One of the first steps in getting ready for the 2010 football campaign is competing in the 7 on 7 “Shootout” tournament at William Patterson University. The Hillbillies didn’t just compete: They won.
On a brutally hot Saturday afternoon on the even hotter field turf at WP, Verona opened the round robin portion of the tournament with a 13-0 win over Columbia.
From there, Verona went on to battle Butler in a game that would eventually lead to a one play, sudden death overtime. With the game tied, Butler went first and gained 12 yards on their sudden death play. Verona was not flustered and answered with a 15 yard play of their own giving them the victory.
From there, Verona went on to crush Mount Olive in a 21-7 rout.
It was only in the final game of the round robin portion that Verona ran into some trouble when they faced Morristown. Verona was thoroughly shutdown on offense and lost by a margin of 6-0. Despite the loss, Verona earned a spot in the Round of 16 playoffs with their 3-1 record.
Verona was led by senior quarterback Matt Rosenfeld who will be under center as a starter for the first time in his career. Rosenfeld looked sharp day and also contributed at linebacker. The last time anyone saw Cooper Neale playing football he was simultaneously scoring a touchdown and breaking his leg. He seems to have made a full recovery and caught many passes out of the backfield and also covered the hook/curl zones at linebacker.
A rotation of Joe Costa, Mike Verschleiser, Luke Sniatkowski, Billy Meade, Mike Harrington, and Jack Cummings made up Verona’s receivers and defensive backs. All of them contributed and played well for the Hillbillies.
In the first round of the playoffs, Verona defeated Park Ridge 14-13. In the Semi final round, Verona once again had to play Morristown; the only school that beat them. In a tight battle, Verona avenged their previous loss by defeating Morristown 7-6.
Verona spent almost an entire day practicing and defending extra points specifically with the idea they could be the difference between winning and losing. It certainly paid off.
The final matched Verona against Hawthorne with Verona coming out on top 14-6.
Perhaps even more impressive than Verona’s Shootout championship against much larger schools is the fact that they did it without last year’s two leading receivers, Greg Schiffenhaus and Bob Kaslander .
Verona looks to carry over it’s shootout victory into the fall when it takes on a tough SEC schedule.