As the HHS Football Chiefs walked off the field for the last time on November 1, reality hit; the season was officially over. This group of guys would never have the chance to take the field wearing that notorious green and white together, ever again. Who could have predicted the power of this moment months ago, in the hot dog days of July?
The Hopatcong Chiefs football team was more than just a team this season. Rather, it was a unit of young men, with one goal and one mentality. The attitudes of the guys coming back were completely flipped, and the new guys coming in picked it right up. One of those new guys is senior Blake Corbett.
Corbett, a senior running back 3 years removed from the game, was ready to wreak havoc on opposing defenses, and it was visible throughout the offseason. With his speed and IQ of the game, the playbook was never-ending for the Chiefs offense. This offense brought a lot of varsity experience though, in comparison to the defense which was also senior heavy.
Led by middle linebacker, senior Jack Terebecke, this stifling defense was a problem for teams lining up on the other side of the ball. Seniors Liam McGuire and Sam Christiano officially held it down up front in the trenches. Ultimately, this team had one goal, and that was to win every week.
The Chiefs finished the year 4-6, winning their last game at home against Belvidere to end the season as winners. They combined for almost 2,500 yards offensively this season, with the help of Corbett’s 1,000 rushing yards. Senior Daniel Farina had a total of 10 passing touchdowns and one rushing, while throwing about 765 yards on the year. The team collectively scored 29 touchdowns and senior Diego Altamirano converted 24/28 PATs.
“We not only improved in the win column, but we also became a family and set a tradition for the younger guys to follow,” said senior WR and DB, Tyler Dixon. This team was full of leaders and competitors, and the heart of this squad is unmatched. The older guys really tried creating a tight bond with all of the players down to freshmen.
“I was very happy to be able to coach this group of guys, and I had a lot of fun,” said Kevin Malkin, the team’s WR/DB/ Special Teams coach.
The seniors have now passed down the torch and the younger team members are ready to pick up. Junior center and DL Jack Certo said, “I’m going to make sure that we go to work every day with no exceptions, have a good weight room culture, and never quit.”