The first thing opposing teams and fans notice about the Bangor High School football team is its sheer size – both roster size and physical stature.
No one epitomizes that latter characteristic more than senior tackle Robert Seccareccia.
He’s slimmed down a bit from mid-August, the natural result of a long season of trench warfare. But at 6-foot-81/4, 296 pounds, Seccareccia still stands tall among one of Class A’s top lines.
Yet he’s aware size isn’t everything when it comes to winning the battles up front
“My dad always said that being big and not having quick feet is bad, because if you can’t move then you’re not good for anything on the line,” said Seccareccia. “So he’d always have me play basketball or wrestle just to improve my feet, and it’s helped a lot because I might be big but I can also be faster and get to places quicker.”
Seccareccia’s dad should know. Bob Seccareccia played offensive tackle at Syracuse and Rhode Island, and after graduation went to New England Patriots preseason camp.
In fact, the family is steeped in football tradition. Robert Seccareccia’s uncle, Ray Wood, played fullback at Maine during the late 1980s, and three of his brothers are up-and-coming players in the Bangor system.
Seccareccia wouldn’t mind following in the collegiate footsteps of his father and uncle, and is drawing some recruiting interest.
Those recruiters see his 6-81/4, 296 pounds, his play on the field in helping the Rams to a 6-1 record entering Friday’s game against Oxford Hills of South Paris, and his untapped potential.
For Seccareccia really has played just two years of varsity football.
After growing up in the Bangor Youth Football system, Seccareccia spent his first two years of high school at Calvary Chapel in Orrington, where he played on a fledgling JV team while his father was the principal there.
As a junior he transferred to Bangor, and had to ratchet up his game to make the transition from startup program to Class A power.
“In the first couple of games, he was exhausted because of the speed of the game, but he began to get used to it,” said Bangor coach Mark Hackett.
Seccareccia had a decent junior year for the Rams, but came back to the team this season much more physically prepared for Pine Tree Conference play.
“I pushed myself because since I was a senior, I felt like I could contribute more to the team,” he said. “I felt like I should push myself harder because it was my last year of playing high school football. It just motivated me more.”
Seccareccia admits that being one of the biggest guys in a big man’s world can test one’s work ethic.
“I have to fight that a lot because I’m kind of lazy,” he said, “but I work hard when I put myself to it, and this year I’ve tried to work a lot harder because I see the goal and I’m trying to get toward it.
“The goal is the state championship, and I’ve worked out all summer and lifted weights and ran to get ready.”
The product of that preparation is not lost on opposing teams that sometimes double- or triple-team him, or on his coach.
“He’s big and athletic enough, and he’s good enough,” said Hackett. “He’s just starting to come into his athleticism, and his conditioning is really starting to work for him. He can be a handful.”
A really big handful.
Ernie Clark may be reached at 990-8045, 1-800-310-8600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.