John Wooden, the legendary former UCLA basketball coach, once said, “It’s not how big you are, it’s how big you play.” This mantra is strong in the mind of Quince Orchard High School senior Thomas DeCastro.
DeCastro, the football team’s starting center for the past couple of years, has become one of the best offensive linemen in the county despite his undersized 5-foot-10, 245-pound frame. DeCastro has been able to persevere largely due to the offseason lifting program of the Quince Orchard football team. “I knew after my junior season that I wasn’t going to be the tallest or biggest lineman, but I decided that I wasn’t going to be outworked by anyone,” DeCastro said.
With this attitude, DeCastro was able to fight through and become the leader of a completely new Quince Orchard offensive line in which he was the only returning player. This leadership that wasn’t just shown on the field but also off is what has made DeCastro such a special player and inspirational person.
At the recent QO football end-of-season banquet, DeCastro was given the Cougar Award for his contribution to the team. Quince Orchard Offensive Coordinator TJ Changuris presented the award to DeCastro who, he said, is “one of my favorite dudes of all time.” He added, “Day in and day out, Thomas represents what it means to be a QO football player.”
While football season may be over for DeCastro, his work isn’t. DeCastro is also a captain on the wrestling team, and he has unfinished business after losing in the state semi-finals of the football season.
DeCastro hasn’t decided where he will be attending college next year, but said he is looking into schools for both football and academic reasons. Wherever he lands, DeCastro is sure to make a huge impact on that community just like he did here at Quince Orchard.