Marc Narducci: For Seneca's QB, last game is too soon

A.J. Miskiewicz is "a player who goes out there and makes things happen," says Seneca coach Bill Fisher, himself a former quarterback.
A.J. Miskiewicz is "a player who goes out there and makes things happen," says Seneca coach Bill Fisher, himself a former quarterback. (MARC NARDUCCI / Staff)

A.J. Miskiewicz waited his turn, and the senior season flew past.

Posted: November 24, 2011

He patiently waited his turn and took advantage of the opportunity once it was afforded him.

Now, Seneca senior quarterback A.J. Miskiewicz is looking to savor the final 48 minutes that he will spend on the field, representing his school, his sport, and his community.

Miskiewicz is a true program player, one who had to hone his skills on the junior varsity before becoming a starter on the varsity in his final season.

As with scores of football players in South Jersey who will play their final games this week, it will be an emotional farewell. That's especially so for Miskiewicz, who hung in there, finally earned his chance, and doesn't want to see his career end.

Seneca (3-6) will host Cherokee in the season finale for both teams on Thanksgiving.

"It pretty much means almost everything to me," said Miskiewicz, a member of the National Honor Society. "I have been playing since second grade."

He laughs now when recalling how he wanted to quit the sport after his second practice in that second-grade year. His father talked him out of it.

Football has been more than just a game, more than an avenue of competition for Miskiewicz.

He moved to the area from Chicago in 2006, and playing the sport allowed him to transition into a new community much more easily.

At Seneca, he has enjoyed every moment, even when he didn't know if running the varsity offense would be part of the equation.

Coach Bill Fisher concedes that he didn't know if Miskiewicz would be the starter, and the senior was even sharing reps during summer 7-on-7 games.

Yet Fisher, who was an accomplished quarterback at Deptford and then Rowan, saw something in Miskiewicz that he liked.

The old quarterback was right. This year, the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Miskiewicz has completed 77 of 121 passes for 1,025 yards and seven touchdowns. This is for a Seneca program that traditionally runs the ball.

"He has had a super year," Fisher said.

Last season, Fisher didn't get to see many JV games, but when he did, it seemed as if Miskiewicz was always making big plays. That has translated onto the varsity field.

"He's a player who goes out there and makes things happen," Fisher said.

After not even knowing entering his senior year if he would be the starter, Miskiewicz eventually was named one of the captains.

In modern times, if players aren't starting on varsity as sophomores, there is often impatience. Miskiewicz used his experience on the JV to improve as a player.

"I enjoyed JV a lot and learned a lot," he said. "I always wanted to take that extra step to make Coach Fisher proud, because he played the position."

This week, all the Seneca seniors and upperclassmen throughout South Jersey would like time to stand still.

"It will be very emotional, and it has gone by so fast," Miskiewicz said. "It seems like yesterday we were lifting in June preparing for the season."

Miskiewicz hopes to play in college, but no matter what is in store for him, he'll always treasure his time as a high school player. He didn't give up in his attempt to get on the field. Now, seeing his career end after Thursday will be even more difficult because turning the page on something that means so much is never easy.


Contact staff writer Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225, mnarducci@phillynews.com,

or @sjnard on Twitter.

Find his Rally columns

at www.philly.com/narducci

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