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A freshman year with no football? Gio Fabi deals with the unknown

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(WBNG) -- Gio Fabi almost gave up on playing football.

"The last M-E (Maine-Endwell) game, when we lost I kind of sat in the end zone and told myself that my body was done," said Fabi.

The Section IV semifinal loss left the Owego senior questioning his future, until a conversation with his teammate changed his mind.

"Mason Pratt came up to me after the football game, and he was like 'listen man, I saw your eyes,'" said Fabi. "I told him I thought I was done and he said 'don't do that.'"

In May, Fabi announced his decision to continue playing football at Ithaca College. Fabi said he chose Ithaca because they were interested in more than his stats.

"They had the most passion toward me. They asked me about my personal life, how school is for me," he said.

Signing to Ithaca was a bright spot after his senior year was tainted by the pandemic. Fabi missed out on a lot of big moments, including his senior lacrosse season.

"I was really relying on lacrosse for my conditioning aspect because I'm running for two straight hours and going into that for college I would be perfectly fine," said Fabi.

Fabi adjusted to conditioning on his own.

"Having to do it on my own and having limited gym access is hard, but I'm fighting my way through it," he said.

Then last week, the Liberty League announced the fall sports season was suspended, leaving Fabi with no football season his first semester.

"I kind of reacted to it slowly and was just like well I guess the only positive to take away from it is it gives you more time to get ready," said Fabi.

Rather than be defeated, Fabi pushed himself to keep training.

"I did take two days off but then I got right back to it because I know if I got into the two days off, three days off then four days off, it was just going to keep building into a week, two weeks, so I've just kind of kept going," said Fabi.

With no way of knowing when he'll take the field as an Ithaca Bomber, Fabi is keeping his head up.

"If you let it get to you, there's going to be a problem because then you just keep going on that downward slope," said Fabi. "There's going to be bad days. But if you stay positive through most of them, you're going to be fine."

As of right now, Ithaca College is scheduled to begin classes on time and in person. Fabi will begin training with his team in small groups for a possible spring season.

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Nicole Menner

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