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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Casas and Oliveri-O’Connor: Great friends, great teammates

A single season of sports is often a powerful enough catalyst to transform two individuals from strangers into best friends. Every moment of triumph or defeat bonds members of a team closer to one other as each match or practice passes.

Seniors Brandon Oliveri-O’Connor and Mitchell Casas have been experiencing that same spark of synergy many times from being teammates in a variety of sports since the third grade.

“It all started in elementary school at break. He was a complete ball hog,” Oliveri-O’Connor said jokingly. “He still prefers to keep the ball to himself, but occasionally will throw it.”

Oliveri-O’Connor and Casas continued to team up together outside of the games played during lunch or break at Saratoga Elementary. After school, they also played Little League baseball and club soccer together. Through their middle school years, the two were both part of the wrestling team.

“Really, we were always playing sports together no matter what,” Casas said. “[Wrestling] was very time consuming, which led us to hang out more through sports.”

The two are most notable for their camaraderie when playing football, which they have been playing together for the past four years. Casas, a quarterback, has learned to rely on Oliveri-O’Connor’s support as an offensive lineman in order to succeed.

“There have been many situations where Brandon will be lead blocking as many people as he can for me on a run play,” Casas said.

Casas and Oliveri-O’Connor have found that their long friendship has helped them become better teammates. Together, they have pushed each other to work harder as athletes and achieve their goals.

“I wouldn’t consider him a rival at all, but we do push each other as often as we can,” Casas said. “We are both looking to play college football so that means we have to improve in every way possible. If we have to call each other out on something we will.”

Casas has earned the trust of Oliveri-O’Connor as a teammate and the two have rarely run into altercations after being teammates for so long.

“We typically don’t disagree on a lot,” Oliveri-O’Connor said. “I respect him as a football player and trust what he says it right.”

Both players have found celebrating their victories and enduring their hardships together to be rewarding experiences.

“There are tons of memorable moments I’ve had with Brandon, but one of the most memorable was celebrating the Los Gatos win last year with him,” Casas said. “On the other hand we had a lot of tough defeats this year along with last year.”

After being teammates for so long, Casas and Oliveri-O’Connor have evolved into the best of friends and a dynamic combination on the field.

“We’re both trusting and hard working,” O’Connor said. “We rely on each other to give a best effort, and as a result we put everything we have into games and practice.”

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