St. Mary's play-maker Vallone exchanges praise with teammates, coach
In just two games, Vallone has compiled 424 rushing yards and four touchdowns, and has been the Lancers’ top player on offense this season.
He nearly led the upstart Lancers to what would have been surprising early-season upset in the Monsignor Martin Athletic Association. Canisius needed a late score to beat host St. Mary’s on Sept. 8.
St. Mary’s had taken a 27-22 lead with 10 minutes lef in the game, thanks to Vallone returning a kickoff 89 yards for a score. Vallone finished with three touchdowns for the game, also scoring on runs of 40 and 11 yards.
However, try to give him credit goes nowhere. He will tell you the same thing every time — he is nothing without his teammates.
“I’ve been good, but there is no way I’m doing this without my guys,” Vallone said. “I only do as well as my line blocks for me. They have done a great job, and have been the reason I’ve been able to produce.”
“(When I’m running), I just see a lot of holes due to a lot of really good blocks from my teammates,” he added.
And while Vallone doesn’t want to take credit for his play, his head coach is more than happy to give it to him.
“I’ve been coaching this kid since he was 10-years-old,” head coach Dave Hersey said. “I’ve told (people) that this is the best kid I’ve ever coached.”
Whether it is a big play running the ball, on defense or on special teams, Vallone just seems to be involved whenever something big happens on the field for his team. Vallone seems to find himself in the right place at the right time quite often.
“I don’t really know how to answer that,” he said when asked how he does it. “Lucky, I guess.”
Hersey doesn’t believe luck has anything to do with it.
“For us here in this locker room, it’s kind of expected,” he said. “If (people) watch some of that stuff that he does on that field, they would know what I’m talking about.”
Hersey even admitted that he’s caught himself with his jaw dropped a few times while watching some of Vallone’s runs.
“Do we raise our eyebrows, and say ‘wow?’ Absolutely. I mean, we are human too,” Hersey said.
While Vallone may be a tremendous player, Hersey believes there is another key trait that endears him to the coaches and his teammates.
“He’s a great teammate,” Hersey said. “His teammates, he plays for them every day. He’s not a selfish kid. I’ve had the fortunate opportunity of coaching this guy for a long time, and he’s always been up for any task. He will always be there.”