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18 Vin Ascolese
North Bergen’s linebacker, one of the most relentless players in the country, shares his journey.
6 OFFENSIVE GUARD
Standout players around Morris County are recognized for their performances this past season By Chuck Anderson
Andrew Cupo and C.J Joyce talk about their record breaking season By Jeremy Liberman and Chuck Anderson
Don Bosco’s Frank Failace proves he can compete at a high level By Chuck Anderson
High School Football
PLAYERS IN THE CROWD Par Hill’s Linebackers
Parsippany Hills Vikings The 2011 Team turned their program around.
Ways to give back to your community
What the modern day high school cheerleader means to football. By Chuck Anderson
On the Cover Design by Arlene Higginson (Legends Art) , Photo by Karl Mattson Officical Sponsors: Sizzle Tanning Salons, Castle Printing, Morris County Engraving, Gigi’s Limo Corporation, Salerno Duane Automotive Group, Cummings Creative Group, The Gridion Academy, Zute Band, Audi Newton, Newton Volkswagon, NJ Bar & Grill, Cinders, Black River Barn, Seidner Dentistry, Alex’s Barber Shop, Long Hill Auto, Lakeside Nurseries and Castle Printing.
Note to the Reader
by CHUCK ANDERSON
Far too many times, those that watch high school football only see what the athlete can do on the field. Spectators and onlookers undermine and fail to recognize what actually got that athlete to where he is today. Today, people have forgotten the genetic makeup of a high school football player because they are blinded by the bright lights, the large crowds and the constant hype around where players will go after high school. Behind every football player, there is a story. A story that needs to be told so that readers and listeners can understand their journey and the obstacles these players have overcome. It is my sole purpose to tell that story to remind us all that through immea-
For 18-years BigTime Magazine has printed over one million copies of over 300 issues of the magazine that provides you with everything you need to know of the BigTime players, teams and coaches.
Bigtime Magazine : Issue # 225 : Bigtime Magazine features articles on the top High School, College and Professional football players. We celebrate and recognize the hard work and commitment both on and off the field. We highlight the personal traits of these Leaders of tomorrow so that they can serve as inspirational role models and mentors to all of our readers that includes over 30,000 youth, high school, college, professional players, teams, coaches, fans and alumni.
Publisher: Chuck Mound Editor: Jack Devries Art Director: Arlene Higginson Reporter: Michael Reden,Chuck Anderson,Jeremy Liberman Photographer: Karl Mattson, George Leroy Hunter Quality Control: Anthony Corigliano Sports Information: Will Harrigan, Ed Peters Football Operations: Marty Johnson, Calvin Thompson Layout & Design: Chuck Mound, Chuck Anderson Web Master: Chuck Mound College Football Network Atlantic Coast Conference: Boston College, Clemson University, Florida State University, University of Maryland, North Carolina State University, Wake Forest University, Virginia Tech, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Miami, University of Virginia, University of North Carolina, Duke University Big East: University of Cincinnati, University of Connecticut, University of Louisville, University of Pittsburgh, Rutgers University, University of South Florida, Syracuse University, West Virginia University Big Ten: University of Illinois at Urbana, Indiana University, University of Iowa, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska- Lincoln, Northwestern University, The Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University, University of Wisconsin-Madison Big 12: Iowa State University, Kansas State University, University of Kansas, University of Missouri, Baylor University, Oklahoma State University, Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University, University of Oklahoma, University of Texas Conference USA: University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Central Florida, East Carolina University, Marshall University, University of Memphis, University of Southern Mississippi, University of Houston, Rice University, Southern Methodist University, University of Texas at El Paso, Tulane University, University of Tulsa FBS Independent: United State Military Academy, United States Naval Academy, University of Notre Dame, Brigham Young University Mid-American Conference: University of Akron, Bowling Green State University, University at Buffalo, Kent State University, Miami University, Ohio University, Temple University, Ball State University, Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University, Norther Illinois University, University of Toledo, Western Michigan University Mountain West: United Air Force Academy, Boise State