Nov. 12, 2020
By Gianna Alberti
After emerging as 2019 state sectional champions, the football team has a lot to live up to this year. However, with the loss of 26 seniors and without the state finals due to Covid-19, this year’s team—which had a 2-4 record as of Nov. 12—is all about rebuilding.
Head Coach Tuero, who is in his seventh year leading the team, said the football players have a lot of potential to win on the field as long as they are able to trust themselves and their teammates.
“They are struggling to be confident,” Tuero said. “Once they build up their confidence, they will be much more successful winning games.”
Tuero said not having a Bear Cave student section showing support at games is a huge loss because the fans’ energy excites the players.
“The Bear Cave is a very important part of our program, and I miss them dearly. The energy they bring to our team 100 percent makes a difference,” Tuero said.
Senior captain Nick Cimicata, who joined the varsity team last year, said as a captain he has the responsibility of holding himself and his teammates accountable.
“Our team mostly consists of first-year varsity starters, but I push them to their limits so that we can all improve as a team,” Cimicata said.
He said before his brother Paul, a Class of 2019 football graduate, left to study at Pace University in West Chester, New York, Paul told him to treat every game as his last.
“In these new unpredictable circumstances, it is very important for me to remember this advice with the risk of the season getting canceled because of the pandemic,” Cimicata said.
“The Bear Cave is a very important part of our program, and I miss them dearly. The energy they bring to our team 100 percent makes a difference.”
Junior captain John Lembo has taken over the position of quarterback, which last year belonged to his brother Anthony, who graduated in 2020.
Despite being new to the varsity team, Lembo is an experienced football player. After his first varsity game, he was third in the state for total yards.
“When my brother left for college, it was short and simple. He said, ‘Just go on that field and do what you do best,” Lembo said. “Because we all know what you can do, just be yourself.”
Lembo said the loss of so many players has impacted this year’s team members by making them want to work harder.
“This is a very new team, and it becomes challenging because most of our starters are first-year players. But if we can play games the way we practice, we can be able to come out with a winning record,” Lembo said.
Junior captain Ricky Rainey, who started playing football when he was seven years old, said being a captain as a junior is an honor, but it also comes with responsibility.
“As a captain and player, I want to make my teammates feel comfortable, and if they make mistakes to put it past them, so it will not affect how they play the rest of the game,” Rainey said.
He said this season has been challenging.
“We are a very young team, and because of that, we need to improve on chemistry and playing as a whole, not just for yourself. It is the only way we can be successful on the field,” said Rainey.
PHOTOS BY ANGELA ELLIS