It was just moments before the football team took the field last Friday to open the new season and the atmosphere was tense.
Longtime Coach paced the hallway just outside the locker room. Players sat on either side awaiting his final words before taking on New Jersey power Bergen Catholic.
Reichert, famous for his fiery brand of inspiration, ratcheted up the intensity to the boiling point. “We’re playing for Long Island. We’re playing for New York state,” he told his players. “Most importantly, fellas, you are playing for everybody that ever put that uniform on.”
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Although the , Reichert’s players never quit. And after a tough loss, the Friars will get no respite.
St. Anthony’s travels to face at 1 p.m. There are a myrid of reasons why this game matters.
Reichert goes for career win No. 212, which would move him ahead of Joe Cipp Jr. as the winningest coach in Suffolk football history.
St. Anthony’s (0-1) has enjoyed a winning season every year since 1993, and lost three or more games just three times during that span. The last was 2008 when the Friars fell to Iona Prep in the title game to finish 9-3.
The last time the Friars dropped two straight was 1997, back-to-back losses to Chaminade and Mount St. Michael, according to team statistician Tom Langan. The last 0-2 start was 1980, before Reichert was coach.
A win over Iona Saturday also gives the Friars a game in hand for playoff seeding.
But most importantly, St. Anthony's needs to move past last week's loss.
No speech can deliver a win, but words can motivate. Just listen to Reichert.