The Pearl River football program has struggled in recent years and will play in Section 1’s developmental league next season. But the Pirates’ new coach, Jeff Michael, hopes their stay there is shortlived.
The 34-year-old Michael was hired to replace Mark Travaglino, who resigned to spend more time with his family, including coaching his son in youth football. The man who replaced him is Michael, a Fordham Prep grad who has worked at his alma mater, Stepinac and Pearl River as an assistant before accepting the head job.
Pearl River AD Tom Collins told me Michael was an attractive candidate for the school because he is a social studies teacher at the high school. It will allow him to build relationships with the players and to monitor their development first hand.
As I mentioned previously, the Pirates are in need of development. However, just look at their neighbor, Nanuet. In other sports the schools field teams with strikingly similar talent, yet the Golden Knights begin this fall as the defending Class B champs and Pearl River begins it in the developmental league. So are the Pirates a sleeping giant? They may be.
I wrote in the story that Michael has already appointed a Pearl River grad, Pat Airs, as his defensive coordinator, and another, Joe Chiappa, as his line coach. Two other coaches, Matt Shinners and Rich Loughlin, round out the current staff, and Michael is still in search of an offensive coordinator.
“It’s a great opportunity to rebuild a winning tradition from the ground up,” Michael said. “We have a lot of great players and a lot of dedicated players.”