The official season came to a close last Friday for the Avengers football team, and with it the impressive high school careers of the class of 2017. In first round playoff competition, East Greenwich fell to the Shea High School Raiders, the number one pitted playoff seed, with a final score of 29-7. Although the year finished sooner than hoped for the team, the fight was undeniable. A 7-7 tie in the second half proved it was a game until the very end.
East went into halftime trailing 22-0, keeping pace with the undefeated Raiders. It was there that Coach George helped pick up the team. “You guys have nothing to lose. Go out there and hit someone- and just have fun,” he told them.
EG certainly enjoyed themselves in the second half, driving the Raiders to punt on 3 consecutive drives and adding a touchdown in the 4th quarter to match Shea’s lone score of the second half. It wasn’t the dominant playoff run the team had experienced the two years prior, but playing that well against a team that good can satisfy anyone.
A relatively small class of seniors hung up their cleats this weekend. Among those were Alex Pembroke, Cody Parizeau, Ian Cusick, Earl Mernick, Michael Guadagni, Russell Caramagno, John Bloss, and captains Matt Sylvia, Mitchell Gemma, Donovan Cassidy, and Jack Delfino. Offensively, Mitchell Gemma will finish his career with an astounding 3,270 all purpose yards and 26 touchdowns, and Matt Sylvia with 13 touchdowns, both as three year starters. Jack Delfino tallied a total of 80 tackles through two years as a starter, and Donovan Cassidy will end with 1062 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns.
A slow year for the program, however, doesn’t reflect the potential of the team. With an incoming class of 23 freshmen this year and a projected number similar for the class of 21’, there will always be a surplus of athletes to make a team. Under a strong tradition and an even stronger coaching staff, things look bright for East Greenwich.
Although the official season is over for the Avengers, there is still the annual Thanksgiving Day game to look forward to at Exeter-West Greenwich on the 24th.
By: Josh Petteruti