University, Colorado State University, University of New Mexico, San Diego State University, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, University of Wyoming Pacific-10 Conference: University of Arizona, Arizona State University, University of CaliforniaBerkeley, University of Oregon, Stanford University, University of California- Los Angeles, University of Southern California, University of Washington, Washington State University Southeastern Conference: University of Florida, University of Georgia, University of Kentucky, University of South Carolina, University of Tennessee, Vanderbilt University, University of Alabama, University of Arkansas, Auburn University, Louisiana State University, Mississippi State University, University of Mississippi Sun Belt Conference: Arkansas State University, Florida Atlantic University, Florida International University, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, University of Louisiana at Monroe, Middle Tennessee State University, University of North Texas, University of South Alabama, Troy University, Western Kentucky University Western Athletic Conference: California State University-Fresno, University of Hawaii- Manoa, University of Idaho, Louisiana Tech University, University of Nevada- Reno, New Mexico State University, San Jose State University, Utah State University
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Players in the Crowd CJ Joyce
Parsippany Hills Vikings Joyce, senior running back and linebacker, was the heart and soul of the Vikings. He rushed for 868 yards on 172 carries and six touchdowns. Defensively, he finished the season with an astounding 164 tackles.
Justin Goodwin Madison Dodgers
Goodwin was the most exciting player to watch this past fall as he led Madison to their second consecutive Section 2, Group II State Championship win. The junior running back finished up with 1,789 yards, 34 TDs and 208 points, setting a new school record in points scored in a single season for the Dodgers.
Morris Knolls Golden Eagles Greenhagenâ€™s instincts and nose for the ball has led him to a 4-year illustrious career for the Golden Eagles. The middle linebacker capped off his senior season recording 75 tackles, including 10 tackles for a loss and one interception for a TD.
Parsippany Hills Vikings The Vikingâ€™s quarterback had nearly 2,057 yards passing and 26 TDs while throwing12 interceptions. Simms helped Parsippany Hills turn things around as they made it all the way to the Section 2, Group III State Championship game with a final record of 8-4.
Delbarton Green Wave The standout inside linebacker was one of the best in Morris County. Bencsko managed to do it all defensivley. He racked up 104 tackles (23 for a loss), 13 sacks and four interceptions.
1501 Route 46 West Ledgewood, NJ 07852 Phone: 973.584.0990 Phone: 973.584.1660 Fax: 973.584.6996 Fax: 973.584.4146 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Two Linebackers: One record, One mission
By Jeremy Liberman and Chuck Anderson
who has the tackle?
Parsippany Hills Linebackers Cupo & Joyce The 5-foot-10, 180 -pound senior, who says he has been playing football since third grade, recognizes a game his team played against Morris Knolls as one of his personal best. Parsippany Hills had a goal line stand to end the game as Cupo finished with 19 total tackles. Cupo also enjoyed a game against Roxbury where both teams played in adverse conditions, as snow continued to come down throughout the game. Cupo finished with 18 tackles in the team’s loss, but was proud of how they handled themAndrew Cupo Photo by: George Leroy Hunter Photography selves in such an unfavorable environment. or every high school football player individual accomplishments are As for college placed second on the priority list, while playing in a state championship ranks first plans, Cupo’s top schools as the main goal for a player and his team. include the University of For Parsippany Hills High School linebacker, Andrew Cupo, both of these Massachusetts, Drexel, once-empty boxes have been checked off. and Seton Hall, where he The senior linebacker lead his team to the North II Group III State Champi- does not intend to cononship, while also finishing the season with 166 total tackles, breaking the former tinue his football career. school record of 147. “I want to go out on top,” Cupo, who attributes his playing style to that of NFL superstar linebacker, he said with some laughPatrick Willis, credits the hard work put forth during the off season as the contribut- ter. With sole possession ing factor to his team’s success. of a school record, on top He also praised Head Coach, Dave Albano, who played a major is exactly where he will part in his team’s route to the State Championship. “He knows what to do in any remain. situation,” Cupo proudly stated. “Plus, he’s always there to motivate the team,” he added.
