Season recap: Pete deSouza
Maryland offensive tackle commitment Pete deSouza and his DeMatha football team found themselves in an unfamiliar position earlier this fall.
The powerhouse Stags were routed by Good Counsel, 42-21, before 5,000-plus fans and an ESPN2 audience on Oct. 2.
“We were basically embarrassed in that ballgame on national TV,” DeMatha head coach Bill McGregor said. “We gave up 28 points in the first quarter. In all my years at DeMatha, that had never happened to us. We had to go back and look at that going through the season. We all just made a total commitment to come out and do whatever we could to right the ship. Pete, without a doubt, was instrumental in righting the ship. He was a leader; a vocal leader at times. He led by example and he was very positive in terms of what we did.”
What DeMatha did, according to McGregor, was run approximately 70 percent of its offense behind deSouza at right tackle. The Stags reeled off six straight wins, setting up a rematch with Good Counsel for the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship.
This time around, deSouza and the Stags were ready, claiming their sixth consecutive conference crown with a 34-7 win over Good Counsel. McGregor said deSouza was instrumental in the team’s title win.
“We had the ball on Good Counsel’s 35-yard line,” McGregor said. “We ran an outside zone play and Pete just literally dominated his guy, took him totally off the ball and buried him. What happened was our tailback -- instead of taking it outside -- there was such a gash on Pete’s side that he just cut it back inside and went 32 yards for the touchdown to give us a 21-7 lead. It was a total domination type of block. From 14-7 to 21-7, that play changed the whole complexion of the game. ... I know without Pete, we’re not where we are right now as WCAC football champions.”
McGregor said deSouza got better every week throughout his senior season. deSouza’s work ethic is arguably his strongest asset, McGregor said.
“Pete just goes out and works. He would work hard in practice and he would work hard in the weight room during the offseason,” McGregor said. “He’s a good kid and just basically does whatever we ask him to do. ... Football means a lot to him. He was a co-captain every week of the season and he wants to excel. Like I told Coach Friedgen; with a year in the weight room and another year of learning, there’s a possibility of Pete becoming a three-year starter at the University of Maryland.”
If all goes according to plan, McGregor thinks deSouza’s Maryland career could play out like another former DeMatha lineman.
“I think he’s going to be a whole lot like [UM senior center] Edwin Williams,” McGregor said. “Edwin’s had a great career at the University of Maryland. He was just named All-ACC. He always did what he was supposed to do, and I think Pete will be the same exact type of player. He’s very coachable and humble. He’ll work to be successful. He’ll do all the little things to make things good for himself and the football team. He’s a total team player.”