When asked by our local sports reporter to provide one word to describe each of our players selected to the 2018 Maple Shrine Sugar Bowl, I used the word “Selfless” to describe my son Shane.  While the word “Dynamic” would have suited him well for his athletic ability on the field, his greatest value to our team was his Selfless-ness.  He later shared with me he was somewhat disappointed in my choice of adjectives but changed his mind on his first day of Training Camp at the University of New England.  During a slide presentation to players and parents, Head Football Coach Mike Lichten, listed the characteristics they most desire in a Nor’easter football player.  There atop the list was the word “Selfless.”

My favorite definition of the word is as follows:  having little or no concern for oneself, especially regarding fame, position, etc.  Perhaps no position in football, or athletics for that matter, better exemplifies selflessness like the offensive line.  The sole purpose of their job is to make others successful and all they concern themselves with is doing their job.  Their only rewards are the team’s success and the brotherhood they develop working together in anonymity.

2019-09-05 StJ-OLine

This season is a rare treat for me as an offensive line coach.  Never in my 30+ years coaching offensive line, have I ever had the pleasure of coaching five returning starters.  As we have noted throughout the summer’s posts regarding the evolution of teambuilding, we’ve been striving to cultivate interdependence and the understanding that together, we will always be more powerful than any of us could be alone. These gentlemen embrace their interdependence, recognize their collective strength, and pledge their very best to each other and their teammates. Their ability to work together, speak in a language only they understand, and have each other’s backs will propel others to achieve levels of success and local fame while they remain loyal, dependable, and most of all; selfless.

Coach Rich Alercio is available to discuss coaching philosophy, X’s & O’s, or teach his O-Line “techniques in the trenches.” Contact Coach at and share with your colleagues and friends. Thanks for supporting this blog and joining our conversations, and as always, thanks for your time!

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