Chicopee High football seeing success on and off the gridiron

Chicopee High football seeing success on and off the gridiron
Published: Nov. 12, 2022 at 12:20 AM EST
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CHICOPEE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - The Chicopee High School football’s winning ways are extending beyond the field.

“You have got to be punctual, put the work ethic in, you got to listen, you have to be coachable,” said Chicopee High School head football coach Alex Efstratios.

Leading the way for Chicopee High is Efstratious, who told Western Mass News that his job is setting up his student-athletes for success after high school.

“If you work hard, do the right thing, be respectful to everyone, and you do the right thing every day, that carries on to the field and everyday life,” Efstratious added.

It has been working on the field so far this season with a 5-2 record. Efstratios said it’s not the winning though that has kept him coaching for over 30 years.

“Taking a kid who could not put a helmet on or put it on the wrong way or did not know how to put the equipment on, and have those kids turn out to be All Western Mass. players, that’s rewarding to me and my coaching staff,” Efstratious explained.

Jahiem Thompson, a senior captian who plays on both sides of the line, told Western Mass News that playing football is therapeutic for him.

“I feel like it’s my getaway. When I play football, everything else zones out,” Thompson said.

Thompson told us he is a vocal leader and makes sure the team never gets too high or too low.

“One thing I like about our team is that we keep each other accountable. We make sure that if someone is down, we are going to make sure to go, as a team, and pick them up,” Thompson added.

Senior running back Jareem Garvin told us his passion for football comes from the comradery.

“A lot of other sports, you can have one great player and he can make the team phenomenal and that’s all you need. Football, you need your full team in it, playing together, and being able to cooperate to be successful as a team…We hang out a lot. We are like a big family. If you see one of us, you are going to see the whole team pretty much,” Garvin said.

The biggest game of the year is the annual ‘Sword Game’ against crosstown rivals, Chicopee Comp.

“We are definitely getting that sword back, for sure,” Thompson said.

You can catch the ‘Sword Game’ at Chicopee Comp on Thanksgiving at 10:15 a.m.