After a three-year absence, Onteora High School will field a Varsity football team for the 2017 fall season. The Onteora Board of Education approved the coaching staff for the team at its March 7 Board meeting.
Michael Allison was named head Varsity football coach. A 1991 graduate of Onteora, Allison has an extensive background in youth sports. He was president of the Olive Soccer League for eight years and has been the Modified football coach at Onteora the past two seasons.
“Mike gives us a coach who has been instrumental in keeping our student-athletes interested in football and the community involved with the sport,” said Lou Cioffi, Interim Director of Athletics at Onteora. “He has had great success on the Modified level, solidifying numbers and raising our level of play. He works well with our athletes, staff, and parents, and these are all components that are important in re-establishing our program.”
Also named to the Varsity staff were AJ Nunez and Javohn Hamlet. Nunez, a graduate of Cornwall High School, was an assistant JV coach at Onteora this past season. He has been mentored by former Cornwall Coach Marcus Hughes and Newburgh Coach Bill Bianco. Hamlet, another Cornwall grad, was also an assistant JV coach at Onteora this year. At Cornwall, Hamlet played defensive tackle and offensive center under Coach Hughes, winning two Section IX titles and two regional titles. He also has played center at Utica College.
Commenting on Nunez and Hamlet, Cioffi said, “These two coaches are young, energetic, and committed to our student-athletes, and they will be loyal to our program goals. They have experience in what components a good program encompasses and what good coaching means to a student-athlete.”