NEW WILMINGTON, Pennsylvania (WKBN) – Wilmington is the only area school to reach Week 16 this season. The Greyounds are now one win away from their second state title in school history.
Wilmington’s run to state championship in Hershey this season is nine years in the making.
“We all grew up watching the ’08 team…and come and play and win,” Senior Fullback Jack Patton said. “We’ve looked up to them ever since we were little and now we’re just trying to follow in their footsteps.”
Fellow Senior Colton Marett also remembers the program’s first state title vividly. “Ever since the 2008 team won the state championship, we’ve all dreamed about doing the same thing,” he said.
“It’s just a big thrill for the entire community and the team,” Head Coach Terry Verrelli added. “We were there in 2008, but these guys weren’t with us. And they’re as excited as you can get.”
And they should be. The Greyhounds have rolled to the Class 2A Final in dominant fashion…piling up 42 points per game, while allowing just under 13 points per contest. But Friday afternoon, they’ll face the toughest test to date…a matchup with 7-time state-champion Southern Columbia.
“When you get to the state game, we know that it’s a tall task,” admitted Verrelli. “You’re going to run into teams that have everything going for them. Southern Columbia is that type of team.”
The Tigers have posted a state playoff record of 45-16 all-time.
“I think everyone’s kinda thinking that they’re gonna win. But, I’m OK with being the underdog,” Marett revealed.
“They’re pretty good. Obviously they’re gonna be good. in the state championship. Everyone that we’ve played recently has been pretty good. But, we’re good too. And we know that and we’ll be ready to play,” Patton promised.
Terry Verrelli’s 39th season as a head coach has been extra special. That’s because he’s enjoyed it all…alongside his grandson…Greyhounds Senior Bryson Verrelli.
“To get to this point and be undefeated, is more than I ever expected,” Verelli said. “So, it’s a great thrill to go through this experience with him.”
Bryson Verrelli is equally as thrilled to share the success his grandfather.
“It’s truly a blessing because he is such a great coach and even a better man,” Verrelli said. “And, I just love being around him and playing for him. It’s just something to dream about. It’s been my biggest dream just getting a state championship. And, not many kids can say they did that.”
Wilmington and Southern Columbia will kickoff Friday at 1PM in Hershey, Pennsylvania.