WESTFIELD, NJ — Hank Shapiro threw the sole touchdown pass to Steve Barden for the Westfield High School varsity football team to defeat Union 7-6 on Friday, giving the Blue Devils their 30th straight win.
Along with the game-winning pass, Shapiro made seven completions for a total of 74 yards during the game. With the help of a tight-knit defense that allowed just a single touchdown, Westfield reigned victorious after Union’s Max Cuenca was unable to kick the extra point.
“Seeing all our hard work during the week showing on game day is a reason I love playing on the football team,” the quarterback said.
Shapiro threw one interception early during the game against Union, but did not let this mistake affect how he played the rest of the game.
“He shook it off and made some great reads and throws throughout the rest of the game,” head coach Jim Desarno said.
Hank Shapiro is this week’s Ron Bansky and Associates Allstate Westfield Athlete of the Week.
The sophomore has made a name for himself this year as he has dominated the field passing a total of 450 yards and six touchdowns so far. His early success has helped the team to maintain their impressive win streak as they remain 5-0 for the current season.
“It feels great to have success early in my high school career, but all that matters is the team and winning games. The main reason I have done well is because of my team’s support on and off the field,” Shapiro said.
Shapiro’s success has come through his hard work and dedication to the team, according to his coach.
“He’s always the first player on the practice field,” DeSarno said. “He studies game film and takes coaching very well.”
Shapiro’s goal is to take the team back to Metlife Stadium, where he hopes they will win a third straight championship.
“This serves as motivation each week to practice hard and put ourselves in the best position to win games,” he said. “Personally, I will do anything to help the team have success and I try my best to play my hardest in all practice and in games.”
Shapiro’s personal hero is Tom Brady, who he thinks is the greatest quarterback of all time.
“I try my best to be like him because he wins and is the best at what he does,” he said.
DeSarno looks for big things to come for Shapiro as he grows as a player as well as a team leader.
“Running the offense as a quarterback is a big responsibility and he’s figuring it out now,” he said, “and he’s only going to get better at it.”
“It feels great being undefeated this season, but we have to take it one game at a time and work hard every day so we can stay undefeated as long as possible,” Shapiro said.
The Blue Devils will have their chance to remain undefeated on Saturday when they take on Elizabeth.
Kayla Miedrzynski is a student at Westfield High School participating in a journalism program with TAPinto Westfield.
The Allstate Westfield Athlete of the Week is sponsored by Ron Bansky & Associates Allstate Agency. Located 502 East Broad St., the agency has been protecting local families and business owners for over 15 years. Call them at 908-301-0711 for a new auto, home or life insurance quote this week and if you mention the Allstate WHS Athlete of the Week they will make a $25 contribution to the Westfield Boosters Association! To learn more, visit ronbansky.com.