By LORENZO RECUPERO
In preparation for the start of football across the city, Everett High School assistant football coach Ross Pietrantonio and a host of EHS football players helped facilitate a clinic for the Everett Crimson Tide Pop Warner program on Saturday.
Pietrantonio said the clinic is just the start of a renewed fo- cus on rebuilding a steady collaboration between EHS football and Everett Pop Warner. A dozen athletes, including Jayden Biggie, Jaylen Murphy, Darrion Green, Pedro Rodrigues, Carlos Rodrigues, Ricardo Abraham, JJ Costa, Joseph Turcios, Nick Raymond, Hector Guevara, Jaiden Coriano, and Ismael Zamor all lent a hand to the youth in attendance.
“This is just the beginning for building a bridge between the high school program and the Pop Warner system,” said Pietrantonio,” who along with his players helped run individual drills with the Pop Warner youth, from 1-on-1 coaching to cheering kids on as they ran their 40-yard dash.
“The kids had a blast, and it just shows that our high school student-athletes want to be more connected with the community and help get people excited for their upcoming season,” he said.
Football officially started on August 2 for both Everett High School and Pop
Warner programs, which made now the perfect time for EHS head coach Rob DiLoreto and Pietrantonio to bring the athletes together.
“Coach DiLoreto recently had a meeting with all the Pop Warner coaches to make sure everyone is on the same page and to talk about ideas on how we can continue to make this relation- ship stronger,” said Pietrantonio.
The clinic reminded him of his youth, as he recalled his time at EHS and the days when he and his football teammates would show support for youth athletes.
“We would go to practices and [Pop Warner] games on Sunday. During my years, a lot of Pop Warner kids would be the water boy during our high school games. They would come watch us practice and stuff,” said Pietrantonio, who hopes to bring back some Everett Football traditions this season.
“We are working on a few ideas to get everyone involved during game day,” he said. “Thinking back to when
I played Pop Warner, high school game day was the place to be. It was like a holiday for us…we would look on at the high school players almost like gods. Everyone’s dream was to play for coach Dibs at the high school,” said Pietrantonio.
“Everett Huskies vs. the Everett Eagles. It was like a breeding farm system for the high school,” he said. Everett now only has one youth football league and team, the Everett Crimson Tide Pop Warner program, which Pietrantonio plans to continue to work with more extensively moving forward.