When Sussex County Community College first decided to initiate a football program the expectations were modest.
In preparation for its second season expectations have far exceeded anybody’s imagination.
The current roster lists over 100 players, and by the team’s kickoff to the season on Sept. 4, the number may grow even more.
“We’ve got a great recruiting class,” said coach Todd Poltersdorf, whose first-year team went 2-3 in an alternate spring COVID shortened season. “We are heading in the right direction.”
A great recruiting class, indeed.
Sussex is the only community college in the state of New Jersey to field a football team, and as a result, it has attracted players from near and far, throughout the state, and beyond.
“About half of our players are local to Sussex, Morris and Warren,” said Poltersdorf. “Ninety percent are from up and down the state.”
The other roughly 10 percent are coming from areas such as Baltimore, Philadelphia, Eastern Pennsylvania and upstate New York.
Poltersdorf admits that he is “surprised at how quick” Sussex’s program has taken off. While Poltersdorf and his staff have actively recruited, the simple fact that Sussex was fielding a team has brought great interest “from the grapevine,” noted the coach.
“This is an opportunity not only for players to continue their football careers, but for some it’s a stepping stone to get to a higher level ultimately at a 4-year college,” Poltersdorf said. “I believe that we have several high-quality players that could be capable of being in a Power 5 program down the line and many others that could be looking at other programs.
Among the players that Poltersdorf feels are in that “high quality” category are Jacob Mafaro, Kittatinny, OLB, Nick Molinari, Lenape Valley, RB, Cole Weekley, Wallkill Valley, LB, Evan Faner, Wallkill Valley, SS, Gio Cancro, Pequannock High School, NG, Roger White, Hopatcong HS, LB, Ryan Marshall, Sussex Vo-Tech, OL, Taron Gale, Winslow Township HS, DB, and Sean Morris, Warren Hills, RB.
This year’s schedule includes games against well-established teams in the tri-state area such as Hocking Community College in Ohio, Hudson Valley (NY) Community College, Erie (PA) Community College, and Long Island’s Lackawanna Community College.
The buzz is there, but Poltersdorf stopped short of making any bold predictions. Not yet, at least.
“Our defense played exceptionally well in the spring season and I expect that to be the case this fall,” said Poltersdorf. “Overall, I am just excited to see how it goes from here as we move forward.”