Football team to play in State Sectionals


Brianna Commerford

The Westwood football team will play Waldwick/Midland Park in the State Sectional Finals on December 6, at 10 a.m. at MetLife Stadium. 

Led by coach Vito Campanile, the team is 11-0 this year. With a record of 11-1 last year, Westwood made it to the State Sectional Finals and beat Waldwick/Midland Park 26-7.

There is a large amount of confidence among the school, community, coaches, and players for this Saturday. Athletic director, Dan Vivino, has a positive feeling about this game.  He said, “I’m confident that this group of kids will put forth great effort. We can’t control everything but what we can control is the effort that is brought to the table.”

The players are going in feeling good about the game as well. Junior wide receiver Bobby Catherman said, “We are very confident because we have been here before, playing the same team and we are hoping for the same outcome as last year. We really don’t have any worries about the other team and how good they are because we are only focusing on ourselves.”

Senior defensive end and right tackle Joe Gaglioti said, “I am very confident in myself especially over the past two weeks of practicing. We have been going at it for so long that I feel really good about this game.”

There is a great sense of excitement about playing at MetLife Stadium. Everyone involved feels like this a huge honor to be playing at a professional field as opposed to Kean University last year. “It’s not only different playing at an NFL field but its also a privilege. The different markings on the field are something we have to get use to,” said Catherman.

The excitement has hit the fan base as well. Many students are taking a fan bus to the game together, and parents plan to tailgate. Assistant Principal Shelley Laforgia, said, “I am super excited! Im hoping for a good game and that the boys play well and hard. Hopefully they give it their best!”

The players have gotten words of advice along the way, that have stuck with them for this game. “The best advice is to keep playing no matter what, because nothing is guaranteed and we don’t want to regret anything,” said Catherman. As a senior, this will be Gaglioti’s last game. He was told: “Play with all I got. Play like its my last time playing with these guys as a family, because it really is. I just have to play my heart out.”

The most important thing to most people seems to be the experience and the people the boys are playing with. Vivino said, “Hopefully these seniors get what they deserve. They have worked hard for it. A win would be nice, but no matter what happens they should all leave with their heads held high.”

Gaglioti said, “The most important thing is that we come out of this game is the hard work and dedication we, as a team and family, put in to get where we are today. Its only the final step Saturday to get the win.”

Many of the players feel the game will be played for the community, players, coaches, and school. “I’m going to win this game for my team because we are a family and deserve it,” said Gaglioti.

Aside from that, the game will be played for former Cardinal football player Chris Napoli.  He is currently battling cancer and this season was played in his honor.

The football team, cheerleaders and marching band, as well as the fans, are looking all looking forward to this unique experience at MetLife stadium.

“It feels like a once in a lifetime opportunity,” added Gaglioti.