This high school football coach’s epic pregame speech will give you chills
New York coaching legend Tony DeMatteo of Somers High School has been at the helm for 46 years and has a resume of coaching accomplishments that runs from Somers down to Manhattan (about 43 miles for our non-New Yorkers).
Of course DeMatteo takes the greatest pride in the players and leaders he's had the opportunity to shape in his program. Before Somers took on Yorktown on Saturday in the Section I-A title game, DeMatteo delivered a chill-inducing locker room with inspiration drawn from Winston Churchill, Roger Bannister, Napoleon Bonaparte and other historical figures. Listen to the speech below or watch it here via News 12 Varsity.
“I told you about Wyatt Earp, one of my heroes. They tried to run him out of Tombstone so what did he say? 'Kill 'em all. Kill 'em all.' So what I'm telling you is everything now it about the human soul. You have to reach down, reach down, and use that to fuel you to a great victory.
“Upon taking over as Prime Minister, Winston Churchill said, 'I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.' In urging his countryman to withstand the [German] invasion, and asking for help from the United States, he challenged the Germans by saying 'We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be…”
Are you ready to join me and run through a wall? Somers won the game 42-6 and will advance to play Cornwall Central in the state playoffs.
The NFL has previously recognized DeMatteo as a motivator. Here's the coach with some words on football and student-athletes:
At a time when the sport of football is under attack due to injuries, the Somers’ Football Program from the youth level to the high school level is flourishing in terms of participation.
The most important thing I do as a football coach is to try to develop a young man to become a good person who is successful whether they are the star of the team or a scout team player.
To many coaches, parents and players think the American dream is to get a college scholarship or to become a pro-player. I believe the true worth of playing the sport of football is teaching our players to be motivated their entire lives, to be successful in whatever career they choose and to be good citizens of this great country.