The Chris Barnes Era in Wall football is over. Barnes’ replacement is Nick Gregorio, who coached A.L. Johnson of Clark in 2009 and 2010. He took his team to the playoffs with a 6-4 record in 2009 and to a 5-5 record in 2010. He was an assistant coach at Kean University last season.
Q: Why did you accept the Crimson Knights’ job?
A: I think Wall is a good fit for me personally. I love everything about the community of Wall. I love the type of school it is. I love the tradition of the football program. I feel Wall High School is a good fit for my skills as a football coach. I am a passionate coach. What I like about coaching is having relationships with my players. Coaching gives me the chance to stay in touch with the game. I enjoy the atmopsphere and the competition of playing on either a Friday night or a Saturday afternoon. I told our boys we are just trying to be 1-0 after the Jackson Liberty game. I am not thinking about the playoffs or sectional titles. We want to be 1-0 after Jackson Liberty and take it one game at a time from there.
Q: What will be the team’s style of play on offense and defense?
A: We want to be a little more bold, more diverse. We will use the no-huddle offense. We want to change the tempo of the game. We have strong depth on our line and in our secondary. Our linebackers are a mix of upperclassmen and underclassmen. We are trying to get them caught up with the defensive line and the secondary.
Q: Where will Kevin Waters fit into the team’s plans?
A: He will play tight end and defensive end. He is a big, athletic tight end who can get the job done on the ground with his run blocking. He has pretty good ability to catch the ball and get open. He is an all-around player who leads by example. He has definitely emerged as a senior leader throughout the preseason. He does all of the little things right. I saw him play at the beginning of the summer, and he struck me as a big kid with a big frame. He’s strong in the weight room. He moves well for his size.
Q: Why are you high on senior fullback-defensive end Russell LoRusso?
A: He’s tough and he seems like the type of player who will play hard for four quarters. He is very dedicated to the program. He is dependable, someone who sets the example for the younger players. He has good explosive power and can move well laterally. He has a good change of direction. He knows how to read blocks at defensive end. He is a good tackler.