Football: Here are the 2021 All-North Jersey teams
After an exciting season, the following players have been selected to the 2021 All-North Jersey football teams.

Coming soon, we will unveil the nominees for Football Offense Player of the Year and Football Defensive Player of the Year, which will be announced at the 2022 North Jersey High School Sports Awards.

Steve Angeli
Bergen Catholic senior quarterback

Angeli finished his career as an undefeated state champion, guiding the Crusaders to a 12-0 season and the Non-Public A title while throwing for 1,717 yards and 15 TDs and rushing for 218 and four scores. He has committed to Notre Dame.

Enzo Arjona
Northern Highlands senior quarterback

Arjona capped an incredible career in which he was a three-year starter and led the Highlanders to two sectional titles. (They had one other title before he came). He amassed more than 3,000 yards of total offense in 2021, throwing for 2,403 and 30 touchdowns, and he has committed to Monmouth.

Chase Bisontis
Don Bosco junior lineman

When healthy, there may not be a better offensive lineman product from North Jersey in the last decade. As the season went on, the 6-foot-5, 290-pound Bisontis became a two-way force for the Ironmen.

Nick Branca
Northern Highlands senior running back

The lightning-quick Branca registered more than 2,000 all-purpose yards for the 12-1 Highlanders this season. He rushed 280 times for 1,518 yards and scored 17 touchdowns, added 234 yards receiving and averaged 28 yards per kick return.

Dominick Brogna
Bergen Catholic senior lineman

Brogna, a two-sport standout, was a two-way star up front for the Crusaders, anchoring the offensive line and ranking fourth on the team in total tackles (47). He added four sacks on defense.

Ryan Butler
Bergen Catholic senior running back

Butler was the engine that drove the Crusaders offense. He finished with more than 3,000 rushing yards in his career (remember, the 2020 season was shortened), good for second all-time in school history. This year featured 1,193 yards and 23 TDs, and he is committed to Princeton.


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Giancarlo Carbonaro
Bergen Catholic senior kicker

Carbanaro led North Jersey in kicking points with 67. He connected on 58-of-59 extra points and made all three of his field-goal attempts.

Pat Cerulli
Rutherford senior athlete

The epitome of a gritty North Jersey football player, Cerulli is small but tough. He scored 27 touchdowns in a variety of ways for the NJIC champions, rushing for 1,360 yards and making 31 catches for 403.

Nolan Clark
Glen Rock senior lineman

Clark gave the Panthers a presence on both sides of the ball and is the school’s first Division I commitment in years. He has committed to Brown.

Jack Grusser
Ramapo junior quarterback

Ramapo quarterbacks just keep getting better and better, it seems. In his first year as a starter, Grusser showed amazing accuracy and speed, throwing for 2,645 yards and 32 touchdowns while adding 764 yards and 12 TDs rushing. He’s also a track standout.

Ronnie Heath
Don Bosco junior running back

Heath emerged as one of North Jersey’s premier backs, rushing for 1,295 yards and scoring 15 touchdowns as the Ironmen (8-5) reached the Non-Public A title game.

Dylan Hutchinson
Pascack Valley senior wide receiver

The senior gave the Panthers balance on offense with their renown running game, catching 59 passes – fourth-best in North Jersey – for 865 yards and 11 TDs.

Charlie Johnson
Northern Highlands senior offensive lineman

The Highlanders' Ironman never came off the field. Pound for pound, he may have been the best player in North Jersey, logging 25 tackles for losses (9½ sacks). After a loss in the North Group 4 final, it was telling that the first player Rutgers coach Greg Schiano spoke with after the game was Johnson.

Matthew Manning
Park Ridge senior running back

What broken wrist? Manning was a dominant force for the Owls, even playing the late part of the season with an injury. He finished with 25 touchdowns and 1,530 yards for the sectional champs.

Chris Moreno
Don Bosco junior lineman

The other mauler on the Ironmen offensive line, Moreno was a key part of the Don Bosco running attack. The 6-foot-3, 285-pounder also played some defense and had six tackles in the Non-Public A final.

Ahmad Ramadan
Clifton senior offensive lineman

Ramadan was the heart of a great line for Clifton, playing both ways and on special teams (he even blocked a punt). He brought great size and tireless effort for the North 2, Group 5 champs.

Ben Robinson
Ramapo junior wide receiver

Robinson was the Green Raiders' top passing target, leading the team in receptions (69) and yards (976). He caught 12 touchdowns, including four in a state-playoff win over Ridge.

Curtis Whiting
Hackensack senior running back

The son of a beloved Comets icon, Whiting was one of North Jersey’s most-feared backs. He finished with 1,609 rushing yards and 16 TDs, setting a school record with seven touchdowns in the Comets' win over Passaic.

Jayden Bellamy
Bergen Catholic senior defensive back

Bellamy showed off his elite ball skills, tying for the team lead with four interceptions. He also finished with 27 tackles. He has committed to Notre Dame.

Zach Chostaka
Northern Highlands junior linebacker

The Highlanders' defense may have been overlooked at times, but it was one of the best in North Jersey. Chostaka was the area leader in tackles with 162.

Dylan Connors
West Milford senior linebacker

How many times do you see a player on the North Jersey leaderboard for both tackles and rushing yards? That was Connors. He led Passaic County in rushing yards (1,651), touchdowns (21) and was a game-changing linebacker with 117 stops.

Nyreek Clyburn
Eastside sophomore defensive end

Colleges are already after the athletic Clyburn, who has offers from Ole Miss and Rutgers on the table. He led the Ghosts with eight sacks during their run to the North 2, Group 5 final.

