Reason to Smile

Chuck Scarpulla could be retired but he’s not. He’s a robust and friendly man who thrives on helping children achieve their goals in sports and in the classroom.

imagesBeginning his third year as Sleepy Hollow High School’s Athletic Director, he witnessed something of a first in athletics. Four of the High School’s teams made it into post-season play. Varsity Football, Boys Soccer, Girl’s Volleyball and Girl’s Field Hockey have added to the athletic pride felt by the "Horsemen" in recent years. "We have in this system some outstanding student athletes that work real hard in developing our teams," he said during a recent interview. His coaches are just as committed. Football’s Steve Borys, Soccer’s Rich Scamarone, Volleyball’s Leana Peltier and Kelly Cronin with Field Hockey are a few of the coaches high on Scarpulla’s list of hardworking, knowledgeable and caring individuals that motivate their players through example and respect.

Turning to the community he is equally impressed by how athletically-minded parents are and how involved people are regardless of whether or not their child plays a particular sport. Support from the Board of Education and the Administration has been "outstanding" to quote Scarpulla.

With well over 30 years experience as a coach and mentor to high school athletes his approach to any good program is to develop it from the bottom up. "Every year we want to reload, not rebuild," he said. This philosophy demands that athletic programs be nurtured from early on in the community and school system, so that by the time athletes reach the varsity level they are well-versed in their sport. His goal is simply to allow every child the opportunity to be successful, and that success is measured in a mantra he repeats – "Success is never final. Failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts." His own personal definition of success is when a former student visits him or when he is invited to a wedding of an adolescent turned adult. It’s then that he knows he has made an impression in their life and that they want to share it with him by being his friend. "I’ve got kids that are going to be my friend until the day I die," he noted. That kind of support and acknowledgement is definitely a reason to smile.

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About the Author: Robert Bonvento