A new era

White Station's new coaches

White Station's new defensive coordinator, Pete Cordelli.

A year ago, the White Station football team seemed destined for a chance at winning a second state championship, with explosive playmakers on both offense and defense. However, the Spartans found themselves out of the race for a state championship. After a disappointing 2012 campaign, they ended the season with a 4-6 record.

Rocconi’s hire restored hope, as the Spartans were ranked fifth in The Commercial Appeal’s Dandy Dozen to begin the season. Although the season has only just started, Rocconi has already been very impressed with how the players “have accepted and bought in” to his new system and philosophy. Rocconi said “the history and tradition of the school” convinced him to take this job and begin a new chapter in his coaching career.

Rocconi’s first move as head coach was to hire Pete Cordelli, an offensive coordinator whose previous coaching stops included North Carolina State, Arkansas, and Notre Dame. At Notre Dame, he won a national championship in 1988 and coached Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown.

Cordelli was convinced to take the job because of the unique “opportunity to work with Coach Rocconi and White Station High School.” Cordelli will be tasked with overseeing senior quarterback Cedrick Wilson and the rest of the Spartans’ high-powered offense.

Although he only took the job in August, Cordelli said he has been impressed with the “camaraderie” of the team and is looking forward to watching their “growth and development” as the year progresses.

Despite a brutal opening slate of games on their schedule, including games against perennial powerhouses South Panola (MS) and Murfreesboro Oakland, the Spartans believe that they can be in the running for the state championship by the end of the season behind the energetic leadership of Joe Rocconi and Pete Cordelli.