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Week 2 Player of the Week: Morris Knolls’ Runningback Mike Sweeney

After dropping a tough first intra-division loss to West Morris in Week 1, Morris Knolls’ knew they needed to quickly turn the page. In Week 2, Coach Regan drew up the offensive plan in preparation for a dog fight. But the Golden Eagles senior runningback Mike Sweeney and his offensive line had other notions. They wanted to send a message to the rest of the league that they are for real and that they did.

Sweeney responded by blasting for 240 yards and four touchdowns behind his hulky line who actually blocked was credited for over 450 yards of offensive production in a 48-21 route over the Vikings. Sweeney’s Friday Night Show was so impressive that it nabbed him the Morris Sussex Football Week 2 Player of the Week.

We cought up with Sweeney to talk about this weekend’s game, Coach Regan’s funny antics and what his college plans look like.

Morris Sussex Football: You were on fire this weekend! Why do you think you had so much success?
Mike Sweeney: I think my offensive line had alot to do with how well I ran. They were driving off the ball all night and made the holes huge and often I only had one man to miss.

MSF: After dropping the first game to West Morris, what does this win mean to you?
MS: Its huge! It really helps us set a tone for the rest of the season and especially after a three win season last year, it’s a confidence boost.

MSF: Is it hard learning the veer offense?
MS: Well it isn’t easy. We work on it constantly in practice.  So for the running backs it is not incredibly difficult, but the quarterback always has to be focused on reading the DE or outside backer so its much more difficult for him.  But Leo (Leonardis) does a nice job with it.

MSF: What edge do you think this offense gives your team?
MS: I really think it helps us because it fits our team type. We have strong fast linemen that accompany it well with an intelligent quick quarterback. It is also very difficult for opposing teams to replicate it during practice.

MSF: Do you guys get a kick on film days when you see opponents tackle the wrong guys?
MS: It can be funny sometimes watching teams fall for fakes because Leo is very good at handling the football and the offense is so fast pace the defense has to react quick.

MSF: Who is your role model?
MS: Barry Sanders. The man was flat out unstoppable.

MSF: Do you see yourself playing college football?
MS: Not right now.  I want to pick my college based on academics and Rutgers is the number one school I want to go to and I do not realistically see myself playing there.

MSF: What is the funniest thing Coach Regan ever said?
MS: Wow!  This is a tough one because says funny things during practice all the time. One of the best ones was when he was referring to how open a receiver would be on a particular play and he said, “He’ll be as naked as a jaybird coming out of the shower”.

MSF: What super power you wish you had?
MS: Be able to fly. Who wouldn’t want to do that?

MSF: Last book you read?
MS: Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers. Its about the Vietnam War, good book.

MSF: Song you cannot stand?
MS: Blurred Lines. Most overplayed song ever.

MSF: Best dish you can cook?
MS: I can make a pretty mean taylor ham, egg, and cheese sandwich.

MSF: Funniest person you know?
MS: Probably our DE and TE Ethan Zangara. He is flat out hilarious.

MSF: App you cannot live without?
MS: Probably my fantasy football app.  I’m constantly checking that.

MSF: Best nickname a coach ever gave you?
MS: Coach Regan calls me “curveball”. He says “curveball” whenever we do something unexpected in practice like Okies or half-line live. I also play baseball so he calls me curveball and the name just kind of stuck.

MSF: Movie you watch every time it’s on TV?
MS: Rudy. Best football movie.

MSF: Toughest person you ever met?
MS: Mike Zvolensky or “Z Tuff”. Kid benches about three times his weight.

MSF: I’m secretly afraid of _________ .
MS: Going full pads on a Monday.

MSF: If I could go pro in another sport it would be ___________ .
MS: Basketball. I play Rec basketball for Denville; better watch out for my team Trippy Nation this year, we’re going to the championship!

MSF:  Best of luck the rest of the way Mike!

George Muha has been covering high school sports since 2006. He feels high school scholar-athletes are the most important part of the community and highlighting their achievements on the field, in the classroom and within the community is his personal mission.

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