WAYNE, NJ – On November 9, 2019 the Wayne Boys and Girls Club Seventh-Grade Panthers Football team won the Morris County Championship defeating Long Valley in the championship game 22-8.
This was the culmination of an undefeated season where the Panthers outscored all of their opponents 305-8, having only given up one score for the entire season in the championship game. Their last victory was the nineteenth win in a row for the group.
“Being a high school football coach for twenty years,” said John Immediato, the head coach of the team. “I’ve been around a lot of good teams but being with this group for the last three to four years has been a really special experience to coach at this level. They are a great bunch of kids that play for each other.”
“There is no super star on this team. Everybody is a team player, and they work really hard and root for each other in every aspect of the game,” continued Immediato. “I’m blessed to be working with a great coaching staff. I have great support from the Boys and Girls Club. It’s been a great ride, and we have one more year to go with this group in eighth grade and it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
At the last Wayne Town Council Meeting, the Council and Administration recognized the achievements of the team publicly with a proclamation. In the audience were the forty-four team members, the coaching staff and proud family members.
Sixth Ward Wayne Town Councilman Jon Ettman came to the podium along with Mayor Chris Vergano. ““Like a good teammate, I’m stepping up for Councilman Sadowski who couldn’t be here tonight,” said Ettman at the podium.
“We are here to honor the Boys and Girls Club of Wayne Seventh Grade Panthers Football team on winning the Superbowl recently,” Ettman pronounced. “Congratulations everybody on a job well done.”
Applause erupted, echoing throughout the chamber.
Ettman then began to read the proclamation that was drafted for the team:
- Whereas the Wayne Boys and Girls Club Morris County seventh grade youth football team consists of forty-four determined and united football players (which has doubled since last season).
- Whereas the hard-work, dedication and sportsmanship, talent and exceptional team chemistry has enabled these young athletes to earn a Superbowl championship win on November 9, 2019 with a 22-8 victory over Long Valley.
- Whereas the team has two consecutive Superbowl wins and has won nineteen games in a row, and over the course of a ten-game season has averaged thirty-one points per game.
- Whereas the tenacious defensive team created twenty turnovers during the season and were unscored upon in the regular season and only gave up eight points post season, while the offensive team scored 305 total points.
- Whereas the team achieved outstanding success through extraordinary determination and unwavering loyalty to each other with the inspiration, leadership and support of their coaches.
- Whereas Head Coach John Immediato and assistant coaches Joe Scirocco, Jim Patton, Bryan Murray, Paul Kindler, Anthony Conti and Dave Montasera played an integral part in guiding their team to their victory win.
- Now, therefore be it proclaimed that we the Township Council of the Township of Wayne Proclaim that the Wayne Boys and Girls Club Morris County Youth Football League is hereby honored for once again capturing the Superbowl Championship win. Congratulations!”
This was greeted with even louder applause.
Ettman then read off each of the forty-four team members names and (probably) pronounced at least 90% of them correctly. The applause that followed may have been more for Ettman’s determination to get through the list of names then for the players themselves.
“I think it’s fair to say that out of all the sports, football requires the most unity, the most teamwork and the most coaching,” finished Ettman. “To win, not one, but two Superbowls, I really believe it says a lot about the character of these players and their coaches and their families.”
“As you can tell, I took the smart job tonight,” said Vergano to a smattering of laughter. “And, did not read any of the names, because that is a tough job.”
“I’m going to ask the coaches to come up for a few moments and let’s embarrass them because they do a tremendous amount of work for our community and I want to recognize them tonight,” said Vergano.
As the Panther coaching staff made their way up to the front of the room, Vergano said: “We are really lucky in Wayne Township. We have such great organizations and volunteers that are taking care of our kids and keeping them involved.”
“For our coaches here tonight. We know you are out there in the wind and the rain. We know you try to keep the fields cleaned up,” said Vergano. “Our job as the municipal council and the administration is to provide you with an atmosphere where you can practice and have the kids enjoy sports and I think we’ve done that and I’m glad to see that you are making good use of all of our fields. So, tonight, on behalf of the community we want to say” ‘Thank you,’ for a job well done.”
The Mayor then presented the coaching staff with a plaque commemorating their Superbowl victory and successful season.
Coach Immediato addressed the Mayor and Council: “I just want to take this time to thank the Town Council and Mayor Vergano, especially Councilman Al Sadowski who couldn’t be here tonight, but got the ball rolling with this.
“I’m just truly blessed to be the leader of this group, surrounded by a great coaching staff and a ton of talent sitting down right here,” said Immediato indicating his team seated next to him. “The boys worked really hard from August all the way to November. But they are not only successful on the football field; whether it be the basketball court, the wrestling mat or the baseball diamond, these are all good solid athletes and more importantly, what we are trying to do is instill in them what hard work is, to be good people and to have good character. So, you can see that they are all good young men.”
“We appreciate everything that you do for us,” continued Immediato addressing the Township representatives. “Providing the facilities, and the fields, we appreciate it and thank you very much for taking the time to give us this honor. This will hang in the Boys and Girls Club always for years to come.” Immediato held the commemorative plaque aloft.
It was a proud moment for the coaches, the players, the families in attendance and for the Township of Wayne itself.