HARRISON, N.Y. – Harrison varsity football coach Artie Troilo Jr. made his team a promise on the first day of practice – a promise the players found hard to believe.
“Coach told us that depending how hard we worked would determine what time we would get out of practice,” senior and starting quarterback Vinnie Nicita said. “We got out of practice the earliest I could ever remember yesterday.”
Harrison returned to the practice field Saturday morning and, once again, the Huskies were done earlier than expected, enabling the players to enjoy lunch.
Harrison, which went 5-4 last year and was beaten in the first round of the Section 1 Class A Football Championships by eventual titlist Poughkeepsie, opens the season Sept. 8 at home against White Plains. This will be the first meeting between the two teams.
Nicita and his teammates are hoping to extend their season further than the first round of the playoffs. Last year, the Huskies were a young team with many first-year starters. Led by a senior class, many of whom started last year, the 2012 Huskies are a more experienced team.
Harrison showed it was ready for the 2012 season beginning with its’ off-season approach.
“We had a lot more intensity, especially when it came to the weight room,” said the 6-foot-2, 195-pound Nicita, who will be starting for the third straight year. “Everyone looked forward to getting into the weight room and working hard to get bigger, stronger and faster.”
Nicita is one of eight senior veterans returning for Harrison. Charlie Credendino and Christian Santa Maria will start on the offensive line at tackle and center, respectively. Robert Waldman and Thomas Lovinger will line up at running back, Cory Calcagni and Nick Pipitone at split end, and Anthony Spano and Bobby Scatenato are the tight ends.
Nicita and the veteran seniors displayed their leadership and seriousness recently at the New Rochelle summer football camp.
“We were a little sluggish one day and we told the team that you have to give it everything you have and be focused for at least four months of your life,” Nicita said.
Harrison knows it is a talented team, but the difference between winning and losing comes down to one thing.
“We know we can do it, but it’s just a matter of us playing up to our potential,” Nicita said.