For senior Darren Gasparri it’s just another season playing starting quarterback. But this year he is also the captain, which comes with a lot of responsibility.
During practice, the captain makes sure to set up drills and keep the team motivated. One way Gasparri keeps everyone motivated is constantly speaking of the community around them.
“When you live in a small community like we do, having a good image is really important,” said Gasparri. “That is what I try to tell the guys on the team to make sure they are doing everything for their community.”
Advice from his mentors and peers helps him lead the team and his playing career in the right direction.
“Coach Lato is very big on reps (repetition),” said Gasparri. “He wants us to get one percent better every day and he’s so big into that and that has rubbed off on me.”
Gasparri also has a very good knack for memorizing plays.
“We rep them out so many times that they are just in my head constantly.”
Games can be very stressful especially when you are captain and quarterback. Gasparri mentions how he prepares for a game to make sure he will be focused and start off a good season.
“Before leaving for games and on the bus, I like to sit with my headphones on blasting music to get in the zone.”
Being named captain takes time and dedication.
“I believe I was named captain because I have the best relationship with our coach and anything he thinks I am thinking about too. Coach does not even need to tell me what to do; I know what he wants and I just go out there and do it.”
Photo by Maddy Harte.