Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015, Staten Island Tech hosted its first football game on the home field! After a prolonged two year wait, not only were the boys on the team excited to play, but the students and staff were just as eager to see them play. The varsity football team was on a roll with its 5-0 standing, and this streak continued as they broke in the field, advancing its record to 6-0. On Saturday, Oct. 17, the team won their last regular season home game against the formerly undefeated team, Jamaica, making them 7-0. After the homecoming win, the seniors were recognized for their dedication and hard work. Considering that these were their only regular season games on the new field, they were emotional events.
Senior Bassel Hassan, Outside Linebacker, talked about playing on the field for the first time on Oct. 10. “The field was a lot better than playing at Tottenville. We finally got that sense of we’re actually home for the first time. It was our fans and our field, it was pretty good.” Ibrahim Tayeh, Free Safety/ Running Back, recalled playing at Tottenville as “not feeling right”. Now that the team has the new field, there is a true home advantage. The team won the game 28-14; Joe Macri, Defensive End/ Running Back, had four touchdowns. “It felt great to be the first guy to score on the field, and there are going to be a lot of good memories to come.”
The Senior Recognition Ceremony took place on Oct. 17, after the homecoming game. “ It feels nice… It’s just what I do. It’s a passion of mine so it doesn’t matter whether I get recognized for it or if I don’t,” said Christopher “The Wall” Acosta, Defensive Tackle. There was a great crowd of people present to support the players. Macri stated, “I appreciate everyone for coming to the game, and I appreciate everyone for coming out. It’s worth it over the four years.”
There is a great sense of teamwork on the Seagulls varsity football team. The players are a mix of students from both Staten Island Technical High School and McKee High School, which is an unlikely combination, but works well for the team. It has a wide range of players, but according to Ibrahim Tayeh, that’s a great asset. “I think the reason why we are so successful is that we have a mix of players. You know, we have kids from Tech and kids from McKee, so we have a well rounded group.” The connection between the players is clear. “Everyone interacts very well… It’s nice to have a different take on everything,” Acosta stated. Interactions over the years have led to great friendships. Carmine Matelle, Defensive Tackle/Tight End, said, “I made a bunch of friendships that are going to last throughout the rest of my life. It comes back to the bonds you make with guys that you wouldn’t necessarily interact with ever, unless it was for football.” Bharath Ayloo, Wide Receiver, believes that sticking with the team and bonding for four years helps them become a family, and that’s what makes it special. The bond between the players was obvious at the homecoming game when the team huddled together and chanted after the ceremony.
The varsity team is comprised of not only seniors, but also juniors and sophomores from both schools. Some of the current seniors were moved up to the varsity team in their sophomore year; they’ve always had someone to look up to. Now that they are seniors, they have to adjust to being in this position. “We’re still becoming leaders throughout, but I like being a senior because you feel responsible for the team and, you know, people look up to us,” said Tayeh. Regardless of whether they are adjusting or not, the seniors seem to be doing a great job according to Starting Quarterback, Wesley Sanchez. He said, “The seniors push me to do better.” Sanchez reflects that the seniors encourage him when he doesn’t succeed, and because of the seniors help, he will be great when he becomes a senior. “We’re all brothers”.
Being on the football team is an unbelievable experience, in which amazing memories are made. Whether it’s going to the championship game, making an amazing play, or having a wonderful last night of camp, there have been so many unforgettable memories. It’s safe to say that the varsity football team is more than just a team. They are a family of student-athletes that do something they love everyday, and have fun doing it. These experiences will be extremely missed when the seniors move on to bigger and better things. Thank you to all the players who contributed to this article. Congratulations to the team on having a fantastic record, and to the seniors who are playing their last year. GO SEAGULLS!
By Baaba Annan
Edited by Katherine Thompson and Tiffany Zhao