The Marinelli Missives - #7

It's hard to keep a smile off the face of proud Bostonian <b>Chris Marinelli</b>, given the streak of success his Red Sox are enjoying. But his high school football team is making their own improbable run right now as well. The Boston College HS Eagles just took down the state's top scoring offense, with the 6'7" 285-pound two-way lineman recording some rare points himself.

Football, like life, is a game of ups and downs. Sometimes you feel ready to take on the Super Bowl champs, while on other occasions you wouldn't dare challenge your local Pop Warner team. Very few teams experience only one side of the spectrum during a season. The trick to mastering this trend is all about timing. Learn from the negative, while making sure these performances occur in less meaningful games. Now don't get me wrong, I go into every game as psychotic as the next. But in the grand scheme, some games - conference, playoffs, and home games - seem to hold more importance. Anyway, each week consists of working a little harder than the previous, and before you know it… something goes right. Welcome to the positive, where no one can stop you and other teams actually stand shivering at the terror within your eyes.

The 2004 BC High football team is like any other of the past. Not a team of excessive talent, nor incredible intelligence, yet a team that loves nothing more than to bring death to their opponents in front of their home fans. Starting the season 0-4 (featuring three losses of fewer than seven points, each against top twenty teams), things looked grim to say the least. The season went on, and to our surprise, things began to turn in our favor. After a revengeful victory over central Mass juggernaut Leominster and the destruction of a lowly Barnstable team, BC High has felt some confidence slide our way and has begun to play with all the pride in the world.

However, in BC High fashion, the schedule seems to get more challenging as the season progresses. We had one more non-conference battle before the rigorous Catholic Conference league games. This week featured Division 1 newcomer Taunton, but don't take their inexperience for much because they are also Eastern Mass' highest scoring team. The Taunton Tigers present three speedy, shifty backs and one gigantic gunner at quarterback. This team also includes a seemingly egotistical personality. At 5-1, maybe this is rightly so, but the only thing more hilarious then their pre-game narcissism was their post-game tear-filled eyes.

A scoreless first half led Taunton finally to believe the challenge which faced them. In the second half, we received the ball and kicked off twenty two minutes of fury. Junior QB Mike Pecca again used his quick decisiveness and powerful backs to march the BC High offense down the field. The massive offensive line of senior LT Russ Steinbach, senior LG Mike Cannon, junior C Matt Snow, senior RG Joe Hobin, and myself at RT, shoved around the much smaller Taunton defensive line all evening. On the first drive of the half, senior RB Dave Bartmess pranced into the endzone from two yards out. The rush attempt after failed.

After a rage from the BC High defense, where senior DE Austin Stack buried the QB for an eight yard loss, Taunton was again forced to punt. Pecca showed no sign letting the same happen to his offense. A few short minutes later, Pecca found senior TE Joe Sheehan on a quick pass from two yards out. The kick after was good! The reason that point is said so emphatically is because it was our first on the season. After going 0-6 in previous attempts, we called up bite-size freshman Jody Werrett. After being 8-8 in freshman games, he easily sailed this one through the uprights.

Taunton continued to struggle on offense, giving it back to us time and time again. Late in the fourth quarter senior WR/S and punter Ryan Cooney launched a punt some 50 yards. The rolling ball was jumped on at the one yard line by senior speedster Mariano Beecher. Taunton began to lose hope. On the first play from scrimmage, Taunton's QB quickly handed the ball to his FB up the middle. After a swift swim move, I found myself free in the backfield no sooner than he had gotten the ball. I wrapped him up and junior NT Mike Bernazzani cleaned him up nicely. We threw up the safety signal in excessive joy; finally our defense had some points to show for continuously holding defenses under one hundred yards.

The final buzzer rang out and scoreboard showed 15-0. Not only do we now stand at 3-4, with a full head of steam heading into the conference, but we just shutout the state's most potent scorers. This was a feat even our coaches were excited about. On defense we were led by senior LB Matt Gottbrecht, who had double digit tackles and one critical sack. On offense, Pecca proved impeccable and could not be stopped. I finished the game with eight tackles, the safety, and two hurries, while also playing the entire game at offensive tackle. The BC High Eagles football team doesn't hold any team as superior or lesser to them. Each team in the conference better bring their "A" game, because the Eagles are flying headfirst into a league title. This could get a little scary for the opposition…

Oh yeah.  Hey, New Yorkers, how bout them Red Sox?

Chris Marinelli is a 6'7" offensive tackle recruit in the 2005 class who verbally committed to Stanford in July.  He is writing a weekly series this fall to deliver Cardinal fans insight into the triumphs and travails of his senior season at Boston College High School.

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