Morris Sussex Sports and Football University are teaming up this season to honor our weekly Player of the Week. Football University is the leading player development organization in the country that teaches players techniques to perform at a highest level possible on the field.
Week 1 had a ton of terrific performances by Morris Sussex players but none exemplified the kind of technique and on-the-field drive that FBU instructs like the West Morris Central offensive line. The Wolfpack’s Tyler Miller, Taylor Parkinson-Gee, Mike Egan, Erik Henwood, Will Modla and Tommy Galayda dug in deep this past Friday night against the defending champion Parsippany Hills Vikings and were pivotal in helping a pretty much rookie backfield produce over 350 yards of offense in a 21-0 upset in front of a sellout home crowd.
Their performance warranted a visit from FBU Assistant Vice President of Player Development Joe Bouffard so he could hand deliver their FBU Player of the Week certificates and Football University caps. I caught up with these six to talk about the past Friday night, what kinds of things do these guys say to each other at the line of scrimmage and who has the slowest time in the 40 out of this group.
George Muha: How sweet was it beating the defending State Champions in front of your home crowd?
Tyler Miller: There was no better feeling. There was nothing like being predicted to lose to the defending State Champs by every single person in the state and coming out with the win on Raider Night (in which the youth football team was present) in front of the entire town. To go even further, a special thanks has to go out to our 12th man, the student section. The energy they brought was unlike any other.
Taylor Parkinson-Gee: Shutting out the defending State Champs at home is already one of the biggest highlights of my season. Our home crowd was supportive as we slowly but surely went up and down the field in a smash-mouth type of way. Its a great accomplishment. I think that it was an excellent game to start the season and hopefully we can re-create that result against Mount Olive in Week 2.
Mike Egan: Beating Par-Hills at home was an amazing feeling, especially because they won States last year. What made it even better was that we were picked to lose that game so we made a statement shutting them out. In the words of our coach, it was “freakin’ awesome.”
Erik Henwood: Beating Par Hills at home in front of our crowd was an amazing feeling, especially because of them being State Champs and all of the skepticism surrounding our team this year. We had an amazing crowd and the energy they brought was absolutely amazing.
Will Modla: It was one of the most memorable moments in my life because it was Raider Night and the place was packed to see West Morris shutout a State Championship team.
Thomas Galayda: It was incredible especially since we completely shut them out and avenged our last year lost to them. Now we are completely focused practicing for Mount Olive and and having the same result.
GM: Are you guys close as a group?
TM: We’re family, there is no other way to explain it.
TPG: The lineman are very close. The summer grind and rough school week practices bring us closer every day. We have been dubbed “The Hogs” as a result of our presence on the line. With that title comes times every week where we meet and discuss plays and enjoy copious amounts of Hot-Pockets whilst enjoying the company of each other.
ME: We’re a very close group of guys. People have been known to tells us that we’re closer than six peas in a pod.
EH: Our line is as close as any family I know. We are brothers on and off the field. We actually have “Hog” meetings after practice on Wednesdays where we all hang out and eat Hot Pockets as a group. Its a great bunch of guys and we are truly close as a group.
WM: We’ve have gotten so close over the past summer, always going out to eat with each other and surviving shoots and sleds with each other.
TG: Yeah we are. We have grown close as a group and hangout with each other after practices.
GM: What do you guys say to each other when you guys are getting set at the line of scrimmage?
TM: “Galayda, don’t forget the count!” or “Galayda, don’t jump offsides!” pretty much before every snap.
TPG: When we get set on the line of scrimmage we always make calls depending on the defensive alignment, and change the blocking scheme of the play according to the defense.
ME: On the line we say a bunch of stuff to each other like dummy calls and who’s blocking who on this or that play.
EH: On the line, we have a bunch of stupid dummy calls we call out to each other, like “China” and “Lawnmower” that helps throw the defense off and we all get a kick out of it.
WM: We just say dummy calls to mess with the D-line so they do not know what play we are running.
TG: We shout out line calls that are coded. Like when we are about to cross will say “Big Daddy”, or for an out block we would say, “bruh”.
GM: What’s the funniest thing that was ever said in the huddle?
TM: The funniest thing that was said in the huddle was during a timeout and one of our coaches called us “the sassiest line in Morris County”.
TPG: The funniest thing that was ever said in the huddle is when one of our coaches came over too our huddle and told us that we were, “the sassiest line in all of Morris County”.
ME: The funniest thing I have said in the huddle would have to be “remember guys, half of the game is ninety percent mental”.
EH: The funniest thing ever said in the huddle was probably during a timeout when one of our coaches came into the huddle and called us “the sassiest line in Morris County” to which we all responded with sassy remarks.
