Sparta High School Football advanced to the semifinals after a 62-33 defeat over Warren Hills. The game was more than just a win for Sparta High School football. Head Coach Frank Marchiano earned his momentous 100th win.
The game night was picture perfect, and as the clock ticked down with a minute left on Cassel’s Field, the festivities were prepared and sent out to the field. It consisted of a huge fathead of their famed coach, a congratulations sign, and shirts for all.
“This is not because of me, this is because of you guys,” said Coach Marchiano as the team gathered for their post-game speech.
Tee shirts with Coach Marchiano’s picture on them were handed out to each player — a shirt proudly brought back from 2015 when Coach Jack Bushey, who was a senior in high school, spearheaded his “Marsh” tee-shirt for the student body to show support for their head coach at the time.
Well, this head coach now has accomplished a feat that many coaches aspire to.
“I’m so proud to have played for a coach who is so dedicated,” said Captain Paul Gennat. “This doesn’t happen often.”
Captain Luke Szabo agreed. “It is an honor to be able to be part of the team that brought our coach to his well-deserved 100 wins!”
Marchiano started his first year as head coach in 2010, after serving as a defensive coordinator under Pat Shea at Sparta for many great teams.
As head coach of Sparta High School, he’s known for bringing the uptempo of the spread offense to the area, while most teams at the time still ran legacy offenses like wing T.
Coach Marsh, as they fondly call him, knew what it would take to compete with the best schools in the state, knowing that Sparta always has a talented group of skilled players and lineman to compete. Many top schools have adopted the same offense shortly after. Marchiano’s winning record is 100-27, just shy of a 80 percent winning percentage. He’s also the first coach in Sussex County to win a state championship at the Group 3 level or above.
This well-loved coach will take no credit for his success. He knows that reaching 100 wins is entirely because of the dedication and hard work of all of his players now and in the past.
“100 wins is a great accomplishment for a football coach,” said Captain Billy Quinn. “I’m glad that he reached this and that we got to celebrate it with him.”
Junior Quarterback Austen Frattura said Coach Marchiano “has always stressed how special it is to play this game and to be able to play it with each other, for this school and this town and to never take it for granted because football will not last forever.
“Wins and losses fade over time, but the feeling of walking through the parking lot and entering the field will be something that we will always remember. To be a part of this team and his 100th win is very special, and there is no coach I would rather play for.”
“Wins and losses fade over time, but the feeling of walking through the parking lot and entering the field will be something that we will always remember. To be a part of this team and his 100th win is very special, and there is no coach I would rather play for.” Junior Quarterback Austen Frattura