November 8, 2007
By Stephen Polsinelli, Schenectady, NY

I started playing football when I was in 3th grade and I really liked playing. The first team I was on was called Guilderland Pop Warner Mighty Mites. We had a great year and I was hooked on football. Might Mites is the youngest level of contact football. Where we play and practice is at Nott Road. Most people refer to our field as the “ Stinky Field”. Why? The field is near the Guilderland Sewage Treatment Plant. The smell some nights is so bad you want to throw up.

Over the past 4 years I have had two main coaches, coach Dukes and coach Gallo. I was number nine my first year. I started at center and nosegard. Since it was my first year, I did not understand the game very well. I didn't know how to tackle or how to block. I didn't know the running lanes or defensive rushing lanes. I didn't know how to pull. I guess I really didn't know the game. But that was all about to change. When we got to week 1 or 2, I knew how to do everything from blocking to knowing the rushing lanes. On defense it was like taking candy from a baby. I would blow right by or literly knock the center right in to the QB. Our defense was really good. Only one team scored on us the whole year. It was Colonie who scored on us and they scored one touchdown. We went undefeated that year 8-0 for the season. After our last game, the coaches invited the team to Pizza
Gram. We had a really great time. Our coaches always encouraged us to do our best. I thought we were the luckiest team, because coach Dukes played college football and went pro to play on the Pittsburgh's steelers. Coach Gallo played hight school football. So, between the two of them, I learned a lot of really great football moves. We had our team party at Sunset Lanes and we got personalized hats and bobble head trophies.

The next year I started on Guilderland Jr. Pee Wee. The second youngest group in Pop Warner. I got switched to number 24. I scored one touchdown the whole season. It was at the last game. I tried out to be a running back. I was really slow so I was a fullback. I stunk trying out for it in training camp. I always thought coach was going to take me off of fullback. I was in the same defensive position from last year. It was a lot harder to do what I did last year. Coach put me on second string defense and offense. I really wasn't good that year. As the season went on, I never stopped trying to do better. I finally made it to “Red”. The team went 7-1 for the regular season and lost to Ballston Spa on week 2 in the fourth overtime. We went all the way to the “Super Bowl” and lost. Rotterdam scored with one second left on the clock. I felt real bad. One month later we had the banquet at the Marriott. This was a really great season.

This year the Guilderland Pee Wee team finished 3-5. The team has the same coaches and the same players. This year I was ten times better than last year. I played full back, half back, and I am a linebacker, too. I am the fastest one on the team. I can hit so much harder. I had a lot of great games this year. The game that we really needed to keep our hopes alive for the playoffs was the Green County. We won in overtime. On fourth down with one yard to go I ran it in for a touchdown. Earlier in the season I scored my first touchdown on the second game. I also put a guy out on a big hit. He threw up when he went to the side line. The next day at practice, I heard that I broke the kids collar bone, gave him a concussion and broke his three ribs. I didn't stop scoring touchdowns or didn't stop giving big hits. A lot of kids on my team were afraid to hit me. Afraid to tackle me too. I was the leading person in touchdowns as a running back with four. I had six sacks this season and a lot of tackles. The last game was the muddiest dirtiest game I've ever played. You wouldn't be able to see my number. I had dirt in my mouth and hair. I even had it in my water bottle. We faced South Troy. We lost thirteen to fourteen. I scored my fourth touchdown that game and got my sixth sack. I believe that if you put your mind to it and believe no one can stop you, you will succeed. It will happen because I started out real slow and weak last year and now I am one of the best players on the field. I believe the impossible—is nothing.

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