Freshman and JV football coach Anthony Sultini assigns his players a unique assignment every year


Head JV and freshman football coach Anthony Sultini has his players do what they call a “season of dedication” every year. He gives original credit for the idea to coach Ty Hallock. Coach Hallock was the former head JV coach before coach Sultini took over the program. Hallock created an idea he called a “dedication game” where one game a year the players would dedicate their performances to someone special to them. Coach Sultini is taking this wonderful tradition to the next level.

Coach Sultini created the “season of dedication,” a concept similar to Hallock’s dedication game with just a few additions. Sultini made it so that every second the kids are working across the season instead of just one game, it’s for that special person. He had each player and coach put a recipient’s first name on a football. This ball is brought out to the field for every practice and every game to serve as a reminder of who each player is playing for and to make sure his players are going all out.

“Most of the time, I don’t even need to talk to the player,” coach Sultini commented. “I just bring it out and the players see it and immediately understand.”

Obviously, coach Sultini takes this seriously, and his players take it just as seriously. Current JV player Brendan Cargill had this to say about the assignment: “It’s really special.No one else does anything like this.” It is fair to say players and coaches recognize how important this assignment is.

“I dedicated my season to my dad,” Cargill said. “He introduced me to football and taught me how to play so it’s only fair that I play for him.”

In addition to the dedication and the signing of the football, coach Sultini then requires each player to also write a letter to the recipient. Each individual member of the team writes one, players and coaches alike. These letters are a gesture of appreciation for a special person in the player’s and coach’s life. The players get a chance to write some things that they might not normally get to or are able to do verbally. This way of doing it eliminates all embarrassment the player may feel from saying what they wrote out loud. It is also a good way to put feelings and emotions into words, which is usually difficult to do. After the letters are written, coach Sultini takes his skill set as an English teacher to read and edit what his players have written. For as special as the letter is, coach Sultini feels that no mistakes should be made when saying/writing something special.

Former JV player Jacob Harleton had this to say about the importance of the letter: “It’s a really special opportunity to show someone how much you appreciate them.” Even former players still think about the letter. If the letter is this important to someone who is not even on the JV team anymore, one can only imagine what it feels like to receive that letter.

Coach Sultini even has plans for the future of this tradition.

“My intention is that next year we are going to include a specific game where each player can invite his special person and dedicate his performance to the recipient.”

Coach Sultini’s appreciation for the dedication idea came after he did the assignment himself as an assistant coach three years ago. He was able to write a letter to his father who was in bad health. Little did he know, the letter, which he was able to read in person to his father, would become the very last words that he would ever get to say to his father before his father died one week later. Since then, Sultini does it every year, but that first year really helped him feel the impact. And ever since then, it has been a top priority of his to have the entire team do it and do it well.