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Senior captain Patrick DaSilva played an integral role for the North Haven football squad on the offensive and defensive lines and also made an impact as a blocking back. (Photo courtesy of Patrick DaSilva )
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Patrick DaSilva brought tremendous versatility to the North Haven football team. A senior captain, Patrick played on the offensive and defensive lines before sliding into the backfield to become a blocking running back during the recent fall season. Now, with his final campaign behind him, Patrick is reflecting on the journey that he took as a football player.
After playing several games as the blocking back, Patrick got his chance to carry the ball when the Indians faced Amity in their season finale. Patrick took the ball over the goal line for a 1-yard touchdown run to help North Haven earn a 49-13 victory versus the Spartans.
“My last game I got two carries and I got one for a touchdown. It felt amazing,” says Patrick. “I never thought it would happen in my career. I always played the line. It took me a while to adjust, and my coach said he had a play for me if the O-line blocked. They all rallied around me. The boys were all there to celebrate with me. I loved it.”
Patrick stepped into a captain’s role as a senior and embraced that role wholeheartedly. Patrick liked to help set the standard for the rest of the team.
“I took a lot of pride in it. I didn’t see myself as a captain, just someone who contributed to the game as much as possible. When I got the title, I felt proud that I was doing something right for my team.” Patrick says. “I thought my job was to show my teammates how to be a leader. Show the kids that I’m here to play and that I care about this team. Show the young guys how it should be done.”
Patrick started playing football when he was in 7th grade. After going through some growing pains, he really committed himself to becoming the best football player he could be.
“At first, I thought I was going to quit, but I stuck with it and grew such a great friendship with the guys on my team,” says Patrick. “Now that my football career is over, I know I played to my best potential. I didn’t take a play off, and I hope my teammates could see that I did that, too.”
At 175 pounds, Patrick is a little undersized for a lineman. However, Patrick was able to use that mismatch to his advantage.
“As a blocker, I get my max potential by moving my feet. That person in front of me got everything I had. On defense, I didn’t have a specific move. I dip and rip, throw a swim move in there,” Patrick says. “Knowing I had a smaller frame than most, I would try to get under a guy, because I have quick feet. I carried the attitude that whoever I was blocking was getting hit hard by me.”
Head Coach Anthony Sagnella appreciates the different dimensions that Patrick brought to his squad. Sagnella also feels that Patrick’s influence as a captain was just as important as his physical impact on the field.
“Patrick started his junior year as a center for us, and we felt that he had a lot of versatility and a lot of athleticism. He’s very strong for his size, and he’s an extremely physical player. His strength, his speed, and his physicality overcame the fact that he’s not the biggest guy on the field,” says Sagnella. “You always look for certain qualities in your leaders. One of the most important is to lead by example. That was Pat. Nobody worked harder in practice or in games or in the weight room than Pat DaSilva. He always displayed a positive attitude, regardless of the circumstances.”
Patrick is looking to continue playing football in college if possible. Patrick knows that this his time as an athlete is limited, and he wants to maximize his chances of hitting the gridiron at the next level.
“I’m planning on going to college. I was focused on the education and getting everything done, but thinking about how much I’ve been lifting and working, I want to take a shot at playing in college,” Patrick says. “There are a couple of Division III schools looking at me and, if I can play, I would like to play.”
Looking back at his career at North Haven, Patrick feels grateful for everything that he learned as a member of the Indians’ football team.
“Now that I can reflect, I wouldn’t take anything back. We were working together and, toward the end of the season, we showed people we could work together,” says Patrick. “Throughout my four years, I picked up that you have to be reliable. That’s what I try to bring to my game.”
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