PORT CHESTER, N.Y. – Nolkens Francois knew what he and his Port Chester teammates needed to do in preparation for the 2012 high school football season.
“We needed to get into the weight room,” said the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Francois, who will start at guard and linebacker. “Last year, we felt we didn’t have a good turnout in the weight room.”
Francois, a senior and a captain, made sure the returning players were pumping iron during the off season. As a result, Port Chester is prepared physically for the 2012 season, he said. The Rams will host Spring Valley Sept. 7 in their season opener.
Along with the added attention to weight lifting, Port Chester came into camp in better shape. Francois said that many of the players ran a lot during the off season.
“Guys came back for practice yesterday in good shape,” Francois said. “We were in a lot better shape than we were last year.”
The Rams, who were a young team in 2011, return a veteran core, led by Francois and three-year starter Jason Ippolito. Leo Evangelista will join Francois on the offensive line, Trevor Chambliss returns at running back and Mike Iantorno will line up at wide receiver. Junior Kyle Drummond is the Rams’ quarterback.
Francois said the team had a productive first day Friday, and was ahead of where it was last year on day one.
“We had a lot of guys moving up from JV to varsity last year so it was new,” Francois said. “Our plays were good, the way we ran them.”
The Rams struggled with their inexperience and went 2-6 last year. Francois knows the experience gained last year will help the Rams this year.
“We have a good work ethic at practice and we need to continue doing what we need to do at practice,” Francois said. “We feel we are heading on the right path and we feel we can have a good season this year.”