2006-09-08 / Sports

Confidence Drives BCHS Burrello Brothers To Succeed

By Elio Velez

The John Madden football video game franchise is the hottest series at the moment for gamers around the country. It's a phenomenon that's captured teenager's interest for years especially in the one case of Beach Channel High School teammates Michael and Ben Burrello.

Competitiveness is a trait among the brothers in any sport or activity that they battle each other on. Michael, a 17 year old senior and the older brother to 15 year old Ben, has gotten the edge in playing Madden.

Michael is the older taller brother with a mustache and curly hair that reaches his neck.

Ben is a few inches shorter and his hair cut is a short. They may look different but football is in the bond coursing through their veins.

Ben knows that right now he may not beat his brother but one day, he has the confidence that he will one day have enough experience to beat his brother.

They discuss football every day but it will be the first time both will be playing with each other on the Beach Channel varsity team.

Michael originally was supposed to play in 2005 but suffered a debilitating ankle injury which kept him out of action. With torn ligaments and other assorted injuries, he made a conscious effort to improve in the classroom, which he did by raising his GPA from a 68 to an 85. But still there would be no varsity football in his junior year even after he started recovering.

"I didn't play many sports. I played basketball but my ankle would hurt every time. When I heard about the football program in the school (ran by current head coach Victor Nazario) I figured I tried out and he heard we were brothers and he started liking us," Michael Burrello said.

He says the support of his brother helped to motivate him to play football. Now Michael has finally found a home at the outside linebacker spot and should get many reps on Saturday at Brooklyn Tech.

"I feel pretty good and I feel fired up. I can't wait till our first game and hopefully we win."

Ben is the starting quarterback and the sophomore is ready to throw himself into the fire of PSAL varsity football.

"It's not just about confidence. I just know I can get the job done. I didn't play quarterback because I was a receiver in JV. The quarterback would just run and I wanted to get the chance to do it," Burrello said.

He believes that the adjustment to knowing the position will be quick because he intends to be cool under pressure like his idol Peyton Manning, the Indianapolis Colts quarterback. Ben wants to help rebuild a winning tradition after going 1-8.

"Peyton Manning knows how to pass and he knows how to get the receiver the ball', Ben, who is wearing the #18 jersey worn by Manning, said.

"Everybody wants to win. No one wants to be like we did last year. It's all about gaining respect. We were 1-8 so it's time to get that respect for our school and from the other teams."

Beach Channel PSAL Schedule: 9/9- Brooklyn Technical- Gametime- 11 a.m. (Away), 9/16- William E. Grady- Gametime- 11 a.m. (Home), 9/22- Jamaica- Gametime- 2 p.m. (Away), 9/30- Campus Magnet- Gametime- 11 a.m. (Home), 10/7- Erasmus Hall Campus- Gametime- 12 p.m. (Away), 10/15- Samuel J. Tilden- Gametime- 12 p.m. (Away), 10/21- John Adams- Gametime- 11 a.m. (Home), 10/28- James Madison- Gametime- 12 p.m. (Away) 11/5- George Washington- Gametime- 11 a.m. (Home).

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