BERWICK — Crispin Field welcomed football into the 2013 season last weekend with high expectations and eager attitudes
The legendary stadium was the host for various high school teams around the area, including District 2 competitors Northwest and Delaware Valley, to face off in a 7-on-7 tournament along with a strongman competition for the lineman in attendance.
“I just like the fact that our kids are running hard, doing things progressively and getting in shape,” Berwick head coach George Curry said. “Because this isn’t football, it’s a conditioner. We played a lot of our kids, and you just want to see them getting in football shape.”
With every offseason, fresh challenges arise as does the task to find new team chemistry after losing senior leaders the year before. For Berwick, quarterback C.J. Curry returned to his role under center minus a few of his favorite targets on the outside. Northwest also brought back its starting signal-caller from last season in senior Logan Womelsdorf.
The Rangers showed potential by keeping close scores throughout their matchups, but could not bring it all together falling to larger schools such as Danville and Southern Columbia.
“When you come into these 7-on-7s, you just want to see how your kids are going to compete against other teams, and when they get tired, if they’re going to suck it up or dog it on you,” Northwest head coach Carl Majer said. “Unfortunately for us, we’re a Single-A school and we only have X amount of players. We have to go back-to-back with the same nine, 10 guys and that’s what you want to see. How they compete and how they’re going to react when they get tired.”
After losing to Delaware Valley the previous year in the championship of the tournament, the Dawgs came out fired up and executed on both sides of the ball. Avenging the loss handed to them a season ago, Berwick defeated a young Delaware Valley squad that looks different without former star quarterback Bryan Schor.
Berwick finished victorious, winning all six of its games, including a 28-14 victory over Manheim Central in the final.
“We’ve really been working so hard in the weight room, that’s going to help us a lot. We came together as a team and said if we want to win this year and get that district championship back where it was lost last year, we got to do this, we have to work,” said Berwick quarterback C.J. Curry about the upcoming football season.
On the broader stage, far away from the gridirons of Northeastern Pennsylvania, there has been a collection of detestable actions committed by professional and collegiate football players that has made national headlines this offseason.
The demise of Aaron Hernandez after being charged with first degree murder and the issues surrounding Heisman winner Johnny Manziel to name a few. Since the Super Bowl in February, there have been 31 arrests of NFL players.
“As a coach, you’re with these kids year-round and you have to instill in them to make the right decisions, to get educated and to be a student-athlete,” Majer said about how the behavior of professional players affects younger athletes. “When you get up to that level where those guys are — with the fame and the money — sometimes they forget that. So that’s why I try to keep them down to earth, make sure they stay positive and make the right decisions.”
“I hope they learn from it,” Curry said. “When I hear a young kid tell me they [NFL players] are crazy and how could you do that, then they’re getting a good message from that.
“In football they have the Hall of Fame. Well, they should have a Hall of Shame. That’s the one you don’t want to be in, you don’t want to be in the Hall of Shame.”