Apr. 8—Among his other qualities, Greater Lawrence senior Gustavo Regalado is, above all else, adaptable.
Happy enough to be a cornerback for the Reggies two years ago, Regalado agreed to try quarterback when Eagle-Tribune All-Star Shamil Diaz got injured.
“I used to play baseball as a pitcher and was pretty good at it so the coach encouraged me to try it (quarterback),” said Regalado. “I tried it and liked it.”
But Regalado thought the move was only temporary and he put his focus back to playing in the secondary. But then he was encouraged to play another position.
“I was hoping to play cornerback this year but the coaches talked to me in the offseason and said that outside linebacker would be a better position for me,” said Regalado who, at 5-foot-10, 180 pounds, grew three inches and added 40 pounds of muscle in the last two years.
So Regalado settled in at outside linebacker and played some at wide receiver — for one game. Then, when starting QB Manny Vasquez got hurt in the first game, Regalado got the call to fill in there.
Three games later, Regalado is not playing defense and has settled in as the starting quarterback. And he’ll likely stay there the rest of the year.
He’s been that good.
In his first full game at quarterback, Regalado was downright spectacular, rushing for 131 yards on 11 carries and completing all six of his passes. He rushed for three scores and passed for another in a 34-32 setback.
And he hasn’t slowed down much since. For the season, as the Reggies (2-2) have split four games, Regalado has rushed for 266 yards on 39 carries, a 6.8 average per carry, and completed 12 of 20 passes.
“He’s throwing pretty well and his running the ball has really been good,” said Sarkis, who says Regalado is one of his most team-oriented players. “His running ability has allowed us to open up the playbook a little more.
“And the thing is, he is still new at the position so he’s still developing. We’re excited about his potential.”
Regalado believes he has room for improvement, but he’s feeling more comfortable all the time at quarterback, which is only good news for the Reggies.
“The first couple of games, I was really nervous but now it’s just exciting (to play quarterback),” said Regalado. “It gives me more playing time and I like to help out my teammates.
“My passing hasn’t been the best but I do better when I’m relaxed and I’m getting there. I’m working on my passing a lot.”
Regalado admits that he misses playing defense but if he continues to shine at QB, he likely won’t be returning to that side of the ball anytime soon.
Which like everything else, he’ll be sure to adapt to.
— North Andover expects to be near full strength Friday at Dracut (7 p.m.) after missing 21 players last week against Tewksbury due to COVID issues. They were exposed to a Malden Catholic player in a JV game and had to sit out seven days but returned to practice Tuesday. Of more concern is the status of standout back Jake Wolinski, who suffered a foot injury last week that forced him to miss the second half and whose status is considered day-to-day.
— Speaking of the Knights, they plan to start three Ferullo brothers on defense Friday. Steven, a senior, will be at defensive end, junior Jack will be at inside linebacker and sophomore Brian will be at outside linebacker.
— In case you didn’t hear, the start of Friday’s Central Catholic-Andover game at Lawrence Stadium has been moved from 5:30 to 6 p.m. It has the potential to be a good one. The key could be if Andover can contain the passing of quarterback Ayden Pereira.
— In just two games, Whittier Tech junior Julien Acevedo-Torres has rushed for 353 yards on 29 carries. He’s averaging better than 13 yards per carry.
— Just wondering: To continue winning, will Methuen need to diversify its offense a bit?