North Warren football wrapped up the 2023 season with a 3-5 record with high-scoring games on both sides of the won-lost ledger.
Head Coach Eugene Fluri said his young team learned how to put together four quarters of
football as the season progressed.
“They really learned how to play a full game,” Fluri said.
Early disappointments to Whippany Park and Hackettstown were balanced by several big wins, particularly against Boonton, a school that fields a strong team every year, according to Fluri. There were a few nail-biters as well including a 6-0 win over Belvidere in a soaking rain, which turned into a classic mud bowl.
Quarterback Luke Stefankiewicz ran five yards for the game’s only touchdown, in what turned into a mostly ground game because of the rain with the Pats keeping 36 of their 40 offensive plays on ground, where running back Landon White powered through the mud for 98 rushing yards.
A senior, this was Stefankiewicz’s first year as a starter, and Fluri said he grew into the job well.
“I think Luke did a great job,” Fluri said. “I think he kept the team together. In the huddle on offense, he knew how to keep things from getting out of hand, and we don’t want that.”
The Stefankiewicz-White collaboration produced all season. Even in a loss, it was rare for White to not chew up the turf rushing, scoring four touchdowns against Boonton, three of them on Stefankiewicz passes.
“Landon in very special,” Fluri said after the Boonton game. “He really came into his own this season.”
The Pats ended the season with a 27-0 loss to powerhouse Pequannock October 20, despite 93 rushing yards by White.
“It was back and forth all season,” Fluri said, “but these kids came out to play a whole game each time.”
Joe Phalon, Contributing Writer
Joe was lured out of retirement by the opportunity to be a part of the Ridge View Echo. During a decades-long career in publishing and journalism, he has covered government on many levels from local school boards to the United States Supreme Court.
Along the way, Joe has worked at American Lawyer Magazine, The National Law Journal and The Record among other publications, and as the Press Officer of Columbia Law School. His work has been recognized with several first place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the New Jersey Press Association.
Being part of the Ridge View Echo brings Joe back to his roots and the kind of news coverage he loves: Telling the stories of people and local communities as well as keeping an eye on how their money is spent by their government officials.
Joe lives in Blairstown with his wife Rose, the founder of Quilting for a Cause, and their two wiener dogs. He is an artist in his spare time.