KDJ: Speed, depth puts Harrison at top of Class A
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Art Troilo only goes at one speed at practice. The Harrison coach rarely stops moving, whether it’s taking part in drills, jogging from station to station or just briskly pacing around and checking his practice plans during water breaks.
When I finally tracked him down for a moment on Monday at New Rochelle between drills at Champions Camp, Troilo revealed what should be a theme for the Huskies all season long.
“Speed,” Troilo said. “We’ve just got so much speed.”
It seemed fitting with Troilo’s nature. He quickly began rattling off some names, even sprinkling in a few linemen among a deep core of backs and receivers.
It’s not unlike Troilo to be brimming with confidence when talking about his team, especially this early. Two years ago at Champions Camp he raved about a roster that had many question marks. There were bumps along the way but, on Thanksgiving weekend, the Huskies were in the Carrier Dome playing for a state title.
But Monday had a different tone in the legendary coach’s voice. The reason being was that, in the past, Troilo’s confidence was based on Harrison’s usual size or schematic advantages. Team speed was never really in the equation.
“We have a lot of speed and we have depth,” Harrison quarterback Vinnie Nicita said. “We have a lot of halfbacks, a lot of speed. Everyone can move.”
We’ll find out just how Harrison’s speed stacks up this week at Champions Camp. The Huskies are slated to go full pads against two of the most explosive teams in the region — New Rochelle and Iona Prep — during the five-day, eight-team workout, which will also include four more squads for Friday’s scrimmages.
On paper, and throughout Monday’s workouts, the Huskies definitely showcased speed up and down their loaded roster. The backfield is overflowing: Michael Amicucci, Jake Marino, Robert Waldman, Cory Calcagni headline a group that goes 5-6 deep.
Nick Pipitone returns at receiver and was Nicita’s top target last season. Pipitone is a legit downfield threat for a Harrison offense that’s supposed to throw more this year with Nicita, a strong-armed senior, entering his fourth season as the starter.
The offensive line showed incredible burst off the ball in workouts on Monday. Charlie Credendino, a senior who’s committed to play at Fordham, showed up at camp far leaner and quicker than last season, standing at a still imposing 6-foot-4, 315 pounds.
And there’s plenty of depth around him.
“Charlie is the only senior,” Troilo said. “The rest of the guys are juniors and we have nice size.”
Troilo wasn’t the only one confident.
“I think it’s going to be a great year,” Credendino said. “We have a lot of good returning players. And we have new guys who are going to step up.”
Brendan Pyne is a player Credendino highlighted and is somebody who’s received considerable attention in the offseason.
“I’m not afraid to say it or reveal secret weapons,” Credendino said of Pyne. “We are going to play our game all year no matter what. We are going to play Harrison football and make it mean something again.”
Email Kevin Devaney Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org