Somers senior Nick Gargiulo is an offensive and defensive tackle on the varsity football team. He's also a member of the boys basketball squad.
How old were you when you started playing football and how did you get started?
I began playing football in third grade. I got started and learned the game from my youth coaches.
Coming off a state championship, how high are the team's expectations this season?
As a team we obviously want to get back to the Carrier Dome. However like coach (Tony) DeMatteo always tells us we have to take things one practice at a time and make sure we are putting in the work that our goal requires.
Personally, how much have you developed as a player from your sophomore season until now?
Since my sophomore season I have definitely developed physically, but more importantly I have developed mentally. I feel that coming into the season I am much more knowledgeable about not only my assignments but the assignments for positions around me.
As a senior on the team, how much do you value being a leader?
Being a leader on the team is a very important role. I enjoy helping the younger guys on the team because I remember how helpful the seniors were to me when I was a sophomore, so it's nice to pass on the help.
The team returns the majority of its defense but has some holes to fill on the offensive side of the ball, specifically at running back with Messiah Horne and wide receiver with Matt Pires. That duo scored the majority of your touchdowns last season. Do you think the team will be able to make up for that offensive production?
Messiah and Matt were obviously great players, however I believe we will absolutely to be able to make up their production. Our team operates with a next man up mentality and I think that applies in this situation. Keep an eye out for breakout production from guys like Rob Fazzinga and Justin Lancaster.
What has it been like to be able to play for coach Tony DeMatteo and what have you learned from him over the years?
Being able to play for coach D is truly an honor. As a coach he not only cares about you as a player but as a person. This being my third year playing under coach, I would say he has taught me most how to live my life deliberately and make the most out of everything I do.
What is your favorite team activity, pregame or postgame ritual that you share with your teammates?
Before games, coach Dematteo's speeches are something special to share as teammates.
Who has been your biggest role model over the years and what have you learned from them?
My mother has easily been my biggest role model. She taught me and my brothers what hard work can do for you, and she attacks every day with a positive attitude.
Tell us one thing about yourself that not a lot of people know?
I'm the best word hunt player in Somers.
You recently committed to Yale. What made Yale stand out for you and ultimately decide to go there?
I decided to commit to Yale because of the overall feel I got when visiting the school. The football program, campus and education made it an easy decision for me.
Do you know what you want to study in college? If yes, what and why?
I want to study business entrepreneurship because I've always wanted to run my own business.
Who is your favorite professional athlete and pro or college sports team?
My favorite athlete is Aaron Judge and my favorite sports team is the Washington Redskins.
What is your favorite music to listen to warming up for a game?
Whatever my teammates decide to put on the speaker.
If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?
Time travel so I could go back and enjoy things twice.
If you could pick one place to visit on vacation that you’ve never been to, where would you go and why?
I would go to Italy and see if the food is all it's hyped up to be.
What is your favorite food to eat before or after a game?
A nice Blazin Buffalo from Froggy's (Deli) after a win always hits the spot.
Best place to eat around Somers and why?
Bliss, you can always get something new to eat.
Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? Why?
Twitter because it's constantly updating with something new.
For a young athlete growing up in Somers, what would you tell them about the experience of being part of the football program and why should they go out for the team?
Playing football in Somers is an opportunity of a lifetime. The skills you learn from football can be applied to not only the field but to the classroom, in relationships and mostly everything you do in life. Keep working hard and you will able to enjoy all the benefits football has to offer.