WEST WINDSOR: Former back-up goes No. 1

Matthews is top selection in fantasy draft

By Bob Nuse, Sports Editor
   You probably would not go so far as to say the Princeton Packet High School Fantasy Football League is back by popular demand. But there was enough interest to bring the league back for a fourth season.
   There are a few changes for the 2009 season. For one, the league nickname is no longer the Pod League, because there is no more sports pod. Due a location move of the sports staff, the nickname would now be something along the lines of the Seclusion League.
   Another change is in the lineup of teams in the league, as Trenton Times football writer Kevin Maloney takes over for Steve Tuckerson, who was too busy enjoying the sunshine of Rio de Janeiro to make it to the draft. Maloney joins the mix as with his team, Full of Maloney.
   The newcomer will have to contend with the past three champions. Trentonian sports writer George O’Gorman is back to defend his title with the Curious Georges, while Packet staffers Bob Nuse (Good Nuse Bears) and Justin Feil (Feil Cabinets) are back as well with one title each to their credit.
   The rules remain the same. Each team drafts a quarterback, two running backs, two receivers, a kicker, a defense and one extra player from any position. Points are awarded based on offensive and defensive statistics. The highest point total at the end of the season is the winner. Players must play for one of the six schools in the Packet coverage area.
   Here is a round-by-round look at the 2009 draft.
   As the newcomer, Maloney was given the No. 1 pick and was obviously swayed by the cover of the Trentonian football preview issue, choosing West Windsor-Plainsboro South running back Chris Matthews with the No. 1 pick. Feil, with the second pick, went with Princeton running back Josh Gordon, who helped O’Gorman win a championship last year. With the third pick, Nuse selected South receiver Jack Dennehy, a senior who was the top scoring receiver a year ago. O’Gorman closed out the opening round by selecting WW-P North running back Sean Reed.
   O’Gorman had the first pick in this round and looked to the quarterback position with the selection of Hun School junior Brendan Dudeck, who has a year of starting experience under his belt. Nuse followed with the selection of Montgomery’s versatile JT Tartacoff. The Rutgers-bound player is slotted as a receiver, but will also see time as a running back and is also a dangerous kick returner. Feil then chose the first wild card in the draft, going for Hun running back Brendan Morgan, a newcomer to the Raiders. Maloney closed out the second round by taking Montgomery quarterback DJ Ruhlman.
   Maloney added a receiver to his roster with the first pick of the third round, selecting Hun’s Ollie Davis. Feil then snatched a quarterback, going for South’s Zach Donahue, a first-year starter. Nuse then added the other half of Princeton’s talented backfield with the selection Trevor Barsamian. O’Gorman shrewdly closed out the round with the selection of South kicker Alex Rohrbach, who also figures to score points as a receiver.
   The fourth round is often where the league is won or lost. It’s when sleepers are picked or you find a diamond in the rough. O’Gorman decided the time was right to go defense, so he selected the Hun defense. Nuse followed with a sleeper pick in young South running back Chris Jones. Feil went next and selected Montgomery tight end Taylor Mulligan, before Maloney closed out the round with the selection of the South defense.
   Maloney kicked off the second half of the draft with the selection of North receiver Drew Kenavan. Feil then locked up his defense with the selection of Princeton. Nuse needed a quarterback and with three starters remaining to choose from, opted for North’s strong-armed Ryan Phelan, a first-year starter at the position after playing as a receiver. O’Gorman closed out the round with his second Dudeck selection, taking Hun receiver David Dudeck. There is apparently no truth to the rumor that Hun coach Dave Dudeck was O’Gorman’s consultant on all draft choices.
   O’Gorman selected the first Princeton Day School player with the choice of running back Dylan Kelly, a former soccer player who had a solid first football season with the Panthers last year. Nuse then went with Princeton kicker Brian Vieten before Feil went with his own sleeper pick in South receiver Max Wiemer. Maloney closed out the round by selecting Hun running back Josiah Williams.
   In the seventh round all teams had to fill out their open position before going for their extra player. Maloney went with North kicker Todd Petrone, while Feil followed with Montgomery kicker Bill Eldridge. Nuse finally took a defense and went with North, while O’Gorman took Princeton receiver Skye Ettin, who led the CVC in interceptions last year and will also play offense this year.
   The final round is known as the Darren Parrott round, in honor of the former North running back whose senior season was cut short by an injury in the first quarter of the first game of the season. The final round gives every team a chance to add depth by choosing either an extra quarterback, running back or receiver. O’Gorman decided to go with Princeton tight end Luke Cordonnier, while Nuse followed with Princeton receiver Doug Bryant. Feil went with Montgomery running back Kevin Azimi, while Maloney closed out the draft by taking Princeton quarterback Mike Olentine.