Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Chininis Commits to Tufts

Souhegan High's Chris Chininis was one of the NHIAA's top play makers during the 2011 high school football season. He has blazing speed, electric athleticism and good toughness. He is very dangerous when you get him the football in space, and showed an innate ability to gain big yardage after the catch both as a receiver and on special teams. Chininis was also a valuable asset to the team as a defensive back.

Chininis continues the tradition of Souhegan players going on to play at the collegiate level as the senior recently committed to attend and play football at Tufts University. This is an outstanding accomplishment, as Tufts is one of the premier academic institutions in the country. Chininis has been able to use his football ability and his 3.6 GPA as a vehicle to not only attend such a prestigious school but also to play in the highly competitive New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC).

"Chris Chininis was a difference maker on the football field" Souhegan head football coach Mike Beliveau told the NH Notebook. "Opponents had to game plan against his ability to return kicks and punts, as well as where he lined up on the field offensively. His speed and athletic play making ability as a receiver and free safety made our team that much better. At Tufts I foresee Chris becoming another weapon for their spread offensive attack as a slot receiver. I also think his abilities as a return specialist will also be utilized."

Chininis was a Division III all-state player for the Sabers, and helped lead the team to D-III state titles in 2009 and 2010. Here's what he had to say when we interviewed him following his commitment to Tufts.

Jeremy Leveille: Talk about being able to continue the tradition of Souhegan kids going on to play college football.
Chris Chininis: It feels awesome to be able to carry on the tradition here at Souhegan. We have seen so many different players here go on and play at the next level and become successful. After playing with guys who have gone on to play, it taught me what it takes to reach that next level. Coach Beliveau, honestly, has done everything and anything he can to further my career into college. He has been an incredible help though out the process and is so knowledgeable about recruiting, he was really able to help me with everything whether it is getting in contact with coaches or helping me make a decision. I am really thankful for all he has done for me through out the process and on the field.

JL: Talk about your game and where you get your speed from.
CC: I really try to rely on my speed as much as I can. I know that is a huge tool I have and that I need to utilize it as much as possible. During the off season I have always been involved in other sports, keeping me in shape and ready for the football season. I've tried to always focus on my legs, keeping them healthy and strong.

JL: Tufts had a down year last season going 0-8. How do you see things turning around?
CC: There is really just an overall feeling at Tufts right now that there is promise in the guys they have brought in. Though they had a rough season last year, the coaching staff and team has been working hard, putting in extra time to make sure that they improve on all sides of the ball. The coaches feel very confident in the guys and can see the improvements they have made in order to be more successful. I can really see at Tufts that the overall attitude has shifted and improved to be more competitive, and that they feel as though the guys they have in place now, and the new class coming in, will make Tufts football successful in the near future.

JL: What do you see your role being on the team at Tufts?
CC: Next year at Tufts I will play Slot receiver for them. I also will look to play a role on special teams in the punt and kick return games. But overall, I just want to compete with the guys on the team. I am really looking to try to make the team better by competing with the guys ahead of me to push them to be better as well.

JL: Thoughts on playing in the NESCAC?
CC: I am real excited to play in the NESCAC. Tufts has really presented me with a great opportunity to not only play football, but most importantly get an incredible education. I feel that the NESCAC is so unique in that way, that not only is the football incredibly competitive, but also to obtain an outstanding education. I've seen so many Souhegan players go on to play in the NESCAC so it will be fun to play my former teammates as well.

JL: Fondest memories from your football career at Souhegan?
CC: I would say a few of my fondest memories during my high school career would be of course playing a role in two State Championships. But also, i loved the overall atmosphere between the guys on the team and the coaches. They really made the past four years perfect. I would not have traded these guys, or this team, for the world.

JL: What do you plan on studying at Tufts?
CC: I'm still undecided with a major, however I am leaning toward economics.

Congratulations to Chris, and best of luck at Tufts!

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