By Caleb Gottry
Senior Ely Sannes started this season as captain and quarterback of the CPA Titan varsity football team. Unfortunately, he broke his collar bone mid-season and was sidelined for the remainder of the season. Budding quarterback sophomore Reese Vilaboy stepped up to the challenge and has led his team to three wins and a spot in the state playoffs. “We had to make the playoffs for Ely in his senior year,” said Vilaboy. Sannes still not only goes to the practices, but he continually mentors and coaches Vilaboy during practice and games. Sannes, still the heart and soul of the team, and Vilaboy, the current quarterback leading the Titans into the playoffs, represent the present and future of the program. I had the privilege to interview these two leaders and get a look behind what excites and motivates them on and off the field.
Caleb Gottry: What do you enjoy about playing quarterback?
Sannes: I get to work with every level of the offense.
Vilaboy: I’ve played many sports in many positions, but quarterback is probably the most thrilling position I have ever played. The feeling of throwing the winning touchdown to one of your teammates is the one of the best feelings you can have in sports.
CG: When did you get started playing football?
ES: I started playing flag football around five years old and tackle in sixth grade.
RV: I started playing football in seventh grade. This is when I felt what football was for the first time, and I really enjoyed it.
CG: Do you say or do something to motivate yourself before a game? If so, what?
ES: I bang my helmet against all my teammates helmets.
RV: To motivate myself I usually listen to music and visualize myself doing something great.
CG: Ely, who do you respect or admire most as a teammate?
ES: Izzat Mansour because he is very vocal in his leadership. He steps up whenever he is needed and he is the only other four-year senior on the team.
CG: Reese, what is it like having Ely as a mentor and leader in football? In life?
RV: Ely has been my mentor ever since I got into high school and I’ve looked up to him for a long time in more aspects than just football. It’s been an honor to have someone like that on my side mentoring me as I become the person I want to be. I feel so lucky to have him teaching me about football and life.
CG: Ely, since this is your last year at CPA, do you have any memorable experiences in years past?
ES: The bus ride to Mohave Valley was by far the greatest bus ride because Isaiah Usher and I were freezing on the bus ride back, and our brilliance lead us to make blankets out of Little Caesars napkins.
CG: What is the one thing people should know about you on the field?
ES: I love being on the field, especially with this team.
RV: That I’m giving 110% with everything I do.
CG: Who is/was your favorite teacher at CPA?
ES: So many, but I really enjoyed my class last year with Mr. Henry.
RV: Mr. Goodman or Dr. Mello.
CG: Do you have any fears, phobias, or superstitions?
ES: A few superstitions, mostly about music, the night before, and the helmet banging.
RV: I’m a very superstitious person. If I win, I don’t wash anything or change anything until I lose. We won the first game when I wore tie dye socks under my black socks so I will wear those socks for every game.
CG: What is your favorite movie or TV show?
ES: Full Metal Jacket
CG: Do you enjoy playing any other sports?
ES: I enjoy playing baseball for the school.
RV: My first sport is baseball which I enjoy the most, and then football which could move to the top soon, and lastly soccer which I play for school in the winter.
CG: What is your favorite professional and/or college team?
ES: Chicago Bears and Miami Hurricane.
RV: My favorite professional team is the Cincinnati Bengals as most of my family is from Cincinnati, Ohio. My favorite college team would be ASU as my sister goes to school there.
CG: What is the one thing that people should know about you in life?
ES: I can be serious, on occasion.
RV: I want people to know I’m confident with what I do. I may be nervous at times, but I’m never scared to play any sport.
CG: Who do you think has been your most influential coach in all your years of playing sports?
ES: Coach Goodman
RV: Agreed. He is the best coach I’ve ever had. He has taught me more than just football. He cares more about making these kids good people and making them grow into respectable men than he does about football.