OSSINING, N.Y. – The Horace Greeley High School football team finally got a chance to put on the pads and square off with another team after a tumultuous off-season.
The Quakers participated in a scrimmage at Ossining High School on Thursday night, and interim head coach Tim Sullivan had his first opportunity to see his team play at full speed.
“These kids have been working since January, and I couldn’t be prouder of what they’ve overcome, how they’ve come together as a group,” Sullivan said. “The coaching staff has done a great job of preparing them despite all the turmoil in the off season. We’re very proud of this group.”
Sullivan has been the head coach for two months but has been with the Quakers for 18 seasons. His good friend and mentor, Bill Tribou, officially resigned last week and Sullivan knows that replacing him is no small task.
“It’s big shoes to fill. He’s a legend. He’s one of the best high school football coaches around.” Sullivan said. “But he’s taught me a tremendous amount. He’s done a lot for me personally, professionally, and I owe a lot to him. In my mind, I’m carrying on his work.”
Sullivan initially hesitated to take the job because of the instability of Tribou’s situation. But when the longtime coach officially resigned, Sullivan took over to lead the players he has come to know so well.
“Once I knew what his fate was, that’s when I made the decision,” Sullivan said. “I made the decision for this group of players and to carry on the Greeley tradition.”
The Quakers and the Pride strapped on the pads and helmets and played for about an hour on Thursday. Sullivan said his players have been waiting for an opportunity to do something other than practice.
“They’ve been waiting for this for a long time. It’s a long grind that off-season without facing somebody,” Sullivan said. “I think they’re very excited and I think they did everything we asked of them.”
Greeley will participate in another scrimmage at Pleasantville on Saturday and then opens its season at Brewster on Friday, Sept. 7.