PORT CHESTER, N.Y. -- Jason Ippolito finds himself in a unique situation as the Port Chester varsity football team prepares for the 2011 season.
The junior, who will play either quarterback or tailback on offense and outside linebacker on defense, is the lone returning starter for coach Greg Domestico from the 6-3 team last year.
I am used to being with the same group of guys all year and not having them back is different, said Ippolito, during a break in the teams Thursday afternoon practice.
Ippolito and the coaching staff welcomed a new group of players to varsity when preseason opened last Friday. Even though they are in their first varsity seasons, Ippolito is very familiar with them.
Most of the guys are my friends from school so that helps, said Ippolito, who was alternating snaps at quarterback during offensive plays.
Because Ippolito is friends with many of the players, it came as no surprise when they came to him with questions. This, after Domestico and his staff, which includes Joe Facciola and Nick Mancuso, began from step one on the first day of practice.
This year, because we have so many new players, the coaches went back to teaching the basics, Ippolito said. If they players have questions, especially on offense, they have come to me.
Even though Domestico did not speak to him about it, Ippolito has taken it upon himself to become more of a leader, based on his varsity experience. Ippolito said his new teammates have been quick learners.
Everyone has picked up what their new roles and responsibilities are, Ippolito said. I feel we have a lot of potential. These are the same guys who I saw play at the JV level last year and they are good athletes. We might be smaller than the other teams, but we have a good attitude and we will play hard for what we deserve.
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