Head coach: Arthur Newcombe, third season (8-12 career)
2018 record: 5-4; lost to South Shore (7-0) in quarterfinals
2019 classification: PSAL City Conference
Key players: Joe Thorpe, Sr. (QB); James Morse, Sr. (RB/LB); Christian Browne, Sr. (FB/LB); Anthony Cuzzocrea, Sr. (S); Daniel Vallario, Sr. (OG/DE); Jadani Mciver, Sr. (LB/TE); Devine Seldon, Sr. (CB).
Outlook: Thorpe returns to lead the Falcons offense after suffering an injury late last season, which forced him out of playoff action. “He didn’t miss a day of workouts,” noted Newcombe. The signal-caller proved efficient as a junior, tossing for 749 yards, while flaunting an impressive 9 to 3 TD to interception ratio to go along with 179 yards on the ground and four additional scores. Despite losing a number of seniors, the Falcons still boast a plethora of upperclassman, including Morse, the team’s top rusher who averaged 5.77 yards per carry en route to tallying 502 yards on the ground during the regular season. “He was dinged up last year, but he came back and did a great job,” said Newcombe. “He carried us running the ball in the playoffs and we expect big things.” Playing football for the first time as a junior a season ago, Seldon, a basketball player, has emerged as SW’s top corner after starting every game last year. “He’s a real good physical athlete,” pointed out Newcombe. Cuzzocrea is the third member of his family to suit up at Wagner, and figures to pitch in behind Seldon in the secondary. Linebackers Browne (56 tackles) and Mciver (28 tackles) finished first and third, respectively, on the team in tackles. “[Browne] is a tough dude, he loves to hit,” said Newcombe. “[Mciver] is like a pitbull, he’s a spark plug for our defense.” Vallariostepped into a starting spot at guard last season and “got better every week” according to Newcombe. “He improved throughout the offseason,” he added.