Mutiny at Masuk? Discord among program's ranks prompts meeting (updated)
Concerned about widespread changes, ineptitude in scrimmages and feelings of despair over the state of the program, multiple sources have described incidents of players skipping practices and requesting private meetings with school athletic director John DeGennaro and principal Joseph Kobza.
On Thursday night, team parents and players are scheduled to meet with Brennan, Kobza and DeGennaro to address their grievances. Monroe Public Schools superintendent James Agostine and Monroe Board of Education chairman Darrell Trump have also been invited to attend.
To at least one football parent, the solution is simple:
"We want him out," David DeGirolamo said of Brennan. "He's just been God-awful. He has no organizational skills and is way over his head."
Brennan, a Monroe public schools teacher, was hired from Ridgefield to replace John Murphy. Murphy resigned in December after winning three state championships and nearly 200 games in 15 years.
But just two weeks into the preseason, detractors -- most of whom declined to use their names on the record -- have described underwhelming performances at scrimmages and unwelcome changes Brennan has made within the program.
Earlier this week, eight of the team's seniors skipped a practice to speak with DeGennaro and Kobza, according to DeGirolamo and several sources.
On Sunday, approximately 20 players skipped another practice. Assistant coach Justin Scarpatti quit on Saturday, but returned after a few days.
On Wednesday night, detractors say the team didn't perform well vs. Holy Cross and Shelton in a three-way scrimmage, which has only added to the internal strife. "We probably got three first downs the whole night," DeGirolamo said.
With Masuk's anticipated Week 1 game vs. former coach Murphy and New Milford two weeks away, DeGirolamo said he and other parents are praying the administration makes a change.
"It's a mess," DeGirolamo said. "A monster mess."
DeGennaro and Kobza were not immediately available for comment. Neither returned separate phone messages as of early Thursday afternoon.
Brennan also did not return a phone message seeking comment Thursday afternoon.
"I loved Murphy, but he's gone," DeGirolamo said. "We knew going in our numbers would be down. But we only have 40 kids on varsity now. I don't even know if we're going to field a (junior varsity) team. Does it have to be this far away (from the past)? The kids don't look at any game film, they're not prepared, they've lost all respect for (Brennan)."
"My kid's not a quitter, but if he came to me tomorrow and said, 'Dad, I'm not playing,' I'd be fine with it. A lot of parents feel the same way," he said. "I don't know what's going to happen (at the meeting). We just want to keep up the tradition of Masuk football. That's all we're looking for."
UPDATE: The Masuk administration reaffirmed its commitment to Brennan at the meeting and promised to address issues, according to a source.
A call to athletic director John DeGennaro for confirmation not returned Thursday night.