While the Richmond Hill football team is off to a hot start, several members of the coaching staff dove into the heat themselves after practice Thursday.
The coaches, along with Athletic Director Mickey Bayens, gathered in the school’s west cafeteria for a hot wings eating contest, followed by a meal enjoyed by all 140 players in the program.
“It’s not often we get all 140 guys in the same place at the same time,” Coach Matt LeZotte said. “It’s a fun way to bond.”
The hot wings, as well as dinner for each player, came from Zaxby’s, one of the program’s biggest corporate sponsors.
“We try to do a couple of events like this a year to provide some fellowship,” said Mike Giuseffi of the Richmond Hill Touchdown Club. “There was no freshman or junior varsity game today, so it was perfect timing.”
Before the contest, LeZotte reminded the players about the importance of Friday night’s game, which is a fund-raiser for pediatric cancer.
“This is something bigger than football,” he said. “This team is bigger than each of you, and our community is bigger than the team. This issue is bigger than all of us. This is a chance to do something for our community.”
The coaches began with five wings coated in “tongue torch” sauce, then moved on to five coated in “nuclear” sauce. The only flavor hotter on the Zaxby’s menu is called “insane.”
Defensive Coordinator Tony LeZotte finished first, garnering himself a $40 Zaxby’s gift card. Offensive Line Coach Josh Davis took second and a $25 gift card. LeZotte said he thought he finished third, good for a $10 gift card, but the judges were still out.
Candace Larmond, general manager at Zaxby’s, told the team that “when, not if,” the team wins Friday, all students would get 10 percent off Friday night at the restaurant.
The Wildcats, 3-0, host Lakeside Evans at 7:30 p.m.