Indians led by four senior linemen

Meet the unsung heroes of Pascack Valley football


Molly Heintze

PV’s offensive line is led by four senior starters: Charlie Looes, Andrew Demboski, Jesse Lagrosa, and Dylan Driscoll.

All season, Pascack Valley’s offense has revolved around the running game, namely junior Jake Williams who has rushed for 883 yards and twelve touchdowns. However, the ground-and-pound success that the offense has enjoyed doesn’t start with the running back, but with the guys who block for him.

“You get down and dirty and you don’t really get any of the glory but the offensive line makes things happen,” said senior Jesse Lagrosa, an offensive lineman for the PV football team.

Along with Lagrosa, the offensive line is led by senior starters Andrew Demboski, Dylan Driscoll and Charlie Looes, who all seem to share a common appreciation for the physicality of the position. Some of their favorite plays to run are 46 Gap, 46 Power and 46 Pattern.

“Just how we get after it everyday and always play physical,” Demboski said when asked about his favorite part of being on the offensive line.

Physicality isn’t the only favorable aspect of the position.

“[I appreciate] the bond we have on the field and off the field,” said Driscoll.

That bond is demonstrated at every practice when walkthrough is about to begin.

As the starting center, Driscoll is tasked with alerting the offensive line that the team walkthrough is starting. Everyday, he says the exact same thing; “hey o-line, walkthrough!”

The catch is that the other linemen ensure that they make it as difficult as possible for him.

“We tell Driscoll the coaches are coming up when they’re really not so he’ll say it at the wrong time,” Lagrosa said.

A running joke throughout the group, Driscoll’s call wouldn’t be so renowned if it was serious and effective.

“Every single day it’s terrible, just awful, and everyday it’s just a complete joke,” Demboski said.

Spencer Goldstein

Another tradition the offensive line follows is Fat Tuesday. Every Tuesday, the line, as well as anyone else who wants to attend, goes to a restaurant, normally all-you-can-eat style, and they feast as much as possible.

“During the winter, we’ll just eat everything and anything,” Demboski said. “[We] just shovel food down our throats to get big and once summer comes around we have to start getting in shape so we start eating a little bit cleaner. But during the winter and spring we’re just eating a lot.”

On the other hand, Lagrosa, whose favorite Fat Tuesday restaurant is Khan’s Mongolian Restaurant, eats more during the football season.

“I eat more because of how much exercising and running we do,” he said. “[I eat] a lot of pasta and chicken.”

Not only are diets an essential part to getting in and staying in shape, but they can be used superstitiously as well. Whether he eats it or not, Lagrosa prepares the same pregame meal prior to every game. His weekly plate consists of meatballs, penne vodka, grilled chicken and exactly three bananas.

While having fun with traditions like Fat Tuesdays, the lineman seem to take their job very seriously, both on and off the field. They obviously play a vital role to run-block and pass protect, but as seniors, they are also obligated to be leaders and positive influences on their teammates each day.

“We lead by example, so whatever energy or focus we bring to practice, they’ll also bring,” Lagrosa said.

“We lead by example, so whatever energy or focus we bring to practice, they’ll also bring.”

— Jesse Lagrosa

Beyond high school, some of PV’s offensive linemen plan to pursue football in college. Looes recently commited to play for Dartmouth College, a Division I FCS school in New Hampshire. Meanwhile, Lagrosa has spoken to some Division III schools, such as Kean University, and Demboski has been in talks with a few collegiate coaches as well.

Driscoll doesn’t intend on playing football after he graduates from Pascack Valley, as he’s considering a potential career as an electrician.

However, their senior campaign isn’t over yet. It’s playoff time for the Indians; they will travel to River Dell on Friday night for a showdown with the Golden Hawks. 

“We need to continue to play as a strong group, open holes, and protect the quarterback. Because when [the offensive lineman] start going, [the rest of the offense] starts going,” Lagrosa said. “And as far as a team, we need to have trust in each other and remain confident to keep the season alive.”