Every Sunday the writers of Morris Sussex Sports sits down and pours over all of the stats, individual performances and games to try to see which player deserves to be the FBU Player of the Week Powered by Athletic Republic of Randolph. We cover 37 teams with roughly thirty varsity players on each team so each week only one out of roughly 1,000 players gets this distinction. We take making this selection very seriously.
This week was not an easy week to choose. Newton’s Chase Cramer had a monster game, rushing for over 300 yards and 3 touchdowns. Sparta’s Matt Maute continued to 2016 romping parade by throwing for 330-yards and 2 TDs in a shutout over Roxbury. And Butler receiver Sean Scott made the most of his three receptions by taking each one to the house in a monster game over Parsippany.
But no player made as big of an impact in helping his team win the game more than Lenape Valley junior Troy DuPont in the Patriots 43-29 victory over Hackettstown. DuPont was masterful on offense rushing for 173-yards and 5 touchdowns and catching two passes for 23-yards. DuPont was dominant on defense making a ton of tackles and making a key interception thwarting a Tiger comeback. He was also stunning on special teams as he came up with a key 2-point conversion.
It’s this performance that earned DuPont this top honor. We caught up with DuPont to talk about his big game, who his role model is and what it’s like to have the infamous Walt Wormann make a personalized sign for him.
Morris Sussex Sports: Did you anticipate having a big game coming into the weekend?
Troy DuPont: To be completely honest, I did not see myself having this big of a game this weekend. Especially with the playmakers we have. I knew Hackettstown was going to be a dogfight and throughout my middle school and freshman year I have always played poor against them so was a bit of a shocker.
MSS: Do you prefer playing offense or defense?
TD: I prefer playing offense. It is hard for a running back to not prefer offense.
MSS: Your team has such a successful running attack. How much does the o-line have to do with that?
TD: Our O-line has played extremely well this year, especially new starters like Ernst and Ruggeri. They always make huge blocks. Another big part of our running attack is fullback Kai Dickerson who I always want leading my run.
MSS: What would surprise people to know about your team?
TD: The surprising thing about our team is all of the different personalities and our chemistry. Sylvester and Sodano are characters and they also are our two starting corners. We are all such great friends off the field and it really benefits us on the field.
MSS: What kind of confidence does it give your team knowing that Coach Smolyn is one of the most successful coaches in the state?
TD: It gives us major confidence. We know the backbone of our team has tons of experience in comparison to many other coaches. Coach Smolyn has been in so many different situations in the game of football. Everyone knows how major coaching is when it comes to high school football and we have one of the best in the business.
MSS: What is that moment like when you look up into the stands you and see that Walt Wormann has created a sign for you?
TD: It is like nothing else. Mr. Wormann is one of the greatest things about Lenape football. His enthusiasm and love for our team brings motivation to us all. The signs are one of the coolest things in the area. It is an unbelievable feeling to be looking in the stands and seeing your nickname up there.
MSS: Lenape Valley seems to have a lot of traditions. What is your favorite?
TD: This is a tough one. My favorite tradition is tapping the Lenape Valley sign before leaving the locker room. It has a Notre Dame feeling to it and it’s very cool.
MSS: What is the oddest tradition?
TD: Our oddest tradition is the black socks. Coach buys everyone black Nike socks which we wear for all games. It is pretty unusual and I do not see why Coach loves those black socks so much.
MSS: What do you eat on game days?
TD: On game days we have a great team dinner hosted by the best parents. I am always eating the penne vodka with chicken tenders and my favorite blue jello with some whipped cream.
MSS: Who is finishing 1-2-3 in the forty on your team?
TD: I know I would start an outrage on my team so I’ll exclude myself. Stevie Leyden, Mike Josephs and Tyler Tarnowski would finish 1-2-3 in the forty.
MSS: What team is your favorite opponent to play?
TD: My favorite opponent is definitely Madison. It is always a battle between two great skilled teams going at it. Every game is a barn burner and is always very close.
MSS: Who is the best high school football player you ever played against in your career?
TD: The best high school player I have played has to be Dwayne Brown from Dover who graduated last year. He had it all as a running back. The kid was a beast and was extremely hard to tackle.
MSS: Who was your role model growing up?
TD: My role model growing up and still is, is my brother Hayden DuPont. He was a very good football player himself but his career was cut short after a car accident which led to brain surgery. He now plays lacrosse at Moravian college and he is one of the greatest human beings out there.
MSS: What current or past NFL player do you think you most resemble on the field?
TD: An NFL player I resemble is David Johnson of the Arizona Cardinals. His cuts and vision are what I admire most and what I strive to mold my game after.
MSS: What will it mean to you and your teammates if you find yourselves walking through the tunnel on to the field at MetLife Stadium in early December?
TD: It would be extremely exciting just to be inthe place that we have been working so hard to get to. My teammates are my family and just being able to share that once in a lifetime opportunity would just be extraordinary. It would mean that all of our hard work has paid off.