WM: The funniest thing that was said in the huddle was that we are “the sassiest line in Morris County” by Coach B.
TG: Coach B. calling all of us “sassy”.
GM: Which one of you secretly wishes he was playing a skill position?
TM: Modla, I never met someone who hates chutes and sleds so much. Not only that but he is always dying for a spot at tight end or wide receiver but is rejected every day by Coach Hennelly.
TPG: I believe that Tom Galayda secretly wants to be a skill player, even though he has the hand eye coordination of a wet towel.
ME: The secret skill player would definitely be Will. He’s always trying to catch a pass in front of the coaches to see if they’d let him play and he gets upset when they always deny him.
EH: The skill player wannabe is definitely Will. He always begs to be a wide reciever and is always denied by our coaches. It’s so funny how upset he gets when they tell him that he will never touch the ball when he’s not playing center.
WM: I secretly wish I was a skill position player. I’m always asking to get reps at tight end.
GM: Which one of you would win a hotdog eating contest?
TM: TPG, he would eat all of McDonald’s if he could.
TPG: I would probably be able to eat Tyler Miller’s body weight worth of hot dogs.
ME: It wouldn’t even be a contest. Taylor Parkinson-Gee would beat all of us in a hot dog eating contest. I don’t think there is an hour out of the day you won’t see him eating.
EH: Taylor Parkinson-Gee would smoke us all at a hotdog eating contest. He is an actual animal when it comes to food. We all keep our distance when we see him getting ready to chow down.
WM: Hands down TPG would win that.
TG: TPG definitely, that kid eats like a wild boar.
GM: Who can bench press 225lbs the most times?
TM: TPG, the kid is an absolute meathead.
ME: Also this would have to be Taylor. He lives in the weight room. I actually was walking to the locker room one day and saw him sleeping on a bench in there. Many like to refer to him a meathead, and he definitely lives up to that reputation.
EH: Taylor would bench 225lbs more than anyone else. He is probably the biggest meathead on the team, in strength and personality. Its actually pretty funny how meathead-ish he can be.
WM: TPG would bench 225 the most.
TG: TPG, how else did you think he got so thick?
GM: If you all ran the 40-yard dash, who is finishing first?
TM: Me, it’s not every day when you see 5’10”, 175 pound lineman.
TPG: If we ran a 40-yard dash, Tyler Miller would fly by with a sub 5 second 40 time, whilst the rest of us would be struggling to make it in under 7 seconds.
ME: Without a doubt Tyler Miller would beat us in a 40-yard dash. He is much lighter and quicker than the rest of the line.
EH: Tyler Miller would definitely win a 40-yard dash, especially because he weighs half of everyone else on the line.
WM: Miller would easily beat us all in the 40-yard dash.
TG: Miller since he has the figure of a stick.
GM: Who is finishing last?
TM: Galayda, you should see how this kid runs.
TPG: Thomas Galayda would definitely come in last, no doubt.
ME: I think Tommy Galayda would come in last. Contrary to popular belief he is not as good of a runner as everyone gives him credit for.
EH: I think Tommy Galayda would finish last because he’s so awkward when it comes to anything athletic at all.
WM: Tommy would finish last in the 40-yard dash.
TG: Probably me
GM: What will your other five POW honorees be doing in ten years?
TM: In 10 years, TPG will be fighting for a spot on the Biggest Loser, Henwood will be loving life in his million dollar mansion, Modla and I will be high school gym teachers and coaching West Morris football, Egan will NFL kicker and Galayda, God only knows what that kid will be doing.
TPG: Miller will be working in the sports world, Tommy will be a jeweler because he likes shinny things, Mike will be a zoo keeper, Will is going to be a high school football coach and Erik will be a teacher in the high school that Will works at.
ME: In ten years Taylor will be out chowing down a Big Mac somewhere, Erik will be running his own bakery, Tyler will be a winning high school football coach , Will will be a talk show host and last but not last but not least, Tommy will be a successful athletic trainer.
EH: In 10 years Taylor will have had three heart attacks, Tyler will be an ESPN sports analyst, Will will be a high school football coach, Tommy will be a brain surgeon and Mike will be working in a cubicle somewhere.
WM: In 10 years all of us will still be texting each other reminiscing over the win great wins, and how we won States.
TG: TPG will be salesman, Miller will be an NFL referee, Modla will be a gym teacher, Henwood will be a farmer and Egan will be a janitor
GM: Finish this sentence: In December the 2015 Wolfpack will be _____________________.
TM: Celebrating at MetLife as State Champs.
TPG: Coming back to West Morris Central from Metlife with a State Championship.
ME: State Champs.
EH: Celebrating at MetLife Stadium.
WM: Celebrating in MetLife stadium, holding up the States trophy.
TG: State Champs!