You can say that former New Dorp High School quarterback Chris App, Jr. is a football lifer, especially when it comes to PSAL football. So, when the head coaching position opened up at McKee/Staten Island Tech, he jumped at the opportunity to apply for it.
After recently meeting with MSIT brass, consisting of McKee principal Greg Bowen, SIT principal Mark Erlenwein, and Athletic Director Jim McCarthy, they offered App the job midway through the interview, he noted.
App played fours years at New Dorp, two of which were under his father and former longtime Central Cougar Head Coach Chris App, Sr. Additionally, he had held the offensive coordinator position at New Drop for seven years under current head coach Brian Murphy.
Now, the 33-year-old Arden Heights, Staten Island, resident said he can’t wait to hit the gridiron with his new team in September.
“It’s amazing,” App exclaimed. “It was great to hear (the offer) out loud. I always wanted to be a coach, and a spot opened up at the school. I was a little surprised, but that turned into excitement. I’m fortunate that this came out of nowhere and I was able to slide right in. I am chomping at the bit to get started.”
App, an U.S. history teacher at MSIT, said he now looks at students in a different way.
“We had our first team meeting, and they passed the eye test, meaning they look like football players; they’re good-looking athletes. When I teach, I look at students as students. Now, I can see big kids in the hallway and can picture them playing football for me.”
App is taking over for long-time MSIT coach Anthony Cialdella, who recently resigned due to family responsibility, per the Staten Island Advance.
While he said Cialdella left the MSIT football program in good shape, he does want to use his PSAL knowledge as a coach and a player to start his own legacy of excellence at the school.
“I remember being a water boy when my dad was the coach at New Drop. Then playing for him,” said App, who was also a signal caller at Division III Western Connecticut St. University. “I feel I have strong ties to the PSAL. I know what it’s like to play in the PSAL. I look at it as a great (MSIT) program I’m walking into, but I want to put my mark on this program.”
When it comes to coaching high school football, App, a student of the game, believes most student-athletes will be worried about what you can do for them. And he said he is okay with that. He said, come game time, winning will be the ultimate goal, and he will do his best to prepare the Seagulls to do that every week.
“There are so many things to worry about in a game,” he said. “It’s not about me. I’m going to be focusing on the players and our opponent. I’m going to be focused on executing the plan and winning.”
— Jerry Del Priore
(Photos: Chris App, Jr.)