The Cranston East football team will field one of the younger squads in Division I this season, as only 10 seniors are set to play for the Thunderbolts.
Although the Bolts will have a young roster on paper, they do return a handful of key members from last year’s group and hope to see 2019 be more of a reloading year than a rebuilding one.
“We’re young, we’re very young with just 10 seniors. We’re young, but we do have some experience, including our guys up front on the line so that’ll be our strength,” said East head coach Tom Centore. “Omar Reyes is a four-year starter, Coty Lietar is another four-year starter, Colin McGuinness is a three-year starter, we just got our center back in Elyjahdae Lamy, we’ll be relying on them. We also have both our running backs back in Andrew Amoako and Terrence Souvannasing and Eric Thomas, our wide receiver.”
Centore has been happy with the leadership that the small senior class has shown while also being impressed with the talent of the underclassmen that are competing for roles each day.
“(The upperclassmen) have been really good and have worked really hard … it’s a no-nonsense group. The young kids are ready to go, we have a few kids that played as sophomores who will be ready as juniors this season. They’re working hard and are hungry to play, we have a lot of jobs open which makes it even better. They’re not satisfied with where they are,” said Centore, who fully expects the Bolts to be right back in the thick of things in the Division I playoffs. “I think that we can be a competitive team because of our guys up front and because we have our running backs back. We have talent and experience coming back, we just need to piece it all together. We never want to go into the season (calling) it a rebuilding year, we hope to be a competitive playoff team, that’s our goal.”
The Bolts look to turn heads this year and prove that they still belong with the top teams in the division. They are also excited to introduce some new players to the roster and to continue to build for the future, which looks to be bright.
“I think that this will be a better team in 2020, but we still expect to be competitive this season,” said Centore. “We’re not a team that’s going to fold, you never want that. We just need to keep working hard and get better. We will be on the road to start the season against two very good teams, but that’s fine with us. You need to do what you’ve got to do.”