By Mike Flach
He doesn’t say much, but one doesn’t need to when you’re busy pounding the opposing defense like starting running back Alan Giacalone. His actions speak for themselves.
"Alan had a tremendous season last year, particularly as a first-year player," remarks head coach Tony Fasano.
After a tremendous rookie season, he is expected to be a driving force on this year’s edition of the Dino’s football club.
"We anticipate that he’ll have a very good year," says Fasano.
Giacalone started his football career in bantam football before playing high school ball at Father Lacombe.
"I used to play soccer and my dad used to play football in the States, so he put me in bantam football," states the quiet Giacalone. "In my first year of bantam I had a tough time, but the second year I really enjoyed it."
When asked about who has been his most influential role model in his football career, Giacalone responds quickly.
"My dad for sure, he really pushed me towards it."
Whether influenced by his father or something else that drives him, Giacalone is incredibly dedicated to his sport.
"[Giacalone] is someone who works really, really hard. He understands our offense," Fasano comments. "He’s worked really hard since high school in terms of his training."
Modesty is something else this dynamic player exudes. His outstanding year last year is quickly described as "alright" and "not bad." His favourite moment in football to date was in a play last year against the University of Saskatchewan Huskies.
"I scored a big long touchdown against the [Huskies], they were supposed to be the best team and I was a rookie," recalls Giacalone.
Sorry ladies, but Giacalone has a girlfriend, Muriel, whom he has been seeing for about two years. He is currently in General Studies, but his courses focus on Political Science. When asked what he wants to do after graduation, the soft-spoken player responds with few words.
"Oh, I don’t know… football," he laughs.
The fuel for this football machine is somewhat unconventional.
"I eat ichiban noodles, and sardines in tomato sauce," says Giacalone matter-of-factly. "That’s my breakfast."
If eating such breakfasts give you arms like Giacalone, sign me up. His nickname on the team is "Guns" because of his impressive pipes. Teammates thought that he worked on his arms every day–he only does once a week.
Two weeks ago Giacalone tore his mcl in his elbow against the Manitoba Bisons. He finished the game, and the team thought that it wasn’t anything major.
"We didn’t think there was going to be a problem, but we got back on Sunday or Monday and found out there was a problem," says Fasano.
The running back described the problem in his usual few words.
"My mcl tore off It’s gone."
He will be getting a brace on Friday, but the likelihood of him playing this weekend is poor at best.
"It’s going to take a little time for him to get back into it. He won’t be dressed this weekend and hopefully will be ready against Regina," says Fasano optimistically.
After he recovers and is back to his dominant self, he should tear up the turf in no time.
"He’s a very strong young man with a burst of speed that you need at the tailback position," comments Fasano. "He’s had some seven or eight-yard runs, but he’s just one step away from breaking the big play."
The big play is yet to come this year for Giacalone, but there is certainty that this stellar player will be ready to accept the challenge if presented with it.
"I think he has the potential. He just hasn’t been able to break one yet," says a confident Fasano.