C.J. Joyce amd Andrew Cupo
C.J Joyce isn’t the fastest or the strongest player on the field, but he sure has a nose for finding the football. The 5-foot-9, 185-pound senior middle linebacker and running back makes up for what he lacks in size with his relentless ability to track down ball carriers and receivers because of the free range the linebacker position gives him.
He credits much of his success to former standout linebacker, Vin Lombardozzi of Parsippany Hills, who previously held the school record for tackles made in a single season with 147. “I remember watching him play. I remember how great of a linebacker he was when they went to the championship,” explained Joyce. “I looked up to him as a linebacker and it was a humbling experience to pass him.” Joyce also gives recognition to his defensive linemen as they were able to create tackling alleys for him by holding up opposing offensive linemen. Not only does he use his speed to get around defenders, he also uses his understanding and preparation for each game to put himself in better positions to make plays. “Before each play, I always look at the formations. Each week we prepare really hard and I know what is coming before a play even starts,” he added. The modest Viking earned a spot on the Third Team All-Group III and First Team All-Area teams for his performance this past season. As far as what he has CJ Joyce Photo by: George Leroy Hunter Photography learned over his high school career, Joyce spoke about his “I love hitting people, I always have,” Joyce said. “Being a linebacker, personal development and the you get free range running from sideline to sideline and to me it’s the best posicoaches that got him to where tion to play.” he is today. Joyce, along with fellow linebacker Andrew Cupo, also had a record “They pushed me to get breaking season as he helped lead the Vikings to the North II, Group III State stronger in the weight room and Championship game. helped me understand how foot He finished the season with 164 total tackles, ranking him second in ball operates and it really paid school history with tackles made in a single season behind Cupo. off.” BIGTIME MAGAZINE
Failace is Don Bosco’s best Secret Weapon
By Chuck Anderson
rom the moment that Frank
Failace could walk and before he knew anything about football, his father had already begun to take him to watch local youth football games every Saturday. “He just loved watching the games,” said his father, Frank Failace Jr. The hardworking tight end for Don Bosco Preparatory High School first started playing football for the Wayne Boys and Girls Club youth program and Coach Mike Starrs, the same team he watched as a child. There, he quickly rose to prominence as a young quarterback who displayed promise. After he capped off his eighth grade season winning the NJJFL Championship and despite local criticism, he enrolled into Don Bosco to continue his career as a student and football player. “The coaches in my youth league had a lot of confidence in me,” Failace said. “But a lot of people thought I wouldn’t play at Don Bosco and told me to stay home and go to Wayne Valley High School instead.” Entering into his freshman year, all he wanted to do was prove his doubters wrong. That fall he earned himself a starting position as the quarterback on the junior varsity team and maintained that position throughout his sophomore year. During his sophomore year, he scored his first varsity touchdown in a state playoff game against Red Bank Catholic. What was memorable about that touchdown wasn’t the fact that it was his first touchdown on varsity, but that his father was working security and was standing in the end zone to witness it. “When I ran into the end zone, he was the first person I saw and his hands were in the air, jumping up and down,” explained Failace.
Everything seemed to be going just as he had planned and his dream of being a starting quarterback at Don Bosco was slowly becoming a reality. After his sophomore season, Head Coach Toal and the rest of the Don Bosco coaching staff called him into their office to discuss moving him from quarterback to tight end.
