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Morris Sussex Sports and Football University are teaming up this season to present our Player of the Week award. Football University is the leading player development organization in the country that teaches players techniques to perform at the highest level possible on the field.

At the beginning of every week we at Morris Sussex Sports sit around the conference table and try to figure out who deserves the FBU Player of the Week based on the weekend’s games.  This week was especially tough because Morris Catholic’s Zach Poreman threw for 190-yards and three touchdowns, Hopatcong’s Jake Wilkerson rushed for 251-yards and two touchdowns and Par Hills Alex Lerman caught six passes for 123-yards and four of them for touchdowns.

But the player who we felt was the most deserving of the FBU Player of the Week was Sparta’s Alex Milliken.  Milliken was a warrior in the Spartans 28-12 playoff win over Garfield in which he carried the ball for an astonishing 40 times for 225-yards and a touchdown.  I caught up with Milliken to talk about this 1st Round win, who the strongest player on his team is and what a third ring in a row will mean to the Spartans.

George Muha: What does it mean to this Sparta team to be back in the semi-finals?
Alex Milliken: It means everything to this team to be back to the semis. We have worked so hard to get where we are today.

GM: Considering you’ve beaten River Dell for the last three years in a row in the playoffs, what do you expect from them this coming week?
AM: If any team beat my team years in a row, I would do anything to win. I expect River Dell to come out hot and ready to play for all four quarters, doing anything they can to get to MetLife.

GM: Did you expect to have this much success coming into this season?
AM: I did expect to have this much success; we worked hard all summer long and did everything as a team. We knew we would be back to the playoffs.

GM: How would you describe the make up of this team?
AM: This team connects so well.  Everyone gets along well and has a lot of fun. Not only do we have fun, but we know when to get focused and straight to business.

GM: What would surprise people about you guys?
AM: People would be surprised about how not as much as changed. Sure we have different guys than we did last year, but its still the same routine, with the same offense and same defense. Nothing has changed other than who is playing.

GM: What is it about Sparta that always seem to produce tough football players?
AM: Sparta has a great tradition for football. The whole town comes to and follows our games. The community gives so much to us and we give back to them. Everyone here loves football and it’s a great tradition that im happy to be apart of.

GM: Who on your team is the unsung hero of this team?
AM: The unsung hero of this team has to be the players on the offensive line. As a joke they all themselves “Thick Boyz”. They work harder than anyone in practice and go at it 100% everyday. I practice with them during inside run and it looks and sounds like a war zone.  They’re hitting so hard and fighting to be one of the starting 5 O-line.

GM: Who plays the the most amount of passion?
AM: Dylan May plays with the most emotion. He is screaming and jumping and in everyone’s face during the game. He loves football with all his heart and is so passionate about playing. He definitely is the most passionate.

GM: Who would you not want to go head-on-head against?
AM: I would not want to go head on head with Dean Gennat. He is the hardest hitter and one of the biggest kids on this team. He is also very passionate, like Dylan, and knows how to lay the hammer.

GM: Who is the funniest?
AM: Andrew Taveras is the funniest on the team. During practice he always imitates the players and even the coaches. He will do a skit where he acts like a player or coach and quotes them in a funny way and everyone loves it.

GM: Who is the quirkiest?
AM: The quirkiest kids on the team are the offensive linemen. They are always making jokes and at times seem to ramble on about nonsense all the time. They know when to get serious and can get in each others face, but still are quirky and hilarious.

GM: Who is finishing 1,2, 3, 4 and 5 in the forty?
AM: The fastest kids on the team in no order, are myself, Jordan Proctor, Al Falco, Richie Mcdonald and Duffy Brennan.

GM: Who is finishing 1,2 and 3 in benching 225lbs the most times?
AM: The kids who bench the most are Dylan May, Mike Bomensat and Dean Gennat.

GM: Who is the best football player you played against?
AM: The best football player I ever played against was Dalyn Wade Perry from PJ. He is one of the biggest and most talented players I’ve played against which explains why he has offers from Bama, ND, and every top team in the country.

GM: Do you think your home crowd gives you an advantage against opposing teams?
AM: Our home crowd absolutely gives us an advantage when we play.  They are always yelling and cheering for us. Even when we are away they come watch us play and it certainly helps.

GM: What makes Coach Marchiano the happiest?
AM: Nothing makes coach Marsh happier than holding up the North 1 Group 3 trophy in the middle of Metlife stadium. That trophy is what motivates us and is what makes coach the happiest.

GM: Why do you wear the number you do?
AM: I wear number 11 for no other reason than it is a sweet number.

GM: Who is your role model?
AM: My role model is my father.  He is a successful man who works hard at everything he does and would do anything for his family, and that is what i want to be like.

GM: What will it mean to this team to get its third title in a row?
AM: Getting this 3rd title in a row would mean the world to this team. Everyone wants to be able to get a ring, and make our mark in school’s history. Getting three in a row is certainly difficult, but we are up for the challenge.

GM: Congrats again Alex, now go get that championship!

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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