Camp files: Harrison
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Coach: Art Troilo (27th season)
Conference: Section 1 Class A
2011 record: 5-4 in Section 1
Five observations from camp:
1. Passing? The first thing that stood out in the opening day of camp was that Harrison was practicing their passing game (and not just quarterbacks on the sideline getting throws in). The team lined up as a group for a good 45 minutes and practiced a number of sets, including shotgun and motion passing schemes. When asked about the new wrinkles in Harrison’s offense, Coach Troilo put it very simply; “If you have a gun, you have to shoot it.” That gun belonged to Vin Nicita.
2. The Nicita Show. There’s nothing on the football field that captures the eye better than a poised quarterback and that’s what Vin Nicita is. Nicita was electric throughout the opening session, impressing with a variety of deep, accurate throws and great footwork in Harrison’s new passing schemes. Nicita has battled injuries the past few seasons, but he says he’s back to 100 percent and ready to show off his talented skill set. Look for the senior quarterback to have a great year.
3. The weapons. No quarterback is complete without a nice group of receivers and Nicita has plenty of toys to play with this year. Running backs Jake Marino, Mike Amicucci and Robert Waldman will all catch the ball out of the backfield, but the wide receivers showed they are nothing to sniff at. Nick Pipitone, Michael Rossi, and Austin Pollack will be the leaders on the outside, but the entire receiving core was impressive. It’s early in the year, but Harrison looks pretty darn good with the ball in the air.
4. The leader. While most of the skill players have some experience, the leadership of Charlie Credendino stood out the most. Credendino is a big boy, the kind of guy you won’t move if he doesn’t want you to, but what was most impressive was his ability to lead the team. He’s the rock in the middle on the both sides of the ball.
5. General excitement. There was a buzz in the air the entire practice and it’s clear why. This is an exciting, explosive team and and the players and coaches realize that there is great potential if they can get the new offense down. This group had a legitimate pep-in-their-step throughout the day from Nicita and Credendino to freshman backup quarterback Brendan Pyne (remember the name). Everyone was excited to see where this went. And yes, that include coach Troilo, too.
Players to Watch: Vin Nicito, SR., QB; Charlie Credendino, SR., OL/DL; Jake Marino, JR., RB; Mike Amicucci, JR., RB; Robert Waldman, SR., FB/DB
Name to learn: Brendan Pyne, FR., QB/LB
Season outlook: It’s been a rollercoaster ride the last few years for the Harrison program. After winning the Section 1 championship and getting to the state final in 2010, the Huskies had a down year last season. They had a tough regular season schedule, lost again to arch-rival Rye and were eliminated by eventual champ Poughkeepsie in the quarterfinals.
But none of that matters to this year’s team, because they believe that they could be onto something special.
“We’ve got a sour taste in our mouth from last year, but we are focused on winning this year,” Robert Waldman said. “We’re looking to go undefeated and beat Rye. Those are our main goals; last year was a rebuilding year and this year we have the full forces.”
Harrison will look to the leadership of Waldman and Credendino, but the true success of the team seems to fall on the shoulders of Nicita.
He doesn’t seem to mind one bit.
“My career has kind of been hindered by injuries, but I feel great right now and I’m ready to play my senior season,” Nicita said. “We’re not going to throw 30 times a game but we feel like we can mix that in and do some damage. It’s going to open up a lot for the running game too, so we’re really excited. I want to win a state championship this year. Beat Rye and win a state championship. Those are the goals for this team.”
9/8 White Plains
9/14 at John Jay CR
9/21 Sleepy Hollow
9/28 at Tappan Zee
10/5 Pearl River
10/12 Horace Greeley
10/20 at Rye