Frank Failace His whole life he had played quarterback and was use to having the ball in his hands at all times— now his coaches wanted him to play a position that involved mostly run blocking. “The coaches asked me how I felt about playing tight end. At first I didn’t know, but I knew it was an opportunity to play and I told them I will do whatever I have to do to get on the field,” Failace said. Making the transition from quarterback to tight end isn’t an easy one. A quarterback doesn’t have to worry about making a block or catching a pass over the middle. The quarterback is a glorified player where the spotlight is consistently on him. The tight end rarely receives as much praise as the quarterback and can sometimes be forgotten about if he is not a standout blocker and receiver.
However, this did not deter him from following his dream to one day start varsity for Don Bosco. Instead, it motivated him; it drove him to work harder in the weight room and become a better student of the game. “He understands his commitment to make the team better and to give us a chance to win,” said Coach Toal. He accepted the challenge that Coach Toal and the rest of the coaching staff set for him and began training six days a week. He spent extra time on the field leading up to his junior year; practicing how to get off the ball, how to block effectively and fine tuning his route running. He said the two hardest things to learn was how to run block and getting separation while running routes. Switching positions takes hard work, but more importantly it takes patience. “I never knew how hard it was to run block, I’d do a lot of run blocking in practice,” he said. “I now have a lot more respect for guys on the line.” All of the hard work paid off for him as he found himself as the starting tight end that fall as a junior. He credits much of his success to his best friends and teammates, defensive end Darius Hamilton and safety/ wide receiver Kyle Sakowski.
“IF YOU WANT TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN LIFE, YOU HAVE TO WORK AS HARD AS POSSIBLE FOR THAT GOAL.” - Frank Failace
Frank Failace Day in and day out they have continued to push each other in the weight room and on the field. Failace believes the switch from quarterback to tight end ultimately helped him become more knowledgeable about the game. Before each run play, he has to decide what block he is going to make and is also responsible for echoing to the rest of the offensive line where his defensive end is aligned so they know how to make their own blocks during that play. “One of the main things I benefitted from changing positions is when I walk up to the line of scrimmage I recognize what coverage opposing teams are in. Whenever I go to the line, I am able to read the defense. So for example, if I am running a short crossing route, I know where to sit in the window to get myself open,” he said. His father believes one of the main reasons why his son is in the position he is today is because of his character and how he carries himself. “I always tell him that regardless of how good of a football player you are, the name on the back of your jersey is one of most important things because you will always be Frank Failace for the rest of your life,” stressed his father. He finished his junior season in style by capturing a state championship. He recalled the game and
“HE’S BEEN A HECK OF A PLAYER FOR US FOR THE PAST TWO YEARS. HE REALLY HELPS OUR RUN GAME AND HAS BECOME A GOOD COMPLIMENTARY RECEIVER.” - Coach Toal remembered the game winning drive. He mentioned what Coach Toal said to the team and how Toal reminded them how much hard work he and his teammates had put in to win a state championship. It was a special moment for him because he personally reflected on everything that he did to not only become a starting tight end, but playing a major role offensively in helping Don Bosco win a state championship.
12 BIGTIME MAGAZINE
His hard work had not gone unnoticed as he was named to the second team All Big North Conference. After his junior season, Failace broke his collar bone and was not able to participate in practices for a full month. “My father told me not to get down and feel sorry for myself. He said things happen for a reason and maybe the reason was for me to slow down a bit and not to take things for granted,” he said. “I realized how much of an appreciation I had for football. It killed me watching my teammates practice and that I couldn’t be out there with them.” This year, he and his teammates completed another successful season by winning their sixth straight sectional title and second national title in three years with a victory over Bergen Catholic. He was also named to First Team All Bergen County, All Big North Conference and All Suburban as a tight end. When asked about his starting tight end this year, Coach Toal was very pleased with the way Failace has grown as a player. “He’s been a heck of a player for us for the past two years. He really helps our run game and has become a good complimentary receiver.” Failace’s father preaches that playing the game is one thing, but learning about life through the game is something completely different, “I tell my son that if he can look at himself in the mirror after a practice or game and honestly say he did the best he could do, then that’s all you can ask for.” Above everything, he hasn’t forgotten the reason why he is successful is due to his relentless work ethic and the support of his number one fan, his mother. “If you want to be successful in life, you have to work as hard as possible for that goal,” said Failace. “There is no such thing as instant success; you have to be the best in whatever you do, then you’re successful.” “I am most thankful for the sacrifices made by my family to allow me to follow my dreams. The biggest thank you goes to my mom for all she has done, without her help I never could have done any of this.”
