Traditionally, the words "winning" and "Revere Patriots football" haven't always gone hand in hand. Not since their 7-3 campaign in 1981 have they finished with a winning record. But through the month of September, the Patriots are 3-0 for the first time since that '81 campaign, averaging 37 points per game and stirring a local buzz that can be felt from Wonderland Park all the way to the beach.
At Revere, it all starts with linebacker/tailback Trae Weathers, a truck of a north-south runner who isn't known for making defenders miss as much as he is for making them grimace. After rushing for 1,225 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2009, the senior is currently on pace to reach the 2,000 mark, what with 588 yards and nine touchdowns through the first three games.
Simply put, the 6-foot-1, 220-pound Weathers is a dozer. Our friends at Scouts Inc., in their most recent evaluation, agreed:
"Weathers is simply a load at the running back position. A thickly-built, bruising runner who can wear down a defense with his strength between the tackles. Has a compact frame and low, powerful running base which makes it very difficult for opposing defenders to wrap up cleanly. Very solid, sturdy runner who appears durable and gets stronger with carries. Hits the hole with authority and is quick to square up his pads and get North. Not an elusive runner but displays decent lateral agility and footwork making inline cuts and occasionally the first defender miss through the hole. His strength is his best attribute as he breaks consistent first contact with his low center of gravity and power-base. Runs hard as well and is determined to finish."
This afternoon, during a practice at Della Russo Memorial Stadium, Weathers sat down with ESPNBoston for a few minutes to chat about life in Revere, his team's surprising start, and why his city gets a bad rap.
Q: First of all, for those that aren't familiar with the city, is it Revere or Rev-eeah?
A: "It's Revere. But with the accent, everyone calls it 'Rev-eeah' (laughs). I don't know why, it's crazy."
Q: You guys haven't had a winning season since 1981, but you're off to a good start so far. What's been the key for you guys so far?
A: "We just don't want to end up like every other team. We just want to come out on top for once, you know? We have a good team this year, so we're just trying to use that to motivate us to beat teams we haven't beaten since we've entered the NEC, stuff like that."
Q: Your running style is predicated on power. When you come across the line of scrimmage, and you see your defender sizing you up, what kind of mentality do you embrace?
A: "Try to punish people before they punish me. (laughs) I don't want to get hit, I want to hit somebody."
Q: What is the biggest hit you've made so far in your high school career?
A: "Last year, during Winthrop (the Patriots' Thanksgiving opponent), it was the third or fourth play of the game. It was a toss, and I think it was the corner who came up...I hit him, and I don't think he came back in the game. It's crazy, I don't know."
Q: With your running style, how important is having a low center of gravity to complement your leg strength?
A: "With my running ability, I see it as I have to have strong legs, because teams can't tackle me high. After the first quarter, they start to adjust to hitting me in the legs, they keep hitting me and hitting me in the legs, so I've just got to get the muscle up in my legs so I don't go down as easy."
Q: What's your favorite play to run?
A: "The toss. I've been running that since I was a freshman. First play I ever ran as a running back."
Q: What's the best run you've had so far in your career?
A: "I think it was last year, when we were playing Danvers. I had a toss, and I cut it up for an 80, 70 yard run, something like that."
Q: What goals did you set for yourself in this past offseason?
A: "To win, because I really...I don't take losing lightly. I'm sick of people talking about Revere as a win already on their schedule. That motivates me to just win, beat teams we haven't beaten before."
Q: So when you see the score of that week one win (a 48-12 win over Medford), it turned a few heads out our way, but how satisfying was it?
A: "It satisfied me alot. It feels good to win. I'm not used to that, so when we win it puts a big smile on my face. (laughs)"
Q: Who is the X-factor on the team?
A: "I'd have to say our other running back we have, he's a running back/receiver, Drew (Lauria). He makes a difference in games, because when people key on me, we give him the ball, and he does damage by himself, too."
Q: On your end, what needs most improvement?
A: "I need to get faster, I need to get alot bigger, and I need to work on my cutting. I think my cutting's a little bit slow."
Q: Culture-wise, does Revere get a bad rap?
A: "Yeah, everyone thinks we're in a bad city, you know? (laughs) I don't know why. Everybody that comes here, goes, 'Oh, it's Revere, you'd better watch out'. Nothing really bad happens over here."
Q: What's something great about this city that people may not know?
A: "The people. As much as we've lost (in the past), people still have enough heart...we still have enough people paying good money to sit in the stands and watch us, even though we lose. I just think it's the people here, they really support us."
Q: How often do you eat at Kelly's?
A: I go there alot. I know it's not good for me, but I go there alot...three times a month almost. I get the fish sandwich and chili cheese fries. I'm not a big fan of roast beef."