Football fans in Yonkers are getting excited as the newly merged Yonkers Police and Fire Departments football teams have kicked off their inaugural season as schools open.
Earlier this year, Yonkers Board of Education President Steve Lopez released the names of the new 2018-2019 Yonkers merged football teams: the “Brave” and the “Force,” names that “themselves project the fortitude, strength of character and determination of our students and community,” he said.
Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano was on hand at Saunders High School last week to kick off the inaugural season of the newly formed varsity and JV high school football programs.
The New York State Public High School Athletic Association Inc. (NYSPHSAA) Section I approved the Yonkers merged football teams in March, which initiated the District search for highly qualified head coaches, Lopez noted.
After reviewing 11 applications from qualified coaches, a team of Yonkers administrators and the Yonkers Council of PTAs named former Section 1 Coach of the Year Victor Chiappa - who served as an assistant in Clarkstown South, John Jay and Nyack High School - as the head coach of the Brave, while veteran coach Daniel DeMatteo will be at the helm of the Force after spending more than 15 years as the head coach in Gorton High School.
“We have made progress with our athletics program over the last three years,” Yonkers Superintendent of Schools. Edwin Quezada stated. “Yonkers athletes have more varsity options and we are building sports enthusiasm and competency through our 2-year-old Middle Years Intramural Sports program. With the addition of Yonkers Brave and Yonkers Force there is a very bright future for athletics in the City of Yonkers.”
The Brave will include students from Lincoln and Riverside High Schools, Saunders Trades & Technical High School and Palisade Preparatory school. The Force will be comprised of students from Gorton High School, Roosevelt High School-Early College Studies, Yonkers Montessori Academy and Yonkers Middle High School.
“Congratulations to the newly merged Yonkers Public Schools football teams,” Mayor Mike Spano added in a statement. “Knowing sport builds character and life lessons, we are proud our high school athletes are re-engaged into a dynamic sports program that will provide them further opportunities to grow and mature.”
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.