Davies awaits Friday Night Lights

Davies awaits Friday Night Lights

Davies sophomore Matt Patenaude, shown getting ready to fire a pass during his team’s workouts last Wednesday, Sept. 4, will be the Patriots’ starting quarterback. (Breeze photos by Eric Benevides)
Football team makes non-league debut vs. Scituate at Pariseau Field

LINCOLN – Pawtucket’s Pariseau Field promises to be a packed house tomorrow night, and it won’t be because any of that city’s three high school football teams will be in action there.

Instead, it will be Davies Tech’s first-year team taking the field for its historic non-league opener, as the Patriots will host Scituate High at 6:30 p.m.

After a solid offseason program (that included a strong showing in the weight room), 3½ weeks of pre-season workouts, a scrimmage against Narragansett, and a two-quarter Injury Fund game against Shea’s second and third-stringers, the Patriots are suiting up for real tomorrow night.

And the excitement is soaring through the roof.

“There’s a lot of excitement here,” said head coach and longtime phys ed teacher Henry Cabral. “We’re getting a lot of support in the building and from a lot of people outside the building. (Athletic director Bob Morris) said there’s probably going to be an alumni section tailgating at the game. It’s going to be our very first game, and it’s going to be a true varsity game.”

Cabral spoke late last week after his team’s Injury Fund contest last Thursday night against the Raiders was in the books. The Patriots suffered a 6-0 loss, and as expected, showed signs of inexperience, from their number of penalties (six) to some other things that Cabral said can be fixed during practice.

“It will be a work in progress, but I think we’ll be okay,” said Cabral, who praised Shea head coach Dino Campopiano for being “a huge help” in scheduling the game. “And we played tough. I think some people thought that our kids were going to get lit up, but they did alright. There were some things that we have to clean up – and I have to clean up – but overall, it was a lot more positive than negative.”

The Patriots may have lost that game, but they won the hearts and respect of their peers and the faculty the next day in the hallways.

“It was nice to see a lot of our teachers and our alumni at the Injury Fund game,” Cabral said. “That was really cool for the school itself, as well as seeing the kids come into school today and receive a lot of nice compliments, not only from their classmates, but from their teachers.”

“I’ll keep on saying it, ‘School pride is won on the field,’” he added. “We have a very good school going on here right now – academics, technologies, we’re doing well – and I’m a firm believer that pride is won on the athletic field.”

One player who knows something about pride won on the athletic field is sophomore Matt Patenaude, who last season, was the backup quarterback and a defensive back for Tolman, which earned a share of the Division III regular-season title with eventual Super Bowl champion Central Falls and played in the D-III semifinals.

During the offseason, Patenaude transferred to Davies, and he will be the Patriots’ starting quarterback. Being the lone player on the 45-man roster with any high school experience, a lot will be expected from him on and off the field.

As for the rest of the offense, the backfield contains senior fullback Luis Barrios and sophomore tailback Joe Brooks, and the backups are freshman Ceristel Rodriguez and sophomore Anthony Silva.

The offensive line consists of junior left tackle Nick Mercer, junior left guard Devanne Lima, sophomore center Gianni Laredo, junior right guard Trae Warren, and junior right tackle Dairon Cruz.

When Patenaude throws the ball, he will have plenty of targets in his reach, such as senior slot receiver T.J. Lach, junior slot receiver Moustapha Mane, senior split ends Babacarr Jarju, Jayron Diaz, and Royce Ingram, and junior split end Nashaun Dalomba.

Playing tight end is sophomore Nick Mastin, and Silva could see some time there as well.

On defense, the Pats’ line is an all-senior crew that consists of seniors Angel Cepeda, Temeola Matanmi, Edison Giraldo, Elijah Padilla, and Barrios, and Cruz and Mercer will also see some time there.

The linebacking corps offers plenty of depth with Dalomba, Ingram, Silva, Lach, Brooks, Warren, junior George Bromley, and sophomore Jasai Boykin. The defensive backs are juniors Marckus Silva and Tevin Lima, Mane, and Rodriguez, and the safety is Patenaude.

The Patriots, who will travel to Providence on Saturday, Sept. 20, for their first Division IV game, a 1:30 p.m. contest against Hope, are hoping to make the playoffs in their first season of existence, but Cabral noted that the goal every single day is to simply get better at practice.

“There are a lot of things we have to learn from, and the best thing is we have film and the kids all have access to it,” Cabral said. “But I think the biggest thing for our kids is team structure and repetition. We have a practice schedule in place and the kids understand it. And a lot of mistakes that we make are very fixable. We just have a lack of experience.”

Sophomore Joe Brooks will be one of Davies’ running backs this season. Davies will host Scituate in the program’s first game on Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Pariseau Field.
Sophomore center Gianni Laredo gets ready to snap the ball during a recent workout at Davies’ practice facility.