It is August, the first week of double-sessions. An outside run is called resulting in a nominal gain. As players return to their respective huddles, a young Crusader linebacker performs a series of up-downs under the watchful eye of his position coach. Proper technique is first shown, then reinforced with a number of quick repetitions. A pat on the helmet and the player resumes his place on defense, all before the huddles break for the next play.
Watch any summer practice under Bergen Catholic head coach Nunzio Campanile and his coaching staff and the scene above will play out dozens of times over. The intensity never wanes. The tempo never stops. The details never go unnoticed.
Everywhere you look -- teaching, teaching, and more teaching.
"So far I believe that the transition of our staff has been relatively seamless," Campanile said. "We have worked hard to merge into a cohesive unit. I believe we have a lot of like-minded individuals on our staff. With that said, I believe that each coach has their own personality, and they all relate to our players in a different way."
"The installation of our system has gone pretty smoothly. I have been really impressed with our players' ability to comprehend football. We have installed a lot more than I anticipated at this point. That will allow us to continue to work on fundamentals throughout camp."
Watch any summer practice under Campanile and you will also see his Crusaders running. And running, and running, and running some more.
"Over the past five months the players have been working extremely hard in the weight room, in the classroom, and running on the field. We firmly believe that our conditioning will have a great impact on the culture of our program. While laying that foundation we feel that toughness is a critical aspect to our culture and our conditioning."
"Our off-season training has laid the groundwork for our summer lifting and conditioning. That running not only allows us to be able to compete for four quarters, but will give us a start in developing the mental toughness to fight through tough circumstances throughout the year," Campanile continued.
"We want our players to take on all challenges and be able to handle adversity. One way to prepare for that is create adversity and challenges in practice everyday. If anyone has had the opportunity to see us practice, they know we have provided many challenges to our boys."
And his boys have responded.
"I am very proud of the way our players have taken on those challenges. We have made significant strides in this area. I believe that our players have welcomed those challenges. Our next goal is to make sure the efforts we've made in conditioning translate to the field."