Dec 22, 2009 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
When the Marcellus football team starts practice for the 2010 season, there will be many familiar faces, and high expectations following the team’s first-ever appearance to the Section III Class B championship game.
But Joe Goss will not be there. He’ll be taking a long-planned family vacation, visiting relatives in Italy.
After 35 seasons of coaching, 23 of them in the Marcellus program and 11 of them as the Mustangs’ head coach, Goss announced his resignation earlier this month during the team’s season-ending banquet. No replacement has been named yet.
“I hate to have to go,” Goss said. “But at least I get to go while I’m still healthy. I’m just trying to slow down a little.”
When he came to Marcellus, Goss already had plenty of coaching experience, having spent nearly a decade leading teams at St. Margaret’s School in Mattydale.
Once at Marcellus, Goss would coach varsity basketball for 10 years and also take turns at track and wrestling. He still coaches the boys varsity golf team and will remain in those duties.
Starting in 1987, Goss served as an assistant football coach for 12 years — first under John Longo, then under the late Tom Anthony before taking over as head coach in 1999.
In his decade at the helm, said Goss, coaching high school football in Central New York turned into a 12-month job, which had its good and bad points.
“It’s become a year-round commitment,” Goss said. “It’s a lot of fun, but it doesn’t allow you to do anything else.”
Goss said he knew he would step down at this time a few years ago. As it happened, his final season at the helm proved to be the best.
In 2009, the Mustangs overcame a 1-2 start and won six consecutive games to advance to the Class B final at the Carrier Dome, where it lost to Westhill 37-22.
“I wanted to win it badly,” Goss said. “But we were really nervous that day. We were a little bit star-struck and never got our legs. Westhill came after it a bit harder.”
Even with that defeat, Goss achieved a lot, and the entire program upgraded, from a new all-weather artificial turf field to crowds for Friday-night home games that, against rivals like Westhill and Skaneateles, would number in the thousands.
For the most part, Goss leaves behind a team that should contend again in 2010, even though his star quarterback, Will Fiacchi, will graduate. Fiacchi has scholarship offers from Albany and Fordham, but has not yet made a college decision.
The new coach will have a roster that includes 1,000-yard running back Ricky Alfreds, wide receiver Chaz Hayes, linemen Zach Wiley, Joe Felicia and Tyler Tomeny, and linebacker Jason Decker, who was second on the team in tackles as a freshman.