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Valley News Dispatch/Leader Times Q&A: Freeport's J.J. Brestensky

| Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, 11:21 p.m.
Freeport's J.J. Brestensky (6) pushes off Shady Side's Eric Yoest (11) during the season opener against Shady Side Academy on Friday, September 4, 2015.
Dan Speicher | For Trib Total Media
Freeport's J.J. Brestensky (6) pushes off Shady Side's Eric Yoest (11) during the season opener against Shady Side Academy on Friday, September 4, 2015.
Freeport's Justin Brestensky (6) picks up yards before being caught by Burrell's Jason David (9) during the first half Friday, Oct. 17, 2014, at Freeport.
Steve Dietz | For Trib Total Media
Freeport's Justin Brestensky (6) picks up yards before being caught by Burrell's Jason David (9) during the first half Friday, Oct. 17, 2014, at Freeport.

Freeport senior wide receiver J.J. Brestensky's success on the football field is nothing new. He has been a standout at wide receiver since the fourth grade.

It was borderline unfair to have Brestensky and his good friend, current senior quarterback Ryan Weigold, on the same team — even at a young age.

“It all really goes back to playing football at recess at South Buffalo Elementary School,” Weigold said. “(Teachers) wouldn't let me and Justin (play) on the same team.”

Combine eight years of playing football with one another with Wiegold's passing skill and Brestensky's speed and hands, and it becomes easier to understand why Weigold looks for his 6-foot, 175-pound pass-catcher when the pocket collapses.

“He's one of the guys that's pretty good at finding the gap,” Weigold said.

“And he's one of the guys that breaks off his route, finds an opening, and if he's not open, he'll improvise on it.”

Weigold added that Brestensky is not afraid of contact and said he has “top-notch speed.”

A three-year starter at wide receiver, Brestensky found plenty of openings last Friday in Freeport's 41-0 win over Summit Academy. The convincing win was just as much of a statement game by the Yellowjackets as it was a breakout performance for Brestensky.

Facing second-and-10 from the Freeport 12-yard line, the fleet-footed Brestensky gained a few steps on his defender when Weigold connected with him on a post pattern for an 88-yard first-quarter touchdown.

Brestensky's speed and quickness was on full display for the home crowd to see as he beat the closest Summit Academy defender to end zone by more than 20 yards.

On Freeport's next offensive possession, Weigold again found Brestensky wide open, this time for a 17-yard score to put the Yellowjackets up by two touchdowns.

Brestensky finished with 105 yards. He has three catches for 126 yards and two touchdowns through two games for Freeport (2-0, 2-0).

Brestensky was a cornerback last season but has moved to safety.

Q: What is your best 40-yard dash time?

A: I've actually never ran a 40 in my life. I've ran a 60 because of baseball, and my best time was 6.72 (seconds).

Q: What's different about this season's Freeport Yellowjackets?

A: I feel our attitude is different. We don't take crap from people, we know our place, we paid our dues and we have a whole different attitude. We just connect as a team.

Q: Are you more of a safety or more of a wide receiver?

A: I personally like safety better because I like coming up and hitting someone. The only reason I would say that I'm not more of a wide receiver is that (last) Friday night, against Summit Academy, I dropped an interception.

Q: Which team are looking forward to playing most?

A: Steel Valley. I know that it's not a section game, but I heard that they are such a great team, and I want to come out with a win.

Q: Why did you choose No. 6?

A: Freshman year, that was the only number left, so I just took it, and I have this saying that once you get a number you never change it.

Q: Which NFL receiver do you look up to?

A: I always liked Randy Moss. I don't know why, there's just something about him.

Q: What are your college plans?

A: I'm still undecided on what I want to major in. I want to play baseball in college. I played a lot of baseball over the summer and played on a lot of travel teams to try and get noticed.

William Whalen is a freelance writer.

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