Face of the Franchise: Point Boro Football
When a Shore Conference football program is mentioned there are certain people that always come to mind. For some, it’s unanimous no matter what era you are from. For others, it’s a fun debate comparing all-time greats from different eras whether they roamed the sidelines as coaches or broke records between the lines.
That got us at the Shore Sports Network wondering: when you think of Shore Conference football, who are the most prominent figures in each program’s history? And if there was a mountain nearby and we knew a sculptor, whose faces should be carved on its side to be forever honored?
With that in mind, we came up with a football feature that will run throughout this summer, and it’s called Face of the Franchise.
We reached out to all 43 football programs in the Shore Conference and in conjunction came up with five nominees for each school. The five names and their accomplishments will be listed and fans will have a chance to cast their votes to select who they feel is the Face of the Franchise for each program. Our SSN football crew of Bob Badders, Kevin Williams, Ed Sarluca and Matt Harmon will also put their heads together to make a selection. The polls will run for one week each.
At the end of the summer when the Face of the Franchise has been determined for all 43 programs, we’ll run one final poll to see who the fans think should go on top of the mountain; five legends to represent the history of Shore Conference football.
A two-time All-Shore offensive lineman in 1978 and 1979, Stowe was a linchpin throughout one of the best eras in program history as the Panthers won back-to-back NJSIAA South Jersey Group 2 state titles in 1977 and 1978. The Panthers also won three straight Class B South division titles from 1977 to 1979 and posted a 26-5 record.
Stowe played collegiately at the University of Illinois where he was a three-year starter at offensive tackle. During Stowe’s senior year in 1983, Illinois went 10-2, including a 9-0 record in Big Ten conference play, and appeared in the Rose Bowl against UCLA.
An imposing force along the offensive line who paved the way for Point Boro’s relentless rushing attack in its flexbone triple-option scheme, Canary was a first-team All-Shore and second-team All-State selection in 2004 when the Panthers went 11-1, set a school single-season record for wins and reached the NJSIAA South Jersey Group 2 title game.
Canary’s success continued at the collegiate level where he played for Division 1-AA Maine. He was a four-year starter along the offensive line, earning second-team All-Colonial Athletic Conference honors as a junior and garnering first-team All-CAA, first-team All-New England, honorable mention All-American and CAA Football Student-Athlete of the Year as a senior in 2008.
Canary is currently Point Boro’s offensive line coach
Another mainstay of the program when the Panthers went from mediocre to championship contenders under head coach Calvin Thompson, Friedman was a first-team All-Shore and third-team All-State running back in 2004 when Point Boro went 11-1, won the Shore Conference National Division title and reached the NJSIAA South Jersey Group 2 championship game. He is Point Boro’s record-holder for rushing yards in a season (1,900), career rushing yards (3,434) and most rushing touchdowns in a season (27).
Friedman was a three-year starter at Sacred Heart University where he played both fullback and running back, accounting for 791 yards rushing and six touchdowns.
Despite utilizing a run-heavy, triple-option scheme on offense, Point Boro still had one of the best wide receivers in the Shore Conference from 2009-2010 with the 6-foot-4, 230-pound Malleck terrorizing opposing secondaries. Malleck was a third-team All-Shore selection in 2009 and a first-team All-Shore pick in 2010, which he made as a defensive back. Malleck holds program records for receiving yards in a season (652), career receiving yards (1,638) and career receiving touchdowns (17).
Malleck received a scholarship to Virginia Tech where he was a four-year starter at tight end, catching 59 passes for 642 yards and three touchdowns. He signed as an undrafted free agent with the New York Giants and also was a member of the Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans and Pittsburgh Steelers. He appeared in one game with the Texans.
Saner was Point Boro’s inaugural head coach when the school opened in 1964 and led the Panthers for 27 seasons across two tenures. He is the program’s all-time winningest coach with a 154-81-9 record. During Saner’s reign, Point Boro won 11 Shore Conference division titles, the 1965 Central Jersey Group 1 title and consecutive NJSIAA South Jersey Group 2 titles in 1978 and 1979.
Point Boro went undefeated in three straight seasons from 1967 to 1969 and had a 34-game winning streak that extended into the 1970 season. Saner led Point Boro from 1964-1983 and again from 1986-1992, taking a two-year hiatus to become the head coach at Kean University. Saner was inducted into the Shore Football Coaches Foundation Hall of Fame in 2009.
A 2008 first-team All-Shore selection, O’Connor starred at quarterback and defensive back and led the Panthers to a 26-7 record between 2006 and 2008, including a trip to the 2008 NJSIAA South Jersey Group 2 championship game and the 2008 Shore Conference National Division title. A dual-threat quarterback, O’Connor’s skills prompted head coach Calvin Thompson to expand the playbook beyond the Panthers’ traditional triple-option attack. O’Connor delivered with record results, finishing his career with program records for single-season touchdown passes (13, twice), single-season passing yards (1,463) and career passing yards (4,211).
O’Connor played collegiately at Muhlenberg College where he was a three-year starter in the defensive backfield and finished with 141 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 10 pass breakups, 5 interceptions and 3 fumble recoveries.
O’Connor is currently Point Boro’s defensive coordinator.
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Managing editor Bob Badders can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights.