PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island high school football season ends on Thanksgiving day, but players who hope to go on to the next level are not ending their seasons in the fall. Seven-on-seven is now making football a two-season sport.
The state’s best skill players are still passing, catching and running for scores with the Breakthrough Academy team. The athletes travel across the country to compete against the best of the best.
“I just felt like our kids needed to be working in the offseason,” said founder Stanley Dunbar. “It’s not real football, but it’s a way for quarterbacks and receivers, defensive backs, linebackers, running backs… to continue to get better and get some work.”
“The other competition I’m facing makes me a better wide receiver” said North Kingstown junior Noah Gincastro. “More communication, more experience playing football. How to read coverages and stuff like that.”
“You really get to see where you stack up against everyone else,” said Barrington junior Alex Mclelland of playing high schoolers from across the country.
The work the players have put in over the last four years has been paying off on the recruiting front with names like Cameron Alves, Tyler Pezza, Marquis Buchanan and Moses Meus earning Division I scholarships. The next generation is hoping to continue that trend.
“It’s just giving Rhode Island a name. Rhode Island is looking up right now. A lot of people in Rhode Island are popping out with Division I offers. We’re getting exposure, getting our names out there,” said La Salle sophomore Terrence Campbell. “Breakthrough is definitely just a start for that to continue to happen.”
“We have talent in this state, we just have to show the rest of the country,” Dunbar said.