BY AVERY PERSON
The Knights football team finished atop its division with a 5-0 division record and a 6-4 overall record. The team faced significant adversity throughout the season but battled through. Head Coach Anthony Lanzafama said, “I felt great about the team effort all around this year. We were proud of how the guys competed this year with their opponents every Friday night.”
The team reached the South Jersey Group 5 Quarterfinals but ultimately fell short with a loss of 51-49 against Kingsway. Senior Jake McAleavey said, “I felt good about our team’s performance. Although it didn’t end the way we wanted, we battled back in our last game and fought hard till the very end.” The Knights almost made a comeback for the ages after falling behind 28-7 in the first quarter.
McAleavey, who lead the team’s receiving corps with 29 receptions for 462 yards and four touchdowns, shared, “We faced a lot of adversity this season with injuries.” McAleavey added fifteen carries for 103 yards and two touchdowns.
The biggest issue the team faced was losing star quarterback Owen Haughney to a season ending injury in October. “I think we played good. Injuries didn’t help, and we fought through and did the best we could,” said senior Evan Sobieski.
In addition to Haughney, who finished with 82 attempts for 52 completions, throwing for a total of 823 yards, 9 touchdowns and 2 interceptions in just six games, other seniors, such as McAleavey, Sobieski and Lawrence Hunter, established standout performances this season.
Hunter dominated in the final State tournament game with 21 carries for 200 yards and 4 touchdowns. Hunter said, “I felt good knowing I got to play the sport I love with good people.” He finished the season with 1,299 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns.
Sobieski contributed outstanding performances on both sides of the ball. “I feel like I did everything that I could, I feel like all the hard work in the off-season showed,” said Sobieski, who lead the defense with 39 total tackles, five interceptions and three forced fumbles. He added nine receptions for 174 yards and two touchdowns, making him the teams second leading receiver.
Although the team will lose these outstanding seniors the future looks bright. Coach Lanzafama said, “Overall, the JV was 6-2 this year we have a lot of good athletes and players that we are accurate about becoming varsity players.” Expectations remain high for the outstanding football program.
Photos Gabriella Master and Lors Photography