Monday, Nov. 16, 7 p.m.: For years, a Monday night football coaching meeting at Wayne Hills would be preceded by a fare of great food. The late assistant coach, Jon ‘Goldy’ Goldstein was in charge of the buffet, which would often be stationed outside the head coach’s office. The food generally came from the Brownstone.
All the coaches, along with the trainers and anyone else then-head coach Chris Olsen invited, would indulge in the food. Then, the non-essential personnel would depart and the work of preparing for that week’s upcoming game would commence.
Following the 2012 season, Olsen retired as coach and the feasts ceased. The following January, Goldy died suddenly.
Wayne Hills athletic trainer Corinne Scarpa remembered the days of the Monday Night Buffet and yearned to bring it back. And so, last Monday, Scarpa, along with the training interns, Micah Baluyot and Meaghan Boyd, presented the coaching staff multiple trays of food, from the Brownstone.
“Corinne told me not to order our usual dinner,” said head coach Wayne Demikoff. “I never expected this. What a nice thing to do.”
The staff tonight included Demikoff, John Jacob, Jermain Johnson, Chris Dowling, Pat Cosgrove, Mike Peischl, Mike Kelly, Matt Bogert, Walt Johnson and Eric Magrini.
While Scarpa was the hero of the meeting, let’s not forget Dowling, who once again stepped up with a few boxes of doughnuts, along with the Box ‘O Joe.
The general mood with the coaches is good, and why not? A 35-14 win over Roxbury in the first round of the NJSIAA tournament moved the Patriots into the semifinals, where the team will make a short trip to Oakland on Nov. 20, to face Indian Hills.
Demikoff has already told the team, in film sessions and today’s practice that Indian Hills has an outstanding team. The Braves, like Hills, are 8-2. The team’s quarterback is very talented, with a tremendous group of receivers and a sturdy offensive line.
Long time assistant coach Pat Cosgrove has been with the program since 1987. Demikoff relies on Cosgrove for his thorough scouting reports, as well as game-day decisions on the coin toss and field positioning.
Defending them won’t be easy, and that’s the theme of Monday night’s meeting. Jacob and his staff have moved to an adjoining room to work on offensive schemes.
Jacob is most concerned that the team keeps the same focus it displayed last week, in preparing for Roxbury.
The Patriots are one game away from a likely trip to MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands for a state championship, and the team is starting to feel the excitement.
“We’re coming around at the right time,” said Demikoff. “But Indian Hills has a lot of tools. They’re good.”
Jacob and Magrini come into the meeting and discuss the offense. Magrini is ticked off, feeling someone stole his gray vest. The culprit appears to be Dowling, but then Magrini realizes he left the vest in his car.
“See?” Dowling says in mock disgust. “Put that in the blog,” he says to me.
Just another Monday night meeting, but with some really good food.
Four days until Indian Hills.
Tick, tick, tick…