Revere High School football team begins practice for 2016 season
By Cary Shuman
Looking to continue its momentum from a 7-4 season a year ago, the Revere High School football team has begun preseason practices for the 2016 season.
Head coach Lou Cicatelli and staff have welcomed 60 players to the sessions at Harry Della Russo Stadium. The outlook is optimistic as the Patriots seek to return to the MIAA playoffs.
“We’re very optimistic about this year and we’re looking for some good things,” said Cicatelli. “We lost 15 players to graduation, but we have some really good senior leaders and hard-working underclassmen.”
One of the interesting developments heading toward the Friday, Sept. 9 season opener at Medford is the competition for the quarterback position. Seniors Eddie Sullivan and John DeSimone have been working out at the No 1 spot with sophomore center Frank Sims. Both signal callers are looking to succeed Dan Murphy, a three-year starter.
“The competition is neck and neck for the quarterback spot,” said Cicatelli. “They’re both looking very good and have the offense down very well. We’ll see where it goes.”
Senior tailbacks Victor Rivera and Oscar Lopez will lead a potent running attack. “They’re going to get the attention of opponents,” said Cicatelli. “In my eyes, they’re two of the best backs in the league.”
Anthony DeStefano, a captain as a junior, returns as a senior captain. The team will elect its other captains Thursday.
Revere opens is preseason schedule Saturday in scrimmages against Northeast Regional and Hamilton-Wenham in Wakefield. The Patriots play at St. Mary’s in Lynn Tuesday (Aug. 30), and travel to Marblehead on Saturday, Sept. 3.
Revere has unveiled new football helmets for the season. “The helmets have a fade look with the “Denver Broncos” stripe. The kids really like them,” said Cicatelli.
Cicatelli’s staff includes assistants Vin Gregorio, Jose Escobar, former Peabody High head coach Scott Vlasic, Paul Norton, Nick Russo, and Rob Sasso.
Cicatelli said Revere’s new football stadium has given a boost to the program. “It’s a great facility. I can’t say enough good things about it. The kids love it and we love playing here. There have been fewer bumps and bruises. It’s been great.”
Revere’s home opener is Friday, Sept. 16 versus Masconomet Regional, a powerful program out of the Cape Ann League. Masconomet is the alma mater of coach Cicatelli’s son, Lou Jr., who is a graduate of UMass/Amherst and the Philadelphia School of Medicine. Dr. Cicatelli is doing his residency at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.
Medford, Malden, Somerville, and Everett from the Greater Boston League will join the Northeastern Conference next year, though Everett will be a Division 1 independent in football. “I’m all for the merger,” said Cicatelli. “I think it’s a good move for us. I think it will be a very competitive league.”
Oscar Lopez, who is 5-foot-11 and weighs 195 pounds, won the team’s Ironman Competition held at Revere Beach. “He’s the hardest worker on the team,” said Cicatelli.