RAVENA: Coaches have fun on the course

Section II football coaches are a fraternity. Even when they leave the house, they reunite with the current members to have fun.

That was the theme at Monday's Capital District Football Coaches Golf Tournament at Ravena's Sycamore Country Club. Dozens of current and former Section II coaches gathered for a day of golf to raise money for membership in the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.

The thing I like most is getting out and seeing people, said Voorheesville coach Joe Sapienza. "It's always nice to see people you used to coach against and catch up with them."

"It's a great time for friends," added former Fonda-Fultonville coach Alex Mancini. "There's never a bad day on a golf course."

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake's Bill Martin is better known as a boys basketball coach, but his career as the school's freshman football coach makes him a part of the fraternity.

"I know quite a few (football coaches), actually," said Martin, who was participating for the second year in a row. "It's a good time. It's always fun to get together in the middle of the summer."

The annual tournament is organized by Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk coach and Section II coordinator Gary VanDerzee.

"It's strictly a fundraiser to benefit other organizations," said VanDerzee. "Last year, we donated $1,000 to Mechanicville High School (to help fund their team when the district cut sports from its budget). We also use the money for trophies at Sectional and regional games and other things."

At the same time, the tournament allows coaches to gather what information they can about each others' teams.

"Football is starting next week (with practices), so discussions are already going on about who's going to be tough, the camps their players went to and how their teams are looking," said Sapienza.

Naturally, the coaches don't give too much information away. "You talk it over, but you never know until you see who comes out Monday (for the first day of practice)," said VanDerzee.

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