Red Bank Catholic High School was a perfect football team in 2018.
The team posted a 10-0 record and won the NJSIAA Non-Public, Group 3 playoff championship with a 14-10 victory over Mater Dei Prep at MetLife Stadium.
The Caseys have a chance to be just as good in 2019. But their coach, Frank Edgerly, just doesn’t want them to assume that.
“We haven’t talked about last year this offseason,” Edgerly said. “We’re hoping that will serve us well.”
“But it’s hard. The kids are hearing about it at home and in the community,” Edgerly explained. “But the kids did a great job blocking out expectations last year.”
Last year is still relevant because the Caseys have so much talent back from a great team, starting with two Division 1 commits in tight end/defensive end Kevin Bauman and tight end/outside linebacker Charlie Gordinier. Bauman and Gordinier are committed to play football for the University of Notre Dame and Boston College, respectively.
Both high school seniors stand 6-5 and weigh more than 225 pounds. They are Division 1 players with Division 1 bodies, and they should be able to dominate the New Jersey high school scene this fall.
Senior running back/outside linebacker Billy Guidetti is also a four-year varsity player. The 5-11, 180-pounder is a bulldog on both sides of the ball. With those three stalwarts, Red Bank Catholic has a core group of dynamic players and leaders.
“To have that level of experience and talent, they understand what goes into it,” Edgerly said. “A lot will be expected of them.”
Red Bank Catholic brings back a lot of other key players as well, including two way linemen Chris Hart and Jake Louro and safety/back/receiver Kevin Degnan. Edgerly has to replace his starting quarterback from last year, Steve Lubischer, and his starting receivers/cornerbacks, Jaden Key and M.J. Wright. But other than those players, the Caseys have no glaring holes heading into 2019.
The team started 2018 as a state title favorite and then it won the state title. Now RBC is a defending state champion on a 10-game winning streak with a slew of solid players back. The Caseys don’t merely have a chance to be just as good in 2019, they probably should be just as good.
Edgerly knows that, which is why he’s so concerned about keeping his players focused on what’s ahead.
“When it comes to this year, we expect to compete and play hard,” the coach said. “What that amounts to in the end, we’ll find out.”
It shouldn’t be hard for the Caseys to focus on what’s in front of them, because they have an absolute doozy of an opening game. On Sept. 6, RBC will travel to Rumson-Fair Haven High School to play its oldest and biggest rival.
In 2018, in the first meeting between the rivals since 2013, RBC beat Rumson-Fair Haven at Borden Stadium in Red Bank, 14-13, before a packed and raucous crowd.
Rumson-Far Haven still went on to win the NJSIAA Central-South Jersey, Group 3 Bowl Championship with a 26-18 victory over Camden’s Woodrow Wilson High School at MetLife Stadium, and they are also bringing a fair amount of players back from their own championship team.
This year’s rivalry game should be a passionate, agenda setting way to start the season.
“There’s a natural excitement for the opener, plus now it’s Rumson,” Edgerly said. “It’s absolutely great.”