Controlling the line of scrimmage doesn't mean that only brute force and bulk knock the opposition off its guard. Thomas Cirillo of Eastchester High may know that better than anyone so he makes the most of his 170 pounds and doesn't let being a light guard at right guard become an excuse.
"I get out of my stance a little quicker than the other guy and engage before him," says the senior captain.
Just the same, he sees no reason to give pause at change of possession and eagerly lines up on the other side at outside linebacker.
Even better when he can bring that game changer home in front of a big Eastchester turnout. "You know the crowd is coming alive," he says. "That's a good feeling."
After a 5-4 season last year and losing five or six key players, he's optimistic that there will be more to cheer about in 2011. Eastchester isn't backing down either in the face of Poughkeepsie this weekend. "They are ranked two in the state," he says, and we're going to be pumped up."
Win or lose, he knows which lessons he'll take from the gridiron to Salisbury College, where he'll study Physics (and hopefully play lacrosse). "Football teaches you that you've got to get back up when you get knocked down," he says.
And if that's not enough. "You not only need to roll with the punches but you've also got to deliver the blow sometimes," he concludes.
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