New football season sees coaching changes

(WKTV) - Some area schools are opening this football season with new coaches. There are two in the same division, Class C South, and a third where a former coach is back at his old school.

Sauquoit Valley welcomes Brett Cardillo. The Sauquoit grad played under Steve Leonard, went to college at Springfield and is now back to help get the football program back on track and back to sectionals.

Cardillo said, "first of all its an honor and a privilege to be here in Sauquoit. Being a player, now a coach and working in the school system is fantastic. It's a great place to raise a family, play some football. I take it upon myself to give back to everyone that has given to me and give back to these kids in Sauquoit Valley.

Just a short trip down Route 8 in Mount Markham, Steve Gates takes over the reigns from Rich Waite for the Mustangs. Coach Gates was the JV coach, so he's very familiar with the system and the kids. He also brought in former Mustangs head coach Mark Johnson for the ride.

Gates said, "I'd been working with Coach Waite in preparation for taking over, it's been pretty smooth but I didn't realize all that was involved but it's going well and Coach Johnson has been a huge help."

In Class D, what's old is new again, as former head coach Mike Moody is back, after spending the last four years with the modified team. Moody was an assistant in Fran Dekalb's final season, 1997, when West Canada won its only state title, then took over as head coach from 1998 to 2001. The Indians and their fans are hoping a bit of old school is just what they need.

Moody said, "it's very exciting to be back, it's fun, it's good to get back in here. I've been with the modified program the last four, five years, but stepping up to the varsity again and being back with the kids is real. I'm having a ball with it, it's a lot of fun."

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