By: Raymond Costanzo ’20
The varsity football team capped off a dominant season last Saturday, defeating the Kellenberg Firebirds 29-12 in the CHSFL AA-1 championship game.
Going into the game, the Flyers looked to build off the momentum they accumulated throughout the season. After starting the campaign with a convincing win against South Shore High School, the team lost two straight games against powerhouses Archbishop Stepinac and Iona Prep. Despite their losses, these dedicated young men never lost sight of their goal. They followed these losses with five consecutive wins, including wins against league rivals Kellenberg and Xavier. The Flyers were able to claim the No. 1 seed and gain a first-round bye into the playoffs.
Rolling into the playoffs, the Flyers looked to claim a win in the semifinals against Fordham Prep. The team achieved what they set out to do in convincing fashion, defeating the Rams in a decisive 26-point win. This victory gave the varsity football team a chance to claim its first championship since 2014.
Boasting an overall record of 7-2, the Flyers traveled to Mitchel Field on November 16 to face the Firebirds of Kellenberg Memorial High School. The Flyers took an early 6-0 lead after quarterback Ryan Walsh ’20 connected with Donovan Wood ’20 for a 90-yard touchdown reception. After the Firebirds scored a touchdown of their own, the Flyers kicked a field goal to take a 9-6 lead heading into halftime.
Kellenberg started the third quarter with a touchdown, taking 12-9 lead. The Flyers did not back down—the offense responded with a touchdown of their own. The drive ended with receiver Donovan Wood catching his second touchdown of the game, a 16-yard fade route into the corner of the endzone, giving the team a four-point lead. From that moment on, Chaminade’s defense dominated the field and made some critical stops. Once the Firebirds were neutralized on offense, the Flyers’ offensive game took off. Running back Mario Fischetti ’21 added on a score, after outrunning members of Kellenberg’s defense for a 51-yard run touchdown. The promising junior was able to put up another touchdown on a 7-yard run, which sealed the game for the Crimson and Gold. The team won the game by a score of 29-12, restoring the CHSFL AA-1 trophy to Chaminade’s trophy case.
Dylan Lomelo ’20 credits the win to the Flyers’ teamwork: “There was a special bond this year. Since day one, everyone began to form a relationship with one another, and by the end of the year, the team’s upperclassmen became a band of brothers.”
The entire team played a crucial role in solidifying the championship win. Quarterback Ryan Walsh ’20 threw for an astonishing 250 yards, while completing two touchdown passes. Donovan Wood caught six passes for 140 yards, in addition to knocking through a field goal. Receivers Paulo Maggio ’20 and Tom Petrucci ’20 also played important roles in the passing game. Offensive linemen and team captains Liam Brown ’20 and Antonio Gerbino ’20 paved the way for running back Mario Fischetti ’21 throughout the duration of the match. The defense played incredibly well—especially in the second half. Defensive backs Dylan Lomelo ’20, Matthew Vassallo ’21, Kevin Cudahy ’20, Patrick Noonan ’20, and Anthony D’agostino ‘21 all helped shut down the Firebirds’ passing attack. Linebackers Brandan Coward ’20, Aidan Cappelino ’20, and Conner Garzone ’20 all contributed to shutting down Kellenberg’s electric running game. Defensive end Robert Booth ’20 added eight tackles of his own, earning himself the Defensive MVP of the game.
The 2019 Chaminade football team solidified its place in Chaminade history with their incredible championship season. Captain Brandan Coward ’20 remarked, “The team worked hard. Day in and day out, it was a consistent effort from everyone. No one gave up—ever. We set our minds to winning the whole thing, and we got our results in the end. Hard work pays off, and that’s what we proved this year.”
Congratulations to the 2019 Chaminade Flyers varsity football team on a truly unforgettable season!