Revere High head football coach Lou Cicatelli said the opening game of a new season is always a time of much excitement, anticipation, and optimism for the coaches, the players, the parents, and the supporters.
â€œIâ€™m always excited about football and the beginning of a new season,â€ said Cicatelli, whose Patriots open Friday night against Peabody at Harry Della Russo Stadium.
Cicatelli is expecting a huge crowd to be in attendance.
â€œI think there will be a big turnout,â€ said Cicatelli. â€œWe have only four home games this season, so hopefully people pack the place. I knew the Revere student body will be there. Theyâ€™re always there for us.â€
Revere has a tough test as the visiting Tanners are coming off an NEC South championship season and have some talented returnees from their 2022 team. Though All-School quarterback Shea Lynch (whom Cicatelli coached in the Agganis All-Star Classic in June) has moved on to play football at Endicott College, Peabody has one of the best all-around players in the area in Eli Batista, who was Lynchâ€™s top receiver a year ago.
â€œWe believe we may see Batista playing some quarterback,â€ related Cicatelli. â€œTheyâ€™re a football good team. Itâ€™s going to be a good game.â€
Revere played well in its final preseason scrimmage against Northeast Regional, with Coach Don Heresâ€™ Golden Knights prevailing by a 14-12 margin.
â€œWe each played our first-string teams for about a half,â€ said Cicatelli. â€œItâ€™s always fun scrimmaging Northeast. Don has a really good team and a new offense that looks awesome.â€
Giovanni Woodard and Abbas Attoui each scored touchdowns. Quarterback Carlos Rizo threw a touchdown pass and accounted for more than 100 yards of total offense. Danny Hou had some big pass receptions.
â€œCarlos has been throwing the ball very well,â€ said Cicatelli. â€œWe were a little sloppy on the offensive line, though. We had three holding calls which backed up our offense, but weâ€™ll clean that up this week.â€
Rafael Teixeira was Revereâ€™s No. 1 defensive standout at linebacker. Cicatelli also singled out offensive and defensive tackle Patrick Keefe III for his strong performance on both sides of the football.
So, with college football already in high gear and the NFL kicking off Thursday night, itâ€™s time for high school football in Massachusetts, with the Cicatelli Crew set to begin its 2023 season Friday.