Tag: Raiders

Sean Levonaitis – Hillsborough’s heart and soul – grabs Longevity Award

by Mike Pavlichko

He got his first varsity touch his freshman year, and his first start in Hillsborough’s first-ever meeting with Colonia his sophomore year.

From start to finish, he compiled 3,169 career rushing yards, and 37 touchdowns, narrowly missing a third straight thousand-yard season that he would have captured had it not been for a global pandemic. (He finished with 958 yards in a season where he was on pace for a career high had it been a normal year.)

And it felt like Sean Levonaitis did all of that in about six seasons in Hillsborough.

He actually did it in four, it just seemed like he was around forever.

Maybe that was because his brother Scot was a Raider standout at wide receiver, who played his senior year in 2014 and finished with 1,811 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns.

But there were three years between the brothers, lest they be confused, although Scot was always one Sean looked up to.

Sean, a 5-7, 175 pound senior is the first winner of the Central Jersey Sports Radio Big Central “Longevity Award,” given to the conference player who has made significant contributions to his team for at least three seasons at the varsity level, at any position on either side of the ball.

Click below to hear Dom Savino’s conversation with Sean Levonaitis about his long Raider career:

Three other players were considered Honorable Mentions for the Longevity Award: Bernards QB Teddy Gouldin, Watchung Hills QB Chad Martini, and North Plainfield linebacker Adam Elsais.

Gouldin put together a career for the record books, quite literally. He finished his career with 4,733 passing yards, 54 career TD passes and 68 touchdowns overall in his career, part of a portfolio including more than a half-dozen Mountaineer all time records and/or firsts.

REWIND: Bernards cruises past Johnson behind Gouldin, balanced attack

Martini nearly reached the 5,000 yard mark in the passing game, hurling for 4,941 yards, including 1,544 his sophomore year, as well as 21 career touchdowns. He was a four-year starter, and a captain for the last three, as well as a leader for Rich Seubert’s squad on the field and in the classroom.

Elsais helped lead North Plainfield to its best season in a decade, a 7-1 campaign that may not have happened without him. Elsais stuck through the lean years, with the program going 4-6 last year, but 3-18 combined his freshman and sophomore years. Through it all, he was a defensive stalwart, amassing 323 tackles in three years as a starter. He also led by example in the classroom, ranking third in his class in GPA, according to his head coach, Jimmy DiPaolo.

LISTEN: Elsais, Canucks cruising to best start since 2010

Levonaitis caps stellar career, leaves Hillsborough in good hands with Amankwaa and Co.

Hillsborough High School’s football team enters every season with the same two goals.

The obvious one, like most teams, is a winning season that ends with a state title.

But equally as important in the football-loving town? Beat Bridgewater.

Though it didn’t get the chance to play for a championship in 2020, Hillsborough (4-4) defeated rival Bridgewater-Raritan during this year’s makeshift postseason, the capstone in a season that has the returning Raiders hungry for improvement.

Hillsborough finished in third place in Big Central Division 4 with a 3-2 league record. All four of its wins came by at least twenty points. Yet, two of its four losses — to Edison and top-10 Watchung Hills — came by a combined four points. The Raiders also dropped games to No. 3 Phillipsburg and No. 6 Ridge by two-touchdown margins.

Those narrow defeats have junior WR/CB Thomas Amankwaa already eager for the start of a new season. The pass-catcher’s close friendship with first-year starting QB Jay Mazuera led to a career year, hauling in a career-high 32 receptions for 637 yards and a career-best nine touchdowns. Mazuera threw for 1265 yards and 16 touchdowns, both among the top 10 in the Big Central.

When the classmates target a state title next year, they will do so without the steady services of RB/LB Sean Levonaitis. Even with the shortened season, the veteran nearly completed a third straight 1,000-yard campaign, rushing for 958 yards and a career-high 13 touchdowns to cap one of the finest careers in the program’s history.

Levonaitis and Amankwaa spoke to Central Jersey Sports Radio about the season. Click below to hear their comments:

Sean Levonaitis

Thomas Amankwaa

Devonish-Wynter’s end zone heroics help No. 9 North Brunswick edge out Edison

A controversial interception in the end zone by senior cornerback Jelani Devonish-Wynter helped seal a 21-20 victory for 9th-ranked North Brunswick at Edison.

Devonish-Wynter also caught a 59-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Frankie Garbolino in the win, which propelled the Raiders to 4-0, their best start since their 2000 undefeated regular season, which ended with an opening round 7-0 playoff loss to Wall.

Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino have the call on Friday, October 23 from Matthew J. Drwal Stadium in Edison.

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