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Perk Valley seniors leave a legacy

PERKIOMEN >> The Perk Valley football team’s season came to an end Friday night in the District 1 Class-6A semifinals when it lost, 44-27, to Garnet Valley.

While that wasn’t the ending the Vikings imagined, it did not diminish what this team and its senior class accomplished.

“This senior class has been absolutely magical to watch,” coach Rob Heist said. “I think they have something like 31 or 32 wins in their three years as a group. They have nothing to be ashamed of. They’re outstanding football players and I’m looking forward to watching a lot them on Saturdays.”

“Two PAC championships,” senior wide receiver Justin Jaworski said, listing some of the senior class’s accomplishments. “Four district wins. It’s awesome. It started with the class of 2014. They brought PV into districts. We kept that precedent. I hope — our younger guys — they keep doing that, they keep being successful”

The team went 12-1 in 2016, won two district playoff games and claimed its second Pioneer Athletic League championship in three years.

“It was awesome,” Jaworski said. “Twelve wins is nothing to be ashamed of. We tied our school record to go as far as our school has ever gone in the playoffs. We’re the first team in PV history to ever go undefeated in the regular season. (Senior quarterback) Stephen (Sturm) broke the passing record for the state. I was close to breaking the receiving record for the state. (Senior kicker Garrett) Patla broke the field goal record. There were so many positive things in this season. This (loss to Garnet Valley) isn’t something to dwell on.”

Jaworski and Sturm both set school records as juniors and broke those records as seniors. Sturm tied Manheim Township’s Pat Bostick state record for touchdown passes in a career with 94.

David Williams will be one of many seniors departing from a talented Perkiomen Valley squad. (Sam Stewart - Digital First Media)

David Williams will be one of many seniors departing from a talented Perkiomen Valley squad. (Sam Stewart – Digital First Media)

“Best combo we’ve ever had at Perkiomen Valley, that’s for sure,” Heist said of Sturm and Jaworski. “I think one of the best combos the state of Pennsylvania has ever seen.”

The two connected for two touchdowns in the season-ending loss. The second was what you would expect — a 14-yard strike from Sturm to Jaworski.

The first was a little different. On fourth-and-goal from the Garnet Valley 14-yard line, Sturm threw a backwards screen pass to Jaworski. The receiver ran right, stopped and lofted a pass to the far left. Sturm was there in the end zone, leaped and snatched the ball over a defender for a touchdown.

That unconventional touchdown is just one of the many memories the 2017 class left on the football field.

“We’re all friends,” Jaworski said of the seniors. “We’re friends off the field, we’re friends on the field. A lot of us have started since our sophomore year so we’ve played three years together. It’s going to be weird not playing football anymore, but it had to happen at some point.”

“This is one of the best football teams in Perkiomen Valley history,” Heist said. “They’ve had an amazing run this senior class. It’s just leaders across the board. Starting with our quarterback, going through our offensive line, our backs, our defense — every single one of them. I’m so proud of how they played this season and we had an outstanding run, It’s been a lot of fun.”

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