If the proverbial dog days of August are here, then that must mean it’s double-session time for schoolboy football players everywhere. Coach Lou Cicatelli’s Revere High gridders are no exception to that rule this week, as Coach Cic’ is pacing his troops through the grind of double-workout days for the entire week to get into football shape in anticipation of Saturday morning’s first pre-season scrimmage at Hamilton-Wenham.
“It’s tough on the players, there’s no doubt about it,” said Cicatelli, who is entering his 11th season at the helm of the RHS football program and who admitted to a bit of fatigue himself at the end of the first day Monday evening. “But we had a great turnout of 72 candidates and things went well on opening day.”
Cicatelli greeted a mix of experienced players and newcomers, all of whom were led by Captain Tom Portrait, who enjoyed a monster season in 2012 as a junior tailback and who is the undisputed leader of the 2013 squad. “We’ll elect some assistant captains in the days ahead,” said Cicatelli, “but I named Tommy as our captain at the end of last year. We needed someone to run the team for our training program in the off-season and he’s a great leader.”
Portrait, who did it all in the backfield via both running the ball and on the receiving end of many big pass plays, once again will figure to be a key component of the Patriot offensive attack. He’ll be joined by junior returnee Caleb Silva, who had a nice year in 2012 and who undoubtedly will be a main weapon in the Pats’ offensive scheme this season.
Cicatelli also is high on a trio of sophomore running backs, James Furlong, Steve Noel, and Mike Norton, whom he’ll be counting upon to help shoulder the load in the ball-lugging department.
A big hole in the RHS depth chart is at the quarterback position, where Revere lost two-year starter Joe Ritchie to graduation. Ritchie, a champion 100 meter runner, was a double threat both running and passing the ball in his two years as the Pats’ signal-caller. Cicatelli has two solid contenders for the slot in sophomore Danny Murphy, who was impressive in the pre-season last year until he tore an ACL, and senior Ravi Ryland, who also is a standout basketball player.
However, any backfield is only as good as its line. Serey Morm and Eddie Volcimus are a pair of seniors who saw a lot of action in 2012 and will be expected to be the anchors of the Patriot front in 2013. Sophomores Martin Keuchkerin and Brandon Britto are among the underclassmen who have been impressive thus far.
After Saturday’s scrimmage at Hamilton-Wenham (9:00 starting time), the Pats will take part in a tri-scrimmage Tuesday evening with Northeast Regional and St. Mary’s of Lynn at 7:00 under the lights in the Manning Bowl. The final pre-season scrimmage is set for next Saturday against Marblehead.
The season-opener (which we all know will be here before we know it) will be a Friday Night Lights encounter on Friday, September 13, at non-league foe Medford, a former long-time GBL rival when the Pats played in that loop for more than four decades.