By Sean Lynch
Section 9 Football Insider Staff
CENTRAL VALLEY — After a seven year head-coaching hiatus, James Sciarra is returning to the Section 9 head coaching scene as Monroe-Woodbury’s new head coach.
Sciarra replaces Ryan Baldock, who left Monroe-Woodbury last month to become the head coach of defending Class A state champion Cornwall.
He was approved by the Monroe-Woodbury school board on Wednesday evening and was introduced to the team on Friday.
Sciarra, 40, teaches math and computer science at Warwick Valley High School. He was most-recently an assistant coach with Burke Catholic for three seasons. Previously, he was Warwick’s head coach from 2006-12, racking up a 40-25 record.
“Once Ryan (Baldock) left for the Cornwall job, I was contacted by the athletic department to be a candidate for the head coaching position, and the rest is history,” Sciarra said. “Those are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities you can’t pass up and I’m grateful to be the new coach here.”
Burke Catholic head coach Aaron Hasbrouck praised Sciarra, and wished his former colleague well at Monroe-Woodbury.
“I’d say 90 percent of what I’ve learned offensively in the game of football came from him,” Hasbrouck said. “He’s one of the best X’s and O’s guys I’ve ever known. I know he’ll do a great job at Monroe-Woodbury and I wish him all the best with his new position.”
Hasbrouck and Sciarra started their coaching careers as assistant coaches at Warwick. After taking a brief pause in his coaching career, Sciarra joined Hasbrouck’s coaching staff at Burke for the past three seasons.
Sciarra’s first step will involve watching lots of film to see where his players can bring the most value.
“Right now I’m just getting my feet wet,” Sciarra said. “I met with a bunch of kids — they’re excited, and I’m excited. I’ll be watching a lot of film to see where I can get the most value out of everyone.
One of the kids who met him on Friday was sophomore Anthony Campione. His older brother Steven — who graduates in June — started 16 games at quarterback for the Crusaders in 2017-18.
The younger Campione won both games he started last season, including a six touchdown game at Kingston in September.
“My role is going to stay the same,” Anthony Campione said. “Not only myself, but the rest of my teammates will do whatever we can to win games. Coach Sciarra got that point through to us on Friday when he talked to us.”
Monroe-Woodbury has longed for a game in the state playoffs. They won seven straight Section 9 Class AA titles from 2004-10, but have only won one Section 9 title since 2011.
“It’s not a knock on Monroe that they haven’t won a Section 9 title in six years, but a huge credit to Newburgh (head coach) Bill Bianco for winning five straight,” Sciarra added. “One of the great things about Monroe-Woodbury is the support the football program gets. This is a great football program with great kids and a great coaching staff and I can’t wait to work with them.”
James Sciarra’s Section 9 Resume:
Warwick Assistant Coach 1998-05
Warwick Head Coach 2006-12
Monroe-Woodbury Assistant Coach 2013-15
Burke Catholic Assistant Coach 2016-18