2002 Mini-camp

The New York Sharks officially opened the 2002 football season by holding a two-day mini-camp. The mini-camp was held at Cow Meadow Park in Freeport, New York on Saturday, February 9th and Sunday, February 10th.

Saturday, February 9th

Camp started bright and early at 9am on Saturday with the team spending the morning with paperwork and getting physicals. The weather was unseasonably warm with the temperature rising to 50 degrees with plenty of sunshine.

The team reconvened at 1pm with Sharks owner Andra Douglas introducing New York’s braintrust for the new season. The team will be coached by Nick Giannatasio who will also be the team’s offensive coordinator. Jim Esposito will be the team’s defensive coordinator, Joe Mento will be the linebacker’s coach, Fred Quiles will be the defensive line’s coach, and Bill Thatcher will be the running back’s coach.

After the introductions, the coaches went directly to work. A chalkboard session was started with the coaches going over offensive and defensive formations. Each coach worked with his group of players on the training grounds. They went over playing techniques as well as how to read the opposing team’s offense and defense alignments. Click on the image to the left to watch the video.

After classes, the Sharks were put through a series of drills, from running an obstacle course, doing jumping jacks, and tackling.

There were plenty of new faces among the familiar ones. Some of the new faces were Nola Lighthart, sister of Shark center/punter Aurora Lighthart. Nola is in high school and will travel 3 hours each way with her sister to play in New York.

There were a few new familiar faces like Nathalie Jufer and Carol Rose. Nathalie and Carol were original New York Sharks having played with the team in 1999 and 2000. They sat out the 2001 season due to other committments but are ready and raring to go in 2002. Carol was the team’s starting quarterback in 2000 and Nathalie is the all-time Shark scoring leader.


Nathalie Jufer
 
Carol Rose

Sunday, February 10th

The second day of mini-camp started bright and early at 9am. Unfortunately the weather was not so bright. It was overcast, cool, and windy for most of the second day of camp. But this did not damper the spirits of any of the players as they started scrimmages in the afternoon. This meant hitting each other with pads and hitting each other hard. There were a few times when the call had to be made to team doctor, Dr. De Costa, to attend to a wounded Shark.

By 3pm, the mini-camp was closed for the day. The Sharks closed camp by huddling together and yelling, “Sharks, Hoo-Rah 51” in honor of their teammate Sharon Pascale. It was also announced that each player will be wearing the number 51 on the left side of their uniform for Sharon for the 2002 season.

The players were impressed by the organization of the coaching staff and the coaches commented quite favorably about the team’s future. With the combination of the talented new blood joining the team, to go along with the veterans, there are very high expectiations for the 2002 season.

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