BREWSTER – After spending most of last season watching from the sideline and waiting for a foot injury to heal, Justin Cavallo is grateful to be in the middle of the action this fall.
He’s not especially good at standing around.
Cavallo quickly filled a need for Yorktown, stepping in at middle linebacker and replacing the graduated Timmy Forbes. He went into Friday night’s Section 1 Class A quarterfinal at Brewster with a team-high 42 tackles.
It’s hard to imagine there was any competition for the spot.
“Justin’s an intense kid, a gamer,” Huskers coach Mike Rescigno said. “To play middle linebacker in a 4-3 defense you have to have some reckless abandon. Justin has a high level of energy and he’s fun to watch.”
He’s a little stubborn, too, in a good way.
“It’s awesome,” Cavallo said of the opportunity. “I think middle linebacker is the best position on the field. When the ball is snapped, you literally go right to it. You have to love to hit, and that’s something I’ve loved since I was little. It’s the best part of the game. It’s a place where you have to be constantly talking, and that’s something I can do.
“I love that they put me there.”
On the other side of the ball, the junior plays guard. He came into the season with plenty of experience in big games after starting on Yotktown’s lacrosse team, and is committed to Albany.
“We kind of make a living on kids like that,” Rescigno said. “They’re athletic, but they’re also playing a different brand of competition. I love it because it’s so important to get out there and enjoy everything.”
Cavallo has a legit game face, but he isn’t always dead serious.
“Justin has his share of fun,” Rescigno added. “He knows how to laugh. Banging into people is his idea of a good time. Justin enjoys all of what this game has to offer. He sets the bar with his intensity, but Justin even keeps the coaches loose. It’s a good thing to have.”
When the Huskers need a little comic relief, he is likely to pick up something a coach says and run with it.
“Coming off to the losses against Rye and Somers, those Monday practices were miserable,” Cavallo said. “Nobody wanted to be there. Once we got to the defensive part of practice, I lightened things up. We lost. It wasn’t the end of the world and we still had a chance to win the section. Playing this game, you have to have fun.”