YARMOUTH – Nick Proscia missed out on playing fullback last season for Yarmouth High simply because the player in front of him was faster and better. Even though that player, David Dietz, graduated, Proscia wasn’t going to leave anything to chance this time.

He wanted to play fullback so he went about losing weight to make himself quicker. A year ago, Proscia weighed 220 pounds while playing left guard and middle linebacker. This season he weighs 183 as a fullback and middle linebacker.

“I worked out in the weight room with the team beginning in February and I dieted,” said Proscia, a senior tri-captain.

Proscia also trimmed down last spring as the starting catcher in baseball.

“I feel better and a lot quicker. It’s a lot easier to play middle linebacker and also fullback,” he said.

As a sophomore and junior, Proscia beefed up to better handle the rigors of playing guard.

The Clippers had a breakthrough season a year ago in only their third year as a program sanctioned by the Maine Principals’ Association. They finished 8-3, losing to eventual state champion Dirigo in the Western Class C final.

This season, Yarmouth has picked up right where it left off, going 5-0 to tie Winthrop atop the standings. The Clippers and Ramblers don’t meet in the regular season, but could be headed for a showdown in the regional final.

Yarmouth will be a heavy favorite in its last three games, starting tonight with a home game against Boothbay Region.

Proscia’s determination to get into running back shape began at last season’s team banquet.

“I had a hunch we were going to try to run the ball more this season by what Coach (Jim) Hartman indicated,” said Proscia. “I wanted to be part of that.”

Proscia has run for 398 yards and two touchdowns in five games and has been a valuable blocker for tailback Nate Pingitore and others.

As a linebacker with added quickness, Proscia plays sideline to sideline if required. He had 15 solo tackles in a 16-14 win over Lisbon last Saturday. Yarmouth’s other big win was a 20-15 decision over Oak Hill in Week 2.

Proscia was an all-conference guard his first two seasons, and that helps him read defenses and react at middle linebacker.

According to his teammates and coach, Proscia is the most intense player on the team. He gets so fired up that his teammates have to calm him down. And this from a former soccer player.

Proscia played soccer his freshman year at Cheverus before returning to Yarmouth.

“My brother and sister graduated from Cheverus, so it was kind of a family thing,” he said. “My brother played soccer, so I played soccer.”

Proscia’s heart was really back at Yarmouth with his middle- school football teammates. He returned for the start of his sophomore year.

As for his intensity in games, Proscia starts getting ready with a big breakfast on game days.

“I’m in my own little world,” said Proscia. “A few hours before the game, I’m so amped up no one can talk to me. Sometimes it’s too much and my teammates have to calm me down during the game.”

One of the players who calms him down is fellow tri-captain Jack Watterson, who plays center and defensive tackle.

“We just get in Nick’s face. He doesn’t hurt the team, but sometimes he tries to do too much, particularly in big games,” said Watterson.

“I think he’s a great player and leader who has brought a lot to the fullback position. He worked hard in the offseason to get ready.”

Proscia said he doesn’t remember Yarmouth’s wins, only the losses.

“I expect to win. I don’t expect to lose. (The losses) stick in my mind,” he said.

Proscia hasn’t had to remember too many losses the last two seasons. The Clippers have won 11 straight regular-season games.

“Our goal from day one has been to win a state championship,” Proscia said.

 

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at:

[email protected]