BY MARC MATURO
The North Rockland School District will honor longtime football coach Joe Casarella, the county’s all-time wins leader, on September 20 at halftime of the varsity football game against Ossining, whose kickoff is scheduled at 1:30 p.m.
The football field at the school will be officially named “Joe Casarella Field.”
Many years ago, the stadium was named in honor of retired football coach and athletic director Ralph Cordisco. Casarella and Cordisco have a long and honored history, coaching from 1956-1979 (Ralph) and 1980-2010 (Joe). Casarella, who was hired by Cordisco, was the assistant coach from 1967-80 before taking over as head coach.
“We have more than 50 years together,” noted Casarella. “It’s a nice honor, and it’s nice that it’s being done while I’m alive! That’s going to be my opening line (at the ceremony). But I’ve had a lot of good players and a lot of good coaches along the way.”
Casarella has 255 victories, and Cordisco stands fourth with 136. Rich Conklin ranks second with 218 wins at Nanuet followed by John Castellano, who is third with 180 victories at Nyack HS.
Thanks for the information go to dedicated sports historian Tom Doherty, a Pearl River legend, who recently spent an afternoon with Cordisco at a senior living facility in Rhode Island.
“He is still going strong as he approaches his 96th birthday!” notes Doherty, the happiness coming across in the written word.