WESTFIELD, NJ — The 17-year-old senior has filled a variety of positions during his time with the football team, but none quite as fulfilling as the one he is in now.
A tight end on the Westfield High School varsity football team, John Czarnecki team is looking forward to next week’s Thanksgiving Day game against Plainfield. Czarnecki is this week’s Ron Bansky and Associates Allstate Westfield Athlete of the Week.
“He’s been a terrific player for us this year,” said head coach Jim DeSarno. “He has settled in to the tight end position after playing multiple positions on offense and defense his sophomore and junior years. He has come up big for us all year when we needed a big play.”
Czarnecki finds himself in both offensive and defensive roles. That’s what a tight end does.
“Its good to find a place that fits me this year,” Czarnecki said. “I may not be the biggest tight end, but I can get the job done,” said Czarnecki, who measured 6-foot-3 and weighed in at 171 pounds at the season’s start.
Czarnecki said he has been playing with many of his teammates for 10 years — since third grade — and he recalled the Blue Devils’ Nov. 9 late game rally against Bridgewater as a remarkable team effort.
“We scored with three minutes left in the third quarter, and then we scored all the rest of our points in the fourth quarter,” Czarnecki said.
As then reported, Westfield had scored four touchdowns in the 14 minutes and 15 seconds of the game to rally from a 23-point deficit.
Czarnecki, who also is a captain of the Westfield High School baseball team, said he is looking at sticking with football when he heads college next year, even if he does not play a lead role on the football field in college.
“I want to stay involved with football no matter where I go, whether it’s playing flag football or just being a student assistant,” he said.
Czarnecki also is the president of the high school’s Student Government Association.
Football, however, is something Czarnecki anticipates he will remember long after the games are complete.
“In 27 years from now, we’re still going to remember those games,” he said. “We’re still going to remember those guys who we’ve been playing football with for most of our lives.”
And while the upcoming Thanksgiving game against Plainfield doesn’t go on the Blue Devils’ official scorecard, it is still a game that matters.
“I’m looking forward to the game,” Czarnecki said. “You get a chance to end your football career, and you don’t want to go out there and lay an egg.”
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 19 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.