Wood's Revetta shines on both sides of line

WINCHESTER — James Wood football player Dominic Revetta wears his heart on his sleeve ---- literally.

domThe center and defensive tackle has the words, “Family, Honor, Loyalty” tattooed on his right bicep. He has “Family” and “Forever” inked across his two forearms.

They are creeds that he applies to life that also have big meaning to him on the football field. And on that gridiron, the senior has made an impact as large as his 6-foot, 329-pound frame.

Since he was a sophomore, Revetta has played both offense and defense for the Colonels. First-year head coach Ryan Morgan plans to keep it that way, with a little twist.

Revetta is making the switch from right guard to center on offense.

“I wanted him to stay fresh,” Morgan said. “Guard is a little bit more taxing of a position because he’ll have to pull a little bit more. At center, he’s basically blocking the guy across from him.”

Revetta, who has been nagged a little bit by a preseason injury, says the new position does require an adjustment, both mentally and physically

“I used to play center in middle school so it’s kind of not that much different,” Revetta said. “I had to get used to snapping the ball again. It’s just a couple of things that are different. Instead of hitting this guy, well you’ve got to hit this guy now.

“I’ve got to get my mind ready for that. I still have that right guard mentality. Playing two positions is good. I like playing multiple positions. It makes me feel good that the coaches see I can play more than just one position on the field.”

Revetta is hard not to notice, not because the ink on his arms. He’s impressed coaches from the first time they’ve seen him.

“He’s one of the tougher kids,” Morgan said. “I remember back when he came up to us he was playing fullback as a freshman. He was trucking kids left and right.”

While he’s grown a bit since then, Revetta has remained surprisingly light on his feet. During a season-opening scrimmage, Morgan said that Revetta chased down an opposing ball carrier on a buck sweep, something that’s a rarity for most big defensive tackles.

“Back in the spring, he ran a 5.3 40[-yard dash], which is pretty darn good when you are that size,” Morgan said. “Usually if you’ve got somebody that size, if you run under six seconds you’re pretty good.”

“When he really wants to hustle, he can run faster than a lot of guys out here,” defensive end Elijah Filbert said.

Revetta said speed is a big part of his game.

“It’s so important, especially because of how big I am,” Revetta said. “It actually shocks a lot of players on the opposite team. I’ve had coaches come up to me and say, ‘You’re really fast for how big you are.’ My parents always told me that I have been fleet-footed since I started playing.”

Power is another component. This past summer, Revetta bench-pressed 365 pounds and squatted 470.

But Revetta’s strength comes from more than pumping iron. On many days, he’s doing his Paul Bunyan impression.

“I live in the what they say are the boondocks,” Revetta said with a chuckle. “We always have to get wood to keep ourselves warm. We don’t have those fancy wood splitters so I have got to swing an ax. I have to pick the logs up, too. … I’ve got a hill and it’s about straight up 100 yards. I walk that anytime we cut wood because that’s where my dad [Robert] wants to get all of the wood from.”

Morgan says he’s seen how the extra work has yielded benefits.

“He can actually bend his knees and get low,” Morgan said. “Doing those functional strength exercises, you can’t stand stiff-legged and chop wood.”

Between the firewood and the gym, it’s a taxing routine.

“Sometimes I go home and I just can’t move,” Revetta said.

But thanks to his work and skill, opponents have a hard time pushing him around, no matter where he’s playing.

On offense, Revetta is a force blocking.

“You can tell the difference when he goes out of the game or practice at center,” Morgan said. “We have a couple of guys who can play center and do the job, but he can just wash people out of there and make big gaps on his own.”

Defensively, Revetta is a load to move out of the middle of the line. He notched 49 tackles last season, including team highs with 12 tackles for a loss and four sacks.

“You can’t really block a guy that’s that much bigger than you,” Filbert said. “There are not many people that are bigger than him.”

Revetta relishes the challenge and creating mismatches.

“They put their biggest guy against me and they see if that doesn’t work then they start double-teaming me,” he said. “ I get them a couple of times and they get me a couple of times. Sometimes they have to send a running back after me, too. I take a lot of pride when they have to double and triple-team me because I know that is one less person going after my linebackers, my fellow linemen or D-backs.”


Which side of the ball does he like better?

“That one has always been a tricky question for me because I have always been a two-sided player,” Revetta said. “I like offense because it makes me feel good when our running back goes for that long run. Probably offense is my better position and it couldn’t be more satisfying. Defense is nice because you get to hit the quarterback, tackle a running back or help your linebacker make a play, but there’s something just satisfying watching your running back bust it down the field after a good block.”

It’s a job that doesn’t get you glory.

“It’s down in the trenches and never in the spotlight,” Revetta said. “We live for the moments of putting our skill players in the spotlight. We’re down there grinding as hard as we can.”

Still, Revetta did get some recognition. Conference 21 West coaches voted him to the second team on both offense and defense, despite playing for a 2-8 squad.

He’s also recognized by his peers.

“He’s extremely important,” Filbert said. “Without him, we would have a missing link on the defensive and offensive lines. You always need a big body like that, especially someone who wants to help lead the team like he does.”

Being a leader is important to Revetta and Morgan says provides a very good example in helping his team learn on and off the field.

“In the locker room, he’s a guy who will speak up when necessary,” Morgan said. “He’s not necessarily a big, loud, alpha-male type. But when something needs to be said or needs to be done, he’s not afraid to say it or do it.

“The kids like him a lot and they respect his athletic abilities, too. He’s a fun kid. And if you ask him — or even if you don’t ask him — for help, he might offer it up. The kids like him a lot and it doesn’t hurt if they might be a little bit afraid of him.”

Revetta hopes to play in college, if he can find a school that offers what he wants to study. He wants to learn more about welding and carpentry, which is the family business.

In the end, it’s those words that are on his arms that mean the most.

“My arm says family, honor and loyalty and I live by that,” Revetta said. “My arms say family and forever and it reflects on my blood family and my football family. If I find you close enough, I classify you as my brother and my family and I’ll look out for you whenever you need it. Family is No. 1 for me.”

— Contact Walt Moody at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Follow on Twitter @WinStarSports1