Tackling an Extra Game

The Football Team Prepares for Their Next Playoff Game

Takashi Matsumoto

It may have been a surprise to hear that the football team’s next game is at Wayne Hills rather than MetLife Stadium. In previous years, last Friday’s game would have been the one to send the football team to the championship game at MetLife, which has become a yearly event for NVOT. However, this year the team will play another game and will only advance to the final game at MetLife if they win. Nonetheless, the team still has high hopes for the rest of their season.

The NJSIAA added another state playoff game because New Jersey high school football only has State Sectional champions while other sports have state champions. This extra game brings New Jersey one step closer to having one true state champion. Athletic Director Thomas Kaechele explained, “A proposal was made, the athletic directors and coaches got a chance to vote on it, and the new State Playoff format was approved and adopted for the 2018 season.”

Kaechele stated that because “football is not like volleyball or tennis where you could play almost every day,” it is difficult to have just one state champion. However, limiting the amount of State Sectional champions gives the title more prestige and honor.

Despite the changes and challenges that come with an extra game this season, the team continues pushing on. Junior Patrick Pasalacqua recounted, “We have maintained a hard-working attitude throughout the season, and through the ups and downs that it brought. That is really the main factor in our success thus far.”

The extra game is not deterring the team’s spirit as Pasalacqua stated that the addition of another playoff game “only gives [the team] an extra game to get excited about if [they] get the opportunity to play at MetLife.” He continued that additional game “hasn’t tainted the magnitude of the game [they] will play on Friday at all.”

Regardless of the changes the football team still has their eyes set on victory as Senior Jackson Downey said, “The expectation is to play our best game of the year and to win.”