Chris Curran remembers what it was like to play quarterback as a sophomore. He preferred a few running plays before his first pass.
Now a senior, Curran can't wait to throw once the game starts. That's exactly what Ocean City will do. Curran is one of the few veterans back from last season's 6-4 playoff team.
"We know what Chris is capable of," Red Raiders coach Mark Impagliazzo said. "We have to give him time to throw the ball. I'm looking forward to seeing him play in a game."
Curran established himself as one of the region's most versatile players last season.
He shared the quarterback job and completed 53 percent of his passes for 388 yards and four touchdowns. Curran played wide receiver and caught three touchdown passes. He also kicked four field goals and 22 extra points. This season, Curran will just play quarterback and kick.
"Playing just quarterback makes me more confident," Curran said. "I know what my job is."
Ocean City will run the spread offense. They have installed some screen pass packages to try to keep defensive pressure off Curran.
The Red Raiders have some talented underclassmen for Currant to throw to.
"We have some kids stepping up," Curran said. "It's good to see."
Ocean City is also young on the offensive and defensive lines.
"It's a work in progress," Impagliazo said. "We're still trying to get that chemistry going upfront."
One of the few veterans upfront is senior defensive end Rob Zauck. He made 84 tackles and had 5½ sacks last season.
"Teams are going to have to game plan for Rob Zauck," Impagliazo said.
Curran recognizes Ocean City's will be one of the region's most inexperienced teams. But he wants this season to be about more than wins and losses. Curran wants it to have a positive effect on the program's future.
"We may not be the best in the CAL," Curran said. "But I'm going to be a leader. I want to make sure the young guys get experience the right way and learn what the game is about."
PLAYOFF APPEARANCES: 16
LAST APPEARANCE: 2008
PLAYOFF RECORD: 13-12
LEAGUE/GROUP: Cape-Atlantic League American Conference/South Jersey Group III
COACH: Mark Impagliazzo (12-18, three seasons)
2008 RECORD: 6-4
2009 PREDICTION: Rebuilding. Quarterback Chris Curran and defensive end Rob Zauck are among the few returnees.
THE GROUND GAME:
Fullback Sean Bryce, who gained 186 yards last season, is the most experienced returnee.
Chris Curran, Sr., QB/K, 6-2, 195;
C.J. Schultheis, Jr., RB, 5-10, 150;
Wally Snow, Jr., RB/DB, 5-11, 165;
Sean Bryce, Sr., FB/LB, 5-8, 195;
Rob Zauck, Sr., DE/G, 6-3, 215;
Dan Neate, Jr., OT/DT, 6-3, 275;
Ryan Zahrend, Sr., OT/DT, 6-1, 230;
Marc Impagliazzo, Jr., TE/DE, 6-1, 230;
Andtrew Fiorentino, Sr., WR/CB, 6-0, 177;
Pat Kimball, Sr., WR/CB, 6-2, 187;
Josh Grande, Sr., WR/CB, 6-0, 180;
Mike Coccodrilli, Jr., RB/WR/CB, 5-9, 150;
John Shiffler, Sr., OL/DL, 5-7, 208;
Jarrod Steelman, Sr., OL/DL, 6-0, 262;
Conner Briggs, Sr., RB/S, 5-10, 161;
Nick Briggs, Jr., OL/DL, 6-2, 171;
Mike Fancher, Sr., RB/LB, 5-10, 180.
Ocean City's 2009 schedule
Sept. 18: at Oakcrest, 7 p.m.
Sept. 25: Mainland, 7 p.m.
Oct. 2: Vineland, 7 p.m.
Oct. 9: at Hammonton, 7 p.m
Oct. 16: Millville, 7 p.m.
Oct. 23: at Egg Harbor Township, 7 p.m.
Oct. 30: Absegami, 7 p.m.
Nov. 6: at Atlantic City, 7 p.m.
Nov. 28: Pleasantville, 11 a.m.