Hasbrouck Heights Aviators

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Nick Delcalzo does not like to use the term “rebuilding” after he has lost a number of seniors from the previous season. In his defense, he doesn’t have to refer to it. After 26 years on the job and a laundry list of successful seasons at Hasbrouck Heights High School, Delcalzo simply retools the situation to his team’s strength.

Whatever the classification, it is hard to dispute the results. Over the previous four seasons, the Aviators have an overall record of 38-6 and a won the NJSIAA North One Group One Championship in 2007. The team finished 9-2 last season.

“I don’t like to refer to rebuilding,” Delcalzo said. “For us, it’s a matter of filling the missing pieces. We’re a small school, but we have been able to replace the people we have lost. Our kids can battle it out.”

Typically, only about 35 to 50 players attend the team’s annual summer camp.

“This season, we’ll have a new quarterback, but we’ll once again have some strong running backs, which have been our traditional power,” Delcalzo said.

Junior Mike Pikowski is the team’s new signal caller this season, replacing Nick Brunetti. Unlike Brunetti and other predecessors, Pikowski will be initially viewed as a caretaker of the offense instead of a playmaker.

“Mike has been working and getting better,” Delcalzo said. “He looked good in the spring and early summer. We believe his will progress as the season goes along.”

The fuel in the Aviators’ offense will be their running game with tailback Kevin Condal and fullback Matt Galassi, who is coming off ankle surgery. Delcalzo wants the duo to be an effective one-two punch for the team’s rushing attack this season. The pair replaces John Cambridge, who rushed for more than 1,100 yards last season. Galassi rushed for 592 yards and Condal rushed for 457 yards last season.

“We lost a strong rusher, but these two guys can do the job,” Delcalzo said. “We have always run the ball well in the past and we should do so again this year.”

Galassi agrees.

“We feed off each other well,” Galassi said. “We can provide a good balance between the two of us and we’re looking forward to having a good year.”

Senior Rich Davis and junior Anthony Seidel give Delcalzo more options in the backfield.

In order to get his running game going, Delcalzo will use number of returning linemen to create some holes for his rushers.

Senior Kevin Duguay will again anchor the offensive and defensive lines. He’ll be joined by seniors Mark Delcalzo and Ian Sagitas and juniors Chris Conner, John Delorenzo, and Mike Pasquale.

The Aviators may not have the size that other team’s lines have, but the close-knit group has plenty of desire.

“Our guys open the holes and they are battlers,” Delcalzo said. “We are not always the biggest team, but these kids can get the job done. We just want to work hard and take it week by week.”

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