Watchung Hills Pop Warner Jr. PeeWees Thank Warren Community For Support, Finish Legendary Season, 14 - 1

Pop Warner zee Wees at Disney National Championships Credits: WHPW
ORLANDO, FL - Watchung Hills Pop Warner Jr. PeeWee Wolverines finished their 2014 season after competing in the Pop Warner National Championships at Disney World in Orlando, Florida from Dec. 6 through Dec. 9. The team, comprised of boys ages 10 to 12 from the Warren area, qualified for national competition after winning the Jersey Valley Conference title and then the 5-state Eastern Region playoffs, which culminated with a 12-0 win over the Pennsylvania state champion, the Lenape Valley Indians.  The 2014 Jr. PeeWees are the first team from Watchung Hills Pop Warner to qualify for Disney since 2006 and they are also the first football team from the JVC/MVC conference, across all levels to qualify for Disney since 2007.  
After earning their ticket to the national playoffs on Nov. 28 with their win against Lenape, the team had a short 5 days to prepare and raise monies to help off-set the travel and lodging expenses.  Head coach, Andy Marion, was overwhelmed by the support from the community.   “The support we received from families, local business and anonymous donors was amazing.  We could not have taken on this trip without their assistance and we are very thankful for their generosity.”  
The Jr. PeeWee Wolverines were one of eight regional winners in the country who competed for the national title.  Watchung Hills was selected to play the Pacific Northwest Champion, Kelso Highlanders, from Washington state in their quarter final matchup on Saturday, Dec. 6t. The Wolverines battled through several costly first half penalties which forced a touchdown to be wiped off the scoreboard and allowed Kelso to sustain a long second quarter drive consuming most of the period.  Both teams entered half-time stalemated at 0 to 0.  Despite the score, Coach Andy Marion wasn’t concerned.  “I felt we were in charge even though we hadn’t scored,” said Marion.  “We had a couple of misalignments with our inside linebackers and we made adjustments. Offensively, we weren’t able to do anything because they controlled the ball for most of the second quarter.”
Starting the second half, the Wolverines got their Wing T offense rolling, marching 52 yards on the opening series.  Key runs by Luke Marion of 17 yards and Justin Ferreira of 16 and was capped off with Marion’s four-yard run, Watchung Hills began its full-scale domination.  “The kids were very composed at halftime,” Marion said. “We’ve been tied or behind a few times at half this year. We felt we’d get the job done and once we had that first series it was all Watchung Hills from there on.”

