Justin Caines follows dad’s legacy as he accepts scholarship

Alexander Naveja, Sports Editor

Falcons wide receiver, Justin Caines accepted a scholarship to the University of Rhode Island, rejecting a possible move to the University of Oregon and transferred in the middle of the school year with his AA degree.
Caines is a 20-year-old football player who is majoring in child development and has a passion to help special needs kids.
“I was extremely blessed to receive this full-ride offer. It was an answer to my prayers,” he said.
According to head coach Frank Mazzotta, Caines was considered one of the most toughest players last season with great leadership skills.
“He is not the fastest kid, he is not the biggest kid but he is the toughest and the hardest working kid out there,” he said.
Caines has been playing football since the fifth grade and continued to learn and improve on the field.
“He’s stepped into this stadium ever since he was two-years-old.
“He has gotten faster, stronger and has done a better job at route-running position,” Coach Tom Caines said, who is currently the defensive and recruiting coordinator of the football team.
Caines has always wanted to follow his father and be at his side coaching with him.
“Pursuing my dad has really been a dream for me. I truly would like to coach alongside my dad one day, that would be a dream come true,” he said.
He had many universities to choose from and the decision was tough for him to make.
His father added how he narrowed his decision, “He had a couple of larger schools like the University of Oregon as a walk-on, but his response to that was that ‘I love the game too much to go and have a possibility of never getting a chance to play on the field.’”
Most coaches believed Caines had a very difficult decision early in his football career.
Whether he wanted to go to the University of Oregon, which made it to the finals last season, or the University of Rhode Island.
There was one thing that helped him make that decision and that’s the great interest that the coach from the University of Rhode Island had in him.
“Coach Flemming came in and was really interested in me and the way I played.
“That meant a lot to me,” he said.
The Falcons team will have to think about who will be able to replace and be equally as good as Caines was out in the field.
Coach Mazzotta said that there will be many new players coming into next season to boost performances on the field.
It will be difficult to replace his leadership skills that he  demonstrated on and off the field.
“It’s going to hurt our team that he’s leaving without his leadership,” Coach Mazzotta said.
Now that he has moved on to a university, Caines has many challenges that are coming his way on and off the field.
“I’ve got a great support system back home and definitely makes things a lot easier all the way over here,” he added.