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Assemblyman Benjie E. Wimberly in Trenton on March 8, 2022. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Benjie Wimberly’s All-Time New Jersey Football Team

By David Wildstein, September 11 2022 12:01 am

In addition to being the Speaker Pro-Tempore of the New Jersey State Assembly, Benjie Wimberly (D-Paterson) is one of the state’s most highly regarded high school football coaches.

As the NFL begins Week 1 of Sunday football, the New Jersey Globe asked Wimberly to come up with his All-Time New Jersey Football Team.

He chose players and coaches who attended New Jersey high schools and not player who were born in the state and moved away – or a select group of players who came just to play for a preparatory school.

“This was fun and tough. We are loaded with former and current players with talent,” Wimberly said. “I took in to consideration their high school, college and professional careers.”

Wimberly was an assistant football coach at Eastside High School in Paterson from 1989 to 1994, and then the head coach at Paterson Catholic High School from 1995 to 2010. He guided Paterson Catholic to seven state championships and during his last seven seasons, his team went 70-3. One of his players, former New York Giants and Chicago Bears wide receiver Victor Cruz, made Wimberly’s list.

Last year, Wimberly stepped down as head football coach at Hackensack High School. Under list leadership, the team reached the playoffs seven times in nine years.

In 2019, Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson) named his All-Time New Jersey Baseball Team.

QUARTERBACKS

  • JOE THEISMANN (SOUTH RIVER)
  • JOE FLACCO (AUDOBON)

RUNNING BACKS

  • FRANCO HARRIS (RANCOCAS VALLEY)
  • JONATHAN TAYLOR (SALEM)
  • CRAIG “IRONHEAD” HEYWARD (PASSAIC)
  • JIM KIICK (LINCOLN PARK)
  • KNOWSHON MORENO (MIDDLETOWN SOUTH)

WIDE RECIEVER

  • DREW PEARSON (SOUTH RIVER)
  • VICTOR CRUZ (PATERSON CATHOLIC)
  • JOHN TAYLOR (PENNSAUKEN)
  • IRVING FRYER (RANCOCAS VALLEY)

TIGHT END

  • GREG OLSEN (WAYNE HILLS)
  • J. SMITH (HIGHLAND PARK)

OFFENSIVE LINE

  • DAVE SZOTT (CLIFTON)
  • KAREEM McKENZIE (WILLINGBORO)
  • BRYANT McKINNIE (WOODBURY)
  • FRANK WINTERS (UNION CITY)
  • QUENTON NELSON (RED BANK CATHOLIC)
  • ANTHONY DAVIS (PISCATAWAY)
  • EUGENE MONROE (PLAINFIELD)

DEFENSIVE LINE

  • ELVIN BETHEA (TRENTON CENTRAL)
  • ROSEY GRIER (CLARK-ROSELLE)
  • TONY TOLBERT (DWIGHT MORROW ENGLEWOOD)
  • TONY SIRAGUSA (BREARLEY KENILWORTH)
  • RASHAN GARY (PARAMUS CATHOLIC)
  • MUHAMMAD WILKERSON (LINDEN)

LINE BACKERS

  • SAM MILLS (LONG BRANCH)
  • DAVID ROBINSON (MOORESTOWN)
  • BRIAN CUSHING (BERGEN CATHOLIC)
  • PHIL VILLAPIANO (OAKHURST)
  • TAMBI HALI (TEANECK)
  • ANDRE TIPPETT (BARRINGER)

DEFENSIVE BACKS

  • JACK TATUM (PASSAIC)
  • MALCOLM JENKINS (PISCATAWAY)
  • DERON CHERRY (PALMYRA)
  • MIKE ADAMS (PASSAIC COUNTY TECH)
  • MINKAH FITZPATRICK (ST. PETER’S)

UTILITY

  • JABRILL PEPPERS (DON BOSCO/PARAMUS CATHOLIC)
  • WILL HILL (ST. PETER’S)
  • KEVIN HARVEY (PAULSBORO)
  • RICKY PROEHL (HILLSBOROUGH)
  • WAYNE CHREBET (GARFIELD)

KICKERS/PUNTERS

  • AUGIE LIO (PASSAIC)
  • YOUNGHOE KOO (RIDGEWOOD)

HONORABLE MENTION

  • ED MARINARO (NEW MILFORD)
  • JOSH ALLEN (MONTCLAIR)
  • GERALD HAYES (PASSAIC COUNTY TECH)
  • RICARDO McDONALD (PATERSON EASTSIDE)
  • DAVE SCOTT (PATERSON KENNEDY)
  • QUINTIS McDONALD (MONTCLAIR)
  • DEVON McDONALD (PATERSON KENNEDY)
  • RON DAYNE (OVERBROOK)
  • NEIL O’DONNELL (MADISON)
  • GARY BRACKETT (GLASSBORO)
  • CHRIS SIMMS (RAMAPO)
  • BILLY HARRIS (HACKENSACK)
  • BRIAN TOAL (DON BOSCO PREP)
  • AL QUADIN MUHAMMAD (PATERSON CATHOLIC/DON BOSCO)
  • BOB KRATCH (MAHWAH)
  • TODD BOWLES (ELIZABETH)
  • DEVIN McCOURTY (ST. JOE’S MONTVALE)
  • JASON McCOURTY (ST. JOE’S MONTVALE)
  • J. CLEMMINGS (PATERSON CATHOLIC)
  • SHAUN O’HARA (HILLSBOROUGH)
  • BUTCH WOOLFOLK (WESTFIELD)
  • AUGIE HOFFMAN (ST. JOE’S MONTVALE)
  • MOHAMED SANU (SOUTH BRUNSWICK)
  • TANNER McEVOY (BERGEN CATHOLIC)
  • JUSTIN TRATTOU (DON BOSCO)
  • LEONTE CARROO (DON BOSCO)
  • K’WAUN WILLIAMS (ST. JOE’S MONTVALE)
  • VITO CAMPANILE (PATERSONCATHOLIC/PARAMUS CATHOLIC)
  • MARK DeROSA (BERGEN CATHOLIC)
  • DAVID NJOKU (CEDAR GROVE)

COACHES

  • BILL PARCELLS (RIVER DELL)
  • GREG TOAL (HASBROUCK HEIGHTS)
  • GLENN HOWARD (PAULSBORO)
  • DON SMOLYN (JOHNSON REGIONAL CLARK)
  • VICTOR PATERNOSTRO (QUEEN OF PEACE)
    Joe Theismann. (Photo: South River High School).

     

    Franco Harris. (Photo: Rancocas Valley Regional High School).

     

    Victor Cruz. (Photo: Mark Fischer).

     

    Bill Parcells’s 1957 River Dell High School football team. (Photo: River Dell High School).

     

    Greg Olsen, right, as co-captain of the Wayne Hills High School football team in 2003. (Photo: Wayne Hills High School).

     

    Sam Mills in 1975. (Photo: Long Branch High School).
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