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Wolverines look to repeat in TVL

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By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor

After winning a share of the Tri-Valley League title in 2015 with an 8-3 record, the Westwood Wolverines are looking to build upon their success from a season ago and stay atop the TVL.
Among the 10 returning starters for the Wolverines in 2016 are wideouts Kevin Hession (senior) and Jake Antonucci (sophomore). The Wolverines also have Jake Antonucci’s older brother, Robbie (senior), returning to be the team’s starting tailback. Another key piece to the Wolverine offense will be their offensive line, according to head coach Ed Mantie. The group of big men will be led by junior left tackle Evan Traister.

“The strengths of our team are going to be our athleticism and our speed,” said Mantie. “Our guys all came back in tremendous shape, which gives us even more reason to be excited for this season.”
“I’m confident in our O-line and our running game. We don’t have a lot of experience at quarterback, but we’ve had a good competition going on in camp and there’s a solid group of guys ready to step up.”

On the defensive side, the Wolverines will be led by a foursome of seniors in linebackers Dylan Linehan and Brendan Delaney while defensive tackle Connor McCaul and defensive end Noah Henderson rush the quarterback.

“What we lack in size we make up for in experience,” said Mantie about his returning starters having almost all played 22 varsity games the past two seasons.

“We have a difficult non-league schedule this year (Hanover, Falmouth, and Cedar Grove, New Jersey) as well as the always-difficult TVL schedule,” said Mantie. “We need to play well right out of the gate because every game matters in this league and we don’t want to be on the outside looking in once playoff time comes around in November.”

The Wolverines open up their season on the road at Hanover on September 9.

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