Orthopaedic Institute of Central Jersey Football Player of the Week: Jackson Memorial’s Mike Gawlik
Every week this regular season, Shore Conference football fans will have their chance to vote for the Orthopaedic Institute of Central Jersey/Shore Sports Network Football Player of the Week on our website, with over 100,000 votes cast already this season.
For the second time this season, Jackson Memorial senior running back Mike Gawlik has been voted Player of the Week after a gargantuan 323-yard, 3-touchdown performance on a whopping 40 carries in a crucial 27-13 victory over Old Bridge that secured a playoff spot for the two-time defending Central Jersey Group IV champion Jaguars.
Gawlik's record-setting season continued with another monster effort as he eclipsed the 300-yard plateau for the second time this season. He had touchdown runs of 89, 2 and 12 yards, converted a two-point conversion and also had an interception on defense where he stars at safety. Already an all-time great for the Jaguars, Gawlik will go down as the greatest in Jackson history if he keeps up this pace. He has 1,620 yards rushing and 18 touchdowns, plus two receiving touchdowns, on an average of 8.7 yards per carry this season. The way he has been breaking off long runs he is potentially one away from breaking the Jackson Memorial single-season record of 1,685 set by Will Clayton in 2003, according to Jackson Memorial historian Jim Colbert. He is also two touchdowns shy of the program single-season record of 22 set by Nick Castellano in 2001. The Jaguars have had an up and down season with a 4-4 record, but seem to be picking up momentum at the perfect time.
Just like it has been for opposing defenses trying to stop Gawlik, the vote for the Week 8 Player of the Week was no contest as the Jaguars fans voted early and often to secure 74.42 percent of the vote. Point Beach's Cody Liguori was second with a big defensive game in a shutout over Highland Park. Central's Mike Bickford, Toms River North's Mike Husni and Freehold's Ashante Worthy also had huge statistical games in leading their respective teams to victory.