Bears end on good note
It had been five years since the Pleasant Valley football team had as many wins as it did losses.
That streak was put to rest Friday night.
Pleasant Valley capped off Jim Terwilliger's first season at the helm by beating Mountain Valley Conference rival Stroudsburg 28-7. In just one season Terwilliger took the Bears from a one-win team a year ago and made them a .500 team in 2009.
"Our kids came out and played with a lot of passion tonight," said a Gatorade-soaked Terwilliger. "There were some hardships tonight, but our kids played well and played together and that's what helped us tonight."
Pleasant Valley began airing it out from the first play of the game. A week after throwing for 272 yards and three touchdowns against Pocono Mt. East, Bears' quarterback Derrik Walling completed 21-of-32 passes for 279 yards and three more scores. He made a number of great passes on the night, including a perfect 10-yard pass to Richie Irving in the corner of the end zone for the Bears' third score of the night.
"I didn't know Derrik was a quarterback until late this summer," Terwilliger said. "I have had very little time to work with him, but he has done a tremendous job adapting to a new system and becoming a great leader. I look forward to working with him some more. When he is in there the pieces fit just a little tighter."
Senior Anthony Bumbulsky, who moved from quarterback to wide receiver this year, also had a great game. He caught the first touchdown of the game right down the middle of the field on a 58-yard pass from Walling.
Bumbulsky would then score the Bears' next touchdown toward the end of the second quarter. He took the handoff, outran some Mountie defenders to the left, cut back up-field along the sideline and went into the end zone from 31 yards out.
"Tonight means a lot," said an emotional Bumbulsky. "We the seniors were the building blocks for the seasons to come. We didn't want to finish with a losing season and now we are level at 5-5 and they can build off of it.
"I'm very sad right now. I've been playing football for 14 years and it's sad that it is all over. High school football - there is nothing like it."
Walling would throw two more touchdowns before the night was over. He found Irving on a 10-yard flag pattern midway through the third quarter and then hit Albert Linares on a five-yard strike early in the fourth.
When Terwilliger took over as head coach this summer, no one quite knew what to expect. Most people thought the Bears to be better, but they probably didn't anticipate the team winning half of its games in the tenure's first year.
Low and behold, that's exactly what the Pleasant Valley football team did. The Bears' 4-2 conference record in good for second place in the MVC behind only the undefeated Cavaliers from East Stroudsburg South - Terwilliger's alma mater.
Still, Terwilliger knows he and his team must not get complacent. He hopes this is the first of many successful seasons to come.
"I first met the kids back in March and I said to them, 'Our No. 1 goal is to be the best football team that we can be," Terwilliger said. "Wins and losses aside, we were just going to be positive this year and build a solid foundation.
"Five-and-five is a pretty level foundation. Now we have to build on from that. I am happy because I believe our team got better as the weeks went on. We have to continue to get better and we are certainly not where we have to be at, but right now we have some younger kids that are buying into the system. We just have to keep working hard."