Prior to Friday evening’s Homecoming Game between Clarkstown South and Clarkstown North high schools, the South stadium will be dedicated to the school’s first football and first track and field coach. Alumni spearheaded the effort to memorialize Coach Maurice “Mo” Scro, who passed away in March 2010 at the age of 77.
“It was a group of former players that approached me during the summer of 2010,” South High School Principal James Vitale explained.
He and Athletic Coordinator Vincent Louther met with former football player Greg Tachino and discussed ways to honor the coach’s legacy. Vitale said the coach and physical education teacher made a big impact on what was a new school and its students and got two of its sports teams off to great starts.
“We wanted to do something to commemorate Mo Scro,” said Vitale.
The Board of Education agreed with them and approved naming the as an appropriate tribute. The football field is already named Orlando Field after Arthur Orlando, a former staff member.
Friday’s ceremony begins at 6:45 p.m. prior to the start of the 7 p.m. game. The coach’s wife, family, friends and former players will join Vitale and Louther at the 50-yard line to speak about Scro. Family and friends will present a plaque to the school officials.
“The family and friends have put together a bronze plaque with his image on it,” said Vitale.
The 16” by 18”plaque reads:
Coach Maurice “Mo” Scro
A man who believed a life is measured by what is given, not taken.
A tribute and memory from Family, Friends, Faculty, Students and Athletes
Football & Track Coach, Teacher, Father Figure
CHSS – 1972 to 1989
Two signs bearing Coach Scro’s name have already been placed on the announcer’s booth. Vitale said the plaque will be mounted on two pillars that will be built at the entrance to the stadium. Some funds are available for that project but he hopes more contributions will come from former players and other school alumni.
Scro’s first season as football coach was tough, the team’s record was 1-8. The following year the varsity team turned around and had a winning season. At the end of Scro’s third season, the football team was undefeated and won the county championship. The winning trend continued through his years of coaching.
Scro coached for 16 seasons with Clarkstown South winning county football championships in 1974, 1978, 1980, 1984 and 1985. His record of winning was 70 percent and his teams over the years celebrated 100 game victories. He was awarded Rockland County Coach of the Year numerous times and named New York State Coach of the Year twice.
Varsity Track and Field teams also fared well under Coach Scro’s direction. The teams won numerous county championships and Section 9 Championships between 1971 and 1983. Scro retired as football coach in 1986 but continued teaching until 1989.
Another ceremony is planned for halftime. The newest inductees to the Clarkstown South Hall of Fame will be introduced.
Vitale, who has been South’s principal since 2005, expects a big crowd at the game between the two rivals. He may direct students from the two schools to sit or stand on separate sides of the bleachers. Both the Clarkstown North Rams and Clarkstown South Vikings have played well this season with the Vikings losing only one game.
“The North/South game it is always packed,” said Vitale.