St. Paul aiming to be the best football team in town

Published on Thursday, 1 September 2022 16:34
Written by Serenity Bishop


St. Paul Catholic High School is looking to rebound this season after the team struggled to find any consistency on the field last year. The Falcons ended the year 2-8, but instead of hanging their heads entering this season they are using their previous record as motivation as well as their in-town rivalry.

Team leader Erik Suzio said as much as people say to focus and not pay attention to outside noise, it has a way of squeezing in. He said with three schools in town it is natural to use the other schools as motivation and what they don’t want to do is be the “worst team in town, which we were last year.”

“We had a meeting at the end of the season last year to address the elephant in the room that we weren’t good,” Suzio said. “No one is going to sugar code that. Some people like to say it was a rebuilding year, but we just weren’t any good flat out and this year we have no excuses.”

Suzio said while there were some negatives last season, like with the chemistry between coaches and players, the team has already responded in a good way and are looking to build off of last year. He said the team last year was young, but always put in the effort. Now, they have come back bigger, faster, stronger and even more dedicated.

“The fact that we were lacking in the win department pushes us to want to be great everyday and that’s in the weight room, the classroom, the field and even when we’re together,” he said. “We have to hold ourselves to a higher standard.”

Fellow offensive linemen Arden Polverari said another motivating factor for this year is to be able to walk with pride as they walk throughout school. He said often they had to walk around school knowing they just took a really big loss, but they are aiming to be able to walk with their heads high.

“You can already tell that the team has a different mentality than last year,” Polverari said. “We’re coming out stronger. We’re already better than we were. We just have to be ready to fight. We don’t want to be looked at the same as last year.”

St. Paul coach Joseph Cianciolo said he has also seen a difference in the team heading into the new season. He said the energy is different and from the older guys down there’s been a shift in the mentality.

He said they just have to keep it going throughout the season.

“I’m really positive about the season coming up,” Cianciolo said. “The guys have worked hard all summer with that chip on their shoulder of last year. For a lot those guys it was their first year of experience football. They learned from it, we learned from it as a coaching staff and now we’re ready to show the improvements that we’ve made.

St. Paul kicks off its season at home on Sept. 8 against Seymour at 6:30 p.m.

Cianciolo said this year is all about continuing to build the program from the ground up and progressively get better each day.  Suzio furthered echoed the statement believing that as seniors they are looking to leave St. Paul on a better note than when they found it. 

“They’re fueled and fired up to show that 2-8 is not ready to stay,” Cianciolo said. 

Posted in The Bristol Press, St. Paul on Thursday, 1 September 2022 16:34. Updated: Thursday, 1 September 2022 16:36.