McCarten, Crispino to face old friends


Photo Credit: Mr. McCarten

In this photo of their sophomore team at New Milford High School, Mr. McCarten (top center) and Mr. Crispino (top right) pose with their childhood teammates — and now rival coaches — on the bottom rows.

by Lee Hasselmann, Staff Writer

Glen Rock Football coaches McCarten and Crispino will compete against childhood friends this Friday during Glen Rock’s first game under the stadium’s newly-installed lights against New Milford.

The coaches met in elementary school, according to McCarten. The group played football together from the fifth grade through their high school years at New Milford.

During their high school seasons, the former New Milford players were successful at “making deep runs into the playoffs but never making [it] to a state final,” said McCarten about their high school careers.

His best memories of high school football, however, were “playing against our bitter rival, Creskill, every Thanksgiving and the game having league championship ramifications every year.”

McCarten, Crispino and their long time friends have participated in a group chat prior to each teams’ games in order to talk strategy.

“The group text was created a number of years ago when we all began coaching at our respective schools,” McCarten said. “We all support one another and before every game we wish one another good luck. We will discuss each other’s opponent and how we feel we could capitalize on their weaknesses for a win.”

The group chat was not filled with strategic advice this week, however.

This will be the second year that New Milford is in Glen Rock’s varsity football schedule since the early 70’s. Talking about last year’s games against New Milford, McCarten said, “We played them at the varsity, JV, and freshmen levels. We won both varsity and JV games but tied the freshmen game.”

Despite the win, McCarten said that he and Crispino felt reminiscent as they squared-off against their former high school.

“Both Coach Crispino and I felt very nostalgic yet odd being in [the] visitor locker room of our home field,” McCarten said.

On Friday, Coach McCarten and Crispino will be looking for a win on their new home field.

A win against New Milford will give McCarten and Crispino bragging rights until next year, according to McCarten.

Despite the friendly rivalry, McCarten said that the game has serious repercussions for the team’s record.

“The game weighs heavily on our playoff implications,” he said. “We are in a very competitive bracket this year.”

Speaking of the New Milford team, McCarten said the players are a “tough group of kids that have had a fair taste of success reaching the Group 1 state final two years ago.”

The game also holds a special significance for Glen Rock as a whole, as it is their first ever Friday night lights football game.