About the Warren Wormann Jr. Defensive MVP Award
When Warren left us, I called his high school football coach, Coach Paternostro, to let him know. He was one of the most supportive and caring people that I spoke to in those days that followed. "Anything you need or that I can do personally, you've got it," he said. I mentioned to him that I would love to have a Pope John football jersey with Warren's football number on it, #43.
Not only did he get one made for me, but also for Gerry and Amanda. I didn't see that coming and it brought me to tears. He went on to say, #43 will never be worn again, and his number was retired in his memory.
Warren was a solid fullback and linebacker during his freshman season at Pope John, and he was moved up to varsity before State Playoffs and got to play at Giant's Stadium, a place he treasured having grown up a diehard Giant's fan. It was that season that Warren won the first of four consecutive state section championships along with his teammates. Eight of his fellow freshman teammates got moved up along with him. They were the only nine players in Pope John football history to earn a ring bearing four state championships.
Warren was a tough, smart player who was very hard to bring down with his strong legs and relentless drive. As a senior fullback, he averaged nine yards per carry and was named to the All-Area and Non-Public State teams. He was also awarded the Defensive Player Award for Pope John.
Warren chose not to play when he went to Rutgers for freshman year. He knew that although he was a good player, it would be tough to make the team. Gerry encouraged him to go out as a walk on, but he said "Mom, I've been a starter on a winning team since I was ten years old. I don't really want to go down there and get the crap kicked out of me every day at practice, and not get to play during games." On a visit home that fall, I asked him if he missed playing football since he had been playing his whole life. He thought for a moment, then said "I don't miss playing football as much as I miss playing Pope John Football with my friends."
After I had called Coach Paternostro to thank him for the jersey, he asked if there was anything else he could do. I mentioned that we would like to establish a football award in Warren's name, and in 2005, the same year that he passed away, we presented the first trophy for the "Warren Wormann Jr. Defensive MVP Award."
Every year since, we attend the Pope John Football Awards Banquet to present the award, it's always a special moment for us.
About the Warren Wormann Jr. Memorial Scholarship
In the months that followed, Gerry suggested that we do something at Pope John. I spoke to Jennifer Williams in the alumni office about a scholarship fund. When I asked Jennifer if $1,000 was a fair amount to award to the yearly recipient, she said that it would be more than fair, and would be one of the larger cash awards.
As the years went on, support for Warren's memory only grew. The first Warren Wormann Jr. Memorial Golf Classic was enjoyed by 48 golfers and had 18 hole sponsors. This year, for the 10th annual, we had an astounding 184 golfers and 24 hole sponsors! Through the generosity of friends and family, and the success of the annual fundraisers, we are proud to announce that starting this year, the scholarship will be increased to $2,000 awarded annually.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to everyone who makes this scholarship possible. We truly believe that Warren's memory is very much more alive thanks to this scholarship fund and the bus trip and golf outing that support it.
- Warren Sr., Gerry, and Amanda -
2006 Tim Lombreglia
2007 John Van Aman
2008 Bobby Guild
2009 Anthony Gangemi
2010 Dan McCormick
2011 Sean Kenney
2012 Matthew Iuliani
2013 Connor Anderson
2014 Nick Warner
2015 Scott Black