Some more leftover high school football notes this week

Warwick – An amazing story comes out of the southern Orange school. Senior Steven Mehling has not played football since his youth days but he wanted to contribute to the team this year. So he gets some training as a kicker, tries out for the Warwick varsity and makes the team. Not only that but Mehling kicks the two extra points that made the difference as Warwick edged Monroe-Woodbury, 14-13, in the season opener last weekend.
“He’s a real competitive kid,” said Warwick coach Greg SIrico. “He said, ‘Coach, I want to help the football team win games. I want to be your kicker.’ He has the mind of a linebacker in the body of a kicker. He wanted to be involved in a positive program. We love the kid.”
Wide receiver Connor Perez caught 10 passes for 158 yards, becoming the favorite target of first-year varsity QB Jared Senius.
“Connor has a real desire to win, plus with great athleticism,” Sirico said. “Jared is a super kid who works hard; he was behind Gene Decker last year as quarterback. Jared stepped up and was great. To go out there and throw for 200 yards in week one … that’s a pretty good accomplishment.”
Sirico also praised the play of offensive and defensive lineman Nick Fotino and offensive lineman Jason Hranitz.
“We really want to get that ground game going better than we did in week one,” Sirico said of the upcoming contest with Goshen.

Monroe-Woodbury – The Crusaders are still stinging over last week’s loss to Warwick. How the team responds this week against Washingtonville is chief on coach Ryan Baldock’s mind.
“My main message was talking to them about life isn’t what happens to you; it’s about how you respond,” he said. “Life isn’t always about sunshine and rainbows, so how are you going to respond to a little adversity? We still have all of our goals in front of us. We’re looking forward to getting another opportunity on Friday night.”
“When you have a program with the tradition of excellence that we have, they always have something to prove every week. We know what is expected out of us. We have high expectations of ourselves. I am pretty confident my guys are going to come out and they are going to put it on the line on Friday night (at Washingtonville).”
Baldock praised the play of free safety Tyler Toledo, who had 10 tackles, a forced fumble, and an interception returned for a touchdown. “He’s a very gifted player and I thought he played very well on that side of the ball.”

Marlboro – Rich Ward has coached a bunch of successful teams at Marlboro but he doesn’t like to compare one group to another.
“This is a different team than last year,” he said. “I think we have as many weapons, if not more this year. I don’t like comparing teams. Every team has its own dynamics.”
Seven different players scored for Marlboro in its rout of James I. O’Neill last week. “All seven we knew were weapons,” he said. “I was extremely happy with the way the offensive line played – we have a couple young kids there. As a group and unit I thought they were very efficient.”
Despite the big margin, Ward came away impressed by O’Neill, coached this year by Westchester County veteran John Catano.
“O’Neill is pretty good,” Ward said. “They have some good, skilled players. I think they’re a little bit behind with their new coach and new system and stuff but I think that’s a dangerous team as you go along and the season from week to week. (QB Luke Kilner) is elusive, he throws a decent ball and he’s a decent runner. He is someone to reckon with.”

Sideline observations – My hats off to Burke Catholic coach Aaron Hasbrouck and Monticello coach Sean McAveney for disciplining their kids in the middle of a game.
Burke quarterback Heath Hoovler vented his frustrations at a yards-marker who he felt didn’t drop the marker quick enough as Hoover was chased out of bounds in the loss to New Paltz. Hasbrouck immediately called Hoovler out of the huddle to come over and apologize to the sideline official, saying he had a job to do. Hoovler dipped his head, gave the worker a fist bump and went back to the huddle.
Monticello had a defender go foot-stomping in a “look-at-what-I-just-did” moment after posting a sack. McAveney yelled out to him, “Knock that off. You’re losing 24-7.” It was a good message to preach team first and not me-first.
Looking forward – It should be a nice quarterback duel on Friday night when Pine Bush’s Haakon Meland faces Chandler Toth and Valley Central.

kmcmillan@th-record.com
Twitter: @KenMcMillanTHR

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