Pomp, circumstance, and history — and football — will be on the agenda Friday evening when the Revere High football team kicks off its 2015 season under the bright lights of the all-new Harry Della Russo Stadium against the visiting Mustangs of Medford.
“We’re excited both to open our season and to christen the new stadium,” said RHS head coach Lou Cicatelli. “It will be a great night for our football program, our school, and our city.”
A gala program is being planned by school and city officials to mark the debut of the new HDR in high style. Fans are urged to arrive at the stadium at 6:00 in order to get a good seat and to take in all of the festivities, which reportedly will include a tribute to the 1972 RHS Super Bowl team, a performance by the RHS Junior ROTC, and a “big name” singer for the National Anthem.
Although rain is forecast for Friday morning, the skies are expected the clear by the afternoon and for the evening. However, unlike from the day that the RHS football stadium and field were constructed as a WPA project in the early 1940s, players will not be battling in the muddy mosh pit that had characterized the RHS gridiron whenever there were wet conditions, but instead will be playing on a new artificial turf surface.
As for the game itself, the contest figures to be a hard-fought battle between two teams who have high hopes for their 2015 campaigns.
“Medford is a good team,” said Cicatelli. “We caught a glimpse of them at the pre-season jamboree in Lynn and they have some very talented people at the skill positions. We’ll have to play our best right from the start if we hope to beat them.”
The Patriots will be led into the battle by senior captain and quarterback/defensive back Dan Murphy. Murphy is a speedster who brings a lot of experience to the Revere offense. “Danny is a true leader whom many of our younger players really look up to,” said Cicatelli. “He’s been sharp in the pre-season and we’re looking for big things from him.”
Murphy fired a 40 yard touchdown pass to junior receiver Oscar Lopez in Saturday’s final pre-season scrimmage against Marblehead and led another long drive of the Revere offense that, though it did result in a touchdown, demonstrated the ability of the Patriot to move the chains and maintain possession.
Senior Steve Noel will be counted upon to lug the ball from the fullback post, with halfback James Furlong expected to share the workload in the backfield. Jake Noftle, John DeSimone, and Victor Rivera also will play key roles in the Patriots’ offensive scheme.
As is usual for a Cicatelli-led team, the Revere defense will be a hard-nosed bunch that will battle their opponents for every inch of ground. Noel will lead an experienced linebacker corps that will play both tough and smart.
Although the Patriots sustained the usual bumps and bruises in the pre-season, a major setback has been the knee injury to senior captain Brandon Britto, who had been expected to be the anchor of the line on both sides of the ball.
“Brandon hurt his knee at the start of our training sessions,” said Cicatelli. “He was a two-way starter, so his absence leaves a big void for us. It’s a day-to-day thing with his knee and we’re hoping for the best.”
Adding to the weekend’s highlights, Cicatelli will be bringing his squad to the Boston College-Howard University football game Saturday afternoon.
So a new era for Revere High football gets underway Friday evening with a brand new stadium amidst a glittering sports complex that will be the envy of many surrounding communities.
“This will be a great weekend for our team, fans, and school,” said Cicatelli.
And, it goes without saying, a win over Medford will make it a truly memorable occasion for all.