Pope John gets ready for season

Lions looking to surpass last year's success

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  • photos by george leroy hunter Pope John quarterback Sonny Abramson.

  • Quarterback Matt Maute pitches the ball to quarterback Sonny Abramson.

  • Pope John quarterback Sonny Abramson.

  • Pope John XXIII Regional High School varsity football head coach Brian Carlson.

  • Pope John quarterback Sonny Abramson and wideout Austin Bailey.

  • Pope John XXIII Regional High School varsity football head coach Brian Carlson is the center of attention.


— The Pope John XXIII Regional High School Lions participated in summer football practice last week.

High school football begins in the first week of September and the Lions have been preparing through the summer months. Like other Sussex County teams, the coaches and players hope all the time of conditioning, film viewing and weight room training will pay off.

The summer days can be quite crazy on the football field during practice for the players. Wind sprints along with numerous play scenarios are just par the course.

The Lions were strong enough to make it to the Non-Public Group III State Final at Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Dec. 7, 2013. Unfortunately they lost to the Saint Joseph Regional High School Green Knights of Montvale. The final score was 62-14.

Pope John would like to get another shot at the championship title. The state final is months away but the ground work for a successful season is in progress now. The football players have been working out since June and have been participating in two workouts per day Monday through Friday.

Pope John varsity head coach Brian Carlson said, "We have to be in great shape. We have to be fast, we have to be tough mentally and physically. The players are doing well and continue to work hard in practice. We have a good bunch of seniors who have three years of football experience such as Scott Black, Nick Esposito, Austin Bailey. Our number one goal is to win a state championship."

Junior quarterback Sonny Abramson echoed the positive sentiments of his head coach by saying, "I have a good feeling going into this season. We have a lot of young talented guys going into this season. We have really good team chemistry which is always a good thing."

Abramson would like to pursue studies in science in college after his high school days are over.

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