By George Walker
NEWBURGH - The Newburgh Free Academy football program recently held a Section 9 Football Coaching Clinic hosted by NFA and head football coach Bill Bianco with help from the NFA Booster Club and senior football players Jalen Williams, Will Gencker, Mike Risio, Donovan Fields, Javon Robertson and Anthourn Walden. This highly successful event was attended by as many as 100 of the top football coaches in New York State.
Coaches from as far as Albany, Liberty, Paramus, NJ, and Long Island filled the Lecture Hall and classrooms to learn from current and retired top-ranked college and high school coaches. The one-of-a-kind event was supported by Adrenaline Fundraising, Ridell Sports, Anaconda Sports, Stadium Systems, Starbucks, Billy Joe’s at the Marina, Rockland Bakery, and Newburgh Steelers Pop Warner.
One prominent coach conducting the sessions was Middletown’s hometown star Andrew Jackson, CW Post (Long Island) Defensive Line Coach. His session "Manipulating the Zone Read" was complete with demonstrations using attending coaches, as were most sessions. Former NFA Head Coach CT Chatham held a session entitled "Some of My Favorite Situational X’s and O’s". Chatham is currently with the Collegiate Development Football League, which took former NFA star lineman Owen Fraser, running back Joe Williams and Tight End Kyle Auffary of Cornwall to Warsaw, Poland this past September for the Euro-American Scout Bowl.
Penn State Tight Ends Coach John Strolto taught "Making Force Using Fundamentals". Rob Moore, a two-time Pro-Bowler and All-American and current Syracuse WR Coach, opened the clinic sessions with "Playing the WR Position at Syracuse". UConn Linebacker coach Jon Wholley had a demonstration-packed session called "Linebacker Play at Connecticut". The energy-packed session "Creating a Culture of Ball Disruption" taught the usefulness of intensity. Wagner College Defensive Coordinator Malik Hali gave a great whiteboard demonstration on "Attacking Offenses with Zone Pressure". The Fordham University Offensive Line Coach taught the big man’s fundamentals in "Fordham’s Pass Protection". The clinics for the most part were big on defense, but the offensive clinics were outstanding as well.
Marist’s Asst. Head Coach gave a lecture similar to a halftime locker room pep talk in "The Marist 3-3 Defensive Package", Southern Connecticut Linebacker Coach Chris Lorenti presented a gem of a talk on hand speed and positioning in linebacker play titled "Southern Connecticut Linebacker Play". Colgate University’s Running Back Coach gave an intuitive whiteboard and video presentation on "Colgate’s Zone Read Game". Greg Roskos, Cortland’s Offensive Coordinator, gave fantastic instruction on QB techniques, drop steps, timing and fundamentals.
University of Albany’s Running Backs Coach gave a blueprint on SUNY Albany’s success in the running game penned "Albany’s Running Back Game", while Maritime College’s Asst. Head Coach and Defensive Back Coach mapped out coverage for multiple offences called "1/4’s Coverage to Defend Multiple Offenses".
There was nothing lost on the sessions taught by the high school coaches. Retired Shenendowa High School Head Coach Brent Steurwald got up close and personal with the attendees while demonstrating tackling techniques in "Teaching Tackling the Shen Way". Bobby Burns, Troy High School Defensive Coordinator, gave a very technical diagram description of his "Defending the Wing T". Peter St. Lawrence of Don Bosco Prep closed the high school sessions with "Inadequacy: The Surprising Secret to Being Useful to God".
The NFA Booster Club served a buffet lunch for the attendees, sponsored by Andrenaline Fundraising’s Andy Karam. The event was followed by a coaches social at Billy Joe’s Rib Works.
This event was a major success!