By Dylan Grismer ’22
After a long and relaxing summer, the school year has begun. This can only mean one thing: Football season is upon us. On the morning of August 16th, juniors and seniors filed into Chaminade’s lower locker room for the first day of tryouts. Players were fitted for uniforms, pads were handed out, and lockers were assigned. After being out on the field for only a few hours, the players and coaches realized that this year’s season promises to be one for the ages.
Many fans will remember that last year’s season did not end as the squad had hoped; however, the team displayed strong determination and grit throughout the entire season. As the season came to a close, some worried for the future of the Chaminade Football program. However, last year’s junior class went into the offseason with a positive attitude and a thirst for improvement.
Head Coach Kevin Dolan ’85 was a driving force in this successful and productive offseason. He introduced new physical fitness and weight training programs for the team, such as the 750 and 1,000 pound clubs. Coach Dolan could be seen in the Physical Fitness Center almost every day after school, cheering on and encouraging his boys. When asked about the team’s offseason activities, he said, “This has been one of the most successful offseasons we’ve ever had here, and with that comes expectations.” By the first day of practice, the now rising seniors were ready to take on the new season. In addition, they have a very talented group of juniors coming up to play, as the JV squad advanced all the way to the Catholic League Championship last year.
Along with the teamwork necessary to a football team’s success, there are numerous “key operators”, as Coach Dolan called them, that will play a big role this season in particular. Quarterback Ryan Walsh ’20, who saw very limited time last season, looks to lead the Flyers offense as their starter. He remarked, “I’m excited for the opportunity to lead the offense this year. I got a lot of experience learning last year, and now I’m ready to step up and do my job.” He will have numerous reliable targets available for him, such as wide receivers Donovan Wood ’20 and Paul Maggio ’20. Running back Mario Fischetti Jr. ’21, who was the Junior Varsity MVP last season, looks to start his varsity football career with a bang.
One of the strongest parts of this year’s team is the offensive line. Although the offensive line may not get the headlines and credit, it is the backbone of any successful offense. Lead by returning seniors Liam Brown, Antonio Gerbino, Michael Mooney, Matt Rockensies, and young junior Blaze Takvor, this year’s “O-Line” is a force to be reckoned with.
On the defensive side of the ball, look out for safety Dylan Lomelo ’20, linebackers Aidan Cappellino ’20 and Brandan Coward ’20, and defensive end Robert Booth ’20. All these players, in addition to many others, worked tirelessly in the offseason to become better football players. There are several other seniors who will play big parts this year that did not see much action last season. Players such as Tom Petrucci ’20 and Paul Maggio ’20 are now set to see significant minutes during this year’s campaign.
Although the result of this new season is unknown, there is one thing we know for sure: This will be a season like no other. With a great group of experienced seniors and a talented young squad of juniors, this group of young men have put together a strong team. When asked if this team has a chance to make a run at the championship, Coach Dolan explained: “What I’m learning here is any time you’re coaching Chaminade kids, you always have a chance to win. We’re smart, we’re tough, and we take pride in what we do.”
Be sure to catch a few varsity football games this season; the schedule can be found here.