by Cody Crandall
August 6, 2017
Sirianni Shares High Expectations With Father
Heading into the season, Southwestern boys track and field coach Jay Sirianni had high expectations for the Trojans.
“Looking at the kids we had coming back, we had a solid senior class,” Sirianni explained, “and we had some younger kids, some freshmen. … We knew that we had the right mix to have a solid team. And I thought that maybe we could compete for the league championship.”
It turns out those high expectations were certainly warranted.
In fact, the Trojans put together their first undefeated season since 1995 and cruised to a Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association Division I title.
When it came to invitationals, Southwestern thrived as well, claiming the boys team titles at the Golden Falcon Track and Field Invitational, the Jamestown Track and Field Classic and Joseph Paterniti Memorial and the CCAA Track and Field Championships.
Southwestern ended up with six Division I All-Stars: Eddie Scroxton, Jake Thorp, Nathan Mogenhan, Jared Yaggie, Derek Miller and Dagon Bryant.
In addition, Thorp qualified for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Track and Field Championships and ended up ninth in Division II in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 58.09.
“(Our success) was a mix of a couple different things,” Sirianni stated. “No. 1, our track program has been successful in the past and it’s a solid program going back to my dad coaching for so long. … Our girls program has been so good in the last half-decade. Cristin Hockenberry has just done an awesome job and our boys have fed off of that success with the girls, too. And I think that the boys program and the girls program complement one another. But, I also think it was a mix of talent and also depth. That’s what you need to have a really solid track team.”
Sirianni was also quick to credit the work of his coaching staff for the team’s immense success.
“We also have some tremendous coaches, too,” he emphasized. “From Cristin Hockenberry as our girls coach who also does our distance to Pedro Melendez, who is the girls assistant, and my assistant coach, Adam Brown. And I think these people need to be mentioned here. Adam Brown does a fantastic job as the boys assistant coach and coaches the throwers. All of those added up, it’s truly just a great program that we have right now going at Southwestern.”
Sirianni, who previously coached Southwestern to two state titles on the gridiron, has really taken a liking to track since he was given the opportunity to be at the helm of the program.
“I really like coaching track,” Sirianni stressed. “I enjoy it. I enjoy the athletes, I enjoy watching them progress from the beginning of the season to the end to where we’re peaking at the right time. I enjoy the competitiveness of track. I enjoy the camaraderie of the coaches. I think we have a really good staff that gets along really well. … It was a lot of fun this past year. But again, it’s the relationships. It’s the athletes. It’s the kids. It’s the coaches that makes it fun. It’s been very enjoyable.”
For guiding the Trojans through a dominant spring campaign and leading the team to their first undefeated season in over 20 years and a league title, Sirianni has been named The Post-Journal’s 2017 Boys Track and Field Coach of the Year.