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Behind the Scenes of Nutley’s Athletic Department

The Athletic Department at Nutley High School is run by Director of Athletics, Mr. Joe Piro. Helping to run the department behind scenes is Ms. Javanna Ritacco, assistant secretary to the Director of Athletics. Mr. Piro is in charge of all elements of the program and according to Ritacco is, “one of the best at this job.”  


In her role, Ritacco is Piro’s right hand woman. She sets up locations, officials, facility use and transportation for all games in every season. Ritacco manages many tasks which are very important to the functioning of the department, but if one small thing goes wrong the whole day can be a disaster. Many people don’t realize how much takes place each day for scheduling sporting events for an entire year. Ritacco states, “As an Athletic Department, we always have to be one step ahead of the game.”  In one season, there are about eight different sports going on, with each having practice or a game every day, including weekends.


Currently on her third year working with Piro, she has scheduled majority of the logistics for freshmen, junior varsity, and varsity teams.  “I feel my most important responsibility in my job is to make sure the kids are enjoying their athletic careers here at Nutley High School,” Ritacco says.


There is more than just scheduling and planning that goes into this job. Scheduling and planning comes with very professional organizing. Ritacco says, “I try to be a perfectionist in everything that I do.” She loves making connections and relationships with the student athletes that come through Nutley High School.


Growing up, Ritacco was always around sports between her two brothers Nicholas and Louie. Both brothers wrestled and played football at Nutley High School.  Louie furthered his football career at the University of Delaware as a quarterback. Nicholas is in his first year teaching freshmen history classes at Nutley High School. Nicholas is also an assistant coach with the varsity wrestling team at Nutley High School. “It’s an honor and privilege to work with my brother not only in the same school but in athletics as well, said Ritacco.  


Raised in Nutley, Ritacco says, “I grew up going to every sporting event for my brothers and played softball myself, here at Nutley High School.” She is a NHS alumnus who managed football and wrestling for four years as well worked one-on-one with the Athletic Trainer. She loved supporting her brothers in everything they did. She believes that athletics will always be apart of her.


During Ritacco’s free time, she volunteers in Nutley as an Emergency Medical Technician and a firefighter.  She also works part time at MetLife stadium as an EMT. “I enjoy this part of my life because it has not only helped me as a person, but knowing at the end of the day I am helping others is a humbling experience,” says Ritacco.


As for Ritacco’s future, she would like to stay involved with the athletic department at Nutley High School. “I foresee athletics being in my future whether it is in the position as a secretary to the Athletic Director, Mr Piro, or furthering my career with more schooling.”


Nutley Athletics produce successful programs and this is from the help of hard working Javanna Ritacco. There is never a time where Ritacco isn’t working on a new project in her office. You will always see Ritacco at a sporting event with a smile on her face and always supporting the Nutley Raiders.