Vincentian ready to compete in conference play
With two seasons of exhibition games under their collective belt, the Vincentian Academy Royals football team is ready to make it count in 2014.
“I am excited because we have some veteran players, and there is not one superstar here. We have 20 or more really good football players,” Storino said. “We are still young, but we have 22 experienced players.”
The Royals will compete in the Big 7 Conference, and leading the way will be tight end/linebacker Paul Adams.
“Paul is a future college football player who led our team in tackles last season with 93,” Storino said.
In addition to Adams as a pass-catching option, the Royals have Mitchell Athey and Dom Lombardo to help spread defenses out.
“We have some new looks on offense, and there will be more involvement from the receivers,” Athey said. “I also play running back, and I expect to catch the ball out of the backfield, too.”
Athey said the offensive line is bigger and stronger than last season, another aspect that will add to the potency of the offense.
Lombardo said increased rapport between quarterback Mike Tappe and the receivers is another plus.
“We definitely improved during the summer workouts,” Lombardo said. “They helped out a lot and gave us better (chemistry) with our quarterback.”
On the defensive side, Athey and Lombardo will be contributors in the secondary.
“We will use more cover 2 and cover 3 looks. That will help us be improved on defense,” Lombardo said. “We have six or seven players who have been here during the beginning, and while the competition will be better, we will be ready for it.”
One of those tenured players is Tappe, who started 17 of the Royals' 19 games the past two seasons. Tappe will have many options to distribute the ball this season as receivers Jake Thomas and David Flemming, running back Anthony Della Valle and fullback Mike Falgione give the Royals the ability to advance the ball on the ground, or through the air.
“We have been paying attention to the details,” Falgione said. “Coach Storino is focused on the running game, and we are all excited to go out and show what we got.”
With the talent in place, the key will be the leading of that talent.
Anthony Tomarello will be a key offensive lineman and the middle linebacker. Storino calls Tomarello the emotional leader of the squad.
“I try not to do it alone,” Tomarello said. “I try to include everyone, get more younger kids involved.”
Tomarello said the defense is all about which players want it most and playing with passion.
“We all know the game better this year, so rather than covering for other people who may not have known (where to go), we can worry about our assignment,” Tomarello said.
Tomarello spends a lot of time watching film and learning about not just what is going on but what he can do to make quicker, better decisions.
“We were young last year, but the guys have put in the work,” Thomas said. “I have matured a lot, put on some weight in the weight room, and I am in better shape.”
With the skill position players ready, Storino said the offensive and defensive lines are what he is really excited about.
“We are returning all five starters including sophomore center Dominic Hite, and two-year senior starting guard Chris Henderson (will anchor the unit),” Storino said. “We have two guys squatting 500 pounds. This is the first time we had an offseason lifting program, and the guys have bought in.”