Morristown 2022-23 season preview

MORRISTOWN COLONIALS

Head coach: Ian Anderson, first year.

Division: Mennen (moved from Halvorsen)

Last year: Morristown finished 15-6-3, with a 7-0-1 record in the Halvorsen Division which was good enough to take the division title. It fell, 4-0, to Mendham in the Halvorsen Cup final. It reached the quarterfinals of the Public A state tournament, where it lost, 3-1 to eventual finalist Livingston.

Key losses: Patrick Bozza, D; Kobi Day, D; Jack McKenna, F; Nick Romano, F; Harry Santen, F; Francis Zaklukiewicz, F; Dylan Peck, G.

Top returners: Jackson Byrne, F, Jr. (6 g., 11 a.); Liam Wilson, F, Jr. (7 g., 11 a.); Clark Smith, F, Jr. (2 g., 3 a.); Chris Kay, D, Sr.; Brody Toye, D, Jr. (2 g., 9 a.); Thatcher Neville, G, Jr. (.850 sv%)

Potential incoming impact players: John Mrotchek, D, Fr.; Scott Williams, F, Fr.

Burning questions: How far can the juniors take Morristown in the Mennen Division?

Morristown graduated as good of a senior class as you’ll find in the area last winter, as it saw 11 players graduate including several key contributors from last year’s team. This year, Morristown not only will be faced with the challenge of moving back up to one of the state’s elite divisions in the Mennen, but it will do so as a team that will rely heavily on its juniors. Not to mention, it will be interesting to see how Morristown looks with a new coach in Anderson.

Outlook: Bobby Jones had an extremely successful run as head coach for Morristown for the last 15 years, culminating in state championships in 2014 and 2016.

Jones opted to step away from coaching this winter to focus on his family, so in steps Anderson, who was previously an assistant at Gill St. Bernard’s. He will take over a program that is coming off a strong season last year, but will have to replace a very talented senior class. But the juniors on this team, led by Byrne, Wilson, Toye, and Kay, have shown plenty of promise and will now be counted on to take a step forward in a very tough division. The goaltending position will turn over to junior Thatcher Neville, who backed up Dylan Peck last season.

The Mennen Division figures to be competitive as ever this season, and a reasonable case could likely be made for any of the five teams to finish anywhere from first to fifth. Expect Morristown to get better as the season goes along though, and it is a team that can certainly find itself in the mix late in the year.

E-mail Mike Gurnis at michaelgurnis@gmail.com

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