The Chelsea High football team will kick off its 2012 campaign Saturday when the Red Devils travel to Commonwealth Athletic Conference rival Lynn Tech for a Saturday Night Lights contest at 7:00 at Manning Field.
“Lynn Tech is a good team and will be a very tough opponent,” said CHS head coach Mike Stellato. “They are returning a lot of players from last year when they were the state vocational school champions.”
Tech also features one of the top quarterbacks in the area in Kennedy Gomes, who is a multi-talented athlete with outstanding speed. “A key to the game for us will be containing Gomes,” said Stellato. “He can hurt you in a lot of ways if you give him any room.”
Chelsea prepped for the season opener with its final pre-season scrimmage last Friday evening against Minuteman Tech. Although the Red Devils came out on the short end of an 8-7 decision, they played well in many areas. Running backs Raul Flores, a senior captain, and Jose Martinez, a junior, and quarterback Steven Dwyer, a senior captain, all played well and showed the promise of leading a potentially potent CHS offense.
On the defensive side of the pigskin, Stellato cited the strong play of linebacker David Roque, a senior captain who also plays at center, sophomore linebacker Jorge Izaguire, and junior defensive back Carlos Ruano.
“We need to become more physical offensively,” noted Stellato. “We have a lot of inexperience on the offensive line (where Roque is the only returning starter) and we made a lot of mistakes with holding and procedure penalties. But that is to be expected with a young squad at this stage of the season and we’ll just have to keep working hard and playing through it.
“We’re very excited to start the season,” said the coach, whose Red Devils last year qualified for the post-season and came within a whisker of reaching the Super Bowl. “The team has a great attitude and will give 100 percent on the field.”
Chelsea will have an unexpected bye week after the Tech contest. The scheduled Week Two opponent, Trinity, opted to delay the start of its season. The Red Devils will return to action at Greater Lawrence on the following weekend.