Hillbillies' Athlete of the Week: Mark Riggio

Credits: Chuck Lavery
Credits: Chuck Lavery
Credits: Chuck Lavery

VERONA, NJ - Verona football is once again off to a nice start at 4-0, thanks to the legs of Mark Riggio leading the team to victory.

In his last game, Riggio helped lead Verona to a 31-6 victory over Glen Ridge with three rushing touchdowns and 167 rushing yards. Both were season highs for Riggio, earning him TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove’s Hillbilly Athlete of the Week honors.

As impressive as Riggio’s performance is on the field, his attitude off the field is equally remarkable. While honored to be recognized, Riggio remains humble and credits his team for their success.

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“It’s a great feeling to get our town recognized,” said Riggio. “I wouldn’t be able to get to this spot without my team.”

For the season so far, Riggio has had six rushing touchdowns and 340 rushing yards that has contributed to Verona’s undefeated run.  Riggio stresses the importance of having a good relationship as an entire team in order to continue to be successful.

“Everyone has the same amount of influence. We’re a team and there’s no individuals,” noted Riggio. “We’re a whole family so we do everything together.”

The family mindset seems to be successful on the field and off for Riggio and the Hillbillies. As part of last year’s undefeated state championship team, Riggio looks to accomplish the same goal this year.

“We just have to keep playing Verona football, practice hard every day, and play our hearts out every game,” he said.

Verona continues its path to another state championship at home on Saturday at 1 p.m. against West Side. 

Editor's Note: The "Athlete of the Week" is a weekly reoccurring feature story that highlights an individual student-athlete's success. The Verona High School Athlete of the Week is selected with the assistance of the school's athletic director and coaching staff. 

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