After a 1-7 season under first year head coach Jake DerCola, the Black Knights have a sense of rejuvenation on the field.
Last year was more of a learning curve with a new coach, new playbook, and a new style of football. It took the guys a little while to grasp the concept of everything.
But with a majority of kids returning, this group now understands each other and the new system.
RFA put in a lot of work in the offseason and because of that, the chemistry is off the charts.
"The chemistry off the field to translate on is probably the most important parts of a football team," said Shane O'Connell. "Because if you can't trust each other on the field then either someone's going to get hurt, you're going to hurt someone else or you'll just fall apart every single play."
"It's very important," said Black Knights quarterback Chris Orton. "I think everyone on this team could probably tell you something about each and every individual. We're all one big, happy family that's what we like to call it. We break down we say family."
"Team chemistry is something that I believe and it really brings a team together," said Michael Tallerino. "That's how winning teams are made. One of our strong suit's this year is this is the best team chemistry we've had in a long time."
"It's funny, overall you can sense this team is a little bit more close knit," said head coach Jake DerCola. "They actually like each other, they talk to each other, they joke around more and that's huge for a team concepts as they can trust each other."
Rome Free Academy has a chance to prove themselves right away. The Black Knights will battle against Nottingham at the Dome on Saturday, September 7.