Pleasant Valley has a lot of new faces on its football team this year.
From the head coach to the assistant coaches to the starters on the field, there have been a number of people who have turned a 'rebuilding season' into a little bit more than that.
One face everyone will soon come to know is that of Robert Getz.
Getz, who is only a sophomore, has spear-headed the Bears' rushing attack so far this season and finally had his break-out game last week. Getz totaled 193 yards on the ground in Friday's 37-15 victory over Mountain Valley Conference rival Lehighton, which included scoring runs of 24 and 65 yards. With his great performance, Getz picks up this week's TIMES NEWS Player of the Week award and becomes the first Pleasant Valley player to do so since 2004.
"I think I did pretty well last week," said Getz, who averaged over 12 yards-per-carry on the night. "I was able to break off some nice runs. But I have to credit my linemen. They blocked very hard for me, especially in the first half. They worked just as hard as I did, so I have to give them credit.
"I think I will remember the win in general. It was my first MVC win with the new team, so the whole night was pretty special."
So far this season Getz leads the team in carries (47), rushing yards (296), yards-per-rush (6.3), rushing touchdowns (3) and is tied with Anthony Bumbulsky in overall scoring (24 points). Furthermore, Getz has accounted for 59 percent of the Bears' rushing yards while carrying the ball 48 percent of the time.
The last time a Pleasant Valley player had more rushing yards in a game was 2001, when Marlon Pitts ran for 208 back on Sept. 7.
Getz has a lot of responsibilities on this year's team for only being a sophomore. Not only can he run the ball, but he can catch it as well. Coming mostly out of the backfield, Getz has turned 12 receptions into 89 yards (7.4 average). He also serves on kickoff duty as the return man and has already taken one 93 yards to the house (Week 2 vs. Honesdale).
It doesn't stop there. Getz starts on defense as a cornerback and has even intercepted a pass. In fact, he returned the pick for a touchdown, but it was called back on an illegal block-in-the-back.
"Rob is pound-for-pound one of the strongest kids on the football team," said Pleasant Valley head coach Jim Terwilliger. "He came in right off the bat and worked himself in. He is a bright young man and understands everything well, so once we got into the swing of things we took a look and said, 'Hey, who is that guy?' And that guy ended up being Rob Getz.
"Up until now, he has been one of the main-stays of our offense. He works hard and is an extremely hard runner. He is one of those guys that doesn't say anything - he never says more than two words - and just keeps working hard."
Getz, who has also been a member of the baseball and basketball teams, doesn't mind all of the extra work.
"It's been great," said Getz. "I love it. I love helping take control of the team. Hopefully I will be able to keep it up for the rest of the season.
"My only goal coming into this year was to play varsity. I am doing that now, so whatever happens from here on out happens. I've already achieved what I was hoping to."
Thanks to players like Getz, Pleasant Valley has made great improvements thus far.
The Bears (2-2) have already doubled their win total from last year and have seen their scoring (25 this year, 11.1 in '08) and yards-per-game (295.8 this year, 178.5 in '08) averages rise.
The Bears are also one of the top teams in the area in turnover differential with a plus-seven.
Fortunately for Terwilliger, he will have two-and-a-half more years with Getz as they both try to get the program back to the top of the MVC.
"It is exciting to have a young guy with his type of potential," admitted the first-year coach.
"Obviously we all need to keep improving, including Robert, but we like what we see from him with this being the first year of this new program. He has been tremendous for us and it looks like he has a great future ahead of him."