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Ciaccia brings energy, heart to Geibel football team

| Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012,
Evan R. Sanders/Daily Courier Geibel's Jake Ciaccia will play a key role in the Gators' offense this season.

It didn't take long for Geibel's Jake Ciaccia to make an impression on new football coach Sean Benjamin.

Benjamin began poring over game film shortly after he was hired in late January, and Ciaccia immediately stood out.

“As soon as I got the job, I got the game tapes and started watching film. Some of the games would get out of hand, but you see little things out of players,” Benjamin said. “The style I like to play offensively and the way he plays fit together.”

Benjamin learned the spread offense as a player at Penn-Trafford, and he will try to implement it at Geibel in hopes of improving on Geibel's one-victory season in 2011.

Ciaccia will be one of the players counted on most.

“In our offense, we need an explosive, dynamic player that can play any position and spread the other team,” Benjamin said. “He has great hands and catches the ball well out of the backfield. He can play running back or wide receiver. He can line up at quarterback. He gives us a different dimension back there.”

As always, Geibel will have to try to get the most out of its players because of low numbers. The Gators' roster totals just 13 players.

Ciaccia (5-foot-8, 160 pounds) probably won't bowl too many defenders over, but what he lacks in size he makes up for in other areas.

“He's shifty and he's quick,” Benjamin said. “He's been around the game for a long time. The first time I talked to him I told him this is what you can do, and he jumped into the role. He's a class-act kid.”

Ciaccia has been Geibel's backup quarterback the past two seasons, and he has seen a lot of playing time at cornerback.

While he still won't be starting at quarterback, Ciaccia welcomes his new role.

“I always wanted to be a quarterback, but I want to do whatever helps the team,” Ciaccia said. “(We have to) study the playbook. It's all going to be about repetition. Once we get that down, the offense should work well.”

Benjamin not only believes Ciaccia will excel in the team's new offense, but he also believes Ciaccia gives the other Geibel players someone to emulate on and off the field.

“He's a great leader,” Benjamin said. “The other kids look up to him. Jake plays baseball and other sports, and he was busy with that this summer. But since he's been to camp, there's been a different energy. He's a happy-go-lucky kid. He brings energy and a great attitude to the team.”

Ciaccia also believes the Gators can have a successful season.

“What we don't have in numbers we have in heart,” he said.

Dave Stofcheck is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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