The 2012 edition of the Chelsea High football team officially opened its pre-season training program Monday with a group of 40 candidates, including freshmen, dressing for the first day of practice. “It was a good turnout,” said CHS head coach Mike Stellato.
Stellato praised the work of his quartet of captains, Steven Dwyer, Raul Flores, David Roque, and Kevin Diaz, for the off season training sessions they conducted with their teammates which will pay off as the Red Devils seek to get a running start from Day One of the formal pre-season. “They did a nice job with the team and showed the kind of leadership that we’ll be expecting from them all season long,” said the coach.
The foursome will be expected to carry a heavy load for the Chelsea squad on both sides of the ball in the 2012 campaign. Dwyer will be returning at quarterback; Flores (who served as a captain last year as well) will be a running back and an outside linebacker; Roque is the returning starting center and defensive lineman; and Diaz will be the middle linebacker and perhaps see action at running back or on the offensive line.
Other Red Devils who return with some experience are junior Jose Martinez, a running back and outside linebacker; junior Carlos Ruano, a slot back and defensive back; and senior Michael Bissett at wide receiver and defensive back.
Stellato also said he is hoping for big things from sophomore Adrial Rodriguez, who will see action as a tight end and a defensive end.
However, as is the case with every new season, there always is one area that needs rebuilding and for the 2012 Red Devils, that will be the offensive line. “We have a lot of inexperience on the O-line,” noted Stellato. “David (Roque) is our anchor at center, but other than that, it will be a work in progress for us.”
Stellato and his crew will get their first chance to hit for real when they host West Roxbury Saturday morning at 11:00 in the first scrimmage of the pre-season. They will entertain Minuteman Regional next Friday at 6:00 p.m.