John Fiore
Bergen Catholic senior linebacker

Fiore was the tone-setter in the Crusaders' powerful defense. He was the run-stuffer and player who made wide receivers think twice about crossing the middle, finishing second on the team with 87 tackles.

Hunter Freschi
Hasbrouck Heights senior linebacker

Another vintage Hasbrouck Heights football player – strong and fast with good instincts and never afraid of contact – Freschi led North Jersey with 166 tackles.

Jaeden Gould
Bergen Catholic senior defensive back

Gould was the other key player in the Crusaders backfield, tying his first-team teammate Bellamy with four picks and two passes broken up. Originally committed to USC, he is now looking for a new college home.

Joe Grasso
Ridgewood senior linebacker

The son of a coach and a model student-athlete, Grasso was a leader for the Maroons, finishing with 113 tackles from his middle spot. He will follow his father’s footsteps to play at Franklin and Marshall.

Tim Hinspeter
Don Bosco senior linebacker

He didn’t make every tackle, it only seemed that way. Hinspeter ranked among the leaders in North Jersey in tackles with 147 – including 23 in the Non-Public A final against Bergen Catholic – added seven sacks and is committed to Navy.

Tyler Larson
Ramsey senior lineman

Larson was a two-way standout for the Rams, who went 9-0 in the regular season for the first time since 1982. He was a three-year starter who helped the Rams to more than 4,000 yards of total offense and also made 38 tackles defensively. He’s committed to Bowdoin (Maine).

Malachi Mercer
Bergen Catholic junior linebacker

Of all these superstar Bergen Catholic players, the one the coaches might talk about the most is Mercer. He fills in every hole. He led the Crusaders with 103 tackles, 6.5 for losses, and made three sacks.

Sydir Mitchell
Bergen Catholic junior lineman

Yes, Mitchell is only a junior. The physically gifted lineman was unblockable at times for the Crusaders, blocking running lanes and forcing the issue on the pass rush. Despite steady double teams, he finished with 40 tackles and two sacks.

Jimmy Mullen
St. Joseph junior lineman

The wrestling champ was a force on the defensive line for the Green Knights with 59 tackles, 13 stops for losses and 3½ sacks. He also made an interception against Delbarton and recovered two fumbles.

Q’yaier Price
DePaul senior lineman

Price is an incredible athlete who could play on the defensive line or be a rush linebacker. The 6-foot-3, 255-pounder hits you, and you go down. He finished with 99 tackles and 15½ sacks and has committed to Rutgers.

Claudy Robinson
Don Bosco senior lineman

Robinson was a force for the Ironmen his entire career, impossible to move off his spot and quick enough to chase down runners from behind. He finished with eight sacks on the season.

DJ Samuels
Bergen Catholic junior lineman/running back

Samuels already is the all-time leader in school history with 22 sacks, and he still has a year to go. He’s likely the top defensive prospect in New Jersey in the Class of 2023, and don’t forget his running touchdown against Don Bosco in the state final.

Jack Smiechowski
St. Joseph senior linebacker

The man they call “Schmo” was the Green Knights' leader defensively, finishing with a team-high 84 tackles and an amazing 19 tackles for losses. He added four interceptions and has committed to Columbia.

Donovan Swasey
Clifton senior defensive back

“Big Play Sway.” Swasey made five interceptions to lead the Mustangs and had a season full of big plays, including a 97-yard touchdown catch in the North Group 5 final and a Carrier Dome-record 102-yard return in the Mustangs season opener in New York.


Kyle Bratcher, Park Ridge senior wide receiver

Christian Carti, Bergen Catholic junior tight end

Sebastian Contreras, Don Bosco senior tight end

Alex DiMaulo, Rutherford senior wide receiver

Trashon Dye, Passaic Tech sophomore running back

Marshawn Ferguson, DePaul senior receiver

Shalik Hubbard, Hackensack, senior lineman

Zach Hulsizer, Waldwick/Midland Park senior running back

Colby Laughton, Westwood, junior wide receiver

Zach Madison, Northern Highlands junior wide receiver

Robby Mandel, Ramsey, senior lineman

Joshua Paduani, Lakeland senior running back

Colin Quinn, River Dell senior wide receiver

Jake Sconza, River Dell junior quarterback

Jayden Shwed, Hawthorne senior running back

Amir Smith, Eastside running back

Danny Veenstra, Ramsey senior quarterback

Kyle Vellis, Clifton senior quarterback

Van Weber, Rutherford junior quarterback


Jesus Aponte, Pompton Lakes senior defensive back

Andre Baskapan, Park Ridge senior defensive lineman

Edward Conoran, DePaul senior defensive back

Tajmeir Crawford, Passaic Tech senior linebacker

Fabian France, Bergen Catholic senior defensive back

Jovan George, Don Bosco junior lineman

Johnny Kradenski, Bergenfield senior defensive back

David Hammerle, Lakeland senior defensive back

Ian Langan, Northern Highlands senior defensive back

Lamont Lester, Waldwick/Midland Park, sophomore lineman

Tommie Lee Minaya, Becton senior linebacker

Omar Muheisen, Clifton senior defensive back

Earl Nevin, DePaul senior defensive lineman

Michael Sarlo, Wood-Ridge, senior linebacker

Dylan Snee, Ramapo senior linebacker

Nick Sybel, River Dell junior linebacker

Jordan Vega, Wallington senior defensive back

Jim McConville contributed to this report.

Darren Cooper is a high school sports columnist for For full access to live scores, breaking news and analysis from our Varsity Aces team, subscribe today. To get breaking news directly to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter and download our app.


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