If the Johnston Panther Gridiron Club’s first-ever golf tournament offers any measuring stick, Brandon Parillo’s creative thinking could be paying high dividends of things to come for the JHS football program.
For starters, Sunday’s inaugural golf tourney – which was Parillo’s idea as a way to raise revenue for items that the JHS football budget doesn’t include as well as boosting alumni support – was par excellence.
Moreover, the 18-hole event – which featured a round of golf and cart and great surf and turf dinner all for only $100 – was an overwhelming success.
Perhaps even more important, just as Parillo hoped it would be, was an impressive statistic that featured many prominent former football players as well as JHS alums checking in Sunday at Triggs Memorial Golf Course in Providence to show support for a program that everyone hopes will return to the glory days when Johnston staked claim to the 2008 Super Bowl championship.
Ironically, Parillo was an All-Stater and key player on that team and in recent weeks has signed on as an assistant coach to give back and help head coach Joe Acciardo who he said, “has been mentoring players for over 20 years and it would be awesome to see a foursome represented from every year of our program.”
Parillo, who Acciardo wanted it known that the golf tourney was his idea, even said Sunday that perhaps former JHS football team captains – and other sports – could get a foursome and show their continued support for the football program.
“For a first time golf tournament, this was a great success,” Acciardo offered. “We all have Brandon (Parillo) to thank for that. This was his idea; we had lots of local businesses donate gift certificates and members of our Gridiron Club really stepped up to help.”
Take Ted Nelson, for example. He and JHS alums like Frank Narsisi and Tony Cimaglia who co-founded the unique Gridiron Club several years ago with a “Friday Night Lights” cigar and food function, teamed up with his son and former standout quarterback Kyle and one-time gridders Aris and Nas for his first round of golf in three years.
“No perfection from this foursome,” Nelson said, “but we all had fun. The dinner was very good and it turned out to be a beautiful day seemed like a Panther football family outing … it was great to see so many former players here today.”
Even retired Triggs manager Anthony Parillo worked the tourney, checking in golfer after golfer with his sister-in-law and Brandon Parillo’s mother Susan, a health and physical education teacher at Winsor Hill Elementary School who serves as head coach of the champion JHS cheerleading squad.
“There’s always strength in numbers,” Acciardo said with a wide smile on his face as he hugged his golf tourney playing partner and son Joe Acciardo Jr. “Today, we had fifteen extra helpers … it was unbelievable … our (varsity) cheerleaders showed up and really made a difference and pushed this tourney over the top.”
Although Team Pingitore, which included Joe Pingitore from the 2008 Super Bowl Champs this year’s captain Dave Pingitore, Kyle Monteiro and JFD Firefighter Dave Pingitore, won the title, it was a day when Panther Pride shined true blue as Rich Parillo won the longest drive, Henry Mossesian won closest to the pin and the Panther Gridiron Club scored its first success of the 2018 season.