December 18, 2011

Football MVP: A man for the team, and a man for a title

Louis DiTomasso was the force behind Wells' state championship, but he's quick to share the credit.

By Tom Chard tchard@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

WELLS - The awards season for Wells football player Louis DiTomasso is shaping up to be as dramatic as the playing season.

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When he wasn’t bringing down opponents as perhaps the state’s top linebacker for Wells, Louis DiTomasso, the football player of the year, was churning out yardage as the fullback.

2010 File Photo/Shawn Patrick Ouellette

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COACH OF THE YEAR

Tim Roche, Wells

Roche led the Warriors to their first Class B state title since 1997. Wells went 12-0. He said the key to coaching is to get kids to buy into what you're doing. "If they do, you start winning," said Roche, who has 85 wins in 13 seasons.

The modest DiTomasso disagrees, saying the team comes first.

"Nothing could top winning the state championship," he said.

Still, the senior standout is doing a great job of keeping the honors in the present. Since the season ended, DiTomasso, a fullback/linebacker, has been named the state's Gatorade Player of the Year, the Class B Campbell Conference Player of the Year, and a finalist for the Fitzpatrick Trophy.

And now he's the Maine Sunday Telegram/Portland Press Herald Player of the Year.

DiTomasso was a highly motivated and focused player. He was a tri-captain, and an offensive and defensive star for Wells, which completed a 12-0 season by beating Leavitt 21-13 last month for the Class B state championship.

DiTomasso's play at linebacker helped Wells shut down opponents, and his hard running at fullback prevented defenses from concentrating on any one part of Wells' offense.

"He's the best linebacker in the state," said Cape Elizabeth Coach Aaron Filieo.

"DiTomasso's instincts are outstanding. He knew where the running back was going before the running back did. His will and determination are impressive. He's as tough as they come. We couldn't block him for three years."

As a runner, DiTomasso got tough yardage but also could break long runs. He scored 19 touchdowns and rushed for 1,400 yards. On defense, he had 133 tackles.

"(Wells Coach) Tim Roche always puts his best back at fullback," said Filieo. "DiTomasso was certainly that."

All this praise makes DiTomasso uncomfortable.

"It was a team effort," he said of bringing the school its first state championship since 1997.

"The 17 seniors on the team all worked so hard, as did the underclassmen. We couldn't have won it without everyone doing their jobs."

Last year, Wells was shut out by Mountain Valley in the regional final at Rumford. This time, the Warriors shut out the Falcons at Wells.

"Our goal since last season was to win it all," he said.

In the state final, DiTomasso said the team was more relaxed than during the regional playoffs.

"We were definitely the underdog against Leavitt," he said. "We had nothing to lose because most people thought we would lose. But we played our game, which is to control the ball and run down the clock."

DiTomasso did allow that his strong play at linebacker might have had something to do with his ability to see the whole field and his natural feel for the game. He credits longtime assistant coach Carmen Perri with teaching him the linebacking position.

"Coach Perri taught me everything I know," said DiTomasso. "Coach Roche and Coach Perri had us well-prepared for each game. They made us disciplined and told us that if we read our keys, we would be fine. We knew what the other team was doing."

Outstanding on both sides of the ball, DiTomasso prefers playing defense.

"There's more hitting and you're involved in every play."

Asked to describe the aftermath of the championship, DiTomasso said: "It's been crazy. The support we've received from the community has been really great. They donated money for our championship rings."

DiTomasso hopes to continue playing football in college, but isn't sure which college he may attend.

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

tchard@pressherald.com

Twitter: TomChardPPH

 

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