Morris Sussex Sports covers 37 football teams that consists of about 1,000 players in Morris, Sussex and parts of Warren counties. Out of those 1,000 players, Morris Sussex Sports and Parisi Speed School honors just one athlete who does something special each week with the Parisi Speed School Player of the Week. Go to Parisi Speed School to raise your game and become faster, bigger and stronger. Mention “Morris Sussex Sports” and receive a FREE Speed Pass to one of their world class training sessions.
The sectional semi’s were loaded with excellent individual performances. Kittatinny’s James Franco had a stellar three touchdown performance in the Cougar’s 41-20 win over Westwood. Butler’s Evan Smith was masterful in the Bulldog’s 20-0 victory over Wallkill Valley as he passed for 134-yards and 1 TD and rushed for another 119-yards and a TD. But the players we felt deserved the Parisi Player(s) of the Week the most was the Newton offensive line made up of Matt Somers, Jabari Oxley, Jimmy Harding, Justin Mayhood, Cullen Orabone and Joe Gubernard as they paved the way for the Braves offense to rush for 212-yards and four touchdowns in their 27-3 victory over High Point to advance to the Sectional Finals.
We caught up with these six blockers to discuss what it’s like getting back to the sectional final for the second year in a row, which fellow lineman gets yelled at the most by Coach Parzero and which one of them would win a taco eating contest.
Morris Sussex Sports: What was it like this past weekend when the final whistle blew and you knew you were going back to the Sectional Final?
Matt Somers: It was a good feeling. We knew we wanted to make at back as soon as last year ended, so it was neat to take this step again.
Jabari Oxley: It felt amazing now being able to contribute to my team’s success as a sophomore.
Jimmy Harding: It felt awesome knowing we were going back to the Sectional Final because everyone doubted us earlier in the year. I still feel like we have to prove some people wrong.
Justin Mayhood: It felt amazing to see all of the hard work everyone put into the off-season pay off.
Cullen Orabone: We knew coming into this season we had to put the work in and come prepared, so knowing our hard work all year payed off is an incredible feeling.
Joe Gubernard: It was our main goal after last year and we knew we had to put the work in over the summer and it paid off.
MSS: What is it about your line that has allowed your offense to be so productive?
Matt Somers: Honestly, we are all best friends off the field and our chemistry is great. If things come up, we figure them out. Not to mention we have awesome running backs and a great QB to block for.
Jabari Oxley: Our line is filled with experience and size which allows us to be so productive against other teams.
Jimmy Harding It really helps that we are all seniors [except TE Jabari Oxley who is a sophomore]. We have been around together our whole lives and we all just gel. We hang out all the time and we couldn’t of got this award if it wasn’t for our backs making us look good.
Justin Mayhood: I’ve played with these guys since 1st grade and there is no other line in this league that has better chemistry then us. Guys like Gubernard and Orabone have also taken big roles this year and have proved they deserve it.
Cullen Orabone: We all have great chemistry and work together well, which allows us to be loose and play our game.
Joe Gubernard: Just the chemistry we all have together, even with our backs. It makes our offense flow so smooth.
MSS: Do you guys consider your line a separate team within your team?
Matt Somers: We like to believe we have our own little clan in a way.
Jabari Oxley: No we are all a big family just with different roles and I’m happy to be apart of this big family.
Jimmy Harding: No, everyone on the roster is one big happy family.
Justin Mayhood: No, our whole team is one family.
Cullen Orabone: We all hang out together the most, but it takes 11 guys to win a game, so no.
Joe Gubernard: We defiantly have our own little clique but we wouldn’t be anywhere without the backs.
MSS: Which one of you is the leader of the line?
Matt Somers: Mayhood has always been consistent at center and is always working his tail off. He’s a great role model and leader for our line.
Jabari Oxley: Matt Somers
Jimmy Harding: Matt Somers, he is the most vocal out of all of us and if anyone has a question that’s the guy we go to regardless of position.
Justin Mayhood: There are three captains on our offensive line, myself, Somers, and Harding. I’ve played with this offense for three years now and Somers has turned into one of the best guards in the league, and Harding is a constant menace on both sides of the ball.
Cullen Orabone: Justin Mayhood, he’s our center and keeps us focused.
