Porcelli Energizes Football Team
“Joe! Joe! Joe! Joe!”
As the sun sets and the Friday night lights begin, students can feel the energy of an undefeated season. They can also hear Stang Gang erupting into a chant, only the name they say isn’t a player’s name, but a manager: Joe Porcelli, sophomore.
Senior Claire Jones, who manages the football team alongside Porcelli, said Porcelli goes into the locker rooms with the boys, rides the bus with them and participates in the huddle as well. She said the team is supportive of Porcelli and always makes sure to include him.
Porcelli even wears a football jersey, number eight, given to him by a teammate.
“I think he has a really special place in the boys’ hearts,” Jones said. “While last year I had a bond with some of the boys – there’s nothing like Joe with the boys,” Jones said.
While one of Porcelli’s major responsibilities is filling water bottles, Jones said players are equally concerned for the hydration of Porcelli.
“On really hot days when we would have practice, literally every single player was filling up his water bottle,” Jones said.
Jones also said players began to nickname water “blues drip,” a name invented by Porcellli as a tribute to the Blues winning the Stanley Cup.
Aside from managerial tasks, Jones said Porcelli’s biggest contribution to the team is “heart.”
“We could be losing zero to a bajillion thousand and he will walk up to every player and tell them that they played their hardest and that he’s proud of them,” Jones said.
Jones said the players now look to Joe to hype them up before games and are almost dependent on him. She credits the team’s success partially to Porcelli’s energy.
Porcelli himself said the first day he walked into the locker room, there was a change in energy and he wants that energy for the team.
“I want that energy for them to come from me,” Porcelli said. “I can bring my energy to them.”
Porcelli said his favorite part of managing the team is bringing water out to the players and talking to them. He said being on the field makes him feel like a part of the team.
After the fun he had working with the freshmen program, Porcelli said he decided to move up with the junior varsity and varsity team because all of his friends are on the varsity team.
“They respect me and I respect them,” Porcelli said.
Michael Stewart, head football coach, said Porcelli did a great job in the supportive role as manager for the freshman team last year. Porcelli approached Stewart about taking on a bigger step this year and joining the varsity program.
“You can’t turn down that kid,” Stewart said.
Stewart said Porcelli has great spirit and enthusiasm and puts everyone in a good mood everyday at practice.
“He loves being part of the program and we love having him around,” Stewart said.
Stewart said there was already a connection between Porcelli and the team because of his older brother Nico Porcelli, who played on the team in the 2016 season.
“Having him around more lightens the mood,” Stewart said. “It kinda lets you take a step back and realize some things aren’t so serious out on the football field and you can have a little fun at the same time.”
Middle linebacker and running back Matt Kadlec, senior, has known Porcelli for a long time because their older brothers were friends.
Kadlec said Porcelli’s positive energy is uplifting and he hypes everyone up, including the student section.
Kadlec said Porcelli is always running around, patting players on the shoulderpads, and offering them water. He even participates in warm ups sometimes.
“There’s always been waterboys or managers, but Joe sees that as a job, a big responsibility,” Kadlec said. “He’s always in it with us every step of the way.
Kadlec said it is difficult not to be in a good mood when around Porcelli. He said the successful season is made more meaningful because they are able to share it with Porcelli.
“I think everybody just sees him as another one of the guys and he’s friends with everybody,” Kadlec said. “It’s definitely a boost for the camaraderie of the team.”
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