In the huddle with Southern's Mike Gesicki

Southern’s Mike Gesicki says there’s been ‘a chip on our shoulder’ since the Rams’ loss to Triton in last year’s playoffs.

There's no sense in asking Mike Gesicki to name his favorite sport.

It is better to ask the Southern Regional High School junior which sport he is currently playing.

The 6-foot-6, 215-pound Gesicki excels at wide receiver for the Rams football. He caught 19 passes for 319 yards last season.

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He also stars in basketball in the winter and in volleyball in the spring. Rutgers University offered Gesicki a football scholarship last month.

"Whatever sport I'm in, that's my favorite sport," he said. "In the fall, football is my favorite sport. In the wintertime, it's basketball. And in the spring, I'm a volleyball guy."

Gesicki and Southern open the season at Freehold Township at 7 p.m. today.

The Rams finished 8-2, won the Shore Conference A South title and made the playoffs last season. Gesicki spoke about the upcoming season and other topics in a telephone interview Thursday night.

On the opening night of the football season: We've been working hard through the summer. We got through camp. We had three scrimmages. We've been watching that clock tick down. We're ready to come out and play as hard as we can for as long as we can.

On Southern being the A South defending champion: Last year nobody expected us to do anything big. But we expected it out of ourselves. This year we're expecting to do good things again. We graduated a lot of guys and we need some guys to step up.

On motivation from last season's 26-7, first-round playoff loss to Triton: That's been a chip on our shoulder since the day after the game. We think about it every day. We know we can play better than that, and we will play better than that. That loss was bad for us, but it helped us grow up.

On the scholarship offer from Rutgers: It's tremendous for me, and I'm honored to be blessed with that, but right now I'm focused on the team and on winning. College will pan out for itself.


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