Aided by Justin Drews onside kick following Marion’s score that was recovered by Josh Claxton, the Wolverines held the ball for nearly 16 of the final 20 minutes of the contest, while the defense limited the Highlanders to a mere 18 second-half yards, with almost all of that coming on a final desperation drive as the clock ticked down.
Claxton led another stout defensive effort with 11 tackles and that fumble recovery, while Luke Marion finished with seven stops, and Mac McAteer, Thomas Johnson and Billy Black recorded four each. Shane Kelly also had an interception.
“Josh (Claxton) is an absolute beast,” Coach Marion said of his linebacker. “He is a very physical kid.”  After Claxton recovered the onside kick, Quarterback, Ty Marion, handed off to Drews who ripped off a 45-yard run behind an offensive line that executed its blocking schemes to perfection. The Wolverines split end, Johnny King had a big block on the edge which allowed Drews to break free. One play later, Luke Marion went off tackle and cut it up the middle for a 10-yard touchdown and a 13-0 lead with barely four minutes gone by in the second half.
“Our offense uses sophisticated blocking schemes, with a lot of calls made at the line of scrimmage,” Marion said. “We do a lot of white board and film work.  The kids are attentive and they soak it up.”
Claxton, Kaden Everly, Ellis Wilson, Thomas Johnson, Shane Kelly and McAteer provided all the push that Ferreira (15 carries for 156 yards), Drews (7 for 76), Jack Valenti (3 for 68) and Marion (8 for 54) needed. The Wolverines piled up 343 rushing yards. The team from Washington only recorded 69 total yards for the game.
“It’s a luxury to have four backs who are all very dangerous,” Marion said. “They can focus on one of our backs but it’s very hard to stop all of the options we have.” After a four-and-out by the Highlanders, the Wolverines rolled down the field again, requiring only four plays to cover 48 yards. The big plays were Ferreira’s 24-yard run to the 15 and Valenti’s 14-yard carry to the one. Luke Marion scored his third touchdown and his kick made it 21-0 late in the third.
Kelly’s pick less than a minute later set up the Wolverines at their own 45. On the fifth play of the drive, Ferreira got to show the folks at Disney and all those watching ESPN3’s live broadcast of the game what Watchung Hills fans have witnessed all season as he took a toss sweep around the right end and outraced the defense 34 yards to set the final margin.  
With the victory over Kelso, the Wolverines advanced to the national semi-finals and were matched up against the undefeated Hoffman Estate Red Hawks from Chicago, Illinois.  The Red Hawks, having won the mid-America region, entered Disney having only given up 12 first downs all year and one touchdown.  They advanced to the quarter finals with an 18-12 victory over the Stanley Blue Devils from North Carolina.  
Hoffman Estates got off to a quick start with a 40-yard touchdown run and a successful point after kick, giving them an early 8 - 0 lead.  They scored again after a fumble by the Wolverines on their own 5-yard line, which extended the score to 16 - 0.  The Wolverines bounced back with a successful drive of their own which culminated in a touchdown run by running back, Justin Ferreira, closing the gap to 16 to 6.  The Red Hawk offense was hard to control as they took the ensuing possession and scored another touchdown extending their lead to 22 - 6.  However, the Wolverines would not give up and marched down the field on the next possession culminating in another touchdown by Justin Ferreira making the score 22 -12 at the half.  
Both teams played strong defense in the third quarter with neither team scoring.  The Wolverine defense line was anchored by strong play from Jack Reale, Julian Sanchez, Dylan Braunstein, Peter O’Mara, and Anthony Beteh.  However, in the fourth quarter after the Wolverines were stopped for a fake punt attempt on 4th and long with 8 minutes to go, the Red Hawks were able to add another score with a 5-yard run, increasing their lead to 29-12.  In the waning minutes of the fourth quarter the Red Hawks struck again with a 35-yard touchdown run by their quarterback to complete the scoring at 35 -12.  
While the outcome of the game was not what Coach Marion expected, he stressed how proud he was of his boys and all they accomplished.  “This is a gutsy group of boys who have high football intellect and are willing to listen and learn.”  Our assistant coaches have done a superb job preparing our boys all season long.  We are very proud of all their accomplishments, especially being the second team in the program’s history to make it to Disney.  
The 2014 Jr. PeeWee Wolverines will now celebrate their amazing season at the programs year-end banquet on Sunday, January 11th, at the Stone House at Stirling Ridge in Warren, NJ.  Tickets can be purchased on-line at
The program will open up its 2015 registration shortly after the start of the new year and welcomes all boys and girls to join its football and cheer teams who are between the ages of  5 and 15.  For more information, please visit the Watchung Hills Pop Warner website at www.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


Somerset County High School Democrats to Participate in National March for Our Lives Against Gun Violence

February 24, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset County High School Democrats will have members participating in the National School Walkout March 14 and the national March for Our Lives March 24 in Washington D.C., in support of the national movement generated by the survivors of the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, according to a release.

The organization has called on county, state and federal ...

A Celebration of Black History- Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future in North Plainfield

Councilwoman Keiona R. Miller will host the 2nd Annual North Plainfield Community Black History Month Event: ‘A Celebration of Black History.’

KEYNOTE SPEAKER:  The Honorable Ronald L.  Rice, New Jersey State Senator and Chair of the New Jersey State Legislative Black Caucus.


Upcoming Events


Sun, February 25, 10:00 AM

Camp Riverbend, Warren

Camp Riverbend Open House


Sun, February 25, 4:00 PM

North Plainfield

A Celebration of Black History- Honoring the ...


Mon, March 5, 7:00 PM

BRHS Auditorium, Bridgewater

Dangers of Fentanyl

Education Health & Wellness


South Plainfield – Joanne Gallo, 68, of Palm Beach Gardens, FL and Warren, NJ, passed away ...
Read more

Parkland Strong and Proud

February 22, 2018

I want to share some thoughts with you.

I have not been posting on social media, although I have been constantly reading your posts so that I can represent you through this sad time. What our community has been saying is inspirational and has helped me cope through these “more than” trying times.

Special thanks to my fellow Parkland, Coral Springs, Broward Commissioners and ...

Low-Income Families Who Need Safe Cribs Have Nowhere to Go

One recent email came from a pastor in East Orange, sharing the struggles of a young couple who have no safe place for their baby to sleep.

Then, there was also a phone call from a Newark hospital, making its fourth request in two years, as well as a frantic text from Puerto Rico, for a family who lost everything in the hurricane.

They all pleaded for the same thing: A safe crib for a ...

WHRHS Girls Basketball: Watchung Hills Tops East Orange, 44-40

February 12, 2018

EAST ORANGE, NJ - Julia Cunningham recorded a double-double for Watchung Hills with 21 points, 16 rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block to lead the Watchung Hills girls basketball team over East Orange on Monday, 44-40. 

