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The success of the Fieldcrest football team (5-1, 4-0 Heart of Illinois Conference) can be attributed to many people and multiple aspects of the game.
In this long list of key contributors, the Knights’ offensive line stands out not only because it contains the biggest guys on the team, but it also houses a locker room and game day anchor.
Throughout his four years as a member of the O-line, right guard Michael Fiorini has led his team by blocking on the field and demonstrating off the field.
He is a gridiron captain, president of the National Honors Society, executive councilman of Renaissance — the school pride program — and a member of the Senior Steering Committee, Student Council, Key Club, drama department and Scholastic Bowl.
He also sings with the choir, does the morning announcements, announces boys and girls basketball games and plays the bass drum for the band.
“My philosophy has always been, it’s better to be out going and get yourself in as many things as you can,” said Fiorini, who also has a weekend job at The Supreme House of Cheese in Toluca and teaches a first communion class at St. Patrick’s Perish of Minonk. “If something isn’t working out, I understand I can’t do everything. As many things as I have listed, I’m not involved in absolutely everything in the school.
“These are all things I like doing. I enjoy the community service parts of Key Club and the student government aspect of Student Council. What motivates me is just being involved. That’s always the person I’ve been and the person I hope to continue to be outside of high school.”
The 6-foot-1, 220-pound senior also has to go to Fieldcrest for the main reason he is enrolled — education.
Fieldcrest economics and advanced placement history teacher Brian Hipes said Fiorini is as well-balanced in the classroom as he is on the football field and in everything else he does.
“He works hard and never really goofs around in class," Hipes said. "He has a good sense of humor but he doesn’t waste class time on that type of stuff. In all honesty, I think he devotes more time into his education than all of the extracurricular activities.”
Fiorini has realized there isn’t enough time in the day to accomplish everything he would like, and it can get overwhelming, but he tries to do as much as he can because it matters now and for his future.
He said he also realized he couldn’t do everything he does without the help of his nurturing parents, Nick and Jeniffer Fiorini, coaches, teachers, his employer and organization heads.
Fieldcrest coach Nate Lorton allowed Fiorini to take off his shoulder pads during halftime of the team’s 58-0 win against South Beliot in order to grab his bass drum and perform with the band.
Lorton said it isn’t a bother at all because he appreciates the man Fiorini is trying to become.
“He is just a well-rounded individual who brings different characteristics to our leadership team,” Lorton said. “A guy like Michael is going to store all of these experiences in his schema and he’s not only going to develop new ideas about things but he is also going to use them to make himself a better student in college and worker in the work force.
“He’s just that type of kid who takes everything so seriously and gives it 100 percent whether it’s a school play or getting us the first down on fourth-and-one.”
Fiorini is applying to four-year universities such as Notre Dame, Illinois and Purdue for civil or mechanical engineering programs.
He said he wouldn’t rule out playing football past high school, but he’s got other things he wouldn’t rule out either.
Brandon LaChance can be reached at 220-6995, or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @NT_LaChance.
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