Coach: Eugene Fluri
Year on the Job: 1st
Home Field: Grass
2015 Record: 7-3
2016 Nemesis: Newton
Freakishly Talented: Senior QB Ron Lubertazzo is a gamer. The kid can make every throw there is and has the ability to use his legs to make things happen.
Emotional Leader: Junior OL/DT Ryan Durling is the emotional leader and the guy up front who get’s everyone fired up. Last season he led the team in sacks as a sophomore. Nothing gets a team going more than tackling the QB behind the line of scrimmage.
Will be a Household Name: Junior RB/DB Joe Toribio has lightning speed and can cut on a dime. Every North Warren class seems to have it’s superstar. It’s looking like Toribio is poised to be that guy.
Many people don’t realize it but there were a lot of young kids who were on the front lines of the Revolutionary War. Back then, you actually had to be 17 to enlist to fight. Many kids under the minimum age (13, 14, 15, etc.) forged their way past recruiters because they believed in the cause so much and were ready to risk their lives.
I can only imagine what it must have been like at thirteen with muskets flying by, cannon balls exploding all around you and grown men running at you full speed with their bayonet a blazing. With all that risk and danger in front of them, these young soldiers didn’t want to be anywhere else in the world but fighting for the militia of what would eventually become the greatest country in the world. The courage those young fighters possessed at such an early age can bring a tear to your eye.
Folks, I’m basically describing the 2016 North Warren Patriots. “We’re young,” head coach Eugene Fluri says about the team he is inheriting. And young they are. After graduating sixteen seniors, they only have two returning players who saw any amount of varsity time, Ron Lubertazzo and Ryan Durling.
However, sometimes you look at a team with a lot of younger players and say, “They’ll be good in a couple of years.” Other times you look at a young team and they look you right in the eye and say, “We don’t care if we’re young. Give us a rifle because we are jumping over the trenches and going to defend our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The latter is what you are going to get with this group.
The problem is that this schedule poses just as many challenges as the Red Coats gave the Continental Army. During the Revolutionary War the British had two huge advantages; they had much larger numbers and their technology and weaponry was far superior than the Colonial forces had.
However, we knew the land like the back of our hand giving us the home field advantage and our militia had a much greater will to win. Those are the same two traits that you get with the ’16 Pats. They may be young but their drive and determination for victory is much greater than some of the older teams and that’s what counts. If they’re ready to put in the hours and go to battle with their opponents then age shouldn’t be a factor.
This North Warren team may be young. So what!
9/9 @ Hopatcong
9/30 @ Boonton
10/7 Lenape Valley
10/14 @ Verona
10/28 @ Cedar Grove