BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Gov. Livingston linemen Brian Biskaduros, Ben Collins and Dan Tomlinson signed to continue their football careers in college on Friday, April 7 with their families, teammates and Gov. Livingston head coach Dan Guyton by their side.
The seniors have been playing football together since, well, as long as they can remember. They will follow different paths next year: Biskaduros to Muhlenberg College, Collins to Fairleigh Dickinson University, Tomlinson to University of New Haven.
That camaraderie they endured is very important -- when you think about it, some of the most successful teams end up being those that stick together - all three were three year varsity players.
"Ten years playing together -- I'm going to miss it," said Biskaduros. "On the field, we had a connection -- we knew where each other was on the field."
Not only did their connection resonate on the field, Gov. Livingston head coach Dan Guyton continues to hold a bond with his players off the field. His 2016 defensive line was made up of arguably the strongest linemen that GL has ever fielded, and this came from their dedication and work ethic both on the field and in the weight room. These athletes continue that dedication with an everyday workout regime during off-season to stay in top shape for the next level.
Guyton will continue to stay on them and will do so through the summer to make sure they are ready for success this coming fall. "It's nice having them around as examples of guys who are going to play at the next level for the younger guys," said Guyton. "All three work really hard as multi-sport athletes."
Although the Highlanders' 2016 season had its ups and downs, these seniors can savor in the glory of winning the New Providence Thanksgiving Day neighborhood rivalry game for three straight years to end their high school careers on a positive note. They became the first Gov. Livingston gridders to win three games against New Providence. With the dark days of this rivalry behind them (17-5-2 New Providence), the Highlanders may have finally silenced their neighbors' taunts about GL football.
These three seniors along with their fellow senior teammates will be remembered for the Thanksgiving Game three-peat accomplishment that will go down in the Highlander record books. However, Biskaduros would tell his younger teammates to take advantage and enjoy the time you have at GL. "It goes by so fast -- people say that all the time and it's so true," said Biskaduros.
While both Collins and Tomlinson had successful wrestling careers, [with Tomlinson claiming the 2016 Union County Heavy Weight Championship title and as the 2017 runner-up, as well as placed third in the district and sixth in the region], they knew they were going to continue to play football in college.
As for college choice and football program, Tomlinson knew that New Haven was losing several seniors to graduation which is a nice position for an incoming freshman to step into. Also helping in his decision was the fact the coaches really liked him.
For Biskaduros, as soon as he walked on the Muhlenberg campus, he knew it was the right fit. "I really liked the campus and the academics sold me," said Biskaduros. "It's a very good school and good football program."
Collins is ready for a smooth transition to college football knowing he will be on campus early to meet his Fairleigh Dickinson teammates and will receive tips from the upperclassmen. Also a plus, he will be close by and plans to come back to see GL games too.
Guyton couldn't be more proud of the three senior linemen. "I'm excited to see what they do going forward," said Guyton. "All three work really hard."
Biskaduros and Tomlinson will have the opportunity to play one more game together in this summer's Snapple Bowl, which means a lot to both of them. Biskaduros couldn't have said it better, "Playing in the Snapple Bowl means a lot -- especially because I get to play with Dan. We have been playing together for 10 years. It's a nice way to wrap up my high school career."
Editor's Note: The Snapple Bowl is a charity all-star football game featuring seniors from Middlesex County and Union County to benefit Lakeview Children's School for Developmental Disabilities in Edison and the Children's Specialized Hospital in Union County. The game will be played on Thursday, July 20, 2017 at Kean University at 7 p.m. Last year's Snapple Bowl raised a single-game record of $50,000 for the two organizations.