The Arrowhead

Revisit with Coach Seubert

Warrior Football finishes another season, but begins the road to something bigger

mycentraljersey.com

Vincent DiGeronimo, Staff Writer

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Last year, the Watchung Hills football team finished with two wins. This year, the Warriors looked to take a bigger stride towards turning their program around, which began with the return of Coach Seubert, entering his second year of his head coaching tenure at Watchung Hills. Last year, although it was viewed as a rough year, can also be looked at positively. Coach Seubert looked to lead his players, which he built a solid connection with and began to train them the proper way. This year was a preview of years to come; Whereas, beginning with his first class as a head coach, the sophomore class, would prove to become a key factor. Accompanied by powerful seniors and a solid group of underclassmen, Coach Seubert led his team through a rollercoaster of a season. After starting the season roughly, the Warriors went on to win their final four games of the regular season. They then went on to make the playoffs, something that hadn’t been done in a decade. As up-and-down as this season was, Coach Seubert’s intentions with the team have become clear- and the four game win streak is just a preview.

 

Going into this season, you lead one of the youngest teams Watchung HIlls has ever had onto the football field. These incoming players to the varsity team produced beyond reasonable numbers in younger leagues, and returning seniors have proved their worth on this team; The talent was there, but the results were unpredictable. What were your original expectations for this team?  

The goal to start the season was to make the playoffs this year. Everyone associated with the program worked hard to get here.  It did not start pretty, but the ending was great.

As for a personal touch, this season began your second year of your head coaching career at Watchung Hills. What was the biggest thing you took out of last season, which you wanted to incorporate into this season?  

Toughness, the student athletes have a toughness that they want to overcome things in there way.

This rollercoaster season started with several tough games, such as opening night against Union. As a coach, how do you prepare your players for a tough game, especially when another one follows?  

Well 5 out of our 6 losses were against teams that made it to the semi finals, 4 teams played in the finals and 2 won championships.  Week in and week out we play one of the toughest schedules in the state. We dont worry about the opponent we worry about what we are doing.

Furthermore, the leadership from the senior class will always provide a monumental impact. Describe the effect the seniors left on the team this year:

They have fought their butts off this year, the guys that have played all 4 years have not been dealt the greatest hand, but they continued to fight and play hard and made the playoffs this season. Something to be proud of.

The first several games went by, and the team started out with several losses. Nevertheless, you have taught this team to persevere and to give 100 percent each game. The next game on the calendar was on October 14th, as the Warriors traveled to Plainfield to take on the Cardinals. This proved to be a pivotal game in the season. Describe the feeling going into it.  

It was a must win and we knew if we could win out we had a chance to get in the playoffs.  

The Warriors captured a thrilling 9-6 victory, with a game winning field goal in overtime, kicked by Brian Puccio. Suddenly, Watchung Hills had a chance to go on a run. Did the feeling in the locker room change pretty quickly, although there was still a lot of work to do?

Work to do, this team was never satisfied as our goals were still in front of us.

This win was the start of a winning streak. Following this game, Watchung Hills went and knocked off Linden, a surprising victory. Not only had our record increased to two wins, Watchung Hills was looking at a chance to go to the playoffs, a feat that hasn’t happened in a decade. They would have the chance to do this in their upcoming game against Hunterdon Central. How did you prepare, knowing that this game was different?  

We prepare the same every week, work hard and see what happens.

In storybook fashion, a field goal in overtime proved to be the answer for a victory against Hunterdon Central. This gave Watchung Hills a solid chance to make the playoffs. Surely, there were high hopes for this team in the beginning of the season, but were playoffs ever thought about this seriously?

That’s the goal every year.

To put the cherry on top, Watchung Hills went into Ridge and defeated another Red Devil team, extending the winning streak to four games. Fortunately, the end of the season was much different that the beginning. Explain the turnaround your players had from the beginning of the season until the end.  

We didn’t make the mistakes we made early on.  To go to Ridge and have our seniors go out beating Ridge was a great ending to the regular season.

After the big victory against Ridge, Watchung Hills had a ton of momentum going into the playoffs. How was your team able to keep the momentum or mentality going into the playoff clash with Bridgewater?   

We knew we needed momentum going in against BW (Bridgewater),  Winning is fun and getting everyone to work harder after a win is easier.

Watchung Hills went into the first game of the playoffs, and was defeated by Bridgewater. Although this ended the season, the epic end to the season spread the buzz of Warriors football through the school. How important was this playoff appearance for the program?

Very important starting ground, something we all look forward to working on next year,  Warrior football is back and if we work hard we can do great things.

Although this year had a bitter end for the Varsity team, the Freshman and JV teams both showed tremendous promise and a lot of talent during their respective seasons. How bright is the future of Watchung Hills football as these athletes continue to improve?

Very bright, cant wait till the summer.

As this season closes there is much work to be done in the off season, what do you plan on improving upon for next year and what are your expectations?

We need to get bigger, faster, stronger, and smarter. Both on and off the field we look to improve.

There were many fond memories made that will certainly last a lifetime for your team. Can you point to a moment this season where you and the team were having the most fun, whether it be off or on the field?  

The Ridge game was a blast, I would hope the kids enjoyed the season as they worked hard at it this year.

Is there anything else you would like to say to the fans?

Thanks for the support this year and let start preparing to pack the stands next year.

 

The resilience shown by these Warriors this season proves that they have the capability of doing great things. Watchung Hills lost six games. According to writer @SimeonPincus (via twitter), “five of those losses came to teams that went as far as a sectional semi, and four are playing in finals.” They got off to a poor start, but they battled back and went on a great run. It has been a while since a Watchung Hills football team has seen the playoffs, and nobody would guess that it would be this team, but because of perseverance and phenomenal coaching by Coach Seubert and his staff, this team was a contender. Signs and posters were raised, cheers roared loud, and spirit was everywhere during each and every football game this year. Coming off of a two-win season and to go and double that amount is miraculous. A lot of the talent on the team is young, so expect to see a contending and fighting tribe like this one go out there and give a great show to all the enthusiastic fans for years to come.

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