Newfield Football
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The Newfield Wolverines have plenty to be excited about this football
season.  Entering the homestretch of their schedule, the team sits atop its

division with a perfect 6-0 record.
“We’ve always established our goals as coaches,” said Head Coach Joe
Piccinnini. “When you get the players to buy into these goals and our
philosophies, this is the result.”
Piccinnini is enjoying much success in his sixth season as the Wolverines head
coach.  But it has been a process getting his team to the top.  The last
time Newfield finished the year above .500 was the 2007-08 season.  Though
it was sometimes a struggle, Piccinnini explains the positives of this
process.
“The trials and tribulations have made this team stronger.  We had many
underclassmen start on varsity last year, and from that experience they know
exactly what needs to be done now for us to succeed.”
One key for the Wolverines has been their versatility.  It’s evident just by
observing the team’s roster.  Each player is listed with both an offensive
and defensive position.
“We’re not blessed to have one-way players.  The guys that are out there
know they have to get it done both offensively and defensively, and a lot of
them are on the special teams as well,” said Coach Piccinnini.
They have certainly gotten it done.  In a September victory over Riverhead,
junior Mike Lopez-Silva led the team in passing, and also recorded two sacks
on defense.  Junior Tom Diubaldo has had multiple games in which he recorded
a reception as a tight end and a sack as linebacker.
In the team’s victory over Half Hollow Hills East, sophomore Will
Veintimilla was a one-man show.  Veintimilla rushed for 140 yards and a
touchdown, recorded seven tackles on defense, and returned an interception
for another score.

It’s not just stellar athletes playing both sides of the ball.  The team has
excellent depth at all positions, which Piccinnini says has been a big
boost.
“At the beginning of the year, we had a lot of starters out.  Especially on
the offensive line, we were able to plug guys into spots and get the job
done.”
Along with this versatility, Piccinnini points to the team’s attitude as a
main factor to Newfield’s success.
“The main thing is our kids believing in what they’re being taught.  It’s a
great group of kids— a special group.  They actually believe in what we’re
teaching them in practice.  They believe in our philosophies, and believe in
each other, which is the biggest thing.”
Nobody has proved this mindset better than junior Shervon Barthelmy.  He is
the backbone of the Wolverine offense, as Barthelmy leads the team in yards
from scrimmage and touchdowns.  His game day numbers have been staggering,
and Piccinnini says that his running back has been just as impressive
off-the-field.
“From last year to this year, Shervon grew up and became a real easy player
to coach.  He’s always looking to get better and will not settle for what
he’s done in the past.”
The Wolverines also stay true to their titles as ‘student-athletes.’
Piccinnini makes sure they are as motivated academically as they are
athletically.  Along with play diagrams and game footage, there is a stack
of player progress reports in his office awaiting inspection.
“Off the field we have great kids in the classroom.  As far as being
student-athletes, each one is a role model,” said the coach.
Though the undefeated record has brought much excitement to the Newfield
program, Piccinnini and his staff must work hard to keep the team driven.
“We have to continue to prepare as we did in week one.  Whatever we did--
that’s history.  We move on and focus on our next opponent.”
Piccinnini also didn’t hesitate to bring in some outside motivational help.
He invited Shoreham-Wading River lacrosse coach Tom Rotanz to speak to his
team, and appreciated the message that Rotanz delivered.
“Coach Rotanz told the players that it boils down to the fact that you have
eight games to play.  You’ve prepared all this time— the winter, spring,
summer—you’ve prepared for just eight days...  It’s hard to lose focus with
that in mind.”
Though he is satisfied with the team’s work thus far, Piccinnini knows there
is more to be done.  Newfield is hopeful that they will take care of
business in their division and then make their mark in the Suffolk County
playoffs.
“Everybody has a goal to be champions.  This group is following along those
lines every day,” said Piccinnini.

The future also looks promising for the Wolverines.  Much of the team’s core is younger players that will not be lost to graduation.  But staying true to what he preaches, Piccinnini says that’s a conversation best saved for a later date.
“We’ll keep our focus on this season for now.  Starting December 1st, we’ll
turn our minds towards our next opponent and see how it turns out.”
If this talented group keeps up their winning ways, things should turn out
just fine.

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