Jack Martilotta can’t wait to hit the ground running.
The first preseason football practice is still a couple of months away, but Martilotta, the new coach of the Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island Porters, is raring to go. For the past three years, Martilotta has been the Porters’ junior varsity coach. Now he inherits from Jim Anderson a varsity team coming off a 4-5 season. The Porters have lost 13 players to graduation.
But Martilotta knows that he has a good group of juniors returning and it will be an opportunity for players from the JV team to step up and fill some big shoes.
“We’re on good footing,” he said. “Now we want to keep improving. We’ve had successful junior varsity and junior high teams that keep feeding players to the varsity. Our program has come a long way.”
Martilotta has met with most of his players and said he is stressing the use of the weight room.
“My goal is for us to get into the weight room and come into practice in shape,” he said. “The coaches have all been working together so that we are all on the same page.”
Greenport Athletic Director Rob Costantini said that with Martilotta’s military background, “he will bring a disciplined and ordered approach that will succeed. We will give him an opportunity to succeed as coach.”
Martilotta wants his team to be focused.
“Scrimmages are important, but no more important than the first day of practice,” he said. “With my long Army background, I expect us to be focused going into practices and games. I want us to give 100 percent effort and focus. Organization starts at the top. If I’m organized, and the kids hit hard, run hard and get good grades, it will trickle down and we can build on it.”
Martilotta said the Porters’ style will be “hard hitting.”
“I’m looking for us to have a good, hard-hitting defense,” he said. “I want us to spread the offense out and keep moving. We have a lot of tall, athletic kids. I want us to get the ball to the edges.”
The enthusiasm kept building in Martilotta’s voice. “I want us to try as hard as possible,” he said. “We can be competitive. I really think we can.”