By Sean Lynch
Section 9 Football Insider Staff
WARWICK — Warwick senior running back Kyle Rooney was one of three Warwick football players who showed up at 7:30 to an 8 a.m. practice. He wants to be the next great Warwick running back.
Replacing Harrison Parrelli will be no easy task. In his senior season last year, he totaled 1,161 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns for the Wildcats — both of which led Class AA in Section 9.
“I’ve been ready for this moment since I’ve started playing football,” Rooney’s said. “As a kid, you dream of scoring a touchdown under the bright lights and celebrating with all your teammates,” he paused. “I’m going to give it all I have in my final season, I’ve been working hard to turn my dreams into reality.”
Rooney was successful in his role in the Wildcats offense last season, compiling 22 rushes for 183 yards; averaging 8.3 yards per carry. However, the Wildcats, who move from Class AA to A this season, will rely on him much more this season.
Last year, Rooney played most of his snaps on defense as a free safety, recording 60 tackles.
“He’s a really skilled player,” Warwick coach Greg Sirico said. “He can make plays behind the line of scrimmage or 30 yards down the field.”
Rooney will be expected to be more of a two way player this season as both the first string running back and safety. The adjustment requires more conditioning. Since the end of last season, he has kept in peak physical condition by playing lacrosse in the spring and going to the gym five times a week during the summer. He was also awarded all section honors as a defensive midfielder.
“Replacing someone who rushes for 1,100 yards is never an easy thing to do,” Sirico said. “Kyle (Rooney) has the tools to be something special for us.”
When asked whether he likes lacrosse or football better, Rooney paused to think.
“I love both sports but it’s a completely different feeling at a home football game compared to a home lacrosse game,” Rooney said. It’s really hard to beat playing a home game under the bright lights on a Friday night.”