Now in his third varsity season and second as a starting offensive lineman Jake — at 5-foot-8 and 200 pounds — isn’t about to intimidate anyone when he walks onto the field. But he has no problem with an opponent taking him lightly.
“They’re not underestimating me after I beat them,” he said proudly. “I have played next to guys like (6-foot-3, 275-pound) Jesse Trottier and (320-pound) Joe DeBenedetto. I know I have had to work out and get stronger to make up for my size, and I have also worked very had on my technique to make up for it.
“We have this freshman on the team this year who is pretty big and thought he could take me on. I was happy to show him he couldn’t.”
Bernaiche, who also starts at defensive end after playing just offense last season due to an injury to his patellar tendon, also has the aggressive nature to succeed on offense, a trait he inherited from his father.
“I can tell when he is ticked off,” said Dave. “He can have a quick temper like me, but he is more in control than I am. We are competitive, too. We lift together and play racquetball.”
With at most two games remaining in his high school football career Jake, who is hoping to play Division 3 college football, is thankful he had the time with his dad on the field.
Even if it meant the occasional awkward car ride or dinner.
“I think football brought us closer together from the time I was young and even more now,’ said Jake. “We watch college and NFL games together and talk about what they are doing. We will be able to share those things for years.”
Pinkerton’s opponent in the New Hampshire Division 1 semifinal tomorrow will seem very similar. The No. 2 Astros (8-1) faced No. 3 Nashua South (7-3) last Friday in the teams’ regular season finale. Pinkerton rolled to victory in that matchup 40-20 at Nashua’s Stellos Stadium, behind a pair of scores for Manny Latimore.