You couldn’t blame Jeff Kopyta for being sentimental after his seven-touchdown performance in Glen Rock’s 48-26 victory over Elmwood Park on Saturday. After all, he was surrounded by so many loved ones that it was as if one of his photo albums jumped off the shelf and sprung to life.embers of his family were in the stands, including his mom, Barbara, and cousin, Nicole, a former Indian Hills lacrosse star and the leading scorer in Bergen County history.
Working on the chain gang was his dad, Jeff, a onetime minor league pitcher in the Oakland A’s system. And on the receiving end of a 21-yard touchdown throw in the fourth quarter was Scott Finan, his longtime friend.
“Having all of them there made it even more special,” said Kopyta, who earned the Record Male Athlete of the Week honor after rushing for 246 yards and five touchdowns on 23 carries and throwing for 188 yards and two touchdowns on 13-for-18 passing.
On defense, he had an interception. He even punted four times, averaging almost 37 yards per kick.
But of all the plays — even taking into consideration the smaller triumphs such as pinning Elmwood Park on their 1-yard line with one of his punts and hauling in a few wayward snaps on extra-point attempts — Kopyta will never forget the pass to Finan.
“We’ve been friends since we were 5,” Kopyta said. “We grew up together. He lives about two blocks away. We’ve been throwing the ball around since second grade and we just have that kind of bond, like a chemistry.”
The senior had been locked in a battle with Brady Miller for the quarterback job. In fact, Kopyta started at wide receiver the previous game against Manchester. Coach Jim Kurz said he was confident turning to Kopyta after Miller was sidelined with a concussion.
Kopyta thought he had a strong grasp of the spread offense, but admitted: “There’s no way I ever expect to have this type of game. … It’s just a miracle, really.”
Also nominated: Anthony Marchetti of Pascack Hills, Dan Severino of Wallington, Kiy Hester of DePaul and Kevin Momnohin of Queen of Peace for football; Brendan Ungemach of Wayne Hills for cross-country; Walter Nolasco of Bergenfield and Luis Mendoza of DePaul for soccer