The Revere High School football program has brought home the Beachcomber Trophy from its last five meetings with Winthrop High on Thanksgiving.
But can head coach Lou Cicatelli and his 2022 gridiron contingent make it six in a row over the Vikings?
That’s the question that will be answered Thursday morning at Miller Field when the two rivals renew their holiday series.
“We’re ready,” proclaimed Cicatelli, who has also participated in the holiday classic as an RHS football player. “We’ve had very good practices. When you have this amount of time to prepare for a team and have all the game films to watch, it’s helpful. It’s good to see our players, especially our defense, know what to expect for the most part, and I’m sure Winthrop can say the same thing about us.”
Winthrop (6-4) and Revere (4-6) both qualified for the MIAA playoffs this season, with each head coach opting for challenging non-league opponents including similar foe Peabody. But Cicatelli said no matter the records or regular-season victories, the Winthrop-Revere matchups “are always close games, very competitive, and very spirited.”
Cicatelli noted that quarterback Carlos Rizo has been particularly sharp this week in the passing game, which means the Winthrop secondary will likely be tested in the game.
“I’m not going to reveal our game plan, but we’ll throw the ball when we have to,” said Cicatelli. “Carlos has had a great week of practice. We’ll throw the ball, but we’ll mix it up on offense.”
Cicatelli is aware of Winthrop’s potent ground attack led by fullback Welvis Acosta, who has rushed for 856 yards this season. “Winthrop has some really good backs,” said Cicatelli. “They run traps, jet sweeps, and buck sweeps really well. That’s what they do, and they’re good at it. I think we can slow down their running game, but they’re going to make some plays. But then again, they have to slow us down, so I think it’s going to be a close game.”
The Revere High football program has been enjoying a resurgence under the leadership of Cicatelli, whose team was 8-2 a year ago and defeated Winthrop, 16-13, on Thanksgiving. The Patriots followed up last year’s successful campaign with a berth in this year’s MIAA playoffs.
Coach Lou Cicatelli would no doubt like nothing more than to continue his team’s holiday streak over Winthrop and keep his program’s momentum flowing into the 2023 season.