By Kevin Brown–
Homecoming at Sleepy Hollow High School is usually associated with rowdy fans, a fierce football game, regaled Kings and Queens of Homecoming and the announcement of which class won Spirit Week. The King and Queen and Spirit Week will have to wait a bit longer in this lockdown era, but the game was afoot.
On this past, gorgeous Saturday, football seemed to be beside the point in this peculiar era. What was key is that the parents were present. The players were prepared. The Headless Horseman was haunting. The cheerleaders were clamoring with excitement. The downsized pep band was playing at the end of the track. And the fans, mostly players’ parents, filled about one-third of the stands.
After escorting their senior son, Liam Hansen, out to mid-field for the annual Senior Ceremony, Bill and Trish Hansen explained, “We are so grateful that we got to even attend the games and see Liam play in his senior year. It’s a very sentimental time for all of us parents as we have watched these kids grow up, and the last year has had particularly unusual circumstances.”
And, the team got to play football! It was a shaky proposition, but the powers that make these decisions scheduled football as a spring sport. After seniors Ben Good, Zack Rudder, Kevin Sullivan, Will Kelly, and Michael Gates and juniors Mike Scaglione, Aren Arduino and Luke Many finished up playing in the sectional finals for Sleepy Hollow Varsity Hoops, they suited up exactly a week later to battle on the gridiron along with the rest of their comrades.
With little practice and a whole bunch of kids new to football, the results have been tough so far this season. But, Ben Good, who has started at QB for the last three years for SHHS, broke the all-time passing record for a Sleepy Hollow QB with over 3,623 yards thrown! “There is no chance I would be in this position if I didn’t have an older brother as a role model and a add who made me a QB at a young age. It was never my goal to be the all-time passing leader, but it sure is an awesome accomplishment,” Good explained.
Football has been synonymous with the Good family for so many years now. Ben’s brother, Joey Good, started playing Wolfpack flag football in 2000 at the ripe old age of four. Of course, he was the QB and stayed there throughout his football career. Joey Good was the last QB to lead Sleepy Hollow to the sectional finals in 2014.
Ben and Joey’s father, Joe Good, began coaching in 2001 and has continued ever since. Even after his sons aged out of Wolfpack or as Coach Good rebranded it, Junior Horsemen, he still runs the program or coaches or both.
Every town has a dad that is a gifted coach and makes an enormous impact on the community and the kids in that community. Every season whether he has a son playing or not, Coach Good could look out onto the field and see kids who he had been teaching football to from as young as five years old, many of whom were like sons to him.
“Ben will be graduating, and we will no longer have a son in the football program, but I have been blessed for a very long time and that will continue as our Junior Horseman grow up and take the field.” Joe Good explained. “The football program has given so much to me and my family. We live in the best community in the world.”
Joe Good also has an older son Christopher and a daughter Barbara, who also had a great athletic career at SHHS. And, then there is Christine Good, the mom, known to everyone as Chrisse. Chrisse is the mom who has spent years watching very large young men try to wallop her sons. She has covered her eyes on so many occasions waiting to see her son emerge from the bottom of the pile.
There isn’t a young man that competed in SHHS sports who doesn’t know who Mrs. Good is. Along with a tremendous amount of help from other parents, Chrisse has driven them, lined up their sponsors, and cooked for them on so many occasions.
“The mental, physical and emotional tests that these young men face shape their futures. They learn how to lead and be lead. They learn how to take criticism from coaches and how to lean on each other for support. It’s priceless,” Chrisse shared with a gleam in her eyes. “But watching these young men grow up and the friendships they develop off the field are just as important. What a fun, exciting, emotional and sometimes stressful ride it has been! Go Hollow!” she finished with a flourish.
It’s only a matter of time before her grandson Pax is behind center.