First memory of running onto Kottmeyer Field?
It was incredible. Coming out of the tunnel with the noise behind you, there is absolutely nothing in the world that compares to that. Having your closest friends and family in the stands, packed on a Friday night to watch you play football is one of the best feelings in the world. Cherish it!!!
Memories from Blue & Gold Camp?
I remember coaching guys like Dan Chisena, seeing how fast he was as a fourth grader just to see him cook all the way to the NFL! Loved seeing the growth and development from players from Blue and Gold to playing for D East.
Biggest win you were involved in?
I think the biggest win I was involved in was against Glen Mills, where I caught two touchdowns to help us beat them. It was one of the greatest memories of my football career!
What accomplishments are you most proud of?
From a football standpoint, I am most proud of being a starting varsity football player, got to play with some of my best friends, and kept most of those relationships over the years. I always had a fascination for football that I still carry today. But overall, I am most proud of all of the people I got to meet and share my high school football experience with. To put it in perspective, you only get an experience like high school football once in your life. I played college football for a short stint, and as I said before, nothing compares to seeing and playing with your best friends on a Friday night at Kottmeyer.
What is one thing Downingtown Football taught you that you carry with you today?
Discipline. Especially going into science, football taught me the importance of consistency, effort, and perseverance. I have a lifelong obsession with watching and analyzing football, but I think the moral standards Coach Matta held us to were most important to me. The concepts of listening, giving 100% effort on every play, and following through with your word by being a reliable human being are what I carry from football. Listen to your coaches! They know what they're talking about.
Funniest thing you can remember as a player?
Funniest thing I can remember is when one of my teammates forgot his jersey in the locker room and did not realize until we were at the away field. He was so mad that he had to wear number 98 and play wide receiver that night.
Favorite Class and/or Teacher?
My favorite teacher was Mr. Williamson. He was my ninth or tenth grade math teacher and was such an incredibly enthusiastic guy that just loved to teach. He’s an inspiration for anyone teaching STEM courses to grumpy teenagers.
How did your involvement in athletics aid in the path that you chose?
I think my football career directly affected my life going into biomedical sciences. I actually ended up playing two years of football at Catholic University of America before hanging up the cleats to join a laboratory. This is where I got my first glimpse of independent research and decided I wanted to pursue academic research after undergrad. So interestingly enough, giving up football brought me to my true passion. But what I learned along the way, in terms of my own mental capacities, and the aspects of discipline and pure effort, football has been integral to my growth to where I am today.
Funniest teammate and why…
Dillan Martin; the guy was just always clowning everyone. A HELL of a linebacker, but at the same time always was making someone laugh, which sometimes resulted in pissing the coaches off!
What saying or phrase do you still hear in your head?
"Have some pride in the program!" or "you are mentally weak!"
What was your favorite non-athletic activity at Downingtown?
Going to other athletic events like the hockey games were always so fun. Being the spectator and getting to see all my friends play their respective sports was always a blast.
Where are you living now and what are you doing?
I currently live in Worcester, Massachusetts, where I am pursuing my PhD in Biomedical Sciences from University of Massachusetts Medical School. I am studying mitochondria and how the cell can get rid of/recycle toxic mitochondria, which can have broad implications in neurodegenerative and metabolic diseases. I am in my second of a five-year program, where I hope to go into an industry position in biomedical consulting.
Last time at a game?
I think 2014, where I saw D East play Coatesville. If my memory serves me correctly, we won that game!
I wish I knew this when I played…
Don't skip the easy reps. Just because coach isn't looking doesn't mean you half ass a workout. Those reps are what make you great; and I so wish I had not slacked the way I slacked. Which goes back to this: high school football is a precious and incredible time. Take everything in, no matter how brutal those two-a-days in August are. Those days will end faster than you know it, so just give it all you got every damn play, every damn practice. The coaches will notice.
What would you like to share to the current and future Downingtown Football players?
Just keep grinding guys. I was not a star
football player by any means; no way. I did not have the pure strength or speed like other guys on the team. But I listened, I ran good routes, I played smart. Do the little things and your time will come. To those fringe guys out there, don't give up on yourself. Just because you're not as fast, doesn't mean that the fastest guy on the team can remember all the plays correctly. Master what you are good at and keep striving for what you ultimately want. Coach Matta WILL notice and he WILL give you a shot. Just keep chipping away, it’s all worth it in the end. And to reiterate what I’ve said before, DONT TAKE IT FOR GRANTED. There is no other experience like what you guys have right now. Soak it in, it’ll be over before you know it. Enjoy it and go cougars!! I look forward to hearing how you guys do this year.