Finetti continues to help football knights

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Finetti continues to help football knights

By Frankie Rizzo, Sports Editor

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This season, the West Essex football team has six senior captains, the most captains ever in the head coaching tenure of Coach Chris Benacquista. Within five of those captains, there is a quarterback, two running backs and two wide receivers, the playmakers of the team. But that sixth captain is a two-way starter on the offensive and defensive line, and his name is Michael Finetti.

Finetti has been playing football for 11 years, and although he  rarely touches the ball, he has been a vital part of his team’s success in each of those 11 years. Last season, Finetti started off by getting a few plays at defensive end for the varsity squad, but eventually found his way on the other side of the ball, being put in at center during Week 3 of the regular season.

“The move was a shocking one to say the least,” Finetti said in a Oct. 8 interview. “Before that happened I was the backup guard, so not only was I being pushed into the varsity lineup, I had to learn a whole new position in less than a week.”

After a few rocky starts early in the season, Finetti got comfortable in his new position and helped lead the team to a state championship. His strong performances helped gain him votes from his teammates to become captain this season.

Currently, Finetti is sidelined with a shoulder injury. Before the injury, he started at center once again along with starting at defensive end. He aims to return right before playoff time.

“I’m in the trainer every day trying to recover and regain strength in my shoulder,” Finetti said. “Right now I’m just rooting on my replacements to do their best in my absence, but I definitely want to back for the postseason.”

Throughout the last year, Finetti has gained some interests from several Division III colleges to play football. Playing college ball has always been an interest to Finetti and is something he is going to consider while applying to schools within the next few months.

“My dad played quarterback at TCNJ many years ago, and to follow in his footsteps by playing in college would just be an awesome feeling,” he said.

Even though he may be overshadowed by the highly talented skill players of his team, proud lineman captain Michael Finetti makes his mark on and off the field.

“Coach always says how people like Perez and Lemanski are going to get the headlines in the paper,” he said, “but all I truly care how I can help the team reach its full potential.”