Coach: Ed Kopp
Year on the Job: 11th
Staff: Joel Troast, Ed Klimek, Bob Jachera, Marc DelSordo, Joe Mattesich, Dan Green, Matt Wisdom, AJ Wells and Luke Sica
Home Field: Turf
2015 Record: 9-2
2016 Nemesis: Boonton
Freakishly Talented: Junior runningback Sean Klimek (5-10, 170) busted onto the scene last season as a phenom sophomore. There are some backs who only run north or south. This guy only runs north and goes from 1st gear to 5th in about a half a second. His hudl video looks like a young Jim Brown’s highlight reel.
Where’s the Beef: Senior nose tackle Justin Fuss (6-1, 230) is a beast and a quarterback’s worst nightmare. Opposing lineman will have to double down on this guy if they want a chance of containing him.
Emotional Leader: Middle linebacker Zach Toback (5-10, 195) is the heart and sole of this team and brings a ton of passion to every single play. When he starts to get fired up it seems raise the entire teams game.
Will be a Household Name: Junior Dave Jachera (6, 180) is a lightning bolt of a player. Jachera’s got the skillz to pay the billz and will certainly be a player that opponents will need to key in on.
Beast Watch: The Beast of the East is senior linebacker Jay McMurray (5-8, 190). He practically foams at the mouth when he plays. It almost seems like he’s a magnet for opposing ball carriers and tackles people like Bobby Boucher from The Waterboy.
Pequannock is coming off two seasons of going 9-2. The bar has been raised and this team looks like they are about to grab the baton and finish what those two prior graduating classes started.
Guys like linemen Joe Leszczynski (6-2, 270) and Kai Robinson (6-2, 230) and fullback Craig Macagney (5-9, 195) are the kind of players that play smash mouth football and will create a lot of openings for Klimek and company. New comers 6-2, 220-pound sophomore tight end Mathew Spatucci (transfer from Florida) and 5-8, 180-pound junior Billy Tedeschi (transfer from Wayne Hills) are both guys who have a lot of talent and are game ready.
What I LOVE about coach Ed Kopp’s Golden Panthers is that they don’t hide what they are all about. They let you know that they are going to come at you 100% and that is exactly what they do. Win or lose, if you play Pequannock you know you are going to give up a pound of flesh.
Can this be a team that is playing in December? In my opinion, there is no reason they shouldn’t be. Their schedule will certainly prepare them for it. Staying healthy will be key because they don’t get a break. I think the way they handle themselves through the three game stretch against Madison, Kinnelon and Hanover Park will predict how the postseason goes. All three of those teams are stacked with talent. Wins against them will deliver handsome Power Points in addition to giving them a lot of confidence that they can hang with anyone.
9/16 @ Ramsey
9/23 Newark Central
10/1 @ Madison
10/14 @ Hanover Park
11/4 @ Caldwell
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Edited by Sara Grier