SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Football teammates since fourth grade, Tommy Zappavigna and Michael Paolello weren’t ready to hang up the blue and gold when they graduated from Mahopac High School in 2016.

So, they continued their playing careers at Western New England University, whose team colors bear a striking resemblance to the ones used by their hometown teams.

Zappavigna and Paolello just finished their fourth season playing for the Division III team based out of Springfield, Mass., where they played on four conference championship teams (2016: New England Football Conference; 2017, 2018, 2019: Commonwealth Coast Conference).

Zappavigna, a tackle, majored in criminal justice, and Paolello, a long snapper, majored in civil engineering.