• Donate to The Hudson Independent
  • You Can Be in a Hud Indy Ad Too
Rivertowns Sports
Tarrytown News

Hackley Alumnus Excited to Lead Football Program This Season

• Bookmarks: 117

September 7, 2022

by Tom Pedulla–

First year coach Joseph McDermott looks to bring stability to a Hackley football program that has endured a series of unsettling changes.

  • Work for The Hud Indy
  • Support The Indy - Year-End Ask

The youthful McDermott, quick to point out that he turns 27 next month, is a former Hornets quarterback who graduated in 2014. He hopes to make up in enthusiasm what he lacks in experience as he assumes his first head coaching job.

“Coming back to Hackley, where some of my fondest football memories are, and leading the program into the future is exciting,” he said. “I’m trying to bring them some consistency. The senior class has seen three different changes in the head coaching position.”

Players have been quick to embrace the fresh-faced McDermott. Senior captain Rafael Green-Arnone said of the transition, “This has been the most seamless by far. I’m very excited with what this coach has brought. I think the team hasn’t felt this much like a team since our freshman year. I’m just excited to see what we can do.”

Still, more adjustments are required and learning a new offense is never easy. The staff is installing a spread attack that will emphasize quick passes from senior quarterback Harrison Riopel, the hard running of Conor Ranawat and Baraka Middleton’s speed out of the backfield. Matt Kearns is a threat in the running and passing game.

The Hornets feature an imposing offensive line comprised of left tackle Quincy Flournoy, left guard Thomas O’Brien, center Liam Abraham, right guard Jack Yalmokas and right tackle Walter Hoffman.

“It’s a different style of offense, for sure, but we’re keeping some of the aspects we’ve always had,” said senior captain William Maier. “We’re going to have a tough run-it-through-your-face running game, which has always been part of our program.”

Riopel was thrust into a difficult position last year as he gained on-the-job training as a signal-caller. He will benefit tremendously from that time and hailed the arrival of a coach with vast experience at his critical position.

“He’s been very helpful to me, footwork, arm angle, stuff like that,” Riopel said. “He’s a guru at it. He knows all about it.”

Riopel also starts at free safety as one of many Hornets who will see action on both sides of the ball. Kevin Kim, a senior, is expected to be a force on the defensive line.

McDermott is encouraged by the enthusiasm that surrounds the program. He recalled that he was one of only 18 players on the roster when he was a freshman in 2010. Forty players turned out for this year’s team. Hackley lost to high-powered Poly Prep in the playoffs last year.

Will Rao, another senior captain, is eager to avenge that defeat and play for the Metropolitan Independent Football League championship. “I think we’re going to do very well,” he said. “We’re together. We’re working harder than we ever have. I have all the faith in the world in this new coaching staff.”

McDermott is cautiously optimistic. “I don’t want to start predicting things. Something I’ve been talking to the boys about is ‘One week at a time,’” he said, sounding very much like a tight-lipped sideline veteran.


Read or leave a comment on this story...

Andrea Martone - Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow real estate agent

Local Boys Basketball Squads Aiming to Show Improvement

By Tom Pedulla--- The Hudson Independent previews the local boys’ basketball season. Here is the outlook for each team: DOBBS...
Read More

Fatality at Broadway and McKeel Avenue Highlights Longstanding Risks for Tarrytown Pedestrians

By Barrett Seaman-- Nelida Distante, 82, of West Elizabeth Street in Tarrytown was crossing North Broadway at its intersection with...
Read More

Negative Declaration Issued for Apartment Plan Near Tarrytown Train Station

By Rick Pezzullo A multi-family rental project proposed at 29 South Depot Plaza in Tarrytown took a major step forward...
Read More

Al Schnier Reflects on His Life, Career and moe.’s Upcoming Shows at The Capitol Theatre

By W.B. King-- When Al Schnier thinks back to an early August evening in 1997, the phrase “imposter syndrome” comes...
Read More

“No Shave November” Raises Cancer Research Money in Honor of the Late Detective Dave Walsh

Some Irvington police officers were looking a little scruffy during the month of November. Others looked rather dashing. By month’s...
Read More

Marry a Character

MARRY A CHARACTER: Exploring Fictosexuality in a Lonely Trilogy By Krista Madsen– Anyone on a dating app these days can tell you...
Read More

Only the Lonely

ONLY THE LONELY: The epidemic and the ambassador By Krista Madsen– Dr. Ruth Westheimer, cute and candid sex therapist many of us...
Read More

Community Food Pantry Helps Residents in Need Year-Round

By Rick Pezzullo---  Two weeks before Thanksgiving, 410 families received a robust bag of groceries and a $20 gift certificate...
Read More

Racing Day In The Rivertowns

By Barrett Seaman— Blessed with a crisp, clear Autumn day, the annual pre-Thanksgiving Turkey Trot races in Tarrytown and Irvington...
Read More

Mt. Pleasant Grapples With Sleepy Hollow Voting Rights Charge

By Barrett Seaman-- The public seating area at a hearing held on Thursday, November 16 before the Mt. Pleasant Town...
Read More
117 recommended
bookmark icon