RANDOLPH, NJ- On Saturday November 9, 2019, the Randolph Pee Wee Bulldogs Football team played host to one of their arch rivals, the Long Valley Raiders, in the Morris Country Youth Football League Championship. This game was the culmination of hard work and sacrifice for these 11 and 12 year old’s dating back the heat and humidity of August 1.
The Pee Wee Bulldogs, Coached by Jerry Davis in his second year with the team and nearly 20th coaching in Randolph, were looking to continue with the previous season’s success. However, given that the 6th -8th grade levels crown a champion, the players decided on three goals back in August: winning the division, winning the overall league championship and going undefeated.
Prior to the kick off of the regular season, the team selected QB Jackson Magley, WR Will Varanelli and RB Mason Wilson as its captains and the coaching staff agreed to add 3 additional captains each week based on leadership, attitude and effort from that week’s practices. The Bulldogs kicked off the season with scrimmages against Newton and Madison and got wins versus both. That proved to be the start they needed to get rolling as they tallied wins versus Rockaway, Denville, Roxbury and Jefferson in the month of September and Wayne, Long Valley, Hackettstown and Mt. Olive to round out the regular season as Iron Division Champions and an 8-0 record and having achieved their first goal.
As the playoff brackets took shape, the schedule worked in their favor as they were matched up against two teams they had already beaten in the regular season, Rockaway and then Long Valley. However, those were their two toughest and most physical games of the season. The team’s playoff mantra was ‘Prove it’ meaning all teams start the playoffs with zero wins and zero losses and every team has the same opportunity. It was up to the team to show the rest of the league that they were legitimate.
In the Semi-Final, the Bulldogs got off to a fast start and stayed physical against Rockaway winning 44-14 earning a trip to the Championship vs. Long Valley, who they had battled to a 12-6 win just a few weeks earlier.
The last week of practice leading up to the Long Valley game was a shortened week due to rain but they got in a film session to help correct mistakes and put together the game plan. The Championship Game, which took place at Jannarone Park in Parsippany this past Saturday, started as the first meeting did.
Both teams were unsuccessful in the early drives, but once the Bulldogs settled into the game and got through the initial nerves, they started moving the ball with more success and continued with stout defense to go into halftime up 14-0. After a few adjustments made by the coaches at halftime, the Bulldogs put together a quick touchdown drive early in the 3rd quarter to go up 20-0, and they never looked back. The defense remained strong and the offense put up 2 more scores and the Bulldogs took home the title with a 34-6 final, achieving their second and third goals for the season.
The core of this team has been playing together since they were five years old in Randolph’s Flag Football program. Should they remain together and hopefully be able to add a few additional players, their future 7th and 8th grade seasons looks bright.
The Pee Wee Bulldogs are coached by Head Coach Jerry Davis and Assistants Russ Ford, Ian Magley, Tim Novak, Stas Pietrucha, Stephen Quinn, Joe Sommer and Scott Wilson. Team Members include:
John Andrade, Nicholas Cirella, Connor Decker, Gregory Ford, Nicholas Forde, Bryce Hankin, Logan Hankin, Marco Holder, Brooks Koepke, Kevin Kuridza, Jackson Magley, Jayden Morreale, Owen Morriello, Steven Nostrame, Justin Novak, Aedan Perez, Ian Pietrucha, Benjamin Quinn, Jackson Schmitz, Joseph Sommer, Hudson Trezza, William Varanelli, Mason Wilson.