Chris Sacco Looks Forward to the New Challenge at Absegami

by Marc Narducci; Photo Courtesy of Chris Sacco | Aug 21, 2020
Chris Sacco Looks Forward to the New Challenge at Absegami
When Chris Sacco earned his first head football coaching job, it couldn’t have been a bigger challenge.
In 2015 Sacco took over at Pleasantville, a program that was 3-47 in the previous five seasons including 0-10 the year before Sacco took over.
In his first year Pleasantville against went 0-10, but the seeds were planted for success after that. Pleasantville went 4-6, 7-3, 8-3 and 8-3 over the past four years and earned playoff berths the past three. In each of the last two seasons, Pleasantville won a playoff game to advance to the SJ Group 2 semifinals. 
It was an unbelievable turnaround.
Sacco won’t face that type of challenge in his new job as head football coach at Absegmi. The Braves have been 5-5 in each of the previous three seasons. 
That doesn’t mean it will be easy, and especially taking over during a pandemic
One thing that will help Sacco is that he is familiar with many of the players because he was hired as guidance counselor before the 2019-2020 school year.
Then he was named the head coach of Absegami during the winter.
“I was hired about five weeks before the pandemic and was able to get in the weight room and started to get to know the kids,” Sacco said.
He assembled his staff and even in the early stages of the pandemic, was able to work virtually with his team. 
“I got to build a rapport,” he said.
Absegami under former coach Dennis Scuderi Jr. was highly competitive, with four straight seasons of going .500 or better.
Sacco has some impressive players coming back, including senior receiver-defensive back Jordan Marcucci. Junior quarterback Ray weed has been starting since about halfway through his freshman year. He is also a key member of the defense at safety. 
What has been difficult for the players, especially seniors, is that they haven’t been able to go to summer camps of college and have received less exposure. 
Sacco says he has told the seniors how they have to use the limited games to show themselves. One of the things he did so well at Pleasantville was help the youngsters with recruiting and that will be a benefit to the Absegami players as well.
Of course, nobody knows if there will be a season, but teams in New Jersey have been working out in preparation.
“Right now, the kids are geared up and ready to go,” Sacco said.
So is the coach. 
Schools in the Cape Atlantic League have been able to have their teams conduct summer workouts since July 27.  
“It’s been great to be out there with the players and it makes a world of difference,” Sacco said.
The NSIAA says it will have an updated decision on the season by Aug. 28 Right now things are moving ahead, but the situation is so fluid, that nothing can be taken for granted.

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What Sacco is doing is preparing for Absegami’s opener, Oct. 2 at Ocean City. Like all coaches at all schools in South Jersey, there is the hope that this work will result in an actual season. 

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Author: Marc Narducci; Photo Courtesy of Chris Sacco


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