By: Olivia Fasullo Lately, STM has been hit with a common infection: Football Fever. We all catch it STM, whether you are a devoted athlete who spends every Sunday watching five different football games at the same time or the most artsy drama geek who doesn’t know the difference between a touchdown and a basket. WARNING: Football Fever may lead to excessive yelling, cheering and sometimes (hopefully not, fingers crossed) disappointment.
I spoke to Mr. DeStephanis, one of the Junior football team's coaches, as well as STM’s biggest promoter (I seriously considered bringing a podium, just so that he could fully express himself during the interview). To him, “[Football is] the biggest thing in the school [because] …a successful season helps students buy into school spirit.” I also talked to Mr. C. Silvestri, Head Coach of the Senior football team, who says that “[Football,] like most sports…. [is] influential and begins school spirit.” It also “…brings the whole school community together.” Our dear Student Council President, Stephen Cattafi, had similar sentiments as he stated to me at our first home game against Brebeuf that, “Football is what brings us together, not only as a school community but as a family.”
So football brings STM together as a community, but how exactly does it do that? Could it be the exciting games that bring us together? Our stands are always packed with fans clapping, cheering and just having a good time. People pull out all the stops, creating unique t-shirts with catchy phrases such as: “Your worst Knightmare!” or “It’s Knight time!” We paint our faces, and I know from experience that there are always a few girls who rock the eyeliner “STM” on their cheek to show support. C.J. (Senior quarterback) says that, “[despite,] pre-game jitters, there is excitement [when you] hear the cheers,” and boy, do we know the cheers. When our cheerleaders ask us to: Rock the house and get louder, WE ROCK THE HOUSE AND GET LOUDER! There are balloons and posters, and every game seems like an STM celebration. I pity the poor boys from rival schools who find themselves on our field; they don't fully realize what they're really going up against. They not only face a team but also a whole school.
So, is it safe to say that football is what it is to STM because of the awesome games? You could, but I don’t think that’s the whole story. One word I heard countless times from people speaking about the football teams was dedication. Mr. Silvestri told me that the team practices are, “Every night to 5:30, sometimes 6:00,” and that the practices are “intense.” Michael (Running Back and Safety) said the team, “[goes] hard ‘til [they] finish.” I was briefly allowed access to the football practice and it does not look like fun. I think that is a part of what STM loves about football. It shows discipline and dedication - two things students of St. Thomas More continuously strive for. Every student at STM keeps going until the job is done and we refuse to stop if it becomes difficult. It's not always fun, but it's what brings us together.
Football to STM is all about community, celebration, and dedication. If you've missed the last two games, don't worry; there are many more to come this football season. STM will even be hosting its first ever game at night on October 12th, thanks to the new lights that brighten the field no matter what time it is. Don't miss this piece of STM history! Come out and enjoy the games!