Making improvements and striving to increase last year’s win total isn’t something that is merely being discussed within the Vernon High School football program.
The Vikings are taking the necessary steps, through hard work and dedication to achieve their goals on the field this season.
“We want to win,’’ Vernon head coach Steve Down said. “The goal is to get this program to bounce back from some down years. Our players are hungry to change the culture here at Vernon.’’
Key returning student athletes to the varsity roster for the Vikings include Collin Andriola (running back and outside linebacker, senior), Joe Carosella (guard and inside linebacker, senior), Jon Parisi (tackle and inside linebacker, senior), Reese Storms (center and nose guard, senior), Aden Moskovitz (wide receiver and corner back, junior) and John Kowalski (quarterback/wide receiver/safety, sophomore).
Newcomers looking to make strong impression at the varsity level include Zack Waschek (quarterback and wide receiver, junior), Chris Schnabel (guard and defensive tackle, junior), Robert Baumann (tight end and inside linebacker, junior), Shane Saulnier (offensive and defensive tackle, sophomore), Kevin Coulther (offensive line and defensive line, sophomore) and Jeremiah Carfello (wide receiver and outside linebacker, sophomore).
“Joe Carosella, Jon Parisi and Collin Andriola have been the leaders throughout the whole offseason and summer,’’ Down said. “They are committed and dedicated to the weight room.
“Aden Moskovitz, Zack Waschek, Chris Schnabel and John Kowalski are also leaders on this team although they aren’t seniors. Andriola is poised for a big year at running back coming off of finishing last year with multiple 100 yard rushing games. All players set the example of what it is like to play Vernon football. They commit themselves to the weight room, summer camp, 7 on 7 Tournaments and have all gotten stronger and have improved throughout the summer.’’
The Vikings play in the North Jersey Super Football Conference Patriot Blue Division along with Montville, Jefferson, Mendham, Morris Hills and Sparta.
Vernon is scheduled to begin the regular season with a home game versus Kittatinny on Sept. 6. From there, they have back to back road games at West Milford and Morris Hills on Sept. 13 and Sept. 20, respectively. The Viking close out the month of September with a home contest versus Hackettstown on Sept. 27.
“We embrace the fact that we are underdogs each week,’’ Down said.