Matthews, Kuechly and Davis Receive Honorable Butkus Award The Butkus Award annually recognizes the top linebackers at the professional, collegiate and high school level. The award is presented by National Football and College Football Hall of Fame Legend, Dick Butkus, who is the founder of the Butkus Foundation. The foundation focuses on multiple heath and wellness activities including the â€œI Play Cleanâ€? anti- steroid program. 14
Butkus Award Luke Kuechly of Boston College had the best season a linebacker could have this past fall. Kuechly, Ohio native, is the recepient of the 2011 Butkus Award for the collegiate level. Not only is he the top ranked linebacker entering the 2012 NFL Draft, he may get drafted as early as the 10th overall pick. He finished his junior season with a remarkable 191 tackles (102 solo) in the 12 games that he played in.
Noor Davis, senior standout linebacker at Lessburg High School, has been named to the high school Butkus 2011 award. The 6-foot-4, 233-pound athlete is a three sport athlete while maintaining a 4.3 grade point average. He has committed to Stanford University to play outside linebacker. Davis is a versatile athlete who can play almost any position on the field.
GIVING BACK TO YOUR COMMUNITY! A lot things that you do as a player would not be possible if it were not for the help and support of your community. Your community plays are large in the equipment that you wear, the field that you play on and the generous amount of support that you get throughout your season. This offseason, lets show our thanks and appreciation for our communities by giving back. Here are a few ways that you can get involved:
Go to your local youth league and volunteer to coach: Younger athletes look up to you in everything that you do. By being apart of their athletic career, you may be able to inspire them to continue to work hard. Kids love when older players come to talk to them because it gives them the opportunity to learn and have fun with someone they look up to.
Volunteer to read to the youth: Not only is coaching a great way to get involved, but taking the time to read to younger kids shows that there is more to sports than just being an athlete. By volunteering your time to read, you are showing young kids that being educated is very important.
Write a letter to your elders: If there is one thing that elderly people like to see, it is a young teenager taking the time to say thank you. Without some of your elders who have donated numerous amounts of money to your school, a lot of what you do on a daily basis would not be possible. Some of your elders are the first to lend a helping hand in your schools between generating scholarships to making sure that you have the must up-to-date school supplies. Taking the short time to write a quick thank you letter goes a long way!
Participate in a charity event: Some of your biggest supporters may not have the ability to watch you play every weekend due to health issues. One of the best ways to show your thanks is by doing something to raise awareness about their illness. There are plenty of chartable walks and fun events that you and your teammates can do around your area. These events can range anywhere from helping raise awareness on breast cancer to autism. Whatever you decide, make sure that you are representing yourself and your teammates in a professional and respectful manner.
Robert Griffin III: The Ultimate Football Player 2011 Statistics and honors: Comp. 267
Despite tearing his ACL in 2009, Griffin has managed to be considered one of the most talented athletes to ever play college football. His honors include: 2011 Heisman Trophy winner (first player from Baylor to win the Hesiman), 2011 Associated Press College Football Player of the Year, 2011 Davey Oâ€™Brien Award winner, 2011 Consensus All-American, 2011 Finalist for Walter Campbell Player of the Year, 2011 Finalist for Manning Award, 2011 Finalist for Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, 2011 Finalist for the Wuerffel Trophy and Semifinalist for the Maxwell Award. BIGTIME MAGAZINE
vince This high school captain and all-star, who recently won a state championship, has managed to uphold a decade long promise to his grandfather. for vin ascolese, the sky is the limit.
