Jacob Siwicki, a part-time Sagaponack resident who in the past two years has played football for two nationally ranked high schools, Upper Saint Clair in suburban Pittsburgh and DeMatha in Hyattsville, Md., outside of Washington, D.C., has decided to take a postgrad year at the Northfield-Mount Hermon preparatory school in Northfield, Mass., in order to broaden his college prospects.
Bill McGregor, Siwicki’s coach at DeMatha, said in an e-mail this week that Mount Hermon not only played “very competitive football,” but also was “a highly rated academic institution that prepares students for Ivy League and similar Division 1 colleges.”
“I believe,” McGregor continued, “that Mount Hermon has found itself a game-changing football player who can turn its program around.”
He added that Siwicki, a 6-foot, 217-pound running back who is a sure-handed receiver as well, has since July 1 been “practicing with eight National Football League players,” Darrelle Revis of the Jets, Darius Butler of the Patriots, and Jay Richardson of the Seahawks among them. “He was the only non-N.F.L. player who was permitted to practice with this group, which should give you an insight into the type of athlete he is.”
Siwicki, whose father, J.R., grew up in Pittsburgh, and whose mother is from an old East Hampton family, the Strongs, left East Hampton for Upper Saint Clair in his sophomore year, a move in which both the lure of a big-time high school football program and a falling out with some members of the football coaching staff here apparently played a part.
However the move came about, East Hampton’s loss was undoubtedly Upper Saint Clair’s and DeMatha’s gain.
In another e-mail, in March, McGregor said Siwicki was “a terrific football player . . . [whose] goal is to play for a very competitive D-1 program with high academic standards. . . . He is one of the best players to come out of DeMatha, which in my 29 years as head coach has sent almost 300 D-1A players and 120 D-1AA players to college and 28 players to the National Football League.”
Further, McGregor described his starting tailback, and the team’s offensive M.V.P., as “a slasher with exceptional power and very quick feet. He hits the hole explosively with great balance, and when at the second level he has excellent field vision. He blocks well and has terrific hands. He breaks a tremendous amount of tackles, and always seems to fall forward for important extra yardage. His yards-after-contact stat is off the charts.”
“Jacob, who led both our team and our league in rushing yards, touchdowns, and points scored, scored 15 rushing touchdowns, had four 2-point conversion receptions, and caught several passes out of the backfield. He didn’t drop a pass the whole season. . . . We gave him the ball in most of our red zone opportunities because we trusted that he would give us our best chance to score.”
McGregor said that Siwicki had in 2011 been nominated as the D.C./Metro Area’s player of the year; had, as aforesaid, been named DeMatha’s offensive most valuable player and had led the league in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns; had been twice named the D.C./Metro Area’s player of the week, and had been picked for the Chesapeake Bowl, a regional high school all-star game drawing from the best players in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.
Moreover, Siwicki had been named the most valuable player of a game in October between DeMatha and Our Lady of Good Counsel. “We’re archrivals and it’s DeMatha’s most important game of the year,” said McGregor, adding that “national media outlets attended and reported. There were 30 Division 1A starting players on the field that night.”