The Westwood Cardinals are have had a tremendous 2023 season, undefeated at 11-0 and North 1, Group 2 state champions, a perfect repeat performance of the 2022 season, right down to the team they beat – Rutherford – in last year’s sectional final.
But this year’s team has one big difference: they hope it doesn’t end here.
The team that knocked the Cards out in 2022 is gone from the playoffs; Caldwell and its 37-game winning streak – the longest active in the state – were eliminated in the North 2, Group 2 semifinals by Lakeland, which then was beaten by Bernards last week, a 23-17 thrilling overtime win for the Mountaineers.
Now, Bernards (12-0) and Westwood (11-0) will face off Friday night with a trip to the Group 2 final on the line. And you can hear the game on Central Jersey Sports Radio, with Mike Pavlichko and Justin Sontupe on the call. Kickoff is 7:00, pregame at 6:45, and you can listen live by clicking here.
Westwood is in its first season under head coach Bobby Guy, who took over after last year but has been in the program as an assistant – working with wide receivers and defensive backs – before being promoted to offensive coordinator. Now, he’s in charge, and this year’s results are much of the same: another undefeated regular season and sectional title.
There’s still a cachet to winning a sectional, one of the concerns of some who didn’t – and some who did – vote for the NJSIAA proposal a few years back that allowed group championships in football last season for the first time ever. For some, there’s a feeling of playing with house money this week and the week after.
But Guy says his team feels like they left something on the table last year, that there’s unfinished business to be dealt with.
Click below to hear Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko speak with first year Westwood head coach Bobby Guy: