VERONA, NJ - After months of searching and deliberations the Verona Football Team has a new leader at the helm with Head Coach Kevin Batty.
“It’s tremendous, to be able to come home and coach where I played it’s hard to put into words it was tremendous it is a great feeling,” said Batty.
Batty was a graduate of Verona High School’s Class of 1985 and boasted tremendous success as a player. Batty was able to get to the State Championship game in his final year as a player, a goal he hopes to duplicate as a coach for the Hillbillies.
“[I want to] continue the tradition of Verona football and build on what’s been done in the past,” said Batty.
With more than 30+ years since his departure as a player many things have changed in the scenery Batty still feels at home. He noted the culture of the town and the caliber of athlete is still the same for the Hillbillies.
“The player that you get in Verona hasn’t changed much, you’ll get that hard nosed kid that’s going to work and that’s no different than when I grew up as a kid,” said Batty.
Batty has a wealth of knowledge to share with his players as he takes on this new venture. As a coach he’s led all phases of the game with stints as Offensive and Defensive Coordinator more recently. Additionally, within the last decade he also served as Head Coach for Marist High School for more than five years.
“I think [my background] has really prepared me well for [the role], being able to be a coordinator on both sides of the ball, being a Head Coach at one point and being able to learn from some of the best coaches in north Jersey that I worked for shaped me into being the coach that I am now,” said Batty.
Every coach wants to come in and instill his or her mark on the program as a whole. After being embraced by his staff and players Batty noted the type of team he looks to create as Verona looks to head back to the top of the State.
“Ideally I want to be good in all three aspects of the game, offense, defense, and special teams…I want to be sound and competitive in all three of those aspects of the game because you can win one and lose the other two and lose a football game so I think being sound in those aspects gives you a shot to win every game, if not be in every game,” said Batty.
Currently Batty is preparing for the preseason as his inaugural season begins with the Hillbillies. He has had a chance in June to work with the squad and feels the team made significant strides towards building for week one and the season.
“I just want to continue on the success and building upon what we did this summer preparing for August and getting ready to go into camp,” said Batty.