St. Peter’s Prep dominated the high school football season in the state of New Jersey, rolling to the coveted NJSAA Non-Public Group 4 state championship and the No. 1 overall ranking in the state.
So it only makes sense that the Marauders would dominate the 2019 Hudson Reporter High School Football All-Area Team as well.
A record-breaking 15 Marauders were selected to this year’s star-studded squad, breaking the old mark of 13 Marauders who were picked to the 2014 Reporter All-Area team. That team, which featured Minkah Fitzpatrick of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona State star wide receiver Frank Darby, was awarded the last time the Marauders won the state title, with quarterback Brandon Wimbush securing both the Offensive Player of the Year and Most Valuable Player honors.
Well, the 2019 Reporter All-Area team is very similar to the one five years ago. That team was dominated by the Marauders after they captured the state title and No. 1 state ranking.
Sure enough, this year’s All-Area team is mobbed with Marauders and the team’s quarterback has earned both the Offensive Player of the Year and Most Valuable Player honors.
The 2019 Hudson Reporter Offensive Player of the Year and Most Valuable Player is Prep quarterback Tahjamell Bullock.
Bullock had a sensational junior year for the Marauders, leading them to their first state title in five years and the fifth overall at Grand and Warren.
Bullock completed 121 of 215 passes for 2,264 yards and 28 touchdowns, while throwing only seven interceptions. He also rushed for 481 yards and scored six touchdowns. He led the Marauders to five come-from-behind victories in the fourth quarter, including the 21-14 victory over Don Bosco Prep at in the non-public Group 4 state playoff final at MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands earlier this month.
Bullock is already one of the most coveted signal callers in the entire nation – and he has another year to don the maroon and white of the Marauders.
The 2019 Hudson Reporter Defensive Player of the Year is Bullock’s teammate Cody Simon.
Cody Simon, the younger brother of 2016-2017 Hudson Reporter Male Athlete of the Year Shayne Simon, was clearly the best defensive player in New Jersey this season.
Simon, a junior, had 106 total tackles, 62 of which were of the solo variety. He also collected five sacks, made four interceptions, returned three of those interceptions for a touchdown and had a fumble recovery for a touchdown.
But Simon’s best play came in the state championship game, when he picked up a rolling punt in the middle of six Don Bosco defenders and dashed 70 yards for the game’s first touchdown. It was one of the most brilliant plays in St. Peter’s Prep football history.
Simon showed why Ohio State coveted him so much, so he will head to the nation’s No. 2-ranked team in the fall. Simon will also play in the U.S. Army All-America Game in San Antonio in a few weeks.
Simon is one of five repeat honorees on the 2019 Reporter All-Area team, joining Kyrin Rhone of Hoboken, Isaiah Decias of Hudson Catholic, Elijah Williams of Lincoln and Simon’s teammate George Rooks.
Ironically, the Simon brothers have had a stranglehold of the Defensive Player of the Year honors, as Shane Simon collected the accolade in 2017 before heading off to Notre Dame. That’s quite a talented family.
Nyjon Freeman of Hoboken was selected to the 2017 All-Area team, but sat out last season with a knee injury, but returned to make an appearance on the 2019 All-Area squad.
The Hudson Reporter Coach of the Year is also from St. Peter’s Prep, namely legendary head coach of the marvelous Marauders Rich Hansen, who has now captured five state titles in his illustrious career. Hansen moved into a tie with the immortal Joe Coviello for wins for a Hudson County grid coach. Coviello won 254 games during his days at Memorial and North Bergen. Hansen will surpass Coviello with his first win of 2020. The all-time leader is the late Vince Ascolese, who won 367 games during his days at North Bergen, second all-time in New Jersey.
It was clearly a year to remember for Hansen and his Marauders, evidenced by their domination in the 2019 Hudson Reporter All-Area squad. – Jim Hague
Jim Hague can be reached via e-mail at OGSMAR@aol.com
2019 Hudson Reporter All-Area High School Football Team
Quarterback-Tahjamell Bullock, St. Peter’s Prep
Quarterback-Deyshaun Brooks, Lincoln
Quarterback-Danny McAuliffe, Bayonne
Running Back-Nyjon Freeman, Hoboken
Running Back-Paul Lefkowitz, St. Peter’s Prep
Running Back-Zahir Abdus-Salaam, Union City
Running Back-Jaheir White, Hudson Catholic
Running Back-Elijah Aviles, North Bergen
Running Back-Kyrin Rhone, Hoboken
Wide Receiver-Byron Shipman, St. Peter’s Prep
Wide Receiver-Isaiah Decias, Hudson Catholic
Wide Receiver-Jelani Mason, St. Peter’s Prep
Wide Receiver-Zyeiar Miller, St. Peter’s Prep
Offensive Line-Steven Hampton, Hoboken
Offensive Line-Jalen Genao, Union City
Offensive Line-Isaiah Wright, St. Peter’s Prep
Offensive Line-K.J. Miles, St. Peter’s Prep
Offensive Line-DeAngelo Urena, North Bergen
Kicker-Alexander Prescott, St. Peter’s Prep
Defensive End-Corey Fitch, Union City
Defensive End-Donnell White, Snyder
Defensive End-Elijah Williams, Lincoln
Defensive End-Ben Silver, St. Peter’s Prep
Defensive Tackle-Anthony Jones, Hudson Catholic
Defensive Tackle-Adam Fakih, Bayonne
Defensive Tackle-Juan Miranda, St. Peter’s Prep
Defensive Tackle-George Rooks, St. Peter’s Prep
Linebacker- Cedric Bazile, Bayonne
Linebacker-Cody Simon, St. Peter’s Prep
Linebacker-Abdiel Ramos, Union City
Linebacker-Andrew Robinson, St. Peter’s Prep
Linebacker-Colin Elliott, St. Peter’s Prep
Defensive Back-Tyquan McDuffy, Lincoln
Defensive Back-Damon Murray, Hoboken
Defensive Back-G.J. Mazzella, St. Peter’s Prep
Defensive Back-Amari Bolden, Hudson Catholic
Punter-Ben Silver, St. Peter’s Prep
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR- Tajhamell Bullock, St. Peter’s Prep
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR-Cody Simon, St. Peter’s Prep
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER-Tajhamell Bullock, St. Peter’s Prep
COACH OF THE YEAR—Rich Hansen, St. Peter’s Prep