by Kevin Brown
After a comprehensive search, Jorge Veintimilla, defensive coordinator for the Sleepy Hollow Varsity football team, has been named the new head coach of the football program. A committee of eight local residents screened candidates with the best of them forwarded to Superintendent Chris Borsari, who made the final decision.
“We were lucky to have so many great candidates for the position. Coach Veintimilla is an experienced coach whom I have heard very positive feedback about from the community and from kids that have played for him. He was prepared for this next step, and I expect he will excel at getting kids to step on the field for the first time. He is not only head coach but the new leader of the football program in our towns,” Borsari said.
The new coach expressed his excitement and offered some interesting insight about coaching this group of young warriors.
“I look forward to the challenge. We have some talented players returning, but will also need to replace some very important players,” Veintimilla said. “Like many districts, our numbers have declined slightly. Many kids and parents are hesitant to play football because of injury concerns. Our staff will take great pride in teaching safe, head-up football. We will always focus on safety and effective ways to teach our student athletes.”
Veintimilla loves the challenge of coaching at Sleepy Hollow, saying, “One huge positive about Sleepy Hollow is how diverse we are. Kids from different backgrounds come together day in and day out to compete and work together for a common goal. That is something that is unique to our community and we all take great pride in.” In past seasons, linemen called out pre-snap blocking assignments in Spanish, leaving opposing defenses befuddled.
The coach also expects to broaden his focus, expressing, “The Horsemen have had great success in the past and we expect to continue that success. I look forward to bridging the connection between our youth feeder system and the high school team while staying connected to our devoted alumni as well.” As the previous coach would often say, nothing beats going into battle with the guys you grow up with.
In other big news for sports in Sleepy Hollow, Chuck Scarpulla, long time Athletic Director at Sleepy Hollow High, is retiring, effective at the end of this year. A committee will also be formed for that search, and several candidates have thrown their hat into the ring already.
“Jorge is a great choice to run football in this special town. He is a young, football guy who has coached for 16 years and is also a teacher at Washington Irving. So he has a great relationship with the kids, he knows the community, the parents, and the administration.” Scarpulla said. “He is in the district, has solid knowledge of football and will run the entire football program—modified, JV and Varsity. I also expect him to engage with Wolfpack so he is involved in all aspects of football starting at the youngest level.”
As far as retiring at the end of the year, Scarpulla was melancholy. “My job is a great job because this is a great community. My tenure has been so positive and I leave here with few enemies,” he quipped. “The thing I have enjoyed most is my outstanding relationship with all of the students, not just the athletes. I tried to inspire them to be positive, have a great self-image and to become outstanding citizens, not just outstanding athletes.”
Scarpulla added, “I am glad to say that the administration in place here is first class. Everyone involved in the process was highly professional and the schools are in great hands.”
The Sleepy Hollow faithful who have enjoyed the past decade of success in which the Horsemen consistently reached the Sectional Playoffs and the Conference championship game often even though they play in Section A which is comprised of much bigger schools. The Hollow faithful can rest easy knowing that the future of football is in very capable hands.