SOMERSET, NJ - The Franklin Warriors will kick off their 2017 season against Phillipsburg on the road, September 8, with new head coach, John Paczkowski.

"I have a very positive outlook on this season, the senior class has been great with accepting all the changes. Different summer responsibilities in the month of July, a new offense a new defense, and new coaches. You figure this class has had three different head coaches since their sophomore year."

He is looking for the team and members of the community to "Trust the process." 

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"All of us are in this together, from the student athletes to the teachers, administrators and the parents," Paczkowski said. "This isn't my football team, I never want it to be. This team is for all of us, Franklin High School, Franklin MIddle School, Pop Warner, and the town. That is part of what the process is about."

Earlier this month FMS football coach Blair Wilson set up a meet community meet and greet at the middle school, where people had the opportunity to learn more about Paczkowski's process. 

"I have received a positive response from player parents, and administrators from the school, Paczkowski said. "I want to especially thank the school principal, Cheryl Clark, Rebekah Solomon, Daryn Plummer, and athletic director, Ken Margolin."

Paczkowski has been coaching football for more than two decades on the high school and collegiate level. He coached on the defensive side of the ball, at the University of Maryland, and Hofstra University.  

During his three years at the University of Maryland, Paczkowski coached linebackers under Ralph Friedgen and picked up his philosophy of emphasizing on the student in student-athlete. 

"Working under Coach Friedgen taught me a lot he was a great influence on me," Paczkowski said. "He has expressed interest in coming down to help us with some fundraising opportunities."

After his time at the University of Maryland Paczkowski moved on to Hofstra University to coach outside linebackers for two years before the program was terminated.   

He was the defensive coordinator at Carteret and Elizabeth and head coach at Keyport high school.  

Paczkowski is a defensive minded coach, he played defensive line and linebacker for The College of New Jersey. 

The team is looking to bounce back from a 1-9, 2016 campaign. 

"As long as we take everything one step at a time the team should be able to turn this season over to a better season than we had last year," Ra'kiel Davis, offensive line backer/running back said.  

He did not come to Franklin alone, as he brought along offensive coordinator, Dominick Amoroso who he has worked with for a decade. 

"It is great to be here, the timing worked out perfectly, it was as if the stars were aligned," Amoroso said. 

Grades 9-12 have been practicing together to improve social development during the first half the practice season. The varsity team will move on to having practice six days a week in early August. 

"John Paczkowski has started to change the narrative for Franklin football, Blair Wilson, FMS head coach said. "It's in the short time he's been the head coach at Franklin. His interaction with the student athlete and the community has been great, which is key in building a program. Can't wait to see what the future will bring."

TAPinto Franklin Township will have more coverage throughout the summer on the Warriors football team.

TAPinto Franklin Township is Franklin Township’s only free daily paper. 

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