NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Coming off a disappointing season that saw the Pioneers win just one game while losing some key players from that squad, New Providence, led by new head coach Chet Parlavecchio Jr., looks to have a strong rebound campaign, with their season kicking off Friday night.
There has been a lot of turnover within the program in the past year, as Mitch Goodstein departed after one year at the helm, athletic director Rocco Constantino left for a similar position in California, and players like Michael Barletta and Hudson Barth are taking their talents to the collegiate level. All that considered, Parlavecchio believes that he is the right man to right the ship and take the program back in the right direction.
“The success in this season is going to be measured on how we grow and improve as a team. I feel that we are going to be a team that gets better and better as the season goes on,” said Parlavecchio, on his strategy to make this program stable and prideful.
“We want to compete in every game and play our hardest every time we take the field, if we play as hard as we can and as fundamentally sound as we can than the score will take care of itself.”
Despite all of the departures, New Providence does return some key players that will look to provide insight to the younger guys on the team. Pat Trezza, Ben Hasenkopf, and Chris Vass, among other players are those guys that can do just that, as they have multiple years of experience with the program.
Even though there is a plethora of youth within the program, the head coach believes that it plays to their advantage to have that nice balance of youth and veteran presence.
“I believe we have very strong senior leadership group coupled with a very good core of young players,” said Parlavecchio. “We have a group of very smart football players who are working very hard.”
The season starts off with a tough test against county foe Johnson, a team that has got the best of them in years past, including a match-up in last years’ season opener as well as the first round of the 2015 playoffs.
Parlavecchio acknowledges that this will be a difficult task for his young team, but remains positive regarding his mindset and believes that his players will be up for the challenge.
“Johnson is a very well coached team; they play a very unique style on offense with their triple option and they execute it very well,” said Parlavecchio. “We need to be disciplined in our assignments, fundamentally sound and run to the football and tackle well.”
“This is a great opportunity for our kids to go out and play hard as we have put a lot of time in this off season and now it is time for the kids to go out and play a great game and have fun.”
Year one under Chet Parlavecchio Jr. and the new look Pioneer football program will be under way Friday night under the lights at Arthur L. Johnson High School at 7 p.m. against the Crusaders.