Joe Gubernard: Justin Mayhood, but he has his moments.
MSS: Do you take pride when your backs rush for a lot of yards?
Matt Somers: We definitely do. But the bottom line is that yards and TD’s help win games, and whatever helps winning games, we love.
Jabari Oxley: Yes I do because I feel like I also contribute to the backs gaining so many yards per game.
Jimmy Harding: Yes because it makes us feel satisfied that we did our jobs correctly.
Justin Mayhood: Absolutely, they work hard, they deserve it. They always shout us out too, it’s awesome.
Cullen Orabone: Absolutely. It’s a great feeling to know our work doesn’t go unnoticed and gives us a nice confidence boost.
Joe Gubernard: Absolutely, when you look up and see Kaiser or Brigante running for touchdowns it’s a great feeling.
MSS: Seems like Parzero doesn’t hesitate to go for it when it’s forth and short. Do you think it’s because he has a lot of faith in you guys?
Matt Somers: When you have guys on your team like Kaiser, Freda and Brigante, I’d take my chances on 4th down and short no matter what line we have. But yes I do think Parzero has faith in us in those situations. He always believes in us.
Jabari Oxley: Yes and the great coach that Parzero is he has trust in us to make our own line calls which helps us out in games.
Jimmy Harding: Yes he has a lot of faith in the line and the backs because we are so experienced
Justin Mayhood: Its faith in the team, I love his play calling and the risks he takes.
Cullen Orabone: We do think so. He spends a lot of time with us at practice and our running backs are beasts.
Joe Gubernard: Absolutely but when Kaiser and Brigante are on your team you know their going to make the first down.
MSS: What’s it like playing for such a successful coach in Parzero?
Matt Somers: We all love playing for him. He’s a great coach and is so passionate about winning and we’re all the same way.
Jabari Oxley: It’s great because you can tell his love for the sport and I’m glad to be on the same path as him for greatness.
Jimmy Harding: It has been a great 3 years playing under Coach Parzero. He always makes sure we are prepared for every game
Justin Mayhood: It’s an honor, he teaches football the way it should be taught and the results show.
Cullen Orabone: It makes every practice a lot more enjoyable and our team has great chemistry with him. He knows how to run a team smoothly.
Joe Gubernard: Its amazing, he’s so passionate about the sport and our team works so well with him.
MSS: What’s the funniest think he’s ever said?
Matt Somers: Has to be when he says “no pasta dinner!” to kids obtaining dirt merchant status.
Jabari Oxley: “Is he having a bad day?”
Jimmy Harding: “It is harder with a defense!”
Justin Mayhood: “No pasta dinner!”
Cullen Orabone: “We’ll just hit them with a little mental gymnastics and window dressing!”
Joe Gubernard: “It’s better with a defense!”
MSS: Which one of you does he yell at the most?
Matt Somers: He yells most at Coach Popek for going on his phone during team O, and Coach Bell for just being Coach Bell.
Jabari Oxley: Matt Somers
Jimmy Harding: Joe because he likes to tackle cornerbacks.
Justin Mayhood: Matty Somers
Cullen Orabone: Joe, he sometimes thinks offensive lineman can tackle the defense.
Joe Gubernard: Matt Somers because they have such a weird bond.
MSS: Which one of you can do the most chin ups?
Matt Somers: Probably Nick Brigante or Chris Polyak.
Jabari Oxley: Me
Jimmy Harding: Probably Mayhood for some reason. I feel like he can do a good amount.
Justin Mayhood: Jabari
Cullen Orabone: Jabari, he’s only half lineman.
Joe Gubernard: Matt Somers
MSS: Which one of you can do the least?
Matt Somers: Justin Mayhood, kid couldn’t lift his hands off the ground.
Jabari Oxley: Jimmy Harding
Jimmy Harding: Cullen most likely even though his feet touch the ground from the bar.
Justin Mayhood: Cullen Orabone
Cullen Orabone: Jimmy Harding, he can’t reach the bar.
Joe Gubernard: Cullen Orabone
MSS: Who out of you is finishing 1-2-3 in the Forty?
Matt Somers: Me, Jimmy Harding, Coach Bell.
Jabari Oxley: I would be 1st , Jimmy Harding 2nd, 3rd would be Joe.
