Staples quarterback Brandon Pacilio is in New York right now, having the ankle he broke in Saturday’s 40-0 win over Warren Harding examined by the Jets’ team doctor. In a best-case scenario, Pacilio, a senior, could return in four weeks.
Right now the 6-0 Wreckers are standing confidently behind Pacilio’s backup, Keith Gelman, who they believe will prove to be an effective relief pitcher who can close out a game, or in this case a season.
Gelman is a senior who has been playing on special teams.
“He’s been waiting a long time for this opportunity,” Staples coach Marce Petroccio said. “He worked hard in the offseason. He has an opportunity and he’s excited to take advantage of it.”
Pacilio was injured early in the second quarter on the Presidents’ muddy field, with Staples out in front, 7-0, at the time.
“He was running with the ball and a kid fell on his leg,” Petroccio said. “It’s hard to see on film. I don’t think the field conditions helped, but I don’t think you can say they contributed to it. It’s just a shame for a kid who has worked this hard as a captain and done so much for the program.”
The Wreckers have taken the right mental approach to the situation. They are rallying around Gelman rather than acting like their season has been endangered.
“In a sense this has brought us together,” Petroccio said. “This is a really close team, and Brandon is going to meet with Keith and tutor him.”
Don’t think for a second that the Wreckers’ championship hopes have ended. There does not appear to be an overly dominant team in the league, they have a strong defense, and while you never look past any opponent, with Ludlowe, Wilton and Trumbull on tap the next three weeks, Gelman should have the chance to get proper seasoning before the Thanksgiving Day game with Greenwich, which could have considerable postseason implications, perhaps even for the FCIAC championship.