Izayah Ciarcia, Newington footballâ€™s all-conference wide receiver, effortlessly shuns opportunities to discuss his personal accolades, evading each individually-charged question as if it were an opponentâ€™s secondary standing between himself and the end zone.
For Ciarcia, his own stat line is nothing without the collective unit that helps put it all together.
â€śIf the line is blocking and everyoneâ€™s doing their job, it doesnâ€™t matter who is scoring,â€ť Ciarcia said.
Ciarcia did plenty of scoring last season, including a three touchdown performance against Bristol Central. But in the eyes of Ciarcia and head coach Jason Pace, those touchdowns donâ€™t happen without the other three senior wideouts and junior quarterback Nick Pestrichello drawing attention from the defense. The entire receiver unit remains intact for one more season, with Pestrichello orchestrating the offense, and the Indians are excited to see what another year of experience does for their passing game, not just Ciarcia.
â€śWith Izayah and Nick back, theyâ€™ve been playing well together for some time now,â€ť Pace said. â€śIzayah was our top receiver last year, but teams canâ€™t sleep on the other guys we have. We lost a running back and a dominant lineman, but weâ€™re tweaking our schemes to fit our strengths.â€ť
The loss of all-conference back Dylan Nees-Fair to graduation and all-conference lineman Rasheed Patterson to transfer could set any offense back, but Pace is excited to see how the offense flows through its key senior pieces this year.
â€śIâ€™m expecting big years out of all those guys,â€ť senior offensive lineman Mike Maslauskas said. â€śIâ€™ve been with them for years, and Iâ€™m ready to show what we have and show what weâ€™re going to be.â€ť
Ciarcia is set to put up another productive season, but it wonâ€™t be on his own. If his numbers are among the best in the conference, itâ€™s only because his fellow seniors helped him get there. Besides, the only number heâ€™s truly focused on is the win total.
â€śWe just want to have a way better season and make the playoffs,â€ť Ciarcia said. â€śWe have the pieces to do it. We just have to make it work.â€ť
Ryan Chichester can be reached at (860) 801-5094 or firstname.lastname@example.org