The Lacey Township High School football team was one of the best in the state last season.

The Lions went 12-0 en route to the fourth South Jersey title in school history.

Head coach Lou Vircillo might take time one day to reminisce about the players and faces involved in that magical season, the school's third undefeated campaign.

That day hasn't come yet.

"It has always been a pet peeve of mine to talk about people that have left," Vircillo said. "I'm more about talking about people that are here today. It's old news to talk about the past."

The Lions graduated 21 seniors from last season's team, including four first-team Press All-Stars.

Vircillo knows they were talented. He would just rather focus his attention on the players still wearing a Lacey uniform.

"That's pretty much how we always take it," senior two-way lineman Tyrell Smith said. "It was a great group of guys that we lost last year but that was last year. This is a whole new year.

"We've got to work with what we have here now. We have to do whatever we can with what is right here and now, and that's cool with me."

Smith, at 6-foot-5, 295 pounds, has already generated interest from a handful of Division I schools and can expect a lot more.

He has scholarship offers already from Tulane and Marshall and has been contacted by Rutgers, Temple, Connecticut and others.

The Lions expect to have a number of sophomores and juniors starting this season. Smith is part of a core group of four seniors expected to lead the team.

Lex Knapp is one of the top centers in the Shore Conference and will see some time on the defensive side of the ball as well.

Jake Fernandez is part of a solid defensive line.

Jordon Powell is receiving interest from a number of colleges as well. Powell, at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, will play tight end and linebacker this season.

Lacey will also be without Craig Cicardo, the team's offensive coordinator since 2005, who accepted a position on the coaching staff at The College of New Jersey.

Two coaching positions were also cut from the program due to budget cuts.

"Right now I would say we have our work cut out for us," Vircillo said. "We have to overcome a lot of things. It's a challenge. A challenge is what makes us strong as people and so we take on the challenge."

Contact John O'Kane:

609-272-7210

Lacey Township

PLAYOFF APPEARANCES: 17

LAST PLAYOFF APPEARANCE: 2010

PLAYOFF RECORD: 17-13

CHAMPIONSHIPS: 4

LEAGUE/GROUP: Shore Conference B South/South Jersey Group III

COACH: Lou Vircillo (244-109-3, 36 seasons)

2010 RECORD: 12-0

2011 PREDICTION: Contender. Lacey lost a talented senior class but seem to find a way to compete year after year.

GAME TO WATCH: The Lions host Wall Township on Sept. 10. Lacey gets an early test against Wall, which made the semifinals of the Central Jersey Group III tournament last season and return most of its team.

Lacey Township 2011 football roster

No. Name Position Year
Dakota Pisano OL, DL So.
1 Connor Rooney QB, DB So.
3 Ryan Hanula WR, CB Sr.
4 Kyle Spatz RB, FS Jr.
5 Kevin Leahy WR, DB Jr.
6 Brandon Boos QB, DB Jr.
7 Chris Jensen RB, DB So.
8 Dylan Ramos WR, DB Jr.
9 Daniel Velez WR, DB So.
10 David Pankow WR, DB Sr.
11 RJ Kurtz RB, DB Jr.
12 Tom Kelly QB, LB So.
13 Chris Tutella WR, DB So.
14 Nicholas Vecci WR, DB So.
15 Daniel Cannon WR, DB So.
16 Luke Fernandez WR, DB Jr.
18 Jordan Powell TE, LB Sr.
19 Travis Covell WR, DB So.
21 Andrew Como RB, DB So.
22 Ian O'Loughlin RB, DB So.
23 Marcus Gervasini RB, LB So.
24 Dillon Popper RB, LB So.
25 Tom Finnegan RB, DB So.
28 Liem Dolly RB, LB Jr.
29 Joseph Detroia WR, DB Sr.
32 Al Yodice RB, LB So.
33 James Haythorn RB, DB So.
36 Frank Quadrino TE, LB Sr.
38 Tim Grochowski FB, NG Jr.
42 Casey Sirotniak TE, OL Jr.
48 Jake Timony FB, LB Sr.
50 Jacob Smith OL, DL So.
51 David Coleman OL, DL So.
52 David Paproratta OL, DL So.
53 Anthony Maggio LB, OL Jr.
54 Jake Ryan OL, LB Jr.
55 Trace Dittenhoffer OL, LB So.
56 Tyler Walsh C, LB Jr.
57 Lex Knapp C, LB Sr.
58 Robert Trout OL, DL So.
59 Evan Bahrle OL, DL Sr.
60 Chandler Hammer OL, DL So.
61 Jake Hikade OL, DL So.
62 Michael Kuligoski OL, DL Sr.
63 David Burkel OL, DL So.
64 Kyle Fisher OL, DL So.
65 Robert McCarthy OL, DL Sr.
66 Chris D'Addarrio OL, DL So.
67 Rudy Schoenberg OL, DL Sr.
68 Ryan Sullivan OL, DL Jr.
70 C.J. Casado OL, DL Sr.
72 Matt McGovern OL, DL So.
73 Frank Fantasia OL, DL Jr.
74 Brady Vanblarcum OL, DL Jr.
75 Brandon Lucante OL, DL Sr.
76 Joseph Elefante OL, DL Jr.
77 Tyrell Smith OL, DL Sr.
78 Jack Gihhool OL, DL So.
79 Jake Fernandez OL, DL Sr.
80 Sean Frank WR, DB So.
82 Jose Ortiz WR, DB Jr.
83 Taylor Schoenberg WR, DB Jr.
85 Steven Purtell WR, DB So.
88 Alex Fischer WR, DB So.

Lacey Township 2011 football schedule

Date Opponent Time
Sept. 10 vs. Wall Township L, 21-14
Sept. 17 vs. Brick Township L, 16-7
Sept. 23 at Pinelands Regional W, 53-0
Sept. 30 at Manchester Township W, 9-7
Oct. 8 vs. Barnegat L, 26-2
Oct. 15 at Toms River East W, 28-7
Oct. 22 vs. Central Regional W, 21-6
Oct. 31 vs. Neptune L, 16-3
Nov. 4 at Middletown South L, 35-7
Nov. 11 at Timber Creek L, 23-0