Generally, the transition from high school to college athletics is marked with new faces: the teammates you once toiled with are scattered all over the country to different schools and different teams, and you’re left to forge new connections. While this is often a positive experience, it’s undoubtedly jarring, and the few instances where teammates stay together can make the assimilation process markedly easier.
Such was the case for two of the captains for the 2010 Trinity College football team. Three autumns ago, Matthew Santora and Francois Auzerais left the familiar confines of Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut, and arrived at Trinity College for preseason. According to Coach Jeff Devanney, he had high expectations for the duo from the start: “We knew when we recruited them that we were getting two football players who understood what it takes in the off-season to prepare for football. “
Santora and Auzerais have not disappointed. Both economics majors and roommates, you might think they would have gotten sick of one another by now, but they insist that’s not the case. According to Santora, “We were always close growing up and in high school,” and that closeness has continued into college and translated into a lot of on-field success.
In the three previous seasons Santora and Auzerais have played Trinity football, the Bantams have gone 20-4, including an 8-0 NESCAC title finish in 2008, which Santora cites as his favorite memory of playing with Auzerais.
Coach Devanney fully expects a continuation of past success this season: “I expect them to be All-NESCAC type of players their senior year. Matt has been all-league the last two years, which is quite an accomplishment, while Francois has been one of our most consistent playmakers on defense. They both work very hard studying the game and their opponents.”
When asked about such accolades, Auzerais and Santora will only focus on team-wide goals. While Auzerais is focusing on the big picture, “We have been working very hard this preseason and expect to win the league title and go undefeated,” Santora is looking at things from a step-by-step perspective. “Our goal every year is to win the NESCAC title,” he said, “Last year going 6-2 was very disappointing. This year we need to work harder than ever and focus on going 1-0 every week.”
With Auzerais and Santora helping to lead this team, it is clear that such ambitious goals are within reach. According to Coach Devanney, Auzerais and Santora “have embraced our program and are great examples of what we want our players to be. They are good students, well rounded off the field, and are outstanding football players.” Trinity is putting a very strong team on the field this season, and their strength of character can only help their prospects. It’s hard to improve much when 6-2 is a “down year,” but this group is determined. The 2010 season should be a fun one to watch.