Wayne Hills Football Update

Senior quarterback Tom Sharkey scans the field looking for an open receiver.

Senior quarterback Tom Sharkey scans the field looking for an open receiver.

By Jack Woodard, Sports Editor

The Wayne Hills Patriots football team is off to a 5-2 start to the season with playoffs approaching.  The team is led by captains Bence Polgar, Jaaron Hayek, Joe Rondi, Anthony Puntolillo, and Joe Mongelli.  The team also has many other key players who add to its success. The Patriots have been playing very strong football this season and their sights are on winning the state championship and the first ever bowl game at Metlife Stadium.

The team opened up the season on the road in Provo, Utah in what was really a great experience for the boys.  The team got to see BYU, Utah University, and even go to a Utah football game. The trip was centered around a matchup against a very good and talented team in the Timpview Thunderbirds.  The game was very close and the Patriots fought against a team that was subbing guys in every play to keep from getting tired. The high elevation was another challenge the Patriots were not used to dealing with and they ended up losing the game 31-28.  This is not a loss to be ashamed of at all and WHHS looked to come back to New Jersey and run the table.

The Patriots then played a solid Wayne Valley team and came back from a slow first half to win the game 14-9.  This truly was a defensive battle and the Patriots were victorious. WHHS then took on Old Tappan looking for revenge on a team that outscored them 77-7 the previous year.  Old Tappan carried their win streak from the previous season into this game but could not handle the Patriots. WHHS won the game 35-16.

The Patriots then played a stretch of games where they looked superb and completely shut down the opponents.  WHHS defeated Fair Lawn 42-0, West Milford 41-15, and Passaic Valley 45-12. The Patriots were building each week and preparing for the match of the season against Ramapo.

WHHS came in at number 14 in the state taking on number 10 in the state Ramapo.  The winner of this would likely be the best public school in the state. The Patriots took the lead early but Ramapo gained momentum off of an interception and led 21-14 at the half.  Ramapo was too much for the Patriots to handle in the second half and despite a valiant comeback attempt, the Patriots lost 38-22.

With 2 weeks remaining in the regular season, the Patriots know that they need to play solid football to keep earning more games on their schedule via the playoffs.  WHHS will look to add to its prestigious history by winning another state championship and then the bowl game. The bowl game is a new addition this year and it will be played at Metlife Stadium.  It will feature two state champions from each bracket and the winner will have even more bragging rights. WHHS practices everyday and will look to be at their top form heading into the playoffs.

“Our season has gone pretty well, despite the loss out in Utah and now the loss on Friday night.  We will bounce back and I know our coaches will get us where we need to be. We are all very close with one another and will do whatever it takes to win.  We know the games are getting fewer and fewer and therefore know we need to be at our best around this time of the year. With the guys we have, we should be able to win at Metlife but we need to work,” said junior running back Michael Joyce.

The Patriots will look to finish the season with victories against PCTI and Indian Hills and then cap it off by making it into December and wearing that bowl game ring on their fingers.