets.
“The team is looking good; we are young but very talented and athletic,” Hoffer said. “We have a lot of young guys stepping into big spots that are very athletic and gifted that they started getting it together and really started filling the spots of all these big names that left last year.”
Defensively, Michael Carlucci and Brian Harris bolster the line, and Tom Dedviani will start at linebacker, with Narendra Itwaru and Sterling Lovelock adding to the line and linebacker depth.
Brian Harris, Carlucci, Arthur Foti and 300-pounder Dan Pomposello all return on the offensive line, with Joe Iobbi a new addition.