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After Drills, Weights, Football Kicks Off Season Tonight


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For many, it has been a relaxing and tranquil summer season. However, the Verona football team was certainly not resting on its laurels in the off-season. The first game starts very early–tonight, Friday, August 25–but this is far from the beginning of action for the team. Since January, the team has been in the weight room, increasing strength. The team took it to another level in late June, when weight room training became Monday and Wednesday from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Additionally, on these days, the team also practiced drills and technique from 6 to 9 p.m. These double sessions, complete with conditioning, got the team more athletic and improved endurance.

On Tuesdays, the team would only practice from 6 to 9 p.m., installing plays and basic formations, and on Fridays, there would only be a morning weight room session. Starting August 7, the team began to wear helmets, and they slowly phased into full pads by the end of the week. This is when the team began full contact. Practices, like last year, were from roughly 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. In conjunction with practices, Verona also participated in 7-on-7s, and later scrimmages against New Providence and Jefferson, both teams that made last year’s playoffs. In these, Verona has displayed its new roster for this year.

The offensive and defensive lines, led by Captain #52 Shane Costigan (guard, defensive tackle), seeks to be better than last year and have been training hard to do so. The receiving corp has been diligently working as well, led by Captain #23 Zach Garmont (receiver, safety). Garmont is accompanied by senior wideout #9 Michael Demasi, juniors #11 Jesse Wagner, #5 Gianluca Checchetto, and #81 John Paul Alfano, and sophomores #22 Dean Algieri and #20 Jayden Nigro. Verona’s running back, #44 Bodie Maisano, is now a sophomore and will try to improve on his impressive freshman-year performance. Quarterback #10 Connor Demasi is also returning, now a junior. Verona’s final captain is kicker Kieran Patel, who has been a 4-year starter, kicking off every game and scoring a plethora of field goals and extra points.

“We’ve worked really hard this off-season on and off the field,” says Costigan. “The whole team has gotten physically and mentally stronger and it comes from both players and coaches. I’m confident we are prepared to go to war with Lakeland tonight.”

Verona will attempt to make a statement in its first game against Lakeland Regional High School. The game will take place at home at 7 p.m. on Thomas Sellitto field. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors. No bags or backpacks are allowed inside the stadium.

(Photos copyright Kathleen Milano Seubert. Used by permission.)

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Daniel Frenklakh
Daniel Frenklakh
High school writer following football, marching band, swimming and various high school events.


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