Morristown 2021-22 preview: Colonials loaded with seniors, look to claim Halvorsen title

MORRISTOWN COLONIALS

Head coach: Bobby Jones, 14th year (175-137-38 career record)

Division: Halvorsen

Last year: Morristown finished 2-5-2 with an 0-4-1 record in the Mennen Division. It started the year 2-0, before going winless in its final seven. The team was forced to shut down prior to the start of the Mennen Cup playoffs due to COVID-19 concerns.

Key losses: Stephen Grimes, F; Chris Herity, F; Jack Keller, D.

Top returners: Patrick Bozza, D, Sr.; Chris Kay, D, Jr.; Jack McKenna, F, Sr.; Dylan Peck, G, Sr.; Nick Romano, F, Sr.; Harry Santen, F, Sr.; Francis Zaklukiewicz, D, Sr.

Outlook: The 2020-21 season was a tough one for Morristown, which went through two in-season COVID-19 shutdowns, the latter ending the team’s season before it could compete in the Mennen Cup. Amongst all of that, the team finished in last place in the Mennen and moved down to the Halvorsen Division for this season after spending the better part of the last decade in the county’s top division.

Fortunately for the Colonials, it has a very talented nucleus returning and only lost a couple of players to graduation, so it should immediately be one of the top contenders for the Halvorsen Cup.

Seniors Jack McKenna (9 g., 3 a.) and Harry Santen (5 g., 5 a.) are back to lead the team’s group of forwards, along with senior Nick Romano (1 g., 3 a.). It suffered a big loss defensively with the graduation of Jack Keller, but returns seniors Francis Zaklukiewicz, Patrick Bozza, and Kobi Day, to go along with junior Chris Kay.

It also returns one of the best goalies in the area in senior Dylan Peck, who posted an .859 save percentage last season in limited action against some of the best teams in the Mennen Division.

In total, this is as senior-heavy of a group as you’ll find in the area. Coach Bobby Jones, entering his 14th year with this program, has high praise for McKenna, Santen, Romano, and Zaklukiewicz- stating that they’re one of the most talented group of seniors since the team last won a state championship in 2015-16. With that type of talent and leadership returning, expect the Colonials to compete with Mendham for the Halvorsen title and look for it to be a factor in the state tournament. Any crossover games with Mennen Division teams should be highly competitive as well.

E-mail Mike Gurnis at michaelgurnis@gmail.com

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