By ALEX SPONSELLER
The Toll Gate High School football team will be led by a new head coach this upcoming fall season as the school announced that local coaching legend Jim Miceli will be taking …
By ALEX SPONSELLER
The Toll Gate High School football team will be led by a new head coach this upcoming fall season as the school announced that local coaching legend Jim Miceli will be taking the reins.
Miceli’s coaching career has spanned decades across the high school and collegiate ranks. He served as a head coach at Ramapo and Bryant and was an assistant at schools like Pittsburgh, Maryland, Fordham, Georgetown and Akron.
He was the quarterbacks and running backs coach at URI until 2020 and would then jump to the Chariho staff for the 2021 spring and fall seasons. He also works in the player personnel department for the annual Hula Bowl.
After two seasons at Chariho, Miceli was excited to earn the chance to lead his own program and to stay local.
“I coached at Chariho last year and we reached the playoffs and I really enjoyed myself. And now that the (Hula Bowl) has gotten bigger and the owner has hired more people, I felt that I had the time now to go back and try to maybe be a head coach,” Miceli said.
The Titans had a down season in 2021 after bumping up to the Division III level. Toll Gate finished the fall with just one win and would step away from the annual Thanksgiving game against Pilgrim after not being able to field a team in time for the contest.
Although the Titans are still rebuilding their roster, Miceli looks forward to the opportunity to help turn things around.
“It’s going to be a challenge, but it is always fun to have a challenge. We played Toll Gate last year and outside of maybe one or two of our guys (at Chariho) that really stood out, I did not see that much of a difference between the two teams. It’s exciting and I am looking forward to getting going,” said Miceli.
Miceli is looking to get back to the basics with his new team, which in his opinion, should be the biggest focus at the high school level.
“You don’t have as much time to prepare as you do in college, so the X’s and O’s part has to be fine tuned. A lot of these kids also play both (sides of the ball) so the sophistication has to be condensed as well. What we did at Chariho that was fun were the fundamentals. Tackling, ball carrying. You obviously practice those things in college, but probably not enough,” Miceli said.
Miceli is also hoping to develop a game plan that will fit the current roster and its abilities.
“It’s going to be a learning experience for all of us. Sometimes you have those aspirations of all the things that you want to do, but sometimes it is not about what you want to do as much as it is what you can do,” said Miceli. “We’ll have to take a look at the roster and see what we have. We want to make it as much fun as we can for the kids, let them throw the ball around, but we also have to be logical and figure out what we can do and try to do it the best we can.”
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