Colonia’s football 2022 successful season ends on disappointing note

Photo Credit: Sophia Sokolow
In a rivalry game against Woodbridge High School, sophomore Casey Chiola avoids the tackle helping lead the Patriots to victory, 14-13.

By: Dylan Miller, Reporter

On October 28, 2022, Colonia High School (CHS) football’s season came to a close with a 35-14 loss to Morris Knolls.  Patriots finished the season 8-2 in what many thought would be a rebuilding year with so many underclassmen.

Season Overview 

Colonia High School won 8 games for the second year in a row. This helped them secure a home playoff game for the first time since 2018. Colonia High School’s success this season was a surprise to many of the students as well as even the players. When asked about his expectations for the season, linebacker Manuel Faxas said, “Going into the season I knew there would be a lot of mistakes it was a very young team, I think we had 17 or 18 Juniors on the starting lineup but we were able to pull it together and have a very successful season in spite of the playoff loss.” Colonia’s young roster only contained a total of 9 seniors after they lost 22 seniors in the 2021 season.

While also dealing with a young team, Colonia also battled key injuries over the season, losing senior Matthew Salcedo, who led the team in tackles (98). However when he was asked if he felt his injury affected the team’s season he stated “I feel like there’s only so much one person can do, the games may have been closer but I don’t think it affected the overall outcome of whether we won or lost.”

Perhaps their biggest loss was the graduation of their star player Josh Oluremi. Receiving significant contributions from players all over the roster. Junior safety Tobi Popoola recorded a team-high 3 interceptions while Manny Faxas led the team in sacks (3).

On the offensive side junior Jaeden Jones led the way, leading the team both in passing yards and rushing yards.

The Good

Colonia dominated their respective division going a perfect 4-0 against them, earning wins against Linden, Woodbridge, JFK and Perth Amboy. Along with this Colonia went 8-1 against the Big Central conference, only losing to the one-seeded North Hunterdon. Led by junior standout, Jaeden Jones, the quarterback/running back enjoyed a stellar campaign on both sides of the ball. He put up 81 total tackles as one of the team’s top corners, placing him second only behind Salcedo on the team for total tackles. Jones was also a dangerous weapon for the offense, posting over 1,000 passing and rushing yards with 6 passing touchdowns. His main contribution however was his stellar work as the team’s running back, running for 1,661 yards and 19 touchdowns.

The Bad 

There aren’t many negative things to say about this season for CHS.  However, there are a few things that this team could’ve improved on. For example, they scored a total of 208 points which ranks them in the middle of the pack for the Big Central, this isn’t exactly a negative however compared to the 3 teams seeded ahead of them in the NJSIAA Tournament (North Hunterdon, Randolph, Watchung Hills), they were the only team to not score over 250 points in total. The same goes for the defensive side of the ball. They allowed 207 points, again putting them in the middle of their conference. Although these are small problems, they could’ve been their downfall against Morris Knolls as they only managed to score 14 points but gave up 35.

In spite of these minor issues throughout the season, Colonia was one of the season’s biggest surprises and should be a serious contender for next season. The roster will contain 24 seniors next year, which should lead them to even bigger and better things next year.