Jayden Baltuch finished with seven points, four assists and one rebound. 

Watchung Hills is now 19-1 on the season and next plays at Newark ...

Workshop Examines Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

February 22, 2018

BEDMINSTER, NJ – The Somerset County Business Partnership and The Center for Contemporary Art will host a “Business Builders Breakfast” and workshop focused on sexual harassment in the workplace on Tuesday, Feb. 27 beginning at 8 a.m. at The Center for Contemporary Art, 2020 Burnt Mills Road.

The 90-minute event, “Sexual Harassment & Rules of the Modern ...

Watchung Appoints New Council Member

WATCHUNG, NJ - The Watchung Borough Town Council appointed Maria Alberto to fill the unexpired portion of Debra Joren’s term at the last meeting. The term expires at the end of 2018.

Joren retired earlier this year and due to the Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) was required to resign from any public office within six ...

Somerville Merchants Endorse Plan to Reduce Parking Lot Fees

SOMERVILLE, NJ – The Borough’s controversial parking fees are set to undergo another revision, with hourly parking reduced from 75 to 50 cents in municipal lots 1,2,4 and 6, according to a merchant-driven plan endorsed by Mayor Ellen Brain.

The $1 hourly rate for parking on Main Street will remain the same, according to the mayor.

The hours of enforcement will also be changed to ...

Somerset County Preparing for Construction of Finderne Avenue Bridge, Beginning Feb. 20

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Finderne Avenue bridge, between Union Avenue and Foothill Road, will be under construction from Feb. 20 for about nine months, according to a release from Somerset County.

The bridge will be constructed in three separate stages, with one lane northbound and one lane southbound being maintained, aside from intermittent single-day closures as required. In addition, ...

EarthCam Shares Live Webcam Views of Seaside Heights Polar Bear Plunge

February 23, 2018

If you saw our article, you know about the Polar Bear Plunge this Saturday to support the Special Olympics.  If you cannot be there, but want to see the festivities, this press release tells you how you can.

WHAT: February 24 from 9am-1pm ET, thousands of people will make a mad dash into the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of Seaside Heights, NJ…and ...

Travels Idea - You Feel Like Freezing Your Beachballs Off this Saturday? - It’s a Polar Bear Plunge Benefiting the Special Olympics New Jersey

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, NJ - On Saturday, Feb 24, an anticipated 7,000 people will brave the chilly waters of the Atlantic Ocean, participating in the annual Polar Bear Plunge in Seaside Heights, all to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics New Jersey. This Plunge is especially noteworthy because it is the 25th anniversary.

Two ...

From the New York Toy Fair - Travels Reveals the Toys That Will Make You the Star of Your Child’s Life - the Oscars of the Toy World - the TOTY Awards

 As you know, we are here to encourage you to travel.  Unfortunately, the New York Toy Fair is one place virtually none of you can go.  So, unless you have been tirelessly been searching the internet, you are not up to date on what toys your children will be wanting soon.

Fortunately, with Press Correspondent credentials, we were able to go in your place.

Our ...

Travels Idea - You Feel Like Freezing Your Beachballs Off this Saturday? - It’s a Polar Bear Plunge Benefiting the Special Olympics New Jersey

February 22, 2018

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, NJ - On Saturday, Feb 24, an anticipated 7,000 people will brave the chilly waters of the Atlantic Ocean, participating in the annual Polar Bear Plunge in Seaside Heights, all to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics New Jersey. This Plunge is especially noteworthy because it is the 25th anniversary.

Two ...

Coast Guard Ends Search for Fishermen Lost at Sea, Fund Established to Help Family

The U.S. Coast Guard has officially ended its search for the two crew members of the fishing boat that went missing off the coast of Barnegat Light during the early morning hours of February 8.  

“We would like to extend our condolences to the families and the fishing community affected by this tragic incident,” said Capt. Scott Anderson, commander of the Coast Guard's ...

Third Annual Long Beach Island Job Fair Set for Saturday, March 31

SURF CITY, NJ - Need a job this summer? Look no further. Shore Fire Grille again has teamed up with local businesses in the area for a special summer 2018 Job Fair event. 

The Third Annual LBI Job Fair will take place Saturday, March 31.  Employers will be looking to hire help for the summer season on busy Long Beach Island.  The event will be held at the Surf City Yacht ...

Guest Column: The Great "Wait" of the College Process

February 14, 2018

"The Great Wait" of the College Application Process

For all the high school seniors and their parents, we are in the stressful "waiting period".  We've just finished or are finishing applications to all the schools we might possibly want to attend next year and now sit and wait our fate after the $60-$80 non-refundable application fees to at least 8-13 schools and ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...