By Samantha Greben
The football team hustles its way down the steep slope of the concrete path to the football field where another day of tireless effort and hard work is required of them. The motivation to execute grit each day on the field has increased due to the newest addition to the team—Coach Jon Ruvio. “Coach Ruvio’s perfectionist mindset pushes the team to strive for perfection, ‘to win the day’ as well as make everything we have to do second nature,” said senior player Alec Molina. It isn’t rare to find the watchful eyes of the newest football coach scrutinizing his players while pacing the 100 yards of the field.
Great Neck South Technology teacher Mr. Ruvio has recently become the newest member of the Rebels’ football coaching staff. He joins Coach Manoj Thadahani in coaching the JV squad. “They have all been around longer than I, and they have made the jump to coaching football a fun and exciting one for me,” he said.
Although Coach Ruvio has never coached a team before, he has experience from his own high school career as captain of many different teams, including baseball, track, and cross-country. During Coach Ruvio’s middle school and high school days, he often played quarterback on outside league teams.
Hoping to succeed in areas of both teaching and coaching, Coach Ruvio understands the value of preparation. “Being a new teacher can be very difficult and challenging at times. I wanted to make sure that before I went out to coach a team, it would not interfere with class preparation time and content development,” he said. Coach Ruvio expects the same level of readiness and hard work from his players. “Being part of a team means making sacrifices and being committed to doing your best at every game and every practice,” he said.
From the standpoint of both an athlete and now coach, Coach Ruvio views the Rebels as a very fast and agile team. With his experience in track and field, he hopes to help with the players’ speed and conditioning. “A different perspective on things always helps different athletes,” he said. He has faith in the players and believes that if they work as a team, the Rebels can be as fierce of competitors as any other squad.
Freshman Isaac Hamooz feels that Coach Ruvio is really good at getting players enthusiastic, focused, and ready to play. “He helped us during hell week with our conditioning and strength, and he also helped us in the weight room. He motivates us when we’re struggling,” said Hamooz. “He doesn’t let anyone give up.”
Molina agreed. “Coach Ruvio is, without a doubt, a passionate coach. Just by being with him during camp in the summer, it was clear that he has the best intentions for the team and that he would do anything to contribute.” Molina believes that Coach Ruvio’s constant energy will translate to the field on game day: “Excitement is contagious. Getting each other fired up is crucial to us actually executing what we have to do to the best of our ability.”
Coach Ruvio believes this team will succeed in the future. “I hope that our younger players learn from our older players and become key leaders in the years to come.” His plan for the team is to make it the most enjoyable experience for the athletes as possible. “I hope that when they look back at their high school football career, they will have fond memories of teamwork, hard work, and success.”