Football: No. 11 Waldwick/Midland Park
Last year’s record: 11-1
Final ranking: No. 8
Marquee game: at Garfield, Oct. 16
Best assets: A solid corps of returnees from last season’s North 1, Group 2 finalists which is – in the words of coach Greg Gruzdis – going to “try and finish the deal.” Senior TE/DE Zach Van Kat will be one of the premier defensive players in North Jersey, and both lines should be solid with the return of seniors Greg Bulick and Connor McKay. Senior QB Ryan Moore, who won two playoff games, has a good grasp of the offense, and the ground game – featuring senior Brett Calderone and the rugged senior Griffin Mulvaney – should continue to be quite effective. Gruzdis has brought stability to the program, and the Warriors, who have a strong work ethic, should keep cashing in on the dividends.
Biggest concern: Depth, the biggest problem for all small schools, is an issue, so the Warriors have to stay healthy. Gruzdis has confidence in his new faces, but it will be interesting to see if an offense that scored 32 points or more eight times last season can avoid a noticeable step back.