REVERE– Football teams, like most athletic groups, prefer to look forward. But you’ll excuse Revere High’s Lou Cicatelli for taking just a moment to look back as he prepares to travel to Gloucester Friday (7) to face the Fishermen in Game 1 of the 2018 season.
He goes back to a loss during last fall’s 3-8 season on a drizzly night at Manning Field in Lynn against Classical as an indication of how his season went.
“We were in a lot of games,” said Cicatelli, who is the most-tenured coach on the North Shore as he enters his 15th season at Revere. “But that loss to Classical (12-6 in overtime in Week 3) was a heartbreaker.”
Still, and despite last year, Cicatelli likes the way his team has trended in recent years.
“Last year was the first time since this playoff system began (2013) that we didn’t make the playoffs,” he said. “We had a young team, and a young quarterback. I think you’re going to see a lot of improvement this year.”
That young quarterback from last fall isn’t exactly a greybeard this year either. Calvin Boudreau’s a sophomore, but Cicatelli feels his year of experience, plus an off-season growth spurt, will serve his signal-caller well.
“He was 5-8 last year and he’s probably closer to 5-10, 5-11 now. And he’s made a lot of gains. His throws downfield are a little harder, and his accuracy has improved. He has great presence for a young kid too.”
Last year, Revere’s defense carried the load. And historically, the Patriots have always been tough outs on the other side of the ball. Offensively they struggled last year. But all four of Revere’s captains are two-way players and Cicatelli is expecting big things.
Darius McNeil, a three-year starter at running back/outside linebacker, “had a great off-season. He’s hard runner who has great lateral movement. He could be a game-breaker on offense.”
Senior Frank Sims was a Northeastern Conference All-Star as a sophomore, “and we’re looking for good things from him. He’s going to play offensive guard in our Wing-T offense, and he’ll be leading a lot of our plays.
“He’s one of our strongest kids,” Cicatelli said. “On defense, we play him at nose tackle, and he’ll require a lot of double-teams.”
Cicatelli calls Devin Matthias, a senior, “a quiet leader. But he doesn’t play quiet on the field.”
He’s the other guard on offense, and a defensive tackle on defense.
“He’s very strong, and very physical,” said Cicatelli.
The fourth captain, Zac Carifio, another guard on offense, is featured a weakside linebacker on the other side of the ball.
“He’s more known for his defensive prowess,” Cicatelli said. “He has good range of motion, and a nose for the football. I’m looking for him to have a good year.
“These guys are good leaders, on and off the field, and most importantly, in school,” Cicatelli said.
Revere should finally have some depth up front, Cicatelli said, adding junior Mike DuPont to the mix on defense.
Another player to look for is running back Lucas Barbosa.
Cicatelli’s counting on junior Zach Furlong, a kick returner.
A heavily front-loaded schedule concerns Cicatelli. After Gloucester, Revere has to face Marblehead and Classical.
“If we can steal one or two of those, and make the playoffs this year, we think we can make some noise in Division 4,” he said.
“I say it every year,” Cicatelli said. “There are no weak teams in the Northeastern Conference. Anyone can upset anyone. It’s very competitive, and you have to come to play every week.”