Jimmy Harding: 1. Me 2. Jabari 3. I guess Mayhood
Justin Mayhood: Me, Somers, Oxley
Cullen Orabone: Jimmy Harding, Me, Joe Bags
Joe Gubernard: 1. Jimmy Harding 2. Matt Somers 3. me
MSS: Who’s finishing last?
Matt Somers: Ryan Kaiser, Nick Brigante, Joe Bags.
Jabari Oxley: Cullen
Jimmy Harding: Definitely Somers
Justin Mayhood: Cullen Orabone
Cullen Orabone: Matt Somers
Joe Gubernard: Cullen Orabone
MSS: Which of you would win a taco eating contest?
Matt Somers: Either Joe Bags, Jimmy Harding, or John Ays.
Jabari Oxley: Jimmy
Jimmy Harding: I would like to think I would win. Tacos are one of my favorite food. And Joe thinks he can beat me but he can’t.
Justin Mayhood: Harding
Cullen Orabone: Jimmy Harding
Joe Gubernard: James Frederick Harding
MSS: What’s the funniest thing that’s happened while you line up in front of the defense?
Matt Somers: Our line calls can get hilarious.
Jabari Oxley: Other teams yelling at each other.
Jimmy Harding: Looking at the defenses reaction to our odd line calls.
Justin Mayhood: Someone on the other team asked me what play the was.
Cullen Orabone: The defensive tackle sneezed on my arm.
Joe Gubernard: The nose guard winked at me.
MSS: Which one of you linemen secretly wishes he was a skill player?
Matt Somers: Justin Mayhood will never shut up about his speed and his athleticism, even though he has stone for hands.
Jabari Oxley: Definitely Jimmy Harding, he wants to be a receiver so bad.
Jimmy Harding: Probably me, I dream I can run for a touchdown.
Justin Mayhood: John Ays
Cullen Orabone: Matt Somers for sure.
Joe Gubernard: Matt Somers definitely.
MSS: What do you see your fellow lineman doing in 10-years?
Matt Somers: Jimmy Harding will be owning a Five Guys and managing four fantasy teams, Justin Mayhood will be driving his friends to work. Joe Bags will probably be teaching his kids to tackle defenders. Cullen Orabone will be watching Netflix on his super couch and Jabari Oxley will be calling someone “chief”.
Jabari Oxley: Doing anything related to sports
Jimmy Harding: Jabari will be working at Dunkin’ Donuts as a croissant specialist. Cullen will still be playing Fortnite bragging about his ranking in the world. Matt will be a model for skinny jeans made by American Eagle. Joe will be creating a NFL affiliated organization which helps guards who are pulling to not tackle cornerbacks. Justin will be driving his so called girlfriend to work everyday.
Justin Mayhood: Harding will be complaining how his shoulder hurts. Somers will still be driving his 200 year old truck. Joe will be going in public still flexing his JV jacket. Orabone will somehow has the hottest wife. Jabari will become a Calvin Klein model.
Cullen Orabone: Matt Somers will own a frozen yogurt store in some random state. Joe Bags will be with Matt Somers breaking the yogurt machines. Jimmy Harding will be the world’s most decorated gymnast. Justin Mayhood will still be going to our practices and harassing coaches. Jabari Oxley will become king of some random country.
Joe Gubernard: Cullen Orabone will own a lemon farm. Matt Somers will be trying to fix his truck while still learning how to drive stick. Jimmy Harding will be participating in food eating contests. Justin Mayhood will be learning how to shower for the first time. Jabari Oxley will be traveling the world and calling everyone “chief”.
MSS: What’s the most important thing to your line right now?
Matt Somers: Winning this title.
Jabari Oxley: Winning
Jimmy Harding: Making huge holes for a running backs to run through and doing our jobs so we can win the game.
Justin Mayhood: Our heart.
Cullen Orabone: Winning.
Joe Gubernard: Finishing what we started
MSS: Congrats boys and best of luck the rest of the way!
Matt Somers: Thank you
Jabari Oxley: Thank you
Jimmy Harding: thank you so much it means a lot!
Justin Mayhood: Thank you
Cullen Orabone: Thank you!
Joe Gubernard: Thank you