Local trainer played role in Haldane's turnaround
By Justin Rodriguez
Haldane has gone from a one-win team to a state playoff qualifier in one season and coach Jeff Sniffen credits a top Orange County speed and strength coach for helping to resurrect the program.
Rick Scarpulla, who runs Ultimate Advantage Speed and Strength Training in Bloomingburg, began working with Haldane two years ago. Haldane (8-1) takes on Chester in the Class D state quarterfinal playoffs at 4:30 p.m. Friday at Mahopac High School.
Thanks to Scarpulla, Sniffen said, his players are faster and have put up heavier weights on bench presses and squats than he or even they ever expected they could.
"Rick has been an integral part of our turnaround. His efforts have been incredible for us," said Sniffen, who learned of Scarpulla through other Section 1 coaches. "It has been amazing, he can squeeze the most effort out of every player. It's just crazy how he does it. The kids buy what he's selling and we have really internalized his philosophies. He just gets results."
Scarpulla designed Haldane's explosive speed and strength programs, working with the Blue Devils on their campus and at his facility. Scarpulla's list of Section 9 standout clients include Cornwall defensive lineman Frank DeNome, Minisink Valley striker Jenn Peters, the reigning Varsity845 girls' soccer Player of the Year, S.S. Seward star striker Gladys Loyas and SUNY Sullivan basketball star Cleanthony Early.
"We made Haldane bigger and faster than everyone else," said Scarpulla, who expects to attend the Haldane-Chester game. "They are really a bunch of good kids, they are tough, and they really worked hard. I'm proud of them. I still work with them and have followed them all season."