CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. – The Horace Greeley High School football team took a step toward putting its rocky off-season in the rearview mirror Monday evening by creating some new traditions.
Members of the varsity football squad brought their practice from the high school campus and showcased their skills for a few hours in front of parents and community members under the lights at Recreation Field.
Players and coaches were dealt a blow last week when long-time Head Coach Bill Tribou resigned after reaching a settlement with the school district in midst of an indefinite suspension. Tribou has since taken a position coaching linebackers at Peekskill High School.
The practice was organized by interim head coach Tim Sullivan along with players and parent volunteers as a way of moving on from the past.
“Adversity is the key word, and I think the kids have done such a great job bonding out of this, and they’re overcoming the adversity,” Sullivan said. “From that, we’ve pretty much moved on. I’ve think they’ve done a great job at pushing through this; it toughened all of them.”
Sullivan graduated from Horace Greeley High School in 1989 and has been working as an assistant coach for nearly two decades. Sullivan lives in Somers with his wife, a Fox Lane High School graduate, and works at Yorktown High School as a guidance counselor.
He was appointed as the interim coach by the Chappaqua Central School District Board of Education in July, and did not accept the full-time head coaching position out of respect to Tribou, if he had been re-instated. It remains to be determined if the interim title will eventually be removed.
“Whatever you want to call it, I’m the guy right now,” Sullivan said.
The team will practice again at Recreation Field on Tuesday, and will play a full-contact scrimmage Thursday at Ossining High School. The team opens up the 2012 season against Brewster High School on Sept. 7.
“I’m excited about this group, because they’ve worked hard and they’ve had to go through hell,” Sullivan said. “It’s been a long off-season and there’s been a lot of turmoil, and I think they’re ready to hit on Thursday. They’ve been dying for this.”