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The Wreckers’ Achilles Heel

Matt Smith ’13
Staff Writer

The Wreckers football team had an undefeated regular season last year that brought them all the way to the state championship game where they lost to Cheshire in overtime.

They come into the 2010 with high expectations and hope to bring a class LL state championship to Staples.

The Wreckers are losing a few seniors that were starting last year, including Matt Kelly ‘10, Brandon Pacilio ‘10, and Brendan Rankowitz ‘10, but they still hope to be a great force in the FCIAC.

The team looks to repeat its perfect regular season from last year, and leading their effort will be senior captains Rob Gau ‘11, Matt Yeager ‘11, Patrick Murray ‘11, Chris Coyne ‘11 and Ryan Burke ‘11.

However, star running back, Burke, sustained a major injury during spring football, which could keep him out for some of the season.

Burke is rehabilitating his torn ACL and says he is hoping he’ll be back for the Greenwich game. Burke is extremely upset that he will not be able to return for his last high school season.

“Not being able to play for my senior year definitely tears my heart apart,” said Burke.

The main worry for the offense coming into this season is how Gau, Jacobs, and Heil will replace Burke. However, Burke reassured Wrecker fans that it will be a non-issue.

“As far as replacements, there should be no worries with Tyler and Jon filling my spot as the A-back this year as they are arguably two of the most athletic kids out there. They will be a lot of fun to watch this year,” said Burke.

Despite the injury, Staples will still be a “run-first team,” according to starting quarterback Chester Pajolek ’11, “Jon Heil ‘10 and Tyler Jacobs ‘11 are going to be our A-Backs, while Gau will be the B-Back most of the time. Heil may be the fastest kid in the FCIAC while Tyler has great moves and sees the field really well. Gau is more of a bruiser type and will be running over defenders,” said Pajolek.

Pajolek added that each back is incredibly talented and will be able to aid the offense all year.

The success of the Wrecker offense will be based on the abilities of the running game.

Last year, Matt Kelly ‘10 had an incredible year, racking up accolades including Norwalk Hour All-Area MVP, CIAC All-State First Team, CHSCA Player of the Year, and was the main component in the Wreckers’ success, so a great running game could return Staples to the state championship.

Burke’s injury will be a loss to the Wreckers football team; however, players are still staying confident and are working towards another great season.

Pajolek commented on how his teammates are faring, “Losing Burke was a very difficult thing to come to grips with but we’ve bounced back and having him at every practice and lifting session definitely helps us out. He’s a great leader and his injury doesn’t change that.”

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