ascolese By Chuck Anderson
Vin Ascolese Ever since he was a child, he has been around football. Mainly because of his grandfather, Vincent Ascolese, who has been coaching the game for 50-years. So it comes to no surprise that his By Chuck Anderson grandson would be born to play football. “He started playing when he was very young. He played pop-warner for a township s if the Section I, Group IV State Championship game recreation program,” said Coach Ascolese. lacked drama— a game winning catch, a team pulling “Starting at that age, he learned a lot about off an upset and a retiring coach going out on top— Vin respect and he has always had a thirst to get Ascolese III and his teammates added one more better.” dramatic chapter to the book, helping a grandson keep a decade Ascolese was immediately intrigued by long promise to his grandfather. the physical nature that football had to offer. Vin Ascolese III has everything that a coach would want “The first time I ever hit somebody, it in a linebacker. He has speed, power, size, intelligence and a felt real cool, the fact that I could hit somemotor that doesn’t stop. body and not get in trouble for it is pretty awe “The model of football is apart of our lives,” said his some,” he said. mother, Susan Ascolese. “The disciplines of football are what Entering his freshman year of high we apply to our family and in the household. We all grew up school, he weighed a mere150-pounds and around it, and it is in our veins.” played linebacker for his grandfather on the The game of football and every aspect of it runs deep within the varsity team. roots of the Ascolese family. He was overlooked due to his size, but His grandfather has won eight State Championship titles he played because of his willingness to get betand every male Ascolese that has preceded him has managed to ter and the constant motor that he had on the win a State Championship as well. field. However, buried underneath all of the excitement of After his freshman season, Ascolese North Bergen’s stud linebacker and the accolades that he has began training 6 days a week to accomplished rested a promise—a guarantee— a pledge that prepare for his sophomore season. He gained he would win his soon to be retired grandfather and coach one twenty-five pounds that more State Championship. off season while maintaining his speed and agility. “People doubted me because of my size, but I worked my tail off after
Keeping his Promise
Perhaps Ascolese’s desire to play at such an elite level stems from the constant trips that he and his mother would take to watch college and professional athletes play. His mother has taken him to many different sporting events because she believes that her son should experience what it takes to be great. “I always wanted him to experience greatness; he’s been to the Heisman Trophy Awards, BCS National Championship games and other games to watch great athletes play. I wanted him to understand what greatness is.” By the beginning of his junior year, he started to turn a lot of heads and many people knew that he had something special to offer as a player. He started to make coaches, fans and players into believers and it looked as if the promise he made to his grandfather would be fulfilled.
Vin Ascolese Ascolese capped off his junior season recording 90 tackles, five sacks, three forced fumbles and an interception. He was honored as a two-time First Team HCV All-County and Second Team AllSate player as well. However, there was still something missing, a promise to uphold and State Championship to win. “After they lost his junior year, the next day he took his cleats and told me that he needed to get his teammates and get ready for the upcoming season,” said Ms. Ascolese. Working hard and always getting better has become his motto off the field as it has been on it. He has become a better student. “I was a little bit of a hot head my first two years, I didn’t take school as serious as I should have,” he said. “I realized after my sophomore year that I had a shot to play some big time ball and I started getting better grades.”
Vin Ascoleser Was also asolid Fillback for the Bruins
“I realized after my sophomore year that I had a shot to play some big time ball and I started getting better grades.”Vin Ascolese 22
Vin Ascolese Since his sophomore year, he has stepped it up in the classroom, going from an average student, to receiving all A’s and B’s in every class. He entered his senior season being ranked as not only one of the top players in New Jersey, but one of the best linebackers in the nation. For him, that was one thing, but getting his grandfather his last State Championship was first on his list of priorities. Ascolese and his teammates finished a dramatic 8-4 season this year by not just winning a State Championship, but doing it in a dramatic Hollywood fashion. North Bergen upset Montclair with a last minute, game winning touchdown pass to edge out Montclair 14-13.
