Returning skill players, lineman provide experience for Hampton
Hampton football coach Jacque DeMatteo is not the type to single out a player. Positively, or negatively, he is focused on the team.
And that team has some talent to talk about, even if not by DeMatteo.
Quarterback Jon Nigro and running back Anthony Bianco, both of whom came on as last season progressed, return after putting up more than 700 yards at their respective positions.
Receivers Jon Floss, who scored four touchdowns, and Eddie Edwards, who missed much of last season with an injury, also are weapons for DeMatteo's offense.
Although DeMatteo may be secretly excited with the offense's potential, and although his Talbots dropped three games by six points or fewer last season, the necessary firepower seems to be at his disposal.
Their key to success, however, could come up front, thanks to lineman Noah Shulman, whom DeMatteo was happy to discuss.
“Noah is one of the best true football players I have had the privilege to coach in all my years,” DeMatteo said. “He is a rock. He is phenomenal on and off the field, and we are fortunate to have him as part of our group.”
Shulman (6-foot-1, 225 pounds) also is a talented heavyweight wrestler, something that helps him get off blocks and make key stops for the Talbots. DeMatteo said there is a misconception that Hampton is not a physical team, but with Shulman in the middle of the front four, the Talbots have a mean streak that begins with the senior.
“Our goal (as a defensive line) is to re-establish the line of scrimmage 1 yard behind the offensive line,” Shulman said.
With a background in wrestling, Shulman understands momentum, and can use that to his advantage just like he does on the mat he said.
“I am a smaller heavyweight, as well as a smaller lineman,” he said, “so I can use that momentum against them.”