Ryan Loftus loves to kick a football.
But this season, the Moorestown High School senior placekicker is doing it with a little extra incentive.
Loftus was inspired by a presentation he saw at the National Kicking Showcase this summer. It was by the “Kick It for Cancer” organization. People can donate a set amount or pledge to donate a specific dollar amount for every point he scores this season.
“They did a whole presentation and it really intrigued me,” Loftus said. “I felt it was something where I could make a difference. Just by playing football, I can make a difference in the community. That means a lot.”
Loftus made two PAT kicks in last week’s loss to Winslow Township. Through money generated per point and previous donations, he and his teammates already raised approximately $2,200 toward Loftus’ season goal of $10,000.
“We have all had a family member or friend have to fight this awful disease; some of us have even lost loved ones to cancer,” Loftus said. “We have former teammates’ parents battle cancer and current classmates’ parents as well. I want to use my position as the kicker and do everything I can to help beat cancer.”
For more information, visit http://www.kick-it.org/games/2015/09/ryan-loftuss-kick-it-for-cancer?confirm_pledge=BqrX9QGuMr
• Flying around: After missing a portion of the preseason with an ankle injury, Ryan Shuts is back and making an impact for No. 8 Lenape.
The senior scored on runs of 9 and 16 yards, while also pulling in a 35-yard TD pass from Bryce Long in a 35-0 opening-night victory over Nottingham.
“When the lights go on, he just goes. He has another gear,” coach Tim McAneney said. “He’s a dynamic football player on both sides of the ball, and he returns kicks and punts.
“He has great vision, great balance. He sees the field and is just a tough kid. He loves playing safety, too. He’s making plays and doing what we’re asking him to do.”
The Indians need Shuts’ defensive presence, but will lean on him offensively as well.
“We need him for 50 snaps on defense, so we’ll pick and choose when to get him the ball,” McAneney added. “He’ll touch it 10-12 times a game but in different ways.”
• Wild win in debut: Frank Wilczynski played in some memorable games at his alma mater, but none like the one he was part of as Overbrook’s first-year coach.
The Rams held a 19-point lead against Audubon after three quarters only to see the Green Wave score 29 points in the fourth. Tommy Wyatt hit Gio Washington for a 15-yard TD pass in the closing seconds and Overbrook would escape with a 50-48 victory Saturday.
“It was unbelievable,” Wilczynski said. “We went back and forth. We opened it up in the third quarter but kind of let them off the ropes a bit.
“Audubon kept playing even when they were down. They fought to the end but left just a little too much time on the clock at the end of the game.”
Wyatt threw for 338 yards and three touchdowns, while Marques DeShields rushed for 189 yards and four TDs on 21 carries.
“It felt great,” Wilczynski said. “I was extremely happy for our kids. They worked hard all summer.
“With me coming in and a new system, it opened their eyes that this system can work when they put their trust in the coaching staff. It’s nice when it pays off like that.”
• Stadium dedication: Gateway will dedicate its stadium to former longtime board member and community activist Angelo Natoli at halftime of its Colonial Conference game against Sterling on Sept. 25.
Natoli passed away on Jan. 31 at the age of 80. He served six years in the United States Marine Corps before settling in South Jersey, where he was a member of the Gateway Regional High School board for 40 years – serving the last 24 as its president.
Natoli was also a member of the Westville Volunteer Fire Department for 52 years, serving as its president for more than 30 years, and a member of the Westville Lions Club.
• Time to celebrate: when Paulsboro takes on Woodbury on Oct. 24 at noon, it will mark the 100th year of this rivalry between two of the region’s premier Group 1 programs.
To commemorate the occasion, a documentary by Woodbury graduate Vincent Allen will be shown in the Woodbury Auditorium on Friday, Oct. 23 at 8 p.m.
T-shirts will also be available for all football and cheerleading alumni and coaches for $10. Included in the price is admission to a pancake breakfast before the game, admission to the game and the opportunity to be honored at halftime on the field.
Woodbury alumni should contact athletic director Grant Shivers at (856) 853-0123, ext. 604 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paulsboro alumni should contact Adina Giovannitti at (856) 423-2222.
Alumni are asked to give name, graduation year and T-shirt size. Shirts can be picked up at the documentary screening or pancake breakfast.
•Games switched: Due to traffic concerns involving Pope Francis in Philadelphia next week, two games involving Camden schools have been switched.
Camden Catholic will now host Woodrow Wilson on Thursday, with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m. The game was originally slated for Saturday.
Camden has moved its game against Cumberland from Friday to Thursday as well. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.
• Brooks-Irvine honorees: The following players will be recognized as Scholastic Player of the Week honorees for Captain’s Day by the Brooks-Irvine Memorial Football Club at its luncheon Monday.
Cole Keyes (Lenape), Michael Welsh (Shawnee), Evan Powell (Cherokee), Brandon Niewinski (Triton), John Lass (Cherry Hill East), Miles Sampson (Hammonton), Rich Stanzione (Williamstown) and Deontae Moore (Woodbury).
Kevin Minnick; (856) 486-2424; email@example.com