Westfield coach Jim DeSarno’s teams have had winning seasons every year since his first in 2006. That run includes five straight playoff berths. But with just one returning starter on offense and two on defense, that streak might be challenged. DeSarno, whose team opens at last year’s N2 IV finalist Elizabeth, talks about his young team.
Q. You open the season at home against last year’s North 2 IV finalist Elizabeth. What has the preseason been like as you prepare for that game?
A. It’s been like coaching any young team. We will do something really good, then make a really bad turnover. We’ll make a pick-six, then the other team will make a big, 70-yard play. But you like the challenge and you like to challenge the kids. We’re still growing as a group, the team is so young, and everything is new to them.
Q. You lost 17 players who started last season to graduation. You might have the youngest team you’ve had since coming to Westfield from Kinnelon.
A. The truth is that we have four returning starters, but only two of them were supposed to be starters. The other two started because of injuries. Last year, we had a large senior class and all of them played. That’s what you really want
Q. Courier News Defensive Player of the Year James O’Rourke (now playing at Gettysburg) did so much for you last season, how do you possibly try to replace his contributions?
A. Glasco (Shakial) is going to be our horse and he’s been solid. We really think there are some sophomores who may be able to give us what James did at some point. We think a kid like Simcox (sophomore Jack Simcox) has the ability.