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New Start for Hillbillies Football

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The 2018-19 school year has arrived and so has the Verona Hillbilly football season. Verona has started the season 3-1, making it their best start in three seasons. They have not made the playoffs their past two seasons.

Verona has also began the year with a new head coach, Kevin Batty. Batty, a Verona native and 1985 graduate of Verona High School, has been named the new head football coach at Verona High School. Coach Batty’s past experience includes time as the assistant coach at East Orange Campus and also as an assistant at Montclair; during his time there the Mounties  won three state championships and four Super Essex Conference Championships.

This change may be toughest on the seniors, who spent their first three years with a different coaching staff, and are now learning a new style and approach. Senior captain and linebacker Matt Frungillo thinks that Coach Batty “came into a tough situation but he’s doing a great job so far.”

In addition to the coaching change, the Hillbillies are also playing with freshman Cael Zebrowski as their starting quarterback. Last season the Hillbillies were led by Tom Sharkey, who has since transferred to another school, and C.J. Lavery, who the team lost to graduation.  

Senior captain and offensive guard Brandon Cariani says he likes “how the team is playing to start off the season” and hopes they can continue to play like this for the rest of the season.

The Hillbillies travel to Weequahic High School Saturday, who are 4-0 on the season, to face the Indians.

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