Wayne Hills Standout Running Back signs letter of intent

By Anthony Sorce

 

Benny Contella III grew up with high school football in his blood.   There were numerous stories he heard from his legendary dad Benny Contella Jr, whom played for Bloomfield High School in 1989 under Chet Parlavecchio (recently retired Passaic Valley Head Coach). Over the years , Benny’s grandfather Benny Sr. would show his grandson old VHS tapes from his dad’s Bloomfield years and how Benny Jr made history on a Bloomfield squad that was winless from 1983-1988.    On October 1st 1988, Benny Jr was a starting Junior on a Bloomfield Squad that defeated Paramus Catholic 7-0 for their first victory since 1983.  One year later, Bloomfield would be a Group IV contender and earn a playoff birth for the first time since 1977 .   The Bengals went toe to toe in semi-final playoff game against the #17 team in the country, the Elizabeth Minutemen.  Young Benny III was able to recognize the passion his family had for Varsity Football.  

 

A lot has changed in the high school football world since 1989. “ Ever since I was a kid, I loved the game of football “ stated Benny III.  “ My Uncle Mark played for Wayne Hills under legendary coach Chris Olsen (Father of Retired Carolina Panther Greg Olsen) .   Wayne is a serious football town, whether Chris Olsen was at the helm or current head coach Wayne Demikoff, the motto is simple , when you come out for this team, you better know what you are getting yourself into.  

Benny III started his football career in Wayne, playing in the Wayne PAL league from 3rd to 6th grade. This was a stepping stone as the youth football league developed a “ Big Brother”Program with Wayne Hills High School’s football program.  When Contella was a freshman in 2018 , he was good enough to practice with the varsity squad in preparation from their State Championship game vs Phillipsburg at MetLife Stadium.   This was an incredible experience for the freshman being able to celebrate a state championship as the best Group 4 school in the North Region. 

In 2019 , Contella was a sophomore and he would be the future of Patriots .  Contella made his mark in the 10th grade with 10 carry 124 yard performance vs Indian Hills. The Patriots cruised to a 51-14 victory on that night.  The Patriots were expecting big things for 2020 with Contella in the backfield.  

Nobody could anticipate what was in store for the 2020 season.   2020 would be a season like no other with all the Co-vid restrictions still in tact from the previous Spring season. The week   before the season opener , Contella was playing linebacker in a scrimmage game vs Union City.   Contella went to make a tackle and something just wasn’t right.  Contella tore his ACL and his season was over in 2020 any chance of playing in College was in doubt. 

“Ben put a tremendous effort into rehabbing his knee , allowing him to play at a higher level his senior year” said head coach Wayne Demikoff.  “ I needed to get back to where I belong on the field, and I couldn’t do that without the support of my mom,dad, and sister Cassandra “.  Said Contella .

Benny was ready for his senior year and the 2021 season.    Contella was a 2-way starter and finished his Wayne Hills Career with 74 tackles, 9 touch downs and over 500 yards rushing .   This is very impressive considering Contella sat out his junior year.  Contella received 10 college offers and knew he was blessed.      “   I made my decision to go to Wilkes University because I felt this is the right school for me on the field as well as in the classroom. I am looking forward to playing running back on the field for the Colonels. In the classroom, I am undecided on my major, but I am looking to get into Sports Management. I am very excited for this next step in my life and I could not have done it without the support of my family, coaches, and the players I have had the honor to play with over the years”

 

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