By Jano Tantongco
The Elwood-John Glenn Knights are gearing up for the season with a new coach at the helm.
Now leading the team is head coach Matthew Rocchio Jr. – alongside assistant coach John Mehling – who just started his post after the departure of former coach Stephen Robins. Rocchio said he wants to continue to elevate Glenn’s program.
“It’s tough taking over a program that had a lot success,” Rocchio said. “I want to continue that success and build on it.”
Rocchio, of Lindenhurst, has served as the junior varsity coach for the past two years.
He added that the team is now bolstered by four seniors who all were sidelined by injuries last year. Joseph Muchnicki, Jack Ryan, Anthony Tesi and Gregory Thornhill are healthy and back in action, according to the coach.
“They’re all back this year, healthy. So they want back at it, this is their last shot… they’re being good leaders,” Rocchio said. He added that, though the team spent a year without key players, it may have been a blessing in disguise as several sophomores had to rise up and make up the difference.
As a result, “a lot of them have playing experience now, which they wouldn’t have had this year,” the coach said, looking at juniors Daniel Corazzata and Michael Dimitri.
Looking ahead, the Suffolk League VII contender had a scrimmage scheduled for today at Elwood-John Glenn High School against Northport.
Additional scrimmages are scheduled for tomorrow, 3:30 p.m. against Walt Whitman and Saturday, 9:30 a.m. against Huntington. Both of those scrimmages are scheduled to be played at Glenn.
Its first league match is slated for March 27 at 4:30 p.m. against Miller Place at home.