Westwood football earns State Sectional title


Grace De Leon

The Westwood Regional High School Football Team accomplished an 11-1 season this year and earned the title of State Sectional Champions. Every Friday the team ran out to “The Boys Are Back” by the Dropkick Murphys and gave it their all. 

This year the team was strong, not just offensively but defensively as well, “looking for trouble” during games at any chance. The Cards set the tone for the season in the first game of the year against Shore Regional winning 34-0. Throughout the season the team allowed opponents to score 57 points while they were able to score 407 points.

As seen on and off the field, the team presented as a united front. Bobby Guy, assistant coach, credited this year’s seniors: “A lot of success we had this season was a reflection of our leadership.” That leadership resonated throughout the season with younger players and he believes that the accountability of the players this season will continue to show in the future. 

The coaches emphasized the importance of accountability to the players for themselves and their teammates. RJ Ussher, junior defensive lineman recalled the coaches telling the team “give it your all every play, and play for each other.” The team’s mentality throughout the season was to take it practice by practice and week by week, staying away from being clouded by thinking too far ahead. 

Game days were full of nerves and adrenaline for players throughout the school day in anticipation of playing on Friday nights in front of Westwood Crazies, parents, community members, and their opponents. In the end, it’s worth it for quarterback Robbie Carcich:  “There’s nothing like playing on Friday nights. I’m so happy to play with the kids I played with on Friday nights. I’ll never take that for granted.” Carcich had a great season passing over 1,200 yards and rushing over 900 yards.

Another big part of the team this year in many aspects was senior captain Jack Dugan offensively, defensively, punting, and more. Dugan rushed over 1,000 yards this season and scored 23 touchdowns. 

There were many younger players on the team this year who contributed to achieving 6 shutouts this year. Freshman Steve Klein held his own as a defensive back making 31 tackles this season as the first freshman to join the varsity team since Ussher. There were also a number of sophomores on the team including Dario Mathurin who made 71 tackles this season. Mathurin shut down Rutherford’s 2-point conversion attempt by tackling the running back at the 1-yard line away from the end zone. The play was vital to the Cardinals’ win against Rutherford winning just 21-20 gaining them the title of State Sectional Champions.  

There’s nothing like playing high school sports, it’s important to enjoy it while it lasts, Carcich said “Time flies, once you’re in the moment take a deep breath. The season goes by in the blink of an eye.”