Weininger Wins it All

In his final diary entry of the season, Weininger has some great news. The Harrison Huskies hit a 30-yard field goal with two seconds remaining to win the New York state championship last week. This column was written for The Journal News, a Gannett newspaper in Westchester County, NY. Weininger has been kind enough to share his columns with Badger Nation this season.

As a little boy I dreamed of one day putting on the maroon jersey and being a Harrison Husky. The past four years were even better than I ever could have imagined.

I was blessed to play for a great coach and coaching staff, to be surrounded with talented, dedicated teammates who are my friends, and to play for a community that really cares about the team and shows it.

Ever since I was a member of the Huskies' first championship team my freshman year, it has been my goal to make the trip up the Thruway again and return from Syracuse with the state championship plaque my senior season. Winning the state championship in your final high school game is the way to go out. I wanted to do that so badly.

The week before the championship game I had a lot of different emotions running through me. In some ways I was so excited for it to be game time, but I also realized that after the game it would be all over, no matter what.

As the week wore down, I realized how much I am going to miss everything about being on the team. The intensity of the relationships that you build with your teammates is something that only those who have been on a football team can really understand. We spent hours together lifting weights until our arms felt like they would fall off, running on the track until we were sick and working on the practice field, all for a common goal.

All along we had the memory of our good friend Rob Viscome in our hearts and our minds. We dedicated every game to him and his family, because we knew if we could win maybe it could bring a little happiness to a family who has been through the worst.

But this team had to overcome a lot more than most teams. We suffered the loss of Rob and then we made some mistakes and were attacked by the media. We knew we made mistakes but were put under a microscope and were made out to be bad kids. But we learned a very valuable lesson - if we stuck together as a team and let our play define our character, we could overcome all of the negativity. So every day after school we would come together for three hours and work as hard as we could to win the next week's game.

Last Sunday was the perfect end to the greatest experience of my life.

To be able finish my high school career with a win in the Carrier Dome for the New York State Championship was the ultimate.

Before the game I was nervous because of the magnitude of the game. A win would solidify us in the record books as one of the greatest teams in Harrison history while a loss and people would remember us as having had a "nice" season. (Nice doesn't cut it!) We all had to leave everything we had on the field because there was no next week - this was it.

All season our motto was, "Let's play until there is no one left to play." We accomplished that and went out on top. We played our hearts out to be in a position to win this game. You cannot imagine the feeling when Pete Kohlasch split the uprights with his last second field goal from 30 yards out to win it 22-21. And now there is no one left to play.

I owe so much to Coach Troilo and the rest of the phenomenal coaching staff. Coach Troilo believed that I was going to be a great player before anyone else – including me. He told me when I was a 14 year-old freshman that I was going to play Division I football. I also owe a lot to my position coaches, Coach Williams (O-Line) and Coach Quaglione (D-Line). They are both great guys and always pushed my teammates and I to get better.

Most people only see the games on Saturdays. But they don't realize all of the hard work that the coaches do. They are at the high school seven days a week until late at night preparing for the next game. Our coaches are so prepared that they know the other team's plays better then the other team does.

The thing that made my experience as a Husky so special was that I was able to share it with people I love. My dad always took the time to play catch or throw batting practice to me as a kid and my mom has always been the loudest and most enthusiastic supporter in the stands. My sister Lauren is a great athlete in her own right but has always been my biggest fan. And my girlfriend Michele had never even been to a football game before meeting me, but since then has come to every game. She is wonderful.

The first boiling hot days of double sessions my freshman year, all the way to the freezing cold gust of wind that hit me as I left the Carrier Dome last Sunday will be with me forever. I will never forget the time I spent as a Harrison Husky.

The Journal News has a new website, where all of Weininger's articles are available. Check out TheJournalNews.com to read Weininger's stories.

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