LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON … a football story

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When Derek Tardanico, Class of 1992, finished his football career at Williams, he amassed stellar stats. Over his three years on varsity, the Bishops record stood at 25 -5-1. Derek rushed for 2600 yards, over 500 receiving yards and scored 31 touchdowns. As a senior, Derek was recognized as CCL Co League MVP and a Patriot Ledger All Scholastic. You might think that when Derek reminisces about his playing days, he feels that carrying the ball for the Blue and Gold was the pinnacle high school experience for him. But wait … step to the sidelines and look up into the stands and you will see Derek and wife Linda Della Penna, ’92, with fixed stares on #21, their son Nick. If Derek reflects on his high school play with pride, multiply that a whole lot of touchdowns for the pride he experiences when he watches Nick following in his footsteps. As a junior, Nick has over 656 yards rushing, 78 tackles and 3 interceptions. And happily for the Bishops, Nick has accumulated a string of touchdowns over his varsity career.

How does Derek feel being in the stands? Pretty great. Derek can relax a bit and enjoys that “I finally get to sit back and watch as a fan and not as a coach, since I coached Nick for years.” He and Linda feel only pride; “Nick has love and passion for the game and it means the world to us to see him carry on the tradition of our name at Archie’s. I feel honored that he is wearing my old number.” But the Tardanicos’ don’t wear rose colored glasses when Nick takes the field. Derek shares that “football is a tough game that demands a lot of physical and mental toughness and Nick trains the whole year to build up his size and speed for the coming season.” Helping him to do that is Brian McDonough,’92. At Mc Donough’s gym, Edge Performance, Nick has been a member since he was 12 years old and already chasing his football dream of developing his football potential to its highest potential.

Linda is thrilled to see Nick as a “leader on the field and watching him make plays is fun. We feel so much pride every week just watching him.” Since Nick is a junior, there are lots of AWHS games ahead for the Tardanico family. And perhaps college football may be in the future. Derek sees football as a way for “Nick to find a college that he falls in love with and work toward another dream, a career in exercise science.”

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Glory days are nice to look back on and even nicer if they are shared father and son. For the Tardanicos, the “Go Bishops” anthem is a very familiar one that still scores inspiration and pride.

Glory days are nice to look back on and even nicer if they are shared father and son. For the Tardanicos, the “Go Bishops” anthem is a very familiar one that still scores inspiration and pride.