“The disciplines of football are what we apply to our family and in the household. We all grew up around it, and it is in our veins.”- Susan Ascolese
As for Ascolese, he kept his promise to his coach and grandfather. “He said it every week since he was little and he always believed it,” said his mother. “He’s a man of few words, I never doubt his judgment. Whenever he says he is going to do something, he does it.” The 6-foot-2 1/2 , 220-pound Ascolese capped off a remarkable senior season recording 137 tackles, 57 tackles for a loss, 12 sacks, eight forced fumbles and three interceptions. Offensively, he averaged roughly 11-yards per carry for 600-yards and three touchdowns. He is a High School All-American and is the first football player to accomplish this feat coming out of North Bergen High School. He has also made numerous teams for his performance this fall that include:1st Team All-State Star Ledger, Star Ledger North New Jersey Player of the Year, 1st Team Defense Tri-State, 1st Team All-State Bergen Record, 1st Team All-County, 1st Team All-Conference, Hudson Country Defensive Play of the Year, Hudson County Player of the Year and the Mini Maxwell High School Player of the Year which acknowledges an athlete’s character, as well as his academic and athletic performance. BIGTIME MAGAZINE
Vin Ascolese Aside from his honors, his grandfather talked a lot about his character and the way he handles himself day in and day out. He spoke about his grandson’s unselfish manner and how he is always willing to do what is right for the team, even if that means sharing plays between his teammates. After everything that he has been through, he continues to give thanks to his biggest fans, his own family members. “I have the most supportive family that anyone could have,” he said. “They are always behind me. Whenever you go to the games, there are about 17 people from my family screaming my name.” With being a student-athlete, he still finds time for his family. “Sometimes Vin will come over and has dinner with us. His grandmother always tells him if he sets the table and cleans it, he is always welcome to eat at our house,” said his grandfather. When asked what he is most proud of, Ascolese did not talk about football or academics; he spoke about always being there for his family. “It’s about how much I care about my family and how much time that I put in for them.”
Coach Ascolese and Vin at Junior Rank All American Bowl
His mother added that she was more proud of the fact of what her son has become, “This year he was a captain and became a leader. Since he was a little kid he always told his Papa he would win him a State Championship. I’m so proud that he kept his word and I’m proud he worked so hard for that.” Just as a testament to his character. When asked where he wanted his pep rally to be held for being honored as an All-American, he didn’t ask for a gymnasium with hundreds of students in it. Unpredictably, he asked for it to be held in his Superintendent’s office; the same Superintendent who has pushed him and mentored him academically throughout his high school career.
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LINEBACKER FUNDAMENTALS The linebacker position illustrates every aspect of the game today. A linebacker must be equipped with it all: speed, strength, agility, power and knowledge. The linebacker has been referred to as the quarterback of the defense because he must be able recognize and make adjustments to multiple offensive formations, shifts and motions. Most importantly, he is the leader of the defense and the other 10 players on the field look to him to direct them where to line up so they can prevent the offense from scoring.
What do linebackers do?
