Coach: Don Morganroth
Year on the Job: 1st
Home Field: Turf
2015 Record: 3-7
2016 Nemesis: Morris Catholic
Freakishly Talented: Junior runningback Jake Crane is a tremendous athlete. He had a season ending injury last year and he’s looking to make up for lost time.
Where’s the Beef: Junior offensive linemen Nick Foglia and Anthony Auriemma are big, strong players up front who pry open gaps like its their job.
Emotional Leader: Senior linebacker Dylan Hayduk is a passionate player who get’s everyone riled up when he starts getting loose.
Will be a Household Name: Junior quarterback Luke Papa has the arm and the legs to have a lot of production in this offense. Coach Morganroth runs every play from the shotgun and that plays into Papa’s strength.
Beast Watch: Senior Andrew Lake has been playing varsity football since his freshman year. Now in his forth season, the LB/RB is a seasoned vet who is bigger and stronger than he’s ever been. He’s has to drive and potential to do something special this year.
If there was ever a year Whippany Park could do something outstanding it would be this season. Between the new coach, the new turf field and the new schedule against more size appropriate teams, they have a lot of things going there way.
Games are won on the field and what I like most is the makeup of this squad. The core of this team has a lot of talent and a will to win. Throw in some other players like the talented sophomore safety Mike Romo and the intense senior nose tackle Tyler Hayduk and you say to yourself, “I like these guys chances!”
I also think the conference re-alignment was a good thing for Whippany Park. In the past they were forced to play schools that just had much bigger teams. Now it looks like they are appropriately matched up, which I think they will greatly benefit from.
Getting to the postseason isn’t something Whippany Park has done regularly. Now it looks like they have a legitimate shot. I’m not saying they have a cake walk, because they don’t by any means. But if they can play at a high level, they’ll be able to compete for a postseason bid.
I love the guys in the trenches on this team. Foglia, Auriemma and the Hayduk bros are in-your-face kind of players who like the brawl up front. They can shake up a lot of stuff so Crane, Lake and Papa can focus on gaining yards and scoring.
Nothing is more contagious than winning. I predict if the Wildcats can get hot early, they’ll gain the confidence that will carry them through the middle of their schedule. There is no reason this squad won’t be competing for a seat in the tourney come the playoff cutoff at Week 8.
9/9 @ Morris Catholic
9/23 @ Lincoln
10/1 Wallkill Valley
10/8 Immaculate Conception
10/15 Mountain Lakes
11/4 @ West Side