BERKELEY HEIGHT, NJ - Gov. Livingston's versatile senior back Turner Haddad has been named the Delicious Heights Highlander Athlete of the Week for his outstanding play on both sides of the ball in the Highlanders' 40-25 Thanksgiving Day Victory against neighborhood rival New Providence. On offense, Haddad rushed for 153 yards on 22 carries and powered his way into the end zone scoring four touchdowns. From his linebacking position, Haddad was in on numerous tackles, forced a critical fumble, which he recovered, enabling the Highlanders to wrestle back the momentum of the game. Haddad closed out his three year varsity career as a three time winner against arch rival New Providence.
Prior to this three year streak for GL, New Providence had held a historic dominance of the Thanksgiving Day game (17-5-2). Haddad and his teammates can relish this change of tides and savor their sweet victory. "It feels great because it shows the rivalry can be taking a turn in our direction," said Haddad.
"Before the game we were very focused on winning because we knew it was a big thing to be the first class to win three in a row," said Haddad. "And after, we were very happy to end our careers with this accomplishment."
Haddad's hard running set the tone for the game as he picked his way down field behind his dominant O-Line. Once he got through the line of scrimmage, Haddad finished off multiple runs by carrying defenders for extra yardage. The Highlanders scored on their first three possessions of the game with Haddad scoring twice from one yard out and again on a 40 yard run.
Early in the game, Highlander coach Dan Guyton sensing he had a player who would not be denied, confidently rewarded his senior fullback with a career high 22 carries. Haddad did not disappoint his coach as he continued to grind out yards throughout the remainder of the game, while adding a fourth touchdown to cap his big day. He expected a good game and knew if he did his job, good things would happen.
On the defensive side of the ball linebacker Haddad, who was coming off a 10 tackle game in a disappointing playoff loss to Morris Hills had another strong defensive outing against New Providence. Haddad, who had a knack all season for stripping ball carriers, did just that when he took the ball away from Pioneer QB Jack Barletta at a crucial point in the contest. After he recovered the Pioneer fumble, Haddad then took a direct snap, popped out of a scrum at the line of scrimmage and ran untouched into the end zone for a 40 yard TD. Haddad's 3rd TD of the first half put New Providence in a hole they just couldn’t climb out of.
Below are comments from Turner regarding his past, present and future:
TAPinto: What was the highlight of your senior season?
Turner: The highlight was being the first class to win three straight against New Prov.
TAPinto: What did you enjoy the most about playing football at GL?
Turner: I enjoyed playing with teammates who I had been playing with since 2nd grade.
TAPinto: What advice would you give to next year's team?
Turner: To keep working hard and making GL football a well respected team.
TAPinto: What will you miss most about playing football at GL?
Turner: I will miss playing with all my friends and the Thanksgiving game.
TAPinto: What is your mood like on game day and do you have a pre game ritual?
Turner: I do not have a pregame ritual but I really just try to focus on my job.
TAPinto: What other sports do you play at GL?
Turner: I wrestle and play lacrosse.
TAPinto: How hard is it to get into wrestling mode right after a tough football season?
Turner: It actually is not that hard because I can use it as way to help me work harder in wrestling.
TAPinto: What do you enjoy most about GL?
Turner: I enjoy knowing everyone so closely.
TAPinto: What coach had the most influence on you?
Turner: Coach Ortega had the most influence because his style of coaching really helped me change my mindset.
TAPinto: Who are three people you’d like to have dinner with?
Turner: I would like to have dinner with Michael Jordan, Bill Belichick, and Cael Sanderson.
TAPinto: What do you enjoy doing if your not playing a sport?
Turner: I enjoying watching tv and hanging out with my friends.
TAPinto: What are your college plans for next year?
Turner: I wish to study accounting and playing football.
TAPinto: Do you anticipate playing a sport in college?
Turner: Yes I plan to keep playing football.
TAPinto: What is your dream job?
Turner: My dream job would have to be a long snapper in the NFL.
Delicious Heights Highlander Athlete of the Week is sponsored by Delicious Heights, a family restaurant with three locations; Berkeley Heights, Bedminster and Basking Ridge, where it is part of the Basking Ridge County Club operating a public restaurant with outdoor dining, and acting as the banquet caterer, boasting a facility with panoramic views of the sprawling golf course. Visit our website, www.deliciousheights.com for weekly specials including Happy Hour specials from 3-6pm and daily featured dinner and lunch specials. Delicious Heights....where our only limitations are yours!
Delicious Heights is located at 428 Springfield Avenue in Berkeley Heights. 908.464.3287; 285 Main Street in Bedminster. 908.234.1596; 185 Madisonville Road in Basking Ridge. 908.766.9499.