A linebackers should always be able to use his hands to his advantage. Using the two-man sled, practice Typically, linebackers are positioned no more than 4-5 shooting your hands, extending your arms at the middle of the bag while stepping with your dominant foot. yards from the line of scrimmage. They are meant to stop the run and short passes, hence the reason why they Remember to maintain a low athletic stance with your are placed behind the defensive linemen and in front of head up. Reset yourself and repeat drill for 10 reps. the defensive backs. 2) Practice reading the pad level of the offensive What is the correct stance for a linebacker? linemen: The easiest way to read whether the offense is passing or running the ball is to key in on the pad level of the offensive linemen. If an offensive lineman’s pad level stays low, it is likely a run. If his pad level is high, it is likely a pass. With a teammate, practice this by having him mimic the pad level of an offensive lineman. Standing five yards away from your teammate, in an athletic linebacker position, have him either attempt to run block you while keeping his pad level low or pass block you by raising his pad level and kick slidWho can play the linebacker position? ing backwards. If you read run, attack him using your hands and fight off his block. If you read pass, drop The linebacker position is a very demanding position back on a 45 degree angle to roughly 5-7 yards, settle physically and mentally. In order to be productive at the linebacker position, you must play with a relentless with your shoulders parallel to the line of scrimmage. attitude for pursuing the football. Linebackers have to be strong enough to fight off blockers and make tackles. 3) Practice your footwork: They also must possess a great deal of speed and agility Linebackers always read run first and need great feet to track down ball carriers and receivers. Most of all, to read and react to any play. Starting in your linethey must be smart enough to read plays on the fly. backer position take a 45 degree ‘read’ step with your dominant foot forward, keeping your toes straight and What are a few things that I can do to become a shoulders parallel to the line of scrimmage. Your step better linebacker? should be no more than six inches. Follow with your other foot to reset to simulate the downhill steps a 1) Practice using your hands to shed off blockers: linebacker should take when reading run. Repeat this motion for ten steps. The stance for a linebacker is very important because it allows him to read plays while staying low and maintaining his athletic position. His feet should be slightly wider than his shoulders with his weight on the balls of his feet. His toes should be pointed straight ahead. His knees should be bent and his back should be straight. His head should be up analyzing the offensive line and the backs in the offensive backfield.
CAN YOU NAME THIS SCARLET KNIGHT?
During the 1920’s females began participating in cheerleading, and it was not until the 1940’s that the sport of cheerleading became dominated by women all together. Today, more than 90% of all high school cheerleaders are female. The time and work that a cheerleader puts in to perform at her best is very demanding. Similar to football, cheerleaders must work together as a group to achieve a common goal. They must also be willing to sacrifice not only hours for practice, but hours to decorate for pep rallies, football games, attend and organize fundraising events and prepare for competitions and performances. More than 83% of cheerleaders have a ‘B’ average or higher, making them ideal role models for younger girls to look up to. Many cheerleading squads have a code of conduct that addresses a cheerleader’s personal behavior, their responsibilities as a student-athlete and the way they present themselves to assure that they are representing their school in a professional manner. Rather, what makes the role of a cheerleader special is her promise to always be there. Regardless of the weather or time of day, she is there with her illuminating smile and roaring voice, yelling chants to inspire both the home crowd and the players on the field. The cheerleader knows that her role Above: Carli Grande, senior cheerleader for the Hanover Park Hornets. is an important role that does not go unapThe Unselfish Role of a Cheerleader preciated. Due to her pledge, she too has By Chuck Anderson given up countless hours of her free time to work for a better cause within her community. ntergrated with the game of football and commonly eclipsed by One of the most noticeable aspects of the loud crowd, screaming coaches and the dramatic atmosphere, any football game is the excitement and inthere stands the cheerleading squad. The commitment of a cheervolvement of the fans in the stands. Through leader has not changed since cheerleading began nearly 100 years the enthusiasm of the cheerleading squad, ago. they are able to generate excitement that in “Yell leader”, Jack “Johnny” Campbell, of the University turn creates a positive and energetic environof Minnesota, led a screaming crowd of fans to organized cheers in ment. 1898. With the help of Campbell and other “yellers”, they were able Remember, there is more to a cheerto motivate the crowd and the University of Minnesota’s football leader than just her pom poms and her team team as they defeated Northwestern University 17-6, giving birth to color uniform. She is the “twelfth” man, an cheerleading. unselfish individual who will always be there to support her team and devote her time to better her town and the people in it.
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Delbarton Green Wave Football # 54 Will Reynolds First Team All-National Defensive Lineman
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