The athletics department at Catholic Central High School has a proud history of success. Co-curricular sports is a way for students to not only develop their athletic skills but they help them develop many other positive attributes. In order to foster these life skills, it requires the dedicated work of staff members and volunteers who spend many hours of their personal time with students outside the classroom. One such teacher is Mr. Anthony Vercillo.
Many of you may have seen Mr. Vercillo walking around the hallways of both campuses, but how well do you know him? Others might have had the pleasure of being in one of his classes or have been coached by him. Prior to this interview, I knew little of who Mr. Vercillo really is and his significance to both the CCH coaching staff and teaching staff. During this interview, I learned a lot about his valuable contribution to our school.
Vercillo, who graduated from CCH in 2000, has two brothers who also played sports at our school. Although one played football, as he did, the other brother played basketball during his time here. Vercillo started his coaching career at an early age when a former coach recruited him to be involved at the junior high level. He recalls, “I played the game [myself] and it has opened a lot of doors for me, both as a player and a teacher. The next thing I knew, I was the head coach of a high school football team”. Currently, our Cougar football team is holding a 5-1 record. This places the Cougars, according to Vercillo, third in the province with a talented group of veteran leaders on the team.
When students complete their time on his team, Mr. Vercillo hopes that, if nothing else, the players take away the ability to learn, and to be appreciative and hard working. He believes that “if they work hard, [they will] know it will get them far, and it will eventually help them to be a successful, young adult”. One example Vercillo cited was how team members need to focus on the next play, but to keep it simple and small. To this end, athletes learn to execute plays and techniques perfectly, rather than getting caught up in the big picture.
Along with his successful coaching and teaching career, Vercillo also looks to the future. Mr. Vercillo revealed in our interview that he has a three-year old daughter. Maybe one day she will have the opportunity to walk the hallways of CCH and be proud of the photos she will see of her dad, both as a former player and coach. Even more importantly, maybe she will see the great number of lives that her dad has positively influenced during his time at our school.
Adam Kobza is a Grade Eleven student at CCH. He enjoys vigorous reading, staying up too late, and long naps. His favourite thing about CCH is all the amazing staff and students.