An Interview With Pat LaBelle: Class of 2018
By Vicky Revanche
When was the first time you played you played football?
So, the first time I played football was in sixth grade. I had always played soccer before then, but I totally was just not made to be a soccer player. But my parents were always been like, “oh, we don’t want you to burn out, we don’t want you to not like it when you get older”. So then sixth grade is when I made the move from soccer to football.
Why did you play?
I based off what I did off of what I watched, so like watching the patriots I always like that and also like my body type too i was just not made to be a be a soccer I was a little pudgy kid kicking the ball I had also just thought I was just meant to be a football player. I think I had always like watching it I wanted to give it a try
When did you realize that football was going to be a big part of your life?
I think I realized that football was going to be a big part of my life after my freshman year. I think I’d say so because... I had always like playing it, I had great times my teammates and stuff, but after freshman year we won our last game against Stoughton, and we were all cheering and celebrating in the locker room. I just knew that something that I had always wanted to do was to make the varsity level and have that same type of experience in my Thanksgiving game senior year.
The night before the Thanksgiving game, what was your going through your mind?
I was nervous, and also excited to play, but also sad because it was going to be my last game.
The second after we finish singing the national anthem, what was your first thought? What was going through your mind?
I was just like, “let’s go play football”, and I was just like, “we gotta get it done”, and I was just totally focused on the game; I wasn't even thinking about anything else.
Was there any conflict between you and the teammates on the Stoughton side?
Nah, I know that people go to social media and stuff, but for me with Stoughton I had always had a lot of respect for them as a rival. I don’t think it’s even hatred. I think there’s so much tradition there, and it was just an honor to go against them. Obviously we’re not best friends on the field, I'm not trying to do you any favors, but I think it was mostly respect, not as much conflict.
How do you feel now about Stoughton since that was your last time playing against them?
I think I'm always going to have respect for them. Obviously we got them best of them, but (they’ve) gotten the best of us in the past and if you could just look at the whole history of the rival like Stoughton wins for a few years canton wins for a few years just back and forth and afterwards. Another thing that kinda surprised (me) was like we were all posting pictures and some of them would actually write like good job today you guys earned it and I just thought that was pretty cool to see (them) kinda put the whole rivalry aside.
Describe how you felt when you first hit your opponent.
I was definitely not thinking like emotionally, I was thinking like “I'm gonna kick your butt” the whole time, I was trying to run through the plays, do what we did at practice, and then everything just turned out alright.
After the game, did you feel relieved that the season was finally over for good?
The first feeling was like “oh my God, we won”, and then a piece also like “wow, this is the last time”. Especially since I'm not gonna be playing in college, so its my last time playing football, and then there is a piece of you... It's a long season, practice everyday, so you’re like, “oh I can go home after school, I have a little more freedom”, but I don't even think I'll truly feel it until next August, and I’m not going on the practice field in the ninety degree heat. I'll be in my air conditioned house watching House of Cards or something.
What do you want to say to the younger students playing football next year? Any advice for the Juniors when they play their last Thanksgiving game?
There are moments when you can't deny it. It’s hard, it's tough, and some days you don’t want to go down to practice, but you just gotta and keep sticking with it, because I didn’t even really know what it was gonna feel like when it all ends but if you end your last game with a Thanksgiving win even if you don’t win the whole is just a rewarding process and it gives you so much more than you give it. Take it all in take every moment in from the moment you walk down its your last walk to the moment, I’m getting chills from thinking about it. To the national anthem to looking at the stars and stripes on the field to your first hit to your last hit just remember everything you're never gonna forget it, (I’ve) already watched the tape fifteen times and just to take it all in, and win lose or draw remember it forever